10 Things To Do in Milwaukee This January

These are our must-see events in to kick off 2021.

1. 34th Annual Cool Fool Kite & Ice Festival

JAN. 1 FROM 11 A.M. TO 5 P.M. | VETERANS PARK

Celebrate New Year’s Day with the annual Cool Food Kite and Ice Festival at Milwaukee’s lakefront! This free kite festival is a sight you won’t want to miss. After you’ve seen enough kites, check out the Quiet Ice Carvers, a professional ice carving group who will be creating some ice designs at the event. The festival will have free hot chocolate, coffee and snacks while it lasts, compliments of Gift of Wings, the kite shop in Veterans park. Kites and other snacks will also be for sale.

2. Polar Bear Plunge

JAN. 1 AT NOON | BRADFORD BEACH

Start the New Year and say goodbye to 2020 with this classic Milwaukee tradition, plunging into Lake Michigan’s cold winter waters on the first of the year. The annual event is free, open to the public and does not require registration. Safety precautions for the plunge can be found here.

   

3. Social Dance Series: Rumba

JAN. 8 AND 15 AT 6:45 P.M. | DANCEWORKS STUDIO OR VIRTUAL

Looking for a fun night out (or in)? Want a fun way to get some exercise? Check out the Social Dance Series at Danceworks! This month’s style is Rumba, and you and your dance partner of choice can sign up for these in person or virtual classes. The in-studio version of the class requires that the dance partners live together, but anyone can sign up for virtual classes – with a partner or alone! Class rates vary and can be found on the Danceworks website.

4. Virtual Wintertime Comfort Food with Mary Adashek

JAN. 14 FROM 5:30 TO 7:30 P.M. | VIRTUAL

There’s nothing cozier in the middle of the January winter than a warm bowl of soup and fresh homemade bread. Thankfully, you can learn how to make both thanks to the Virtual Wintertime Comfort Food with Mary Adashek, hosted by the Milwaukee Public Market. In this class you’ll learn how to create Ranch French Bread to dip in Beef and Noodle Soup all from the comfort of your own kitchen. The class is $10, and you can register online here. Once you register, you will be sent a link for the class and the all details you need to prep for it.

5. Dog Days at Lynden

JAN. 16 AT 10 A.M. | LYNDEN SCULPTURE GARDEN

The Lynden Sculpture Garden invites you to bring your dog for a lovely afternoon of “romping in the garden” during Dog Days at Lynden. You and your canine friend can view the collection of more than 50 sculptures across the 40 across of park, lake and woodland. This event will continue throughout the year on the third Saturday of each month. Currently, admission fees for the sculpture garden are waived.

6. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual Celebration

JAN. 17 AT 1 P.M. | VIRTUAL

For over three decades, Milwaukee has been celebrating Dr. King’s birthday by highlighting the youth, cultural arts organizations and speakers in our community. Every year, students interpret his words through art, speech and writing contests, and they are showcased at the annual event. This year, the celebration will be virtual, but the tradition, along with Dr. King’s legacy, lives on.

7. Yoga + Beer at MobCraft Brewery

JAN. 24 FROM 11 A.M. TO NOON | 505 S. 5TH ST.

There’s really no better way to start the New Year than yoga and beer. MobCraft Brewery is hosting its first ever pop-up yoga class, and after the class you get one beverage on the house. The class will be “a smooth slow flow linking movement to breath” and encourages those at all levels to join. Bring your own mat, mask and some water and have fun! Attendees must be 21+ with a valid ID.

8. MPM Night In

JAN. 28 FROM 7 TO 8 P.M. | VIRTUAL

Grab your friends and family (virtually), grab your pajamas and grab your laptop for this night full of museum “secrets” meant for older audiences only, knowledge about your favorite museum exhibits and a little friendly competition. Tickets are $10 per member household and $15 per non-member household.

9. First Stage’s Escape from Peligro Island

OPENS JAN. 29 | VIRTUAL

This “Create Your Own Adventure Play” by Finegan Kruckemeyer is full of surprises, adventure and audience participation! Use your phone or computer to vote for the path the young hero Callaway Brown will be taking on this journey through time and space. The show will be streaming live starting on Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online here. This performance is recommended for families with young people ages six and up.

10. Snowshoeing for Beginners and Hike

JAN. 30 FROM 9:30 A.M. TO 11:30 A.M. | RIVERSIDE PARK

Enjoy the beauty of Wisconsin winters with the Urban Ecology Center at their Snowshoeing for Beginners and Hike. You’ll learn the basics of snowshoeing and hike through Riverside park. Snow or no snow, this event will give you the opportunity to get outside, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy nature. This event is for adults and children over seven years old. Tickets range from $18 to $28 and can be purchased here.

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Brianna Schubert is a freelance writer at Milwaukee Magazine. She is studying journalism, psychology and Spanish and is in the Honors College at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.