11 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Milwaukee

It’s raining, it’s pouring, it’s time to go exploring!

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1. Up-Down MKE 


You’ll time-travel back to the ’80s and ’90s when visiting this arcade bar. This two-story nostalgia themed bar features over 60 arcade games, multiple skee-ball alleys, a giant connect-four, pinball machines and patio games. It costs 25 cents per game. Both floors feature bars with over 50 beers on tap, and the kitchen cooks up house-made pizza which is served by the slice with standard and special toppings.

2. Pettit National Ice Center

500 S 84TH ST.

Extend your winter fun by heading over to the ice rink. The Pettit National Ice Center has public skate sessions on most weekends and offers a variety of classes for youth and adults, including hockey, speed skating, inline and figure skating. Don’t think you need classes? Think you’ve got what it takes? Join one of their sports teams and have some competitive fun this season!

3. Oriental Theater 


Why go to just any theater on a rainy day when you could enjoy the exquisite architecture and intricate designs within the Oriental Theater on Milwaukee’s East Side. This theater, with its East Indian architectural features, has been showing movies since its doors opened in 1927. Under new ownership in the 1970s, the theater added two new auditoriums, revamped the building and extended entertainment offerings to concerts and lives performances like the famous Rocky Horror Picture Show which is shown every year.

Oriental Theatre; Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Film Festival

4. Betty Brinn Children’s Museum 


Having fun while learning through hands-on activities and social interaction at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, located right by Milwaukee’s lakefront. Toddlers and young children will enjoy learning about the communities around them, exploring the great outdoors (while staying indoors!), experimenting and using their curiosity throughout the museum.

5. Discovery World


At Discovery World, you (yes, adults too!) can find a countless amount of information and interesting facts on subjects that are relatable. You can hop aboard the Great Lakes Schooner ship replica, make your way through the aquarium to touch a sting ray, visit Les Paul’s House of Sound or experience virtual reality.

Photo by Visit Milwaukee

6. Sky Zone


Jump, jump and jump some more at Sky Zone Trampoline Park. Bounce freely on a court of individual trampolines, flip into the foam pit, climb your way up the rock wall or show off your obstacle skills in the ninja warrior course. Recently, Sky Zone added two new attractions including a zip line and a kid zone that create a safe, fun place for children 10 and under. You can also get a dodge ball game going or practice your globetrotting skills with high jumps and slam dunks.

7. Milwaukee Public Museum 


The MPM is always a popular choice on a rainy day – there is no wonder why either. Between the butterfly exhibit, the rainforest, exhibits on different areas of the world and the Streets of Old Milwaukee, there is something for everyone. While you’re there, check out the dome theater and planetarium, an educational visual experience that surrounds you. One free planetarium program is included with general admission. Now through May 18th, Milwaukee Public Museum’s special exhibit is the Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family

Photo by Everett Eaton



Most bars carry pool tables and dart boards, but AXE MKE holds 12 lanes for you to try your hand at axe throwing! Grab a teammate or a group (up to six), pick a lane and bulls eye! Stay for a few hours, let the rain pass and enjoy some snacks and drinks. AXE MKE also has a Perks and Rec rewards program so you can earn points toward a free play.

9. Nine Below


Show off your creativity by building your own mini-golf course at Nine Below, a member of the Bars and Recreation family. Like many other social gatherings, you’ll get together a group of 2-6 friends (players) and reserve your tee time. Upon arrival you will go underground, choose your green and start laying out your course – set your boundaries, put in obstacles, follow a theme – the possibilities are endless! Unsure of how or what to do? There is a Course Coach there to answer any questions or offer suggestions. The fun doesn’t stop there; once your course is built, it’s time to play!

10. First and Bowl 


Who would have thought to combine football and bowling or basketball and Connect-Four? First and Bowl did, that’s who! To play football bowling, just find a teammate and play against another pair. Take turns throwing footballs at the other players’ pins and whichever team knocks down all ten first, wins. With unlimited play ($10), you can stay until your arm hurts. First and Bowl also serves food and beverages and has options for the little ones.

11. Adventure Rock 


Are you feeling adventurous? Rock climbing is a great way to get active, build muscle or have a friendly competition race to the top with a friend. Experienced staff climbers are there to guide you through and assist when needed. Your admission gets you an all-day pass so you can come and go as you please and don’t have to feel bad about taking breaks and breathers. You can easily make a whole afternoon out of this rocking experience.

Photo courtesy of Adventure Rock