Watch the fireworks light up the skies over Lake Michigan at one of the city’s most popular fireworks shows. The hour-long display begins at dusk (about 9:25 p.m.), but arrive early with a blanket and some snacks. You’ll grab the best seats in the house and even catch the Fireworks Kite Festival, where kitefliers will fill the sky with as many kites as they can in a designated area of Veterans Park. The Kite Festival will run from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and then from 7:30 p.m. until the fireworks start.
Veterans Park, 1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.
If you’d rather trade your beer and pretzels for craft cocktails and freshly prepared food, get tickets for one of Milwaukee Art Museum’s July 3rd dining experiences and watch the U.S. Bank fireworks lakeside. Dine on small plates and wine pairings prepared by Café Calatrava, Goodkind and Juniper 61 on the VIP Baumgartner Terrace. (Coffee, dessert, a full cash bar, live music and a featured craft cocktail from Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge are also included). Or, opt for the shrimp boil and buffet on Café Calatrava’s patio, also with a full cash bar and music. Get there at 5 p.m. for the complimentary light snacks and cash bar in Windhover Hall. Both events start at 6 p.m. VIP Baumgartner Terrace tickets are $125 ($95 for M.A.M. members), and Café Calatrava Patio tickets are $75 ($60 for M.A.M. members).
Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Dr.
Transport yourself to a different time period and celebrate Independence Day 19th-century style at Old World Wisconsin. With historical reenactments, ice cream making, a pie-eating contest and more, there’s something for everyone in the family. Don’t forget to enter the greased pole contest! The day wraps up with a historical parade. Tickets are $19 for adults, $10 for children 5 and up, and $16 for seniors. Veterans receive free admission.
Old World Wisconsin, W372 S9727 Hwy 67, Eagle
Parks all over town are celebrating the 4th with fireworks, games, parades, picnics, talent contests and more. Enjoy music at the lakefront in Lake Park, get messy at Enderis Playfield’s watermelon eating contest, or watch in awe as the Milwaukee Tumblers give an amazing tumbling performance at Wilson Park. Find a park near you.
Summerfest’s 4th of July lineup boasts plenty of headliners worth spending your holiday with. Top-40 radio fans won’t want to miss The Chainsmokers at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater. Ground stage headliners worth noting include Alessia Cara, Miike Snow, Third Eye Blind, and local rappers IshDARR and WebsterX. Make sure to read our pro tips for making the most of Summerfest.
Henry Maier Festival Park, 639 E. Summerfest Pl.