9 Things to Do in Milwaukee This Weekend: July 16-18

Cultural festivals, secret garden tours and more this weekend in Milwaukee.

1. Books, Beer, and Burgers Pop-Up

FRIDAY FROM 4-9 P.M. | WAUWATOSA BARREL HOUSE

A good book, a chill beer, a savory burger; get all these weekend ideals all at once at this joint pop-up Friday evening. Enjoy a wide selection of specialty Fermentorium beers, the full menu from Heirloom MKE (including their signature Heirloom Burger), and a great read from Niche Book Bar’s special selection, which showcases a diverse range of Black literature. Don’t want to wait for your food? Pre-order your food here so you can get straight to reading and dining upon arrival.

2. Granville Blues Fest

ALL WEEKEND | 8633 W BROWN DEER RD.

While Jazz in the Park remains up in the air, you can still get your summer jazz and blues fix this weekend in the Granville District. Enjoy performances from early afternoon to late evening every night of the weekend (and a set or two Thursday), and headliners like John Primer, Cash Box Kings, and Toronzo Cannon. Pull up a chair and experience a weekend of music and fun, alongside plenty of food, drinks, and a local vendor market. Plus, it’s free.

3. Midwest Vegan Fest

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, NOON-6 P.M. | ALICE’S GARDEN

Looking for your vegan food fix? Don’t miss the third annual Midwest Vegan Fest. The festival hosts a wide selection of local vegan vendors, alongside chef demos, giveaways and live entertainment. Whether you’re new to the vegan lifestyle or just looking to try some new dishes, this festival is a great opportunity to explore everything Milwaukee’s vegan scene has to offer.

 

 

4. Croatian Fest

SATURDAY FROM 10 A.M.-10 P.M. | CROATIAN PARK

Enjoy a glimpse of Croatian culture, food, and dance at this one-day festival in Franklin. Grilled food and pastries, roasted lamb and pork, and a full bar are some of the culinary delights of this festival, alongside live music, theatre, and games.

5. Weird Fest Block Party

SATURDAY FROM NOON-10 P.M.| MOB CRAFT BEER

Join Mob Craft Beer for their third annual Weird Fest. Featuring weird food, weird entertainment and “weirdness on tap,” enjoy such delights as “Walking Pizzas” (read: toasty split sub rolls filled with pizza toppings), Zany Zucchini Bread (a witbier with notes of cinnamon, zucchini and walnuts), and Mondo Lucha wrestling matches. A perfect pre-emptive cure to the Sunday scaries.

6. Riverwest Food Truck Rally

SATURDAY FROM 5-9 P.M. | GATHERING PLACE BREWING

Let the bar crawl come to you with the third annual Riverwest Food Truck Rally. Featuring brews from the likes of Black Husky, Company, Gathering Place and Lakefront Brewing, alongside six food trucks including Meat on the Street and Chillwaukee, this food truck rally brings a remarkable pallet of Milwaukee’s food scene to one convenient location. View the Facebook event for a full list of vendors and details.

7. Armenian Fest

SUNDAY FROM 11 A.M.-5 P.M. | 7825 W. LAYTON AVE.

This daylong festival invites you into an immersive exploration of Armenian culture through food, dance and family. Try classic Armenian dishes like the Luleh kabob, witness live dances and musical performances, and explore various elements of traditional Armenian culture on this day of summer fun.

8. Riverwest Secret Garden Tour

SUNDAY FROM 11 A.M. TO 4 P.M. | RIVERWEST GARDENERS MARKET

The Riverwest and our gardens are no longer a secret,” the website’s invitation reads. Spend a Sunday afternoon in the historic Riverwest neighborhood, and enjoy a tour of some of the areas most gorgeous back and front yard garden collections, made open to the public for one day only. Begin your tour at the Riverwest Gardeners Market, then enjoy a self-paced walk through 13 different homes showcasing a wide diversity of flora alongside stunning historic houses. Tickets are $5 each, with proceeds benefiting Riverwest community projects.

9. Bee Wonderful! Bees in the Garden

SUNDAY FROM 10:30 A.M.-NOON | SANGER HOUSE GARDENS

Ever curious about the secret life of bees – not the 2001 novel by Sue Monk Kidd, just the ones in your front yard? Join local bee expert (and by expert, we mean beekeeper for Marquette, Milwaukee County and Wisconsin State’s Bee Inspector) as you learn about these small-but-mighty workers, and the critical role they play in our daily life. While learning about the bees, see them in action buzzing around the historic Sanger House Gardens, and even take part in their life cycle by sampling and purchasing locally-grown honey. Tickets are $35, with proceeds benefiting the Mitchell Park Conservatory. It’ll be the place to bee.

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