The Top 10 Things to Do in Milwaukee in April

“The Top 10” appears in the April 2019 issue of Milwaukee Magazine. Find it on newsstands beginning April 1, or buy a copy at Be the first to get every new issue. Subscribe. Comments comments




First Stage: Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Through April 14
Marcus Center

We’re suckers for stories about friends overcoming impossible odds together. And this one – adapted from Mark Twain’s 19th-century meditation on race in America – is epic. Plus, it’s a musical! So grab your favorite kid or teen and get your tickets now.




Mott the Hoople

April 1
Miller High Life Theatre

Get out your glitter-encrusted platform boots and get down to the sounds of this quintessential British glam-rock group. It’s the band’s first stateside appearance in 45 years, and Milwaukee is the kick-off of the tour, so show them some love. Legend has it that Mott was on the verge of splitting up in the early 1970s, but David Bowie convinced the members to stay together, penning “All the Young Dudes,” their biggest hit.




Write Touch Conference

April 5-7
Hyatt Regency Hotel

So you’ve been dreaming about writing a book for years but have yet to actually put pen to paper? This three-day conference can help you get started. And if you’re already hard at work, there are seminars led by local novelists to help you finesse your prose. Best-selling author Lisa Cron is also offering a three-hour storytelling intensive at the event for an additional fee.




Milwaukee Marathon

April 6
Starts and finishes at Fiserv Forum

In 2016, the course was too long. In 2017, it was too short. But the Milwaukee Marathon is tearing through town again this year, with new owners who promise that they’ve carefully measured out a route that’ll be the regulation 26.2 miles. And runners who complete the race can qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Getty Images




Milwaukee Zine Fest

April 6
Milwaukee Public Library Central Branch

FREE — At this to-DIY-for festival, now in its 11th year, you can buy small-batch zines from several dozen local artists and writers, typically for just a few bucks apiece – less than the cost of your morning coffee, and better for you to boot! There’ll also be free workshops and presentations by local librarians.




Midwest Gaming Classic

April 13-14
Wisconsin Center

Calling all high-rollers: thousands of classic and contemporary games – from pinball to PlayStation – will be set up throughout 150,000- plus square feet of exhibition space at the Wisconsin Center this weekend. Attendees can play them all, while also competing against other gamers for a year’s worth of bragging rights. Kids 9 and under get in free.

Photo by AC Klein Photography




Black Restaurant Week

April 14-20
Various locations

Some of Milwaukee’s best restaurants – like the critically acclaimed Afro fusion hot spot Irie Zulu – are owned by black entrepreneurs. Show them some support this week by dining at their establishments and encouraging your friends to do the same. Bonus points if you come back again next week, too.

Photo of Irie Zulu, courtesy of Yollande Deacon




Steve Martin & Martin Short

April 19
Riverside Theater

Two titans of comedy, both named Martin, are teaming up to present new material and talk about their careers. They’ll be joined on stage by Jeff Babko, virtuoso pianist and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” band member.

Martin, left, and Short




Japanese Zen Garden Spring Show

April 20-May 25
Mitchell Park Domes

Expect to see dozens of people, and maybe a few dogs, prowling the streets of Milwaukee en masse between 3:30 and 7 a.m. today. But don’t worry, they aren’t up to anything nefarious. They’re just enjoying one of the sunrise city hikes, complete with stops at local landmarks, that Brew City Safari hosts from time to time.

Mitchell Park Domes
Mitchell Park Domes; Photo by Emily Heller, courtesy of MKE Parks




Annual Milwaukee Riverkeeper Spring Cleanup

April 27
Various locations

For 24 years the advocacy organization Milwaukee Riverkeeper has been staging an annual cleanup of the city’s major waterways. Last year, 3,600 people removed more than 50,000 pounds of trash.

“The Top 10” appears in the April 2019 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning April 1, or buy a copy at

Be the first to get every new issue. Subscribe.