28 days of extracurricular highlights
February 2 and 5
The Riverside Theater
“Come on down” to this live (non-televised) version of America’s longest-running game show, where select audience members get to spin “The Big Wheel” and compete for some of the same prizes as their TV counterparts.
Three Bridges Park
Enjoy a free scenic, candle-lit hike along the Hank Aaron State Trail, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., complete with a pit stop for s’mores. Register at urbanecologycenter.org. And check out the after party at Third Space Brewing.
February 3-April 8
Museum of Wisconsin Art
Every other year, the Museum of Wisconsin Art shines a spotlight on the state’s most promising artists – such as Shorewood photographer Lois Bielefeld. At the opening-day party, MOWA also awards $10,000 in cash prizes. And the museum extends a solo exhibition invitation to one artist.
BMO Harris Bradley Center
Tinker Bell’s pixie dust is pretty potent stuff – strong enough to transport audiences of all ages to the wintry world of Arendelle, where characters from Frozen come to life. And other Disney princesses, such as Snow White, Jasmine and Rapunzel, ensure that the evening enchants from start to finish.
The Pabst Theater
Five choreographers team up with local musicians to create acrobatic song and dance numbers for this Milwaukee Ballet event. Writer (and occasional MilMag freelancer) Dasha Kelly delivers a spoken word performance to accompany a piece by Timothy O’Donnell, and 88Nine’s Jordan Lee kicks the evening off with a thumping pre-show playlist.
The Back Room @ Colectivo
On Jens Lekman’s fourth album, Life Will See You Now, the indie crooner’s wit and voice are as strong as they’ve ever been. Sing along to songs new and old in this intimate concert venue before Lekman goes on to tour Australia and work on new music.
Ebony Stewart, co-champion of the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam, delivers pithy spoken-word poems on sex, love and relationships – perfect for couples looking to step outside the (heart-shaped) box this Valentine’s Day.
Tokyo may be 6,000-plus miles to the west, but Wisconsin’s largest anime convention is located right in Milwaukee. Fans who sign up for the three-day con can snag autographs and art from the stars, compete in karaoke contests and catch anime screenings.
See idyllic Cedarburg transformed into a winter wonderland at this February weekend festival, complete with an ice-carving contest, chili cook-off and camel rides. And don’t miss the Japanese-style “Snow Battle,” an event that’s part snowball fight, part dodgeball tournament.
Milwaukee Public Museum
If you’ve always wanted to wander through the “Streets of Old Milwaukee” with a Brew City beer in hand, you’re in luck. At this after-hours fundraiser, you can eat and drink – more than 70 breweries poured samples last year – as much as you want while strolling through the museum’s exhibitions.
If you still haven’t seen The Blood is at the Doorstep, you’ve got another chance to catch the disquieting documentary, about the 2014 police killing of disabled Milwaukee man Dontre Hamilton. Director Erik Ljung and members of the Hamilton family discuss the film after its screening. The free event is currently at capacity, but check the film’s Facebook page for possible updates.
February 23-March 25
Todd Wehr Theater
The Wiz blew through Broadway with the force of a tornado when it debuted there in 1975, earning seven Tony awards. And the residents of Oz are still as charming as ever, especially when belting out soulful songs like “Ease on Down the Road.”
Eagles Club and BMO
Harris Bradley Center Few bikers brave frigid February temperatures in this city. But Harley fans can still show their hogs some love at this indoor invitational, showcasing more than 100 home-built bikes and a flat-track race around an arena that’s been sprayed with soda for maximum stickiness.
Wisconsin State Fair Park
Anyone who purchases a Comic Con ticket scores a free comic book. But the real gift? The hundreds of artists, vendors and special guests visiting the convention hall.
February 24-March 4
Test-drive the latest models from Chevrolet, Mazda, FIAT and many other manufacturers at this massive show. And be sure to check out the antique and luxury automobiles on display too, before playing a round of car-themed mini golf.
Hamburger Mary’s MKE
Support the Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center while competing for prizes and taking advantage of drink specials at this boozy bingo event, hosted by drag divas Dear Ruthie and Karen Valentine.