The Top 10 Things to Do in Milwaukee in May

Our must-see events in May




“Keith Haring Construction Fence: Mixed Reality Experience”

Construction Fence, by Keith Haring, courtesy of Haggerty Museum of Art.

Through May 19
Haggerty Museum of Art

In 1983, the Haggerty’s founding director invited superstar artist Keith Haring to paint a construction fence surrounding the museum, just seven years before his untimely death. Now the Marquette Visualization Lab has created a “mixed reality” experience that allows visitors to take in the work up close while learning more about its context.




Trapper Schoepp

Trapper Schoepp. Photo by Kayla Jean.

May 1
Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.

Local troubadour Trapper Schoepp is having a good year. In January he released Primetime Illusion – which includes a song that Schoepp co-wrote with Bob Dylan – and now he’s getting ready to launch a major international tour with his bandmates. Catch his show tonight so you can tell your friends you saw him before he made it big.




100 Things MKE Launch Party

May 1
Ivy House

FREE — Frequent MilMag contributor Jenna Kashou has written a book, 100 Things to Do in Milwaukee Before You Die, that comes out April 29. Pick up a copy, then chat up the author while sipping an old fashioned, or two, or three.




Punk Rock Rummage Sale

May 4
Club Garibaldi

Tired of all that stifling spring sunshine and fresh air? Then spend your afternoon inside a dimly lit dive bar, sifting through vintage leather jackets and Sex Pistols records. In honor of Mother’s Day – evidently the most punk rock of holidays – the first 100 moms to step inside will receive a free gift.




Milwaukee Symphony Mondays

Colectivo by the lake; photo by Alexis Amenson, courtesy of Visit Milwaukee.

May 6
Colectivo Lakefront

FREE — Once a month, members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra pack up their clarinets and cellos and schlep them over to a local Colectivo for a free performance. The specific performers and the location change each month but the overall quality doesn’t. Weather permitting, they’ll be playing outside tonight, under the faint glow of the fairy lights that make the coffeehouse’s lakefront location so inviting.




Come from Away

May 7-12
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

A critic writing for The Washington Post called this surprisingly heart-warming musical about the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks “an antidote for what ails the American soul.” Now a touring production of the Tony winner – based on the true story of what happened when dozens of planes were diverted to a tiny Canadian town and locals there hosted the stranded travelers – is finally coming to Milwaukee.




My Favorite Murder

May 16-17
Pabst Theater

In the three years since comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark launched their true-crime podcast, they’ve amassed hundreds of thousands of fans, or “Murderinos,” and topped iTunes’ comedy podcast charts. Their Milwaukee shows sold out almost immediately, but you’ll likely find scalpers (the ticket-selling kind, not the killing kind) nearby.

Karen Kilgariff. Wikimedia Commons.
Georgia Hardstark. Wikimedia Commons.




Pinto con Tinto

Photo by Chris Siegel

May 21
88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Every month, Latino Arts Inc. hosts a painting (and eating) event. This time they’re taking the party to 88Nine’s rooftop terrace, where participants can soak up enviable views of the city while painting a Milwaukee-themed Lotería card. Your $25 admission fee includes everything you’ll need to make the card, plus two tacos from Meat on the Street.





May 30
The Rave

Irish-born indie rocker Andrew Hozier-Byrne’s debut album rocketed to the top of the British charts. But the singer-songwriter – who is 29 but holds his own with 79-year-old soul legend and collaborator Mavis Staples – has yet to receive much recognition on U.S. soil. Let’s hope that changes soon.




10th Annual Midwest BrewHaHa

May 31-June 2
UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena

Roller derby teams from all over will be cruising into Milwaukee this month for this annual bout. There’ll be two tracks, 22 teams, 33 games and – if last year’s event is any indication – too many screaming fans to count.

Illustration by Allison Beilke

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

Find it on newsstands beginning April 29, or buy a copy at

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