13 Fun Things to Do in Milwaukee This September

13 Fun Things to Do in Milwaukee This September

September’s must-see arts and cultural events

Food & Drink events

Big Gig BBQ

Sept. 2
Henry Maier Festival Park

Your nose knows good barbecue. And you can find it here – in sample- or full-sized portions – along with drinks, sides, live music and an amateur ribs competition.


Sept. 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29 and Oct. 5-6
Heidelberg Park at the Bavarian Bierhaus

Let the sweet sound of yodeling lead you to Milwaukee’s oldest Oktoberfest, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. German food and beer (courtesy of the Bavarian Bierhaus, Spaten and Weihenstephan) will be available, and live bands – such as folk sextet Austrian Express – will play nightly.

Fairs & Festivals


Sept. 7-8
Hart Park

After 42 years in the Village, Tosa’s namesake festival is moving down State Street to the Rotary Pavilion at Hart Park. Organizers say visitors will have more room to dance, or sprawl on the grass while snacking on dishes from some of your favorite suburban restaurants.

Indian Summer Festival

Sept. 7-9
Henry Maier Festival Park

For thousands of years, indigenous peoples lived along the shores of Lake Michigan. This weekend, that heritage takes center stage once again in North America’s largest celebration of Native American culture, participating in powwows, dance and lacrosse demonstrations, art exhibitions and more. Non-natives are welcome too.

Photo by Michele Kiewig.

Third Ward Art Festival

Sept. 8-9
Third Ward

Expect Broadway to be even more bustling than normal this weekend, when over 140 jury-selected painters, sculptors, photographers and more set up tents along the street. Stop by if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift or artistic inspiration of your own.

NEWaukee Night Market

Sept. 12
Wisconsin Avenue

The 2018 iteration of this popular pop-up market takes over the stretch of Wisconsin Avenue between Second and Fourth streets for a final time this evening. Visitors can play life-sized games of chess, roast s’mores, listen to live music and sample dishes from dozens of food trucks.

5th Street Fest. Photo by Chelsea Brian.

5th Street Fest

Sept. 22
Walker’s Point

Where can you find local brewers, ballet dancers, sushi chefs, jewelers and drag queens on the same block? At the city’s newest neighborhood festival, which promises to be as vibrant and diverse as the street it’s named after.

Maker Faire

Sept. 28-30
Wisconsin State Fair Park

Tech enthusiasts of all ages can admire robots, race cars and other quirky inventions at this family-friendly fair, which also features a career exchange and maker market.

5th Street Fest. Photo by Colin Winistorfer.
5th Street Fest. Photo by Colin Winistorfer.

Fashion, Conventions and Architecture

Milwaukee Fashion Week

Sept. 13-15
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

New York … Paris … Milwaukee? Believe it or not, Cream City has its own fashion week, complete with runway shows, networking events with industry insiders and a fashion camp for aspiring young designers. All net proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Milwaukee Tattoo Arts Convention

Sept. 21-23
Wisconsin Center

Thinking of inking? Then you should check out this colorful convention. Artists from some of the best-known tattoo parlors in the country will be in attendance, and aerial acrobats, fire breathers and other sideshow performers will entertain visitors in between the scheduled contests and seminars.

Milwaukee Comic Con

Sept. 22
Wisconsin State Fair Park

The DC and Marvel movie franchises have helped push comic culture into the mainstream, which means that you can expect large crowds, lots of special guests and more than 300 vendors at this convention. Everyone who purchases a ticket receives a free comic at the door.

Doors Open Milwaukee

Sept. 22-23
Various Venues

This weekend, many of the city’s most beautiful, historic buildings will open their doors to the public. Avid architecture lovers can also sign up for special tours (some free, some ticketed) led by local historians.

Bay View Gallery Night

Sept. 28
Bay View

Bay View is always bustling on Fridays, but it will be especially raucous tonight, when bars, restaurants and boutiques around the neighborhood are transformed into pop-up art galleries.


“September: Agenda” appears in the September 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning September 3, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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