Best of Milwaukee 2019: For the Kids

Only the best of the best for the kids.

Nice Day Option

Milwaukee County Zoo

For decades, kids have been captivated by zoo denizens, from the creepy-crawlies to the magnificent apex predators. The sprawling new Adventure Africa area, including more room for the elephants, figures to forge even more memories in future generations.

10001 W. Bluemound Rd.;

Rainy Day Option

Milwaukee Public Museum

It’s looking for a new home, but in the meantime we’re A-OK with the faux rainforest, Native bison hunt (snake button!) and the T. Rex’s triceratops feast. Don’t forget to bring some cash for the Streets of Old Milwaukee candy shop.

800 W. Wells Street;


Free Option

Free Thursdays at Milwaukee Public Museum & Milwaukee Art Museum

Don’t think of these Milwaukee museums as stodgy repositories of art and historic artifacts. Think of them as cultural playgrounds where kids of all ages can interact with and find inspiration in the work on display.

800 W. Wells Street; / 700 N. Art Museum Drive;

Kids-focused Store

American Science and Surplus

Sparks of imagination aren’t on the official items list, but you’ll certainly find some at American Science and Surplus. This is the only place in Milwaukee where you can get both an Erlenmeyer flask and a donkey branding kit. We talked to 10-year employee/assistant manager Maureen Martinez about what makes this emporium so special.

— Matthew Martinez

A World of Discovery

Q: How would you describe your inventory to someone who’s never been here?

A: Gifty, crazy rubber chickens, squirrel underwear-y type stuff to military and scienceproject stuff. It’s always changing.

Q: Who are some of your regular customers?

A: We have your DIYs, your makers, your tinkerers, your grandma and grandpa who used to shop here when they were kids who bring in their grandkids.

Q: What makes this place so special for the kids of Milwaukee?

A: Because it is such a wide variety of stuff, there’s a lot of things to get them thinking. It’s just really kind of awe-inspiring for little people, and I think that they remember that if they have a good time here.

6901 W. Oklahoma Ave.;

Photos Courtesy of: Joel Miller; Milwaukee Public Museum; Jeff Millies

Readers’ Choice Winners & Runners-up

Rainy Day Option

Milwaukee Public Museum
Discovery World
Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

Nice Day Option

Milwaukee County Zoo
Atwater Beach
Urban Ecology Center

Free Option

Free Thursdays at Milwaukee Public Museum & Milwaukee Art Museum
Bike Ride on Oak Leaf Trail
Milwaukee Public Library Central Library

Kids-Focused Store

American Science and Surplus
Learning Shop
Little Monsters

More Best of Milwaukee 2019

Here it is: The cream of Cream City. You chose the winners in dozens of categories, and we added a few that we couldn’t help but chime in on.

“Best of Milwaukee 2019” appears in the September 2019 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning September 2, or buy a copy online.

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