$25 and Under: Indoor Winter Activities

Ways to stay warm and entertained on the cheap this winter

Just because it’s freezing cold and you’re broke doesn’t mean you have to be stuck at home. Get out and get back inside! There’s plenty going on this winter to keep you entertained. Here are a few choice picks for exploring Milwaukee indoors this winter on the cheap.

$10 and Under

Go Ice Skating at the Pettit National Ice Center

There are 97,000 square feet of ice for your skating pleasure at the Pettit National Ice Center ($7.50 for adults). You’ll see speed and figure skaters in action at this official U.S. Olympic training site. But if you’d like to take to the ice, there are designated open skate times for amateurs, so no need to feel intimidated. There are typically two time blocks a day for public skate, but check the schedule before you go, as it is subject to change. The Pettit also has a 443-meter, rubberized track around the parameter of the ice for running or walking if you’re not very smooth on skates.

$5 and Under

Catch a Classic Flick at the Avalon Atmospheric Theater

Avalon Theater, courtesy of Jenna Kashou.

The Avalon is the last remaining atmospheric theater in the city. Built in 1929 and restored in 2014, the theater has an old-world Spanish feel, and the star-covered ceiling and painted buildings on the walls in the main auditorium make you feel like you’re in another place. They typically show between two and six classic movies every month, and they are always offered at $5. There is no regular schedule and they are not tied to a specific genre, so check the website for movies and showtimes. 


Attend Gospel Brunch at Colectivo on Prospect Avenue

Start your Sunday off right with a side of gospel music with your coffee and pastry. This five-concert series brings local gospel quartets (different groups each month) to perform live in the Back Room at Colectivo from noon-2 p.m. so you still have plenty of time to sleep in.

Ride The Hop

The Hop in motion in the Third Ward. Courtesy of Jenna Kashou.

The long-debated streetcar is finally here, and it’s free for the first year, courtesy of Potawatomi! The Hop is quiet, sleek and easy to use. See this video in case you aren’t sure how to Hop. There is currently only one route, starting at the Intermodal Station and going to the lower East Side at Burns Commons, with more routes planned for 2019. All the street cars are ADA accessible and easily allow for bikes and strollers to hop on too. Check the schedule before you go.

Visit a Museum on a Free Day

Milwaukee Art Museum. Courtesy of Jenna Kashou.

Free admission is offered at least once a month at several museums around town. Whether you’re looking for fine art, a private collection or events, there is something for everyone.

Milwaukee Public Museum: First Thursday of every month from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. (Courtesy of Kohl’s)

Milwaukee Art Museum: First Thursday of every month from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (Courtesy of Meijer)

Charles Allis Art Museum: First Wednesday of every month from 1-5 p.m.

Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum: First Wednesday of every month from 1-5 p.m.

Mitchell Park Domes: First Thursday of every month from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for Milwaukee County Residents (ID required).



Jenna Kashou is a writer, storyteller and journalist specializing in lifestyle and culture feature writing for print and web. She is a frequent contributor to Milwaukee Magazine, MKE Lifestyle Magazine, The Business Journal and more. She was chosen as the fifth writer in residence at the historic Pfister Hotel where she wrote about and photographed guests and events. A Milwaukee native, Kashou has lived abroad and visited far-flung locales like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, and Argentina. She has always had an enormous sense of pride for her hometown and spreads this Milwaukee love everywhere she goes.