$25 and Under: Wake Up, It’s Spring

Spring is in the air…and so is saving money.

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$25 and Under

Make Sundays more than brunch

For a late night anti-brunch meal, Comet Cafe still serves free bacon with a drink purchase (for as long as supplies last) on Sundays. Since this is Comet, you can assume the supplies are ample. Food runs $10-13, plus sides.

Bounce Around

A great place for laughter and exercise, Bounce Milwaukee has become a fun land for both adults and kids. It’s almost more fun for adults, especially inside the sports arena, which can be outfitted to do a “Bungee Run challenge,” sumo suit wrestling, dodgeball and more. If it’s not inflatable, it’s not fun. Base admission is $14, and food and drinks (including alcohol) are extra.

Place Your Bets

To continue on a grown-up course, pop over to Potawatomi and bet on a dang horse. The off-track betting area broadcasts a handful of races every day. While some of the terminology is arcane, the casino is more than happy to educate you. The key is to research the race and bet on more than one pony, or bet that a single horse will place somewhere in the top three. Unless you’re trying to lose your money, that is.

Try Some Pork

One cannot have too much pork. Non-vegan-tarians can find it at Carnitas Don Lucho at 565 W. Lincoln Ave., in the shadow of the Basilica of St. Josaphat. Open till 4 p.m. on Sundays, this place is a mean pork-braising machine offering tortillas and toppings while keeping it simple.

$15 and Under

Go on a best-of tour of Milwaukee coffee

Valentine Coffee’s Robb Kashevarof and Joe Gilsdorf during the early days

Ask five people about the best coffee in town, and you’ll get six different answers. Stone Creek’s Factory headquarters does a weekly tour and is a good place to start. Buy some whole beans on the way out. Head over to the Colectivo headquarters on Humboldt Boulevard in Riverwest, where you can watch the roasters at work (if they’re roasting). Colectivo’s drip coffee is a staple, but their cappuccino is killer. Anodyne has great mild roasts that make equally great pour-overs. And Valentine has fruity medium roasts that kill. If you visit the Walker’s Point location for Anodyne and the Wauwatosa one for Valentine, you’ll have seen the top four roasteries in town.



Take in the Air and Water Show

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

The Milwaukee Air and Water Show is like having a little slice of EAA right here, and it’s free. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbird planes are performing this year (July 27 and 28), and please don’t confuse the flaming skydivers with UFOs this time. There’s also going to be an ultra-high-tech F-35, a B-2 stealth bomber, oodles of aerobatic prop planes and some highly skilled water-skiing.

Watch the Downer Classic Bike Race

The race (June 29) descends on Downer Avenue each year like a street festival. The main race is surprisingly exciting, and a unicycle race is planned for this year. There will be beer and food, of course, and much jollity. Did you know that when a gang of bikes goes racing down a street, it sounds like running water?

Enjoy Nature

There’s also fun to be had climbing around the Milwaukee River. A good jumping-off spot (but don’t jump) is the Urban Ecology Center on the eastern bank. The Arboretum there has a rock tour showcasing huge slabs of Wisconsin rocks. Do you know your rocks?



Matt has written for Milwaukee Magazine since 2006, when he was a lowly intern. Since then, he’s held the posts of assistant news editor and, most recently, senior editor. He’s lived in South Carolina, Tennessee, Connecticut, Iowa, and Indiana but mostly in Wisconsin. He wants to do more fishing but has a hard time finding worms. For the magazine, Matt has written about city government, schools, religion, coffee roasters and Congress.