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Let’s Get (Re-)Acquainted!
If you haven’t visited Oak Creek in a few years, it’s definitely time to go back. While the retail buzz centers on Swedish home-goods retailer IKEA (which opened last year), plenty of small businesses have popped up as well. Much of the activity is within the 85-acre Drexel Town Square, a walkable, mixed-use development at the intersection of South Howell Avenue and West Drexel Avenue (361 W. Town Square Way), where it’s just as easy to grab a taco as it is a new toy for your dog. That kind of convenience has made the area a popular place to live.
“Drexel Town Square has become the central meeting place for friends and families to stop for a meal and enjoy community events,” says Kristin Craig, Oak Creek’s destination marketing specialist. “With the recent emergence of new events and developments, Oak Creek has a vivacity not found anywhere else.”
Beyond the town square, which also includes the library, city hall and civic center, Lake Vista Park (4001 Lake Vista Parkway) opened last year with walking trails. “Lake Vista also features an engaging playground designed for all ages,” says Craig, “and bluffs with views of Lake Michigan.”
Nature, shopping, restaurants, plus lots of new housing options – Oak Creek has it all. Use this guide to help you navigate this vibrant community.
Things to do
Weekend grocery shopping is a blast, with stalls selling produce, cheeses, meats, flowers and honey, accompanied by live music.
Saturdays June 1 through Oct. 19 (no market July 13), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Drexel Town Square
Harkening back to Wisconsin’s German heritage, the Oak Creek Beer Garden travels to two select parks this summer. Sip from 12 local beers on tap (lineup changes daily, from MobCraft to Broken Bat Brewing), with live music.
Open Thursdays through Sundays only. June 6-9 at Abendschein Park, 1311 E. Drexel Ave.; Aug. 8-11 at Lake Vista Park, 4001 E. Lakeside Ave.
Fourth of July Parade
Bring your patriotism to the parade route to watch the marching bands and floats.
July 4, starting at 9 a.m. Go to visitoakcreek.com for the parade route.
Head to Lake Vista Park to continue the celebration. At dusk, the sky will crackle with a fireworks show.
July 4, starting at dusk, Lake Vista Park
Don’t make Fido stay home! At this event, dogs dive off docks while owners listen to live music and peruse wares from 40 pet-related vendors.
July 12, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and July 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Drexel Town Square
The City of Oak Creek is partnering with NEWaukee to bring an art exhibition to the city’s newest park (Lake Vista Park). The exhibit features work by local artists, who were asked to create pieces that examine where they live with a critical eye.
July 20-Aug. 10; kickoff event 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 20, Lake Vista Park
If fall is your favorite season, mark your calendar for this annual fest. Held indoors and out – Halloween costumes encouraged – family-friendly activities include pumpkin painting and hayrides.
Oct. 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Drexel Town Square
Why I Love Oak Creek
“If you didn’t have the opportunity to visit the farmers market last year, it’s an absolute must for Saturday mornings starting June 1.” — Gina Goodwin, vice president, Burke Properties/Forge and Flare Apartments
Valentine Coffee’s café
“When you need to jump-start your morning, or afternoon, the coffee is some of the best you’ll have anywhere.” — Mike Doney, Pizza Man’s director of marketing and creative
Free bands at Oak Creek Community Center in the summer
“I love the incredible sense of community in Oak Creek. Everyone is so involved.” — Matt Roman Lopez, BelAir Cantina’s director of operations
“Start with the French toast dipped in cornflakes and cinnamon sugar and stay for tacos, especially on Taco Tuesday and Thursday. The wraps are awesome, too.” — Gail Varhula, Connect Cell, a U.S. Cellular authorized agent
Forest Hill Memorial Park
“Quiet and peaceful, this is a hidden gem. Walk the grounds, then have a seat, close your eyes and clear your mind.” — Kelvin Schroeder, owner of Kelvin Schroeder Jewelers
Drexel Town Square
“There are many events throughout the summer to keep you and your family entertained!” — Naomi Prusinski, Roots Salon co-owner
“What I love about Oak Creek is the network of small businesses. Be sure to check out The Confluence hosted by NEWaukee. Or, visit (fellow agent) Marybeth (Pfeffer’s) favorite place, Bender Park!” — Christopher Lentz, American Family Insurance agent
Grab a Bite!
7974 S. Main St.
With its “In crust we trust” mantra, this East Side mainstay and its 21 specialty pizzas opened in Oak Creek in 2016.
130 W. Ryan Rd.
Erv’s serves craft beer and pub fare with a twist, like pork chops with cranapple jalapeno chutney.
410 W. Town Square Way
Find street-style tacos, of course, but also fried plantains and ceviche. Open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
8469 S. Howell Ave.
A 2,000-bottle wine cellar and customize-your-own pizzas are just some of what make this place special.
Plan the perfect Saturday
Eat, drink and shop your way through a perfectly planned day in Oak Creek.
Enjoy the outdoors
Bliss out in green space – either Lake Vista Park, with its bird watching, walking trails and Lake Michigan views; or Abendschein Park, targeting soft-adventure fans with disc golf and a skate park. Does cycling bring you joy? Bike along the Oak Creek portion of the 125-mile-long Oak Leaf Trail. You can also hang out on the beach without leaving town, thanks to Bender Park’s beachfront perch, where Ryan Road meets Lake Michigan.
Lunch at Water Street Brewery
Enjoy a light lunch – with beer, natch – such as a Southwest chicken wrap, fish tacos or short-rib ramen beneath vintage beer signs hung from the ceiling at Water Street Brewery, 140 W. Town Square Way.
Of course, IKEA
Spend a few hours exploring the inspiring room tableaus at IKEA, 7500 S. Ikea Way, where it’s nearly impossible to leave without a shopping cart full of home items you can’t live without.
Drexel Town Square
This great development, at 361 W. Town Square Way, offers plenty to do. Shop the farmers market (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), play on the splash pad, visit the library or enjoy one of many summer events, including the Summer Soulstice Festival, June 15, 4 to 11 p.m.
Try an escape room or wind down at a movie
The night is still young. Head over to City 13’s escape room, 6925 S. Sixth St., and spend some time plotting with your best buds on how to break out, or settle into a comfy lounge chair for the latest blockbuster at Marcus South Shore Cinema, 7261 S. 13th St.
Late-night treat at Georgie Peorgie’s
What’s the best way to end a summer night in Wisconsin? With frozen custard, of course! Head over to Georgie Porgie’s, 9555 S. Howell Ave. Pro tip: consult the flavor forecast on its website so you don’t miss your favorite.
Oak Creek Business Directory
Educators Credit Union
150 W. Ryan Rd.
A place for your money. ECU offers checking and savings accounts; home, auto and small business loans; and online business services.
7959 S. Main St.
This full-service salon offers skin care, hair styling, waxing, manicures and eyelash extensions.
A U.S. Cellular authorized agent
7848 S. Howell Ave.
Here’s where to sign up for U.S. Cellular service – or pick up your new phone or accessories.
Kelvin Schroeder Jewelers
7836 S. Howell Ave.
Looking for a piece of custom jewelry, diamond engagement ring or exotic gems? Check out this third-generation, full-service jeweler that’s been family-owned and -operated since 1937.
Martin Law Office
Kevin R. Martin
7280 S. 13th St.
These attorneys offer Oak Creek and Wisconsin compassionate, zealous, knowledgeable representation in the area of plaintiff’s personal injury law.
Wisconsin Sinus and Snoring
8870 S. Mayhew Dr., Suite 300
Ear nose and throat specialist Dr. Hilel Swerdlin deals with all sorts of allergy, nasal and sinus problems, as well as sleep-related issues including snoring and sleep apnea.
Forge and Flare Apartments
DTS Mixed Use LLC
7970 S. Main St.
Sign up for one of these luxury apartments at Drexel Town Square and help define the identity of Oak Creek’s new downtown.
7974 S. Main St.
The place to go for prime pie – not to mention cocktails, and a killer wine list.
410 W. Town Square Way
When you want a modern-day taste of Mexico – especially on $2 taco Tuesdays and Thursdays.