The Best Things to Do This Week, According to Our Editors: Aug. 16

We recommend a day at the beach, the Bard at a park and more this week in Milwaukee.

1. Spend the Day at the Beach! 

Photo by Carole Nicksin


Last summer, I took full advantage of the great weather, warm water temperature and extra leisure time afforded by the pandemic by visiting Bradford and Atwater beaches several times a week. This year, the stars haven’t aligned as often. But on Sunday, I had my first full-on beach day. I was fortunate enough to happen upon a tent-like structure made of driftwood branches. I draped it with my towels and had my own mini palapa. I didn’t do a full immersion in the lake, but I did wade in a few times throughout the day. The experience was thoroughly relaxing, and I woke up this morning feeling like I had been on vacation. There are a few weekends of good weather left, so get yourself to the beach and make the most of one of the best things our city has to offer: our Lake Michigan shoreline, free and open to everyone!

2. Shakespeare in the Park


This weekend, my husband and I made our way to Humboldt Park in Bay View for an evening of Shakespeare. The show was A Midsummer Night’s Dream presented, for free, by Optimist Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park. In all honesty, I was a bit intimidated to see the show because my last experience with the Bard was in high school, and I remember finding his plays quite challenging. But the show this weekend reminded me that Shakespeare’s work isn’t meant to be read, it’s meant to be performed, and this production really did the writing justice. The cast was energetic and lovable, making you feel invested in the complicated love story unfolding before you, and I’d tell you more but you should just go see it. Shakespeare in the Park is traveling around the city for a few more weekends. For more information and dates go to Optimist Theatre’s website



3. Join (or Start) a Cookbook Club


Last week I scheduled the first reunion of my beloved cookbook club. Understandably, it had never found a home in the virtual world of the pandemic and its return has been heavily anticipated. Exactly as it sounds, a cookbook club mimics the format of a book club, with more delicious results: a cookbook is chosen, members peruse the dishes and claim one or two to prepare, and then the group assembles for one glorious meal. An ideal cookbook offers a spectrum of recipes, including something for the mixologist and baker in your group. Now is the time to start your own, while the weather is nice and outdoor dining is still an option.

4. Enjoy a Drink at Third Space Brewing


This week, I stopped by Third Space Brewing to attend to some business. My cousin Salvatore has been causing trouble at the docks, and Paulie’s thinking the time may have come for drastic measures. I, like always, am called on to make peace in the family. But that’s neither here nor there. What’s worth mentioning is that Third Space is worth the visit. Their space in the Menomonee Valley (1505 W. St. Paul Ave.) is immediately recognizable by the large silo with the brand name across it. They have an outdoor set up and a cool industrial inside with open loading doors serving as windows. Plus, the beer selection is tops. I’m no expert, but our executive editor Chris Drosner is and he pointed me to the Summer Home hoppy blonde ale, as well as the award-winning Unite the Clans Scottish ale. Good atmosphere, good drinks, you should go.

Photo Courtesy of Third Space Brewing

5. Check Out the Patio at LuLu Café & Bar


It would be tough to find a better spot for people-watching than the sidewalk tables at LuLu Café & Bar (2265 S. Howell Ave.). I’d carried out from the Bay View restaurant a couple of times during the pandemic and was craving the slaw and homemade chips with blue cheese dressing. Between those super-worth-it eats and the ever-interesting flow of traffic, you really feel like you have your finger on the pulse.