The Best Things to Do This Week, According to Our Editors: Aug. 1

State Fair, free yoga, a public pool and more make this week’s picks.

1. Just Go Be by the Lake


Despite how beautiful the weather was, I was having a rough day. I decided to go to the lake, seeking its restorative beauty. And boy, did it deliver. It’s a treasure for us Milwaukeeans, just sitting there all the time, just a short drive away for most of us. I visited it at South Shore Park, taking in one of my favorite views of the city and housing a tacos al pastor dinner from Cielito Lindo that I picked up on the way. That last part was just icing on the Great Lake cake. It was the lake that gave me a new perspective on the day.

2. Go to the Wisconsin State Fair 


The State Fair kicks off this Thursday, Aug. 4. I’ll admit something here – I have never been to the State Fair. Why? Well, there’s my terror of cows (I suffered a traumatic childhood incident involving a field trip to a farm and a heifer that confused the side of my face with a salt-lick). Then there’s the fact that I’m terrified of deep-fried meats and pastries (Another traumatic childhood incident involving a hot summer day, a port-a-potty and one very angry biker). And, above all, there’s the terror of running into people I knew in high school. (The traumatic incidents are too many to count.)

But this is the year that changes. I’m overcoming my fears and heading to the State Fair, dang it. I’m tired of not being initiated into this crucial Wisconsin tradition. And the menu of intensely weird foods for sale is just too much to pass up this year. A gummy bear brat? Clam chowder fries? A cinnamon toast crunch latte? Count me in… But I still might avoid the cattle show.  

Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin State Fair


Nominations are open for the 2024 Unity Awards! 

Know an individual or group committed to bridging divides in our community? Nominate them for a Unity Award by Oct. 31.

3. Check Out a Free Yoga Class Around the City


I’ve been meaning to check out a free yoga class for quite some time now. I used to go to UWM’s yoga classes (shout out to the K!) when I was in school, but since graduating, I’ve been missing the relaxation that yoga provides. So, when our intern Grace Cady wrote up this fantastic guide to the free yoga classes around the city, I told myself that I’d check one out. How about this: If I sign up today for one these classes right now, will you sign up, too? Okay, great. Let’s go!

4. Grab a Drink at Central Waters Taproom 


Last Thursday, an acquaintance asked me to grab a drink at Central Waters taproom, which just opened late last year (1037 W. Juneau Ave). Turns out the new taproom is quite cool, with 24 tap lines of beer, hard seltzers, and burgers and fries from Dairyland. The drinks were great, but I also enjoyed the atmosphere. It was peaceful and spacious, with a friendly staff and pleasant clientele. I think this place is going to be a new go-to for me.

Central Waters’ taproom was built in 1872 as a German Methodist Church; Photo by Chris Kessler

5. Fun in the Sun at Sheridan Park Pool


My husband and I are working on checking off our summer bucket list – as in, all the summery things we need to do before the leaves fall. On the top of our list is “swim in a pool,” a particularly tricky item since we do not ourselves have a pool. But the other day we were on Lake Drive and passed the Sheridan Park Pool, and it looked so refreshing, we would’ve stopped right then and there if we had the time and our swimsuits. Alas, we didn’t. So, we drove past and talked about it every day for the next week. Finally, we made our inaugural visit on Sunday, and it lived up to the hype. The water was a bit cold at first, but once you get in, it’s refreshing. And while the pool was crowded, it’s so big that the people aren’t a bother. Two water slides added to the fun – we competed to make the biggest splash.