The Best Things to Do This Week, According to Our Editors: Oct. 11

We recommend making the most of market season, watching an Emmy Award-winning show and taking your family to the playground.

1. Check Out the Winner of Our Playground Bracket


Inspired by MilMag‘s own Pizza Bracket (and the Burger Bracket before it) my family brainstormed a playground bracket. We kicked it off this weekend with a visit to three playgrounds in one day. We started in Lake Country at Fort Cushing, followed by Hartland’s Nixon Park and ending at Hartung Park on the west side of Milwaukee. Fort Cushing was an easy win for the kids. The all-wooden play structure does resemble a fort, complete with narrow passageways and detailed peaks. The highlight for them, though, was the old-fashioned tire swing. I guess nothing beats spinning until you’re motion sick. The other parks had their perks too, Nixon has a splash pad and beer garden for summer fun and is planning an ice rink this winter. The small pond is stocked for fishing—we were told you can catch small northern pike. Hartung’s climbing-centric playground is at the base of a series of hills that are filled with walking paths and wildflowers and at the other side of the park you’ll find an outdoor gym that includes a cement ping pong table. Our list of parks to visit keeps growing, but I’ll revisit this once we have a family winner.

Photo by Chelsea Mamerow

2. Shop at the Riverwest Gardeners Market


There’s only a few weeks left to shop many of our local farmers markets. One of my favorites is the Riverwest Gardeners Market (North Pierce and East Center streets), which runs through Oct. 31. It’s low-key and easy to maneuver. Plus, they’re starting to get in some of the best of the fall harvest including squash, pumpkins and autumn floral bouquets. There’s also prepared foods, teas, jams and jellies, and baked goods, among other things. I’m looking forward to seeing the pet and people costumes at the Fall Frolic (Oct. 24), a market event that features a costume contest, pumpkin painting and treats.



3. Try Your Hand at Homemade Applesauce


Last week, we picked up a massive bag of freshly picked apples from Awe’s Apple Orchard. It was a lot of apples, but I knew exactly what to do with them. Every once in awhile I like to take the time to make a big batch of homemade applesauce, a fan-favorite in my household. I prefer my sauce unsweetened, using whole cinnamon sticks and ground cloves for flavor. Follow this recipe, or find your own. I guarantee you, your home will smell amazing while it cooks. Plus, it freezes really well for future snacking. 

4. Watch “Succession”


The long-awaited third season of HBO’s “Succession” begins on Sunday, and while I’m not telling you anything the 2020 Emmy Awards didn’t already tell you, this show following the family of a media-entertainment business empire is awesome. It’s not for the faint of heart – the Roys are almost unfailingly awful people doing awful things to one another and everyone around them – but it’s pure gold to fans of dark comedy. And this is the thing that is often misunderstood about it, even by the Emmy nominators: Despite its home network and aesthetics, this isn’t a prestige drama, it’s a family comedy.

5. Read CHAOS: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O’Neill


In 1999, Tom O’Neill, an entertainment journalist, accepted an assignment to write about the thirtieth anniversary of the Manson murders for Premiere magazine. When he started looking into the story, he found a few loose threads – witnesses that hadn’t been properly interviewed, weird timeline inconsistencies, multiple errors in prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s seminal book about the events Helter Skelter. He kept pulling on those threads and his research led him down a deep, fascinating, unbelievable rabbit hole. He ended up blowing his deadline by 20 years. I won’t even begin to try to explain the depths this story reaches, beyond saying that if it wasn’t for O’Neill’s trove of original source documentation, it would be completely impossible to believe.