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15 new Milwaukee-centric things to try in 2019

For this coming New Year, don’t just make resolutions that you’ll abandon after a few weeks. Instead, add a few things to your Milwaukee Must-Do list! Here are 15 things to tack on to a local “bucket list” for 2019:

1) Run a 5K

It’s not as hard as the novice might think. With the proper couch-to-5K training program, just about anyone can get in shape for a 3.1-mile race. And there are plenty of local events to choose from, covering a variety of fun themes.

2) See Hamilton: An American Musical

One of the biggest Broadway hits in recent memory, Hamilton: An American Musical’s national touring company is coming to Milwaukee for the 2019-2020 season at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. A masterful work that seems to grow more relevant with each passing year, Hamilton bills itself as “the story of American then, as told by America now.”

3) Take in a game at the New Arena

The Bucks have been one of the NBA’s best teams so far this season and their new digs have been a great showcase for MVP-in-waiting Giannis Antetokounmpo, so hop on that bandwagon while there’s still room!

4) Take in a show at the New Arena

A ball game at the new place is an evening out, but a concert… well, that’s an experience. And there are plenty of big names lined up for 2019, covering most tastes. Elton John, Panic at the Disco, Kiss, P!nk, Cher… just to name a few.

5) Check out a Food Hall

Milwaukee’s very first food hall – think of it as a mature kind of food court – opened recently in the former Oriental Drugs location on North Farwell Avenue. Perfect for the couple or group who wants a delicious from-scratch meal but cannot agree on exactly what kind of food to get, Crossroads Collective features six different local vendors, offering everything from tacos to deserts to barbeque to Middle Eastern fare. 

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6) Check out HarborFest

One of the city’s newest festivals will be back for its third year in 2019 and will again offer a peek into a part of Milwaukee that many people have never experienced. This past year brought a vision of the future for the inner harbor and Harbor View areas with plans announced to relocate the Komatsu Motors plant to the area. HarborFest will build on this and showcase a part of the city that will likely become one of its fastest-growing neighborhoods in the next decade.

7) Visit the Bobblehead Hall of Fame

The Hall, which will be located on South First Street, now has a grand opening window of Winter, 2019 after years in the making. A visit to one of the area’s most unique Halls of Fame is a must for any local.

8) Ride The Hop

At the rate ridership is increasing, riding The Hop will probably become mandatory for all citizens soon, so you might as well get it over with.

9) Ride the river on a stand-up paddleboard

Kayaks have become the most common form of solo transport on Milwaukee’s rivers, but summertime in the city has also seen an explosion in stand-up paddle boarding – a sort-of surfboard/kayak hybrid that leaves you feeling like you are literally walking on water. “SUPs” can be rented at a number of locations along the waterways.

10) Take in the sights on a long trail ride

With beautiful pathways like the Oak Leaf Trail and the Henry Aaron State Trail, you can explore Milwaukee and beyond with minimal street riding. Path riding is easy for beginners and takes you to places you’d never expect to reach by pure leg power.

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11) Try a New Restaurant

Milwaukee has a number of new eateries to try in 2019, touching on all kinds of new themes like an upscale diner, craft waffles (sold from a trailer) and a breakfast tavern. There will be no need to stick with the same-old in 2019.

12) Drink and game

All of a sudden, there are a ton of gaming and arcade bars in Milwaukee. If you haven’t had the pleasure, go grab a beer and blast some baddies.

13) Work on your green thumb

If you haven’t tried urban gardening before, 2019 is a great time to start. You can volunteer at a community garden like Milwaukee Grows or work on your own neighborhood garden with the resources found here.

14) Close Wolskis!

You’ve seen the bumper stickers, but have you ever actually done it? Earning your sticker will hardly seem like work with plenty of cold beer, fresh popcorn and free darts.

15) Catch a ballgame (outside of Miller Park)

The Brewers aren’t the only game in town when it comes to the national pastime.The new Routine Field at Ballpark Commons in Franklin hosts two local teams: the Milwaukee Milkmen, a professional independent team that will open its inaugural season in May, and the UW-Milwaukee Panthers, who are scheduled to play their first home game on the potentially frosty date of March 29. The Lakeshore Chinooks, meanwhile, feature top-level collegiate players and call Kapco Park in Mequon their home.


Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the home ballpark for UW-Milwaukee.

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