8 Things to Do in Milwaukee This Weekend

Catch an indie flick at Milwaukee Film Fest, release a baby sturgeon into Lake Michigan or see a live performance this weekend.


Oriental Theater
Photo by Pamela Strohl for Milwaukee Film

Milwaukee Film Festival

A must-see annual event, the Milwaukee Film Festival runs Thursday, September 28, to Thursday, October 12. Though it’s less than a decade old, the festival is already one of the top five most attended film festivals in the country, thanks in no small part to artistic director Jonathan Jackson’s creative drive. MFF will kick off with Stumped, a film about a man who persevered through a quadruple amputation to become a stand-up comedian, at the Oriental Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Then at 9 p.m., Good City Brewing (2108 N. Farwell Ave.) will host an opening night party with 88Nine Radio Milwaukee DJs, live bands and plenty of food and drink. Admission for the general public is $15. The rest of the weekend is jam-packed with films offering something for everyone at the Avalon Theater, Downer Theatre, Fox Bay Cinema, Oriental Theatre and Times Cinema.


Hot Mikado

Cultures collide amidst ill-fated lovers’ quarrels and power struggles in Hot Mikado, playing at the Skylight’s Cabot Theatre (158 N. Broadway) from Friday, September 29, through Sunday, October 15. A modern retelling of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic The Mikado (1885), Hot Mikado (1986) incorporates swing, gospel, blues and jazz into its catchy score.


Photo by Jessica Kamnski

Present Music

On Friday, September 29, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., guest conductor David Bloom joins the group at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (273 E. Erie St.) to perform “Stay On It,” an ebullient 1973 piece by composer Julius Eastman. Singer Lucy Dhegrae also joins the group for a performance of Christopher Trapani’s “Waterlines,” which evokes the tragic 1927 flood of the lower Mississippi River. Tickets are $15 to $35.

Band Together

Radio Milwaukee aims to unite people all around Milwaukee on Saturday, September 30, at its second annual “Band Together” event at 88Nine’s studios in Walker’s Point (220 E. Pittsburgh Ave.). Following drinks and complimentary ethnic food on the rooftop, top Milwaukee artists, including Adi Armour, Tigernite, Cache, and Kymaera, will perform at Radio Milwaukee’s performance space. Tickets for the event, which runs from 6:30 p.m. to midnight, are $10. 


Photo by Pat Fairchild

Sturgeon Fest

Since 2006, Sturgeon Fest has been held each year to celebrate the partnership between Riveredge and the Wisconsin DNR to return lake sturgeon to the Milwaukee River. On Saturday, September 30, more than 1,000 sturgeons will be released into Lake Michigan. Those who choose to “sponsor” a sturgeon for $10 will get the opportunity to hand-release a baby sturgeon into the lake. Proceeds will contribute to the efforts of the Lake Sturgeon Reintroduction Program. Sturgeon Fest will feature prairie tours, a scavenger hunt and sturgeon-themed activities and crafts for kids. Meanwhile, local food trucks  including Gouda Girls, Hard Wood Cafe, Sweet Delight Kettle Corn and Sushi Go will be serving up delicious menu options. Held at Lakeshore State Park (500 N. Harbor Dr.), the event will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Photo by Scott Baldwin

Sci-Fi Family Day at Discovery World

Dress up as your favorite sci-fi character and make your way to Discover World (500 N. Harbor Dr.) on Saturday, September 30, for lightsaber demonstrations, sci-fi themed art and plenty of more ways to nerd out. Sci-fi artists, authors and other special guests will host a variety of activities and meet-and-greets. Entry to Family Day is included with your ticket to Discovery World. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Maxwell Street Days

Don’t miss the last Maxwell Street Days of 2017! Check out the more than 650 vendors that set up shop at Cedarburg’s Sunday, October 1, flea market event. Ambitious shoppers can hit the market (W65 N796 Washington Ave.) as early as 6 a.m. to browse antiques, collectibles, crafts, fresh produce, pottery, seasonal items and more. Enjoy food and beverages to fuel up for the hunt. Maxwell Street Days ends at 2 p.m.


Conversation between Stephen King and Owen King

What’s it like to be Stephen King’s son? And co-write a book with international best-selling author? Expect the father-son discussion at the Riverside Theater (116 W. Wisconsin Ave.) to enlighten on this strange relationship, while also centering on the duo’s new book Sleeping Beauties, an original work set at a women’s prison in a small town in Appalachia. A ticket to the Saturday, September 30, event scores you a hardcover copy of the book and if you’re lucky, you might be one of 400 attendees to receive a pre-signed copy. Doors for the 8 p.m. show open at 7 p.m.