Staycation Ideas Milwaukee: 8 Fun Things to Do

Milwaukee has a plethora of exciting and unique staycation ideas that are perfect for families with kids of all ages. Whether you want to splash around at indoor water parks, explore local museums, or take a day trip your kids will love, there’s something for everyone in and around Cream City. So lace up your exploring shoes and get ready to discover all the amazing things Milwaukee has to offer. Here are 100 ideas to make your family’s staycation memorable.

Staycation Ideas Milwaukee

  • Discover exciting staycation activities in Milwaukee for families of all ages.
  • Explore indoor water parks, museums, and day trip destinations.
  • Enjoy unique experiences and make your staycation memorable.
  • Take advantage of affordable staycation ideas and travel tips in Milwaukee.
  • Plan your staycation itinerary and create unforgettable memories in Cream City.

Cool Hotels

When it comes to planning a staycation in Milwaukee, finding the perfect hotel is key. Luckily, this city has a wide range of cool hotels that cater to different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious retreat, a funky Airbnb, or a cozy boutique hotel, Milwaukee has it all.

One of the most iconic and opulent hotels in Milwaukee is The Pfister. With its historic charm and impeccable service, it offers a truly luxurious staycation experience. From its elegant rooms to its award-winning dining options, The Pfister is a top choice for those seeking a touch of sophistication.

If you’re in the mood for something more unique and eclectic, consider booking an Airbnb in the trendy neighborhood of Bay View. These rentals often capture the vibrant local culture and provide a more personalized experience. Plus, you can enjoy the comforts of home while exploring the city.

For those who prefer a more intimate and boutique setting, The Plaza is an excellent choice. Located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, this charming hotel offers stylish accommodation and personalized service. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring the city’s attractions.

Remember, when choosing a hotel for your staycation in Milwaukee, consider factors such as location, amenities, and price. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious escape or a unique and cozy hideaway, the cool hotels in Milwaukee are sure to meet your expectations.

staycation spots in Milwaukee

Indoor Water Parks

When the cold winter months hit Milwaukee, hopping on a plane to a tropical paradise isn’t always an option. Luckily, Milwaukee has several indoor water parks close to home. From Springs Water Park in Pewaukee to Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan and Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee, IL, these indoor water parks offer epic fun and adventures for the whole family.

indoor water parks

Whether you want to escape the chilly temperatures, enjoy thrilling water slides, or relax in a lazy river, these indoor water parks provide the perfect staycation activity in Milwaukee. With various water attractions, wave pools, and even indoor surfing, there’s never a dull moment at these exciting destinations.

  • Experience the excitement of Springs Water Park, located just a short drive from downtown Milwaukee. The park features a variety of water slides, splash pads, and an interactive water play area for younger children.
  • Head to Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan for a fantastic staycation experience. This family-friendly resort boasts a large indoor water park with thrilling slides, a lazy river, and even a surf simulator.
  • If you’re willing to venture a little further, Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee, IL, offers a water park packed with exciting attractions, including water slides, wave pools, and a massive tipping bucket that’s sure to thrill kids of all ages.

These indoor water parks not only provide endless entertainment but also offer staycation packages that include accommodation, access to the water park, and other amenities. So, dive into the fun and create unforgettable memories with your family at these amazing indoor water parks during your Milwaukee staycation.

Easy Day Trips

If you don’t want to travel far for a family-friendly adventure, Milwaukee’s surrounding areas have plenty of easy day trips. Explore the historic town of Cedarburg with its charming shops and covered bridge, visit The Milwaukee Zoo in Madison, or head to the Dinosaur Discovery Museum in Kenosha. These day trips are nearby, inexpensive, and fun for the whole family.

Easy Day Trips

When it comes to day trips from Milwaukee, there are endless possibilities. Just a short drive away, you can immerse yourself in the rich history and small-town charm of Cedarburg. Stroll through the picturesque downtown area, browse the unique shops and art galleries, and don’t forget to visit the iconic covered bridge.

If you’re looking for a more wild adventure, head to The Milwaukee Zoo in Madison. This family-friendly destination is home to a wide variety of animals from around the world. Explore the exhibits, catch a show, and even feed some of the animals. It’s a day trip that’s both educational and entertaining.

For a trip back in time, visit the Dinosaur Discovery Museum in Kenosha. Marvel at the impressive dinosaur fossils, learn about the prehistoric creatures that once roamed the earth, and participate in hands-on activities for all ages. It’s a thrilling and educational experience that the whole family will enjoy.

No matter which day trip you choose, you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic time exploring the Milwaukee area. So pack up the car, grab some snacks, and embark on an easy day trip that will create lasting memories.

Art & Pottery Studio

Looking for something to get your creative juices flowing during your staycation in Milwaukee? There are several art and pottery studios in the area that offer classes and workshops for all ages. Check out Cloud 9 Workshop, Vibez Creative Art Space, Creative License Art Studio, Glaze! Art & Ice Cream, Just Kiln Time, La Terraza, and Soul Fire Art Studio for a fun and artistic experience.

art & pottery studio

Immerse yourself in the world of art and pottery as you explore and create your own masterpieces. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, these studios provide a welcoming environment for you to express your creativity. Join a painting class, try your hand at pottery making, or explore other art forms through various workshops and events.

Discover your hidden talents and unleash your artistic side during your Milwaukee staycation. Engage in hands-on activities, learn new techniques, and create unique artworks that you can proudly bring home as souvenirs. No matter your skill level or interests, these art and pottery studios offer an inspiring and enjoyable experience for all.

State Parks Near Milwaukee

If you’re looking to connect with nature and have some outdoor adventures, there are several state parks near Milwaukee that offer beautiful scenery and unique experiences for the whole family. Explore these parks to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors while staying within budget.

Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark

Located in Blue Mounds, just a short drive from Milwaukee, Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark is a fascinating geological wonder. Explore the underground caves adorned with stunning rock formations and learn about the history and science behind them. This natural attraction offers guided tours that allow you to see and appreciate the beauty that lies beneath the surface.

House on the Rock

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, visit House on the Rock in Spring Green. This quirky attraction features an eclectic collection of antiques, art, and artifacts. Explore the sprawling complex that boasts fascinating exhibits, stunning architecture, and breathtaking views. With its unusual charm, House on the Rock is sure to provide an unforgettable adventure.

Above & Beyond Children’s Museum

For a family-friendly outing, head to Above & Beyond Children’s Museum in Sheboygan. This interactive museum offers a variety of exhibits and activities that engage and educate children of all ages. From hands-on science experiments to imaginative play areas, there’s something for every young explorer. Expand your child’s horizons while having fun together.

Kohler Arts Center

If you appreciate art and nature, don’t miss the Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan. This cultural destination features stunning outdoor sculptures and beautifully manicured gardens. Take a leisurely stroll through the grounds, admire the artwork, and bask in the serenity of nature. The Kohler Arts Center provides a peaceful and artistic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Embark on an outdoor adventure and explore the state parks near Milwaukee. Whether it’s spelunking in the Cave of the Mounds, delving into the unique world of House on the Rock, immersing yourself in learning at Above & Beyond Children’s Museum, or reveling in the art and nature at Kohler Arts Center, these parks offer unforgettable experiences for everyone. Discover the natural beauty that surrounds Milwaukee while enjoying budget-friendly escapades.


Milwaukee is home to a variety of museums that offer educational and interactive experiences for all ages. During your staycation in Milwaukee, explore the diverse cultural and historical offerings of the city by visiting the following museums:

  1. Milwaukee Art Museum: Immerse yourself in the world of art at the iconic Milwaukee Art Museum, known for its stunning architecture and impressive collection of over 30,000 artworks spanning ancient to contemporary art.
  2. Discovery World: Dive into the wonders of science and technology at Discovery World. With interactive exhibits, a virtual reality experience, and a freshwater aquarium, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
  3. Milwaukee Public Museum: Step back in time and explore the fascinating exhibits at the Milwaukee Public Museum. From dinosaur displays to cultural artifacts, this museum offers a comprehensive look into natural history.

These museums provide a fun and educational way to spend your staycation in Milwaukee. Discover the rich cultural heritage and immerse yourself in art, science, and history.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit these local attractions and create lasting memories on your Milwaukee staycation.

museums in Milwaukee


For some outdoor fun, check out the playgrounds in Milwaukee. There are several parks and playgrounds throughout the city that offer a variety of equipment and activities for kids of all ages. These family-friendly playgrounds provide a great opportunity for families to enjoy some quality time together.

  • Children’s Zoo in Madison
  • Dream Playground in Kenosha
  • Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay

These playgrounds are not only fun, but they also allow children to engage in physical activity and make new friends. Whether it’s climbing, sliding, swinging, or exploring, these playgrounds provide a safe and enjoyable environment for kids to play and discover.


Spring Hikes

Spring is an ideal time to immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty of Milwaukee. The city and its surrounding areas boast numerous hiking trails and parks that offer stunning views and opportunities to connect with nature. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, exploring Milwaukee on a budget, or simply looking for a refreshing escape, spring hikes are a fantastic option for your staycation.

One of the notable hiking destinations is Fox River Kayaking. This picturesque trail offers scenic views of the Fox River and surrounding woodlands, making it a perfect choice for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. As you hike along the trail, take in the tranquil atmosphere and keep an eye out for wildlife along the way.

spring hikes

Another great option is Grandad Bluff, located in the city of La Crosse. This scenic spot provides panoramic views of the Mississippi River, and in the spring, you can marvel at the lush greenery and blooming wildflowers. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, Grandad Bluff offers trails suitable for all skill levels, making it an accessible choice for everyone.

If you’re up for a longer drive, consider exploring the Driftless Area in Richland Center. Known for its unique landscape shaped by ancient glaciers, this region offers a variety of hiking trails that showcase stunning rock formations and awe-inspiring views. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature as you hike through this captivating area.

Spring hikes in Milwaukee and its surroundings provide an invigorating outdoor experience that allows you to rejuvenate and appreciate the beauty of nature. Lace up your hiking boots, pack a picnic, and embark on an adventure that will leave you with unforgettable memories of your staycation in Milwaukee.

Tours and Tastings

Get a taste of Milwaukee by taking a tour or participating in a tasting experience. Explore the craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries that showcase the best of local flavors. Embark on a guided tour of iconic establishments such as Sprecher Brewing Co., Lakefront Brewery, or Milwaukee Distillery, and witness the artistry behind their beer, wine, and spirits production. Immerse yourself in the rich brewing heritage of Milwaukee and gain a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship that goes into each sip. These tours and tastings offer a unique and flavorful experience during your staycation.


Milwaukee offers a wide range of staycation ideas and activities for families to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for indoor water parks, day trips, art studios, or outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone in and around Cream City. Take advantage of the local attractions and hidden gems to make your staycation in Milwaukee memorable and enjoyable.

Exploring Milwaukee on a budget is easy with the variety of staycation deals and discounts available. From discounted entry fees to special packages, you can experience all that Milwaukee has to offer without breaking the bank. Plan your staycation in Milwaukee with this comprehensive guide and have a fantastic time exploring your own city.

So, whether you’re a Milwaukee native or visiting the city for the first time, don’t miss out on the local attractions that make Milwaukee a great staycation destination. From the thrilling rides at indoor water parks to the art studios where you can unleash your creativity, Milwaukee has it all. Discover the hidden treasures of your city and create lasting memories with your family during your next staycation.

Don’t wait any longer – grab your staycation guide and start exploring Milwaukee today!


What are some staycation ideas in Milwaukee?

Milwaukee offers a variety of staycation ideas, including indoor water parks, day trips, art studios, outdoor adventures, and tours and tastings.

What are some cool hotels to staycation at in Milwaukee?

Some cool hotels in Milwaukee include The Pfister, funky Airbnbs in Bay View, and cozy boutique hotels like The Plaza.

Are there indoor water parks in Milwaukee?

Yes, Milwaukee has several indoor water parks, such as Springs Water Park in Pewaukee, Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, and Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee, IL.

What are some easy day trips from Milwaukee?

Some easy day trips from Milwaukee include exploring the historic town of Cedarburg, visiting The Milwaukee Zoo in Madison, or heading to the Dinosaur Discovery Museum in Kenosha.

Where can I find art and pottery studios in Milwaukee?

You can find art and pottery studios in Milwaukee at Cloud 9 Workshop, Vibez Creative Art Space, Creative License Art Studio, Glaze! Art & Ice Cream, Just Kiln Time, La Terraza, and Soul Fire Art Studio.

Are there any state parks near Milwaukee?

Yes, there are state parks near Milwaukee, such as Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark, House On the Rock, and Kohler Arts Center.

What museums are there to visit in Milwaukee?

Some museums to visit in Milwaukee include the Milwaukee Art Museum, Discovery World, and the Milwaukee Public Museum.

Are there any playgrounds in Milwaukee?

Yes, there are several playgrounds in Milwaukee, including the Children’s Zoo in Madison, Dream Playground in Kenosha, and the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay.

Where can I go for spring hikes in Milwaukee?

Some places for spring hikes in Milwaukee include the trails at Fox River Kayaking, Grandad Bluff, and the Driftless Area in Richland Center.

Can I take tours and participate in tastings in Milwaukee?

Yes, you can take tours and participate in tastings at local breweries, wineries, and distilleries like Sprecher Brewing Co., Lakefront Brewery, and Milwaukee Distillery.

How can I explore Milwaukee on a budget?

You can explore Milwaukee on a budget by taking advantage of staycation deals and discounts, as well as visiting local attractions and hidden gems.
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