Some of the best places to find FREE things to do with kids are the county parks. They contain a great many kid-friendly resources and activities.
PLEASE NOTE: If your group is planning to visit one of our area's parks, Go Kid Go can provide—at no charge—rugged sports equipment for playing a variety of outdoor kids' games. A refundable deposit is required.
Milwaukee County maintains more than 110 parks and parkways, and residents and visitors can use all of them FREE of charge. Most are linked to one another by the Oak Leaf Recreational Trail, which is considered a premier trail system. It's more than 100 miles long and includes more than 40 miles of off-road paths perfect for bicycling, in-line skating, running, and walking.
The County Parks web site provides a map of the entire Parks system, as well as the name, address and phone number of each park. You’ll find links to maps for the individual parks, and these identify the park’s amenities and locate all the trails.
Call (414) 257-6100 or visit www.countyparks.com
Most cities and towns in Milwaukee County and Waukesha County operate and maintain public parks. These may not be as large as county parks, but they do offer kids the opportunity to get outside and have some fun.
For information about the parks in a given town or city, call the local park department or look for their web site. If there is no park department, try calling the city clerk's office or the local recreation department. You can also try using the "Cities, Towns, and Villages…" web site:
There are many parks in Wisconsin run by the state’s Department of Natural Resources. They offer a variety of amenities, including camping, picnic areas, hiking trails, and lakes where swimming, boating and/or fishing are permitted. There are several state-run parks or forests within reasonable driving distance of Greater Milwaukee.
The Fishing Equipment Loan Program enables children and adults to borrow fishing equipment on a first-come, first-served basis at many state parks where fishing is permitted. Please note that the parks do not supply bait. Call the park in advance of your visit to find out if it has loaner equipment. If it doesn’t, a staff member can probably direct you to the nearest alternative. or check the Fishing Equipment for Loan web site below.
The best information resource for the state parks is the DNR web site. It lists the parks, their amenities and contact information for individual locations.
Visit dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/ for general information or call (608) 266-2181. Visit dnr.wi.gov/fish/kidsparents/loanerequipment.html for information regarding Fishing Equipment for Loan.
Something Special... Frisbee Golf
Certain parks in Milwaukee County offer a unique attraction that deserves special mention: Frisbee Golf.
Yes, kids can play 18 holes of Frisbee golf…Frolf! They might need a strong arm and a few tries, but it's sure to be a good time. It'll also involve lots of walking and fresh air.
Courses feature concrete tees and tournament-style disc baskets. Play is first-come, first-served. These are well-maintained, high-quality courses and not a place for horseplay. Frisbee golf is most appropriate for children 8 years of age and older.
Kids can play Frisbee golf in these Milwaukee County parks:
- Brown Deer, 7625 N Range Line Rd. (414) 352-7502
- Dineen, 6600 W. Keefe Ave. (414) 871-4020
- Dretzka Park, 12020 W. Bradley Rd. (414) 354-8120
- Milwaukee County Sports Complex, 6000 W. Ryan Rd. (414) 423-9267
Call (414) 354-8120 or www.county.milwaukee.gov/DiscFrisbeeGolf9008.htm
PLEASE NOTE: If your group is interested in playing Frisbee golf, Go Kid Go may be able to help. We can, with advance arrangement, provide all the Frisbees you'll need for your outing. A refundable deposit is required.
Artists Working in Education
FREE art activities come to area parks thanks to Artists Working in Education (AWE). The brightly painted truck studio travels from park to park. Children are invited to drop in to create paintings, masks, sculptures, puppets, and many other imaginative projects.
June through August, Monday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m.
For more information, call (414) 933-3877 or visit awe-inc.org/truck-studio/follow-the-truck.php