It's easy to find FREE activities for kids, but it can be time-consuming. While we've tried to do a lot of the legwork for you, there are a few information resources you should add to your web bookmarks or bookshelf. These items are FREE online or to anyone who calls to ask for them.

The Milwaukee County Parks

Summer Activities
The award-winning Milwaukee Parks system offers a wide range of mainly FREE activities from sports to concerts. Call or check their web site for events, park addresses, maps, phone numbers, hours of operation, fees (if any), and other important details. Be sure to check out the Calendar of Events link at the Parks web page.

Call (414) 257-6100 or visit www.countyparks.com

The Oak Leaf Recreational Trail Map
Call to obtain a foldout map that shows all 110-plus parks and parkways in Milwaukee County. One side of the map shows the route of the Oak Leaf Bike Trail and how it connects many of the parks. The other side lists the name, address and phone number of each park and parkway, and the type of play equipment and activities available.

For bird-watchers, the Oak Leaf Birding Trail map includes photos of the types of birds found along the trail.

Call (414) 257-6100 to request these maps.

The Waukesha County Parks

"Information & Activity Guide"
This guide includes a map of all Waukesha County parks and recreation trails, with addresses, phone numbers, fee and facility rental information, hours of operation, and rules. It shows the types of play equipment and activities available in each park.

These guides are available in all the parks and at the Retzer Nature Center, or call (262) 548-7801 to request a copy. The information and an events calendar are available online at: www.waukeshacountyparks.com

Individual Waukesha County Park System brochures
Each park in the Waukesha County system has its own brochure. These brochures contain more detailed maps, more specific information and any applicable entrance fees.

Call (262) 548-7801 to request copies.

The Milwaukee Public Schools

"Recreation Guide"
There are many city parks, school playgrounds and community centers in Milwaukee operated by the MPS Recreation Department. Each quarter, MPS produces a guide with information about youth/teen activities and sports, classes, outdoor education programs, and swimming lessons offered in the coming season. Milwaukee residents normally receive the guide by mail and it is available in most libraries.

Summer Recreation Enrichment Camp information is available by calling the number below.

If you live outside Milwaukee, call (414) 475-8180 to request copy or visit http://www.milwaukeerecreation.net/.

"Therapeutic Recreation Programs for Individuals with Disabilities"
The MPS Department of Recreation and Community Services offers year-round programs for all ages and abilities. Programs include crafts, bowling, cooking, computers, dance, swimming, and more. The Summer Rec Club provides a fun-filled summer of art, special events, games, cooking, physical education, and field trips.

Programs are open to all special needs/exceptional education students and their siblings.

For more information, call (414) 647-6065 or visit http://www.milwaukeerecreation.net/.

Discover Milwaukee web site

Although this web site is aimed mainly at those who are moving to Milwaukee, you’ll find short descriptions of major Milwaukee-area events such as festivals, parades, theatre companies, museums, and more.

Visit www.discovermilwaukee.com.

The Key to Milwaukee web site

Tours and attractions in and around the Milwaukee area are featured on this site. There is a section for family fun, which includes special kid-friendly events and links to cultural attractions.

Visit www.keymilwaukee.com.

MKE Blue web site

In terms of directness and usefulness, this web site can't be beat. It consists entirely of hotlinks to Greater Milwaukee web sites. More than 400 links are organized into six broad categories: Living, Civic, Media, Education, Commerce, and Directories—and each category has multiple subcategories.

PLEASE NOTE: This web site, which is owned by December Communications, Inc., also contains similar pages for Chicago, IL and Madison, WI.

Visit www.december.com/places/mke/blue.html.

On Milwaukee web site

This is your one-stop-shop for information about what to do and where to go in southeastern Wisconsin. Two of the best features of this site are the Event Search option that allows you to find activities occurring on specific days and the Summer Festival Guide that includes nearly all area festivals, including those sponsored by communities, churches and organizations.

Visit www.onmilwaukee.com.

Visiting Wisconsin web site

This State of Wisconsin web site is a gateway to an abundance of well-organized information and excellent resources in these categories:

  • Wisconsin Tourism Information
  • Events in Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Destinations
  • Capitol Tour
  • Wisconsin State Parks
  • Arts and Culture Resources
  • Travel
  • Recreation

Visit www.wisconsin.gov/state/core/visiting_wisconsin.html.

Wisconsin Counties – State of WI web site

County web sites often include information about area parks, festivals and events, as well as links to other local information resources. Links to county web sites are found at: www.wisconsin.gov/state/core/wisconsin_counties.html

Wisconsin Cities/Towns/Villages – State of WI web site

Here you'll find links to the web sites of cities, towns and villages in Wisconsin. Most of the sites contain information about local activities and recreational opportunities; some include seasonal event calendars.

Visit www.wisconsin.gov/state/core/wisconsin_cities_towns_and_villages.html

Travel Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism home page is an excellent resource. Activities and events are broken down into categories, such as Arts and Culture and The Great Outdoors. Each category provides specific information by location. There is a statewide calendar of events. Enter a particular city or town and a distance increment from that location; the site finds listings nearby.

Visit www.tourism.state.wi.us/.