Of course, it wouldn’t be summer in Milwaukee without a day at Summerfest! 2017 marks 50 years of Summerfest, and they’re pulling out all the stops for this year’s celebration. Proclaimed the World’s Largest Music Festival, approximately 900,000 people flock to the lakeside grounds to see 800 bands on 11 stages as well as enjoy delicious food and drinks, shopping, and other entertainment. The 2017 festivities take place June 28-July 2 and July 4-9.
June 1-8: Downtown Dining Week
June 3: Scottish Fest / Milwaukee Highland Games
June 4: UPAF Ride for the Arts Sponsored by Miller Lite
June 4-11: Bead & Button Show
June 10-11: Monument Square Art Festival
June 10: Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Run
June 10: Eat on Vliet
June 11: Locust Street Festival & Beer Run
June 16-18: Polish Fest
June 16-18: Lakefront Festival of Art
June 17-18: Scandinavian Midsommar Celebration
June 17: Good City Fest 2017
June 19: Juneteenth Day
June 23-25: Greek Fest
June 24-25: Cedarburg Strawberry Festival
June 24: 88Nine Block Party
June 24: Summer Soulstice Music Festival
June 24: Tails on the Trail
June 25: Garlic Fest
Ongoing Summer Events
Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out
May 6-September 4, 2017
If you’re going to visit one special exhibit in Milwaukee this summer, it should be Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out at the Milwaukee County Zoo! The exhibit features over 100 specimens from goats to octopuses to giraffes, exploring biology, zoology, and physiology. The Milwaukee County Zoo is the first zoo in North America to host this outstanding presentation. Visit the zoo’s website for more information about the exhibit, including admission.
Chill on the Hill (2017 lineup): Tuesdays, 6:00-8:30 p.m., June 6-August 29, 2017
Concerts in the Gardens: Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., June 29-August 31, 2017
Friday Night Live in Waukesha: Fridays, 6:30-9:00 p.m, June through October
Jazz in the Park: Thursdays, 5:00-9:00 p.m, June 1-August 31, 2017
Lakeshore Chinooks: The Lakeshore Chinooks baseball team plays at Kapoc Park on the grounds of Concordia University-Wisconsin from May through late August.
Milwaukee Trolley Loop: Thursdays-Sundays, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., $1 per trip, June 1-August 27, 2017
Old World Wisconsin: Old World Wisconsin features special events and classes (including historic beer brewing!) all summer long.
River Rhythms: Wednesdays, 6:30-9:00 p.m, June 14-August 30, 2017
Sunset Zoofari: Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00 p.m, June 28-August 2, 2017
Tosa Tonight: Wednesdays, 6:00-10:00 p.m, June 14-August 30, 2017
Wednesday Night Live @ State Fair Park: Wednesdays, 6:00-11:00 p.m, May 31-August 30, 2017
Wonderful Wednesdays: Wednesdays, 6:30-7:30 p.m., June 21-July 26, 2017
The greater Milwaukee area is home to dozens of fabulous farmers markets, including one of my personal favorites (and one of the biggest in the area), the West Allis Farmers Market. Many Milwaukee farmers markets operate through mid to late fall.
There are around a dozen places to catch free outdoor movies during the summer. Check out the full 2017 lineup for the Milwaukee park movie nights here.
Milwaukee is home to five fabulous permanent beer gardens, all of which operate through October. The city also runs a traveling beer garden from mid-May through early September. Enjoy a brew and a giant pretzel in a gorgeous park setting. The Landing at Hoyt Park features live music on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (see event calendar for times), and the South Shore Terrace features live music Wednesday evenings from 4:00-10:00 p.m.
Are you looking for even more things to do in Milwaukee on the cheap?
Check out Free Things To Do In Milwaukee WI.
[Disclaimer: I do not work for the city of Milwaukee. I am not paid to promote any of the events listed on this page. I’m simply a resident of southeast WI who loves Milwaukee and enjoys attending and generating exposure for events in Milwaukee.]