15 free/cheap things to do in Milwaukee this summer

Written by anjo

Yes, you’ve heard correctly, I am back in Milwaukee solely because of visa regulations. But I don’t mind Milwaukee, especially in the summer. It is, for lack of better words, poppin’ from June to mid-September, which will make this tropical-less summer a lot more bearable. Milwaukee is a very underrated city, partially because the winters blow and it is super segregated. What many people don’t know is how much is actually going on throughout the summer in this city, from festivals to fun runs to tours to partying… and a lot of these activities require little to no money at all.

  1. Tour MillerCoors! A free and fun activity for a big group of people! This completely free tour is available to the public almost everyday! You watch how they make their beers and also get to learn about all of their other products. At the end of the tour there is a taste test, where you get to try three different kinds of MillerCoors beer. 
  2. Enjoy the lake. Along the coast of Lake Michigan, there are a lot of different free/cheap activities to partake in. Run/walk by the lake, enjoy Bradford beach on a hot summer day, or join a volleyball league. During the summer, the lakefront is one of the best places to relax while not spending any money.
  3. Have a spot of tea at Rochambo Coffee and Tea house. Located in the heart of Brady Street, Rochambo is a relatively cheap place for a quick coffee stop, a romantic date, or a place to gather a group of friends to just chill. It’s definitely a must-go if you’re unfamiliar with the place. They also have a lot of local product for sale too, and we all know how I feel about supporting local! 
  4. Hit up Pridefest. For the weekend of June 10-12, make your way to Milwaukee’s Pridefest for a gay ol’ time! Tickets are pretty cheap to enter and once you do, you get to enjoy the great music, dancing and lakefront views. It’s a really chill and inexpensive way to enjoy the summer! You can purchase daily tickets from now until May 10, for only $13! 
  5. Join Meetup! If you haven’t heard about this app, download it now! Based on your interests, you can select various groups to join and are made aware of some pretty cool events! Ranging from running practice to young professional events, this app is a must have to enjoy your summer and meet some cool new people!
  6. Other cheap brewery tours (but not free)! Brewery tours are a great way to gather a large group of people together and enjoy some local beer… Luckily for you, Milwaukee is home to many different breweries, including Lakefront Brewery (prices starting at $8), Milwaukee Brewing Co. ($10+), Sprecher Brewery ($5+), Milwaukee Distillery Tours ($7+). For more information, including times, tour options and locations, click here.
  7. Enter a fun run. Donate some money to a good cause and join a run/walk. If you don’t know, Milwaukee has these types of runs every single weekend in the summer, from glow and color runs, to regular and festival runs.
  8. Show your stuff at Karaoke, or visit bars with live music!
  9. Find some new clothes at the thrift shop. Visit your nearest Goodwill or Thrift shop and enjoy what they have to offer! 
  10. Research the various fests. Besides Summer and Pride, look for the other festivals like Lakefront Art, Polish, Beer, Strawberry, and many more! 
  11. Jazz in the Park. Wine, blankets, jazz music, every Thursday in summer – what’s not to love? Learn more about Jazz.
  12. Chill on the Hill. Picnic, live music, friends, another amazing and completely free event to check out every Tuesday. Read about Chill on the Hill!
  13. Explore natural wonders in Southeastern Wisconsin. From camping to climbing to swimming in lakes, southeastern Wisconsin is home to some very beautiful places. If you have the Internet and a car, start searching! I recommend the various “hidden beaches” along Lake Michigan, or some beautiful lakes to the west of Milwaukee.
  14. Dance party in your living room! Ok, whatever, roll your eyes. If you have just one other person, this can be a lot of fun, believe me. It’s a true living in the moment experience. Be grateful you have legs to dance…
  15. Summerfest: I contemplated whether or not to add this because it can get pretty pricy. It’s definitely not the cheapest activity, but it one of the best festivals this summer. This year’s lineup is great for country singers, but unfortunately I’m more of an emo/rocker chic. I wrote a previous blog about the summerfest lineup this year, and if you’re interested in going more than a few days, purchase a power pass, while supplies last. They’re $90 currently, but allow you to enter every single day, at any time you want. If you’re worried about how you’ll drink, you can practice the good old high school smuggling to save money, although I’ve outgrown this. Learn more about Summerfest and the lineup! 

Enjoy your summer & save money!

~anjo