5 Must-Do Things in Milwaukee this Summer (Besides Summerfest)

5 Must-Do Things in Milwaukee this Summer (Besides Summerfest)

Chill on the Hill

Every Tuesday from June through August, Humboldt Park in the charming city of Bay View hosts “Chill on the Hill”, which is a laid back gathering meant to bring the community together while showcasing local musical talent. It runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and there is an abundance of food and drink to buy when listening to the local jams. Food vendors from last year included Hue Vietnamese, Tenuta’s Italian, and Babe’s Ice Cream, and the beloved Gouda Girls! If you’re not interested in munching, Humboldt Park also boasts a Craft Beer Garden where you can get a half or full liter of beer in a traditional mug for only $5 and $10, respectively. You can come out with friends, lay a blanket down in the grass, and just enjoy a beautiful summer night with great music and tasty treats.

Film on the Hill

Also located in Humboldt Park is Bay View’s annual film series. From the end of July through the beginning of September, the Bay View neighborhood association plays a small selection of classic movies. The picks from 2016 included: Grease, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Ferris Buehler’s Day Off. The films begin shortly after sunset, and it is absolutely free to attend! Unless, of course, you’ll be purchasing drinks or snacks form the Beer Garden. It can get fairly chilly in the evenings, so bring a blanket and snuggle up for the show. This is a great event for everyone from kids who can’t sit still in theatres, couples that are trying to save on date night, or even just a hangout with friends! Attendance at these events supports the Milwaukee County Park system, as well as the Bay View Neighborhood Association.

Irish Fest

Everyone knows about Summerfest, but the festival grounds have so many other things going on throughout the rest of the summer. Irish fest is one of the many cultural festivals found on the grounds, and it will run from August 17-20. The Arthritis Foundation sponsors a 5k run along the lake on the Saturday morning of the festival, with the proceeds funding the foundation’s research. If running isn’t your thing, you can always head to the Jameson Lounge to try all of the different types of Jameson whiskey! You can also find the famous Jameson Gille’s custard, a Jameson infused custard made my Milwaukee’s own Gille’s custard stand. For the religious festivalgoers, there is an Irish Fest Liturgy on Sunday morning with musical selections from the Irish Fest Choir for Peace and Justice. There is a never-ending amount of activities for every type of person at Irish fest.

Bastille Days

From July 13th to 16th, Milwaukeeans celebrate the storming of the Bastille with North America’s largest outdoor French-themed festival. It is located in East Town around Cathedral Square Park and is friendly for all ages. There is a 5k run/walk, wine tastings, street performers, and the recently added “Mardi Gras Friday” parade. This is one of Milwaukee’s most loved summer festivals and is a must-see. So stop by East Town in mid-July to celebrate French culture and enjoy the best French delicacies that Milwaukee has to offer.

Cathedral Square Market

Every Saturday from June to October, Cathedral Square Park hosts a market for fresh produce, locally made goods and crafts, finely prepared foods, live entertainment, and fun activities. Over 100 local Wisconsin farmers, craftsmen, bakers and chefs help to make this event what it is. The Wisconsin Athletic Club also offers a free, outdoor yoga class so we can make the most of summer before we’re forced to go back indoors. In addition to yoga, they offer an outdoor Zumba class on several Saturdays throughout the summer. On June 3rd, there will be a cooking demonstration if you’re looking to fine-tune your culinary skills, and on July 1st there will be a family hip-hop class offered to get the whole family active. If you’re interested in becoming a vender, check out their website ( easttown.com ) in order to apply. This is an event meant to showcase what Wisconsin has to offer, and is an incredible weekly addition to the city.


This is just five of the many events that Milwaukee hosts during the summer. After being locked inside for winter, Milwaukeeans know how to make the best of the beautiful weather. So if you’re ever bored, just look up what’s happening in Milwaukee that day, and you’re sure to find something.