Ultimate Milwaukee Winter Activities and Bucket List


Winter in Milwaukee is a magical place, no matter how cold it may be! The holiday lights make the streets come to life and it’s almost like the air smells of hot cocoa. This year’s bucket list of Milwaukee winter activities offers 50 ideas of things to do this winter for every budget, interest, and age. Think you’ve done it all in Milwaukee, think again!

The team at Milwaukee Mom is working hard to remain your go-to spot for parenting resources in the Greater Milwaukee Area. While we will do our best to be as up-to-date as possible, please be aware that we are still dealing with changes related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please consult your local public health authority for social distancing recommendations and call ahead to confirm the hours and offerings of any business or organization listed. 

The Ultimate Milwaukee Winter Activities Bucket List

  1. Go ice skating! In Milwaukee, you can go indoors at the Pettit National Ice Center or head outdoors using our Outdoor Ice Skating guide!
  2. Enjoy a Packer game with an indoor family tailgate!
  3. Indulge in your favorite holiday drink! Visit Starbucks for a Peppermint Mocha (YUM!) or try a sweet winter-themed creation at Fiddleheads or Stone Creek Coffee or your favorite local coffee shop to ring in the cold season!
  4. Gather art supplies and old magazines and newspapers and make vision boards for 2021!
  5. Take some time to clear out the old toys and donate them, so you have room to fit all of the new!
  6. Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, or the largest tubing park in the world at Sunburst! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to skiing, Sunburst offers a fun range of options for your whole family. Enjoy the chairlifts and gentle or more challenging slopes; private and group lessons are available.
  7. Learn how to make your own marshmallows and then enjoy them in a cup of cocoa!
  8. Love Dogs? Enjoy a family favorite Milwaukee winter activity – dog sledding at Whitnall park (snow permitting, of course)!
  9. Looking for free Milwaukee winter activities? Walk the lakefront and take a look at how beautiful the waves are as they crash into ice and the beach.
  10. Have fun outdoors doing something other than sledding and tubing! Try snowshoeing for a new adventure!
  11. Sit back, let the kids gorge out on candy and popcorn, and watch Elf or another holiday classic during a snowy day!
  12. Make your own apple cider to enjoy while you watch the snow!
  13. Have an indoor picnic for dinner one evening!
  14. Pick up some canvases and paint and watch a YouTube tutorial for a family paint night!
  15. Grab a roll of white paper, let the kiddos color all over it and use it as wrapping paper for the season!
  16. Put treasured mementos from 2020 such as photos and postcards in a shoebox. Hide it somewhere in the house or the backyard.
  17. Have everyone in your family dress up and have a fancy appetizer party with cider in the fancy glasses!
  18. Take in a movie at a Marcus Cinema. With new locations like the Movie Tavern and BistroPlex, there are new ways to have the movie-going experience.
  19. Make paper snowflakes and decorate your window with them!
  20. Visit Kopps for a scoop of one of their special seasonal flavors. Our favorite is Sugar Plum Fairy – blackberry strawberry custard dolloped with marshmallow clouds and sparkling jewels of sugar!
  21. Pick up some books from the Milwaukee Public Library or enjoy a virtual book club or storytime!
  22. Start a family gratitude jar to read at next year’s Thanksgiving dinner!
  23. Hide clues around the house for a hunt that will keep them busy solving riddles and working as a team. Leave a “treasure chest” at the end with a few treats for an extra special surprise!
  24. Have a Build-A-Snowman contest!
  25. Being a member of the Urban Ecology Center is as simple as making a monthly or one-time donation. In exchange for your membership, you can borrow winter equipment completely free of charge during any of their public hours.
  26. Invest in yourself, learn a new skill, and create something new by taking a virtual class through Milwaukee Rec.
  27. Make a Gingerbread House or a Charcuterie Chalet, and then eat your creations!
  28. Can’t go on a vacation? Pretend it’s blazing hot out, put on your bathing suits, shades, and some sunny music, and have a beach party!
  29. Fill water balloons with colored water, let them freeze, break balloons off, and use them for outdoor bowling!
  30. Bundle up and walk through Candy Cane Lane to view the holiday lights…or drive!
  31. Take the family on a new adventure by incorporating a new Milwaukee winter activity this year – cut down your own Christmas tree!
  32. Add a snowy twist to your favorite game or sport. Whether it’s soccer, baseball or football, keep warm by running around in the snow. Don’t forget to buy a brightly colored ball so you don’t lose it!
  33. The winter blues are real – so reach out to a friend or family member with a phone call or a hand-written letter!
  34. Learn how to curl!
  35. Grab a scoop of snow and make some ice cream!
  36. Find a hill and go sledding!
  37. Make some Jell-O homemade playdough!
  38. Give back to the community by participating in a service project with the family.
  39. Have an Ugly Christmas Sweater family game night!
  40. Take a photo a day for one month and then make a slideshow!
  41. Go cross-country skiing at Grant Park!
  42. Bake cookies on a snowy afternoon with the kids! Try a recipe or two from the WE Energies Cookie Book!
  43. Write a letter to Santa!
  44. You may think about kite-flying as a springtime activity. But there’s no reason not to enjoy it in winter. The winter wind makes kite-flying a great family activity!
  45. If there’s enough snow, take the time to build a snow fort. If you’re looking for something a little warmer, use pillows and blankets! See who can make the best fort and have a cozy slumber party one night.
  46. Have the family get in their jammies and head to the Country Christmas lights display at the Ingleside Hotel!
  47. Ice Castles are coming back to Lake Geneva. Your whole family will be mesmerized as they walk through the icy creations!
  48. Let the kiddos go crazy with glitter and glue to make some ornaments for your tree and even send some to a local nursing home to bring the residents some cheer!
  49. The Domes have TONS of different holiday-themed events for young and old alike, including hosting the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers Market.
  50. Perfect your favorite soup or stew recipe while you watch the snowflakes fall!

Show off the fun you have with these Milwaukee winter activities by tagging us @milwaukeemoms on Instagram.

What fabulous Milwaukee winter activities would YOU add to this list?

outdoor ice skating
Holiday Lights
tree farms
sledding hills
where to see santa
Holiday events & festivals


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