Despite the rough and tumble image of Wisconsin, it’s a great place to start a family and raise children. I’ve lived here for a long time now and the great people in this state have managed to capture a pleasant balance between hard work and wholesome family play. I’ve experienced a ton of wonderful places to bring my family for an absolute blast of a day.
Here are the 10 best places to bring your kids in Wisconsin!
1. Discovery World – Milwaukee, WI
Discovery world is a science and technology center for people of all ages. The 120,000-square-foot facility is chock full of fun activities for kids including interactive exhibits and a full-size aquarium. Eight different learning labs, focusing on technology and freshwater sciences, span over an area of 10,000 square feet. Discovery World exists to spark curiosity and wonder in children—that the sciences are fun and invigorating fields of study.
2. Barlow Planetarium – Oshkosh, WI
Located at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, the Barlow Planetarium is a great place to explore the universe with your family. Loaded with a 48’ video projection dome theater, the planetarium is a veritable treasure-trove of information on astronomy, star patterns, space exploration, and more. The planetarium regularly hosts star shows and laser shows for families and individuals alike.
3. Milwaukee County Zoo – Milwaukee, WI
With an unceasing dedication to conservation and the comfort of each animal, it’s no wonder the Milwaukee Zoo is one of the greatest zoological attractions in the US. There are over 3,100 different species residing within 190 acres of wooded habitats. The habitats have been directly designed to accommodate the specific needs of each species! The animals consist of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. With special events, educational activities, and live wildlife shows, the Milwaukee County Zoo is a great day-trip for the whole family.
4. Cool Waters Family Aquatic Park – Wauwatosa, WI
Located in Greenfield Park, take your kids down to the Cool Waters Family Aquatic Park this summer. The park has the tallest waterslide in Milwaukee County, a heated pool, children’s waterslides, water toys, sand volleyball courts, a playground, and more!
5. The Big Backyard – New Berlin, WI
Open year-round, the Big Backyard is an extensive indoor playground. The playgrounds are specifically suited for ages 0-8 but children of all ages are still welcome (being a kid at heart also counts). With toys, balls, playhouses, and much more, it’s the perfect place to host parties and birthdays.
6. Helium Trampoline Park – New Berlin, WI
Helium Trampoline Park is consistently voted the best trampoline park in Milwaukee and is also one of the top 50 best Trampoline Parks in the world. The trampoline park houses over 130 interconnected trampolines and offers dozens of trampoline-based activities. The various activities include extreme dodge ball, slam dunk basketball, Human Hamster Balls, laser tag, and much more!
7. Stout Adventures – Menomonie, WI
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, the University of Wisconsin’s Stout Adventures is worth checking out. With two 30’ rock climbing walls, outdoor challenge courses, and classes, there’s plenty to do. The primary rock climbing walls require no experience to operate but optional, more difficult routes will still appeal to the advanced climber. They even offer an 8-week rock-climbing course for children between the ages of 8 to 12, which covers proper climbing rules and technique.
8. Commando Paintball Sports – Little Suamico, WI
Boasting one of the biggest indoor paintball facilities in Wisconsin, Commando Paintball Sports is a great paintball field for team play. Obviously, this isn’t a great choice if your kids are toddlers but if your kids are older, paintball can be a great and fun experience. It’s an entirely safe environment and you don’t even need your own equipment since everything you need is available to rent! Paintball is a perfect activity for birthday parties and events. Commando Paintball Sports offers three wooded fields stocked full of bunkers, forts, and cover—making it a perfect place for birthday parties and get-togethers as well as heated competition matches and casual games.
9. Knuckleheads Trampoline & Indoor Amusement Park – Wisconsin Dells, WI
With 80,000 square feet of facility to work with, this park is chock full of fun things to check out including a gaming arcade, train roller-coaster, 4D theater ride, trampolines, bumper cars, bowling lanes, go-karts, and more. Knuckleheads is a perfect place to spend the day with your kids, or even just you and your significant other. Great food, great games, and great activities for the whole family!
10. Dinosaur Discovery Museum – Kenosha, WI
The Dinosaur Discovery Museum has dozens of fun interactive exhibits on everything you could possibly want to know about dinosaurs—when they lived, how they lived, and what they looked like! Bring your kids along and browse full-scale replicas of ancient dinosaurs that roamed the Earth millions of years ago. Housing one of the most complete transition fossil records known, the museum displays how certain dinosaur species such as the Tyrannosaurus rex and the Allosaurus gave rise to the avian (bird) dinosaurs! With an extensive on-site laboratory, the museum also presents the current and active research in paleontology.
As a drywall service contractor in Waukesha, WI I don’t get a lot of time off. So, when I do, I make to sure to spend my time enjoying the company of my family and exploring all that Wisconsin has to offer! In 2019, this list is still my top 10 favorite places to bring my family. Every single one of these places has something unique and fun to offer, so I recommend trying them all out if you can!