Milwaukee is an hour and half from greater Chicagoland and makes for a fun day trip. We decided to head up on a Saturday mid-morning, kid-free and spend one night exploring Milwaukee and return late on Sunday. This trip was right before New Year’s so many of the Christmas lights and decorations were still up throughout the city.

Our list of things to explore included:
  • AXE MKE
  • Milwaukee Public Market
  • North Point Lighthouse
  • Brewery Tour
  • Cheesehead Factory
  • Pabst Mansion
After checking into the Westin downtown, we walked over to the Public Market. It is manageable and not too small but not so huge that it is overwhelming. We stopped for a wine tasting at Thief Wine and then shared avocado toast with coconut bacon at the vegan car thing.
After exploring the Market, we were ready for a real meal. We walked to The Harbor House for an upscale New England style dinner. They have great oysters and a pretty skyline view of downtown Milwaukee.
Next on our Milwaukee tour, we wanted to do a brewery tour. We are so glad we found the Lakefront Brewery, located on the Milwaukee River in a historical building. We highly recommend it. It comes with 3 beer samples and a free glass pint glass. The Funnel Cake draft beer was delicious and our tour guide was quite entertaining and a very funny guy. Lakefront has a gluten free beer and specializes in  locally sourced and green brewing. Make sure to bring cash for tips. It was very interesting to hear the story of this landmark brewery.
Lakefront Brewery | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Lakefront Brewery | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Lakefront Brewery | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Lakefront Brewery | Milwaukee, Wisconsin

After the brewery we wanted to see what AXE MKE was all about. Axe throwing seemed like such a neat and fun concept. Unfortunately we didn’t have reservations and their next walk-in appointment was way past our bedtime. We talked to the manager and learned that axe throwing as a sport was brought to Milwaukee from Canada. We got to hold an axe to feel how heavy it was. There were many corporate holiday parties going on and it looked like a lot of fun.

AXE Milwaukee | Axe Throwing Bar
AXE Milwaukee | Axe Throwing Bar

After two more pit stops were decided to call it a night so that Sunday we could do some last minute exploring before driving back to Chicago.

We woke up and had breakfast at the restaurant called Tre Rivoli.  It was outstanding and it’s always great to start your day with a great meal and great coffee.

I wanted to stop and see the North Point Light House. The Lighthouse was a gorgeous part of town and has a selfie mirror which was a fun photo op. We didn’t go inside but just chose to do a quick walk around the beautiful property to burn off some of our breakfast.

Northpoint Lighthouse Milwaukee
Northpoint Lighthouse Milwaukee
Northpoint Lighthouse Milwaukee selfie op
Northpoint Lighthouse Milwaukee selfie op

Unfortunately our next stop – The cheesehead Factory – was closed on Sunday which was disappointing. I had wanted to bring back a funny cheese hat from our 4-year old. They sell foam cheese hats made in all sorts of shapes and sizes. We brought back a cheese hat for her from the public market instead.

Cheese Hat | Milwaukee, Wisconsin Souvenir
Cheese Hat | Milwaukee, Wisconsin Souvenir

Our last stop on our Milwaukee fun-day was The Pabst Mansion. The Pabst family was originally from Germany and they are the founders of Pabst Brewing Company in Milwaukee. The inside of the mansion was decorated absolutely beautiful for Christmas.

The Pabst Mansion | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Pabst Mansion | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Pabst Mansion Decorated for Christmastime
The Pabst Mansion Decorated for Christmastime

Milwaukee is definitely one of America’s great cities. We are lucky to live so close to a beautiful little gem of a city. We will return with our daughter in the summer to explore more.

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