Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Activities for Frigid Temperatures

We're fast approaching the time of year where everyone seems to stay indoors because of frigid temperatures.  Most people are aware of the usual places to go- Betty Brinn, Milwaukee Art Museum, Grohmann Museum, Milwaukee Public Museum, Discovery World, Harley Davidson Museum, Charles Allis Museum, Villa Terrace, and the Chudnow Museum.  And if you need ideas for what you can do right now or this week, be sure to check out Miltown Moms. Maybe you aren't aware of all the winter fun you can have at indoor spaces in the parks.  I'll list a few that will help you avoid cabin fever. You can always check the weekly events space at Milwaukee County Parks website in addition to this list.

The Domes are a great place to see, especially on Monday mornings if you're a Milwaukee resident, because it's FREE.  Just be sure to bring an ID that shows your address.  There are three domes filled with plants, but the main attraction will be the annual train exhibit in the show dome January 14-April 2.  They are open every day.  Unfortunately due to funding considerations, the weekly Domes Under Glass has been discontinued, but watch the calendar for special evening events.

Every Saturday from 9-1, through early April, there's a farmer's market at the Domes.  Check it out for cheeses, fruits, greens, and other great food items.  You can also have breakfast there.

The Desert Dome decorated a bit for the holidays
There are 2 county pools you can use for $4/3.00.  Each has their independent schedules, Noyes Pool, 8235 W. Good Hope has aqua zumba, lessons, open swim, lap swimming, and other exercise classes.  Pulaski Pool,  2701 S. 16th St. has similar offerings.  The City of Milwaukee uses local schools with swimming pools.  Check out the aquatics link to find a program that fits your needs.

The Milwaukee County Sports Complex, 6000 W. Ryan Road in Franklin, offers an open gym Mon-Fri, usually 9-5 and all you have to pay is $2 per person.  Courts are set up for different sports, but you should bring your own equipment. Check the website, as the calendar at this time only includes the current week and this program might have been reduced.

Unfortunately, due to damage from a snowstorm, the Currie Park indoor golf dome has been closed and will reopen under a new vendor late in 2017, so golfing as a winter option is not available this year.

Milwaukee Recreation has many community centers that are generally open evenings and weekends with activities open to all ages.  You can find the nearest center to you by looking at the map and clicking on each site for more information about services offered.  Milwaukee County Parks has 2 centers (King Center and Kosciuszko Center), that are open for a fee of $3.00 per day pass, or with varying prices for an annual pass.  At these you will find workout equipment, structured and drop in activities, even boxing lessons! Hours vary, but generally you can drop in during the day or early evening.  Check the link for specifics.

COA in Kadish Park (909 E. North Ave) has an amazing free parent/child program at their Riverwest Samson Family Center.  Monday-Friday, drop in with kids from 930-1130 where kids will have guided play, singing, snacks, and activities, and parents can socialize while they have a warm drink.  The program is for kids 0-6 years of age.   I have taken both of my grandkids here and they enjoyed    it very much. There's a second center on Burleigh. Get more information at the website.

Array of toys available at COA Samson Family Center

If you're a senior citizen looking for fun, the county has a number of senior centers in the county parks where you can find planned activities, companionship, sports, and meals.  Some activities are open to ages 50 and older. Others are open at age 60.  Admission is FREE, but there are some costs for classes.  There is a pretty comprehensive video made by the county dept.  on aging so that gives you a peek at what is available.

Wilson Ice Arena is open every day except Sunday for at least a couple of hours for free skating.  About once a month they offer glow skating.  Check out the schedule on the website before you go.

Nature Centers at Schlitz AudubonHavenwoods, and the Urban Ecology Centers, and Wehr Nature Center are a great place to check out some reptiles or birds, and have a little warm fun.  You can often participate in programs about nature, so it's worth it to check out the event calendars at each of the locations.
Get up close and personal with a snake at a nature center
North Point Lighthouse is open on weekends, 1-4.  You can learn about the local maritime trade, see the quarters, and climb the tower for a great view of Lake Michigan.  The best time to see the view is during winter when all the leaves are gone.

Go have Sunday brunch at Hubbard Park Lodge or Lake Park Bistro. Each is a very different experience, but the foods are delicious!  You can stay toasty warm while looking out at the beautiful snowy views of the river or lake.  And if you just want a bowl of soup or a regular meal, Lake Park Bistro is open every day of the week.
View from Lake Park Bistro
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