Get outside in the Near West Side

Customers enjoy a frozen treat from Pete’s Pops.

There are many ways to enjoy Milwaukee’s lively summers in the Near West Side. Green spaces, community events and frozen treats are a few examples of how to savor the sun before the chilly weather returns to Milwaukee.

Get the scoop on how to get outside in the Near West Side this summer:

Picnic in the park

Grab a soft picnic blanket, a good friend and a delicious lunch from a local restaurant, then claim a spot in a Near West Side park. Head to Highland Park, Merrill Park, Norris Park or Valley Park to find a lush green space for an afternoon picnic spot. For the park locations and ideas on where to eat, visit the Near West Side’s website.

Get active 

Put on your running shoes and get ready for a 5K! The 23rd Annual Hank Aaron State Trail 5K Run/Walk will take place Saturday, Aug. 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The route will take you through Three Bridges Park crossing the Menomonee River. After the run, stay and unwind by enjoying the DJ and having a bite to eat. Register here.

If a 5K is not your forte, go for a self-guided tour in historic Concordia to take in the beauty of its rehabilitated arts and crafts style homes. To find the tour, visit the Historic Concordia Neighbors Inc. website. Looking for more self-guided tours? Take a walking/biking tour created through a collaboration between Historic Milwaukee, Inc., and Marquette University’s Indigeneity Lab. The self-guided Indigenous Milwaukee Walk & Bike Tours highlight the rich diversity of Indigenous cultures and communities in the city. Find out how to download the tour here.

Clean up your community   

Roll up your sleeves and play a part in making your neighborhood a cleaner place to live. Join the Near West Side Ambassadors in picking up trash. Keep up with the Near West Side Partners calendar of events to find opportunities to participate in clean-ups in your community. 

Cool down with a frozen treat 

There is nothing better than an ice-cold popsicle on a sweltering summer day. With 70 rotating flavors, Pete’s Pops has something for everyone. Visit the Pete’s Pops store on Vliet Street and pick up a frozen treat to enjoy in the warm sun. Even cool down with an ice-cold lemonade from Triciclo Peru. Lemonade flavors include pineapple, passionfruit, strawberry and mango.

Bust a move

The Washington Park Neighbors will be hosting concerts in the Washington Park Bandshell. Experience music ranging from jazz to funk on a warm summer evening. Sit back and relax or feel free to let loose and dance to the live music. To see their full list of events, see the Washington Park Neighbors calendar.

Visit an art museum  

The Haggerty Museum of Art on Marquette’s campus is the perfect way to get creative inspiration this summer. It is open every day from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the suggested admission is $5. Right now, you can find work on display that was funded by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund and Joy Engine and administered by the Lynden, the Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists. This sponsorship opportunity provides unrestricted funds for artists to start new projects or complete unfinished work. To see the full list of the Haggarty Art Museum’s summer exhibitions, click here.

Appreciate history 

The St. Joan of Arc Chapel is a place of community, history, faith, academic learning, change and discovery. Dating back to the early 15th century, the building is the oldest structure in Milwaukee. The structure was first built in the village of Chasse in the Rhone Valley, southeast of Lyon of France. Today, it has found its home in the heart of Marquette’s campus surrounded by stunning landscaping and flora. Curl up with a book or simply meditate to enjoy this space. Want to learn more about the history of the St. Joan of Arc Chapel? Click here.