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Enjoying Milwaukee on the cheap isn’t just about bowling and beer, as its old reputation might have you think. Rivaling Chicago for primo culture on Lake Michigan, it offers a whole host of free or really inexpensive diversions for any type of taste.

Explore Lakefront Parks

At Doctors Park take the paved trail or dirt path down the gorgeous bluff just north of downtown Milwaukee to access a swimming beach and clear views across the lake. Between the baseball diamonds and playground atop the bluff and the sandcastle-making opportunities below, it’s a perfect afternoon in the making.

Designed in the 1890s by Frederick Law Olmstead, Lake Park takes after the “Romantic-style” parks of Europe with tons of wide, open space and paths that lead to knockout vistas. Explore an Indianmound dating from 300 B.C., cross pretty Brick Arch Bridge or fly a kite on a blustery blue day.

The South Side green scene centers around Sheridan Park. Named for Civil War hero Phillip Sheridan, it hugs the lakefront and has a community pool, tennis and basketball courts, and a multi-use trail.


Doctors Park

Soak Up Culture for Free

Milwaukee Art Museum – The First Thursday of the month is always free at the Calatrava-designed art museum that’s home to works by Paul Gaughin and Vassily Kandinsky

Milwaukee Art Museum

KKimages /

Milwaukee County Zoo – Say “hello” to a new Snow Leopard cub, an Amur Tiger and a flurry of orangutans. And there’s a lot more where that came from so head here on a Family Free Day, when there’s no admission fee. Upcoming dates are October 10, November 7 and December 5.

Milwaukee Public Museum
– Lifelike dioramas exploring important concepts in nature, science and history are what make this museum special, and especially interesting to kids. Milwaukee residents always getin free the first Thursday of the month. But if you’re visiting from out of town, keep these free-for-all dates on your calendar: Mothers Day (free for mothers), Fathers Day (free for fathers), Veterans Day (free for members of the military, past and present) and Grandparents Day (free for grandparents).

Various Exhibits in the Milwaukee Public Museum
Eat Well & Cheaply

You can find seemingly everything and anything in the maze of food stalls at Milwaukee Public Market. From a cup of local Anodyne Coffee to salad from The Green Kitchen to a hunk of cheddar at West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe, you’re covered any time of day — at any price.

Sue Stokes /

Sue Stokes /

Dollar tacos? Say no more. That’s what you get at Amelia’s on Layton Avenue on Monday nights. Fill up on Mexican foodand wash it down with a $1 margarita or mai tai.



Friday Fish fries are a right of passage in Brew City, and casual pub Kelly’s Bleachers has a delicious and affordable one in the shadow of Miller Park. It’s $8.95 for all-you-can-eat cod and fan-tailed shrimp, plus fixings like coleslaw and rye bread.

Oakland Gyros is a mainstay stumble-in after a night on the East Side bar scene. Count on it for quick counter service and slide into a booth for a one-on-one with a steak shishkabob.

Walk a Historic Street

Milwaukee’s German heart beats on Old World Third Street, where sausage emporiums Eusinger’s and Mader’s carry on 100-plus-year traditions. Take in the Euro yesteryear spirit as you wander past cream-city brick buildings and jag over to the Milwaukee RiverWalk, a popular pedestrian thoroughfare.


Jeramey Jannene

Around since the 1840s, the now-hipster Brady Street has a mix of indie retail, ethnic restaurants, funky coffee shops and swank bars. It’s been called “Milwaukee’s own Haight-Ashbury” and has the colorful characters and peace-love-happiness vibe to prove it.

The Historic Third Ward, centered around Milwaukee and Buffalo streets, is Milwaukee’s oldest center of warehousing and now a hub for culture and arts. The area is listed on the National Register of Historic and is home to more than 20 galleries and art studios, the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) and the Broadway Theatre Center.

Suzanne Tucker /

Suzanne Tucker /

CTIXblog CTA _ cheap of the week

Tagged: Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, FREE!

Kelly Aiglon

Kelly Aiglon

Kelly Aiglon

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