5 things to do in Milwaukee before the end of summer
As we ease into the first weeks of August like one eases into a pair of sweaty jean shorts, one thing is becoming frightfully clear: summer is almost over. After months of 95-degree heat and endless days spent slathering ourselves with expired sunscreen, some folks might even be looking forward to the end of the season. But don’t listen to those people—summer is awesome, and being mildly uncomfortable and overheated for a few days sure beats freezing your rocks off for six months.
So what can be done with the remaining weeks of summer? (It ends Sept. 21, FYI.) Sure, you could take the easy way out and sulk in your air-conditioned apartment until fall, but there’s still plenty sweaty fun to be had in the city. Here are just a few ideas:
1. Get hammered at some outdoor shows
It’s easy to be burned out on the whole “outdoor festival” shtick by the time August rolls around. Still, there are a few remaining fests worth your time: Jazz In The Park runs every Thursday until Sept. 6 (the Aug. 9 date has been cancelled, however); River Rhythms takes over Pere Marquette Park every Wednesday until the end of August; Chill On The Hill continues through Aug. 28 at Humboldt Park; and Global Union brings the world-music goods to Humboldt Park Sept. 15. Meanwhile, Center Street Daze gives you one last chance to get your block-party groove on Sept. 8.
2. Enjoy some patios while you can
One of the many features of summer is “patio weather,” a phenomenon that drives otherwise normal people into an absolute frenzy over the prospect of eating or drinking on a sidewalk. Happily, not all patios are created alike, and there are plenty worth seeking out before the onset of fall. On the East Side, Von Trier, The Hotel Foster, and The Eatery On Farwell are longtime standouts. In Bay View, Hamburger Mary’s, Boone & Crockett, and Odd Duck all offer spacious, recently renovated areas nicely tucked away from traffic and garbage bins. And if you miss out on these spots before it starts to snow, never fear: most patios offer heat lamps throughout the winter to accommodate those patrons who absolutely must sit outside—a.k.a. smokers.
3. Watch some movies (under a bridge)
The strange, heady days of hiding in your buddy’s trunk so you could see Pink Floyd The Wall at the 41 Twin are sadly long gone. But that doesn’t mean all of your outdoor movie options are dried up—might we suggest Milwaukee’s Bike-In Movie Series? On the second Friday of the month (June–October), the series screens a different movie across the street from Trocadero, under the Holton Street viaduct. Next up is the one and only Top Gun, which is scheduled to buzz the tower, so to speak, Aug. 17 at 8:00 p.m. And if there’s a better place to watch a movie than under a viaduct, we’re not aware of it.
4. Get some wheels
Face it: you’re horribly, horribly out of shape. It’s cool—it happens to the best of us. So why not buy some wheels and shed a few pounds? A terrific place to start is Bay View’s Bigfoot Bike And Skate, where you can pick up new or used bicycles, rollerskates, and those longboard skateboards that the kids love riding these days. Another local favorite is Truly Spoken Cycles in Riverwest, which sells new and used bikes and accessories in a mission to get as many bikes on the road as possible. Hurry! 8,000 years of winter are just around the corner.
5. Heed the words of Bill Murray