Rest of the fests: 3 smaller Milwaukee celebrations to enjoy this summer
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Summertime in Milwaukee can sometimes seem to be a mish-mash of eardrum-ringing, overpriced-booze festivals, and eardrum-ringing, overpriced-carnival food festivals. It doesn’t have to be that way. Milwaukee’s reputation as the City Of Festivals is well deserved, even when that reputation lands the city on a list about how drunk, plump, or deaf everyone here is. But not every party this summer is happening down by the lakefront, in a park, or in a church parking lot. The A.V. Club highlights a few of these smaller events, perfect for outdoor and indoor kids alike.
LEGO Kidsfest (June 15-17)
Where is it? The Midwest Express/Frontier Airlines/We-Built-This-For-Gen-Con-And-Then-It-Left Center downtown.
What is it? It’s a celebration of all things LEGO. Master Builders will be showing off; competitive building contests will be held; areas will be dedicated to newer brands like Ninjago and LEGO Friends; and huge sandboxes will be filled with LEGOs for people who just want to whip up a robot or a house for old times’ sake.
Why should you go? LEGO appeals to kids, teenagers, adults, grandparents, and aliens looking to understand our culture. Each four-and-a-half-hour session fits in more joy, screaming, smiles, and destruction of property than most weeklong road trips.
Bristol Renaissance Faire (Saturdays and Sundays from July 7 through Sept. 2, and Labor Day)
Where is it? Off of I-94 at the Wisconsin-Illinois border.
What is it? This festival is for those who want their fun medieval and historic. But mostly, it’s just an excuse to wander around, eat a giant turkey leg, and marvel at the people who show up in costume.
Why should you go? This year, Bristol celebrates 25 years of people saying “Huzzah!” in varying levels of convincing accents. It’s also considered one of the top renaissance fairs in the country. It may be a day full of nerds playing dress-up, but these are the fucking NAVY Seals of nerds playing dress-up.
7 Mile Fair (Weekends, May 28 through Sept. 3)
Where is it? Right off I-94 at the 7 Mile Road exit, of course.
What is it? The largest year-round flea market in Wisconsin.
Why should you go? Those seeking the perfect mix of infomercial merchandise and random junk will find their itch scratched here. And 7 Mile Fair is a perfect destination in case the dozens of rummage sales sprinkled throughout Milwaukee and its suburbs don’t yield that one remaining Star Wars glass.