5 things to do on Summerfest’s day off
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Summerfest is Milwaukee’s biggest celebration of music that runs for 11 days—it used to be 12 days, but, like most 45-year-olds, the festival realized it needed a breather to continue partying that long. The Big Gig targeted Monday as its day off, citing low turnout, a desire by food vendors to restock, and only a mild to moderate amount of rocking. Last year, the Monday fell on July 4 and caused a lot of confusion with out-of-towners looking for a quick dose of fireworks, beer, and Cheap Trick. This year’s Monday is the more mundane July 2. The A.V. Club offers a few suggestions for something to do while deciding if the sunburn, the hangover, or the hearing damage hurts the most from Sunday’s gigs.
Free Museum Monday
The Milwaukee Public Museum has turned itself around after a few years of bad investments and mismanaged funds, but it’s still able to offer free admission on Mondays to Milwaukee County residents with a valid photo ID. Not only does this offer a chance to practice for this fall’s elections—now with real Anti-Voter-Fraud flavor!—it’s a chance to visit museum favorites that have been around for years. Why not walk the Streets of Old Milwaukee or enjoy that part of the dinosaur exhibit where the triceratops gets mugged? Or go old school and prove a true Milwaukee heritage by showing a little kid the hidden rattlesnake button.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Miami Marlins
Okay, so this year’s season is nowhere near the white-knuckle thrill ride of 2011. That’s good news and bad news. Sure, this game against the newly-specifically-renamed Miami Marlins is but one in a season marred by injuries to key players, underperformance by other key players, and listless sports fans already talking Packers. But fans are old pros at making Brewers games fun even in off years. Going to Miller Park is a good way to catch a buzz while still hanging out with thousands of people. And you never know, this could be the game where things turn around for the Crew. Right? RIGHT?
Local water parks
Wisconsin Dells is the water park capital of Wisconsin, but for those not interested in a day trip, Milwaukee has some smaller, but respectable, entries into the genre. Cool Waters offers all the fun of waterslides mixed with the people-watching of a day in the park. Paradise Landing is an indoor park inside Milwaukee’s downtown Hilton. With the proximity to downtown, it’s entirely possible that headliners for July 3 could be in town already. Come for the refreshing waterslides, stay for a chance to see Joe Walsh biff it on the Lazy River.
YMCA National Gymnastics Championships
The Frontier Center is keeping busy this summer with a variety of events, even as it waits for someone else to buy its naming rights. The YMCA National Gymnastics Championships are in town for the whole weekend, with things wrapping up on Monday. The all-around events are in the morning, but all the hung-over gymnastics fans will probably roll out of bed to check out the championships in the afternoon. The excitement of watching gymnastics live instead of in your living room almost doubles! It’s also a chance to be on TV in the crowd, even if it airs at 3 a.m. on ESPN 8, a.k.a. “The Ocho.”
Stake out a sweet July 3rd fireworks spot
The City of Milwaukee holds its fireworks event over Lake Michigan on July 3 to avoid conflicts with the dozens of local parks that also want to blow shit up. An unintended consequence of this is the tent city that pops up along Lincoln Memorial Drive, as people who just love fireworks stake out spots during the day and wait until the show starts at night. Stakeouts like this escalate every year, so why not cross the threshold into pseudo-vagrancy by staking a claim a day earlier? It might be an opportunity to engage in a little patriotism, too. Even folks unimpressed by fireworks could sell their claim to the highest bidder right before the booms begin. America!