What to do in Milwaukee?? Lavern and Shirley Brewery?

Leaving for Milwaukee in a few days what shouldn’t I miss? Is it too far to drive to Chicago? I have relatives there. If it is too far for a day trip forget it… What should I see in Milwaukee Museums? Attractions? Lavern and Shirley Brewery?

Well, Marquette University has Tolkien’s original manuscript of LOTR and The Hobbit (ands some other stuff). My favorite was the moon phase and travel calculator on the back of Oxford luch menus.


Chicago is about 1.5 hours away, an easy day trip.

As for what to do, this has a lot to do with your interests.

Brewery tours:
(both include free beer)

Milwaukee Public Museum is okay…
but the new Discovery World Museum looks freakin’ awesome, but I’ve never been.
Obligatory Art Museum recommendation, it has this Calatrava designed moving art deal thing in the front that is waaaaaaaay overrated.

And much more, but that really depends on what you want to do, and where your interests lie…


OMG! I will take pictures of that if they allow. I wonder if I can touch it. It would completely trump my other reasons for being there. :smiley:

They don’t allow close up photography (copyright reasons). There is some stuff on display (cases of framed), most is on microfilm. We wnet as a group and Matt brought out some of the stuff. Wouldn’t hurt emialing him to see what you can arrange.



WOW- Thank you very much! I will let you know what happens. :slight_smile:

If you get something set up, can I tag along?

My old college pal was born and raised in in Milwaukee. She claims that Milwaukee has seven smells. You could try to track them all down.

The Clown Hall of Fame is in nearby West Allis.

Do the scary clowns have their own hall of fame or is it just a wing of this one?

Maybe not for everyone, but if I was looking for things to do in Miwaukee, I would take a tour of the Harley Davidson manufacturing plant.

Well, all clowns are scary, so I guess you could say that the entire thing is a salute to terror. This is also the place where professional clowns have their faces registered, through being painted on eggs. (I think it’s eggs; it might actually be plates.)

I’m by no means suggesting you visit all these places in a single week. I think you’d go mad trying.

If you like airplanes/aeronautics, there’s The Mitchell Gallery of Flight, an aviation museum. It’s in General Mitchell International Airport. It showcases the contributions Wisconsin Residents have made to aviation. General William Mitchell, the guy it’s named after, grew up in Milwaukee and is considered the father of the U.S. Air Force.

The Bristol Renaissance Faire runs until Labor Day, Saturdays and Sundays, and it’s about an hour drive from Milwaukee.

I was going to recommend The Hoard Historical Museum and Nation Dairy Shrine, because I felt honor-bound to do so, but I see they’re closed and under construction this summer. Bummer. It’s in Fort Atkinson, should you feel moved to return once the construction is finished. :wink:

The Pabst Mansion is pretty cool. Basically, it’s a huge mansion built by a beer baron, that was nearly razed for a parking lot in the '70s, and finally purchased by folks with historical preservation in mind. Bizarre, bizarre antler chandelier in the foyer. The main attractions are the oppulence of the place and the art collection. Oh, and the Pabst Archives, but I don’t know of how much interest they’d be to a casual visitor.

Along the lakeshore, Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum is another mansion turned museum. It has a huge formal garden and lots of art.

Old World Wisconsin is about forty minutes from Milwaukee, and it basically recreates 19th-century rural life in Wisconsin – frontier life. Check out the website. There are lots of exhibits and events.

Milwaukee also has The Black Holocaust Museum, which I’m pretty much offering up as an information point, as it’s closed Aug. 19-24 this year for summer break.

I can email or IM you when I arrive and we can go from there. My wife is an equally voracious Tolkien fan and will be with me. :slight_smile:
I’m actually staying in Brown Deer - I think that’s just a burb of Milwaukee though.

If August West pops in, he can tell you a little about his Brewery which is only a few minutes from Brown Deer. How long will you be in town and when?

If you want to browse some websites ahead of time then check out onmilwaukee.com.

There is also a neat auto museum in Hartford which is only a half hour from BD.

Cool, thanks!

Try to visit Larry’s Market while you’re in Brown Deer. It’s a tiny yet upscale specialty grocery which caters to the rich folks in nearby River Hills. Their selection of cheeses, olive oils, and pastas are out of this world!!

The River Lane Inn in Brown Deer has some of the best seafood in the state, too.

While in the Milwaukee area heading towards Elkhorn, keep your camera ready for the Beast of Bray Road. You may feel safer, if you think it’s a descendant of a troup of dancing bears escaped from a Delavan circus.


If things go as planned I’ll be able to be at Marquette sometime on Tuesday. The trip is for business but we’ll see. Wow! Tolkien’s original manuscript. I’m going to make every effort to get there.

Sadly, I must work all week, an hour from Milwaukee. But if the timing is right, I’m willing to blow off a bit of the afternoon to drive there.

It’s really mind-boggling to see JRRT’s original, hand-drawn title page to his sequel to “The Hobbit”.

At first, he titled it “The Magic Ring” in that spidery handwriting of his. Then he drew a line through it, and under that, he wrote “The Lord of the Rings”.

And the original artwork of his is amazing!

I hope you get the chance to see it, at any rate!

I cannot wait! I am very excited. I’m only going to be 1/2 mile from Larry’s Market, I’ll post a review when I get back. Also, I just got on their website, and am impressed they already have the specials menu for the coming week already posted on a Sunday! Very nice!

International Clown Hall of Fame, in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis.