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family fun - february 2009

Picks of the Month

This month we recommend a combination outing. Take the family to Milwaukee’s lakefront, not for a walk in the cold, but for a three-museum adventure. Families with very young children can’t find a better place to visit than the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. Older children will enjoy the growing number of fascinating exhibits and programs at nearby Discovery World or a trip through Milwaukee’s internationally acclaimed Art Museum. While the weather may keep you inside, the views of Lake Michigan are spectacular from all three of these world-class museums.


10001 W. Bluemound Road. Just 10 minutes from downtown Milwaukee at Highway 45 and Interstate 94. Open 365 days a year. Ph. (414) 256-5412 or

It’s always a good time to visit the Milwaukee County Zoo, one of the premier zoological parks in the country.

- Family free day is Feb. 7 with free admission from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


929 E. Wisconsin Ave. Ph. 414-291-0888 Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

Programs include:

  • Tot Time, ages 1 to 3 with parent or caregiver, 10:30 a.m. Tuedays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays. Toddlers will enjoy sing-alongs, finger-play, stories, and art experiences. Adults learn how these experiences impact early childhood development.

  • Pre-School Pop-in, ages 3-5, 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. Pre-schoolers participate in music, movement and visual art activities that encourage early reading and introduce beginning math concepts. Adults learn about age-appropriate activities that stimulate a child's development.

Special events:

A Valentine’s Day Ice Cream Social is set for 1-4 p.m. Feb. 14.

Neighborhood Night Feb. 19 means free admission from 5-8 p.m.

800 W. Wells St.

Includes Milwaukee Public Museum, one of the world's best natural history museums (Ph. 278-2700); and the Humphrey IMAX Dome Theater 414-319-IMAX.

TITANIC: THE ARTIFACT EXHIBITION continues through May 25, 2009. Authentic artifacts and room-recreations tell the story of the 2,228 passengers aboard the Titanic during her ill-fated maiden voyage. Learn haunting tales of lives abruptly ended or forever altered when the Titanic collided with an iceberg on April 14, 1912.

THE HEBIOR Mammoth, a specimen with great significance to the state of Wisconsin, is now on display. Found less than 30 miles from Milwaukee in Kenosha County, the mammoth is among a group of important findes that help date the early presence of humans in North America.

Special events:

The Museum’s Celebrations of Culture focuses on African cultures this month. Programs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 6 and 7 feature music, artifacts and crafts.

Child prodigy Adora Svitak, a published author since age seven, will be at the Museum Marketplace for a writing demonstration and book signing from Noon-3 p.m. Feb. 6.

The Humphrey IMAX Dome Theater in the Museum Center, the only IMAX theater in the state, doubles as a state-of-the-art digital planetarium.

Current IMAX shows:

  • "Mysteries of the Great Lakes," which takes viewers through the greatest freshwater system in the world (through March 19, 2009)
  • "Ghosts of the Abyss" in which Academy Award winning director and storyteller James Cameron journeys back to the legendary wreck of the Titanic (through June 11, 2009)
  • "Sea Mnsters: A Prehistoric Adventure” brings extraordinary marine reptiles of the dinosaur age to life in a remarkable journey into the relatively unexplored world of “other” dinosaurs, those reptiles that lived beneath the water (through Oct. 1).

The Daniel M. Soref Planetarium in the IMAX currently is offering three shows:

  • "Night of the Titanic," a tale of how human error and natural disaster sank the "unsinkable" ship (through May 24).
  • "Seven Wonders," which tells the story of the seven wonders of the ancient world, investigating theories of how they were created and then traveling through the universe to glimpse natural wonders far beyond earth (through March 10).
  • “Romancing the Stars” is the planetarium’s two-evening Valntine’s show Feb. 13 & 14.

Call 414-319-4629 for IMAX planetarium show times and reservations.


500 N. Harbor Dr. 765-9966. The newest addition to Milwaukee’s world-class lineup of museums and visitor attractions is the home of the 19th century re-creation of a Great Lakes sailing vessel, the Denis Sullivan. Until the ship is returns for the summer season, the Discovery World Museum offers saltwater and fresh water aquariums, interactive exhibits created by several of the city’s leading corporations and the HIVE, a virtual-reality chamber that puts visitors into 30 simulated environments.. Open to the public from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sun.

Milwaukee’s popular Segway tours have moved to Discovery World. See tours for all the details.

New exhibits at Discovery World:

• “City of Freshwater,” opening this month, was unveiled late in January at the City of Milwaukee birthday celebration. Installation will continue this month on the exhibit, which will focus on Milwaukee’s leadership role in use of its water resources.

• "Les Paul's House of Sound," a tribute to the famed Wisconsin guitarist Les Paul.

• Briggs & Stratton's "Milwaukee Muscle" exhibit, which allows visitors to design a vehicle of the future

•"Energy & Ingenuity: Harnessing the Power of You" developed by the Wisconsin Energy Foundation


comedyCOMEDYSPORTZ at 420 S. 1st St. continues to provide improvisational comedy suitable for the whole family. Shows every week 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday.  Also 10 p.m. Friday amateur (18+) stand up session. Call 272-8888 for show times and reservations or visit Be sure to use our coupon for extra savings.

WITNESS, through Feb. 22; First Stage Children’s Theater presents story of a small Vermont town facing turmoil. Most appreciated by children 10 and up, teens and adults. 273-7206.

DOGPARK: THE MUSICAL, through March 1; Stackner Cabaret, Milwaukee Theater Center. Milwaukee Repertory Theater presents. Follow Daisy, Champ, Bogie and Itchy through their adventures at the hippest, hottest place in town: the Dogpark, where every dog has his day, and love conquers all. 224-9490.

CROSS-COUNTY SKI FESTIVAL, Jan. 31 & Feb. 1; Brown Deer Park, 7835 N. Green Bay Rd. Free introduction to cross-country skiing with free skis for use while the supply lasts. Cross-country ski instructor Dr. Michael Mandli, who has coached elite and college level skiers, will lead group ski lessons Saturday from 12:30-2 p.m. Concessions available both days from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Ice skating on he lagoon and sledding on the old toboggan hill. Festival open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. both days. For more information, call 257-PARK.

DISNEY ON ICE, Feb. 5-8; U.S. Cellular Arena, 400 W. Kilbourn Ave. 65 of Disney’s unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life as Disney On Ice celebrates 100 years of magic. 908-6001, 276-4545.

CEDARBURG WINTER FESTIVAL, Feb. 7-8; Historic Cedarburg. 35th annual event. “A Winter’s Knight” includes ice carving contest, parade, Iceburg Open Golf Tournament, barrel-racing, dog weight pull, bed-racing on Cedar Creek and ice-skating on Mill Pond, wine-tasting and special shopping promos. 888-894-4001.

FAMILY TIME IN THE GALLERIES, Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28; Special family programs at the Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Dr. 1 p.m. 224-3200.

MUSKY EXPO, Feb. 13-15; Wisconsin Products Pavilion, Wisconsin State Fair Park, 640 S. 84th St. Muskie Tank (8000 gallons), the world's largest traveling aquarium, features muskie lure demos. Don’t miss the booth for Shumway Guide Service and Shumway Tackle line of musky/pike baits developed by innovative guides with more than 45 years of combined experience. Noon-9 p.m. Fri., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., 9 am.-4 p.m. Sun. 608-833-6955,

WORLD OF WHEELS, Feb. 13-15; Wisconsin Expo Center. More than 300 competitive car, bike and truck classes, from sport compacts to customs and low riders to hot rods 5-10 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun. 422-9505.

THE PEKING ACROBATS, Feb. 14; The Pabst, 144 E. Wells St. 8 p.m. 286-3663.

TRIPOLI SHRINE CIRCUS, Feb. 26-March 1; U.S. Cellular Arena, 400 W. Kilbourn Ave. 908-6001. 276-4545.

WISCONSIN KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW, Feb. 28-March 1; Wisconsin Expo Center. See more than 1,200 dogs representing over 125 different breeds at this popular annual show. Talk to breeders and handlers about your favorite breed. Visit with exhibitors offering the latest in pet products, services and supplies. 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. & Sun.

EMILY, Feb. 27-March 8; Todd Wehr Auditorium, Concordia University, 12800 N. Lake Shore Dr., Mequon, tells Emily Dickinson’s story from a faith perspective. Presented by Acacia Theatre Company. 744-5995.

INDIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL WINTER POW-WOW, Feb. 28-March 1; Wisconsin State Fair Park, Wisconsin Products Pavilion, 640 S. 84th St. Traditional pow-wow with singing and dancing. Marketplace with more than 50 vendors, frybread and Indian tacos. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. 604-1000.




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