6 Reasons to Visit Milwaukee This Fall

  • 01 of 06

    Farmers Markets

    Wauwatosa Farmers Market. Visit Milwaukee

    Wisconsin ranks number-two in the nation for its number of organic farms. Many of them frequent Milwaukee’s farmers markets, and locals love to scour the stands for artisan cheese, bunches of sunflowers and heirloom tomatoes. Among Saturday’s most popular markets are the South Shore Farmers Market and the Tosa Farmers Market. The West Allis Farmers Market is hosted in a permanent open-air space at 6501 W. National Ave., in West Allis, every Tuesday and Thursday. The last West Allis market is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, stretching farther into fall than other local farmers markets do. 

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  • 02 of 06

    Urban Hikes and Nature Walks

    Urban Ecology Center. Visit Milwaukee

    Fortunately, you don’t have to leave the city limits to do some leaf peeping. Along Lincoln Memorial Drive on Milwaukee’s East Side is Lake Park, or you can head to Grant Park in the southern suburb of South Milwaukee. Havenswood State Forest, on the North Side of Milwaukee, and Urban Ecology Center, with three locations (Milwaukee’s East Side, Menomonee Valley and Washington Heights), often host guided hikes and environmental-education events for all ages. Check their websites for more info.

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  • 03 of 06

    New Craft Breweries

    Good City Brewing. Visit Milwaukee

    Brew City is exploding with new—very micro—craft breweries, a shift for a town that birthed major beer brands like Miller, Schlitz, and Pabst. By dropping by the taproom, you can sip through its portfolio of beers. In Walker’s Point are two: ​Urban Harvest Brewing Co. and MobCraft (based in Madison). Like Minds Brewing on the East Side is from 2014 James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Aphramian of Sanford, and food is served, too; another East Side option is Good City Brewing, with a gastropub-type food menu.

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  • 04 of 06

    Milwaukee Film Festival

    Milwaukee Film Festival. Visit Milwaukee

    Each fall this film festival swoops into town, captivating many with its 15-day line-up of films that are a mix of foreign, documentaries, local interest (like “53206,” about Milwaukee’s poorest zip code and home to the highest number of incarcerated African-American males in the nation). The five venues for the films are the Oriental Theatre and the Downer Theater on the East Side, Avalon Theater in Bay View, Fox-Bay Cinema Grill in Whitefish Bay and the Times Cinema in Washington Heights.

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  • 05 of 06

    See Thon Maker Play Basketball

    BMO Harris Bradley Center. Visit Milwaukee

    Number-ten NBA draft pick Thon Maker (read more about him in this article)—a Sudanese who grew up in Australia and played high-school basketball in Canada and the States—marks his debut with professional basketball when the next season kicks off in October. 

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  • 06 of 06

    Food and Wine Events

    Chili'n on the Avenue. Chili'n on the Avenue

    Autumn is when the bulk of Milwaukee’s food events happen, ranging from chili cook-offs to cupcake festivals. Chili’n on the Avenue is Sept. 24 in East Tosa (Wauwatosa, for non-locals) on West North Avenue between 65th and 68th Streets. Yoga, ballroom dancing, Irish dancing, live music, a marketplace and more prove this fest is about more than chili. ​Cupcake Fest 2016 is Oct. 15 at Mitchell Park Domes, a day filled with not only cupcakes to eat but also tips in decorating these adorable cakes, and a life-size board game called Cupcake Land. And one of the country's best wine festivals is in Kohler: the Kohler Food and Wine Experience, with seminars in cooking and wine taught by winemakers and celebrity chefs, with some local talent, too.