When cabin fever starts to kick in, you'll find plenty to do in the parks in the winter. Look for around six inches of snow for the best winter activities. Here's our guide to how to make the most of your parks throughout the cold winter months!
Skate Downtown Milwaukee
Skate for free at Slice of Ice in Red Arrow Park. It's only two blocks from the nearest Hop station. The outdoor rink is free when you use your own skates. Skate, sledge and skate buddy rentals are available. Hours vary depending on the time of year and the weather.
Head to the Winter Farmers Market
Find fresh produce and local gifts at the Winter Farmers Market, held on Saturday mornings at the Mitchell Park Domes Annex.The market, operated by Fondy Food Center, features about 50 vendors each week. Parking and entry to the market are free.
Holiday Lights Festival
The Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival is back for its 20th year. Check out the festive displays at Cathedral Square, Pere Marquette, Zeidler Union Square and Burns Commons parks. The lights will be on through Jan. 1.
Ski Through the Parks
Cross-country skiing has been hailed as one of the best ways to keep fit in the winter! All Milwaukee County Parks allow cross-country skiing when there is 4 to 6" of snow.
Head to Brown Deer Park or Whitnall Park for groomed trails.Trails are open from dawn until 10 p.m. when conditions allow.
On weekends, when conditions allow, the Whitnall Park Golf Clubhouse is open, Saturdays 11 a.m.–7 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m.–5 p.m. For updates, call (414) 525-4765.
Grab a Sled
Over a dozen County Parks have hills perfect for sledding, and four parks have lighting for post-sunset sledding! Of course, sledding is weather permitting and at your own risk.
Day-time Only Sledding Hills
Brown Deer Park, 7835 N. Green Bay Rd.
Columbus Park, 7301 W. Courtland Ave.
Greene Park, 4235 S. Lipton Ave.
Hales Corners Park, 5765 S. New Berlin Rd.
Kletzsch Park, 6560 N Milw. River Pkwy.
LaFollette Park,9418 W. Washington St.
McCarty Park, 8214 W. Cleveland Ave.
McGovern Park, 5400 N. 51 St.
Wilson Recreation Center, 4001 S 20 St.
All-day Sledding Hills With Lights
Currie Park, 3535 N. Mayfair Rd.
Humboldt Park, 3000 S. Howell Ave.
Whitnall Park, 5879 S. 92 St.
Pond Hockey & Skating
When the temps head below zero and lagoons get around six inches of ice, grab your skates and head to the parks below. Most sites listed are managed by volunteers and friends groups, and several have warming houses nearby. Skating is at your own risk and always pay attention to thin-ice signs.
Outdoor Rink Locations
- Center Street Park – WaterStone Bank Ice Rink, 6420 W. Clarke St.
- Hales Corners Park - Alyson Dudek International Ice Center, 5765 S. New Berlin Rd.
- Humboldt Park - 3000 S. Howell Ave.
- Lake Park - 2975 N. Lake Park Rd.
- Scout Lake Park, 5902 W. Loomis Rd., (414) 425-7303
- Sheridan Park - 4800 S. Lake Dr., (414) 762-1550
- Washington Park - 1859 N. 40th St.
Snow Shoe at Whitnall Park
The Whitnall Park Golf Clubhouse transforms into a warming house during the winter for cross-county skiers, sledders and snowshoers. Warm up by the fire, grab a mug of hot chocolate, or rent cross-country skis and snowshoes. When conditions allow, the Clubhouse is open weekends only: Saturdays 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sundays 11 a.m.–5 p.m. For updates, call (414) 525-4765.