The Most Unusual Experiences in Milwaukee

Safe House | © Richie Diesterheft/Flickr
Safe House | © Richie Diesterheft/Flickr
Photo of Kelsey Grace Pfeifer
11 September 2017

Scenery and food are good for some people, but others want to experience something a little more unique. One of the best parts of visiting a new city is becoming a citizen of a new town, and to truly belong in Milwaukee, here are some unusual experiences to let you in on its secrets.

The Safe House

The first rule about Safe House? Tell people about Safe House, just don’t tell them too much. Anyone who has ever dreamed of being James Bond needs to make a stop at this spy-themed restaurant. While the food is great, the true experience lies within the actual venue. Guests must first figure out how to get in. If you don’t have a password, don’t worry, they’ll still let you in, but you might have to dance or recite weird poetry. Inside there is spy memorabilia as well as quick gags like hidden alarms and rigged barstools.

We've got just the thing. Stop in for a refreshing "code" beer #internationalbeerday

A post shared by SafeHouse (@safehousemke) on

High School Theatre Scene

If you truly want a unique experience in Milwaukee, look no further than the High Schools. With some of the top programs in the country, Milwaukee’s High Schools are constantly competing to bring the public noteworthy performances. A wide range of performers from these schools have gone on to Broadway, so these shows can really be exciting and oddly professional. Whitefish Bay, Shorewood, and Nicolet High Schools are good ones to start at, and their shows will surely be advertised all over town, plus they’re usually super cheap or even free.

Met some talented people last night! I never knew I could enjoy Les Mis more! ❤️ – @sierra.mack

A post shared by Maisie Allen (@maisieaallen) on

Frozen Custard

Italy has gelato, and Milwaukee has frozen custard. The delicacy tastes much like incredibly creamy ice cream, and leave it to Wisconsinites to come up with some truly bizarre flavors. While most people can grab a generic version at the chain restaurant, Culver’s, the best frozen custard is served at Milwaukee staple, Kopps. Kopps has unbeatable custard and boasts new flavors every day.

Festivals for Every Culture

While Summerfest is the most popular festival that Milwaukee has to offer, the Summerfest grounds are actually used for other festivals celebrating Milwaukee’s rich and diverse background. Irish Fest is a Gaelic party with classic corned beef and bagpipes. Festa Italiana ends in spectacular fireworks and shows off pop, opera, and traditional acts alongside some of the most delectable food in the area. These two join a larger lineup of amazing cultural celebration.

Thousands came out in Milwaukee for #SalTheVoiceLive Last night. Can't wait to close #FestaItaliana tonight at 8!!!

A post shared by Sal "The Voice" Valentinetti (@salthevoice) on

Non-traditional Sports Events

It’s true, Milwaukee is not really thought of as a traditional sports town. Sure, they have The Brewers and The Bucks, but the true sports excitement lies within some more non-traditional sports. Two of the biggest events in Milwaukee involve speed-skating and water skiing. The Petit Center is host to many speed-skating events and trials, including World Championships. Olympians are super accessible and incredibly nice—if they’re not trying to beat you in a race! As for water-skiing, the Malibu Open is always held right on the Milwaukee Lakefront trail, and there are few things more exciting than watching someone break a world slalom record or go off a waterski jump!

Mary Nohl House

To local Milwaukee citizens, the Mary Nohl House has always just been known as ‘The Witches House.’ This is a misnomer. The house isn’t creepy by any means, but inside magical and fantastical. The yard is covered in strange sculptures from artist Mary Nohl, the materials for which were paid for by a sizable inheritance left by her parents. It’s been a struggle to keep it in the Milwaukee area, and it is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mary Nohl House, Fox Point, WI #marynohlhouse #johnmichaelkohlerartscenter

A post shared by Alex Baker (@alexjbaker2) on

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