Milwaukee in January - Things to Do & What to Wear

Milwaukee in January – Things to Do & What to Wear

In January, Milwaukee offers a variety of activities and events for visitors to enjoy. Despite the cold weather, there are plenty of winter activities to keep you entertained. From outdoor adventures to indoor attractions, you’ll find something to suit your interests. To make the most of your trip, it’s important to dress appropriately for the chilly Wisconsin weather. Here are some suggestions on what to do and what to wear in Milwaukee in January.

Key Takeaways:

  • January is a great time to visit Milwaukee, with a wide range of activities and events available.
  • Layering is essential when it comes to dressing for the cold Milwaukee weather.
  • Outdoor winter activities, such as skiing and tubing, are popular options for enjoying the snow.
  • Milwaukee’s winter festivals and events bring the community together and create a festive atmosphere.
  • Attending a sports game is a fun way to support the local teams and experience the excitement of live sports.

Outdoor Winter Activities in Milwaukee

Milwaukee offers a plethora of outdoor winter activities for those who embrace the snow-covered landscape. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or simply enjoy the beauty of winter, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city. From thrilling winter sports to serene nature walks, here are some of the top outdoor activities to explore in Milwaukee during the winter months.

Winter Sports

If you’re a fan of winter sports, Milwaukee won’t disappoint. The city is home to several parks that offer opportunities for sledding, tubing, and skiing. Grab your sled, hit the slopes, and feel the rush of adrenaline as you glide down the hills. For those seeking a more challenging experience, there are ski resorts with various trails catering to both beginners and experienced skiers. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the snowy wonderland and indulge in thrilling winter sports.

Surfing on Lake Michigan

Yes, you read that right – surfing in Milwaukee! Lake Michigan presents a unique winter experience as brave surfers take on the icy waves. If you’re an adventurous soul, consider joining the local surf scene during the colder months. Stepping onto your board and riding the waves against the backdrop of a winter landscape is an unforgettable experience. Just make sure to wear a wetsuit and follow the safety guidelines to make the most of this thrilling outdoor activity.

Nature Walks and Hiking

For those seeking a more peaceful outdoor experience, Milwaukee’s parks and nature trails offer serene walks amidst winter scenery. Bundle up in warm layers and explore the city’s picturesque landscapes while breathing in the crisp winter air. Enjoy the tranquility of the snow-covered trails and immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the enchanting winter landscapes.

Winter Activities Highlights
Sledding Thrilling rides down snowy hills
Tubing Sliding down slopes on inflated tubes
Skiing Enjoying the slopes at local ski resorts
Surfing Challenging the waves of Lake Michigan
Nature Walks Exploring serene winter landscapes
Hiking Adventuring through snowy trails

No matter your preference, Milwaukee offers an array of outdoor winter activities to keep you entertained and active during the chilly months. So bundle up, embrace the winter spirit, and explore all that this vibrant city has to offer.

Winter Festivals and Events in Milwaukee

Milwaukee is known as the City of Festivals, and the winter season is no exception. Starting in November, the city comes alive with a vibrant array of winter events and celebrations that will delight visitors of all ages. From dazzling holiday light displays to lively street festivals, there is something for everyone to enjoy during their visit to Milwaukee in January.

1. Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival

Experience the magic of the season at the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, a cherished annual event that transforms downtown Milwaukee into a sparkling winter wonderland. Stroll through the streets adorned with millions of twinkling lights and marvel at the stunning displays. Don’t miss the spectacular tree lighting ceremony and the enchanting animated light show at Cathedral Square Park.

2. The Great Skate

Embrace the winter weather and lace up your skates at The Great Skate, a popular outdoor ice skating rink located in Red Arrow Park. Glide through the ice surrounded by the beauty of the park and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa or savor a delicious treat from one of the food vendors nearby.

3. Fiserv Forum Winter Carnival

Head to the Fiserv Forum, home of the Milwaukee Bucks, for a day of family-friendly fun at the Winter Carnival. This exciting event features a variety of activities, including ice skating, snow tubing, and carnival games. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as you enjoy live music, delicious food, and warm beverages.

4. Ice Bars

Experience a unique winter tradition in Milwaukee by visiting one of the city’s famous ice bars. These temporary frozen establishments are constructed entirely out of ice and offer a one-of-a-kind drinking experience. Sip on specialty cocktails while admiring the intricate ice sculptures and festive decorations.

5. Milwaukee Ale Trail

For beer enthusiasts, the Milwaukee Ale Trail is a must-visit during your winter trip to the city. Explore the local breweries and sample a wide selection of craft beers, ranging from rich stouts to refreshing IPAs. Learn about the brewing process, enjoy guided tours, and discover the vibrant beer culture that Milwaukee is known for.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in the joy and excitement of Milwaukee’s winter festivals and events. Whether you’re looking for dazzling lights, outdoor activities, or culinary delights, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city during the winter season.

Sports and Entertainment in Milwaukee

Milwaukee is a vibrant city that offers a plethora of sports and entertainment options, making it a haven for avid sports enthusiasts and entertainment seekers. Whether you’re a passionate sports fan or simply looking for some thrilling live entertainment, Milwaukee has something to offer for everyone.

Professional Sports in Milwaukee

Milwaukee basketball games, Milwaukee hockey games, Milwaukee soccer games

One of the highlights of the city’s sports scene is the Milwaukee Bucks, the beloved NBA team that calls Milwaukee home. Attending a Milwaukee Bucks basketball game at the world-class Fiserv Forum is an electrifying experience that no sports enthusiast should miss. From the high-flying dunks to the passionate fans, the atmosphere is simply unmatched.

Another popular professional sports team in Milwaukee is the Milwaukee Admirals, a member of the American Hockey League (AHL). Catching a Milwaukee Admirals hockey game at the UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena is a great way to experience the fast-paced and action-packed sport of ice hockey.

For soccer fans, the Milwaukee Wave is the city’s premier professional indoor soccer team. Watching a Milwaukee Wave soccer game at the UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena is a thrilling experience that showcases the skill and athleticism of the players.

Entertainment Venues in Milwaukee

Aside from sports, Milwaukee also offers a diverse range of entertainment options. The city boasts several world-class venues that host concerts, theater performances, and other live events.

One of the most iconic entertainment venues in Milwaukee is the Riverside Theater. Known for its stunning architecture and intimate atmosphere, the Riverside Theater has welcomed countless legendary musicians and performers throughout the years.

Another popular entertainment venue in Milwaukee is the Marcus Performing Arts Center. Home to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, this state-of-the-art facility hosts a variety of performances, including ballets, plays, and musicals.

Venue Description
Riverside Theater An iconic entertainment venue known for hosting legendary musicians and performers.
Marcus Performing Arts Center A state-of-the-art facility that showcases a variety of performances including ballets, plays, and musicals.

Whether you’re cheering on your favorite sports team or enjoying a captivating live performance, Milwaukee offers an array of sports and entertainment options to suit all interests. Plan your visit to catch an exciting basketball, hockey, or soccer game, and be sure to explore the city’s renowned entertainment venues for a memorable experience in Milwaukee.


Milwaukee in January is a vibrant destination with plenty of activities and events to keep you entertained. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures or winter festivals, this city has something for everyone. But don’t forget to dress appropriately for the cold weather!

Layering is essential during this time of year, so be sure to pack warm clothing, hats, gloves, and boots. With the right attire, you’ll be able to explore all that Milwaukee has to offer without feeling the chill. Don’t let the winter weather deter you from experiencing the wonderful attractions in this city.

From exploring local parks and engaging in winter sports to attending lively festivals and cheering for the local sports teams, there’s never a dull moment in Milwaukee in January. Embrace the charm of the city as you indulge in delicious food, listen to live music, and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere.

So, whether you’re a resident looking for winter activities or a visitor planning a trip, Milwaukee is the place to be in January. Bundle up and get ready for an unforgettable winter adventure in this lively city.


What outdoor winter activities are available in Milwaukee?

Milwaukee offers a range of outdoor winter activities, including sledding, tubing, skiing, and even surfing on Lake Michigan.

What winter festivals and events can I attend in Milwaukee?

Milwaukee is known for its winter festivals and events, including holiday light displays, live music, shopping, and delicious food.

Are there any sports events in Milwaukee during January?

Yes, Milwaukee is home to professional sports teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, the Milwaukee Admirals, and the Milwaukee Wave.

What should I wear in Milwaukee in January?

To stay warm in Milwaukee’s cold weather, it’s best to dress in layers and pack warm clothing, hats, gloves, and boots.

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