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Everything You Need to Do in Milwaukee This Winter

Updated On 12/18/2017 at 05:35PM EST
December - January
Milwaukee County Zoo
December - January
Dec 29
Potawatomi Hotel and Casino
Just in case you haven't gotten your fix of these local boys at Summerfest, you can drop a (relatively) pretty penny and see them at the Northern Lights Theater inside Potawatomi. Don't worry: It's a safe bet they'll be playing “Closer to Free."
Cost: Tickets start at $50
Jan 1
Bradford Beach
For some reason, it's an annual tradition to jump into the freezing lake on New Year's Day. Maybe it's to help shake that hangover quickly, or maybe it's just a show of bravado -- either way, take plenty of dry clothes and hand warmers if you plan on plunging. There will be paramedics on hand watching over the stupidity, just in case.
Cost: Free
Jan 14
Milwaukee County Zoo
Named after the zoo's most beloved resident Samson the silverback gorilla, the Stomp & Romp benefits all of the animals at the zoo. Run a competitive 5K, a 2-mile run/walk, or a couple of children's fun runs, all while being cheered along by elephants and camels (probably).
Cost: Tickets start at $20
Friday - Saturday
Jan 19-20
Third Ward
Milwaukee's got a booming art scene, but you might miss it if you're not on the lookout. Head to Gallery Night and Day in the Third Ward, Walker's Point, and other locations around town to tour galleries featuring works by local artists; many shops and cafes that don't otherwise showcase art get in on the fun, too.
Cost: Free
Jan 28
Wisconsin Center
The Brewers didn't have as dismal a season as everyone expected last year, so let's get excited for the 2018 season. This annual winter fan fest brings Brewers players and fans together for photos, autographs, Q+A sessions, and other family-friendly activities. It's a good bet that Bernie, the racing sausages, and even Hank might show up, too.
Cost: Tickets start at $9
Jan 28
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
If there's nothing better than a bowl of chili to warm you up, then you'll be sweating by the end of the MKE Chili Bowl. Your ticket gets you eight 3-ounce cups of chili from local restaurants, plus rolls -- because what's chili without added carbs? Vote for your favorite restaurant to win the coveted Golden Ladle award. 
Cost: Tickets start at $17
Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation
Feb 3
You're not the only one who's sick of winter and snow by February. Join the rest of the seasonal affective disorder gang for a little street party and pretend like it's warm. Live music, brandy slushies and local food vendors will all help warm your frozen insides. Expect some rare beer tappings too, because this is Burnhearts after all. 
Cost: TBA
Friday - Sunday
Feb 16-18
Wisconsin Center
This is the 11th year for the annual gathering of anime lovers. The event, which runs day and night, brings 10,000 people to the city for the biggest fandom convention since GenCon. Even if you don't know the difference between kawaii and samurai, this event has primo people watching opportunities.
Cost: Tickets start at $30
Feb 17
Milwaukee Public Museum
If you've ever wanted to drink beer with dinosaurs or stuff your face with food in the Streets of Old Milwaukee, this might be your only time to do it. Food and adult beverage stations are set up throughout the museum, so grab a beer while you look for the rattlesnake button. Just don't drink so much that you want to join the life-size dioramas, please.
Cost: Tickets start at $75
Feb 18
Milwaukee Ale House
Once a year, the Milwaukee Ale House shuts down to host a winter beer festival; a ticket gets you unlimited sampling of beers throughout the two-story space, plus the tasting glass. This year, the event benefits a Third Ward charity, Islands of Brilliance, which helps kids and young adults on the autism spectrum.
Cost: Tickets start at $50
Saturday - Sunday
Feb 24-Mar 4
Wisconsin Center
This event is super helpful if you're in the market for a new car and want to browse without the heavy sales pitch -- but who cares because it’s got hot rods, classic cars, and exotic vehicles to drool over as well. Doubt they'll let you test drive that Lambo, though…
Cost: $11
Feb 25
Italian Community Center
Sample unlimited Bloody Marys from local bartenders and vote on your favorites at this annual event to benefit the Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation. Your ticket gets you substantial snacks and garnishes, too, so you won't be drinking on an empty stomach. Also, pairing Bloodys and bleeding disorders has got to be one of the best marketing moves in history.
Cost: Tickets start at $40
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