Lifestyle

40 Things to Do in Milwaukee for $10 or Less

Published On 12/01/2015 Published On 12/01/2015

Ten bucks can’t buy you love, but it can buy you lots of other stuff in Milwaukee. There’s plenty to do -- and eat, and drink, and see -- while on a budget, so don’t dip into that emergency fund just yet. Here are 40 things to keep you happy on the cheap.

1. Rent a Bublr Bike

Various locations
Price: $6/hour
You can even bike in the snow, if you’re so inclined.
 

2. See a movie on Tuesday

Various locations
Price: $5
All movies at Marcus Theatres are $5 on Tuesday, score!
 

3. Take a historic MKE walking tour

Various locations
Price: $10
There are even indoor skywalk tours in winter.

Flickr/Ann Fischer

4. Treasure hunt at American Science & Surplus

River Bend
Price: $1-$10
Bring friends and see who can find the weirdest thing in less than five minutes.
 

5. See some ComedySportz

Walker’s Point
Price: $10 
Good old-fashioned improv and booze, they belong together.

Flickr/Thomas Hawk

6. Party at Milwaukee Art Museum After Dark

Lake Park
Price: $10 in advance
About once a month, you can party in the Calatrava with live music, performance artists, vittles, and of course, art.
 

7. Plug a slot machine at Potawatomi

Menomonee River Valley
Price: $10
If you double your money, you can afford a couple beers.
 

8. Go bowling, galactically

Wilson Park
Price: $8.75 per person, per hour
Rent a lane and bring three friends. Bring more and it’ll be even cheaper.

Flickr/Elvis Kennedy

9. Watch a Brewers game at Miller Park

Story Hill
Price: $1
"Uecker seats" are only a buck, but you can only buy them at the box office on the day of the game. 
 

10. Eat a shoulder sandwich at Speed Queen

Triangle North
Price: $8.99 
Because barbecue is life.
 

11. See a Pat McCurdy show

Various locations
Price: $0-$10 cover charge
He recognizes our love for sex and beer.
 

12. Tour the Palermo’s Pizza factory

Menomonee River Valley
Price: $10
You get a tour, T-shirt, and (non-frozen) pizza. 
 

13. Explore MKE’s past at the Chudnow Museum

Juneau Town
Price: $5
Quirky museums are the best museums.
 

14. Play Pac-Man for an hour at Bounce

Polonia
Price: $5
Buy an hour block of vintage arcade and air-hockey play.

Flickr/d76

15. Feast on an Italian sandwich at Glorioso’s

Brady St
Price: $4.50-$7.95
Might I suggest the Human Torch?

Flickr/Nick Mischo

16. Grab a brew at a beer garden

Various locations
Price: $4-$10
Those giant glass mugs are clutch.

Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist

17. Grab a meal in a goblet at County Clare

Yankee Hill
Price: $8
The Bloody Mary comes with a beef stick, string cheese, pickle, olive, and a pickled potato.
 

18. See an indie band at Cactus Club

Bay View
Price: $10
Even when there’s not a show, it’s a great bar to grab a beer.
 

19. Climb the North Point Lighthouse

Lake Park
Price: $5
There’s a museum of cool Great Lakes maritime stuff too.
 

20. Watch a star show at the UWM Planetarium

Downer Woods
Price: $3
Public shows are at 7pm on Fridays.

Flickr/Ben Husmann

21. Get a scoop of custard at Leon’s

Southgate
Price: $2.03
No one can resist the siren song of butter pecan.
 

22. Play mini golf at River Falls Family Fun Center

Greenfield
Price: $8
Does anyone not make bets with their friends when they play putt-putt?

Flickr/Adam Kuban

23. Grab a giant cheeseburger at Kopp’s

Various locations
Price: $4.75
They’re about as big as your face.
 

24. Get hot ham and rolls at Rupena’s

West Allis
Price: $5.99/lb
Experience a unique Milwaukee tradition. Rolls are free with a pound of ham!
 

25. Celebrate the shortest happy hours in the city

Various locations
Price: $1
Super-short happy hours at Sabbatic and Nomad feature $1 drinks.

Courtesy of Great Lakes Distillery

26. Tour a distillery at Great Lakes Distillery

Walker’s Point
Price: $7
You get to taste soooo much alcohol!
 

27. Buy all your friends gag gifts at Art Smart’s Dart Mart

Brady St
Price: $1-$10
It has everything you need for that annoying friend.
 

28. Eat five tacos at BelAir Cantina

Various locations
Price: $10
Celebrate taco Tuesday AND Thursday with $2 tacos.

FlickrBrandon Blanke

29. Tour some breweries

Various locations
Price: $5-$10
Pick any (or all): Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee Brewing, Sprecher Brewery, Brenner Brewing.

Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist

30. Mow down a fried chicken dinner at TomKen’s

West Allis
Price: $8.50
Super-crispy chicken, cheap price.
 

31. Have a sausage party at Vanguard

Bay View
Price: $4-$9
You can’t go wrong with any of the tubed meats.
 

32. Get your PBR on at Swingin’ Door Exchange

Kilbourn Town
Price: $5
Three cans of PBR are $5 at this cozy dive bar.

Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist

33. Play skee-ball at Lee’s Luxury Lounge

Bay View
Price: $10
Ten bucks will get you a lot of skee-ball.
 

34. Play pub trivia by Quizmaster

Various locations
Price: $1
If you’re going to be sitting at a bar anyway, might as well put that thinking cap on.
 

35. Sip a Mai Tai at Foundation

Riverwest
Price: $8
There’s a reason this drink is a classic.
 

36. See a show in the dome theater at the Milwaukee Public Museum

Juneau Town
Price: $8
Take a motion-sickness pill because you will get dizzy.
 

37. Hit the roller-skating rink

Cudahy
Price: $8 including skates
Maybe you won’t fall as much as you did when you were a kid.
 

38. Collect some vinyl at Bullseye Records

East Side
Price: $10
It's got everything from reggae to punk.
 

39. Drink at a church... festival

Various locations
Price: $10
Beer and church and cover bands go pretty well together in Wisconsin.
 

40. Commune with nature at the Boerner Botanical Gardens

Hales Corners
Price: $5.50
We could all use a little serenity in our lives.

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Lacey Muszynski is a Milwaukee writer who wonders if anyone else remembers when Science & Surplus was on Layton? Follow her on Twitter: @worthhersalt.

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