Summerfest

Libby Quinn, 4, (left) and her sister Kenzie Quinn, 5, (right) stand outside of Summerfest mid gate. Photo By Journal Sentinel

Summerfest guide for parents

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Summerfest offers several options for family fun this year. Here's a guide to help you navigate the festival, which is June 25-29 and July 1-6.

WHEN TO GO

Kids are welcome anytime. Gates open at noon, and the crowds are smaller earlier in the day.

WHAT TO DO

Tuesday, July 1 is Children's Fest Day. 

- All patrons arriving between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. are FREE and will be welcomed by The Dragonfly Stiltwalker, the Famous Racing Sausages and Bango.

- Be sure to pick up a copy of the Map of Fun and obtain a stamp at each of the locations throughout the festival grounds. Completed maps can be turned in at the South Redemption Area, where you will be entered for a chance to win Family Ticket Package giveaways. Children will receive prizes for participating.

- Enjoy samples from Sentry and Dean's Milk and Ice Cream with a donation of the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

Other ongoing family activities:

Kohl's Captivation Station

Each day of Summerfest, families can make art with the Milwaukee Art Museum, do hands-on projects with Discovery World and Penfield's Children's Center and watch a performance by Kohl's Wild Theater. Come see Radio Disney Road Crew, Comedysportz, Mad Science and the Figureheads. The area is open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Northwestern Mutual Children's Theater & Playzone

Family can enjoy a large play area with jungle gyms and slides as well as performances from magicians, dance groups, jugglers, puppets and more throughout the day.

The Kids Activity Tent

FREE family activities daily from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.!

UB the Band

Kids can pretend to be rockstars in this interactive experience!

F.I.R.S.T. Robotics

Check out miniature remote controlled robots and watch a robotics competition on July 1.

Skyglider

See the sights on a ride on the Verlo Mattress Skyglider.

Paddleboat Water Experience

Paddle around part of the lagoon for 30 minutes in boats that hold up to four people. This activity is located at the boat dock on the north end of the grounds and runs from noon to 7 p.m. each day.

Parade

The parade will start at the south end at the Marcus Amphitheater Forecourt and complete a full lap of the grounds. See the parade at 3 p.m. June 25, 26, 27 and July 1 and 2.

School of Rock

School of Rock will host a "Battle of the Bands" competition on June 28. The top bands will appear in the finals on Sunday, June 29.

Wheel in the Sky

A new 80-foot Ferris wheel will be located near the Uline Warehouse and the KNE New Music Stage. The wheel will run from noon to 11:30 p.m. daily. Tickets are $5 per person.

SportsZone

Participate in daily sports demonstrations and clinics from the Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Admirals and the Milwaukee Wave.

SplashPad

Cool down at the Splash Pad and enter to win great prizes at the McDonald's Clubhouse display.

TICKETS

Children 2 and under are FREE. Children 10 and under are $6. Weekday admission is $11. General admission is $18. Multi-day passes are available. Also, be sure to check for various free or discounted admission promotions.

PARKING/TRANSPORTATION

Lots open daily at 9 a.m. Preferred parking is $20. Freeway Flyer service is available from various park-ride lots.

WHAT YOU CAN/CAN'T BRING IN

Strollers are allowed everywhere except the Marcus Amphitheater.

Baby food is permitted, but any other food or snacks are not.

Only small bags are permitted, so leave the big diaper bag at home. All bags will be searched before entering.

Sunscreen, bug spray and umbrellas are welcome. 

Wagons are not allowed.

Check here for other items NOT ALLOWED.

STAYING TOGETHER

In case you and your child get separated, agree in advance on a meeting place. Information centers are located adjacent to all gate areas. Security personnel will be located by all gates and throughout the grounds for assistance.

OTHER INFO

A family restroom is located on the north wing of the Mid Gate building. The door key is available at the check-in service desk at the Mid Gate.

Drinking fountains are located outside each restroom area and near the Children's area.

First aid stations are located inside the North Gate, inside the South Pavilion and inside the Marcus Amphitheater.

Stroller rental is available for a minimal charge. Rental stations are located on the North, Mid and South gates.

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