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Take a break from your busy life and head to the Kettle Moraine.
Take a break from your busy life and head to the Kettle Moraine.
The Scuppernong Trail is located about 45 minutes out of Milwaukee, near the town of Eagle.
The Scuppernong Trail is located about 45 minutes out of Milwaukee, near the town of Eagle.
After a long day of walking trails, a swim serves as the ultimate refreshment.
After a long day of walking trails, a swim serves as the ultimate refreshment.

Connect with nature at the Kettle Moraine Forest

Explore the best Milwaukee has to offer with VISITMilwaukee and OnMilwaukee this summer by "Urban Exploring." We'll be sharing parks to hike, walls to climb, rivers to paddle, trails to bike and so much more. Be a tourist in your own town and experience it with us!

Escape the busy city for the lush forests and solace of Northern Wisconsin – but without the long drive – when you travel to the Kettle Moraine Forest. There’s a vast habitat to explore given that the southern unit of the forest spans 30 miles, from Dousman Village to Whitewater. The pine and hardwood forests are overflowing with hills formed by glaciers, kettles, lakes and prairie restoration sites.

The Kettle Moraine gets its name from the various kettles, or depressions in the Earth, caused by glaciers numerous years prior. These kettles range from petite ponds to large lakes.

There are more than 160 miles worth of numerous diverse trails to challenge everyone for the casual to experienced hiker. Many trails permit horses, bikes, snowshoeing, snowmobiles and cross country skiing.

One of these trails is Scuppernong, which is located about 45 minutes from Milwaukee in Dousman Count near the town of Eagle. Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of the town since its population is just under 2,000 people.  

When you begin the trail, you’ll notice different colors marked on the trees. The different colors represent different trails throughout the park that vary in difficulty and distance. When starting, the trail you’re surrounded by bright green trees, bushes and shrubbery.

The trail is teeming with vegetation which almost seems to rival a rain forest in terms of the color and quantity of the plants. The walk is so incredibly peaceful that you can even hear the trees sway back and forth after a gust of wind blows past. This quiet and serene trail is perfect for when you just want to get away.

At the trailhead of Scuppernong, you can also access the Ice Age National Scenic Trail w…

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Flying kites at Veterans Park is a great way to spend your summer days.
Flying kites at Veterans Park is a great way to spend your summer days. (Photo: Hannah Byron)

Let's go fly a kite

Explore the best Milwaukee has to offer with VISITMilwaukee and OnMilwaukee this summer by "Urban Exploring." We'll be sharing parks to hike, walls to climb, rivers to paddle, trails to bike and so much more. Be a tourist in your own town and experience it with us!

Kids nowadays; they have it so easy.

When I was a kid, I was the last of all my friends to get a cell phone. I had limited computer time. I could only play video games if they allowed me to be active ("Dance Dance Revolution," Wii, etc.). Of course, sometimes I would be bitter and frustrated with my parents about it.

In the end, however, I am thankful for it. Because I had limited access to other things, it forced me to spend some time outside, where some of my best childhood memories were made.

The neighborhood kids and I used to play kickball in our backyards. We would ride our bikes around the neighborhood and play cops and robbers. We would have campfires and take a part in a good ol’ game of Ghost In The Graveyard. We would set up lemonade stands at the end of my driveway and so much more. We basically spent every second we could outside. 

Now that I am a 21 years old, I have grown tired of some of these activities. However, some are fun to revisit, which I exactly what I decided to do one recent beautiful summer day in Milwaukee when I finally decided to stop into the Gift of Wings shop by the lakefront.

At Gift of Wings, they sell kites, ice cream and other treats. I thought it would be fun to fly a kite with some friends because I remember it being really fun; however, it'd been quite awhile since I’d done it. Due to that, I decided to ask the shop staff some questions and tips after I bought my diamond-shaped kite. They told me their best advice with my particular kite was to run with the wind to my back and give it a lot of slack. That way, it could get high in the air.

After that advice, I felt confident. I remember that kite-flying was easy, so with that tip, my kite …

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Lotus Valentine and her fellow local artist Lady Venus are prepping LV & LV Night of the Arts for Friday night.
Lotus Valentine and her fellow local artist Lady Venus are prepping LV & LV Night of the Arts for Friday night. (Photo: Lotus Valentine Facebook)

Riverwest's Jazz Gallery Center preps for Night of the Arts local showcase

On Friday, The Jazz Gallery Center in Riverwest hosts LV & LV Night of the Arts, where up-and-coming local artists will be able to perform and display their creative works.

The event will feature visual art of all kinds, from paintings and photographs to clothing and jewelry. There will also be more than a dozen live acts from a variety of genres, from soul to pop to hip-hop to funk.

Michelle McAdams, an aspiring local acrylic and music artist who goes by the name Lotus Valentine, is one of the hosts for the event.

"Milwaukee is boiling with talent; we’re literally so close to being recognized on the level we deserve," she said.   

McAdams and co-host Analisia Torres, AKA Lady Venus, organized Night of the Arts after trying to incorporate their art into local galleries. After they contacted the Jazz Center committee, they found out that there was a whole week where the walls in the gallery were devoid of art, so the two decided to jump on it. McAdams describes the showcase as "something different, something new."

To help out with the event, McAdams reached out to local establishments and members of the community, who proceeded to donate food or raffle items for Night of the Arts.

Starting at 5 p.m. the event will open with a showcase of visual art available for purchase. A half-hour later, the live acts will start, running until around 9:30 p.m. There will also be a raffle. Be sure to bring cash so you can purchase these unique handmade items, as credit cards will not be accepted.

Check out their Facebook page for more details here.

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AUTOMatic chatted with WMSE Local/Live about Herbie Hancock and his influence on the group.
AUTOMatic chatted with WMSE Local/Live about Herbie Hancock and his influence on the group.

WMSE Local/Live: Milwaukee hip-hop trio AUTOMatic

AUTOMatic is undeniably a savvy crew, fronted by scene veterans A.P.R.I.M.E. (emcee, producer), TrellMatic (producer) and JDL Rockwell (DJ, production). The trio has consistently created fresh, upbeat and funky yet structured sounds since its inception in the late '00s. Very much influenced by the '90s with its easygoing but conscious hip-hop style, AUTOMatic’s output is simply great danceable stuff with a great message.

AUTOMatic, along with the House of M, helped pave the way for the recent Milwaukee hip hop explosion. On last year’s "Arising" EP, they were still pushing forward with their solid foundation of modern R&B influences mixed in with the jazzy stuff, but they also began edging it up by throwing in a bit of experimentation with some electronica-infused sounds.

The group’s latest release is centered around A.P.R.I.M.E.’s more solo-leaning project under the alias of "3099." Although admittedly still AUTOMatic, the group’s latest EP is indebted more heavily writing-wise to its leader, fittingly entitled "AUTOMatic Presents: 3099." On it, they dig even more smoothly into their effortless balance between classic and more modern sounds, steadily adding on those burgeoning new elements of sound and adding depth of field thanks to a strong collaborative spirit. In the past, they’ve worked with younger local artists Vincent Van Great and El Shareef; on "3099," they prominently feature guest vocals by local R&B crooner Lex Allen.

On Tuesday, April 26, AUTOMatic played on WMSE’s Local/Live, the same day as the release of "3099," playing two live sets that featured songs from that new EP as well as unreleased material set for release in the fall. During the interview portion, AUTOMatic mentioned several times the great influence musicians like Herbie Hancock had upon their own creative output. Fittingly, AUTOMatic chose to feature "Come Running to Me" from Herbie Hancock (from his 1978 album, "Sunlight") at the end of Local/Live for the "This Is Your …

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