Anyone who lives in Milwaukee can attest to the fact that there are countless things to do here, no matter what the season. It may not be Manhattan, but Milwaukee is big enough and diverse enough to accommodate just about anyone's entertainment needs, whether they're out-of-towners looking to explore or locals looking for fun in their own town.
To help harness the entertainment value of our city into an easily accessible guide, OnMilwaukee.com compiled a list of "100 Things to do in Milwaukee." Originally posted in 1999, the now famous list has been updated and improved upon to quench the thirst of adventure seekers who find themselves in the greater Milwaukee area.
Shortly after the updated list published on OnMilwaukee.com, Milwaukeean Haley Landsman contacted us to tell us she plans to accomplish all 100 items on the list while documenting her experiences around town.
We told her we were thrilled to track her progress. What we failed to immediately mention was that we had "100 More things to do in Milwaukee" already in the works and were planning to publish shortly.
Fortunately, she was up for the challenge.
Landsman, who works as the public relations coordinator for Koss Corporation, plans to blog and tweet the process, which she estimates will take about a year to complete. After all, some items like No. 38 "Celebrate Halloween in April with Hallowang," and No. 73 "Brave the lake on New Year's Day, take the Polar Bear Plunge," can only be done on specific dates.
Amazingly, she's already accomplished the first list in its entirety and is making her way through the second. She's photographically documenting her accomplishments on her Flickr page.
As demonstrated in her photos, she's not doing this alone; she's recruiting friends and family to join her on her missions.
"I hope to get as many different people involved as possible because the point of this it to spread the love of Milwaukee and experience this great city we live in. Doing it alone seems to defeat the purpose."
Finding a companion will be especially important for list items like No. 24: "Eat a corned beef sandwich at Jake's Deli." Landsman is a vegetarian, and even her love for Brew City won't lead her astray form her usual animal-friendly diet.
"I will be there to witness it," she says.
Other personal challenges include the biking along the Oak Leaf Trail.
"My bike is a vintage Schwinn from the '60s, so I might need to upgrade bikes. There seem to be a few list items that are a little bit more athletic than I am," she admits.
Take No. 40, "Break out the two-wheeler for Bike to Work Week in June."
"I will lose some sleep that week, but I'm definitely going to participate," she says. Landsman lives on the East Side and works on Port Washington Road, about a four-mile trek. "I don't know if I'll do all five days, but I promise to participate at least once."
The free coffee and treats offered at Alterra that week should help.
Landsman is originally from Michigan and moved here in 2004 to attend Marquette University. She plans to stay put in her adopted home, which means she has regular visits from family.
"When my family comes to visit, I usually try to bring them somewhere new to eat every time. My biggest thing on vacation is to not eat at chains, and I try to instill that in other people."
Aside from good, local food, she's taken her family to Koz's Mini Bowl, boutique shopping on Brady Street and tailgating at the Brewers game -- all of which made the OnMilwaukee.com lists.
If she could add anything, she says, it would be to get involved with Newaukee (she's an event coordinator and secretary), a social networking group for young professionals.
So, Haley, here's your honorary contribution:
101. Get involved with Newaukee.
OnMilwaukee.com staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.
As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When OnMilwaukee.com offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”