In Festival Guide

The Wheel in the Sky is once again back at Summerfest this year. (PHOTO: VISIT Milwaukee)

Summerfest 50 announces special attractions and family activities

Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance offers a variety of family-friendly activities and special attractions for fest-goers to enjoy each day of the festival. From special admission discounts to the Summerfest parade and Latin Music Day, Summerfest offers something for fans of all ages.

This year's family activities and special attractions are as follows:

Family activities

Northwestern Mutual Children's Theater & Playzone

Kids of all ages can enjoy family focused entertainment and activities in the Northwestern Mutual Children's Theater and Playzone. Open daily, noon-8 p.m. Visit the daily lineup pages for information on performers and show times.

Kids Activity Tent

Open daily, noon-5 p.m., kids will enjoy the following activities:

  • UB the Band: Hey kids, want to be a "real" rockstar? Now's your chance to shine. UB the Band brings all the gear, including colorful drum sets for ages 2 to adult, awesome character and special guitars complete with wireless microphones, stage monitors, real stage lighting and all the trimmings. No experience necessary!
  • 537 Charger Robotics: Take the controls of miniature remote controlled robots. The robots are built by teenage members of Charger Robotics Team 537 from Hamilton High School in Sussex. Team members will be on site every day, and there will also be a multi-school robotics competition at the Gruber Law Offices SportsZone on July 8.

Kohl's Family Day: Sunday, July 2, noon-3 p.m.

The first 2,500 patrons who donate three non-perishable food items will receive one free Summerfest admission ticket, valid for the day of the promotion only. Suggested food items include canned chicken or tuna, fruits canned in 100% juice and low sodium vegetables. All donations benefit Hunger Task Force.

Kohl's Captivation Station

Located on the south end of Henry Maier Festival Park, will be open from noon to 7 p.m. every day of Summerfest. Attendees will be able to participate in family-friendly activities, including:

  • Kohl's Color Wheels, an art-making experience presented by the Milwaukee Art Museum
  • Kohl's Design It! Mobile Lab, unique hands-on projects highlighting design with Discovery World
  • Kohl's Wild Theater, conservation-themed theatrical performances from the Zoological Society of Milwaukee
  • ​​​​Kohl's Building Blocks Program, a Penfield Children's Center program that promotes the health and positive development of children and celebrates their unique abilities
  • Kohl's Cares Grow Safe & Healthy Program, an educational display teaching children and families how to keep safe and healthy with help from Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Throughout the festival, the Kohl's Captivation Station will also showcase entertaining performances from Mad Science, Comedy Sportz, Join In and Dance, and more!

Sentry Foods and Dean's Milk & Ice Cream Children's Fest Day with Today's TMJ4: Wednesday, July 5, noon-3 p.m.

All patrons arriving between noon-3 p.m. will be admitted free! Spend a fun-filled day with the family enjoying Children's Fest Day activities including:

  • Meet the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club's Bernie Brewer at the Mid Gate: It's become an annual tradition for the Milwaukee Brewers to be part of the Children's Fest Day kick-off. Bernie Brewer will greet our guests when the grounds open at noon. Come say "hi" and be sure to bring your camera.
  • Map of Fun: Pick up a copy of the Map of Fun upon entering the gates and obtain a stamp on your map at each of the locations throughout the festival grounds. Present completed maps at the South Redemption Area across from Chubby's Cheesesteaks and enter for a chance to win one of the Family Ticket Package giveaways. Children will receive a prize for participating, while supplies last. Delicious samples will be available courtesy of Sentry and Dean's Milk and Ice Cream with a donation to a local charity.

Daytime fun

Paddleboat Water Experience presented by Badger Meter

Celebrate Summerfest on the water! Presented by Badger Meter, this family friendly activity provided by Lakeshore Paddle Sports will give patrons the opportunity to relax and take in views of the festival and Downtown Milwaukee. From noon to 7 p.m. each day, paddle around part of the lagoon for 30 minutes in boats that hold up to four people. Located at the boat dock on the north end of the grounds, this is an experience that can't be missed!

Summerfest Parade: June 28-30, July 5 and 6, 3 p.m.

Incorporating a second line style, the parade will start at the south end of Henry Maier Festival Park at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater Forecourt and complete a full lap of the grounds. Fans are encouraged to join in with participants.

School of Rock: Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9

School of Rock has partnered with Summerfest to allow over 60 student bands from around the world to play onstage at the "World's Largest Music Festival." Select bands will perform with world renowned musicians at the final event on July 9 at the BMO Harris Pavilion. Each year, School of Rock teaches over 25,000 students across nine countries and 200 locations. Through a unique performance-based approach, students are guided from the lesson room to the stage where they play real shows at authentic venues with their peers.

Summerfest's Wheel in the Sky presented by Converged Technology Professionals

"The wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'" on the north end of the grounds. Jump aboard this giant ferris wheel and enjoy spectacular views of Summerfest, Milwaukee's Downtown and Lake Michigan. Operating from noon to 11:30 p.m. daily.

Gruber Law Offices SportsZone with WTMJ Radio

The Gruber Law Offices SportsZone is the ultimate destination for sports fans! This area offers interactive daily programming including sports demonstrations and clinics from the Milwaukee Bucks, the Milwaukee Admirals and much more!

Special attractions

The Summerfest Big Bang Fireworks presented by Menards and WISN 12: Wednesday, June 28 at 9:30 p.m.

Don't miss the Summerfest Big Bang Fireworks Show live on the grounds at 9:30 p.m. presented by Menards. Watch WISN 12 for a taped show at 10:30 p.m. (broadcast in HD).

Meijer Hole-In-One Contest with CBS 58 and 540 ESPN Milwaukee

Tee up three balls for $8 for a chance to hit a Hole-In-One. The first lucky winner will take home a $5,000 grand prize. Support provided by 540 ESPN Milwaukee, CBS 58 and the Michels Corporation. For contest details and rules, visit

50 Years of Fest Fans Photo Contest presented by Pepsi

Share your favorite Summerfest photos from the past 49 years for a chance to win tickets to this year's 50th celebration. A lucky fan's winning photo using the hashtag #SF50Pepsi will be shared on Summerfest's Facebook page each week (10 total winners) and will receive a prize including two tickets to Summerfest and festival merchandise. During Summerfest, post a photo of yourself in front of the Summerfest gates or in front of the instruments inside the South Gate and share it using #SF50Pepsi. A winning photo will be posted on Summerfest's Facebook page every day of the festival (11 total winners) and each lucky winner will receive a prize package from Summerfest and Pepsi.

Summerfest Skyglider presented by Uber

Take a ride on the Skyglider, a true family favorite. Located high above the main walkway, this gentle ride provides passengers with a scenic view of Henry Maier Festival Park, Lake Michigan and the entertainment below. One-way and round-trip fares available.

FM 102/1 Series at Summerfest

The FM 102/1 Series at Summerfest features the best in alternative music and is excited to welcome the following artists: MisterWives, Barns Courtney, Bleachers, Third Eye Blind, AWOLNATION, Vinyl Theatre, Walk The Moon, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Mondo Cozmo, The Shins and more.

FM 106.1 Country Series

Wherever you find great country music at Summerfest, FM 106.1 will be there. The FM 106.1 Country Music Series at Summerfest is proud to welcome the following artists: Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band, Dierks Bentley, Willie Nelson, Margo Price, Chris Stapleton, Brothers Osborne, Cole Swindell, Jon Pardi, The Band Perry, Phil Vassar, Frankie Ballard, Jerrod Niemann, Dylan Scott, Lauren Alaina, LANco, High Valley, Tucker Beathard, William Michael Morgan, LOCASH, Dan + Shay and Lee Brice.

The Elizabeth "Bo" Black Family Fountain presented by McDonald's and B93.3

Your day at Summerfest would not be complete without a stop at the "Splash Pad." Kids of all ages can splash and play the day away while keeping cool. Patrons will have the opportunity to win great prizes at the McDonald's display. For deals and information from your local McDonald's, follow them on Twitter: @McDonaldsMKE.

Latin Music Day presented by Aurora Health Care with support from Telemundo Wisconsin: Sunday, July 9

Aurora Health Care and Telemundo Wisconsin are proud to welcome the following artists: Ecuador Manta, Orquesta Nabori, Domenic Marte and Gilberto Santa Rosa, for Latin Music Day at the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse. Stop by the Harley- Davidson Roadhouse to enjoy Salsa, Andean fusion, Bachata and Latin Pop starting at 4 p.m.

360 Dome Virtual Reality Village

Come and experience the 360 Dome Pro Virtual Reality Village, an unforgettable entertainment experience for all ages. 360 Dome Pro provides a one of kind sensory experience combining music, art and visuals that will take audiences on a journey into new dimensions of Virtual Reality and 360 immersive experience. The exhibit will feature a variety of amazing content from top visionary artists, animated stories and hyper reality documentaries – all performed in audiophile surround sound.

Summerfest App presented by Pepsi

To assist with planning a visit to Summerfest 50, the 2017 Summerfest App presented by Pepsi is now available for mobile phones and tablets and free to download on the Apple or Google Play stores. This year's Summerfest App has been given a new design. New this year, patrons can check out which of their friends are planning to see the same shows and explore recommendations based on music tastes when connected to Facebook. To kick off this year's launch, 15,000 free digital general admission tickets for July 4 are being offered via the App (while supplies last). Simply download the Summerfest App, tap on the "Tickets" button in the left menu to claim the July 4 general admission ticket (tickets are limited to one per device).



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