When school is out, a quick getaway with mom, dad, siblings and grandparents offers family fun.

Here is a TOY TIPS List of ideas that are a quick spin from Wauwatosa and can pack a day or two of new experiences with great together-time family fun!


Going to the theater is one of those childhood experiences that is unforgettable. As an adult you may remember dressing up, going out to lunch or dinner with mom and dad and then fully being immersed in a musical or theatrical production that created a lifetime memory for you. In the Milwaukee area, we are fortunate to have many options for professional and community theater groups.

Take a look at these ideas and plan a lifetime memory for your own children. I’ve been taking my children to the theater since they were 3. First Stage productions and Sunset (Bug in a Rug series) are great choices for younger children. However at age 6 (you know your child best) you can begin introducing traditional theatrical performances as long as the content is appropriate for their age.

Before you go, talk about the new styles of music they may hear, chat about the storyline of a familiar book they may know and explain how the makings of a theater production come to life.

Encouraging drama and theater relates to many life skills and eager children might just like it more than you know.

First Stage Theatergetaway-1

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

The classic story is appropriate for all age.


Sunset Playhouse

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Christmas themed storyline is appropriate for all ages from children to grandparents. It’s belly-laughing fun!


The Milwaukee Repertory Theater 

A Christmas Carol

The classic book comes to life on stage. In a brand new way. You will fully immerse yourself in this storyline and channel your inner Scrooge.


The Nutcracker at the Milwaukee Ballet 

The magic of the Nutcracker is a don’t miss Holiday tradition. The company dancers are astonishing and in certain scenes the young ballet students in the Milwaukee ballet make the entire production pop. Read the story of the Nutcracker to your young children ahead of time and explain the scenes so they can easily follow along. There is a wonderful gift shop open during intermission where you can find an array of ornaments and other merchandise that you can add to your Holiday home decor.


The Lyric Theater in Chicago

The Magic Flute is an appropriate opera for children especially if this is the first opera they attend.  Introducing your child to this style of music is an experience a family should embrace together as the performance of Mozart’s music is moving and the storyline is appropriate for children as young as age 5.



Let me guess. You probably never need to twist your child’s arm to go to a waterpark in winter, right?

Whether you have a preschooler wearing a life vest, a middle-schooler competitive swimmer who loves laps or a teen who likes to just float, there are many options around the Milwaukee area for a day of water play.

 Lake Lawn Lodge

Sometimes a day away is just about relaxation. For families with teens, the Calladora Spa and Timber Indoor Pool and Hot Tub provide water day fun younger children may not appreciate as much.  The resort is nestled in the outskirts of Delevan and, other than a visit to historic downtown, you never really need to leave the property. The accommodations, dining and fitness areas all add to a day of reconnection, relaxation and family time.

You don’t need your own airplane to go but if you have one, there is a landing strip right across the street from the property


Key Lime Cove

Who doesn’t love a day of water fun with huge picturesque windows that allow you to see that winter weather on the other side! Whether it’s a waterslide, a lazy river or a splash in the pool you are looking for, this is a popular location for elementary school age children so it gets pretty busy on those days off of school. There is a separate area for toddlers and preschoolers.  Located in Gurnee, IL, think about combining this with a reservation at the close-by medieval castle for the dinner show or shopping at the Gurnee Mall across the street. Take the whole family, cousins and all, and for those who do not want to swim, there are plenty of other things to do. Not within walking distance though… you will need a car.


Timber Ridge Resort 

This resort has its own indoor waterpark and is located right in the area of some extreme winter fun!   Pack the family up for a day or two and head out to explore the Lake Geneva area. Whether you want to give skiing a try or you are an avid snowboarder, The Mountain Top Ski Hill has 18 runs and is suitable for every ability level. Snowboarders and cross-country skiers can explore trails of over six miles of beautiful terrain.  You can take skiing and snowboarding lessons and to get to there you just hop a trolley direct from your guest room. How fun is that?


The Waters of Minoqua

Located in beautiful Minoqua in the Northwoods, this indoor waterpark paradise is the only one of its kind in the Northwoods area of Wisconsin. You can spend a whole weekend here exploring winter activities.

Be sure to check out the Snowmobile Museum in Eagle River, ice fishing, and ice-skating (safely) on the many lakes.


Ice Castlesgetaway-2

Wisconsin Dells, also known as the “Waterpark Capital of the World”, is turning to ice this winter!  Artisans place thousands of icicles formed into a sculpture and then they are sprayed with water to grow and create beautiful displays of ice, decorated with color and lights. The result is a stunning, fairytale like creation.



For snowmobile enthusiasts, Eagle River, WI is the place to be this winter. The Northwoods of Wisconsin has more than 500 miles of groomed and marked snowmobile trails.  A great weekend getaway to the city that hosts the Vintage and World Championship snowmobile races also has a Snowmobile museum with a collection of vintage snowmobiles. The Wild Eagle Lodge is a family friendly resort with direct access to the trails, and conveniently, you can park a snowmobile right outside your door.

This resort features condo living, an indoor heated pool, ice fishing on the frozen lake and all the comforts of the Northwoods vibe.

Whether you getaway or stowaway in the comforts of your own home this winter season, its most important that family and friends gather together to spend quality time, great conversation and shared laughter.

Marianne Szymanski

President and Founder