Use Tinkergarten discount code theresanacf0 to save $25 (no expiration)

We've often said that we loved Milwaukee, but fell head over heels in love with Milwaukee once we started our tour company. We now often say the same thing about parenthood and discovering the many great activities around the city to do with children. Today was no different when we attended our first Tinkergarten sessionin Estabrook Park.

Designed an outdoor class for kids to learn through play, it was founded in the similar concept of the Forest Kindergartens of Germany. This morning the attendees gathered sticks during an ice breaker, sang a welcome song, collected leaves & flowers to make a "magic potion," and enjoyed a snack together before climbing trees and saying goodbye. 

If you are interested in learning more and saving $25, use discount code theresanacf0 when you register online for a fall class.

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Milwaukee Sightseeing City Tour with the MKE Pass

If you’re looking to get the most immersive sight-seeing experience this side of Lake Michigan, add a MKEPASS to your Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing bus tour. For only $50, the MKE Pass is the most convenient way to access Milwaukee’s premier tourist attractions. You can stop spending your vacation time trying to plan point a to point b and instead enjoy the ride. There are plenty of things to do in Milwaukee, but only one pass will afford you access to the following destinations as part of an inclusive city tour that is customizable to your own personal preferences. Sit back, relax, and treat yourself to a day of sightseeing, dining, and exploring with the help of the MKE Pass.

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Imagine this:
You and your friends are standing in front of the Lakefront Brewery. You’ve just finished a pint and you’re waiting for your Hop-on bus to arrive. Our signature green bus pulls up to the sidewalk and opens its doors for you to board. You take a seat near a window and glance outside to see a gorgeous view of Schlitz Park, Pabst Brewery and Old World 3rd Street on the way to your next stop of Urban Harvest, Lost Valley Cider, and Milwaukee Brewing Company. There’s a great selection of craft beer in Walker's Point, so you make a mental note to come back later for a few more drinks of some local brew. You’re already starting to get a feel for this unique, vibrant city, and you know it’s only the beginning of day packed with new tastes, experiences, and adventures.

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Choose 2 of the following with your MKE Pass:

Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum houses four floors of over forty galleries of regularly rotated artwork varieties. Some of the most notable artists featured include Nardo di Cione, Francisco de Zurbarán, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Winslow Homer, Auguste Rodin, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pablo Picasso, Jóan Miro, Mark Rothko, Robert Gober, and Andy Warhol. It’s important to note, the art inside the museum isn’t the only work worth experiencing. Stroll the Cudahy Gardens surrounding the main museum buildings, explore the gigantic Quadracci Pavillion, and give reverence to the War Memorial Center as you tour the property.

Harley-Davidson Museum – includes Audio Tour!

Get up close and personal with the history surrounding the rise of the great motorcycle empire, Harley-Davidson. The galleries inside the museum are completely interactive, so sitting atop the display motorcycles is encouraged. If you’re looking for insider access, visit the engine room. Set against a wall of orange, the engines on display illustrate the evolution of the Harley-Davidson engine from its earliest to its latest incarnation. With the MKE Pass, every participant will take an audio tour through the museum while being guided by the great legends who made Harley-Davidson great. 

Discovery World

This 120,000-square foot science and technology center is full of exhibits that are fun no matter your age. Explore the human biome inside the Zoo in You exhibit, or take a walk inside a virtual world in the center’s brand new virtual reality center. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to experience something new and magical at Discovery World, and you’ll definitely leave with some new science know-how to brag about back home.

Milwaukee Public Museum – includes Planetarium!

The Milwaukee Public Museum excites the senses and curiosities of its visitors, and you’re sure to be no exception. The museum covers three and a half floors of exhibit area, with additional space for traveling and temporary exhibits. Tour the museum's 150,000-square feet of exhibit space to visit continents and habitats. Take a small step back in time to the turn-of-the-century Streets of Old Milwaukee, European Village, and to ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Choose to be delighted by galaxies and constellations with the MKE Pass, which includes admission into the museum planetarium.

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Choose 3 of the following with your MKE Pass:

Grohmann Museum

The Grohmann Museum exists to showcase the evolution of human work through art. Inside its glass doors and giant winding staircase, participants will experience over 1,000 different paintings in various styles that illustrate different forms of human work; whether in the home, on the farm, or inside a factory. The museum itself stands as a representation of human excellence and drive, and evokes a sense of wonder at the human condition and at man’s way of maintaining a sense of purpose with personal achievement.

Milwaukee County Historical Society

Located in a historic bank building along the Milwaukee River in downtown Milwaukee, the Milwaukee County Historical Society houses the museum, research library, offices, some collections storage and events. Participants who choose to explore the building will have access to the historical center and research library, the perfect spot to explore some Milwaukee history on your own or to take in the ambiance of that decadent old book smell while ruminate at one of the tables around the room.

Beer pint of choice at Lakefront Brewery (Tier 1)

Lakefront Brewery came about when two competitive hobbyist brewers joined forces to create what is now a fortress of alcoholic delights, and visitors to the brewery always leave with a deeper understanding of its history and a tummy full of delightfully organic craft beer.

Cocktail of choice at Great Lakes Distillery

(Excludes Special Spirit Release Cocktails)

Great Lakes Distillery has a great bar showcasing their spirits, and a seasonal menu to match the tastes of any spirit connoisseur. The staff is friendly and open, so whether you’re just beginning to enjoy craft cocktails or you’re a cocktail maven, this place is for you.

Purchase your MKEPASS online in advance of hopping on the bus, or purchase when you get on the bus at any of the 11 convenient Hop On locations throughout downtown Milwaukee.  Complete details of pick up locations are listed HERE; sightseeing bus operates every Friday, Saturday & Sunday through mid-November. 

A Culinary Vacation to Poland with Milwaukee Food & City Tours

In honor of the 10th anniversary of Milwaukee Food & City Tours, we ventured overseas for a culinary vacation to Europe's best kept secret - Poland!  

Day 1 & 2 - Traveling to Poland
We had door-to-door service from our homes in Milwaukee to Chicago O'Hare airport. We arrived in Krakow and began our visit by checking in at The Grand Hotel, right on the main square. Many of us visited Auchwitz Museum or used the extra day and explored Krakow and the Pierogi Festival where we ate, drank, shopped the many outdoor vendors and listened to music.

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Day 3 – We attended Mass in one of many Catholic churches in Krakow, and toured the Jewish district of Krakow which used to hold the biggest Jewish population in the world pre-1940. And the reason for our August 2017 visit? We attended the annual Pierogi Festival and even got to judge and pick the best tasting one. Our favorite? The banana/nutella filled pierogi.

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After enjoying so many delicious treats, we drove north to Zakopane highlander country, where Pope John Paul lived. During our drive we stopped in Chocholowska to sample oscypek cheese and highlander tea made with raspberry vodka. Then, we checked into a small palace called Hotel Art & Spa for the next 4 days. The Polish people are so proud of their country; it is truly one of the most friendliest and hospitable people we have ever encountered.

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Day 4 - Today, we attended our first cooking class in one of the highlander villages in the Podhale region. We made beet soup, potato and blueberry pierogis, potato bread, stuffed cabbage rolls, homemade cheese, and plum cake - all made with fresh ingredients including sour cream and butter. We washed it down with homemade raspberry and cherry vodka. In the afternoon, we traveled back to Zakopane and tour this beautiful mountain town for the rest of the day including a stop at a cemetery known locally as the "Happy Cemetery," with mainly artists that are buried there. Highlanders are carpenters and wood carvers, so we toured and saw many churches and buildings made of wood along the way as well. We rode a cable car up Gubalowka Hill to see the Sleeping Knight Mountain, and ended the day shopping and eating on our own at the Zakopane Festival.

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Day 5 - We traveled to Sromowce-Wyzne village to begin our trip on a wooden raft through the Dunajec River Gorge. The rafting trip is one of the best-known attractions of this region and what an absolutely gorgeous day for the relaxing ride ahead! After rafting and lunch, we traveled to Debno Podhalanskie village to visit timber churches where the interior includes unique paintings and precious Gothic sculptures from the 15th and 16th centuries. The churches are on the UNESCO List of World Heritages. At the end of the day, we took a stroll down Krupowki Street, a pedestrian only street with many shops, restaurants, and music vendors.

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Day 6 - What an absolutely gorgeous and enjoyable day in another little highlander village of Podhale. Today we enjoyed a private cooking class and made crepes stuffed with chicken goulash and sweet cheese and apricot jam, sauerkraut soup, cabbage slaw and carrot slaw, potato dumpling stuffed with meat, sweet stick cookies and rose petal jam cookies. We cooked our meal, ate the meal and washed it down with homemade lemon vodka. We also stopped at a woodmakers cabin to see and buy his carved arts. The villages are so quaint and beautiful; many of their houses are 100's of years old. To celebrate our day, we dined at Gazdowka u Zajaca restaurant, a highlander family owned restaurant, which offers regional specialties with folk entertainment. We had a ball dancing, and the owner was very gracious and entertaining.

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Day 7 - Breakfast is included in our stay at the hotels, with beautiful European continental breakfast each day. After breakfast, we said goodbye to Zakopane and visited Bacowka on the way to Krakow, a small mountain shepherd hut, where smoked sheep cheese “oscypek” is made in a traditional way by highlanders.

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Once in Krakow, we took a guided tour of the city. Krakow is the 3rd largest city in Poland and escaped the devastation that obliterated other Polish cities during WWII. Our first stop was a 14th century Wawel Castle and Cathedral where Pope John Paul previously served Mass and served as Cardinal for 14 years. No pictures could be taken here but it is absolutely gorgeous. We visited the Old Town Market Square, the largest medieval town square in Europe, and even snuck pictures in St Mary's Church, the oldest alter in Europe. 

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Day 8 - We concluded our last full day in Poland with a final cooking class. On the way to class, we stopped at the local farmers market and then learned to prepared a typical 3-course Polish meal with Chef Marek Widomski, a famous Polish chef in a of Poland. We prepared the city version of pierogis, beet soup, and stuffed cabbage rolls, made with the old country recipes but as a lighter and "outside of the box" version. We made tartar with ground sirloin and quail eggs, which were absolutely delicious, and washed it down with Buffalo vodka. Dessert was apple compote, sweet cream and raspberry sorbet with a homemade raspberry cordial.

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After our class we toured the famous Wieliczka Salt Mile, an underground city with galleries, lakes, chapels and murals, all carved from salt.

Our culinary vacation to Poland concludes here, but this trip was beyond our expectations, the country and city sides were beautiful, weather perfect, and the local people could not have made us feel any more welcomed!  

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Want to join us on a future trip? Email theresa@milwaukeefoodtours.com or visit https://www.milwaukeefoodtours.com/trips to learn more! We will be traveling to Italy in September 2018 to deconstruct the pizza, and then returning to Poland in spring 2019!

Top 10 Moments in 10 Years of Milwaukee Food & City Tours

When we started Milwaukee Food & City Tours in 2007, we had no idea the collection of stories that we would amass from meeting such unique individuals from around the Midwest, country and world!  One of the frequent questions we are asked now is, "What are some of the oddest or coolest tour situations you've been in?"  After 10 years, we’ve seen our share of interesting scenarios!  Here’s our “Top 10 Moments in 10 Years”:

1.     Broken Hearted in Milwaukee: Our very first accident involved a gaggle of girls on one of our high school field trips, ogling a shirtless Milwaukeean putting his trash container on the curb… and then said high school girls proceeding to trip off the curb. Several bloodied toes and knees resulted; no broken bones though – just broken hearts.

2.     A Midsummer Night’s Mooning: There is nothing more beautiful than a summer’s moon. With one exception. Our group was standing in front of The Irish Pub in the Historic Third Ward when a patron inside mooned the entire tour group- checks pressed perfectly up against the bay windows. Much tour laughter ensued on our Bloody Mary Brunch tour and we had quite the blushing tour guide!

Stopping in the Historic Third Ward & The Irish Pub for a Bloody Molly during a recent Bloody Mary Brunch tour

Stopping in the Historic Third Ward & The Irish Pub for a Bloody Molly during a recent Bloody Mary Brunch tour

3.     The Summerfest Swimmer: During Summerfest, we often come across festival goers walking home through the neighborhood. One late-night tour group encountered a young man stripping down to his skivvies, then jumping into the Milwaukee River for a swim home?  Eventually he was fished from the river to safety.

4.     The Cheesy Bride: We love renting our buses to local brides and grooms on their wedding day to take wedding photos around Milwaukee, as well as to shuttle guests to/from area hotels. Often times we accommodate very special bridal requests, so when local bride Janna asked our driver to pull into McDonald’s, we were happy to do so. She pre-ordered 100 cheeseburgers as a late-night treat for her guests in route to the reception. Hours later our driver made sure to pick up the burgers and have them hot and ready on the bus for the post-wedding reception trips back to the hotel!

Stopping at the Golden Arches to pre-order cheeseburgers for a late-night, post-wedding snack on the wedding shuttle!

Stopping at the Golden Arches to pre-order cheeseburgers for a late-night, post-wedding snack on the wedding shuttle!

5.     Food Tours – Not just for Humans: It was impawsible to say no to this far-fetched idea, but we hosted a food tour for our 4-legged friends during National Dog Week. We raised the ruff at The Wicked Hop to eat outdoors on the patio, visited some local stores for dog food tastings and agility sessions, were pampered at a doggy spa, and even stopped at a dog friendly bakery for some treats to cap off our tour together. Bone Appetit!

Bone Appetit Dog Friendly Food Tour hosted during National Dog Week.

Bone Appetit Dog Friendly Food Tour hosted during National Dog Week.

6.     No Ring? No Problem: We love celebrating brides-to-be on our tours, but discovered that we can celebrate brides-to-NOT-be just as easily. We planned a fantastic outing for a destination bridal party, but discovered on tour day that the groom last minute declined the pending nuptials. The bride decided that the party must go on, and we had a fantastic time celebrating the single life, and bridal party friendship. 

7.     Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood: We have met so many Milwaukeeans on tours that share wonderful memories from their own lives during our tours. While on a Brady Street lunch with generations of women from a family celebrating Mothers Day, mom (Gail) shared about the time she went out as a little girl for this extra special treat that her father had heard about called… PIZZA. Her first slice of this exotic dish was at Zaffiro’s, right on Brady Street, and the starting spot of our Brady Street lunch tour

Gail shared with her daughters about her first slice of pizza, enjoyed right on Brady Street in the 1950's.

Gail shared with her daughters about her first slice of pizza, enjoyed right on Brady Street in the 1950's.

8.     YES, That Was A Camel: We pride ourselves on having well-versed tour guides able to easily navigate the city and change course at a moment’s notice. This was put to the test when our Sightseeing City Tour was rerouted for a wedding party, featuring a camel, walking down the middle of Wisconsin Avenue in route to The Pfister Hotel.

Pre-Wedding Toast on our Brady Street Lunch Tour

Pre-Wedding Toast on our Brady Street Lunch Tour

9.     She Said YES! We were cheering when a gentleman took to bended knee in Cathedral Park surrounded by the beauty of the Christmas lights and their families, to ask a blushing bride-to-be for her hand in marriage during our Christmas Lights & Desserts tour. And we were really cheering when we said our tour goodbye's and sent a bride and groom with a late afternoon wedding to the courthouse. They chose Milwaukee Food & City Tours as their pre-wedding activity for their families to get to know each other and their neighborhood before they said, “I Do, I Do.” 

A mid-tour proposal on our Christmas Lights & Desserts Tour

A mid-tour proposal on our Christmas Lights & Desserts Tour

10.  Nature At It’s Finest: As we’ve expanded through the years, we’ve begun to offer daytrips and overnight adventures. During a weekend excursion to Frankenmuth, MI, we discovered the importance of always being prepared for a deviation in a tour day. A squirrel ate through the main power line leading into Frankenmuth and knocked out power to the entire city!  We adjusted our itinerary to feature non-electric required activities until the lines were fixed! In 2017 we're offering several trips, including a "Real Housewives of Amish Country" overnight trip to Indiana!

In Search of the Best Milwaukee Fish Fry

Whether you find yourself dancing to a polka in a traditional beer hall while enjoying locally brewed beer batter delights, eating a fish fry with your family in a church basement, sitting in a local tavern washing fresh fried perch, or in a classic supper club when it comes to fish fry’s - Milwaukee does not disappoint. Milwaukee restaurants are serving up this Friday night staple during the Lenten season, and Milwaukee Food & City Tours is excited to help showcase a few of these classic Milwaukee Fish Fry hotspots on a special Milwaukee Fish Fry Tour this Lenten season.

What creates the best Milwaukee fish fry?

On our Milwaukee Fish Fry Tour, it quickly becomes clear that the ‘best fish fry” is a matter of personal preference. The star of the Milwaukee fish fry begins with a beautifully seasoned piece of fish, dipped in flour and often a secret beer batter recipe, and then either pan fried or deep fried to a delicious golden perfection. We asked recent food tour attendees what they love about a good fish fry, and Debra from Sheboygan, commented, “It’s that crunch - I love the crispy breading and then the flaky melt in your mouth tenderness of the fish.”

Iconic Milwaukee Not-to-be-Missed Fish Fry’s During Lent

1.      Clifford’s Supper Club: Serving up tasty All You Can Eat Deep-Fried Iceland Cod with homemade tartar sauce and crispy French fries. Perfectly paired with an old fashioned!

2.      Do you prefer a little polka entertainment with your beer battered cod? If that is the case, you can’t go wrong with Lakefront Brewery with its family style seating and serving. The batter is a secret blend of tasty Lakefront beers, battered and fried to perfection. If drinking locally brewed beer, polka and one of the best fish fries in town isn’t Milwaukee, I don’t know what is.

Relish tray at Dobie's Steak House in St. Francis, WI

Relish tray at Dobie's Steak House in St. Francis, WI

3.      Dobie’s Steak House; established in 1954 in St. Francis, WI: There is something nostalgic about grabbing a Brandy old fashioned and cozying up on a Friday night while nibbling on pickled eggs, cucumber slices, radishes and green onions right off the relish tray as you wait for your battered fish fry of perfection to arrive.

4.      Brown Bottle Pub in historic Schlitz Park: It only makes sense in Brew City that we would feature beer battered fish fries in some of our top restaurants. A beer batter recipe substitutes beer for milk or water in the batter, but this isn’t just for novelty – it’s serious science as those golden bubbles in the beer add body and lightness to the fish and beautiful color and flavor. The traditional Milwaukee beer battered fish fry recipe pairs best with a piece of cod or haddock. Whether you prefer a thick beer battered cod, or lightly breaded freshwater fish fillet, you can’t go wrong with a fish fry as a delicious way to celebrate the end of a long work week!

Sampling both beer battered cod and smelt at St. Florian Catholic Church in West Milwaukee. 

Sampling both beer battered cod and smelt at St. Florian Catholic Church in West Milwaukee. 

5.      St. Florian Catholic Church offers one of the most popular church fish fries in town, serving up not only fish, but salad and dessert bars with all of the fixings! (P.S. On our tour, when we have a chance to visit this churches, we also enjoy a church tour provided by Father Mike!)

6.      Mibb’s & Viv’s in Sussex, WI. Located in its original location since the late-1800’s and operated by great-grandson of its founders Mibb and Viv, this classic Wisconsin bar makes a fantastic breaded version of the classic fish fry. The side dishes are a standalone supporting cast of stars with perfectly seasoned potato pancakes, apple sauce, coleslaw, bread and tartar sauce. Upon arrival at Mibb’s & Viv’s, be sure to place your food order at the bar, then order a Milwaukee brewed beer and sit back to unwind to the weekend while waiting for your table and meal to become available and served.

Breaded haddock with apple sauce, potato pancakes, cole slaw and rye bread at historic Mibb's & Viv's in Sussex, WI

Breaded haddock with apple sauce, potato pancakes, cole slaw and rye bread at historic Mibb's & Viv's in Sussex, WI

Travel anywhere else in the United States and ask a local, “Where can I find the best fish fry?,” and you may be met with mixed reactions. Sometimes a blank stare, a clarifying question such as “you mean fish and chips?,” or my personal favorite, “do you mean like a Fillet-O-Fish?” Here in Milwaukee though, one could argue that outside of a controversial referee call during a Green & Gold football game, there are few things that can spark more passionate conversation than comparing favorite fish fries in the city.

Are you up to spotting the best fish fries in Milwaukee?  Join our tour! Offered now through April 21, 2017 every Friday beginning at 5:30 pm – or available year-round for private tours - the Milwaukee Fish Fry Tour offered by Milwaukee Food & City Tours let’s you decide for yourself who offers the best Milwaukee fish fry! 

Finding the best fish fry in Milwaukee is no easy task though, as it’s often a combination of personal taste preferences, side dishes and atmosphere. Offered now through April 21 every Friday beginning at 5:30 pm, the Milwaukee Fish Fry Tour offered by Milwaukee Food & City Tours visits 3 establishments during the 3-hour tour so that you can decide for yourself who offers the best Milwaukee fish fry. You’ll sample a half-sized portion of a fish fry along with sides such as potato pancakes, coleslaw and apple sauce at each stop that we visit. And as with all of our food tours, guests are encouraged to save room for dessert - in this case, a scoop of legendary Milwaukee-style custard. Reserve your seat before they sell out at HERE

Milwaukee Food & City Tours Offering Shuttle Service To U.S. Open Championship

For over 120 years the country’s greatest golfers have been gathering on the nation’s top golf courses. This year, they are coming to Wisconsin’s prestigious Erin Hills golf course to determine who’s the best of the best in 2017.

Need shuttle services from downtown Milwaukee to the 2017 U.S. Open Championship? 

Milwaukee Food & City Tours is happy to be offering a shuttle services for guests in town during the 2017 U.S. Open Championship. The shuttle will pick up at 5 convenient hotels in downtown Milwaukee before heading to the event. Guests will be dropped off at a remote parking lot, go through remote security, then board a different shuttle provided by the event to gain entry to the course. Seats are limited and reservations are required for our shuttle service. Our tickets cost $30 each way. (As a point of reference, the estimated taxi fare is $50 - 60 each way.)

Bus departs downtown Milwaukee at 7:30 am, 8:30 am, 9:30 am, 10:30 am and 2 pm
Bus departs Erin Hills back to downtown Milwaukee at 4 pm, 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm.
BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE or call 414-255-0534.

Shuttle Service from downtown Milwaukee to Erin Hills in June 2017

World class dining and entertainment venues for the whole family are par for the course in Milwaukee. However, if you haven’t dined, drank, or scored a double bogey in Brew City recently, then take a moment to enjoy this tasty refresher course before grabbing your clubs and planning a trip to the shores of Lake Michigan this summer.

Plan your trip to Wisconsin by booking a unique Milwaukee hotel and finding the perfect Milwaukee attractions. While in town, be sure to check out the many fun (and food!) filled Milwaukee Food & City Tours available while you are in town. Also, while in town why not let us do the driving as you explore Milwaukee on our convenient Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus

Looking for great places to eat in Milwaukee in-between watching Erin Hills tee times? Here’s our Top 5 list of restaurants sure to deliver a hole-in-one:

5. Nibble on Pizza at the Caradaro Club
Check out the original thin crust recipe at Wisconsin first pizzeria, or hop on our always popular and delicious Pizza Bus Tour to explore Milwaukee’s rich, deep, and always cheesy pizza history. On our tour we visit not 1, not 2, but 3 world class pizzerias and top it off with a divine scoop of gelato at the end. Just remember this little golf pro tip, when you’re hungry after a long day on the course, there’s no shame in a slice!

4. Try the Tacos at El Carneval
Mexico is known for amazing food, friendly people, and some of the world’s most beautiful golf courses. So, while you are in Milwaukee experiencing the 2017 U.S. Open Championship why not enjoy a siesta and some traditional Mexican dishes and drinks at El Carneval, and authentic taco shop.  Or, join Milwaukee Food & City Tours on our Tacos & Tequila tour in which we’ll take you on a 3-hour bus tour adventure to discover 3 off-the-beaten-path hidden gems in Milwaukee’s Latin community.

3. Discover Stupefacente Deals in Milwaukee’s Little Italy!
Begin your journey with a stop at the historic Peter Sciortino’s Bakery on Milwaukee’s eclectic and sometimes eccentric Brady Street for a scrumptious cannoli or spumoni cookie. Next, head on down to the iconic Glorioso Brothers’ Deli for handmade pasta, a wide selection of imported and domestic cheeses and meats.  Looking for a guided walking tour? Get your fill of all the amazing sights and smells that Brady Street has to offer on our original Brady Street Lunch Tour

2. Go Bavarian at the Most Famous German Restaurant in North America
There isn’t a more authentic Milwaukee experience than a stop to the world-renown Mader’s German restaurant. Toss back a Spaten Lager or a Bitburg Pilsner while dining among a stunning $3 million dollar art collection ranging from suits of medieval armour to antiques dating back to the 14th century. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget! Or, join us on our Old World 3rd Street tour to visit, among 5 other locations, this fine German restaurant. 

1. Eat Like a Local With an Authentic Milwaukee Fish Fry
Last, but certainly not least, while soaking in all the culture and culinary delights that Milwaukee has to offer, be sure to experience a traditional fish fry at the award-winning Lakefront Brewery. And, while you are there be sure to kick up your heals and ‘roll out the barrels’ with a traditional polka band, brewery tour, and pints of some of Milwaukee’s finest brewed beer!

Or, allow us to show you all that Milwaukee offers to tourists and locals alike! Walking and bus tours are offered daily, with an all-inclusive price including food, drinks and transportation. Some of our favorites not noted above include a Bloody Mary Brunch to start your day off right, and a Craft Brewery & Cocktails tour! Each of these unique experiences visits 4 – 5 locations for generous samples, Milwaukee history and guided fun.

So, in addition to cheering for your favorite Golf Pro while you are in Milwaukee, be sure to reserve your ticket on one of our delicious experiences at www.MilwaukeeFoodTours.com.

Or, simply looking to explore Milwaukee’s wide range of food and shopping destinations without having to worry about parking or transportation? Hop aboard the Explore Milwaukee Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus. This convenient option runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm with 11 hop on / hop off stops that make visiting Milwaukee’s major attractions and neighborhoods a breeze. Complete route map and details are available at www.MilwaukeeCityTours.com – purchase tickets in advance or buy day-of as you enter the bus as any of the noted 11 locations. 

The Top 5 Milwaukee Sites To Experience Between Tee Times During The 2017 U.S. Open Championship at Erin Hills

For over 120 years the country’s greatest golfers have been gathering on the nation’s top golf courses. This year, they are coming to Wisconsin’s prestigious Erin Hills golf course to determine who’s the best of the best in 2017.

Need shuttle services from downtown Milwaukee to the 2017 U.S. Open Championship? 

Milwaukee Food & City Tours is happy to be offering a shuttle services for guests in town during the 2017 U.S. Open Championship. The shuttle will pick up at 5 convenient hotels in downtown Milwaukee before heading to the event. Guests will be dropped off at a remote parking lot, go through remote security, then board a different shuttle provided by the event to gain entry to the course. Seats are limited and reservations are required for our shuttle service. Our tickets cost $30 each way. (As a point of reference, the estimated taxi fare is $50 - 60 each way.)

Bus departs downtown Milwaukee at 7:30 am, 8:30 am, 9:30 am, 10:30 am and 2 pm
Bus departs Erin Hills back to downtown Milwaukee at 4 pm, 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm.
BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE or call 414-255-0534

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World class dining and entertainment venues for the whole family are par for the course in Milwaukee. However, if you haven’t dined, drank, or scored a double bogey in Brew City recently, then take a moment to enjoy this tasty refresher course before grabbing your clubs and planning a trip to the shores of Lake Michigan this summer.

Plan your trip to Wisconsin by booking a unique Milwaukee hotel and finding the perfect Milwaukee attractions. While in town, be sure to check out the many fun (and food!) filled Milwaukee Food & City Tours available while you are in town. Also, while in town why not let us do the driving as you explore Milwaukee on our convenient Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus

Looking for great places to eat in Milwaukee in-between watching Erin Hills tee times? Here’s our Top 5 list of restaurants sure to deliver a hole-in-one:

5. Nibble on Pizza at the Caradaro Club
Check out the original thin crust recipe at Wisconsin first pizzeria, or hop on our always popular and delicious Pizza Bus Tour to explore Milwaukee’s rich, deep, and always cheesy pizza history. On our tour we visit not 1, not 2, but 3 world class pizzerias and top it off with a divine scoop of gelato at the end. Just remember this little golf pro tip, when you’re hungry after a long day on the course, there’s no shame in a slice!

4. Try the Tacos at El Carneval
Mexico is known for amazing food, friendly people, and some of the world’s most beautiful golf courses. So, while you are in Milwaukee experiencing the 2017 U.S. Open Championship why not enjoy a siesta and some traditional Mexican dishes and drinks at El Carneval, and authentic taco shop.  Or, join Milwaukee Food & City Tours on our Tacos & Tequila tour in which we’ll take you on a 3-hour bus tour adventure to discover 3 off-the-beaten-path hidden gems in Milwaukee’s Latin community.

3. Discover Stupefacente Deals in Milwaukee’s Little Italy!
Begin your journey with a stop at the historic Peter Sciortino’s Bakery on Milwaukee’s eclectic and sometimes eccentric Brady Street for a scrumptious cannoli or spumoni cookie. Next, head on down to the iconic Glorioso Brothers’ Deli for handmade pasta, a wide selection of imported and domestic cheeses and meats.  Looking for a guided walking tour? Get your fill of all the amazing sights and smells that Brady Street has to offer on our original Brady Street Lunch Tour

2. Go Bavarian at the Most Famous German Restaurant in North America
There isn’t a more authentic Milwaukee experience than a stop to the world-renown Mader’s German restaurant. Toss back a Spaten Lager or a Bitburg Pilsner while dining among a stunning $3 million dollar art collection ranging from suits of medieval armour to antiques dating back to the 14th century. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget! Or, join us on our Old World 3rd Street tour to visit, among 5 other locations, this fine German restaurant. 

1. Eat Like a Local With an Authentic Milwaukee Fish Fry
Last, but certainly not least, while soaking in all the culture and culinary delights that Milwaukee has to offer, be sure to experience a traditional fish fry at the award-winning Lakefront Brewery. And, while you are there be sure to kick up your heals and ‘roll out the barrels’ with a traditional polka band, brewery tour, and pints of some of Milwaukee’s finest brewed beer!

Or, allow us to show you all that Milwaukee offers to tourists and locals alike! Walking and bus tours are offered daily, with an all-inclusive price including food, drinks and transportation. Some of our favorites not noted above include a Bloody Mary Brunch to start your day off right, and a Craft Brewery & Cocktails tour! Each of these unique experiences visits 4 – 5 locations for generous samples, Milwaukee history and guided fun.

So, in addition to cheering for your favorite Golf Pro while you are in Milwaukee, be sure to reserve your ticket on one of our delicious experiences at www.MilwaukeeFoodTours.com.

Or, simply looking to explore Milwaukee’s wide range of food and shopping destinations without having to worry about parking or transportation? Hop aboard the Explore Milwaukee Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus. This convenient option runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm with 11 hop on / hop off stops that make visiting Milwaukee’s major attractions and neighborhoods a breeze. Complete route map and details are available at www.MilwaukeeCityTours.com – purchase tickets in advance or buy day-of as you enter the bus as any of the noted 11 locations.  

Caitlin Weitzel Taking On New Role In 2017

We’re so excited to announce Caitlin Weitzel’s new position with Milwaukee Food & City Tours. Caitlin will ring in 2017 as our Private Events & Logistics Manager, focusing on building out our offerings for corporate clients and group travel; designing daytrips in Wisconsin and the Midwest; and working with our many Milwaukee hotel, attraction and restaurant partners.

Caitlin first was hired with Milwaukee Food & City Tours as a singing tour guide 3 tour seasons ago. Caitlin has led our Christmas Lights & Desserts Tour, bringing Christmas cheer for all to hear! Not only does the Christmas tour offer great dessert stops all over Milwaukee along with a chance to view area Christmas light displays, but it includes caroling on the bus from stop to stop. Helping with family outings and corporate team outings on the tour, she brought a dash of light-hearted holiday spirit to those looking to discover Milwaukee’s Christmas lights. In the past, much of her focus was on the Christmas tours and she’s excited to be more heavily involved in execution of all of our tours, including private team outings in Milwaukee.

Caitlin comes to us with a background in communication, event planning and leadership development.  She received her Master's degree in College Student Personnel Administration from Marquette University where she spent the last five years coordinating large scale programming for new students and their families.  She looks forward to using her background in a new way. Caitlin is especially looking forward to two special projects: taking a more hands-on role with coaching our tour guides to bring their best to the tours that they lead, and helping implement a year filled with  10th anniversary celebrations for Milwaukee Food & City Tours.

I am thrilled to come on board during such an exciting time for Milwaukee Food & City Tours. I look forward to working with the tour guides and Milwaukee partners as we move into this significant anniversary.
— Caitlin Weitzel

Caitlin’s early work as a tour guide with the company fueled a love for the creative side of Milwaukee Food & City Tours work, and her new role will allow her to focus entirely on new opportunities and growing the company.  Ready to book your private tour? Find out more about our tour options HERE.

Now Hiring: Milwaukee Food & City Tours

Would you like to join the Milwaukee Food & City Tours team? We are currently accepting applications for the following positions:

Bus Driver We are seeking 2 new part-time bus drivers to join our team. You would have very limited hours in the spring as you get trained with us, but more hours once our tour season kicks into high gear beginning May 1st. Driver must have excellent weekend availability - driving schedule varies each week depending on our tour schedule. Driver is required to have, at a minimum, a CDL Class C license with passenger endorsement, and must pass random drug tests on a regular basis. You'll earn $14 an hour, plus may receive gratuities. Weekend driving shifts available as well, but daytime availability is the critical need we currently must fill. To apply, email Theresa Nemetz, owner / operator, at theresa@milwaukeefoodtours.com to set up an interview - please indicate some times that you are available for an interview in the coming weeks. PLEASE DO NOT APPLY IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CDL, THANK YOU!

Tour Guides Do you have a strong love of Milwaukee? Do you have a high energy and confidence level and can lead tours in a witty and intelligent fashion? Do you have an ability to interact and communicate well with others? OK with 16 - 50 sets of eyes looking to you for direction at the same time? We're in search of tour guides for the upcoming tour season. Auditions to be a tour guide will be held in January. Training of new guides will begin in February. Tour season picks up in April/May. 

We are in search of excellent tour guides who can:

  • Lead walking and bus tours in a timely, witty and intelligent fashion
  • Communicate and interact well with guests and vendors alike
  • Maintain flexibility and willingness to work in situations of flux
  • Be available to lead weekday and weekend lunchtime tours

We are primarily seeking candidates with excellent weekday and weekend, daytime availability. Candidates without weekday, daytime availability may apply, however, must be committed to working 2 - 4 weeknight or weekend tours on a regular basis beginning in May.

  • Our ideal candidate will have a theater or speaking / presenting background
  • Cooking professionals and public relations and marketing professionals/reporters with food and dining experience are encouraged to apply
  • Must have an ability to memorize lengthy script while also being able to adapt said script to the needs of each tour. Tour guides go through a lengthy training process in order to learn how to incorporate stories from the script into the tour in a casual and conversational manner.
  • Must have an ability to work well independently
  • Must have an ability to receive feedback on an ongoing basis from customers
  • Must contain a strong passion for Milwaukee
  • Should be comfortable spending 3 hours in various weather elements (sun, heat, cold, rain, snow)

It is important to note that a significant portion of your time leading tours (about 85%) will be in trouble shooting - finding ways to accommodate a guest with food allergies, having patience when a guest needs to walk a little slower, and dealing with the many challenges that may arise with working with restaurants and other vendors on busy Milwaukee days and nights. We are seeking extremely flexible candidates that are calm and yet quick on their feet to resolve a problem when under pressure.

To apply, please send a letter of interest highlighting why you are an ideal candidate to Theresa Nemetz, owner/operator, at theresa@milwaukeefoodtours.com. Be sure to indicate your level of availability (weekdays, weeknights, weekends beginning April/May) in the letter, along with any significant spans of vacation dates or weekends that you would need off that you already have planned/will plan in June/July/August/September.

Vintage Wedding Car Rental in Milwaukee

Are you the type of bride willing to sacrifice air conditioning for that cute photo?
Can you handle a potential mid-drive breakdown?
Well… I was!

On our own wedding day, we were blessed to be driven in a vintage car from the ceremony to our reception. We’ll never forget the laughter that ensued as the car broke down on the side of the road, and our driver had to crank the Model A back into working order while we waited. In the end, our only regret was that we didn’t get a photo of the moment. It has remained a fond memory many years later and is reflective of the many unexpected curves in the road that marriage is certain to bring.

Beginning in 2017, you can make your wedding day even more special and hire our vintage Fiat 500 Cinquecento!  This iconic classic is one of the cutest ever made.  Heck, even William and Kate came home on their wedding night in a classic Fiat 500!

We’ll make sure that everything is perfect for your day, complete with white ribbons. We’ve made extra space for the bride by removing the passenger seat, so you can relax as your driver takes you to your ceremony and / or reception during its 3-hour rental.

Cost is $500 for a 2-hour rental. A $250 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking. Each additional hour is $200. The Fiat is only available for rent May - October. 

Price includes:

-        Professional and friendly service from your chauffeur

-        Pick-up within 20 miles of Wauwatosa, WI. For further travel, please ask for a quote. A supplement would need to be added any time a trailer is required to travel longer distances.

-        We will drive the wedding couple up to 15 miles for your wedding tour. An additional fee of $5 per mile for longer distances will apply. Route will be determined in advance of rental day. We will not drive on the freeway or interstate.

-        Ribbons / car decorations (If you prefer car ribbons other than white, you may provide ribbons or flowers on the day of the wedding for no additional charge.)

-        Car Insurance

Important Note: We accept no liability for disappointment caused by circumstances out of our control. In the event of a breakdown, we will try to fix the car. Please understand we may not be able to repair the car during the hire period as we do not carry of a full stock of classic car parts with us. We check the Fiat 500 weekly and service it on a regular basis. In case of a breakdown, we will make a full refund should this happen on the way to your initial pick up point. A partial refund will be made should a breakdown occur after we have begun driving the wedding couple. It must be understood that classic cars are not as reliable as modern cars and we suggest (as a precautionary measure) that a friend or family member is prepared to use their car as back-up in the unlikely, yet possible, event of a breakdown. We are not liable for any costs incurred for the use of any additional transportation needed to take the couple for a drive-in case of breakdown or any other issue.

Email theresa@milwaukeefoodtours.com or call 262-853-5239 to make your reservation. 
If desired, you may set up an appointment to view car prior to wedding, otherwise the provided photos are a good representation of the vehicle condition. The Fiat is in winter storage from November - April, and therefore unavailable for in-person viewing during those winter months. 

Interested in a different classic car? Please let us know. We do have access to classic Minis, along with other vehicles. 

Interested in one of our mini coach buses? Learn more about our fleet and pricing HERE.

 

Halloween in Milwaukee Isn’t Just For Kids Anymore!

Don’t spend this Halloween season gobbling down handfuls of leftover candy or raiding the kids’ trick-or-treat-bags. Join Milwaukee Food & City Tours for a spook-tacular evening filled with ghoulishly good pizza, hauntingly delectable chocolates, and tales from Brew City’s haunted past.

Looking for things to do in Milwaukee as an adult for Halloween? We realize that you don’t have to be a kid to get excited about Halloween, so we’ve organized a spooky night on the town that you and all of your friends can get excited about.

Our terrifyingly-terrific Ghouls & Spirits Adult Trick-or-Treat tour features a 4-hour bus tour that creeps through Brew City's haunted history and the many tales of ghosts that still lurk among the streets and houses in the Historic Third Ward, Walker’s Point, Wisconsin Ave and the Concordia neighborhood. We’ll also take you through one of the city’s oldest…and most haunted cemeteries.

Who you gonna call?  Milwaukee Food & City Tours!

Who you gonna call?  Milwaukee Food & City Tours!

Reservations are filling up fast and each soul joining this mysterious evening of food and drinks must be 21 or older. Sit back and let us capture your imagination with tales from Milwaukee’s haunted past as you sip from an eerily delicious selection of seasonally themed BOO-ze that is guaranteed to lift your SPIRITS!

While you are enjoying an evening with friends---exploring the dark side of Milwaukee, be sure to dress in your favorite weather-appropriate costume and taking part in our annual costume contest complete with delicious prizes.

There’s no trick to experiencing this treat! Reserve your seats today HERE

Top 5 Reunion Activities in Milwaukee

Are you trying to plan a fun and memorable class, family, or even a military reunion? Let Milwaukee Food & City Tours help you create a fun, entertaining, and stress free reunion by organizing a custom tour!

The team at Milwaukee Food & City Tours loves to create custom tour packages that include the best parts of all of our wonderful tour options including eateries, bakeries, beer, and all of Milwaukee’s top attractions.

We were thrilled to recently partner with the Wauwatosa High School class of 1951 to create an amazing outing for more than 40 classmates traveling to Milwaukee to celebrate their 65th class reunion. Our tour guide and driver enjoyed the living history lesson on tour with us just as much as the guests enjoyed the experience we created for them!

With mobility concerns in mind, we collaborated with the reunion organizer to create a one-of-a-kind bus tour for the group. The custom city tour kicked off in downtown Milwaukee with sightseeing stops at the Milwaukee Art Museum, along Brady Street and Old World 3rd Street for shopping, a trip through Miller Valley and even a drive past the Harley Davidson headquarters—Willie G. Davidson is one of their classmates, after all!

From there the bus took a turn down memory lane and headed to ‘Tosa so the Class of ’51 could see how their hometown had grown—and changed - over the past 65 years. The reunion tour included stops along the rapidly growing North Avenue in East Tosa to see newer establishments such as Indulgence Chocolatiers, Bel Aire Cantina, Rocket Baby Bakery, Cranky Al’s, Il Mito and Red Dot. Many of the tour guests had grown up within walking distance of this now bustling neighborhood and enjoyed reminiscing about their many good friends in Wauwatosa.

One thing that hadn’t changed though - the legendary Ted’s Diner. Tour guests took a step back in time as they peered inside at the diner’s timeless charm including rounded windows, counters, and red swivel stools and spoke fondly of the ice cream molds that their mothers would order for Christmas.

Wauwatosa High School, Class of 1951 - 65th Reunion

Wauwatosa High School, Class of 1951 - 65th Reunion

Continuing west on North Avenue, the tour passed Tosa Bun and Bowl, now a popular a deli. Many members of the Wauwatosa High School Class of 1951 recalled when the former bowling alley was a popular hang out spot. In fact, one guest shared that his first job was as a pin setter at the bowling alley back in the day, when he was paid seven cents a row for setting up the bowling pins by hand.

Continuing west, guests recalled their after-school stops for sugary treats at Mother Goose House and as well as another candy counter at the then much smaller location of Ray’s Liquor.

Of course, this trip down memory lane wasn’t complete without a quick stop at their old stomping grounds, the common denominator that brought them together in the first place—Wauwatosa High School (now known as Wauwatosa East High School). The classmates enjoyed recalling the many hours they’d spent learning and building friendships in the hallowed halls of Wauwatosa High.

The trip concluded with a stop at the Hoyt Park Pool, whose recent renovation and rebirth was supported by many of alumni of the school, with lead gifts provided by their fellow Class of 1951 classmates, John & Tashia Morgridge. We learned from our tour guests that back in 1951, it was home and practice pool to members of Wauwatosa High School’s state championship swim team. The night prior to our tour during the reunion weekend, everyone met at the pool for cocktails – and a little rivalry when 3 of the still swimming classmates (ages 81, 82 and 82 respectively) hopped in the pool to swim laps down memory lane!

The custom high school class reunion tour provided an affordable and stress free event for the entire group and for the reunion committee chairman, Ron S., who had this to say about the experience, “THANK YOU for taking us on a wonderful tour – much more than I expected. And, the tour of Wauwatosa was an unexpected surprise! It brought back a lot of memories for those who have been away for years.  We had an excellent driver and superb guide.  We all had fun remembering things like using the tunnel under Wauwatosa Avenue to get to and from classes in the building across the street from the main high school building.  A wonderful experience!”   

Sightseeing tours highlight Milwaukee's top attractions and neighborhoods, such as the Pabst Mansion, and can be customized to meet the needs of your group. 

Sightseeing tours highlight Milwaukee's top attractions and neighborhoods, such as the Pabst Mansion, and can be customized to meet the needs of your group. 

If you are planning a reunion in the Milwaukee area, be sure to let Milwaukee Food & City Tours help you create a custom (and stress free!) tour that will guarantee the experience will be one that everyone will enjoy! From simply providing transportation, to leading a city tour, to scheduling a food tour for lunch or dinner, to creating a custom experience – we enjoy working with groups of all sizes.

Our top 5 reunion activities in Milwaukee with Milwaukee Food & City Tours?

·       Sightseeing City Tour (bus tour) – A great way to explore downtown Milwaukee to see the city’s top attractions and neighborhoods. This tour can be offered as a 1 – 2 hour driving tour, or can have time built in for stops at attractions along the way. This is a great tour for any budget and can be adapted to meet the interest of the group. 

·       Bloody Mary Brunch Tour (walking) – We visit 4 restaurants in the Historic Third Ward for half sized Bloodies and brunch items, all while learning about the neighborhoods history and exploring the RiverWalk too. This is a great tour for a Saturday afternoon or Sunday post-reunion outing.

·       Tacos & Tequila Tour (bus tour) – The title of the tour says it all – we visit three hidden gems in Milwaukee’s Latino community for tacos and tequila along with narrated fun – and dessert too!

·       Old World 3rd Street Tour (walking) – Visit the historic streets of Old World 3rd Street while sampling some of the foods, beers and shops of German Milwaukee that laid the foundation of our city today!

·       Progressive Ethnic Meal or Custom Tour – Milwaukee Food & City Tours loves to create custom tours. Check out some examples HERE or give us a call at 262-853-5239 or email grouptours@milwaukeefoodtours.com to start planning your next adventure!

Looking to capture all of the Pokémon lurking around Milwaukee?

Looking to capture all of the Pokémon lurking around the Milwaukee area? Then let Milwaukee Food & City Tours transport you to train, battle, and capture Pokémon Go items at the many Pokéstops around the city.

Safe, affordable, and convenient, the narrated Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus tour eliminates your need to find parking or navigate the city and allows you to explore Milwaukee and catch Pokémon at the same time! Plus, tour guides are trained to provide you with tips and point out area Pokéstops around the Milwaukee area as you travel between our 11 downtown hotel and attraction Hop On/Hop Off sites on the tour route.

Families especially appreciate the convenience of the tour, allowing their family to learn about the city and explore while seeking Pokémon Go together.  

According to a recent survey by Hotels.com, 79% of millennials report that they plan to play Pokémon Go on their next vacation and 48% will consider visiting a new destination because of the game. So, help your entire family embrace the gaming craze while you explore all that Brew City has to offer!

One of our recent Pokémon seeking guests, Wendy D., reports that she was able to capture an additional 8 new Pokémon simply by riding our bus along the one-hour continual loop. Our helpful guides assisted her by pointing out known Pokéstops along the route.  Another guests enjoyed the chance to park her car and allow our professional drivers to escort her family around the city.

You may ride the air-conditioned bus, or guests are encouraged to extend their stay and increase their points by exiting the bus to explore each neighborhood. Simply hop off the bus, then hop back on an hour later when the bus returns.

Hot spots on the tour route include:

  • Hotels – Area hotels are a hotbed of Pokémon activity. Hop on / off at downtown hotels such as The Pfister Hotel, Hyatt Regency, Hilton City Center, Marriott Residence Inn, Kimpton Journeyman and more to see how many items you can catch!
  • Churches – Discover if a gym exists at St. Hedwig Church or St. John the Evangelist when you hop on / off at the Brady Street or Cathedral Square stops, or explore any of the other neighborhood stops for a chance to visit a wide-array of area churches.
  • One of the highlights of our Hop On / Off Sightseeing Bus is our beautiful Milwaukee lakefront including Veterans Park, Bradford Beach, and Lake Park - perhaps the most active of the Pokéstops in the community. Simply enjoy the ride, or get out and explore the lakefront, with us!
  • Is Pokémon thirsty? Find out at our hop on/off stops including those near Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee Brewing Company in Walker’s Point, and Great Lakes Distillery.

Milwaukee has an active Pokémon Go community that will keep your phone vibrating (and your kids entertained) as you explore the downtown area.

Bring the whole family on your next downtown Milwaukee adventure and explore all the city has to offer - and catch Pokémon at the same time - using our convenient Hop On/Hop Off Sightseeing Bus.  For more information about our Hop On/ Hop Off tour visit: http://www.milwaukeecitytours.com

Delicious Activities in Milwaukee before the Carmex Lambeau College Classic

College football fans looking to experience the ultimate weekend getaway while cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers and the LSU Tigers during the Carmex Lambeau College Classic should plan a short road trip to Milwaukee.

Beer barons like Captain Frederick Pabst, Frederick Miller and Joseph Schlitz put Milwaukee on the map as a beer-making city but today the city has earned the distinction of being one of the nation’s top foodie destinations.

Milwaukee Food & City Tours delivers a wide selection of delicious pre- and post-game food tours for the whole family ranging from craft brewery and cocktail tours to pizza and the ultimate Friday Fish Fry tour.

Looking for things to do in Milwaukee during the Carmex Lambeau College Classic? Plan you own action-packed college football and food weekend before and after the big game with the following tasty tours:

FRIDAY, September 2nd

SATURDAY, September 3rd

  • GAME DAY - Carmex Lambeau College Classic in Green Bay, WI

SUNDAY, September 4th

Each of these experiences visits 4 – 5 locations for generous samples, history and narrated fun. Before heading out to cheer on either Wisconsin or Louisiana, be sure to reserve your ticket on one of our delicious experiences at www.MilwaukeeFoodTours.com

Or, simply looking to explore Milwaukee’s wide range of food and shopping destinations without having to worry about parking or transportation? Hop aboard the Explore Milwaukee Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus. This convenient option runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm with 11 hop on / hop off stops that make visiting Milwaukee’s major attractions and neighborhoods a breeze. Complete route map and details are available at www.MilwaukeeCityTours.com – purchase tickets in advance or buy day-of as you enter the bus as any of the noted 11 locations.  

In addition to incredible food, beer, and football, Milwaukee offers a wide range of events and activities for the whole family.

If LSU mascot Mike the Tiger or UW-Madison mascot Bucky Badger are in town, they may want to have a family reunion at the Milwaukee County Zoo, check out the music at the 2016 Milwaukee Rally at the Harley-Davidson Museum, or take a bike ride along the beautiful lakefront area. Or, other things to do in Milwaukee this weekend include:

•             Grab a beer and tour at Lakefront Brewery

•             Attend the 2016 Harley-Davidson Milwaukee Rally, including the Big Gig BBQ

•             Explore the Streets of Old Milwaukee at the Milwaukee Public Museum

 

 

Historic Brady Street & Peter Sciortino's Bakery

We were sentimental last week when we learned that Peter Sciortino's Bakery would be remodeling their location as it has remained the same since our childhood, but were more than impressed when we got a sneak peek this week.

Prior to remodeling, Peter Sciortino's Bakery was known for their blue arches

Prior to remodeling, Peter Sciortino's Bakery was known for their blue arches

Kudos to Joe, Luigi and Maria for remodeling their entire bakery in just ONE WEEK. They worked 'round the clock to complete nearly the entire project on their own. For frequent customers, you will be happy to know that the Vella's continue to pay homage to the founders, Peter & Grace Sciortino, with their portrait overlooking the store. Most everything else is new including ceiling with handpainted tiled, subway tiled walls, tiled floors, new light fixtures, and more authentic bread display. One of the newest additions to the space is a sit-down bar allowing you to gaze at the eclectic Historic Brady Street neighborhood - in case you can't wait to go home to enjoy your Milwaukee Italian cookies!

Remodeled in just one week, Peter Sciortino's Bakery continues to be one of Milwaukee's premier historic bakeries since 1947.

Remodeled in just one week, Peter Sciortino's Bakery continues to be one of Milwaukee's premier historic bakeries since 1947.

Their space may be new, but their Italian cookies and cannoli remain unchanged. We look forward to continued weekly visits on with our many tour attendees! Join our Brady Street Tour or our Christmas Around Milwaukee Bakery Bus to delve into these delicious treats with us during a guided tour of Milwaukee.

TELL US: What's your favorite Italian cookie that you always look forward to buying there???

As always, a wide selection of delicious Italian treats await customers at Peter Sciortino's Bakery

As always, a wide selection of delicious Italian treats await customers at Peter Sciortino's Bakery

Girl Scout (or Boy Scout Troop) Outings in Milwaukee

Girl Scouting in the United States of America began on March 12, 1912, when Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scout troop meeting. I had a chance to re-live my Girl Scouting days and visited Juliette’s home while on vacation in Savannah, Georgia in 2013. The Girl Scouts grew from a meeting of just 18 girls who at the time, called themselves “Girl Guides of America,” to today, when the Girl Scouts has grown to nearly 4 million members. What a wonderful accomplishment that I’m certain would make Juliette proud!

An alumna myself, I remember the day 30+ years ago at Valley View Elementary School when I took the oath to first become a Brownie. Today, I’m in touch with many of my Menomonee Falls alumna proving the lifelong connection formed so many years ago is still strong. In 2015, we had a chance to re-connect with other alumnae at a social event hosted by the Girl Scouts at Camp Bar in Wauwatosa. Through the years we’ve planned a high school reunion, participated in community projects, and some of these ladies are even raising the next generation of young girl leaders.

This week in honor of National Girl Scout Day, Denise Schemenauer, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Manitou Council, hosted her team on a tour of the Historic Third Ward. They always enjoy incorporating fun and adventure into their team, and we had exactly that ahead of them for their outing in Milwaukee. When we mentioned that Milwaukee Food & City Tours hosts many Girl Scout troops through the year, Ms. Schemenauer noted, "It is important for Girls Scouts to be part of the community because it has been of the community for 104 years! (We) teach girls to find the problems and needs of a community, then design solutions and ways to meet those needs."

 

Hosting local troops on tours has proven as a fun and delicious activity to earn a scouting badge in Milwaukee.

We hosted GS Brownie Troop #8007 on a scavenger hunt through the Historic Third Ward. During our time together, the girls went block-to-block on a guided scavenger hunt while split between Team Red and Team Blue with their parents in tow. Along the way, each group met up with Mr. Mellow for some fun mustaches, made individual pizzas for lunch, delved into cupcakes for dessert – and we even photobombed a local bride on her wedding day who was delighted to share her moment with the girls!

During our Christmas season, we saw a local troop of 12 girls and moms on our Christmas Around Milwaukee Bakery Bus.  On the fast-paced bus tour, we visit 5 – 7 bakeries for pastries as well as stories in route about Christmas traditions from around the world. Troop leader Debra shared, “My troop had a great time. They enjoyed sampling treats from the various bakeries and were happy to take samples home.  My own daughters still recognize the bakeries as we drive past and talk about the treats they sampled.  I especially enjoyed the history we learned about the various Christmas traditions from other countries and the traditions we have here in the United States.  The girls also enjoyed looking at all the treats the different bakeries make.  Many of them purchased extra treats.  My personal favorite was a cream cake I bought from Aggie's Bakery.  I still dream about all the buttercream inside!  It was absolutely divine.  I also appreciated how welcome the girls felt in the group.  I know it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes to have children as part of a group, but they all felt included and respected.”

Girl Scouts can easily earn badges by attending tours too!

·        Brownies can earn a Celebrating Community badge by attending our Explore Milwaukee Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus and learning the history of Milwaukee.

·        Juniors can earn a Digital Photography badge on our Milwaukee Photo Walk, a narrated historical tour with photography commentary to help you learn the best angles for photos taken along the way.

·        Cadettes can set up a private meet-and-greet with our founder, Theresa Nemetz, to learn more about the path of a woman entrepreneur in Milwaukee.

·        Girl Scouts can earn a Locavore badge by attending one of our many food tours or field trips– each including an equal dose of history and food as we visit the most historic neighborhoods and delicious eateries of Milwaukee.

Similar to the Girl Scouts, our tour motto is to “be prepared” – our tour guides and staff are always prepared for whatever weather elements or logistical challenges a tour may present to us. We would love to have your troop on tour with us so that we can show off the Milwaukee community to you and your troop!

Happy 104th Birthday, Girl Scouts!

#NationalGirlScoutDay

Now Hiring: Milwaukee Food & City Tours

Would you like to join the Milwaukee Food & City Tours team in 2016? We are currently accepting applications for the following positions: Reservations Specialist We are seeking a Reservations Specialist to coordinate our tour reservations. Candidate MUST be an Excel guru - please do not apply if you are not extremely comfortable using a computer, smart phone and Excel. Full-time or part-time opportunity depending on the candidate, but candidate must be available on Saturday AM's to answer calls and address logistical needs of the weekend tours. Ideal candidate will work Tuesday - Friday (hours are negotiable) + Saturday AM's.  Pay range is $10 - $12 an hour. Position starts mid-January. Key duties will include:

  • Make upwards of 500 restaurant reservations on a monthly basis via phone ($30 monthly cell phone stipend provided) and email, and document all communications
  • Communicate final head counts and itineraries to restaurants, tour guides and bus drivers daily
  • Respond to emails promptly, taking care to note all food allergy / vegetarian requests and documenting all conversations to ensure excellent tour execution.
  • Assist with gift card sales and redemptions
  • Run tour errands regularly throughout the downtown Milwaukee area, dropping off supplies to tour guides, stocking bus with items, meeting with hotels / restaurants, and picking up supplies from vendors - this is a particularly critical tasks on Saturday mornings. Must have access to transportation to run errands on a regular basis (gas stipend provided). 
  • Proofread documents, on a needed basis
  • Utilize databases daily to process payments, make reservations and collect participant contact information for marketing purposes.
  • Meet with key stakeholders (ie. visit area hotels and restaurant staff) on weekly basis to promote upcoming tours and maintain relationships
  • Assist with managing social media calendar, scheduling Facebook and Twitter posts on a weekly basis
  • Provide copywriting for blog posts and social media outlets
  • Must have an ability to stay extremely organized, timely in communications and document all conversations in master reservation system
  • Must have an ability to work independently
  • Must have an ability to receive direct feedback on an ongoing basis

To apply, email Theresa Nemetz, owner / operator, with a cover letter explaining why you'd be a great fit for the position along with your resume to theresa@milwaukeefoodtours.com

Bus Driver We are seeking 2 new part-time bus drivers to join our team. You would have very limited hours in the spring as you get trained with us, but more hours once our tour season kicks into high gear beginning May 1st. Driver must have excellent weekday, daytime availability - driving schedule varies each week depending on our tour schedule. Driver is required to have, at a minimum, a CDL Class C license with passenger endorsement, and must pass random drug tests on a regular basis. You'll earn $14 an hour, plus may receive gratuities. Weekend driving shifts available as well, but daytime availability is the critical need we currently must fill. To apply, email Theresa Nemetz, owner / operator, at theresa@milwaukeefoodtours.com to set up an interview - please indicate some times that you are available for an interview in the coming weeks. PLEASE DO NOT APPLY IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CDL, THANK YOU!

Tour Guides Do you have a strong love of Milwaukee? Do you have a high energy and confidence level and can lead tours in a witty and intelligent fashion? Do you have an ability to interact and communicate well with others? OK with 16 - 50 sets of eyes looking to you for direction at the same time? We're in search of tour guides for the 2016 season. Training of new guides will begin March 2016, with tour season kicking off May 2016. 

We are in search of excellent tour guides who can:

  • Lead walking and bus tours in a timely, witty and intelligent fashion
  • Communicate and interact well with guests and vendors alike
  • Maintain flexibility and willingness to work in situations of flux
  • Be available to lead weekday and weekend lunchtime tours

We are primarily seeking candidates with excellent weekday and weekend, daytime availability. Candidates without weekday, daytime availability may apply, however, must be committed to working 2 - 4 weeknight or weekend tours on a regular basis beginning in May 2016.

  • Our ideal candidate will have a theater or speaking / presenting background
  • Cooking professionals and public relations and marketing professionals/reporters with food and dining experience are encouraged to apply
  • Must have an ability to memorize lengthy script while also being able to adapt said script to the needs of each tour. Tour guides go through a lengthy training process in order to learn how to incorporate stories from the script into the tour in a casual and conversational manner.
  • Must have an ability to work well independently
  • Must have an ability to receive feedback on an ongoing basis from customers
  • Must contain a strong passion for Milwaukee
  • Should be comfortable spending 3 hours in various weather elements (sun, heat, cold, rain, snow)

It is important to note that a significant portion of your time leading tours (about 85%) will be in trouble shooting - finding ways to accommodate a guest with food allergies, having patience when a guest needs to walk a little slower, and dealing with the many challenges that may arise with working with restaurants and other vendors on busy Milwaukee days and nights. We are seeking extremely flexible candidates that are calm and yet quick on their feet to resolve a problem when under pressure.

To apply, please send a letter of interest highlighting why you are an ideal candidate to Theresa Nemetz, owner/operator, at theresa@milwaukeefoodtours.com. Be sure to indicate your level of availability (weekdays, weeknights, weekends beginning May 1st) in the letter, along with any significant spans of vacation dates or weekends that you would need off that you already have planned/will plan in June/July/August/September.

Korean War Veterans Explore Milwaukee with Custom Private Tour & Bus Rental During Reunion

I've often said that the best benefit of starting Milwaukee Food & City Tours is the amazing people we get to meet along the way. With today being Veterans Day, I would like to take a moment to reflect on one such amazing group that we designed a custom tour for during their military reunion in Milwaukee.  

It all started with a phone call from Bob and Richard, who I later met with at a local bakery, to begin to plan out a reunion trip for their fellow Korean War comrades who served in 1952 in the 25th Division. Bob and Richard met in the war and have been best friends ever since, even now as neighbors, in Wauwatosa. They set out to plan a nationwide reunion with their other Wauwatosa friend, Roolie, who not only served in the Korean War but WWII as well!

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Through our meetings, I learned that they all served in the Photo Division and took still photos (with real film!!) and video to provide G2 Intelligence for their fellow soldiers in combat.

 

On reunion day, we picked up the group of 20 men and their families at their hotel in our custom, mini-coach bus driven by Hazen, a Marine himself. We loved that not only did spouses attend the reunion, but so did multi-generations of families. One of the attendees had his daughter and grandson drive from St. Louis, MO to attend the weekend of activities – the grandson was compiling a report for school about the history lesson that he would gain from his weekend with grandpa.

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After the hotel pick up, we embarked on a day of touring in Milwaukee. We began with a private tour at the VA touring the cemetery grounds via bus, learning about the historic buildings including Old Main (the only original Soldiers Home building in the country designed to combine multiple basic veteran care functions under one roof), and talking about President Abraham Lincoln’s role in the creation of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. From there, we departed down Wisconsin Avenue for a historical tour through the eras, pointing out its unique architecture along the way. We found ourselves next at the St. Joan of Arc Chapel. We were able to make arrangements for a police escort with our tour bus through the center of the Marquette University campus right to the chapel front doors for this multi-generational group. At the chapel, a docent provided a tour and each of our guests had an opportunity to touch the stone St. Joan of Arc herself is believed to have knelt down and prayed upon.

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Having built up an appetite with our morning of historical touring, we next ventured for a leisurely lunch designed to show off several parts of the city. First, we stopped for Wisconsin cheese, Usinger’s sausage, Lakefront Brewery beer and shopping on Old World 3rd Street. Next, we were off to Milwaukee’s last remaining Polish restaurant for a truly authentic sit-down meal complete with camaraderie and tales. And, finally, there is always room for dessert, right? We capped off our day with this amazing group of veterans with a stop for Milwaukee’s legendary custard at Leon’s. Their tour guide, Jean, commented that the veterans said that at their reunions they "eat and talk and hug and eat and hug some more, " so we think our tour was the perfect fit for them indeed!

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Besides the stories gained throughout the day, one of the most touching moments was being witness to the many strangers who stopped our veterans throughout the day to thank the gentlemen for their service to our country. I am proud to know that my fellow Milwaukeeans took a moment of their day to thank them for their time in the military. Thank you for your service gentlemen, and thank you to all of our Milwaukee Food & City Tour fans that have served our country and protected our freedoms.

 

Are you looking for things to do while bringing a reunion or group to Milwaukee? We would love to have the opportunity to create a custom tour just for them - just call us at 262-853-5239 (Theresa) or email theresa@milwaukeefoodtours.com today to begin planning your itinerary!

New Racine Kriss Kringle Bakery Bus - Dec 5, 12 and 19th!

Looking for Christmas fun? Looking for things to do in Racine? Milwaukee Food & City Tours is thrilled to be expanding to the Racine community just in time for the holidays with a new Racine Kriss Kringle Bakery Bus Tour! Featured recently in The Journal Times, we are excited to share that tickets are available for online purchase HERE

Article, as published by The Journal Times:

Residents of Racine have long known the seduction of kringle and other pastries lovingly produced by the city’s Danish bakeries.

Beginning Dec. 5, people near and far can learn more about such edible delights, as well as the cultural traditions that surround them and other ethnic baked goods, during new Kriss Kringle Racine Bakery Bus tours. These tours — which visit several area bakeries, a chocolate shop and other locations — are a recent addition to the varied list of bus and walking tours offered by the Milwaukee Food & City Tours company.

Founded in 2008 by Theresa Nemetz and her husband Wade, Milwaukee Food & City Tours began as a hobby for the Milwaukee couple and soon grew into a successful business that is now full-time work for both.

“We started with a Brady Street tour, and that first year I was leading all the tours,” Theresa Nemetz said.

It wasn’t long, though, before people began asking about tours of other areas, she said. And because she and Wade always value the feedback they get from their customers, they began adding new tours the following year.

Custard, pizza and kringle

Today, Milwaukee Food & City Tours lists more than 15 different walking and bus tours on its website (milwaukeefoodtours.com), as well as Photo Walks and private and group tour options. Some focus on the culinary attributes of a specific neighborhood or suburb of Milwaukee — from the Historic Third Ward and Bay View to Wauwatosa and Cedarburg — while others are organized around a specific food type, such as the Milwaukee Pizza Bus Tour, the Milwaukee Fish Fry Tour and the Custard Capital of the World Custard Tour. There are also special seasonal tours, including the Ghouls & Spirits Adult Trick-or-Treat Bus Tour, and unusual combination tours, such as Churches & Chocolates.

The idea to branch out to Racine was sparked by two of the company’s 18 tour guides who live in Racine — Karen Fetherston and Marie Frederick.

“They had been talking to me about Racine for years, telling me what a great community it is and how it would be perfect for a tour,” Nemetz said. Their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the Belle City, combined with the curiosity many tour-goers from Illinois had expressed about Racine convinced her to add kringle tours to the company’s offerings.

“Our Christmas Around Milwaukee Bakery Bus is very popular and we saw Racine as a great opportunity to go into a another community,” Nemetz said.

kringle 2
kringle 2

Behind the scenes

About three hours long, the Kriss Kringle tours feature six stops, including Racine’s Danish bakeries, where tour-goers can get a behind-the-scenes look at kringle-making. Also included are stories of ethnic holiday traditions, the city’s architectural heritage and cultural history — and tour-goers are encouraged to come dressed in their holiday attire for these festive, seasonal outings.

Participants get to sample a variety of baked goods along the way — kringle, tortes, cookies and other signature items. And the samples are substantial servings, Fetherston said.

“No one will leave the tour hungry,” she said.

Some tour-goers bring bags along so that they can take goodies home with them, she said. And, of course, everyone is welcome to purchase additional items along the way, if they so choose.

Fetherston trained to become a tour guide after attending a food tour in Milwaukee with her father and finding she loved it. “I thought to myself, ‘this would be a really fun job,’ ” she said, noting that she calls it her “jobby” because she’d been looking for a hobby to do after her children left for college.

Also a full-time employee of Lutheran Social Services, Fetherston said she enjoys the research involved in being a tour guide and has learned a lot about the community she's lived in for 20-plus years.

“I think even people who’ve lived in Racine all of their lives can learn a lot on these tours,” she said. “It’s also a whole lot of fun and you meet a lot of great people.”

Private tours, too

Milwaukee Food & City Tours also offers private tours in Racine, such as the one attended by members of the Prospect Heights Park District’s Seniors on the Go! group, from Illinois, earlier this month. Fetherston led the group on a tour of several Danish bakeries, a Mexican bakery and a chocolate shop, and they had lunch at the Reefpoint Brew House. And for participants like Sharon Steffey — a member of the group who has attended numerous tours with Milwaukee Food & City Tours — it is more than the food that draws her to go.

“I love learning about the city,” Steffey said. “They really do know their history.”

Another tour-goer, Mary Olson, said she appreciated the great demonstration that Don Hutchinson, co-owner of Larsen’s Bakery, gave in the bakery’s kitchen during the tour. “The way he explained things was very interesting,” she said.

Diane Isenberg, also of Seniors on the Go, said that she’s been on many food tours with Nemetz’s company and has yet to attend one she didn’t like. “We’ve eaten at such interesting places, even the Harley-Museum on a brats, beer and bikes tour,” she said. “And the tour guides are delightful. They really want to make sure we have a good time.”

Cost of the Kriss Kringle Racine Bakery Bus tour is $50 per person, including round-trip transportation from the ShopKo parking lot at the corner of Washington Avenue and Ohio Street. These seasonal tours will be offered on Saturdays in December, beginning Dec. 5 and running through the 19th. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.milwaukeefoodtours.com/christmas-in-milwaukee.php

Have you had a Racine kringle?  Which one is your favorite?

JUST LAUNCHED: Bikes Brats & Beer tour in conjunction with Harley-Davidson Museum

The Harley-Davidson Museum is celebrating summer in the city with a new tour developed in partnership with Milwaukee Food & City Tours®. The Milwaukee Legends Tour: Bikes Brats & Beer will be offered Thursdays and Sundays from May 21 to Sept. 6. “Whether a first-time visitor to the city, or a seasoned Milwaukee resident looking for a unique experience, tour participants are sure to learn something new about local history and culture, and have a lot of fun along the way,” said Bill Davidson, vice president of the Harley-Davidson Museum.

Each three-and-a-half hour excursion kicks off with a guided tour of the Museum, highlighting Harley-Davidson’s journey from garage start-up to iconic global brand. Participants will then board a Museum bus and embark on a historical tour focused on Milwaukee’s legendary beer- and sausage-making heritage. The narrated journey through the Menomonee and Miller Valleys and downtown highlights: the family mansions of Milwaukee beer barons, Pabst Brewery Complex, Schlitz Park and Usinger’s Famous Sausage Shop.

The tour includes two memorable stops where participants will experience some of the city’s iconic culinary offerings. Sampling includes authentic German brats and classic Wisconsin cheeses at Wisconsin Cheese Mart on Old World 3rd Street, and beer tastings during a Lakefront Brewery tour. The journey ends back at the Museum, with the option to experience Bike Night (5 to 9 p.m.) after Thursday tours.

The Milwaukee Legends Tour is offered Thursdays 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $60 per person and can be purchased at www.h-dmuseum.com/mke. Ticket price includes all-day Museum admission along with a 10% discount at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant and The Shop. Tour participants must be 21 years or older and capacity is limited.