Make the most of the summer season with some family fun. Many local concerts, plays, games and more are designed for everyone to enjoy.

SummerStage at Lapham Peak

This Delafield venue is Waukesha County’s only outdoor theater for the performing arts. The stage is nestled in a natural amphitheater of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, and attendees bring their own blankets, chairs and snacks. Each show in the Family Series is free; parking at Lapham Peak is $5 unless vehicles have a State Park pass. In June, kids can learn about Shakespeare in a workshop and see a play. In July, a magician makes an appearance and Kohl’s Wild Theater has talks about penguins and polar bears.

Old World Wisconsin historic baseball

These games are a unique blast from the past. Players wear old-fashioned uniforms and follow rules from the 1870s: an unkempt field, no gloves and underhand pitching. There’s also no strike zone, and the umpire is called “Sir.” Fans can cheer for the home team, the Eagle Diamonds, from seats on the lawn. Games are played monthly during summer and are included with regular admission.

Kids bowl free

This program offers endless games of 10-pin for kids under 16 (shoe rental still applies). Parents can register online for the free summer program and head to any AMC bowling center, such as Sussex Bowl, to start rolling. A family pass can be purchased separately for adult family members who want to join in the fun.

Oconomowoc American Legion Band

The band celebrates its 94th season this summer. A diverse group of musicians, young and old, plays Wednesday nights June 14 through August 23 at the Rhodee Memorial Band Shell at City Beach in Oconomowoc. Kids can dig in the sand or hang out on the playground while listening to a “Salute to Big Bands” or the “Wonderful World of Disney.”

State park free fun weekend

The first weekend in June is designed to get families outside. No park pass or trail pass is required for entry into Wisconsin state parks, and people can fish without a license. It’s the perfect opportunity to take a hike in the Kettle Moraine or head out on the 52-mile-long Glacial Drumlin bicycle trail heading west from Waukesha. The Hausmann Nature Center in Lapham Peak will offer kids’ activities in the afternoons, and the Village of Hartland offers a free fishing clinic in Nixon Park with rods, reels and bait included for kids ages 6-12 who register online.

Farming fun

Nearby farms offer families the chance to get up close with animals and discover our area’s agricultural heritage.

Shady Maple Farm in Hartland has a petting zoo, educational center and seasonal produce. Each breed of animal in the zoo represents the gentlest of its kind, and the unique setup allows visitors to enter almost every animal pen.

Glacier Rock Farms in Ixonia has a petting zoo, pony rides and the opportunity to milk a cow. Summer kicks off with Shearing Day June 4, when their sheep receive an annual “haircut” and artisans begin spinning wool.

At Green Meadows Petting Farm in Waterford, visitors can take a hay ride, learn about donkeys, geese, pigs and more, milk a cow and play with kittens in the Kitty Barn.

Moonlit movies


A family-friendly flick is shown in Fowler Park in Oconomowoc once a month during summer. Movies begin when the sun sets, but half the fun precedes the show. The Badgerland Water Ski Team performs on Fowler Lake, and vendors offer food and kids’ activities on the shoreline. Visitors bring chairs, blankets, bug spray (although the park is professionally treated), flashlights and donations for the Oconomowoc Food Pantry.

Beach days



Cool off at one of the public beaches, which are open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. In Oconomowoc, City Beach and Bender Beach require the purchase of a daily or season pass. In Delafield, Naga-Waukee County Park has a beach, playground, hiking trails and picnic areas on the shore of Lake Nagawicka. Visitors can either pay a daily park entrance fee or purchase an annual pass. Pewaukee Lake Beach, across from a promenade of restaurants and shops, is free for everyone.


Oconomowoc area historical tour geocaching adventure

The adventure kicks off July 22, when organizers release coordinates for 25 new geocaches. The tour takes people around Oconomowoc, Delafield, Summit, Golden Lake and Nashotah as teams race to find them all. Families can receive a primer at the Oconomowoc Area Historical Museum before heading out, and they can complete the challenge at their own pace—even if it takes all summer. Teams need to register online at geocaching.com beforehand, and the first 100 teams to complete the challenge will receive a commemorative GeoCoin.

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