Jeramey Jannene

Popular Summerfest Kid’s Park Now Open

But check the schedule. Northwestern Mutual Community Park is free, but often closed due to festival calendar.

By - May 23rd, 2023 11:07 am
Northwestern Mutual Community Park. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Northwestern Mutual Community Park. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee’s premier children’s park is open for the season, but you’ll want to get there fast before you need to juggle the busy summer festival calendar.

The 54,000-square-foot Northwestern Mutual Community Park is located within the gates of Henry Maier Festival Park. And when Summerfest and other festivals aren’t going on, it’s free and quite popular.

The park, which opened in 2021, includes inclusive play equipment targeted at different age levels, a special toddler play area, covered seating and an air-conditioned structure with restrooms, nursing mother rooms and sensory rooms. The park is located near the Mid Gate entry point to the festival grounds, at 200 N. Harbor Dr., and can be accessed through the gate or the lakefront pathway.

The massive playground is closed for public access during festivals and when festival setup or teardown is scheduled to occur. As a result, the park is scheduled to be open to the public on only four days in June (5-6 and 17-18) and 10 in July (13-20 and 26-27). A website offers a calendar of availability.

In addition to the public play days, there are four Sunday Family Fun Days planned with a host of entertainers and programming. The fun days are scheduled to occur June 18, July 16, Aug. 7 and Sept. 17. Additional details are scheduled to be announced as the days draw closer.

Still want to visit the park on a calendar blackout day? The park is open during many of the festivals, but you’ll need to pay to get in.

The park is owned and operated by Summefest-host Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. It’s maintained as a public amenity through the organization’s lease of the grounds from the City of Milwaukee and its nonprofit status.

Free parking, on non-festival days, is available in a surface parking lot (Lot G) at the southwest corner of the intersection of E. Chicago St. and N. Lincoln Memorial Dr. The park is also easily accessible via the lakefront trail network.

Last year, MWF produced a full-year calendar showing when the park was open through November. For 2023, the organization has only pubicly-released a calendar through July and says the seasonal closure is weather dependent. The organization is referring people to its website for daily availability.


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