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Unusual adventures in the big city

Milwaukee has surprising entertainment options

Published: Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 1:52 p.m. CDT
(Photo by Kate Kinser)
Splash Studio in Milwaukee is a bar with a lot of color. Patrons visiting get to brush up on their painting skills in the Historic Third Ward.

MILWAUKEE – November can be an odd time to look for adventure as the days turn gray and the air gets colder. However, a trip to Milwaukee certainly will add color to the move into winter.

Adults in an artistic mode will want to plan a visit to Splash Studio, a painting bar at 184 N. Broadway. Visitors sign up online for a Splash Session, choose a painting, go to the bar, drink, talk, and paint. They get to take their creation home. The cost of the activity varies.

Mini paintings also hold appeal there. Just drop in at any time to work at the bistro tables or bar. The cost ranges from $10 to $20. No reservations are taken. Visit to find out more.

Interested in bocce ball? Then head over to the InterContinental Hotel at 139 E. Kilbourn Ave. Every Tuesday evening the hotel is the site of this indoor competition. Open play is offered; no court is required. The game involves a pair of bocce balls and two to four players. Each player takes a turn tossing a ball as they attempt to get it as close to the pallino (a smaller ball) as possible, and closer than everyone else.

Even if there is not a plan to leave the ground, General Mitchell International Airport is of interest. Visitors can try their hand at ping-pong or stop at the Renaissance Book Shop. The store has thousands of books, and is one of the oldest used book shops at the airport, 5300 S. Howell Ave.

Those interested in history have a choice of something different, too, in St. Joan of Arc Chapel on the Marquette University campus. The chapel was moved in 1927 from France to New York, piece-by-piece. In 1964, it moved again, this time to Milwaukee. This is a medieval building said to be the place where St. Joan of Arc prayed to St. Mary before kissing the stone it rested on. That stone now seems to be colder than the rest.

The chapel is open for tours from 10 a,m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at 1415 W. Wisconsin Ave. There is no charge. Call 414-288-6873 for tours.

Those who want to fly without a plane will need to wait until March to take wing at the Milwaukee County Zoo at 10001 W. Blue Mound Road. Good with a $55 all day pass, visitors have the option of trying out a zip line, tackling a 3-level obstacle ropes course, and climbing a 32-foot rock wall. Visit for hours and details.

With these adventures waiting, a journey north before the snow falls can leave travelers with pleasant memories to be discussed in front of the fireplace.

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