Milwaukee After Hours: Nightlife for MKE Attendees

A building in Milwaukee. It has a dramatically sloped roof and floor-to-ceiling windows.
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The Wisconsin Center District is located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, placing attendees within walking distance of top attractions, dining, and nightlife. The convention center will even nearly double in size to 445,000 total sq. ft. following a 2024 expansion that includes a 300,000 contiguous square-foot exhibit hall and rooftop ballroom with an outdoor terrace. Additionally, these convention campus-area districts are perfect for after-hours fun during Milwaukee meetings and events.

Wisconsin Avenue

Milwaukee’s convention center sits on the city’s main street that leads to the lakefront as well as museums such as Discovery World and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Along Wisconsin Avenue, visitors can experience Sculpture Milwaukee, an annual exhibition bringing stunning museum-quality sculptures out on the streets of downtown.

Wisconsin Avenue bridges rise over the Milwaukee River, which has a gorgeous riverwalk for visitors and locals alike. The Milwaukee RiverWalk winds through three riverfront neighborhoods bringing guests to the doorstep of some of the city’s best restaurants, brewpubs, shops, and nightlife.

Chain restaurants are hard to find in downtown Milwaukee because of the city’s focus on local flavor and cuisine. Taste it all at the new 3rd Street Market Hall featuring local vendors, games, activities, and a selfie museum.

Old World Third Street Entertainment District

Once the heart of Milwaukee’s German community, today the Old World Third Street Entertainment District maintains a traditional vibe with some modern nightlife mixed in.

Local landmark Mader’s German restaurant provides a true taste of Milwaukee history. Old German Beer Hall serves up a full menu of German bier and traditional fare. Traditional shopping is also popular in this district at shops such as The Spice House, Wisconsin Cheese Mart, and Usinger’s Famous Sausage.

Don’t forget to head to the docks in this district for boat tours along the Milwaukee River and out onto Lake Michigan from local boat companies like Edelweiss Boats and Milwaukee Boat Line.

A crowd in front of the Old World Third Street Entertainment District. A banner is on the side of the building with five basketball players and text reading, "History in the making."

Deer District

One of the hottest new areas in Milwaukee to eat, drink, and play is Deer District. Built on the 30 acres surrounding Fiserv Forum arena—home of the Milwaukee Bucks—this district is filled with restaurants, entertainment, and events.

The Beer Garden features a versatile collection of craft beers as well as outdoor big-screens on game nights. The Mecca Sports Bar & Grill gets attendees as close to watching the game in person as you’ll get without a ticket. Good City Brewing features its signature taps in addition to small-batch and experimental brews, as well as popular stone-fired pizzas. And enjoy a corner pub vibe that’s totally Wisconsin at Drink Wisconsinbly.

Three young adults posing in Milwaukee's Deer District with three large letters M K E.

Pabst Brewery District

The 21-acre historic Pabst Brewing Company campus is now the unique Brewery District combining historic preservation with sustainable new developments.

Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery has a retro-cool tour that includes your choice of an ice-cold Pabst, Schlitz, or root beer as you explore Captain Pabst’s office, Blue Ribbon Hall, and the Captain’s Courtyard. Take a more modern beer-in-hand tour at Milwaukee Brewing Company, where you’ll learn about the craft brewery in addition to sampling new and seasonal beers.

Founded by Oscar-winning Milwaukee native John Ridley, Nō Studios is an artist haven boasting the Skyline Bar + Lounge. Bottle House 42 is an approachable and modern restaurant serving upscale brewhouse favorites, great beers, and craft cocktails. On Tap at The Brewhouse Inn & Suites is a new gastropub with Wisconsin-inspired pub food as well as a large selection of local brews and crafty cocktails.

In Milwaukee—the place where Unique Unites—attendees are engaged during meetings and long after sessions have ended. Start planning today at VisitMilwaukee.org/Meet.

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