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Special Edition: Summer Fun and Reading 2023

As you attend events with your children this summer, be sure to read a book about it before or after you go. The more that your child knows about a topic, the easier it will be for your child to read and understand information related to that topic. Browse the events and suggested book pairings below — and have fun!

Please note: Before traveling to an event, check the event website for current information concerning air quality and weather conditions. As most of these events are held outdoors, there is a possibility of cancellation.


Jazz in the Park

Cathedral Square Park
520 E. Wells Street
June 1–July 6 and July 27–August 31  |  6–9 p.m.

Sprawl out on the grass with family and friends at this free weekly series on Thursday nights throughout the summer to listen to cool jazz. Musicians take the stage at 6:00 p.m. See the Jazz in the Park Entertainment Line-up page for the roster of performers.

A young girl in the center of a stage, conducting an orchestraRead Because 
by Mo Willems, performance by Amber Ren.
Available through the Milwaukee Public Library.





Chill on the Hill

Humboldt Park in Bay View 
3000 S. Howell Avenue
June 6–August 29  |  5 p.m.  food vendors (but carry-ins are allowed)  |  6:30 p.m.  music

Enjoy this weekly free summer concert series on Tuesday evenings with live music, food trucks, and fun for the whole family. Chill on the Hill FAQs

A little boy, sitting on a piano, playing a harmonica as he is joined by a rabbit, bird, and other animalsRead A Concert in the Park 
by Kazuaki Yamada.
Available through the Milwaukee Public Library.




Fondy Farmers Market

2200 W. Fond du Lac Avenue
July 8–October 29
Thursdays 9 a.m.–2 p.m.  |  Saturdays 7 a.m.–2 p.m.  |  Sundays 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

Enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables as well as specialty products such as handmade soaps, unique jewelry, and ready-to-eat foods at Milwaukee's most diverse farmers' market. See the website for a list of vendors and products.

Three workers setting up for the outdoor market with their eggs, cheese, and vegetablesRead On the Farm, At the Market 
by G. Brian Karas.
Available through the Milwaukee Public Library.





Bastille Days

Cathedral Square Park
520 E. Wells Street
July 13–15 |  11 a.m.–11:30 p.m.
July 16   |  11 a.m.–8 p.m.

This popular French festival turns forty this year! Free entry. Enjoy live music, French and Cajun cuisine, activities, and vendor booths. Learn about France and what "storming the Bastille" means. 

Kitty Kat riding a bicycle in the heart of Paris, enjoying the viewsRead Kitty Kat, Kitty Kat, Where Have You Been?
I've Been to Paris, and Guess What I've Seen...  

by Russell Punter and Dan Taylor.
Available through Amazon.




Milwaukee Air and Water Show

Milwaukee Lakefront
July 21  |  10 a.m.–3 p.m.  air show practice
July 22 and 23  |  10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.  water show  |  12 noon –4 p.m.  air show  |  3 p.m.  U.S. Navy Blue Angels 

Please note: performances are dependent on weather conditions, visibility, and other factors.

The Milwaukee Air and Water Show is one of the top air shows in the United States. Experience the thrill of aerial aerobatics by watching the planes soar over Lake Michigan! The event is free to view from the lakefront, or you can purchase tickets.

One of the Blue Angel military jets flying straight on, with four others in the backgroundRead Being a Blue Angel: Every Kid's Guide to the Blue Angels 
by Mark I. Sutherland and Amy C. Sutherland.
Available through Amazon.




Black Arts Fest MKE

Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest Grounds)
200 N. Harbor Drive
August 5  |  12 noon–10:00 p.m.

Come out and enjoy art, entertainment, poetry, dance, fashion, literature, cuisine, vendor markets, and more — all steeped in African ancestry. Children ages 7 and under are free. Black Arts Fest MKE FAQs

The artist Jean-Michel Basquiat as a young child against a background collage of artworkRead Radiant Child: The Story of the Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat 
by Javaka Steptoe.
Available on Sora (formerly OverDrive).




Mexican Fiesta

Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest Grounds)
200 N. Harbor Drive
August 25–27  |  12 noon–12 midnight

Mexican Fiesta encourages people from all ethnic backgrounds to share in the beauty of Mexico's rich history, art, music, and food. Celebrate three days of fun, culture, and the taste of Mexico at Milwaukee's lakefront. Mexican Fiesta FAQs

Amalia Hernández dancing folkloric ballet with two dancers on either side of herRead Danza! Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México  
by Duncan Tonatiuh.
Available on Sora (formerly OverDrive).




Bradford Beach

2400 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive

Build sand castles, collect shells, sunbathe, or swim at Bradford Beach, one of the top urban beaches in the nation. Bradford Beach is the coolest place to be on a hot summer day.

Starfish floating in the tropical water with a palm tree–lined beach in the distanceRead National Geographic Kids: At the Beach (Pre-Reader) 
by Shira Evans.
Available on Sora (formerly OverDrive).





Betty Brinn Children's Room

Milwaukee Public Library, Central Library
814 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Days and Hours Open

The Central Library's Betty Brinn Children's Room is a space designed just for children. In addition to finding great books to read, children can play with toys such as LEGO bricks and puppets, or they can climb to the top of the mini-lighthouse and view the entire room! 

Arturo Schomburg carrying a big stack of books toward the libraryRead Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library 
by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Eric Velasquez.
Available on Sora (formerly OverDrive).

To access the books on our monthly MPS Reads book lists, visit your school library or local library, or go online to Sora* (formerly OverDrive) and log in with your MPS student ID number.

*Some titles are not available through Sora.

Suggest a book

If you would like to recommend a book title, please fill out this form:


Reading Curriculum Specialist:

Tanya D. Evans
Phone: 414-475-8110

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2023
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