Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Franklin, WI

  • Published 2022/09/13

Franklin, known as the “City of Homes,” is a bustling city located in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, named after Benjamin Franklin.

Back in the day, Franklin was a forest covered with heavy timber and hardwoods such as walnut, butternut, and hickory.

There was also lots of wildlife in the area ranging from big animals such as bears, panthers, and wolves to deer and wild turkeys!

Now it’s become a peaceful and steadily-growing suburb of the city of Milwaukee, a great place for families.

It’s also the safest place in Milwaukee, home to 35,451 people, 13,642 households, and 9,351 families.

Moreover, it has plenty of rich history and establishments that will make your stay fun and worthwhile.

Here are the best things to do in Franklin, Wisconsin, to help make your next trip memorable:

Commune with Nature at the Wehr Nature Center

Waterfall at Wehr Nature Center

Designs By Thereasa /

Discover beautiful sights and embark on a peaceful but exciting journey at the Wehr Nature Center.

It is part of Whitnall Park, located in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.

With 220 acres of protected land, you’ll explore nature trails through various environments with routes of varying difficulties.

Take the easy family-friendly trails filled with photo and seating opportunities to more challenging ones such as the Woodland Trails and Red Trail-Grasslands Trail.

You must be mindful, though, that Wehr Nature Center has strict policies to ensure the safety of the premises and maintain their accessibility to everyone.

They also show a view of the lake, a variety of gardens, play areas, and educational exhibits.

Also, come by the gift shop afterward to buy gifts and toys for people of all ages, perfect for sharing stories about your experience here at the Wehr Nature Center.

Enjoy the Day with Outdoor Activities at the Lion’s Legend Park

After a quick drive from Franklin City Hall, you can explore Lion’s Legend Park!

It has various facilities and activities that will make your stay enjoyable and fill your schedule.

You can rent facilities at the Clerk’s office, including playfields, play structures, tennis courts, volleyball courts, park buildings, and many more.

Likewise, you can host small special events using their facilities, as they also have access to electricity, picnic tables, water, and barbecue pits.

If you want that outdoor experience, visit Lion’s Legend Park.

Strike Out at the Root River Center

It’s time to put those bowling skills to work here at the Root River Center!

Conveniently found along 7220 W. Rawson Avenue, the Root River Center provides multiple facilities to ensure you leave full and satisfied!

With 16 bowling lanes, eight sand volleyball courts with a party pavilion, you can work up a sweat and show what you can do.

After playing, visit their sports pub & grill and eat at their banquet hall to refuel for another round.

This place is perfect for birthday parties and events because of the many indoor activities to play and enjoy.

You’ll be glad to have stopped by Root River Center!

Discover an Active Growing Community at Ballpark Commons

Located at 7900 Crystal Ridge Road, Ballpark Commons is a mixed-use entertainment district.

Its main goal is to build a community around its mindful and creative amenities made for the people.

You can find a stadium, sports complexes, retail and office space, apartments, and even senior living units!

This district is truly a place complete with amenities and filled with passion.

Be sure to visit the Ballpark Commons.

Who knows, you might find you forever home!

Experience Holistic Healing at the Conservancy for Healing and Heritage

We all have that built-up stress and fatigue.

Maybe it’s just through everyday life.

Perhaps you’re going through something rough.

But you’re not alone.

You can experience wellness, respite, and peace through nature at the Conservancy for Healing and Heritage.

You can find them at 7410 W Rawson Avenue.

The Conservancy for Healing and Heritage also has all sorts of programs and events catered to customers specifically to help show people new perspectives.

Likewise, they guide distraught and lost people to seek help.

These programs include Saturday Morning Soul Circles, Unplug and Recharge, New Herizons, and many more creatively crafted community activities.

Go Shopping at the St. Martins Fair

Why not join the St. Martins Fair if you’re looking for a fun place to shop?

This event takes place along St. Martins Road and Church Street.

However, it only happens twice a year, the Sunday before Labor Day and on Labor Day itself.

People from Franklin and tourists come and celebrate the St. Martins Fair every year!

These people come to buy and sell interesting products!

Find vendors selling various items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, arts and craft items, hardware and household items, furniture, antiques, and pet supplies.

Come home with treasures from the St. Martins Fair!

Grab a Drink at the Lakefront Brewery

Do you love beer?

Then you’ll be glad to hear about Lakefront Brewery, a place famous for its array of beer, including organic and gluten-free brews!

The Lakefront Brewery has gained fame for its world-class tours given to avid beer-lovers.

After all, the brewery has produced high-quality beer for the past 20 years.

You can find them at 1872 N Commerce Street.

Just make sure you have a companion so you can get home safely!

Swing for a Hole-In-One at the Oakwood Park Golf Course

Golfing is fun because it’s not just for one person; you can also play it with friends and family!

You can find the Oakwood Park Golf Course along Oakwood Road.

It is the longest of all Milwaukee County Park’s golf courses, stretching a whopping 7,000+ yards.

It is one of the more popular gold courses because of its course layouts, excellent weather, practice ranges, professional staff, and its covered outdoor pavilion that can seat up to 144 people.

The Oakwood Park Golf Course is perfect for golfers of all skill levels, so enjoy a game or two with friends or family!

See the Latest Movies at the Marcus Showtime Cinema

Nothing says “movie” more than popcorn, comfy seats, and a giant screen.

You can enjoy that novel cinema experience here at the Marcus Showtime Cinema.

With 12 digital projection screens, classic stadium seating, and a broad range of items at the concessions counter, the place has everything you need to enjoy the latest movie!

Located at 102nd Street, the Marcus Showtime Cinema screens the latest blockbuster movies at an affordable price!

What are you waiting for?

Make that upcoming movie memorable and satisfying.

Watch now!

Take the Kids to Kayla’s Playground

Have a fun time with your family at Kayla’s Playground at Franklin Woods Nature Park.

They have various playground equipment and play areas to keep your children stimulated and active!

You can worry less about your children as the areas have cushions to increase fall protection.

Likewise, they are always dry to prevent slips.

Even the slides are strategically placed in areas to make sure the drops stay cool to the touch.

Parents and guardians have a covered seating area for rest, relaxation, comfort, and socialization while keeping watch over the children.

You can find this place inside the Franklin Woods Nature Park.

Visit Kayla’s Playground for an unforgettable experience with your children.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Revisit History at the Milwaukee Public Museum

Exterior view of Milwaukee Public Museum

Tony Savino /

They say that the best way to appreciate the place you’re visiting is to learn about how it developed.

The Milwaukee Public Museum is one of the several major American museums of the late 19th century.

Starting from a small collection of artifacts from a German-English school, the museum became a natural history society to focus on the artifacts and collection at hand.

They feature research and collections from varying departments, from anthropology, botany, and geology, to zoology.

Although the museum houses more than four million objects and specimens, the most unusual objects and models are the skeletons of a 14,500-year-old woolly mammoth and thousands of bird eggs.

Finally, for an enhanced and modern museum experience, check out the theater and planetarium to see their planetarium program in a thrilling 3D show on a giant screen.

Visit the Milwaukee Public Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 23 minutes from Franklin.

Geek Out at the Discovery World

Entrance of Discovery World

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Do you want to know how we humans thrived in the world using our heads and thumbs?

Then, it’s time to visit the Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 24 minutes from Franklin.

Discovery World is a science center/science and technology museum filled with fun activities and rooms for hours of fun!

Exterior view of Discovery World

Dori, CC BY-SA 3.0 US, via Wikimedia Commons

You can experience innovating at the Innovation Station, see fish and other marine animals at the Aquarium, feel the sturdiness of excavators at the Milwaukee Muscle section, and many more!

Prepare yourself for a day of laughter and learning at Discovery World, located by the shores of Lake Michigan.

Interior view of Discovery World

self, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Feed Your Need for Speed at the Harley Davidson Museum

Are you interested in motorcycles? Do you feel a need for speed?

Come to the Harley Davidson Museum and see the history behind its success.

Front view of Harley Davidson Museum

Brett Welcher /

Likewise, check out their gallery of the best motorcycles, motorcycle parts, and other various stocks.

Two exhibit floors, a park-like campus, a retail center, and a dining experience will keep your day filled with activities.

Bike exhibits at Harley Davidson Museum

Paulo Nabas /

Of course, the Harley Davidson Museum also offers tours that detail every exhibit and object.

Visit them in Milwaukee, 24 minutes from Franklin.

Displays at Harley Davidson Museum

Paulo Nabas /

Work up a Sweat the Pettit National Ice Center

The Pettit National Ice Center is the proud home rink of Wisconsin and has quite the impressive international-sized hockey rinks—two of them, to be exact.

These rinks suit the needs of the US speed skating Olympic athletes and enthusiasts; they have made the Pettit National Ice Center their official training site.

Even so, rest assured that the place has rinks for public skating for the more casual enjoyers.

They even have a 443-meter track for you to either walk or run on, sure to help you work up a sweat per lap!

You can find the Pettit National Center at 500 S 84th Street, Milwaukee, 18 minutes from Franklin.

Take Snapshots of the Wildlife at the Milwaukee County Zoo

Elephants at Milwaukee County Zoo

Kingfishcafe /

The Milwaukee County Zoo is a place where everyone can laugh and learn.

You can find this 190-acre zoo filled with animal exhibits, pony rides, and animal shows at 10001 W Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, 18 minutes from Franklin.

Leopard at Milwaukee County Zoo

DreamSerenePhotography /

They have outdoor habitats for you to see and even an aviary and little penguin enclosures too!

The Milwaukee County Zoo features over 2,000 unique and fascinating animals you won’t see anywhere, plus guides and information that will surely surprise you.

It’ll give you a magical experience filled with learning and discovery.

Giraffe at Milwaukee County Zoo

Ian Dikhtiar /

Final Thoughts

Franklin, Wisconsin, has grown from humble beginnings to a lively and community-centered town.

You can see the love, effort, and dedication from the people of Franklin to develop the city from its humble beginning to how it is today.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Franklin, Wisconsin!

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