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7 Free, Fun & Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Wauwatosa

69th St. Plaza in East Tosa with picnic benches and trees in the background

If you ask us, the absolute best part about summer is taking a trip somewhere new or returning to a place that feels like home — with the ultimate goal of traveling as much as possible, of course! 

We know that planning your next getaway can add up quickly, which is why we’ve compiled a list of where to go and things to do that are budget-friendly (or free!) so you can travel to Wauwatosa time and time again while experiencing something new during every visit.

Colorful mural in East Tosa (Wauwatosa, WI)

1. See the East Tosa Murals

Each with its own unique story, East Tosa boasts eight vibrant murals painted by artists from near and far. These larger-than-life creations span across entire exterior walls of Tosa’s small, local businesses and bring that extra flair to this dynamic district. 

Wander around East Tosa to take the perfect Instagram photo in front of any of these masterpieces — be sure to tag us in your pictures and mention #DiscoverTosa!

2. Take a Wauwatosa Historical Society Walking Tour

Step into the history of Tosa with Wauwatosa Historical Society’s Walking Tour Series. Each walking tour was carefully crafted with visitors and locals in mind and provides a snapshot into the magic behind local establishments that walkers from near and far can appreciate. 

Pull these tours up for free on your mobile device, or print them out before your visit to treat yourself to a self-guided tour of Tosa.

69th St. Plaza in East Tosa (Wauwatosa, WI)

3. Visit the 69th St. Plaza

Located in East Tosa, 69th St. Plaza is the perfect outdoor space to bring a picnic, take in the scenery, or simply enjoy the beautiful Wisconsin weather. This plaza boasts picnic tables, canopy shade, and giant tables — a trifecta for the perfect summer hangout. 

Plus, 69th St. Plaza is also located right across from some of our incredible Tosa Murals and is a great place to take a break while exploring.

4. Spend a Day at the Milwaukee County Zoo

For a can’t-miss budget-friendly, family-fun trip, a visit to the Milwaukee County Zoo is an absolute must. Keep the kids entertained all weekend when you explore 190 acres of land filled with 2,200+ animals and 348 species.

Hartung Park labyrinth with blue skies in the background

5. Enjoy Free Local Parks & Trails

Ground yourself in nature with any of Wauwatosa’s free, public parks and trail systems, including: 

  • Hartung Park – Home to hilly grounds with trails, a pond, a stone labyrinth, and a playground with swings and bongos, Hartung Park is a wonderful place to breathe in the fresh air and catch magical Tosa sunsets.
  • Jacobus Park – Perfect for a peaceful or active vibe, Jacobus Park is complete with a lilypad-covered pond, wading pool, athletic field, and playground.
  • Oak Leaf Trail – Get up and get out with Oak Leaf Trail’s 108-mile multi-use recreational trail that encircles Milwaukee County.
  • Hart Park – If you love to get active, Hart Park is for you. Complete with a 19.5-acre park with football/soccer fields, baseball diamonds, a field house, several tennis courts, a skate park, splash pad, and nature trail, it’s a sports lovers’ paradise.
  • Hoyt Park + Hoyt Park Bridge – Spend a sunny day in the park with Hoyt Park’s hiking trails, playground, and sand volleyball area. Plus, enjoy the gorgeous Hoyt Park Bridge — a two-tower stone bridge — that overlooks the Menomonee River. 
  • Hawthorn Glen – Operated by Milwaukee Recreation, Hawthorn Glen features 25 acres of woodland, prairie, and open space. It also has a hands-on nature center that’s visited by over 12K children with their schools and families each year.

6. Attend Free Seasonal Events & Concerts

We’re so grateful to have so many exciting and diverse events throughout our charming city year-round. 

If you’re visiting Wauwatosa during the summer months, visit Tosa Tonight’s concert series and Tosa Farmers Market — two weekly events that are free to all attendees. 

Located at Hart Park Rotary Pavillion most Wednesdays from June 21st through August 16th, Tosa Tonight features a diverse lineup of quality entertainment with live music under the stars. 

Every Saturday from early June through mid October (8AM – noon), Tosa Farmer’s Market is set up at 77200 Harwood Ave in Tosa Village. 

Pro Tip: Because the farmer’s market is located on the Oak Leaf Trail, take a walk or jog along the trail before or after your visit!

Interior of a hotel room at Renaissance Milwaukee West in Wauwatosa, Wi

7. Take Advantage of Our Wauwatosa Hotel Offers Page

Enjoy all that Wauwatosa has to offer (and much more!) with incredible deals and packages from Tosa-area hotels. Expect comfort and convenience with every interaction — and some great amenities, too! Book your stay in Wauwatosa today. 

Learn more about where to stay, where to eat, and things to do while you’re here in Wauwatosa.