Growing Up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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If you’ve been following along with me over on Twitter, you know that I’ve been doing the Read the World Summer Book Club over at Simple Homeschool and we have been having a total blast. In preparation for the end of the summer, they’re encouraging all the families who are participating to share about what it’s like to grow up where they are growing up. So, I sat down with Dominic to answer these questions about our family and about Milwaukee, the city we live in. Questions in bold, Dominic in orange (his current favorite color, though as I’m halfway through typing this, he tells me all the colors are his favorite colors), me in purple, and Nick in blue.

Tell us about your family.

Allen is my brother. He is one. What’s something cool about Allen? That he snuggles with me and plays with me. And who are you? Dominic. And how old are you? Four. And what do you like to do? I like to play games! Tell me about dad. What’s cool about dad? That he plays games, that’s what’s cool about him. And now what about me? Who am I? Mommy. And what’s cool about me? That you snuggle with me! 

My family

Photo taken by the amazing Emily Ebeling. If you’re interested in checking out more of her work or hiring her, click on the photo to be taken to her site!

Tell us about where you live and how long you’ve lived there.

We live in Wisconsin and I don’t know how long we lived there. Well mom’s been here all her life and dad’s been here for about six years and you (Dominic) have been here all your life and so has Allen. {He was talking about the US here, I grew up in Wisconsin, but not in Milwaukee.} We currently live in Milwaukee, the largest city in Wisconsin. 


Photograph taken by Dori ( –

What do you think is unique and special about living where you do?

The museum. Milwaukee Republic Museum. (He means Milwaukee Public Museum). It’s in downtown. And the Domes! It’s a building with plants and a waterfall and fish. 

Milwaukee Public Museum Butterflies

The butterfly gardens at the Milwaukee Public Museum

Milwaukee Domes

On a scavenger hunt at the Domes. It has three areas – tropical dome, desert dome, and show dome. Unfortunately, only the show dome is open while it undergoes emergency repairs to keep people safe, so we haven’t been a while. This is a staple of Milwaukee though and we hope they are able to save them!

What languages are spoken there?

We speak English here. Some other languages that are common in our area include Spanish and Hmong. 

What are some traditional foods there?

Corn Chex, vegetables, cheeses, fruits, juices, sugary drinks, milk. That’s all the things we eat. What is your favorite meal? Pie! Pie is not a meal. It’s funny! What is your favorite meal, for real? Mac ‘n cheese! 

Zucchini Bread

We also love zucchini bread and make it fairly often using my family’s recipe.

Tell us about the climate where you live.

What’s the weather like during the summer? It’s hot, cause the sun is up. What’s the weather like during the winter? Cold. It snows. A lot. 

What does school look like for the majority of kids where you live?

Most kids here attend school outside the home, either public or private. In Milwaukee, in particular, there are a lot of special public schools. For example, there are German, French, and Spanish immersion schools, and Montessori schools as well. There are so many more that listing them would take a long time haha 😉 

What does school look like for your family?

We do learning stuff – play games. What are we starting in the fall? Preschool. We homeschool and I try to include a lot of reading, games, and field trips into our learning as well as more book work type things. I would describe our style as eclectic. 

Are there any special festivals or traditions you’d like to tell us about related to where you live?

We have so many amazing festivals here in Milwaukee. The biggest one is Summerfest, which is a huge music festival, but we also have many ethnic festivals as well. Irish Fest, Greek Fest, Indian Summer Fest, Festa Italiana, German Fest, Polish Fest – and there are many more, but these are just the ones that leaped to mind. During the middle of the summer, there is almost always some kind of festival every weekend. 


Dominic painting in the kids’ tent at Summerfest

If you ever had to move away from where you live, what do you think you’d miss most?

My house. I would miss our fridge. Then I’ll miss our ceiling and I’ll miss our door. I’ll miss our handles. Milwaukee has such a great wealth of opportunities in terms of culture. We have a zoo, many wonderful museums, and many festivals. I’d really miss those. And we have a wonderful church community here too that I would really miss if we moved away. 

Do you have a favorite book that takes place in your region/country?

I grew up reading Little House in the Big Woods which took place in Wisconsin. The boys and I also really enjoy reading a lot of Lois Ehlert, who is a local author and has written many, many books. In fact, she even helped design the children’s room at the Central Milwaukee Public Library downtown. 

Milwaukee Central Library Kids' Room

Have you ever visited or lived in Milwaukee? What’s your favorite part about Milwaukee? Or, what’s your favorite part about where you live? 

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