Milwaukee World Festival announces opening of Northwestern Mutual Community Park

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. and Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, announced that the new Northwestern Mutual Community Park will officially open at Henry Maier Festival Park on Saturday, June 19, 2021This entirely redeveloped entertainment space for families will offer inclusive and accessible play for children ages 2 to 12 years of age, including those who may experience a variety of challenges.

The Northwestern Mutual Community Park will be open during Summerfest, ethnic festivals, and other select events. Opening June 19 and closing for the season August 1, 2021, the park may be accessed by the community Monday through Friday from noon – 4:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Days and times may vary depending upon the event calendar and are subject to change. Please visit to view the operating schedule.

“The new Northwestern Mutual Community Park will connect families and children throughout our community, benefitting all who visit this new premiere family destination,” said Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival Inc. “We want to thank Northwestern Mutual for their investment in this one-of-a-kind park, which creates engaging and accessible play.”

Northwestern Mutual Community Park Amenities

  • Enhanced Play Equipment: All new age-appropriate playground equipment on soft surface, including interactive musical play pieces. Equipment design also includes ramps allowing for wheelchair access. Shaded seating will be available within the playground area.
  • Flexible Stage: New, permanent stage structure with accessible seating, and a viewing area for over 500 patrons.
  • Toddler Play Area: “Giggle Grounds,” a covered play area for toddlers ages 6 months to 2 years, includes shade and age-appropriate activities and play equipment.
  • Flexible Programming Space: Over 4,000 square feet will be devoted to flexible programming spaces, which will allow local organizations and non-profit partners to provide interactive programming on a rotational basis.

The Northwestern Mutual Community Park encompasses 54,000 square feet of play equipment for children. Addressing the specific needs of families, the new 1,800 square foot, air-conditioned family services building features the following:

  • Permanent Family Restrooms: Accessible restrooms equipped with changing tables for babies, children and adults requiring an assistant.
  • Nursing Mothers Stations: Mothers seeking a quiet space to nurse will have dedicated space.
  • Sensory Rooms: Three individual and wheelchair accessible, air-conditioned quiet rooms, creating a calm environment for children that may be overstimulated by the noise, environment, or experience.

“We’re excited to officially open the Northwestern Mutual Community Park, one of Wisconsin’s most accessible parks, to Milwaukee residents and visitors,” said Eric Christophersen, President of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “This park reflects our company’s deep commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes people of all abilities and backgrounds, while also ensuring cultural traditions in our city, like Summerfest, thrive for years to come.”

Eppstein Uhen Architects was the lead architectural firm for the design of the Northwestern Mutual Community Park and JCP Construction managed the construction of the project.