KIDS RIDE FREE.  The Chicago Tribune covers an Amtrak Hiawatha promotion.
The offer is good Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Aug. 28.

Tested: I'm not seeing a big downside to a free train ride with the kiddies, especially if they're young and easily entertained. I found availability for free tickets on Saturday for an 8:25 a.m. departure from Chicago's Union Station and returning from Milwaukee's downtown station at 7:35 p.m. The adult ticket I found costs $46 round trip, which saves $46 in free round-trip tickets for two children (kid fares are usually half off).

Once there, you could hop a downtown trolley for $1 each (more train fun), check out the Harley-Davidson Museum or mosey along RiverWalk--all without breaking the bank.
There are three distinct river walks near downtown Milwaukee. The one called "Beer Line" is a rails-to-trails conversion, using the right of way of The Milwaukee Road's Chestnut Street Line, otherwise known, because it served Schlitz directly and the Blatz and Pabst loading docks, as the Beer Line.

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