Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. and Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, recently announced a major capital revitalization project for the Northwestern Mutual Children’s Theater & Playzone, which has been in place at Henry Maier Festival Park since 2006.

JCP Construction is proud to serve as the Construction Manager for the new Northwestern Mutual Community Park construction project.

A premiere destination for families within the region, the new park will continue to be a featured area at Summerfest, as well as cultural and ethnic festivals. In addition, the park will be available to the public during non-event days, encouraging the broader community to access this new amenity throughout the summer.

A guiding priority of the design is to offer inclusive play for children who may experience a variety of challenges. The Northwestern Mutual Community Park aims to be one of the most accessible playgrounds in the entire state of Wisconsin.

Plans include a flexible stage area for community-based, family-focused programming, in addition to an exhibit area, which will be used for interactive children’s activities.  The new Northwestern Mutual Community Park will feature all new accessible playground equipment suited for children ages 6 months to 12 years, along with new permanent family restrooms. The project also integrates environmentally conscious design, and intentionally embraces the beautiful lakeside setting, including shaded areas for parents.

Planned features for the park:

  • Enhanced Play Equipment: All new age-appropriate playground equipment will serve toddlers, preschool-age through school age-children. Interactive musical play will also be incorporated throughout the playground.  The play area will include soft surface flooring for safer play, shaded seating area for parents, and be defined by a perimeter fence.
  • Flexible Stage: Area will feature a new, permanent stage structure with accessible seating, and a viewing area for over 500 patrons. The performance stage will be elevated, covered, and wheelchair accessible.
  • Family Services Building: Addressing the specific needs of families, a new 1,800 square foot, air- conditioned family services building will be fully accessible, and feature the following:
    • Permanent Family Restrooms: Accessible restrooms will be 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 for that purpose.
    • Sensory Rooms: There will be 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.
  • Accessibility: A guiding priority of the design is to offer inclusive play for children who may experience a variety of challenges.
  • Toddler Play Area: The former stage will be converted to a covered play area for toddlers, including shade, and age appropriate activities and 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.
  • Community Engagement: The entertainment presented, as well as the interactive exhibits, will feature various programming produced by Milwaukee-based organizations, representing multiple perspectives.
  • Environmentally Conscious Design: The project actively integrates environmentally conscious design, including storm water management; recycled content on playground surface and equipment, and steel structures; LED lighting, and low-energy consumption fixtures; low-flow Zurn bathroom fixtures, and locally sourced products and materials.

For more information and to view renderings, visit