Board games are a big business these days. Throw a stone and you’re sure to hit a newly minted gaming pub. Go to any family function and you’re sure to get stuck playing Apples To Apples or, sigh, Cards Against Humanity. Stop by that friend’s house (you know the one) and buckle up for a 90-minute explanation of how to play Pandemic or Terraforming Mars. (Pro tip: the United Nations Mars Initiative corporation card is way overpowered, and you can pretty much bump your TR up an extra notch every generation—all for a lousy 3 MegaCredits! Pair that with a nice bio engine—some bacteria, some nitrophilic moss, etc.—and you’ve got it made.)

Ahem. Now, the tabletop craze is headed outdoors: Milwaukee Downtown has just unveiled its Downtown GO! Kart, a outdoor mobile kiosk parked on the plaza of 310 W. Wisconsin Ave. (a.k.a. the big blue federal building across from the Grand Ave.) and stuffed with more than 25 free-to-play board games. The cart, staffed by those delightful downtown ambassadors you see all the time, will operate from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, until Friday, September 28. On Monday, October 1, it will relocate to ASQ Center’s river skywalk for the winter.

The Downtown GO! Kart may not boast the deepest games currently on the market—Monopoly, Clue, Battleship, and, sigh Apples To Apples are the order of the day—but hey, it sure beats wandering around aimlessly downtown on your break from CapTel. Oh, and there’s free wi-fi.

A full list of games is here. A great Terraforming Mars tutorial on tempo, opening gambits, and why you should never go for that “Planner” milestone is here. A press release is below.

Downtown GO! Kart debuts on Wisconsin Avenue with tabletop games

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (August 21, 2018) – Over 25 free tabletop games are now available to downtown residents, employees and guests at the plaza of 310 W. Wisconsin Ave. Made possible by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, in partnership with 310 WEST WISCONSIN and Plankinton Clover Apartments, the Downtown GO! Kart offers an assortment of games for all ages and skill levels to play over the lunch hour or for an entire afternoon. Available games include Apples to Apples, Chess, Clue, Jenga, Monopoly, Sorry!, Scrabble, and Yahtzee, just to name a few. The Downtown GO! Kart is staffed by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21’s friendly Public Service Ambassadors.

“We understand that great public spaces come to life through interaction and activation,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “The Downtown GO! Kart is a technology-free, hands-on activity that will bring unmatched energy to West Wisconsin Avenue.”

The Downtown GO! Kart will operate 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, until Friday, Sept. 28 from the plaza of 310 W. Wisconsin Ave. Beginning Monday, Oct. 1, it will relocate to ASQ Center’s river skywalk and reopen for the summer season at 310 W. Wisconsin Ave. in May 2019.

“Westown is experiencing an unprecedented resurgence with shovels in the ground and investment on the rise,” said Kim Guerrero, FMP, general manager of 310 WEST WISCONSIN. “310 WEST WISCONSIN is proud to be part of building a vibrant heart in the community by offering innovative programming on West Wisconsin Avenue.”

Adding to guests’ experiences, Downtown GO! Kart users will have access to free wi-fi, courtesy of 310 West Wisconsin. For seasonal operating hours and a complete list of free tabletop game rentals, visit

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.