Probably the greatest methods to discover a brand new metropolis is to immerse your self in its historical past. Probably the greatest methods to try this in Brew Metropolis is to go to a number of the greatest museums in Milwaukee, particularly those who educate guests on regional historical past.
With Milwaukee’s wealthy and numerous historical past, whether or not it’s artwork, nature, science, or human historical past, this fascinating metropolis isn’t in need of museums—and there’s one thing for everyone, no matter your age or pursuits.
From botany and aquariums to the world’s most iconic bikes and extra, listed here are 15 of the perfect museums in Milwaukee to fulfill your must discover and study.
1. Milwaukee Artwork Museum
The constructing itself is a purpose to go to for many. The glossy and fashionable constructing is extra of a transferring sculpture designed by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. The Milwaukee Artwork Museum has develop into an icon of town and a formidable addition to the skyline.
Inside you’ll discover greater than 30,000 singular artworks and artifacts. The Milwaukee Artwork Museum is a must-visit for anybody enthusiastic about artwork of any variety. The museum at this time has advanced from town’s first artwork gallery over 130 years in the past. At this time the museum works onerous to each gather and protect long-surviving items, in addition to solid a highlight on rising modern artists.
The museum is greatest loved by adults and isn’t geared for younger children, however teenagers will take pleasure in it as effectively.
You possibly can look forward to finding not simply historic American and European work, however historic Mediterranean artifacts, images from a variety of time intervals, and fashionable sculptures, amongst different items.
2. Harley Davidson Museum
Harley Davidson is a family title, however there’s extra to the story than simply top-quality bikes. The Harley Davidson Museum is the place to find out about all of it, within the metropolis the place the model was based over 100 years in the past.
Their everlasting displays embody the historical past of the enduring title, a more in-depth take a look at the items that make up their word-class engines, and a gallery devoted to the artwork and brotherhood of basic bike golf equipment all through historical past.
And naturally, you may’t miss the Expertise Gallery, the place you may contact and even sit on a few of these iconic bikes!
Among the kid-friendly displays are briefly closed, one thing to remember if planning a visit right here with little ones.
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3. Discovery World Museum
Each metropolis wants a enjoyable science museum, and for Milwaukee, that’s positively the Discovery World Museum in Milwaukee on the lakefront. Their displays principally revolve round know-how and freshwater science. Most are geared in the direction of younger inquisitive minds and galvanizing the subsequent technology of STEM learners. So, households ought to positively make a remark of this museum!
A few of their coolest displays embody a scale mannequin of the complete Nice Lakes watershed, an aquarium with underwater worlds from everywhere in the planet, a physics lab, and an automation exhibit that teaches children the inside workings and gears of how equipment works. There’s even a scale railroading exhibit!
4. Milwaukee Public Museum
Protecting 150,000 sq. ft throughout three flooring, and that includes fascinating displays masking geology, zoology, botany, and anthropology. There’s no higher museum in Milwaukee to maintain historical past buffs busy for hours. The Milwaukee Public Museum is broadly regarded to be the perfect pure historical past museum in Wisconsin and it’s excellent for guests of all ages.
Everlasting displays embody the world’s largest dinosaur cranium, life-sized replicas of historic medieval villages, and a wing the place you may wander amongst free-flying butterflies. Rising up within the metropolis that is the museum in Milwaukee we visited essentially the most!
5. Betty Brinn Kids’s Museum
Calling all children — that is the proper spot for households on the lookout for one thing to maintain their little ones entertained! The Betty Brinn Kids’s Museum was specifically designed for ages 10 and underneath and has loads of interactive displays to maintain them stimulated whereas having enjoyable.
Their displays mix sounds and colours with problem-solving abilities to encourage children to assume whereas they play. For instance, the Dwelling City exhibit demonstrates how communities work, with faux grocery shops, submit workplaces, and even banks. There’s additionally an actual railway that makes use of primary math to show children to unravel issues and make trains transfer.
It is a must-visit Milwaukee Museum when you have children!
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6. Villa Terrace Ornamental Arts Museum
Villa Terrace was initially a personal residence, inbuilt a basic Italian Renaissance fashion impressed by a villa in Lombardy, northern Italy, overlooking Lake Michigan. At this time, the home itself is the museum — its distinctive Italian structure, vintage furnishings, and basic artwork courting again so far as the fifteenth century.
Whereas the villa is gorgeous and offers an enchanting perception into the individuals who lived right here, children will most likely be bored. It’s greatest suited to adults.
Apart from the interiors and artwork assortment, Villa Terrace has a fantastic Renaissance backyard that extends down the sloping grounds. There’s an orchard, a fantastic fountain pool, and exquisite pathways and hidden alcoves simply begging to be explored.
7. Haggerty Museum of Artwork
The Haggerty Museum of Artwork is situated on the Marquette College campus. It was established in 1984 because of donor contributions and homes an astonishing assortment of over 4,500 artworks. It’s very student-friendly and is meant for adults.
Alongside its dazzling everlasting assortment, the Haggerty does 8-9 exhibitions yearly. Developing this August is an exhibition about JRR Tolkien, the legendary creator behind The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings ebook collection.
8. Nationwide Bobblehead Corridor of Fame and Museum
The title says all of it — it is a museum in Milwaukee solely devoted to bobbleheads of each variety. It has over 10,000 particular person bobbleheads from everywhere in the world, and it’s the one museum of its variety on the earth!
Though it’s not your typical historical past or artwork museum, there may be nonetheless a lot to see and even children will benefit from the The place’s Waldo scavenger hunt.
You’d assume it may be all present, no inform, however the museum has everlasting displays on the historical past of the bobblehead and why they turned so in style, in addition to one exploring how bobbleheads are made. There’s additionally a Corridor of Fame space reserved for his or her greatest items, and yearly museum members will vote on which one might be inducted into the corridor of fame.
9. Jewish Museum Milwaukee
The Jewish Museum of Milwaukee takes a deep dive into the historical past of Jewish communities within the state of Wisconsin.
The Jewish Museum explores the Jewish-American id and the way European Jews arrived in Wisconsin and made communities there. Immigration, poverty, and persecution are simply a number of the subjects explored at this museum.
There are additionally exhibitions in regards to the Holocaust, a really traditionally vital Jewish historic occasion, which study letters from actual individuals who lived in the course of the Nazi occupation of Europe.
Whereas the museum’s displays are fascinating, they are often on the somber aspect, so this museum is beneficial for adults or older teenagers.
10. Milwaukee County Historic Society
A museum inside an outdated financial institution — how cool does that sound? The Milwaukee County Historic Society is a museum devoted to preserving the historical past of Milwaukee County, and the better space across the metropolis.
It is a fascinating take a look at the life and occasions of people that lived in Milwaukee way back to the 1800s. It collects manuscripts, personal letters, pictures, furnishings, clothes, and different private artifacts and shows them in a collection of displays.
Previous displays have regarded on the historical past of Prohibition and immigration into Milwaukee from abroad. Their present exhibit seems carefully at Lake Michigan and the way Milwaukee, then and now, has been formed by its relationship to the most important of the Nice Lakes.
The constructing, previously a financial institution, was inbuilt 1903 and is value a go to in itself. You possibly can even step into their big, room-sized vaults and see how individuals used to maintain their valuables protected!
11. Mitchell Gallery of Flight
The proper museum for historical past buffs and anybody enthusiastic about aviation: the Mitchell Gallery of Flight. It’s situated proper contained in the Milwaukee Airport, so it’s the proper place to begin your exploration of town. This Milwaukee Museum is open to the general public free of charge.
The Mitchell Gallery of Flight is a small museum packed stuffed with memorabilia and artifacts. It covers the historical past of aviation in Wisconsin and past. There are beautifully-preserved pilot uniforms, mannequin replicas of German WWII airships, and unique plane from as early as 1911, restored and on show close to the museum.
There are additionally displays on well-known pilots and army aviation officers, from Charles Lindbergh to Richard Bong, who himself was from Wisconsin. This is likely one of the greatest little museums in Milwaukee for aviation fans visiting town.
12. The Warehouse
The Warehouse is a gallery of contemporary and modern artwork, situated inside a former manufacturing facility that now incorporates over 4,000 sq. ft of sculpture, fiber artwork, work, illustrations, and images. Trendy artwork could be an acquired style and positively entails analyzing symbolism, so that is greatest fitted to inquisitive and curious adults.
There are frequent rotating displays at this Milwaukee Museum. A few of their previous ones have included artists’ self-portraits, the pure surroundings of Wisconsin as seen by artists, and artwork specializing in perceptions of various international locations like China, India, and Japan.
Their most up-to-date exhibition, entitled The Secret Backyard, combines colour and fantasy with the deepest dreamings of artists’ imaginations. Strolling by the brilliant and invigorating items seems like wandering by a secret, imaginary backyard.
13. Wisconsin Black Historic Society Museum
The Wisconsin Black Historic Society Museum is a museum devoted to creating a hopeful future out of a traumatic previous and focuses on the experiences of African-descended communities in Wisconsin.
Their displays tackle points like systemic racism and immigration to a brand new nation from homelands in Africa. Their present displays discover the idea of America because the “promised land”, stuffed with risk, and laborers all through historical past, all the best way again to Historical Egypt, together with how work alternatives led to spikes in immigration all through historical past.
Fascinating, humbling, and at occasions somber, this museum is right for grownup historical past buffs or mature teenagers. There’s loads to study and unlearn to raised perceive the experiences of individuals of colour, and the Wisconsin Black Historic Society Museum is an excellent place to begin.
14. Milwaukee Fireplace Museum
Discover a restored historic fireplace station and study in regards to the historical past and traditions of town’s Fireplace Division! The Milwaukee Fireplace Museum opened in 1995 inside a 100-year-old firehouse. In case you have children who love fireplace vans or vehicles, it is a hidden gem you gained’t need to miss.
Take a look at the basic firefighter’s bunk room and vintage-style rooms that appear like they’ve jumped out of the pages of a historical past ebook. You’ll really feel such as you’ve gone again in time, particularly while you see the classic fireplace vans, constructed within the Nineteen Twenties, and town’s first ambulance (a 1947 Cadillac).
Admission is free, however donations are welcome. You possibly can discover by yourself with the assistance of a information sheet, or select a guided tour with museum workers. Both approach, it is a fascinating take a look at what fireplace departments regarded like nearly 100 years in the past.
15. Grohmann Museum
Positioned on the grounds of the Milwaukee College of Engineering, the Grohmann Museum displays artwork that showcases the evolution of human work.
The museum incorporates over 1500 distinctive artworks from Europe and America. Most items both depict their topics actually at work or discover the shift in artwork mediums (bronze, papyrus, canvas) over time. A variety of the artwork depicts commerce abilities like blacksmiths, cobblers, taxidermists, and related laborers.
With three flooring of displays to discover, it’s simple to lose your self within the historical past of all of it. While you’re performed, go to the rooftop sculpture backyard after which seize a scorching espresso from the café.
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