Milwaukee Public Museum

Get acquainted with ancient civilizations, space travel and all the mysteries of Mother Nature at Milwaukee’s oldest museum.

Milwaukee’s flagship museum is almost as old as the city itself, and can trace its roots all the way back to the end of the 19th century. Today, it’s a major museum of national renown for natural and human history. There are 4.5 million items in total, which attract over a million visitors each year. Travel across the globe, from the North Pole to the South Pacific, journey into deep space or travel back to prehistoric times, all in the space of an afternoon.

With so many objects in the museum’s collection, it’s almost impossible to see everything in a day. You’d be wise to pick up a map and decide what you want to see before starting out.

The big crowd-pleasers include life-size models of dinosaurs, the Living Oceans diorama, a mini tropical rain forest, and a depiction of ancient Egypt and Rome.
Get a feel for local history at the Streets of Old Milwaukee exhibit. It features a 14,000-year-old skeleton of a woolly mammoth that was discovered nearby.

The museum targets young visitors with an interest in nature, history or the mysteries of the universe. Head to the planetarium for an immersive experience watching the night sky, or take a thrilling visual ride in the six-story, 3-D theater.

Take a break in the tranquil walk-through butterfly garden, a favorite with smaller kids and worn out adults.

The museum is spread out over three floors. Every exhibit is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers, which can be rented from the admissions desk.

You’ll find the Milwaukee Public Museum downtown at West Wells Street, just a short distance from the Interstate-43. There is metered street parking and several city parking lots nearby. It’s open until at least 5 p.m. every day, with extended hours into the evening on Thursdays.

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