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Free Admission to the Milwaukee Public Museum

April 4 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

MPM Milwaukee Public Museum

Snag free Admission to the Milwaukee Public Museum in 2024 on the first Thursday of the month. Individual dates are listed below under the press releases for the new upcoming Milwaukee Public Museum.

Spring (break) is in the air. Visit the Milwaukee Public Museum FREE during Kohl’s Thank You Thursday, 4/4, thanks to generous support from Kohl’s, through Kohl’s Cares!


{May 23, 2023} Today, I am excited to share with you the first look at sketches of the Future Museum’s We Energies Foundation Gallery: Rainforest – the fifth and final permanent gallery to be revealed this spring – as well as the Puelicher Butterfly Vivarium and Bucyrus Rooftop Terrace. 

In Rainforestvisitors will be transported to the tropics to learn about the biodiversity that flourishes there and the life supported by those climates. A beloved space for many Museum visitors, the Vivarium will be a warm, lush space thriving with real tropical plants and live butterflies flying freely throughout it.

Adjacent to Rainforest, visitors will be able to reconnect with nature and gather on the Bucyrus Rooftop Terrace, a space dedicated to the exploration of the outdoors.

MPM is offering a first look at the Rainforest gallery as well as a glimpse into the Puelicher Butterfly Vivarium and Bucyrus Rooftop Terrace. The gallery details and exhibit examples shared below are only a fraction of what visitors can expect in the Future Museum. The final gallery will include many more exhibits, collections items, and opportunities to learn.


{May 9, 2023} Today, I am excited to share with you the first look at sketches of the Future Museum’s Living in a Dynamic World gallery – the fourth of five permanent galleries to be revealed through the end of the month – and the Museum’s two flexible, educational gathering spaces called Mixing Zones. Each gallery, or group of related exhibits, will focus on a specific overarching theme, and its many dioramas and individual features will help visitors learn about the interconnectedness of nature and culture tied to that larger concept.

Living in a Dynamic World will take visitors on an unconventional journey across the world to learn about five distinct landscapes. Each immersive landscape will include the stories of unique cultures—including a focused look at a specific individual or group of people who call the landscape home today. Exhibits will show the ways of life that have developed in continuous dialogue over generations with these landscapes, and cultural counterpoints will highlight other examples of life in each landscape, helping illustrate both distinguishable characteristics about each landscape and the ways different cultures adapted to living in these types of environments throughout time. The exhibits and cultures to be highlighted were chosen with our vast collections in mind, and we’ll be showcasing both familiar and never-before-seen items in the context of cultural stories, which are being developed in consultation with origin communities.


{April 14, 2023} It’s Milwaukee Day, and I’m excited to share with you a much-anticipated first look at the Future Museum’s Milwaukee Revealed gallery, the spiritual successor to the current Streets of Old MilwaukeeMilwaukee Revealed will immerse visitors in city streetscapes to explore the bustling business corridors and neighborhoods of the city, the unique ecology of the lakefront and waterways, and the ways in which nature and culture come together in confluence to create the place we call home.

Milwaukee Revealed is the third of five permanent galleries to be revealed over the coming months. Each gallery, or group of related exhibits, will focus on a specific overarching theme, and its many dioramas and individual features will help visitors learn about the interconnectedness of nature and culture tied to that larger concept.

In Milwaukee Revealed, visitors will find a charmingly familiar urban streetscape, set at the magical hour of dusk, featuring stores and buildings. Closer inspection will reveal hidden details, historical stories, and interactive features just waiting to be discovered. Open a door, peer through a window, or find the secret lever to discover a hidden history or learn about the familiar from a totally new and unfamiliar perspective. The gallery not only takes you back in time, but also behind walls and under the surface of the here-and-now.

We heard loud and clear the public desire for an immersive space dedicated to Milwaukee. Milwaukee Revealed will be a gallery visitors can lose themselves in – and learn a lot about Milwaukee past and present along the way. Current fans of MPM’s Streets of Old Milwaukee will find many familiar, nostalgic elements in Milwaukee Revealed, including items like the penny-farthing bicycle and the one-of-a-kind Schloemer automobile. We also plan to include a virtual-reality experience of the current Museum’s Streets of Old Milwaukee and European Village, preserving the beloved exhibit experience for the next generation to explore in the Future Museum.

MPM is sharing a sampling of some of the exhibit features for the Commercial and Neighborhood areas of the Milwaukee Revealed gallery. The final gallery will also include immersive exhibits about Milwaukee’s relationship with its rivers and Lake Michigan.

Commercial District

Upon entering the Commercial District of the gallery, visitors will be transported to a bustling, immersive urban environment. With a mix of historic and modern city landmarks, Milwaukee Revealed will evoke a contemporary view of Milwaukee. Take a closer look, though, and the past will be revealed to visitors.

Mitchell Building

Immediately upon entering the gallery, visitors will encounter the Mitchell Building, a recognizable, historic building that ties the present to the past. Look long enough and choreographed lighting effects will make the Mitchell Building’s façade fade away to reveal the home of city founders Josette and Solomon Juneau, which once occupied the same site.

The Mitchell Building is one of many explorable spaces in Milwaukee Revealed, and visitors will be able to walk into the building and immerse themselves in the environment. Inside, visitors will encounter historic artifacts – ​​including a portrait of Josette Juneau currently on display at MPM – and learn the story of the Juneaus’ relationship, the Fur Trade, and their role in the founding of the City of Milwaukee as we know it.


Storefronts lining the gallery’s streets will give a glimpse into the industries and endeavors that have shaped Milwaukee. Among the storefronts featured will be a dress shop, where a window display will show a rotating collection of both contemporary and historic textiles from the Museum’s vast collection. Inside the shop, visitors will be able to explore the changing traditions and compositions of clothing from around the world.

Other storefronts will feature a modern-day frozen custard shop, revealing stories about the local dairy industry, where the ingredients for Milwaukee’s favorite frozen treat come from, and how Milwaukee connects to the rest of the world in perhaps surprising ways. Further down the street, a market storefront will give visitors a glimpse into other types of business and industry that contribute to Milwaukee’s identity. In this space, Museum staff will rotate the collections items on display, revealing something new on a regular basis.

Adding to the experience will be urban soundscapes including the rumble of vehicles down roadways and birdsong. Visually, silhouette projections of people and animals moving inside the gallery’s shops and houses, especially behind the windows on the upper stories of exhibits, will create a dynamic and immersive experience.


A scenic lookout will give visitors the chance to look out over an exhibit demonstrating the Milwaukee River and catch a glimpse of what lies beneath its surface. The city’s dropping water table will be made visible below the river and the city’s architectural skyline will change along the riverfront, revealing how the ecology and industry of Milwaukee has evolved over time. Lighting effects will create a dynamic effect similar to the movement of current and fish, and a soundscape of rippling water will further immerse visitors in the scene.

You can find more details about our gallery announcement schedule and the Future Museum online at mpm.edu/future.


{March 23, 2023} I am excited to take you on a trip around the great state of Wisconsin with the Future Museum’s Wisconsin Journey gallery, the second of five permanent galleries to be revealed over the coming months. Each gallery, or group of related exhibits, will focus on a specific overarching theme, and its many dioramas and individual features will help visitors learn about the interconnectedness of nature and culture tied to that larger concept.

In Wisconsin Journey, visitors will take a look at the wealth of wonders Wisconsin offers and its distinct, diverse, and dynamic natural and cultural landscapes, as well as examine how people are part of these many wonders and share the responsibility and privilege of caring for them.

In keeping with the curious spirit of MPM and the vision for the Future Museum, Wisconsin Journey will be an immersive trip around the state through the exploration of six distinct areas of Wisconsin. MPM is offering a glimpse of some of the exhibits that will comprise the Driftless Area, Prairie, Apostle Islands, and Northwoods. The final gallery will also include exhibits about the Great Lakes and Door Peninsula.

~ Dr. Ellen Censky
President & CEO
Milwaukee Public Museum

The Milwaukee Public Museum newest exhibit:

Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) is uncovering the mystery of the elusive narwhal in a special exhibition, Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend, opening Saturday, July 9, 2022. This exhibit takes a look at evolving perceptions about the little-understood creatures, from their depiction in the 1500s as angry sea monsters to their status as icons of pop culture today.

This special exhibition, featuring a 16-foot full-scale narwhal model, banners, graphic panels and object cases, will appeal to all generations. It also includes interactive elements to immerse visitors in the narwhals’ Arctic environment, prehistoric fossils and breaktaking panoramic landscapes and soundscapes.

“Narwhals are creatures that have become prevalent in pop culture, yet because of their remote existence and the fact that none are in captivity, many people know little to nothing about them,” said MPM President and CEO Dr. Ellen Censky. “Through Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend, MPM will help shed light on these mysterious creatures that are central to native Inuit communities in the Arctic Circle.”

Widespread knowledge about narwhals is only possible due to partnerships between the scientific community and the Inuit living among these compelling animals. Nearly all information on narwhal behavior has been guided by the Inuit people over generations, with the animals being crucial to their diet, economy, and community life—demonstrating the interconnection between nature and human culture.

Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

The exhibition is open during regular MPM hours—Wednesday through Monday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets for Museum admission, including admission to Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend, can be purchased online at mpm.edu or by calling 414-278-2728.

Milwaukee Public Museum Reopening Details


    By purchasing admission to MPM, you agree to follow our COVID-19 Visitor Policies.

  • Masks Optional

    Masks are welcome but not required. We continue to be a mask-friendly establishment and will hand out masks to visitors who may want one, while supplies last.

AND their Free Admission Days are back, too!!

  • ALL visitors* (excluding groups) receive FREE access to the permanent exhibits of MPM on the first Thursday of every month during Kohl’s Thank You Thursday.

    10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    • January 4
    • February 1
    • March 7
    • April 4
    • May 2
    • June 6
    • August 1
    • September 5
    • October 3
    • November 7
    • December 5

    Admission is free, but they strongly recommend advance reservations.* Walk-up tickets are not guaranteed.

    NOTE: Please stay tuned as future dates are added. Reservations for Kohl’s Thank You Thursday can be made 7 days prior to the dates listed above.

    *Children age 0-3 must be accounted for in your total number of tickets when making your reservation.

For information on the parking structure, please call their offices at 414-286-8401.



Find more info on Visiting Milwaukee with Kids.



April 4
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Milwaukee Public Museum
800 W. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233 United States
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