Milwaukee Public Museum

#11 in Best Things To Do in Milwaukee
Milwaukee Public Museum picture1 of 3
Milwaukee Public Museum2 of 3
Courtesy Visit Milwaukee

Key Info

800 W Wells St.


Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 3.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 3.0Atmosphere

If you're looking for ancient creatures, human history, and live butterflies all in the same place, the Milwaukee Public Museum has you covered. Permanent exhibits range from a 14,000-year-old mammoth skeleton to a life-size diorama of early-1900s Milwaukee. Enjoy a walk through a re-created century-old village, inspired by 33 different European cultures. Then stop by the Puelicher Butterfly Wing, where you can watch butterflies flit around their two-story garden. And in the Native Games exhibit, visitors can learn about the history and significance of games played by indigenous tribes throughout the U.S. and Canada. 

Previous visitors sang the praises of the butterfly exhibit and recommended a visit to the museum's candy store. They also point out that there's no coat check, so you'll have to either carry your jacket or rent a locker for a small fee.

You can find the museum on West Wells Street, just a few blocks west of the convention center. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit on the first Thursday of the month for a few extra hours of exploring when the museum is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets start at $18 for adults, $12 for children ages 4 to 13, and $14 for seniors, students, and the military. For more information about new exhibits and special events, visit the museum's website.

See all Hotels in Milwaukee »

More Best Things To Do in Milwaukee

Harley-Davidson Museum1 of 13
Milwaukee Public Market2 of 13
Time to Spend
#1 Harley-Davidson Museum

Whether you're a diehard biker or someone who just happens to be in the area, many visitors say the Harley-Davidson Museum is worth exploring. Spread across 20 acres of prime Milwaukee riverfront property, the Harley-Davidson Museum continuously wows travelers with its 11 permanent exhibits and rotating special exhibits, including a recovered motorcycle from a tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011. Some permanent exhibits include a an engine room and an extensive motorcycle gallery that showcases the evolution of the company's bikes.

For those interested in the nitty-gritty of Harley bikes and history, consider paying an additional $4 per person for an audio headset. Prior visitors said the in-depth narration provided a superb detailed description of everything in the museum. (But if you don't feel like paying extra for a headset, the written explanations provided at each exhibit offer a wealth of excellent context, so you'll still learn plenty, according to previous travelers.)

Read more
Courtesy Visit Milwaukee
See full list of Best Things To Do in Milwaukee »

Explore More of Milwaukee

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.


12 Top Gulf Coast Beaches to Visit

This southern shoreline beckons with charming oceanfront locales.

The 10 Best Detroit Tours

Get to know the historic and quirky side of Motor City.

12 Top Family Camping Trips, Ideas and Campgrounds

Enjoy the great outdoors for a price you can afford.

The 8 Best Memphis Tours

Experience the best of Memphis with one of these top guided tours.

The 10 Best Kauai Boat Tours

Set sail on these excursions to explore the beauty of the Garden Island by sea.

The 18 Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in the U.S.

Bring your pet along on an unforgettable beach vacation.

The 10 Best San Antonio Tours

Experience one of Texas' best cities with the help of a local.

The 11 Best Salem Tours

From its infamous witch trials to its underrated food scene, this Massachusetts city is ripe for exploration.

15 Top Weekend Getaways in California

Escape to the Golden State without breaking the bank.

The 7 Best Chicago Walking Tours

See the best Chi-Town has to offer on your own two feet.