We had one final day in Wisconsin so we spent it in downtown Milwaukee. I had booked us into the Hilton Milwaukee City Center hotel and we had plans to hit the city! Naturally we parked at the hotel and walked the couple of blocks to the public museum.
Friends of ours had told me how fun the museum is, how much their kids enjoyed it and how it was an easy walk from downtown. Having a child the same age I knew she would love this museum! We were really excited it is an ASTC member museum so we can visit for free.
Unfortunately when I get together with my sister we do not always do well with details. It might be a genetic thing but for the life of us we couldn’t figure out how to heck to enter this museum. Every door we tried was locked. It was to the point of being comical, we would grab a door handle, pull, and nothing happened. Really it was just odd, we finally found a door that opened from the courtyard where people were snacking. Once we entered a very dis-interested young man finally helped us with tickets after I stared at him for 2 minutes at the ticket counter. So far not a great start as we couldn’t get in and then we couldn’t get helped with admission. This is a museum, you would think you want people to visit?
On the plus side it was free with our ASTC membership (Association of Science – Technology Centers) so I did not have to pay admission for the three of us. Normal admission is $15 for adults while Children(3-12) and seniors are $11. We only visited the MPM and did not do the Dome Theater Show. Metered parking is free on Sunday on the street otherwise there is parking in a covered ramp adjacent to the museum. (Walking up like we did we missed the main entrance which is from the parking ramp.) Parking in the ramp varies from $5-$12 depending on the length of your visit.
The ground floor is only the museum store, dome theater entrance and admission. Up the stairs there are three floors and amazing exhibits on everything from streets of Old Milwaukee to Africa. I have to say this museum had some of the best exhibits I had seen. We have visited a lot of museums but Milwaukee Public had incredible displays! There was a replica of a European Village, Native American exhibit, Africa exhibit and a rainforest. Very impressive!
The butterfly vivarium is very well done, while its not huge it is easily large enough to accommodate museum visitors.
There were so many butterflies and the museum staff was very relaxed about letting you get near them. They didnt panic if a child put a finger out for a butterfly to land on . We spent well over an hour sitting on the rocks and watching the butterflies.
Once we got past our bumpy start this museum was amazing. If it was closer to home I am sure we would visit once a month. This is the best museum we have visited to date.