Discovery World’s 120,000 square feet of exhibits celebrate exploration—both of technology and aquatic life. Guests can gaze at a 75,000-gallon freshwater tank filled with species found in the Great Lakes, stroll down a glass-enclosed tunnel beneath the 65,000-gallon saltwater tank containing colorful Caribbean fish, and admire jellyfish showing off their limber break-dance skills before getting their hands wet in touch tanks with sturgeon, stingrays, and more. The museum further satisfies thirst for watery knowledge with to-scale replicas of the Great Lakes and the Challenge, a 19th-century schooner.
Discovery World houses plenty of exhibits dedicated to innovative technology, including Les Paul’s House of Sound, which features guitars from Les Paul’s own personal collection. Visitors can also practice flying a plane and skywriting marriage proposals in the airplane simulator, or peer inside a nuclear reactor as it generates energy.
The writers at Milwaukee Magazine mine cultural gems and scoop political stories each month to reflect the city's lifestyle and current events in 12 glossy issues. Subscribers join a community of 225,000 readers, who vicariously interview local celebrities and innovators and explore Milwaukee's boutiques and underwater speakeasies through the magazine's pages. Feature stories spotlight local gustatory delights, profile local businesses, and unpack economic issues, while arts and leisure articles hone cultural literacy and personal style.
Readertainment is aggregated annually in the City Guide and the Best of Milwaukee, a roundup that clearly distinguishes the lakefront's elite establishments. In addition to printed matter, Milwaukee Magazine is published online, where an event calendar and a blog roll herald potential trades for the Milwaukee Brewers, dispatches from the pressroom, and discoveries of fossilized bobby socks excavated from the Happy Days set.
The 14,000-year-old Hebior mammoth stands sentinel past the entrance to the Milwaukee Public Museum, serving as a massive reminder to all who enter that they are traveling back in time. Originally founded in 1882, the museum has spent more than a century collecting artifacts and fossils from around the world to portray the vast reaches of natural and human history throughout 150,000 square feet of exhibit space spread over three and a half floors.
Representing the recent past, The Streets of Old Milwaukee's turn-of-the-century gas-lit lanes and the European Village place visitors up close to replicas of more than 58 structures, including an old-fashioned barbershop and a fully furnished Scottish dwelling. Traveling further back to the Cretaceous period in the Third Planet exhibit, a life-size replica of a tyrannosaurus greets visitors with its tiny arms and impeccable manners. Visitors can also explore treasures from Africa, Asia, and the Arctic, or stroll through the butterfly wing to witness free-flying exotic and native species.
Adjacent to the museum, the Daniel M. Soref Planetarium and IMAX theater display astronomical wonders with a Digistar 3 computer-projection system. The Skies Over Milwaukee show lights up the ceiling with the current night sky for a tour of the planets and constellations. In the same theater, IMAX films transport audience members to the top of Everest or to the bottom of the ocean with a six-story screen, wraparound digital sound, and the distilled imaginations of 5-year-olds.
Originally built as homes for prominent Milwaukee businessmen, the Charles Allis Art Museum and Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum allow for public perusal of the eclectic collections housed within their walls. As visitors teleport from room to room within the Charles Allis, they can view works spanning two millennia of artistic endeavor in a broad range of media, including bronze sculpture, elaborate furnishings, ivories from the Far East, and Bruno Ertz watercolors of moths and insects. Barbizon School paintings inhabit the French parlor, and Hudson River School paintings congregate in the library. Villa Terrace's similarly multifaceted collection includes furniture designed by architect David Adler, a 24-panel Züber wallpaper panorama, and an extensive compilation of ironwork, photos, drawings, and blueprints from Milwaukee artisan blacksmith Cyril Colnik. Outside, its Renaissance Garden features an array of flora, a fishpond, a tram, and a water stairway that leads to a cloud shaped like an Olympic swimming pool.
Completed in 1892 as the private home of the Pabst family, Pabst Mansion stands as the last bastion of more than 80 mansions built for Milwaukee’s elite during a booming, bygone era. Since its construction, the estate has housed archbishops, priests, and sisters and was saved from near-demolition during the 1970s. The Flemish-Renaissance-Revival home has since been awarded a place on the National Register of Historic Places for its bounty of architectural intricacies.
Today, on-staff docents conduct a range of tours for public groups, private parties, school groups, and well-behaved rugby teams through the fortress of halls, opulent rooms, and verdant grounds, each restored to their original condition.
The Pabst Mansion’s impressive art collection includes works from the 1640s through the 1900s by artists such as William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Gaetano Trentanove, and Eugene Joseph Verboeckhoven. The emporium of excess also features Pabst Beer Pavilion, the pavilion built for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and the glass-covered conservatory where tropical plants and beer trees continue to flourish.
The mansion gift shop holds classic Pabst drinkware and memorabilia as well as antique photos, books, and former employees' original finger paintings.