10 Best Things To Do At The Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee skyline was forever changed with the completion of the magnificent Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2001.

Among the many world-class museums in Milwaukee, the Art Museum is a must-visit for families.

You can also enjoy reduced admission to the Art Museum during Milwaukee Museum Days.

Quick Tips for Parents:

  • The Art Museum is always free for kids ages 12 and under.
  • Changing tables are in the restrooms on the Café Level and in the East End.
  • Strollers are permitted in the galleries but wagons must be stored in the coatroom on the Café Level.

The next time you visit the Art Museum, pull up this list of special things to do with kids at the MAM to enhance your visit:

1.) Watch the Wings & Light Show

The wings of the iconic building open and close every day when the museum opens and closes. They also flap each day at noon. 

In a colorful unveiling in 2023, MAM introduced a spectrum of lights that added a new layer of beauty to the city’s skyline.

Starting in February of 2024, MAM announced a new schedule for its iconic wings – the Burke Brise Soleil – that will see them open with the museum at 10 a.m. (except Mondays when the museum is closed), flap at noon, and, weather permitting, remain open until 10 p.m.

The real magic happens at sundown when these wings will light up and continue to glow until closing time, even on Mondays.

There are three great spots to witness the illuminated wings: Museum Center Park at the end of Wisconsin Avenue, the connecting footbridge that offers a direct view, or inside the museum from Windhover Hall which presents a mesmerizing perspective of the lights.

2.) Stomp around Windhover Hall.

Your kids will love stomping around the stunning white marble floors in this grand, light-filled hall. The glass ceiling is 90 feet high, and the space offers an amazing view of Lake Michigan. This space is actually open to the public without charge during regular museum hours. 

3.) Visit the Kohl’s Art Generation Open Studio.

Milwaukee Art Museum Kohls Studio Wisconsin

It’s open Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  and 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Thursdays. Kids and families can explore different art materials and techniques used to create the art works in the museum’s collection. Themes change monthly, so check their website for updated information.

4.) Check out an Artpack.

Check out the free Artpacks and sketch pads at the ArtPack Station outside the Kohl’s Art Generation Open Studio. They are filled with activities that can be used in the galleries each time you visit the museum. They’re designed for a wide range of ages and attention spans. (They’re honestly genius!) Activities include sketch packs, picture books, custom puzzles, puppets, and more. 

5.) Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays

Five times a year, enjoy hands-on art activities, interactive performances, family tours, visiting artists, and more. 

6.) Play Date with Art

This drop-in monthly program is designed for the museum’s youngest visitors. Stop and sing along during Singing Time at 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.( They even do stroller tours beforehand for kids age 3 and under! Registration required.)

7.) Story Time in the Galleries

Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m., come hear a story that relates to a work of art in the galleries, and then create your own story or drawing to take home.

8.) Take an Art Class for Kids

The Museum offers Youth Studio Classes in fall, winter, and spring for ages 6–15, or take a Summer Art Camp class. Scholarships are available.

9.) Enjoy Lakeside at MAM

The museum hosts a free outdoor event series, Lakeside at MAM, with art making, lawn games, local musicians, classes, and more.

10.) Read “A is for Art”

Check out this “A is for Art” book by Marjorie Nelson Moon. It features a piece of art for each letter of the alphabet housed in the Milwaukee Art Museum. You can look through the book together at home, and easily spot some of the pieces when you visit. 

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