Discovery World in Milwaukee: Must-See Attractions and Pro Tips

One of the most exciting and dynamic destinations for kids and families in Milwaukee is Discovery World, a science and technology museum located on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan.

It’s perfect for kids aged 3-12, and this handy guide will help you navigate the museum and plan your day.

Getting There: The Start of Your Adventure

Arrival Tips: To beat the crowds and make the most of your visit, aim to arrive right when Discovery World opens. It’s now open seven days a week!

Parking: Parking is a breeze with the structure conveniently located underneath the building.

Time: With so much to explore, plan to spend around 3-4 hours immersing yourself and your little ones in this vibrant educational wonderland.

Discoveries Await: The Two Sides of Fun

Discovery World uniquely divides its wonders into two main areas: the Techno Side and the Aqua Side, each offering its own set of captivating attractions.

The Techno Side: Where Innovation Takes Flight

When you first enter Discovery World, you’re on the Techno Side. Enter through the gift shop and start exploring! Here are some highlights you won’t want to miss:

  • Flight Simulator: This attraction invites your child to soar through the skies as a pilot using a real flight simulator and a virtual piloting session.
  • Bernoulli Table: Dive into the principles that keep heavy machines airborne, and witness firsthand how objects can float as if weightless.
  • Innovation Station: Lay on a Bed of Nails, explore the annals of innovation, and interact with exhibits that span the gamut from biomimicry to batteries.
  • Virtual Explorer: Put on a VR headset and travel the globe with their virtual reality experience.
  • Kohl’s Design It! Lab: Open on weekends, this space allows families to engage in hands-on projects, from upcycling to building, igniting the spark of creativity in everyone.

The Aqua Side: A Dive into Nature’s Wonders

When you’re done exploring the Techno Side, head down the stunning promenade into the Aqua Side. You’ll first see Great Lakes Future. If you look up, you’ll see the bottom of The Challenge, a replica of a 19th Century Great Lake schooner. If you head downstairs, you’ll find the Reiman Aquarium.

Here’s what you’ll want to explore on the Aqua side:

  • Great Lakes Future: Home to a massive interactive Great Lakes model, this exhibit lets you control the weather. Watch it rain and fog over the lakes and learn about the creatures that dwell within them.
  • The Challenge: Board a replica of a 19th-century Great Lakes schooner and experience life as it was on the open waters, complete with deck-walking and bell-ringing.
  • Simple Machine Shipyard: Get hands-on with the fundamentals of physics as you lift, pull, and push using the six classic simple machines.
  • Aquarium Experiences: Walk through a glass tunnel beneath the waves, explore a submarine, touch stingrays in the Touch Tank, and marvel at the diversity of life in the Reiman Aquarium.

Tips for a Successful Visit

  1. Start Early: Arriving at opening time ensures a smoother, less crowded experience.
  2. Plan Your Path: Decide in advance which side you want to explore first based on your children’s interests.
  3. Wear Comfortable Clothes: There’s a lot of walking and interactive exhibits, so dress for adventure.
  4. Pack Snacks and Water: Keep everyone hydrated and energized, though there is also a small snack bar with snacks, hot food and beverage options.
  5. Capture the Moments: Don’t forget your camera to capture the smiles and surprises along the way.

Discovery World is a gateway to understanding the world through hands-on learning and fun.

From the mysteries of the deep blue to the marvels of modern technology, there’s something here to ignite the spark of curiosity in children and adults alike.

More Milwaukee Museums:

Milwaukee Public Museum: Must-See Exhibits & Pro Tips

10 Best Things To Do at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum: A Family’s Guide To Visiting

100 Best Things To Do With Kids in Milwaukee

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