Harley-Davidson Museum: A Family-Friendly Adventure Through Motorcycle History

You may not think of the Harley Davidson Museum as being especially family-friendly, but there’s plenty of interactive fun for kids to engage with at this iconic Milwaukee museum and campus.

Let’s dive into what you’ll find here!

Photo: Visit Milwaukee

Walk the Campus

I recommend heading there on a sunny day so you and your kids can stomp around the 20-acre park-like campus along the river. Water surrounds it on three sides, and there’s a beautiful Riverwalk to enjoy on a nice day.

Don’t miss the Hill Climber Statue, a 16-foot-tall (and 5,000 pound) bronze statue honoring motorcycle competition by sculptor Jeff Decker.

Photo: Visit Milwaukee

You can also walk to The Shed, a replica of the historic shed where the company began in 1903, and the Rivet Walls, a monument with funny and poignant motorcycle messages engraved in solid stainless steel.

The Motorcycle Galleries: A Journey Through Time

As you step into the museum, your child’s eyes will widen at the sight of rows upon rows of gleaming motorcycles in the Motorcycle Galleries on the 1st and 2nd floors.

Like a time machine through the world of motorcycles, you’ll hop from one era to the next, seeing how the classic bikes from the late 1940’s have transformed into today’s sleek, modern machines.

The heart of the museum is “Serial Number One,” the oldest known Harley-Davidson motorcycle, marking the beginning of The Harley-Davidson Journey exhibit.

From the revolutionary Sportster model to the pivotal buyback from AMF, this exhibit brings to life the spirit and challenges that have defined Harley-Davidson.

Imagination Station: Kids’ Corner

Designed with the youngest visitors in mind, the Imagination Station on the 1st floor is a kid-centric zone where little ones can don Harley gear, rev up a Knucklehead motorcycle, and enjoy books, puzzles, and games.

It’s a perfect spot for families to engage with the Harley-Davidson experience on a level that’s fun and accessible for children.

Build a Bike: Unleash Your Creativity

The Build-a-Bike interactive exhibit offers a hands-on experience for visitors to customize their own Harley-Davidson motorcycles using parts from historic models.

This engaging activity not only sparks creativity but also adds a personal touch to the museum visit, as completed bikes are given a unique number and featured in the Virtual Road animation.

Tsunami Motorcycle Display: A Memorial

Among the museum’s many fascinating exhibits, the Tsunami Motorcycle Display stands as a poignant reminder of the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

A Harley-Davidson Night Train motorcycle, swept away and carried over 4,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean, is displayed as a memorial to the tragedy and its victims.

The journey through the museum culminates in the newly updated Experience Gallery, a space that brings the Harley-Davidson story to life in an even more immersive way.

Here, kids can hop on a brand-new Harley-Davidson, grip, the handlebars, and imagine themselves riding on the open road.

Why Visit?

The Harley-Davidson Museum is a celebration of innovation, history, and community. Whether you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, a history buff, or looking for a family-friendly adventure, the museum offers a rich, immersive experience that connects deeply to Milwaukee’s roots.

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