Venue Spotlight: Milwaukee Public Museum!
The Milwaukee Public Museum exhibits were once housed in the Milwaukee Central Library, but moved to the current 800 Wells Street location across the street in 1962. The original location began as the German-English Academy in Milwaukee in 1851 but its popularity caused it to expand over time to encompass a broadened field of history. It eventually opened to the public as a free public museum on May 24, 1884.
In the late 1920s, museum employees in the Central Library building had a pet lion named Simba, who lived in their offices and played on the roof of the building. He was purchased in Africa during a trip to acquire artifacts for the museum. When he outgrew his living quarters, he was moved to the Milwaukee County Zoo, where he lived until he died of old age in 1943. He was then taxidermied and moved back to the Milwaukee Public Museum. You can see him in the Africa exhibit on the third floor.
More awesome things you might not know about – the Streets of Old Milwaukee decorate for Christmastime, including an updated sound design with sleighbells and other winter sounds. You can download a Streets of Old Milwaukee app for a guided tour!
Meet the Milwaukee Public Museum Event Professionals!
Todd Garvens – Director of Business Development and Venue Relations, Zilli & Jill Engl – Special Events Director, Milwaukee Public Museum
What’s your adult beverage of choice?: Tanqueray and tonic
What’s your favorite junk food?: Chips of all kinds
What’s your favorite animal?: Giraffe
What do you like to do with friends and family?: Dine out (Tofte’s Table is a favorite)
What’s your adult beverage of choice?: Pineapple and Malibu
What’s your favorite junk food?: Jolly Ranchers
What’s your favorite animal?: Elephants and octopuses
What do you like to do with friends and family?: Board games and karaoke
What type of couples are drawn to the Milwaukee Public Museum for their weddings?
Teachers, science and history enthusiasts, people who grew up with the museum, couples with a love story that includes the museum, couples who got engaged in the museum, couples looking for a very unique experience for their guests, etc.
Speaking of couples that got engaged at the museum, the MPM events staff books proposal packages! If you are lovers of the museum or you just want a really unique proposal story, the staff can help you set up the perfect proposal, with music, candles, signage, you name it! Bring your vision to them and they can bring it to life!
What areas are available for weddings?
Typically weddings will either be a first floor rental (with dinner served either outside the butterfly vivarium or in the Streets of Old Milwaukee), or in one of two larger ballrooms which double as special exhibit areas on the second floor, but we are open to customizing the event depending on the size and needs. The special exhibit areas are open for event bookings for all of 2019!
What’s your favorite dish on the menu?
Todd: Short ribs cooked sous vide
Jill: Fresh market station
What services are available in-house?
Event manager, security, visitor services, furniture, AV, a variety of food and beverage services, floral services via Adorn (Zilli’s floral division). There are special considerations regarding florals due to the potential contamination of the collections, so a professional florist is required.
Fabulous features of The Milwaukee Public Museum
The entire museum is open to the couple for photographs at no additional charge, Haymarket Square candy shop vouchers make great wedding favors, you can have a custom video, slideshow, or movie showing in the theater in the Streets of Old Milwaukee, the Kadish Courtyard is now available for outdoor ceremonies, you can add docent tours, shows in the Dome Theater, or scavenger hunts to your guest experience.
What is your favorite thing about weddings at the museum?
The reaction of the guests when they get to have a unique and immersive experience at a wedding, with built-in activities and entertainment!
Our photographers love Milwaukee Public Museum weddings for a couple of reasons. There’s a ton of different variety of backgrounds. Maybe you’re a fan of strolling the cobble Streets of Old Milwaukee or transporting to an age long ago in the exhibit’s theatre. Or maybe you’d rather hang in the vivarium or fancy yourself similar to Dr. Henry Walton Jones Jr. and want to scope out the Mayan or Egyptian relics. Whatever your interests are, there’s something that reflects it perfectly! Your friends have the built in entertainment of being able to wander and enjoy the exhibits so if you’re hosting a crowd, you’re set. But most importantly, while the museum is available at no extra cost to your guests, it’s also accessible to your photographer so you can get the images that speak to you most.
Learn more about a Milwaukee Public Museum wedding here!
Contact Todd Garvens: firstname.lastname@example.org or 414-278-6997
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