Explore Kenosha’s Five Museums
By Meridith Jumisko, Public Relations Director at Visit Kenosha
When did you last visit a museum in Kenosha? We have five within a one-mile radius of each other that educate, entertain, and inspire those who walk through their doors. I highly recommend you visit and re-visit all five! Here are a few highlights:
The seasonal Southport Light Station Museum is open Thursdays-Sundays, through October. It’s free to tour the 1867 Light Station keeper’s house, which details the historical importance of Kenosha’s harbor. My favorite room is the one with the local shipwreck exhibit, which details more than 40 shipwrecks buried near Kenosha. For a fabulous view of Lake Michigan, climb 72 steps up the tower of the 1866 Southport Lighthouse (must be 8 or older to climb; there is a fee).
Nearby is the free Kenosha History Center. Current special exhibits include “Premiums: A Hidden Record of Kenosha Business.” Sometimes the only evidence a small business existed can be found in our junk drawers in the form of pens, letter openers, matchbooks, and the like. These are “premiums” – a promotional tool which is often something inexpensive and given away for free. The museum is opening its junk drawers and revealing what’s been in the far back, hiding for decades. Also on display is “Though the Lens of a Photojournalist: A Tribute to the Life and Work of Al Fredrickson” Exhibit.
Meanwhile, it was 20 years ago this month that the Kenosha Public Museum opened its new, larger location in HarborPark. The free museum has recently unveiled a new look in its Field Station, which is designed to give kids an opportunity for hands-on exploration in the art, science, and history fields. One of the many new additions is a kid size wood cabin trading post that kids can play in – they can even trade real animal furs for “food” and other supplies.
Current special exhibits include selections from the museum’s collections. The Asian Art exhibit includes prints and porcelain from the 19th and 20th Centuries, while the Inuit Art one features prints and sculptures from the Arctic Circle. Upcoming events at this museum include Dia de los Muertos on October 23. Celebrate the Day of the Dead with free family activities.
The Civil War Museum has a special exhibit on display through January 16: “Defending the Union – Immigrant Soldiers in the Civil War”. This exhibit explains why so many men from so many places joined the Union Army. Though from different continents, countries, ethnicities, and backgrounds, they all chose to leave their homelands in the mid-1800s to fight as Americans in the Civil War.
Also, the museum has a redesigned Resource Center with free family activities. There is a kid size cabin made out of giant Lincoln Logs, dress-up, a play schoolhouse classroom with desks and a chalkboard, Civil War era games, and more. The Resource Center is open 12-5pm Wednesday-Sunday.
Visit the Dinosaur Discovery Museum after hours to hear spooky stories of strange happenings: a Ghost Hunting event is held for high school students on October 15 and for adults ages 18 and olderon October 29. Dinos In The Dark takes place October 15, 22, and 29. Advance registration is required for these events.
Find details on these and more attractions, as well as events, outdoor recreation opportunities, restaurants, shops, and more at VisitKenosha.com. In addition, check out the blog on our website. Visit Kenosha has been Kenosha’s official travel resource since 1986.
We remind everyone to be respectful of the safety guidelines that individual venues are setting; be patient. Also keep in mind that all event information is subject to change.