Streets of Old Milwaukee & European Village Decked Out for Holidays

December 8, 2021

Madeline Anderson

Decorations will remain up through January 23, 2022

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) invites visitors to experience the magic of the season inside the Streets of Old Milwaukee and European Village, where the turn-of-the-century exhibits have been transformed into a holiday wonderland. 

In the Streets of Old Milwaukee, visitors will hear classic yuletide carols playing in the background as they stroll by Victorian-era garland, wreaths, bells and ribbons adorning the outside of businesses. Inside the businesses, they can view historic greeting cards and holiday-themed posters from MPM’s collection, or peer through the original doors of the Pfister Hotel to catch a glimpse of what the decked-out lobby would have looked like back then.  

In the European Village, visitors will learn about the ways different European cultures in the early 1900s celebrated Christmas, from Norwegian families who decorated their trees with ornaments made of straw, to the Germans who decorated with blown glass. Visitors will also see the holiday of Hanukkah represented at the Eastern European Jewish Home. QR codes are available to scan at various houses, linking to videos that explain the significance behind the seasonal decor and customs, and how they’ve evolved over time. 

“Not only have we decked out the exhibit halls with beautiful decorations, but visitors will also get to see Museum collections objects that are rarely on exhibit, such as the Christmas plate inside Granny’s house,” said Jackie Schweitzer, MPM’s History Collections Manager. 

The holiday-themed exhibits are included in general admission or free for MPM members. Visitors can enjoy them now through January 23, 2022. 

About the Milwaukee Public Museum

The Milwaukee Public Museum is Wisconsin’s natural history museum, welcoming over half a million visitors annually. Located in downtown Milwaukee, the Museum was chartered in 1882, opened to the public in 1884, and currently houses more than 4 million objects in its collections. MPM has three floors of exhibits that encompass life-size dioramas, walk-through villages, world cultures, dinosaurs, a rainforest, and a live butterfly garden, as well as the Daniel M. Soref Dome Theater & Planetarium. MPM is operated by Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc., a private, non-profit company, and its facilities and collections are held in trust and supported by Milwaukee County for the benefit of the public.