All Aboard

Experience the wonders of the rails when you explore All Aboard, Discovery World’s new model railroading exhibit!

Whether you’re a full-blown train enthusiast or enamored by the marvels of miniature worlds, your family won’t want to miss this replica of mid-20th century Milwaukee equipped with a dynamic landscape including local buildings such as the historic Everett Street Depot, Pabst Brewery, Usinger’s Factory, and much more.

Explore the science behind the trains and learn why trains and railways have been a ‘model’ of innovation for hundreds of years, leading to advances in industry, agriculture, and transportation. Powered by steam, diesel fuel, or electricity, trains represent one of the most important ways that people and goods travel.

Today, trains and railways embody technological advancements from around the globe. From smart sensors and automated inspection equipment to computer programs that maximize fuel use, trains continue to carry us into the future.

The model railroad layout featured in All Aboard was made possible through the generosity of Richard (Dick) Grigg and his family. Dick’s family has donated this layout as a memorial to Dick, for the entire community to share in his passion and enthusiasm.

Exhibit supported in partnership by Walthers.

Power On

In this exciting and engaging exhibit, you can explore different types of energy and learn how people transform energy from different sources into civilization.

Discover how energy from the sun drives life, the weather, and our world. Experience the Touch Lightning Exhibit featuring Tesla Coils. Put your hand inside a tornado. Experiment with gravity and invisible light energy. Run the city. And? A whole lot more!

Be sure to check out our ever-popular Bed of Nails too in its temporary home in Power On!

Innovation Station

Explore the life and work of Warren Johnson, one of Milwaukee’s foremost innovators. Johnson did more than invent clever things, he changed the world.

Learn about the wireless telegraph and send messages in Morse Code. Explore the inner workings of the first thermostat and the future of environmental control. Harness the possibilities of pneumatic power, operate a pneumatic dinosaur, and learn about batteries, servos, biomimicry, and more.

Discover a bit of Milwaukee innovation history, and be sure to check out our ever-popular Bed of Nails and the Road Course Racing Simulator!

Denis Sullivan

2022 Update:

Due to the pandemic, the S/V Denis Sullivan has remained docked at Discovery World under the diligent care of our dedicated staff and volunteers who have ensured that the S/V Denis Sullivan is in excellent condition.

Until further notice, the ship will remain docked at Discovery World as staff and board have determined that the S/V Denis Sullivan will not sail in 2022. Discovery World will continue to perform the maintenance and restoration work required of a 22-year-old sailing vessel. While foregoing the sailing season was not an easy choice, it is necessary as we continue to pursue further options and opportunities for the S/V Denis Sullivan.

Design It! Lab (Open Saturdays & Sundays)

Join in the fun!

The Kohl’s Design It! Lab is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00am-3:30pm with last seating for project creation at 3:15pm.

FREE with general admission or Discovery World Membership! The Kohl’s Design It ! Lab is located on the 2nd Floor of the Technology Building.

Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. One (1) family per table. Discovery World encourages all guests, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask or face covering while inside the building.

Wind Leaves

Created in 2006 by nature artist, Ned Kahn, Wind Leaves is a series of soaring aluminum columns that rotate with the wind. Located right outside Discovery World, the Leaves are covered with thousands of stainless steel disks that swirl and ripple with the wind, creating a kaleidoscope of reflections from the lake, the sky, and the city.

The Wind Leaves are surrounded by musical benches that can be played like xylophones and a musical sculpture that you can play by dropping pebbles into it.

 

Big

Can you dig it? Yes, you can!

Presented by Caterpillar – Mining products are at work around the world – drilling and digging, loading and hauling, grinding and dozing. And most of them aren’t just BIG… they’re HUGE! Explore fossils and geology. And see scale models of dragline models.

 

Clean Air Trek

Explore a hybrid vehicle, and discover how battery technology is transforming the automobile. Take a look inside an internal combustion engine and learn about catalytic converters. Investigate the air around you and discover how the atmosphere is an active chemistry lab. Clean Air Trek is about the air you breathe, your neighborhood, and how to get the most out of your life.

Les Paul’s House of Sound

This unique, interactive experience showcases the innovative and creative spirit of Les Paul.

Follow Les Paul’s story from his humble beginnings in Waukesha, Wisconsin to his travels around the world – performing, innovating, and experimenting at every stop along the way.

Immerse yourself in his music, get to know some of his famous (and not-so-famous) mentors and influencers, and explore the guitars, techniques, sounds, and the technology that Les pioneered.

You can also mix and share music, create your own new sounds, explore the evolution of the solid-body electric guitar, have your picture taken with Les in the “virtual photo booth”. And? A whole lot more.

The Distant Mirror

How can the tools and technology that archaeologists use help you uncover the past and find new stories?

Explore the inside of a mummy with a CT scan, and sift through layers of virtual time. Use maps to discover how the city of Milwaukee has evolved through the years. Take a new look at the city through the Digital Periscope. And investigate ancient artifacts.

Physics & You

Launch a rocket. Build circuits and sail air cars. Launch rings using an electromagnetic pulse, and send your own Vertical Flyer up, up and away. Discover the fundamentals of physics and learn how to control the fundamental forces that shape our world.

Milwaukee Muscle

Explore motors, gears, engines, and power. Investigate ingenious engineering. Pilot a virtual plane at the Flight Simulator, sponsored in partnership with Southwest Airlines. Learn how machines move! And so much more!

Fluid Power presented by HUSCO International

Explore the science of hydraulics at these fun, interactive stations.


A Real, Working Mini-Excavator

Able to lift thousands of pounds, this hydraulic mini-excavator is easily as powerful as the old cable and gear steam shovels that were used to dig the Panama Canal. Work with your family and friends to operate the boom, bucket, swing arm, and tracks. You can also investigate Pascal’s law and lift an impressively large object, explore power density and lift your friends, and discover what makes fluid power so flexible.

Multiply your might and amplify your ingenuity with Fluid Power!

Bernoulli Table 

Investigate the foundations of fluid dynamics at this amazingly fun table. Suspend colorful spheres in the air as you discover how flight works.

Sponsored in partnership with Southwest Airlines.

Automation Everywhere

Automation Everywhere presented by Rockwell Automation

Explore the automation all around you – including a working model of the Calatrava Building.

Visit the Dream Machine and watch automation create a foam toy (see below) that you get to take home. Meet robots. Challenge Gladys the Robot (or your little brother) to a game of tic-tac-toe.

This highly interactive exhibit also features the Music Factory. Program the machines to play a song and watch the Music Factory in action. And challenge Rockwell Automation sensors and computers to a sorting contest. Can you beat the machine? Maybe.

Simple Machine Shipyard

There are six classical simple machines, the elementary “building blocks” of all the complicated machines today. You can put them to work at Discovery World.

Can you lift a log? A boulder? A giant block of ice? A house? Can you lift yourself? Of course you can! Harness the power of mechanical advantage with simple machines.

Challenge

Make waves on The Challenge!

The Challenge is a replica of a Great Lakes Schooner that sailed 1852-1889.

The original vessel was built by a 25 year-old shipwright named William Wallace Bates, who had only an 8th grade education and influenced shipbuilding by including the use of a retractable centerboard. The Challenge was the semi-truck of the Great Lakes.

The replica was built in the fall of 2005 by master builder Rob Stevens. Experience the living and working conditions aboard a 19th Century sailing vessel, and learn more about the physics, science, and technology of sailing.

The City of Freshwater and Liquid House

How does the Milwaukee Water Works purify water so that it’s safe to drink? How do we use water in our homes, schools, and businesses? How does the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District clean the water and protect Lake Michigan?

Discover the story of water as it travels from Lake Michigan to our homes and back again.

Great Lakes Future

It’s time to explore your neighborhood.

Around 30 million people make their home around the Great Lakes. Chances are you’re one of them.

Explore one of the largest interactive models of the Great Lakes in the world! Investigate the geology and geography of some of the fish, turtles, snakes, and other creatures that make their homes in the Great Lakes Basin. Create weather! Make it rain and create fog. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Aquarium

Experience the Wonder of Wild Places

Explore the astounding underwater worlds of the Reiman Aquarium. Discover strange, beautiful, and fascinating creatures from around the world, including the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the rivers of the Amazon Basin, African Rift Lakes, and right here in the Great Lakes. Pet stingrays and sturgeon. Meet adorable turtles, a ball python, poison dart frogs, and so much more.

When we explore the natural world, we can learn to observe, understand, and protect wild underwater places and the creatures that live there.


Aquarium Search

Looking for a challenge? We’ve created this scavenger hunt to help you explore Discovery World’s Reiman Aquarium.

Aquarium Search

Virtual Explorer

Explore the endless worlds of Virtual Reality in Virtual Explorer, our Virtual Reality (VR) exhibit. You and your family will experience incredible and impossible environments, immersive gameplay, and a new kind of storytelling. Discover the incredible technology that will someday change how we play, work, learn, create, and interact.

Open the magic door. Step inside. Become a Virtual Explorer.

Please note: Virtual Explorer closes at 3:30pm daily.

Membership pays for itself in just two visits!

Membership is the best (and most cost-saving way) for your family to enjoy fun and learning throughout the year!

With all of our memberships you’ll receive free admission, program discounts, special member-only events, and more!

  • Free, Unlimited Daily Admission
  • Discounts on Programs
  • Advance Notice of Events and Programs
  • Special Member Only Events
  • Reciprocal Admission to Over 300 STEM Museums Worldwide
Join Today, Renew, or Give a Gift Membership

Getting Here

We are located on Milwaukee’s lakefront with easy access on and off of the expressway.

500 N Harbor Dr
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Get Directions

General Admission

Adults $20
Child (3-17) $16
Child 2 & Under $Free
Senior (60+) $16
College Student* $14
Military Active and Veterans* $14

*Valid ID Required.

Prices are subject to change. Click HERE to buy tickets and for important information you need to know before visiting. 

Current Hours

Wednesday-Sunday: 9am-4pm
Tues-Fri -
Sat & Sun -

Getting Here

We are located on Milwaukee’s lakefront with easy access on and off of the expressway.

500 N Harbor Dr
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Get Directions
Adults $20
Child (3-17) $16
Child 2 & Under $Free
Senior (60+) $16
College Student* $14
Military Active and Veterans* $14
Military* Active Duty & Veterans $14

*Valid ID Required.

Prices are subject to change. Click HERE to buy tickets and for important information you need to know before visiting. 

Current Hours

Wednesday-Sunday: 9am-4pm
Tues-Fri -
Sat & Sun -
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