Milwaukee Public Museum holiday exhibits open

Holiday decorations at the Streets of Old Milwaukee (Courtesy: Milwaukee Public Musem)

The Streets of Old Milwaukee and the European Village at the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) have been transformed for the holidays, the museum announced Wednesday, Dec. 8.

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.

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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 Jan. 23, 2022.

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