We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A little pricey but AWEsome adventure” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Discovery World

Discovery World
500 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202
+1 414-765-9966
Improve this listing
Ranked #21 of 243 things to do in Milwaukee
Certificate of Excellence 2014
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Discovery World connects innovation, science, technology and the environment with exploration and learning through interactive exhibits and experiential learning programs. We are dedicated to helping people positively impact their communities by developing a better understanding of technology and the environment while fostering both innovation and creativity. Discovery World is a 120,000-square foot facility that includes interactive science, technology and freshwater exhibits, learning labs, theaters, television and audio studios, and fresh and saltwater aquariums. Venture into our world of technology Take a 3-D journey into virtual environments. Feel the dips and dives of flying an airplane. Lie on a bed of nails. See the inside of a nuclear reactor. Immerse yourself in our world of water See aquatic life from the Great Lakes, North Atlantic, and the Caribbean. Interact with stingrays, sea urchins, sturgeons, and more in our touch tank. Navigate your own ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle). View the world's largest model of the Great Lakes while you learn about native amphibians, reptiles, and fish. Discovery World is also home to the S/V Denis Sullivan, a 137-foot replica of a 19th century Great Lakes schooner and a floating classroom for water education and conservation programs, day and night sails, and private receptions. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, our grounds and promenade provide plenty of opportunity for strolling, picnicking or just enjoying the view.
Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“A little pricey but AWEsome adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

What a great place to spend the day with your kids!
There's something unique, industrious, marvelous and intriguing at every corner of this great science institution!
All of us were drawn to the aquariums and touch pools and the industrial design machines.
A family membership is a great idea if you plan on taking a day-trip to Milwaukee a couple of times per year but also has other huge perks. The membership also gives you 10% off gift shop and food purchases, as well as reduced membership to numerous children's and public/science museums, [you'll get a membership card along with a list of museums offering reduced admission, our next trip will take advantage of that at the Field Museum in Chicago].
Plan to spend the majority of your day here, you'll need that long.
Get out and enjoy!

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

243 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“hands on fun”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

We went here for an afternoon of entertainment and were not disappointed. We were able to play with all sorts of things from a realistic plane simulation, to a 3-D planet experience. We were able to interact with musical instruments and see how they work. We explored inside of a boat and touched huge replicas of the great lakes. We tried out various kinds of maual machinery and learned about sustainability. Then we went downstairs to the aquarium, that went below our feet and over our heads. We ended up at the touch pond where we were able to pet sharks and sting rays. It was an awesome and very interactive experience. If you do not have children with you, then we suggest going after 2:00 during the weekdays (not sure on weekends) due to the children clean out about then and you have the place to yourself! A very fun time.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Great hands on experience and lots to do”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

Great place for 2-3 hours for 8 year old boys. There was plenty of hands on things for them to experience- operate a flight simulator, sit on a bed of 3600 nails, The aquarium area is fund to walk around-makes you feel like you are in the aquarium with the fish. There is a chance to touch stingrays and sharks even. They liked climbing around the old ship too.
Parking is convenient.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mequon, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best Museum in the Midwest”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

I love this museum. It is very creative and a great teaching musuem. The museum is doing a terrific job of teaching kids from ages 3 to 22 years old in a fun way but it is also teaching adults as well. The musem Introduces technology in the fields of industry, music, medical, aviation, Great Lakes and fresh water. It encourages entrepreneurship and teaches math, science, and engineering.

Don't miss a day or evening sail on the three masted Dennis Sullivan 1880's replica of a cargo ship.

One very important aspect of the museum that a lot of museum attendees don't know about is the six teaching labs on the second floor starting with the Kohl's Design It lab. The other labs are Biology, Electronics, STEM plus lab, Digital Literacy and the Thrist lab. Children during the week can build robots, disect things like baby sharks, make all sorts of designs cut on a lazer cutter out of paper, design clothes, take apart and rebuild your own electric guitar, make big posters or design your own silk screened t-shirt in the digital literacy lab. They have a professional video and audito room used by many people in the committee to do promotional videos. It is open to music goers to get a guitar lesson from Les Paul via video recording. Then the Thirst lab is a study about water where students learn the chemister of water while making sodas, teas, prefume and ice cream to name a few of the projects they do. On the weekend all the labs are open to adults and families. The adults can make their own brew and study the ancient history of beer making.

Finally the "TESLA LIVES" show is absolutely spectacular and amazing. It is a must see when you go to the museum.

Roger S. Smith

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubuque, Iowa
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great potential. Poor execution.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

This museum has great potential to help young people get enthusiastic about science, and educate and entertain adults as well.
As an engineer, I was happy to see many "interactive" exhibits. Unfortunately, very few offer any explanation of what they are, how they work, or why they're relevant. Kids push a button, something happens, they ask their parents "why," parent looks around, shrugs, on to the next exhibit. Most displays are a wasted learning opportunity.
Maintenance is a serious deficiency. Many, if not most, of the interactive displays don't work.
While technical information is lacking, general information is of questionable integrity. One display incorrectly identifies the capital of Wisconsin. How did that slip through?
While I generally applaud private funding, a good portion of the museum is an advertisement for the Nuclear energy industry and Caterpillar. The nuclear energy display is blatantly biased and laced with half truths. The whole exhibit feels like it was put together in the 50s.
The museum supposedly has wind and solar generation on the roof. They have a display on renewable energy, but they don't show what they already have. Put a web cam on the roof and a real time display of generation! The lighting display was terribly outdated (where are the LEDs?). I found it ironic that their CFL display touts the benefits of using CFLs, yet the display (and the rest of the museum) is lit by inefficient filament bulbs.
The lack of identification and documentation carries into the aquarium. Most exhibits have no indication of what you're looking at. As on the hard science side, interactive exhibits were poorly maintained and many did not work.
They advertise a "cafe." Unless you're into hot dogs and pretzels, assume there is no food available in the museum.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Discovery World also viewed


Been to Discovery World? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Discovery World, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.