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“Favorite Kenosha Museum”
Review of Civil War Museum

Civil War Museum
Ranked #1 of 28 things to do in Kenosha
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The accredited Civil War Museum opened in 2008 on Kenosha Wisconsin's scenic lakefront campus. 57,000 Sq Ft covers American Civil War history like no other, offering the enthusiast a chance to learn about the contributions of the Upper Middle West. Already acclaimed for their permanent exhibit featuring life-scale, interactive exhibits, and audio and video technology. Introduced in 2013, the award-winning 360 degree film "Seeing the Elephant" is a 10 minute long glimpse into the life of a mid-western soldier, from recruitment, to training, through battle and finally returning home. See also the Veterans Gallery commemorating soldiers from each war fought by the US.
suburbs of Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Favorite Kenosha Museum”
Reviewed March 18, 2013

This place was awesome! I didn't expect us to spend so much time here, but it flew by so quickly. There are lots of things to read, and characters/statues to interact with. Our favorite area was the larger room with the stories and history. The smaller room with the monuments was a bit too dark to really see the bronze statues done up to represent what each different soldier over the years would have dressed like. But the ceiling light effect was cool.

The train car and the river boat were the best sections, the motion sensored statues were fun, and really made it more interactive and engaging. If it was really busy I can see this being very loud and hard to follow, but it was pretty empty the day we visited, so we got to take our time and talk about the different stories too.
The upstairs area had paintings by a civil war painter, they were great paintings, they felt so real, and really were nice to look at. Upstairs was also several display cases dedicated to Lincoln and Lincoln in popular culture. Nice collaboration. Also a great view of the lake from upstairs.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Travel4Fun31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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182 reviews from our community

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milwaukee
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great little museum for a small town!”
Reviewed January 22, 2013

Rather unique to have a civil war museum far from the battlefields of the war, but emphasizing the contributions of the men and families of the upper midwest who played a huge role in fighting it.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank znofyl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zion, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“kids loved it”
Reviewed December 7, 2012

The entire family loved the entire experience even my 3 years old loved it he cried when we had to leave. He loved just looking at the old war equiment. My daughter was suprised to see all the old thing they had there and was used in the past. would love to take my oldest son when he returns from the Marines.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank macias01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
248 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Civil War Museum--worth a trip!”
Reviewed October 6, 2012

As unlikely as it is to find a Civil War museum in Kenosha, WI it does make some sense. The six states of the upper mid-west sent 750,000 soldiers to fight for the Union and many supplies and materiel were shipped through Milwaukee to the War effort. Kenosha is centrally located to the six states--Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana, and thus a good place to document the contributions of these states to the Civil War.

The museum is in an architectually pleasing building near the Lake Michigan shoreline. The exhibits are engaging and appear very new. Figures dressed in period clothing will actually speak to you as you approach. Lots of interesting things to look at in this well planned museum.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank aquadroplet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“A great little museum with interactive dioramas”
Reviewed October 4, 2012

A great, creative, little museum with cutting edge ideas.

This museum uses a theme to tell its story. The war is presented as a series of newspaper reports describing different aspects of the war. Each display is accompanied by a "broad-sheet" from the paper describing what was happening at that point. Dioramas and displays illustrate the broad sheets rather than the other way around. The dioramas are small but effective and they are set up in a flow that not only takes you through time but helps you feel it as well.

Some of the dioramas are interactive. For example, If you sit down next to a passenger in the train car, the "passenger" will tell you their story in their own words. (I can see where they have left the possibility open to gradually make more of them interactive as well.) A big plus of this museum is that every exhibit has a QR Code with it. If you have a smart phone, you can scan in the QR Code and get more information on the exhibit you are looking at. For example, the QR Code for the cannon (I've included a scan of it in the photos so you can scan it yourself.) will give you a brief video on your phone of the process of loading a canon. This is what makes this a great little museum!!

The museum is good for at least an hour minimum and depending on how much you know about the civil war, you could spend hours here. I visited four museums in the Kenosha area and this is the only one that charged admission. It was definitely worth the $7.00 admission charge and I’ll definitely visit it again the next time I’m in town. Check their web site for days and hours.

Civil War Museum
5400 First Ave in Kenosha WI
(262) 653-4141
www.thecivilwarmuseum.org

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank johnfaludi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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