Getting Here

The Electric Streetcar links the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Kenosha Public Museum, and Civil War Museum.

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  • Civil War Museum
  • Civil War Museum - "Seeing the Elephant"
  • Civil War Museum
  • Civil War Museum
  • Civil War Museum
  • Civil War Museum - Veterans Memorial Gallery
  • Located on the Lake Michigan shore

Civil War Museum

(262) 653-4141

Hours:

Open Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m. Closed holidays.

Pricing:

Fiery Trial (main exhibit) Admission: $9. Kenosha City and Town of Somers residents – $5. Friends of the Museums members – Free. Youth ages 15 and under, accompanied by an adult – Free.

The Civil War Museum opened in 2008 and focuses on the contributions of the Upper Middle West – Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, and Michigan – to the Civil War. These states played a vital role by providing troops and supplies to the cause, even though no battles were fought in this region. The exhibits concentrate on personal stories of people from all walks of life and circumstance. Men, women and children from various ethnic backgrounds experienced life during and after the war in different ways. It is through these unique stories that the museum visitor learns about the causes and effects of the Civil War and its impact on the region.

The Veterans Memorial Gallery honors all U.S. veterans and soldiers from the Revolutionary War to present day conflicts.

Enjoy the gift shop and free programs for adults and families. Classes and workshops offered, including genealogy workshops.

Adult and school group tours welcomed. Facility rentals available. Plenty of free parking.

Nominal admission to the main exhibit which is The Fiery Trial  – Friends members free. 

*****NEW: Civil War Museum Movie: Seeing the Elephant in The Fiery Trial exhibit.*****

“Seeing the Elephant” is the term Civil War soldiers used to say they saw battle. The new high-tech digital movie experience will allow visitors a glimpse at “the Elephant.” One of just a handful of venues nationwide using 360 degree movie technology, the Civil War Museum movie focuses on the personal experiences and accounts of citizen soldiers. Using letters, journals and diaries, the script follows several soldiers as they leave home and hearth, train with their troops, face battle together and ultimately deal with the consequences of war. “This poignant 10-minute film tells a story about the Civil War but it is also a tribute to all soldiers and veterans, as it tells the story of the ultimate life-changing experience of war, for the soldier and for the country,” comments Dan Joyce, Kenosha Public Museums Director.

Over 200 people, including actors, reenactors, film crew, technical and historical advisers and Museum staff, gathered at Old World Wisconsin (Eagle, WI) for five days in June 2013 to film Seeing the Elephant. The centerpiece of the Fiery Trial exhibit, the film gives visitors an historically authentic and accurate portrayal of Civil War battle, although not a specific, actual battle. Historical photos and special visual and sound effects augment the reenactment of battle. The Civil War Museum is grateful to nationally recognized broadcast journalist Bill Kurtis for lending his voice as narrator of the film.

The high tech film encircles viewers and thrusts them into the middle of a Civil War battle. An 11-foot 360° screen, visual and sound effects, and ground motion enhance the experience. The film typically plays once every hour, on the hour.

Note: The Civil War Museum, Kenosha Public Museum, and Dinosaur Discovery Museum make up the Kenosha Public Museums.

 

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Civil War Museum Exhibit: House Divided: Illinois and the Civil War

April 19, 2014 – October 19, 2014

Explore the divisions among the people of Illinois before and during the war, and the motivation of 250,000 citizen soldiers who came together to support the federal cause.  

Kenosha Public Museums Family Event: Boofest

October 25, 2014

Join Kenosha Public Museum (5500 First Ave.), Civil War Museum (5400 First Ave.), and Dinosaur Discovery Museum (5608 Tenth Ave.) for free Halloween-themed family activities, including trick or treating.

Veterans Heritage Day

November 8, 2014

Memorabilia display from all branches of service covering WWII, Korea, Viet Nam and most recent conflicts.

Civil War Museum Event: Victorian Christmas

December 13, 2014

An afternoon of music, crafts, and activities exploring how soldiers and civilians celebrated Christmas during the Civil War.

Civil War Museum Event: Civil War Expo

March 28, 2015

Living history and heritage groups from around the Midwest will have informational tables set up throughout the museum to introduce visitors to their programs and interpretations. This is a free event.

Train Extravaganza Weekend

May 30, 2015 – May 31, 2015

All makes of model trains on display at the Kenosha Public Museum (5500 First Ave.) and Civil War Museum (5400 First Ave.). Free.

Salute to Freedom

June 13, 2015

Join the Civil War Museum for its 7th annual event. This is a free event.

Museum Crawl

July 10, 2015

The 5th Annual Museum Crawl is a progressive party at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Civil War Museum and Kenosha Public Museum.

Friends of the Museum Art Fair

July 19, 2015

This is the 51st annual art fair presented by the Friends of the Kenosha Public Museums. The event is held outside the Kenosha Public Museum and the Civil War Museum next door! Admission is free.