we stand on their shoulders - a history of wisconsin women and voting banner
A view of the 4th floor political exhibit
Explore a Historical Wonderland

Celebrating America’s Aluminum Christmas Trees

The holidays are a magical time to visit the Wisconsin Historical Museum. Along with four floors of fascinating artifacts and exhibits, the museum’s popular holiday exhibition “Ever Gleaming” returns for in-person tours for the first time in two years. Discover how Wisconsin-made Christmas decorations became Space Age pop culture icons in 1960s America, and how they now serve as a window into innovative mid-century design and nostalgic family holiday traditions. Wander through a “forest” of aluminum Christmas trees, explore the history of the Evergleam, and experience a replica 1960s living room. This exhibit is included with admission.

The Wisconsin Historical Society is committed to prioritizing the health and safety of our guests, members, and staff. Read the information below to learn about our 2021 health and safety protocols.

Mark Your Calendar

Two kids excitedly open up presents in a 70s inspired setting with an aluminum Christmas tree in the background

Ever Gleaming

Nov 13 – Dec 30

Discover how Wisconsin-made Christmas decorations became Space Age pop culture icons at this popular holiday exhibit at the Wisconsin Historical Museum.
Admission is free. Donations are welcomed.

Come during open hours!
Online Exhibit

Continue Sharing in the Holiday Spirit

Give a gift membership. Spread historical cheer all year. Give a gift by clicking here!

Holiday Gift Guide. Find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list. Start Shopping by clicking here.

A view of the Wisconsin HIstorical Museum from State Street, with the Wisconsin State Capitol in the background.

Explore the Wisconsin Historical Museum

The Wisconsin Historical Museum shares the stories behind Wisconsin’s heritage through exhibits featuring Native Nations and Tribes, the immigrant experience, frontier life, agriculture, industry, politics, and much, much more.

Featuring both permanent and special temporary exhibits, showcasing many fascinating historical items, and having a wonderful selection of gifts for sale, the Wisconsin Historical Museum is a wonderful place to explore on the Madison Capitol Square!


For Your Health & Safety

reserve a spot. advance registration


Advance registration is required for some events

Face Masks required.

Face Mask

Required for guests indoors if you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Recommended for guests indoors if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Daily cleaning & sanitizing

Daily Cleaning and Sanitizing

Daily cleaning & sanitizing enhanced at all facilities

Maintain Social Distance. Two people 6 ft apart.

Social Distancing Guidelines

Please practice social distancing while on-site

2021 Site Protocols

Effective Aug. 5, in accordance with current state guidelines

To protect your safety and ours:

  • If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, we recommend you wear a face mask while inside on-site at our historic sites and museums.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 you are required to wear a face mask while inside on-site at our historic sites and museums.
  • Please practice social distancing at our historic sites and museums.
  • Disposable masks will be available on-site.
  • All facilities will adhere to increased daily cleaning and sanitation requirements and there will be cleaning stations in each building.
  • Each location will follow strict guest engagement protocols, including parking, food preparation, and the use of shared facilities such as a public restroom.
  • Staff and guests, per CDC guidance, are asked to stay home if they have tested positive for COVID-19, are waiting for COVID-19 test results, have COVID-19 symptoms, or if they have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19.
  • As we continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 our hours and guidelines for access may change. Please continue to check our website for the most up-to-date information.

Site Accessibility

Explore Other 2021 Experiences

This season, we are excited to welcome visitors to some of our historic sites & museums for general admission and special experiences. Click the button below for more information on how you can safely explore history in a new way through our 2021 programs and events.

Explore Other 2021 Experiences

Black Point Estate & Gardens, Circus World, Old World Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Historical Museum are open for general admission and special experiences. First Capitol, H.H. Bennett Studio & Museum, Madeline Island Museum, Pendarvis, Reed School, Stonefield, Villa Louis, and Wade House Historic Site remain closed for public programming for the 2021 season.

A circus cart on a lawn, bright red, yellow, and orange colors.

Circus World

A group of people bail hay out of an old fashioned cart

Old World Wisconsin

Black Point Estate, a view of the tower and the rest of the building, the clouds are beautiful and really frame the building.

Black Point Estate & Gardens

The Time has Come for a New Museum

The next chapter of our state’s history is being written, and the Wisconsin Historical Society has a rare opportunity to deliver an unforgettable, modern history museum to celebrate and honor Wisconsin.

Learn More

Get Involved

Don’t forget—members receive free general admission and a 10% discount on special experiences.
Show your support today!

Wisconsin Historical Museum

Travel Back in Time

Discover the stories of Wisconsin’s heritage. Stand in a replica of a 1,000-year-old house and visit a fur trade post. Walk into a lead mine and climb up in a tractor cab. Explore the stories, ideas, attitudes, work, and recreation that make our rich history.
Learn More

"I have traveled to many historical museums; the Wisconsin Historical Museum has outstanding, engaging, interpretive exhibits."



Use our online calendar to see all the exciting events, activities, and programs happening at the Wisconsin Historical Museum.

Guests look at historic collections and canoe in the back

Explore the Museum

a man showing the fur of an animal to a class of kids


Discover the stories of the People of the Woodlands, the Era of Exchange, and Wisconsin’s archaeological history.

two people looking at a retro car


Experience Frontier Wisconsin, The Immigrant State, and the ways Wisconsinites make a living.


Examine Wisconsin’s political heritage, Wisconsin’s social gathering places, and an unparalleled view of the State Capitol building.

couple of people looking at stories


Let us show you through the Museum as our expert guides showcase the fascinating stories that make up Wisconsin history. Offered Saturday at 2 pm.

a digital banner that says "30,000 visitors as part of a school group" over an image of school children
a digital banner that says "2000 more than 2000 historical and archaeological artifacts on display"