Enrichment Programs

The Oshkosh Public Museum invites you to discover the real things of history and the stories they tell through our many exhibitions and programs throughout the year. While these programs and events support our mission of promoting and nurturing an understanding and appreciation of local history and culture, above all else they are fun and interesting ways to enjoy learning.

Program Calendar 

Early Firearms History
Saturday, Nov 16, 1 pm
From the Medieval Era to the American Civil War, the only firearms were those that loaded from the muzzle. How did they function and shoot? Join Museum Director Brad Larson for an overview of firearm history. Various muzzle loading firearms will be available for inspection. Register by November 14th. Cost is $8, Members add code Member in the cart, seniors enter code Seniors, students enter code Student to reflect your cost for the program. Register Here

Deck the Halls: Let the Elf Hunting Begin!
Sunday, Nov 24, 1:30 pm
Begin the holiday experience at the beautiful Sawyer home traditionally decorated in holiday décor. Come and enjoy the gallery on the second floor of the Museum with a whimsical exhibit of “Santa’s Toy Workshop.” This family-friendly afternoon will offer story time, holiday crafts, cookies, punch, and Santa’s elves cleverly hidden throughout the Museum for our ever popular elf scavenger hunt.  Children will receive FREE admission for this afternoon of family fun. The cost is general admission.   Register Here

Longbows and Feathered Shafts: Traditional Archery
Saturday, Dec 14, 1 pm
Are you interested in the famous longbow or the graceful recurve bow? Are you curious about or thinking of trying your hand hunting with traditional archery gear? Museum Director Brad Larson will take you back to archery's roots. Cost is $8, Members enter code Member when in the cart, seniors enter code Seniors, students enter code Student to reflect your cost for the program. Register Here

Kids Holiday Party at the Museum
Friday, Dec 27, 1 pm
You are cordially invited with your favorite stuffed buddy to join Registrar Emily Rock and learn about toys from years ago. Do you think any of those toys are in your house? Make crafts, have a snack, and explore Deck the Halls “Santa’s Toy Workshop” exhibit. The cost is general admission. Register Here.

The Hidden History of Dickens' A Christmas Carol
Saturday, Dec 28 1:30 pm
Rochelle Pennington
This facinating program takes a close-up look at the literary genius of Charles Dickens, England's most celebrated Victorian novelist and explores the hidden history behind the author's 1843 Christmas classic.  What events inspired the Carol to be written? Who was it written for? How did Dickens' historical novel "single-handedly resurrect" Christmas at a time when factories were open and churches were closed on December 25th? By 1900, no other book in the world had sold more copies except the Bible. Pennington's narrative will offer factual perspective and behind-the-scenes insights into the epic influence of Dickens' immortal characters: Ebenezzer Scrooge, Jacob Marley, and a trio of Christmas ghosts. The cost is general admission. 
Register Here. 

Native American Beading - Necklace
Saturday, Jan 4, 2020
Kathryn Footit
More information coming soon!

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - History and Mystery
Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 1:30 pm
No other Great Lakes shipwreck is more well-known than the Edmund Fitzgerald, which disappeared into a story Lake Superior on November 10, 1975, when winds peaked at nearly 100 miles per hour and waves reached the height of three-story buildings. The Edmund Fitzgerald remains the largest shipwreck on the Great Lakes to this day. Rochelle Pennington delves into the various theories and opposing views of dive detectives who are still trying to solve the mystery of what led to the demise of the 29-man crew. You will be led from the launch of the ship to its final radio broadcasts, and from the Fitz's discovery on Superior's bottom to the raising of artifacts from its watery grave. This program also includes a complete circle tour of Lake Superior's extraordinary shorelines. The cost is general admission. Register Here. 

Lakeside Quilters Workshop
Saturday, January 18, 2020 1 to 4 pm
Are you interested in learning about quilting?  Are you an experienced quilter that may need some tips or advice on your current project?  Are you interested in learning quilting techniques can be applied to items other than quilts?  If so, this workshop is for you. Demonstrating the sewing of patchwork quilt blocks, materials and directions provided. Open to beginners and experienced quilters alike. Participants are encouraged to bring their projects with them as experienced quilters of the Lakeside Quilters Guild will offer suggestions, advice and tips. There will be samples of quilt projects will be on display such as tote bags, purses, pin cushions, wall hangings, throws and a finished quilts. The cost is General Admission. Register Here.

A World of Partings: Excerpts from the Diary of Nancy Chandler Derby, 1857-1869
Saturday, February 1, 2020, 1:30 pm
In this remarkable diary, Nancy Derby recounted daily life in Oshkosh during the late 1850s and 1860s, and included her account of a fascinating journey to Alabama where she lived for two years on the eve of the Civil War.  Her record of life throughout and after that war provides a firsthand account of how people lived at the time.  Ginny Gross edited the experiences and lifestyle that Nancy Derby related and put them in a readable form.   Repeating the program she gave in 2018, she will present highlights and readings from the diary, and discuss the process of creating a published volume from another person’s private journal. The cost is General Admission. Register Here. 

If you need assistance with the online registration system, please call 920-236-5799. We can take registrations/payments over the phone. 


Temporary Exhibitions

Deck the Halls

Nov 24, 2019 - Jan 5, 2020
Deck the Halls holiday experience at the Oshkosh Public Museum. Each room in the beautiful Sawyer home is traditionally decorated in holiday décor.  Peruse through each room and see something unique and different than you saw last year! The gorgeous Tiffany-designed interiors are the perfect backdrop for the warm and cozy feeling of the holidays.

In the gallery on the second floor of the Museum, you will enjoy a fun, whimsical exhibit of “Santa’s Toy Workshop.” This will be a special exhibit with toys from the Museum collection as well as toys shared by members of the community.   

Read more>>

Then & Now, Old Photos as Today

Feb 23, 2020 - May 24, 2020
Then & Now showcase the creativity of the photographers in the way they saw the original historic photographs and recreated the photo of today in several different ways. The exhibition offers the original locations and the passage of time in the same photos in comparison; posing people in a similar manner or situation but updated it to today; an occupation as it looks currently; and a situation or setting reimagined to the 21st century.

Read more>>


Monthly Make and Take Projects for Kids!

Every visit to the Oshkosh Public Museum can be enhanced with a special make-and-take project. Located in the sunroom near the main entrance, this area features an entertaining, historical do-it-yourself project.

The take home activity changes monthly, and directions and supplies are provided to make and take home your very own piece of history.

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November: Harvest Season
For Native Americans, the fall season was an important time of harvest and winter preparation. Learn what kinds of food they harvested and how they preserved them, then make your own corn cob decoration to celebrate the season.

December: Deck the Halls
Visit the Deck the Halls exhibit featuring toys and try to find all the tricky little elves hidden around the Museum. Make your own mini elf to take home and hide this holiday season.

January: Winter is for the Birds
Don’t you wish you could fly south once it starts to get cold? Well, there are many types of birds that stick around Wisconsin during the snowy months, just like us! Learn about the different types of birds and how they survive the winter, then make your own bird ornament.

February: Underground Railroad
Celebrate Black History Month at the Museum. Learn about the Underground Railroad in Wisconsin and how escaped slaves used the night sky to navigate to freedom, then create your own constellation.