Exhibitions & 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.

Enrichment Program Calendar 

Pre-registration for all programs helps us plan, and will save you time. Print your registration information for easy access upon arrival. Unless otherwise noted, programs are free for Museum Members and are the cost of Museum admission for non-members.  Register Here or call the Museum at 920-236-5762.

Spooky Connections Tours

The Scavenger Hunt for Cemetery Tales: The Exhibition is centered on objects displayed in the museum with eerie histories or disturbing associations. Find what some of these are as part of your paid entrance fee. Pre-registration required for all tours as space is limited. Cost is general admission price, $8. 

Friday, Sept 20, 2 pm Register Here 

Saturday, Sept 21, 11 am Register Here 

Friday, Sept 27, 2 pm Register Here 

Saturday, Sept 28, 11 am Register Here

Steeped in History: Equali-tea Party and the Suffragette Movement 

Sat, Sept 21 1:00 pm
Join us for afternoon tea with light refreshments and a joint presentation by City Attorney Lynn Lorenson and Durow Curator of Collections Anna Cannizzo. Presentations will explore the long struggle and persistence of suffragists to achieve the right to vote and how the suffrage movement in America was intertwined with the State of Wisconsin and the City of Oshkosh. Artifacts related to Oshkosh suffragists will be exhibited in the Sawyer Parlor for attendees to view. Reservations required by Sept. 19, 2019. Cost $10, Members $6, Members enter code Member into cart to reflect your total.  Register Here or call the Museum at 920-236-5762.

Cemetery Tales Walking Tour, Riverside Cemetery, Oshkosh - Sold Out
Saturday, Sept 28 10 am 
Tour with Emily Rock, Registra. Walk will begin at 10 am and last about two hours. Meet at the main gate on 1901 Algoma Blvd. Tours will be conducted rain or shine.  Tours cost $10 for members and non-members. Tour size is limited, so register early!  

Woodcarving Techniques and Hand Carving Demonstration
Sat, Sept 28, 1:00-3:00 pm
Gene Bengel, member of Mid-Wisconsin Chippers Carving Club and wood carving instructor at the Oshkosh Senior Center, will demonstrate the techniques of wood carving.  His talents include animals, caricatures, and birds, which will be on display.  Four of his carvings, K-9's, are on display in the lobby of the Oshkosh DNR Building. Cost is general admission price, $8Members enter code Member, seniors enter code Senior in the cart to reflect your total. Register Here

Ghostly Reports
Thursday, October 3, 6 pm
Local newspapers have reported paranormal activities for over hundred and fifty years! Curator Deb Daubert will reveal various events that spooked area communities and drew reporters to investigate. What's more, discover what her explorations into several of these mysterious activities has exposed. Cost is $10 per person, members enter code Member in the cart to reflect the price. Register Here

Night Whispers
Join us for 45 minute tours starting at 6 pm, 6:30 pm, 7 pm
Experience the New Night Whispers. Guided tours display the museum’s darker side, literally, while leading guests to uncover the community’s past of scary occurrences, deadly deeds and ghostly goings-on. (Warning, walking and standing in limited light. Not recommended for children. The cost of the program is $15 per tour for members and non-members. REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Oct 4,    6 pm  Register Here  |   6:30 pm Register Here  |   7 pm  Register Here

Oct 10,  6 pm  Register Here  |   6:30 pm Register Here  |   7 pm  Register Here

Oct 11,  6 pm  Register Here  |   6:30 pm Register Here  |   7 pm  Register Here

Oct 17.  6 pm  Register Here  |   6:30 pm Register Here  |   7 pm  Register Here

Oct 24,  6 pm  Register Here  |   6:30 pm Register Here  |   7 pm  Register Here

Cemetery Tales Walking Tour, Riverside Cemetery, Oshkosh - Sold Out
Saturday, Oct 5 10 am 
Tour with Emily Rock, Registra. Walk will begin at 10 am and last about two hours. Meet at the main gate on 1901 Algoma Blvd. Tours will be conducted rain or shine.  Tours cost $10 for members and non-members. 

The Exhumation of Grignon Family Remains
Sat, Oct 5, 1:00pm - 3:00 pm 
Unmarked graves were discovered in Butte des Morts: Who found them?  In what year? What was their story? As the story unfolds you will learn about a number of incredulous twists and turns and unusual circumstances that will astound you.  The program will feature actual photographs and records from the exhumation found in the archives of the Oshkosh Public Museum.  Presented by the Butte des Morts Historical Preservation Society. Presented by Randy Domer. Cost is general admission price, $8. Members enter code Member, seniors enter code Seniors in the cart to reflect your price. Register Here.

Menominee Clan Story
Sat. Oct 12, 1:00 pm
Join Dr. Ray Reser, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Museum of Natural History, as he reveals how traditional Menominee culture was organized through a Clan system that consisted of thirty-four clans. What role did the Clans have? Menominee James Frechette, Jr. faithfully depicted the dress, symbols, tools, colors, and other details of the ancient Menominee Clans as handed down in oral histories. Discover how, and why, these twenty-six hand-carved and painted figures were created and why they came to the Oshkosh Public Museum. Cost is general admission price, $8, members enter code Member in the cart, seniors enter code Seniors to reflect your price. Register Here.

How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century
Sunday, Oct 13, 1 pm
"I am torn between the wilderness of my youth and the white world we call civilization." Author Louis Clark III (Two Shoes) was born and raised on the Oneida Reservation. He is a member of the Iroquois Confederacy, Bear Clan, and currently lives in Omro, WI. His book is a collection of poems that reveal a profound life story of loss, identity, race, and culture. His prose captures the alienation, audacity, and triumph that have defined his life experience-from childhood on the Rez, through racially charged bullying and workplace discrimination, to his role as a modern-day elder. Books will be availble to purchase. Cost is general admission $8, Members enter code Member, seniors enter code Seniors to reflect your price. Register by Oct 10th. 
Register Here.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon
Oct 18, 6 pm
Tim Woolworth, founder of both Paranormal Study and ITC Voices, will explain a well known paranormal investigation technique called EVP - Electronic Voice Phenomenon. He will present evidence and theories on how EVP is possible. Plus, Tim will show you how you too can communicate with the dead using very common equipment. Cost is $10 per person, members enter code Member in the cart to reflect your price, or call 920-236-5799 to reserve your free admission. Register Here. 

How to Make Up Like a Zombie
Saturday, October 19, 1 pm
Kathleen Donnelly, Associate Professor of Costume Design, University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh Theatre Department will do a demonstration that will explore a variety of techniques for that “effective” Zombie Look using store bought grocery items, spirit gum, latex and stage makeup. Learn how to make your own edible and easy blood recipe, along with scars and warts. Handouts will be provided. Register by Oct. 17thCost is general admission $8, Members enter code Member, seniors enter code Seniors to reflect your price.  Register Here.

Presenting the Paranormal Phenomena
Saturday, October 26, 1 pm
Tim Maile and Todd Arnold, Co-Founders of Fox Cities Paranormal Team will share their ideas on paranormal phenomena, what being a paranormal investigator means to them, and share stories from investigations throughout Wisconsin, including investigations at Oshkosh Public Museum. If you have an interest in the paranormal or just want to learn more about what they do and the processes that they use, this program is a must see! Cost is $8 for general admission members enter code Member in the cart, seniors enter code Seniors to reflect the price, or call 920-236-5799 to reserve your free admission. Register Here

Is the Oshkosh Public Museum Haunted?
Thursday, October 31, 6 pm – Participants wearing a costume will receive something special!
Have paranormal things happened at the museum? Curator Deb Daubert will disclose what made the museum gather information on local ghost stories and undertake several different paranormal investigations. Cost is $10, members enter code Member in the cart to reflect the price, or call 920-236-5799 to reserve your free admission. A special gift to those wearing a costume! Register Here.

On the Hunt, the History of Deer Hunting in Wisconsin
Saturday, Nov 9, 1 pm
Robert Willging is a freelance outdoor and history writer whose work has appeared in Deer & Deer Hunting, Wisconsin Oudoor Journal, and Wisconsin Natural Resources to name just a few. He is the author of two books, On the Hunt: The History of Deer Hunting in Wisconsin and History Afield: Stories from the Golden Age of Wisconsin Sporting Life. His presentation will recount the incredible history of deer hunting in the Badger state. Books will be available to purchase. Register by November 6th. Cost is $8, Members add code Member when in the cart, seniors enter code Seniors to reflect your cost for the program. Register Here

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 to reflect your cost for the program. 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. Register by December 12. Cost is $8, Members enter code Member when in the cart, seniors enter code Seniors to reflect your cost for the program. Register Here

Kids Holiday Party at the Museum
Friday, Dec 27 or Saturday Dec 28 1 pm
You and your doll or stuffed buddy are invited to join Registrar Emily Rock to learn about toys from years ago. Do you think any of those toys are in your house? Make crafts, have a snack, and explore the Deck the Halls toy exhibit. Adults may accompany their children. Register by Decemnber 22. Cost is $8 each for children and Accompanying Adults. Members add code Member to the cart, seniors enter code Seniors to reflect your cost of $5.

Friday, December 27, 1 pm, Register Here.

Saturday, December 28, 1 pm, 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

Cemetery Tales: The Exhibition
Jul 21 - Oct 31, 2019
This gripping exhibition resurrects popular life and death stories, and also features local mourning and funeral history, while artifacts, photographs and other ghastly surprises breathe life into these local legends. Read more>

Deck the Halls
Nov 24, 2019 - Jan 5, 2020
Stroll through the halls of the historic Sawyer home to witness the beautiful holiday decorations and marvel at the gorgeous interiors designed by Tiffany Studios of New York. Read more>

Monthly Make and Take Projects 

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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September: Mourning Symbols

The Victorian era mourning culture featured deep symbolism. Visit Cemetery Tales: The Exhibition to learn about what those symbols mean and what they represent. Make your own wreath with a symbol of your choice to remember someone special.

October: Ghost Stories

Have you heard any of Oshkosh’s ghost stories? Come for a visit and learn a local ghost story in Cemetery Tales: The Exhibition, then make your own mini campfire that you can gather around and tell your own chilling tales.

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.