Special Events

Events Schedule and Information

Members and employees of Corporate Fleet Members at Mackinaw level and above enjoy free museum admission and programs year round.  For more information on membership, view our membership information page.

This is a behind the scenes look at a World War II submarine. These smaller tours will last approximately three hours and will give guests a chance to see areas of the submarine not seen on normal tours. This special tour will include ladders and smaller spaces and you must be 16 or older to participate. The cost is $7 per person, plus regular admission for non-members. Space is limited so reservations are required. To make reservations or for more information call the Museum at (920) 684-0218.

Tour Dates:

Sunday, March 1st, 1:00 - 4:00pm
Saturday, March 14th, 9:00am - Noon

Special Exhibit: River Bluffs Maritime Museum

On display through May 17, 2015

The front window exhibit area here at our museum is hosting a temporary exhibit from Iowa boat builder and award winning modeler Jeff Moses from mid-January through mid-May.  The exhibit is a unique collection that includes custom motor yacht models, racing sailboat half models, Chris Craft classic speed boat models, Mercury outboard models, and much more. Jeff will be here in person on February 28-March 1 to talk with visitors and demonstrate boat building and modeling techniques.

A Guide to Success for the Beginning Modeler

Saturday, February 28, 2015     1 p.m.

This presentation by master modeler Kurt Van Dahm will explain how to get started building wooden model ships as a hobby in a proven way that will make you a successful model builder without the worry of starting a project that is beyond your ability to complete. Before and after his talk, award-winning modeler Jeff Moses will offer hands-on demonstrations of modeling techniques.  This is a great opportunity for people considering participating in the novice or display category in our annual model contest in May (see farther along in events list for more information). The program is free with museum admission or $5 for program only.

Opening of New Temporary Exhibit: "Treasures of NOAA's Ark and Lake Michigan's Underwater Treasures"

Saturday, March 14, 2015

This exhibit will feature artifacts representing all areas of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) including themes of history, navigation, weather, and fisheries.  In addition, we will highlight shipwrecks of the mid-lake region of Lake Michigan. Follow this link to see updates on activities related to this exhibit, which will be in place through October.

Shipwrecks of the Sanctuary: A Diver’s Perspective

Saturday, March 21, 2015    1 p.m.

Cal Kothrade, diver, maritime artist, and photographer, will share photos and stories of his diving excursion down to the “Graveyard of the Great Lakes,” the shipwrecks of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron.  This sanctuary is very much like that being proposed for the Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan. Find out about these fascinating shipwrecks and the opportunities a sanctuary provides divers and others interested in shipwreck history! Free with museum membership or admission. $5 for program only without admission to the museum galleries.

Birds of Our Lakes

Thursday, March 26, 2015  6:30 p.m.

We are pleased to be hosting The Manitowoc County Lakes Association spring program, a presentation by Jim Knickelbine, of Woodland Dunes, and Jeff Pritzl, of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, specifically on lacustrine (lake) avian species. The discussion will address the characteristics and activities of those birds which populate or migrate through our lakes environment. The interaction of avian populations and fisheries, the fish predation of cormorants, herons, cranes, etc., the appearance of White Pelicans in the region, shoreline bird population changes, the rebound of eagles, the loss of grey terns, and role of the Lake Michigan flyway will be addressed by these two experts. This program is free and open to the public.

The Whaleback Era

Saturday, March 28, 2015   1 p.m.

Peter Hirthe, president of the Wisconsin Marine Historical Society, will provide a fascinating look back at the era when these unique vessels steamed on the waters of the Great Lakes. His program is developed from the extensive archives of the Great Lakes Marine Collection housed at the Milwaukee Public Library. Free with museum membership or admission. $5 for program only without admission to the museum galleries.

Girls Make History Day

Sunday, April 12, 2015,  1:00 - 3:30

The Wisconsin Maritime Museum is hosting another fun, educational afternoon filled with maritime-themed activities for young girls (grades 2-5). This year's theme is “Diving into the World of Water.” Get a chance to meet Channel 5 meteorologist Jenny Curtiss and find out how she became an atmospheric scientist on TV! Talk with maritime archeologist Caitlin Zant to learn how you can become a Great Lakes diver!

This year participants will rotate through four activity stations before finishing the afternoon off with an afternoon tea party for girls, their dolls, and an adult. The tea party will include tea, pink lemonade, and a light snack.

Cost: $7.00 per person

Space is limited for the tea so reservations are required. Call the museum at (920) 684-0218 to make reservations.

Saturday, May 2, 2015 @ 1:00 pm

Join us on Saturday, May 2nd 2015 as we remember the 86 crewmen of USS Lagarto on the 70th anniversary of her loss. Lagarto was built in Manitowoc and was sunk on May 3, 1945. The ceremony will take place on the deck of USS Cobia. This free event can be viewed from the museum's Quarterdeck.

39th Annual Midwestern Model Ships & Boats Contest and Display

Friday-Sunday, May 15-17, 2015

Modelers from throughout the United States will fill the museum’s Riverview Room with exquisite models for the weekend.  Details are now available on our page dedicated to the contest here. You can also view a slideshow from our 2014 event here.

The 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Battle of Normandy: a first-person account

Saturday, June 6, 2015  1 p.m.

Joseph Trader, retired Orthopedic Surgeon, will share highlights of his fascinating experience as a 2014 attendee at the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Battle of Normandy. He was one of 200,000, including the leaders of most of the nations in the world. He will explore the reason we remember the Normandy invasion more than any other WWII battle or other battle in history and will also discuss the significance of WWII in world history.

Dr.Trader’s interest in history, and WWII in particular, began at a young age as the son of a WWII veteran. During his career as a surgeon, he was honored to learn the personal war stories of many other veterans. Trader served on active duty in the U.S. Navy, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander. Trader has been a member of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum since 1978. He is also a charter member of the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

Classic WW II Submarine Movies, "Up Periscope" Art Exhibit from the US Navy, 8 weeks of programs and events!

Check back soon for details!

Haunted Submarine!

October 30th & 31st, 7:00pm - 11:00pm

Join us for a haunted submarine experience aboard our WW II submarine USS Cobia! Our haunted tours will take place October 30th & 31st from 7:00pm – 11:00pm. Find out what happens aboard the sub when the lights go out…

May not be suitable for children under 10.

Girl Scout Brownies Love Water Day 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015 2014, 9:30 - Noon OR  1:00 - 3:30

Discover the wonders of water! Learn how water connects people all over the world. Be inspired to lead your family and friends as water advocates.

Games + Experiments + Snacks + Role playing + Time on a real submarine = FUN

These activities will help fulfill your “Love Water” Award requirements!

Cost: $5 per Brownie 

Space is limited to 40 Brownies, so call right away to register:  920-684-0218 and ask for Karen (extension 105).

(The next session will be in February 2016)