Listen to our Student Tour Story on 88.9 Radio Milwaukee 

HMI’s trained guides will lead your school groups on a 1.5 hour walking tour of downtown Milwaukee. This tour is adaptable to students in grades 1 through 6 and is geared as a supplement to history classes. This tour has successfully served Milwaukee area school children since 1981. It can also be used in conjunction with photography, civics, art or architecture classes. The tour is also appropriate for use by scout leaders for work on history and architecture badges. It is an excellent activity for children involved in day camp programs.

A complete Activity Packet has been designed to use with the tours. Geared to different age levels, the exercises are to be used both before and after the field trip to reinforce the concepts learned. They are sent out when the tour is booked and are included in the price of the tour.

For older students, you may want to book one of our regular walking tours as they are more age appropriate.

Tour Information

The tour meets in front of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water Street.

The students begin by discovering the elements of architecture. Walking along the Milwaukee River gives them a chance to learn about the people who settled along the banks and why the river is so important.

The history of Milwaukee’s three early settlements comes alive as the tour winds its way along the streets of downtown. Starting out in Kilbourntown, the tourgoers enter Juneautown at the Milwaukee River and are able to get a glimpse of the area where George Walker first settled. The early rivalry between the settlers in the towns founded by Solomon Juneau and Byron Kilbourn is told in the story of the Bridge Wars of 1845.

Nineteenth century facades are observed, and the students are helped to “read” the story of the buildings using names and dates found on the facades. These are all part of the rich ornamentation added by the architects and builders who constructed Milwaukee’s early streetscapes.

The tour includes interiors of several of the buildings along the route. The students will learn about the use of light courts as a way to illuminate buildings before the use of electric lights.

Reservation Information

The fee for tours is $2.00 per student, teacher and chaperon.

Rules on chaperons and adult pricing: Your group will be required to have 1 chaperon per every 10 to 15 students. Based on the number of students per tour, you are allowed up to 7 chaperons at no cost. All additional adults or chaperons on tour must pay the $10 walking tour fee for adults 18 and up.

If you are interested in scheduling a student tour for a group of 5 or more students please call the office at (414) 277–7795 to make reservations. Please schedule tour at least 2 weeks in advance.