By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 02, 2024 at 1:01 PM

Part of what so many Milwaukeeans love about the current Milwaukee Public Museum, 800 W. Wells St., is the profusion of so-called Easter eggs, little somewhat hidden gems that folks love knowing about and sharing with others.

Things like not one but two snake buttons; the beer can resting on the bed of the “Living Oceans” exhibit; the little plastic dinosaurs in the Silurian reef; Abby the cat perched between buildings in “The Streets of Old Milwaukee”; the howler monkey button in the rainforest; the creepy kids peering out an upper window in the “European Village”; the little mezzanine window overlooking the Guatamalan marketplace.

The new museum, construction of which is set to begin this summer on 6th and McKinley, with an anticipated opening in early 2027 will also have these kinds of Easter eggs, according to MPM’s Madeline Anderson, who spoke to me Tuesday morning in a Facebook Live recorded in “The Streets of Old Milwaukee.”

Folks from MPM and Thinc Design, which is working on the Future Museum’s exhibit designs, recently got together to identify a few of these Easter eggs for the new museum.

In the “Milwaukee Revealed” exhibition, there will be three interactive beer steins that will trigger audio surprises when guests lift their lids, and Abby the cat will also be making the move, we learned today.

Outside the Daniel M. Soref Planetarium, a motion sensor will use visitor movements to kick off a meteor shower.

Recreations of coprolites – aka dino poop – will also trigger surprises.

And, there will be two snake buttons, just like at the current museum.

One will be in the “Living in a Dynamic World” gallery and another will be located in the “Winifred & Spencer Kellogg Gallery: Wisconsin Journey!”

“We know that’s what everyone loves about this museum, not just the snake buttons but those Easter eggs, those elements of surprise, and sharing that insider scoop with family and friends, so we wanted to carry that tradition forward in the new museum,” says Anderson.

Here is the full Facebook Live with Madeline Anderson, and, remember, the first Thursday of every month – like this Thursday – is Kohl’s Thank You Thursday, which means museum admission is free for everyone.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.