By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 18, 2015 at 7:50 AM

Though ticket prices will rise beginning Monday, March 2, individual admission to the Milwaukee Public Museum will now include free entry to a planetarium show, as well as admission to a new permanent exhibit that opens next month.

New rates are $17 for adults, up from $15 and $14 for seniors, up from $11. The senior price now applies to those 65 and above, up from 60 and above before. Children's admission goes from $11 to $12 but, again, the cutoff age rises. In the past children 0-2 were free. Now children 0-4 pay nothing.

To date, planetarium programming has required a separate paid ticket. While films in the The Daniel M. Soref National Geographic Dome Theater & Planetarium will still be ticketed, patrons purchasing a museum ticket will no longer pay extra to see the stars.

The combined ticket is certainly a bargain. Right now, admission to the museum and a planetarium show costs $21 for adults, while children and seniors pay $17. That dual experience will now cost $17, $12 and $14, respectively, and more younger children will pay nothing for either experience.

"Every visitor to the Museum will now be able to experience a planetarium show in our Dome Theater with the cost of admission," says museum president and CEO  Dennis Kois. "These live star shows give our visitors the opportunity to learn about the solar system and science and interact with a museum expert.

The same deal will apply to school groups visiting the museum beginning in autumn.

"It's about being a part of the community," Kois adds. "We want the museum to be available to all. This makes for a better experience for everyone."

The new "Crossroads of Civilization" permanent exhibition (pictured above) is slated to open on March 15. The show – which will not cost extra – will open in a new third-floor gallery space that formerly housed the museum's education offices. It's the first new permanent exhibit to open at the museum in more than a decade.

"There are many aspects that set Crossroads apart from the other exhibits we’ve unveiled over the years at MPM, but one of my favorites is the integration of technology," Kois said in a statement.

"Visitors can travel through a temple interior, see inside a mummy, and for the first time at MPM the exhibit design allows us to update content as time moves forward, information changes, and more research becomes available."

In other museum news, in late summer, "The Streets of Old Milwaukee" will close for a few months to get a facelift, including some "light" technological enhancements and a new entrance that I hear will come in the form of a streetcar that carries visitors back in time to the Cream City of yore.

Installed in 1965, the exhibit – perhaps the most popular in the entire city – celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.