Due to initial COVID-19 lockdowns, the Harley-Davidson Museum closed its doors to the public last spring. By June, Milwaukee’s infection rate improved enough for the Motor Company to welcome guests back to the 20-acre complex. Unfortunately, a case surge in the fall forced the museum to shut down operations again on November 20, 2020. After months of developing safety protocols with local health officials, the Harley-Davidson Musem opened once again on March 5, 2020.
To improve guests’ safety and comfort, museum staff are implementing capacity limits, enhanced cleaning procedures, online ticketing, and hand sanitizing stations. This first step in Harley’s phased reopening will also require all guests to wear face masks while on museum premises. The brand’s efforts aren’t limited to health and safety guidelines, however. Two new exhibits go on display during the museum’s reopening.
The Off-Road Harley-Davidson exhibit celebrates the brand’s dirt riding legacy. Of course, the new program plugs Harley’s first ADV, the Pan America, but it also documents the riders that previously braved the unbeaten path on a Hog. The bar and shield’s manufacturing past is also on full display with Building A Milwaukee Icon: Harley-Davidson's Juneau Avenue Factory. Featuring archival photos and pencil drawings, the exhibit examines the company’s formative years between 1909 and 1920.
Aside from the brand-new exhibits, the museum will also Virtual Gallery Talks and an Engines 101 classroom experience. Visitors can also grab some grub at the Motor Bar & Restaurant or pick up new threads at the museum shop. Additionally, the new museum annual pass should keep guests coming back thanks to admission and merchandise discounts.
“Our team has been eager to welcome our friends and neighbors – safely – back to our campus,” said Harley-Davidson Museum VP Bill Davidson. “With robust health and safety plans in place, we’re confident our guests can comfortably enjoy a visit to our new exhibit, ‘Off-Road Harley-Davidson,’ a bite at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant or a visit to The Shop for great gifts and collectibles. Together, with our partners across the city, we have been diligently working to make sure we do our part to keep Milwaukee moving in the right direction.”
For now, the Harley-Davidson Museum and Shop are only open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST) on weekends. Hopefully, the situation in Milwaukee continues to improve so we can all enjoy the Harley-Davidson Museum's extensive lineup of activities.