2017 AYF Olympics: Cultural

2017 Armenian Youth Federation Senior Olympic Games, Hosted by the AYF-YOARF Racine “Armen Garo” Chapter, to Take Place in Downtown Milwaukee

The Saturday of an AYF Olympic weekend is usually the day that families, and extended families and friends, venture out and take in the cultural attractions of the host city. And downtown Milwaukee certainly can accommodate!

This year’s Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Olympic Games are here in Downtown Milwaukee and hosted once again by the AYF-YOARF Racine “Armen Garo” chapter, Aug. 31-Sept 4.

There are five major museums in the downtown, all within a mile of the Hyatt Regency… and three of them are grouped together on the lakefront!

The closest museum (besides the Milwaukee County Historical Society located across the street from the Hyatt Regency) is the Milwaukee Public Museum which is only three blocks away and houses 4.5 million specimens in 150,000 square feet of exhibit space.  You can visit the turn of the century at the Streets of Old Milwaukee and European Village exhibits, see one of the largest and oldest dinosaur skulls in the world, as well as view exhibits on Africa, Asia, Europe, the Arctic, South and Middle America, the Pacific Islands, and a Costa Rican Rainforest.  And don’t forget to see the live butterflies in the Puelicher Butterfly Wing and enjoy the first venue in the world to debut brand new Digistar 6 technology in the museum’s dome theater and planetarium.

The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is just under a mile away, but once there, you will be a stone’s throw away from Discovery World, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the greatest of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan.  Betty Brinn is Milwaukee’s only museum designed specifically for children 10 and younger, featuring hands-on exhibits and interactive programs. Home Town is a kid-sized community where children can explore a manufacturing exhibit, post office, construction site, TV studio and more. Pocket Park provides preschool-age children and infants with hands-on learning opportunities that help young children build academic, physical, and social skills.

Discovery World is a spectacular 120,000-foot museum complex that brings science, technology and water to life through fun and educational activities. There’s 3-D journey into virtual environments, a chance to lie on a bed of nails, and drive a racecar simulator. The Reiman Aquarium contains aquatic life from the Great Lakes, North Atlantic and the Caribbean in their 10 tanks, including a walk-through tunnel and creatures to interact with in the Touch Tank. There is also a life size re-creation of the 1852 schooner The Challenge, day sails on the Sailing Vessel (S/V) Denis Sullivan—the world’s only three-masted replica of a 19th century Great Lakes cargo schooner, and the Kohl’s Design It! Lab, where visitors can make 3-D DIY projects to take home.

The Milwaukee Art Museum is one of the city’s most iconic attractions, thanks to a collection of 30,000 works spanning from antiquity to the present as well as the striking architecture of the Quadracci Pavilion, featuring the moveable “wings” of the Burke Brise Soleil.  The collection includes paintings, sculpture, prints, decorative arts and photographs from such genres as American decorative arts, German Expressionism, folk and Haitian art, American art after 1960 and one of the largest collections of works by Wisconsin native Georgia O’Keeffe.  Children won’t be bored if you stop by the Kohl’s Art Generation Open Studio so they can create an art project to take home.

Finally, back in 2006, if you wanted to discover the Harley Davidson Experience, you had to be one of the lucky few that signed up for the special AYF Olympic tour of Harley’s Powertrain Operations facility.  In 2017, everyone can discover the Harley Davidson Experience at the Harley Davidson Museum, which houses more than 450 motorcycles and artifacts, dating back to the oldest known Harley-Davidson motorcycle: Serial Number One.  Inside the Experience Gallery, you can hop on board a variety of bikes and children try on pint-size leather jackets and rev an engine in the Imagination Station.

For more information, stay tuned to this column or go to,, or

“Oor eh? Hos eh!”

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