Throttled with history and revved up with the roar from numerous successful events held throughout the years, the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is one of America’s greatest Rust Belt rally points.
The Harley-Davidson Museum first opened in 2008, marking the first time in history that this all-American manufacturer uncovered its archives and put them on display for all to see. As a company, Harley-Davidson has been around for more than 100 years, since William Harley and Arthur Davidson created their first motorcycle in 1903.
The company has grown immensely since that duo produced their first bike out of a 10-by-15-foot wooden shed and is now one of the most recognizable brands in the world. But the Harley-Davidson Motor Company is about so much more than engines and motors; it represents an entire community of loyal followers who stay active through group rides around the world, exclusive clubs and participating in museum activities and philanthropies.
It’s partly because of that community of riders that the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee has grown to become the icon it is today. The goal of the center is to provide a glimpse of American history and culture with galleries, exhibits, special events, great food and more. The museum plays host to numerous events throughout the year, from private parties and weddings to beer-tasting events and cooking classes. It even hosts its own special events at the site, including favorites like Baconfest, Wingfest and its annual Black Friday Beerfest.
“We feel privileged to be part of the exciting growth of the Menomonee Valley,” said Annie Champeau, director of sales for the Harley-Davidson Museum. “With competitive pricing, customizable food and beverage experiences, abundant free parking and integrated A/V and LCD projectors included, each event is primed for success. We pride ourselves on our countless and customizable food-and-beverage experiences; this allows us to cater to every type of event imaginable, from a party on our back patio to an elegant affair.”
For a supercharged event the group will be talking about for years, the Harley-Davidson Museum offers an entirely customizable event track to help get you started on the right path.
Although the museum is geared toward bringing the Harley-Davidson brand to life, the ample and customizable event spaces spread throughout this campus make it easy to craft any sort of affair, be it an elegant wedding or a team-building conference. The museum and its surrounding waterfront can host gatherings of 20 to 15,000, indoors or out.
The campus’ largest indoor space is the Garage, an industrial space boasting more than 10,456 square feet, and the space above the Motor Bar and Restaurant is capable of hosting up to 500 guests, with floor-to-ceiling views of the Milwaukee River and downtown skyline. Groups can also reserve any of the four spaces inside the main museum for small gatherings, the Motor Bar and Restaurant for private dining, any of the outdoor spaces and even the scenic Patio 13, which can accommodate 160 guests, as well as Founders Terrace, lining the campus.
Aside from the stunning audiovisual and lighting work to keep guests entertained throughout a meeting or event, the Harley-Davidson Museum also provides tons of entertainment options. The events team will help plan scavenger hunts, tours and more.
With every event where food and beverage minimums are met, groups will receive free entrance to the museum. Other entertainment options include customizing your own virtual bike, hopping on a Harley at the Experience Gallery or revving it up at the engine room. The gift shop is also available for events, and the staff can customize gifts for the group.
Catering and Dining
Whether or not your group is reserving the museum’s restaurant for the meeting or just using the museum’s exclusive in-house caterer, Levy Restaurants, to cater the gathering, your group is sure to be impressed by the decadent spread laid before them.
The catering department offers packaged menus, such as a wedding package and an all-day meeting package, for those short on time, or you can select from a number of choices to create your own custom menu. The department offers unusual choices starting at breakfast and lasting all the way to late-night snacks, from champagne toasts and hosted cash bars to locally sourced cheese boards and three-course plated dinners.
There’s no shortage of space at the motor museum, which spans over 20 acres. The museum frequently hosts its own events on-site, from rotating exhibits and nights at the museum to food festivals and motorcycle rallies.
One of the real gems of the museum, though, is the Harley-Davidson Museum Shop Class. Offered evenings or weekends, each shop class at the museum is taught by instructors from Harley-Davidson University. Class offerings include electrical systems, drive operations and more. Motorcycle ownership is not required.