Mitchell Gallery of Flight

MKE: 5 Things We Love About Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport

The “5 Things We Love About...” series on StuckatTheAirport.com celebrates features and amenities at airports around the country and the world.

And today we land at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE).

If we miss one of your favorite amenities at MKE, be sure to leave a note in the comments section below. And if you want to nominate an airport to be featured in the ‘5 Things We Love About…” series, drop a note in that section as well.

5 Things We Love About Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)

1. MKE’s Recombobulation Area

The “Recombobulation Area” just past the MKE security checkpoints is a place where passengers can put their coast and shoes back on and get their belongings in order after passing through TSA.

Evidently, the Recombobulation Area has become more than just a thoughtful airport amenity.

“Recombobulation” has become a part of every Wisconsinite’s dictionary, MKE officials tell us. And it was the answer to a question on the popular game show Jeopardy!.

2. Baron’s Beer Garden at MKE

Milwaukee is well-known for its great beers and a brewing history dating back to 1840.

So it makes sense, doesn’t it, that MKE is home to what may be the first beer garden in a U.S. airport.

Located on Concourse C, Baron’s Beer Garden takes inspiration from traditional German beer gardens and the repurposed fire trucks that the Milwaukee County Parks uses for its Traveling Beer Garden program.

In addition to a nice variety of local beers on tap, the beer garden has a full menu and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

3. MKE’s Moss Wall

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport makes selfies simple with the MKE Moss Wall.

The wall is real and made up of fern, pillow, and mood moss that has been treated with a safe, non-toxic preservation liquid. So snap away.

4. MKE’s Coat Check service

This is an airport amenity we love and wish was offered at more airports.

MKE is the only major airport in the U.S. to offer a coat check service during the winter. Smart, right? Even smarter: the reasonable rates. Last winter it cost $2/ day to check a coat, with a maximum charge of $10.

The coat check is located inside the Summerfest Marketplace retail shop, which is a tribute to the Summerfest festival, an event billed as the World’s Largest Music Festival.

In addition to Summerfest merchandise and House of Harley-Davidson products, the shop sells goods made by local vendors and many Wisconsin-centric souvenirs.

5. The only used bookstore in an airport

Located in the main terminal area at MKE, Renaissance Books is the only used bookstore we know of in an airport.

(Powell’s Books recently announced the permanent closure of their shop and kiosk at Portland International Airport that offered new and used books.)

And, as you can see from the photo above, Renaissance Books at MKE isn’t a kiosk or a small shop. This is a full-fledged bookstore with dozens of categories and thousands of used and rare books to choose from.

We wouldn’t be surprised if some people missed their flights while poking around this shop.

Bonus: Gallery of Flight

The Mitchell Gallery of Flight is a must-see aviation museum that recently reopened on the south side of the MKE terminal, next to the USO.

You can visit the museum 24-hours a day at the airport and on this virtual tour.

Did we miss one of your favorite spots at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)? Drop us a note in the comments section below and let us know which airport we should visit next.

Museum Monday: Gallery of Flight at Milwaukee General Mitchell Int’l Airport

If you like flying, chances are you like airplanes. And if you like airplanes, chances are you like visiting aviation museums once in a while.

Lucky for you there are more than 600 aviation and space-related museums around the country.   Each Monday, StuckatTheAirport.com visits one of them.

This week, it’s the Mitchell Gallery of Flight inside Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport.

Hamiltion Metalplan at aviation museum inside Milwaukee Mitchell Int'l Airport

(Hamilton Metalplane display, courtesy Mitchell Gallery of Flight)

Like the airport, the museum is named in honor of General Billy Mitchell, who is regarded as the Father of the U.S. Air Force.

Mitchell is profiled in the People section of the museum, along with Wisconsin-born fighter ace Dick Bong and other aviators with Wisconsin links, including Charles Lindbergh, who visited the Milwaukee airport in 1927.  Two exhibit cases display artifacts and photos about Captain James Lovell, who is best known for his four Gemini and Apollo spaceflights.

James Lovell exhibit at MKE Gallery of Flight museum

In the Aircraft & Airships section of the museum, you’ll see antique propellers, aviation-related artifacts and loads of models, including a 22-foot, 1/36th scale model of the Graf Zeppelin II (a sister to the Hindenberg) and models of military jets, WWII aircraft and airplanes of all eras.

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport Gallery of Flight exhibit

(Photo by Prateek Bahadur, via Flickr Creative Commons)

Best of all, the museum is located pre-security at Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport and admission is free.

For information about hours and exhibits, see the Mitchell Gallery of Flight website.

aircraft models displayed at Gallery of Flight Museum in General Mitchell International Airport Milwaukee

(Photo by Prateek Bahadur, via Flickr Creative Commons)

Do you have a favorite aviation/space museum? Please feel free to nominate it for a future edition of Museum Monday.