These days, virtual museums are available with the click of a mouse or remote. But there’s nothing like seeing the real thing, which is why the Milwaukee Public Museum’s “Real Pirates” should keep the revolving doors spinning. Featuring artifacts from the Whydah, a vessel discovered by explorer Barry Clifford on the Atlantic Ocean floor in 1984, the exhibit uses the objects to tell the varied stories of early-18th-century shipping and piracy, including the slave trade (the Whydah spent its first two years as a slave ship) and the exploits of Caribbean pirates. Along with the archaeology and scholarship, there is naturally a chance for kids to spin fantasies of blunderbusses and plank walking.
→ “Real Pirates” (Dec. 14-May 27). Milwaukee Public Museum. 800 W. Wells St., 414-278-2728, mpm.edu