Cincinnati History Museum


When’s the last time you took a step on a trolley car, boarded a life-size steamboat, or walked the streets of a town area in the 1800s? Have your kids seen the bones of a mammoth, walked through a time machine or figured out how to reroute a river? This weekend my kids and family did all this and much more. We visited the Cincinnati Museum Center. We saw so many amazing things that it’s going to take more than one day to share it with you. So today I’ll start with our visit to the Cincinnati History Museum.

cinci musuem center

Cincinnati History Museum

The title of this museum might be Cincinnati History Museum, but you don’t have to be a native from OH to appreciate the exhibits. My kids were thrilled with the intricate display of how Cincinnati looked in different times. There are so many details that you should look for. We found 5 plastic army men while viewing the exhibits. I know there are specific activities that you can sign up for to help your children enjoy more of the museum. They are an additional charge for non-members but are included in a membership pass. You can check out the Detective Agency, Scavenger Hunts, I Spy and more here.

Cincinnati History Museum
Starting the tour at the Cincinnati History Museum

Learn about Cincinnati’s past and early life in Ohio in the Cincinnati History Museum. Explore a recreation of the Cincinnati Public Landing of the late 1850s where you can step aboard a replica of the 94-foot side-wheel steamboat, the Queen of the West! Learn about Cincinnati during World War II in our home front exhibition and see a model of the city of Cincinnati from 1900-40s with working trains and inclines, as well as interactive computer stations!Walking through the museum, you can engage with costumed interpreters. Ask them questions about their lives to better understand and connect to history. Speak with a settler new to the river valley in 1792, or help a flatboat man unload his cargo. Help the printer set type in his shop on the Public Landing, and learn about 1940s-Cincinnati from a conductor on our street car. It’s like going back in time!

trolley car

All through the museum, there were people dressed in period clothing, ready to entertain with music, teach us how to quilt or show us their craft.

character 1

One of the highlights of this museum was the Public Landing area from the 1850s. We all loved boarding the steamboat and seeing the shops and townspeople in the area. We really did feel like we had stepped into a time machine and were no longer in 2013.

Queen of the West

Things to Know

  • Plan to spend at least 1 1/2 hours to tour this museum.  There is so much to see that you don’t want to rush through.
  • There is a lot of walking.  You can choose steps or ramps all through the museum.  If you have trouble walking very far, you can use one of the museum wheelchairs. (You will need to either leave a photo id or $10.00 as a deposit, but you can get the money back when you return the chair).
  • Make sure you have a charged battery.  There are some great photo ops throughout the museum.
  • There are restrooms located about halfway through the museum.   If you are visiting with children, make sure you use the facilities in the rotunda area before you begin the tour.

Have you visited the Cincinnati History Museum? What is your favorite exhibit? I’d love to hear your experience!

Click here for more information about tickets, directions and hours.


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