You know you've found a true museum gem when it has amazing exhibits full of excellent learning opportunities AND plenty of hands-on fun to really get the kids involved.
This place does all of that and more!
The Cincinnati Museum Center houses three different museums, and an IMAX theater inside a grand old train station. The Union Terminal building itself, inside and out, is a sight to behold. You can lose yourself in the many fabulous details of the Art Deco style, and you could seriously spend an hour just appreciating the murals.
For this review, we're looking at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science. There are a lot of Natural History Museums out there that are heavy on the "look-at-me" exhibits with way too much "don't-touch-me" going on.
Not this place! There are loads of hands on activities for all ages. And not even just things to touch, but things to climb on! And in!
You can touch geodes, and gems; view specimens through microscopes; climb through an entire cave system with it's own waterfalls; walk amongst stalactites and stalagmites; and even pretend you're a woolly mammoth and venture through a glowing ice cave!
There are giant polar bears! Water activities! Dinosaurs and fossils! You can even ride a wolf!
This museum is also loaded full of docents set up with interactive activities throughout the exhibits. Those are the fun little lessons my kids remember forever. Whether they are feeling the differences in animal furs or bones, or exploring a variety of gems and minerals; holding science in your hand is an AMAZING experience for kids of any age!
If ever in the area, you HAVE to check this place out. All 3 museums are fabulous. Seeing all of them in one day can get a little tricky, especially if you like to take your time and truly appreciate all that is offered. But, it can be done if you have no other choice. If you can allow more time during your stay in Cincinnati, you could easily spend at least 2 days here with your family.
There are many years this is our go-to for purchasing our annual museum memberships to take full advantage of reciprocal programs with one investment. The membership here tends to be a little pricey, but you get all of the museums here, as well as ACM benefits and full access to the ASTC Passport museums. This gives us unlimited opportunities for fun along many of our travels, and saves us tons of money.
So, come for a day, or come back as often as you can! You'll LOVE this place!