Welcome to Trips 'n Toys!

Welcome to Trips 'n Toys!

Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science - Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science 
1301 Western Avenue,
"GREAT Hands-on Natural History!"
Now THIS is a great museum!

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!

Duke Energy Children’s Museum - Cincinnati, OH

Duke Energy Children’s Museum

1301 Western Avenue,
Ohio 45203
"Endless Opportunities For Creative Play!"

The Duke Energy Children's Museum is one of the 3 museums inside the Cincinnati Museum Center, housed in the historic Union Terminal. The building itself is absolutely gorgeous. Try to make a day or two out of all of the museums if you are able to do so. They are all fantastic!

My suggestion if you visit another museum on the same day as the Children's Museum, do the other museum first. Your kids will never want to leave the children's museum! This is definitely a drag-them-out-at-closing-time-and-not-one-second-sooner sort of place. But, that also means, they'll have had so much they'll sleep soundly that night, for sure!

This kids' museum is not the largest you'll probably ever visit, but it's jam-packed with all sorts of creative endeavors to be had.

You've got an entire miniature town, complete with fully stocked grocery store, vet clinic, diner, post office, car racing area, a house with baby dolls, a construction zone, and so much more.

Ball pit? Check! But, it's not just a ball pit, it's an Energy Zone! Individual stations within a complex machine operate together to keep the balls moving. Your kids will be sure to break a sweat learning about energy, simple machines, physics, mechanics, engineering, and even teamwork!

Water play? Yes! All kinds of scientific concepts can be explored through splashing around, filling, pouring, building bridges, constructing locks and dams, and even engaging in introductory concepts to learn about hydroelectricity, the water cycle, and even more!

There is a dedicated farm-themed area for younger kids with slides, sand tables, and lots of fruits and veggies to grow and harvest!

Not sold yet? How about a 3 story forest-themed climbing structure? Complete with climbing walls, rope bridges, and slides! Discover fossils, animals, and look out below for live fish and other river wildlife!

The play structure is HUGE! And handicapped accessible! Parents are welcome to explore along with their kids.

Other facilities include changing tables, nursing areas, and quiet zones. If you are local, you can check out books from the library.

Check the website or just get lucky to find different scheduled activities throughout the day. There is a regular story time for toddlers in the farm area. They often have a mix of guided or self-guided art activities or science exploration available on an open, on-going basis. One time, we learned about "Ugly Jugs" and had a chance to create and paint pots in this Old Appalachian style. The kids loved this!

This is a great children's museum for kids of all ages. It's an excellent way to finish off a visit to the History Museum or the Natural History & Science Museum, or even checking out one of the several IMAX showings available.

Or, come, and make a day of the Duke Energy Children's Museum by itself! Either way, this place is well worth the trip. Your family will enjoy it, for sure!