From the Cincinnati Museum Center to the Taft Museum to the Cincinnati Art Museum, we are fortunate to have so many fine museums right here in Cincinnati. We are also lucky that our home in the heart of the country puts us within a short drive to many other interesting museums to visit. Here are just a few to put on your radar for your next “museum getaway”!
1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton
Carillon Historical Park celebrates the city’s rich historical heritage and numerous bragging rights – from being the birthplace of the airplane and the cash register to hosting the National Football League’s inaugural game. Featuring a hand-carved carousel, 4-D theatre, trains, slides, living history experiences, thousands of artifacts, extensive educational programming and so much more, Carillon Historical Park brings Dayton’s past to life in a way that is fun for the whole family. Highlights include the 151-foot-tall Deeds Carillon, the 1905 Wright Flyer III and the Great 1913 Flood exhibit that tells the story of Ohio’s worst natural disaster.
1708 River Valley Circle South, Lancaster
In 2016 a group of moms got together to explore the possibility of creating a hands-on, interactive children’s museum for Lancaster, Ohio. Today, the 8,000-square-foot adventure space they dreamed up features more than 35 hands-on exhibits and activities for children ages 0-8. The nonprofit museum provides a place for children to learn as they engage in their most important “work” of play.
3000 North Meridian St., Indianapolis
The largest children’s museum in the world is just a two-hour drive from Cincinnati and it is well worth the trip. Those who have made the trek before will want to return to see the newest addition: a 7.5-acre outdoor health and fitness area known as Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience that features 12 outdoor sports experiences and three indoor sports exhibits. The remainder of the 500,000 square feet of indoor space houses exhibits that focus on physical and natural sciences, history, world cultures and the arts. Step back in time 65 million years to walk among the dinosaurs in Dinosphere. Little ones 5 and under can enjoy a space all their own in the newly revamped Playscape and visitors of all ages will love the brand new interactive DC Superheroes exhibit open through November 25th.
333 W Broad St., Columbus, OH
COSI is a world-class children’s museum that is just as fun for adults as it is for kids. In the recently opened Dinosaur gallery, explore a 6-foot-long mechanical T rex model that walks in place, an 8-foot tall Titanosaur femur, a huge threehorned Triceratops cast and a 100-year-old piece of fossilized amber preserving an ancient feather. Little KidSpace is the perfect place for kids 6 and under to engage in pretend play, climb on play structures and get a bit wet at the water stations. COSI’s planetarium is the largest in Ohio and sends visitors on an unparalleled journey through our universe, while The National Geographic Giant Screen brings movies to life in stunning 3D.
309 Washington St., Columbus, IN
Just an hour and a half away in the other Columbus (Columbus, IN), youngsters can explore three floors of interactive fun at KidsCommons. Kids can discover the innovation of the city’s architecture and urban design while planning their very own community in City by Design. Get the ultimate bubble blowing experience in Bubble-ology, create a mini masterpiece in Kids-at-Art and investigate the science of optics and music with the Gateway Bridge Laser Harp. But the piece de resistance for kids of all ages is the giant toilet slide. You read that right – in ExploraHouse, kids can slide down the museum’s world famous giant toilet! Note: the building across the street houses The Columbus Commons – a giant, free indoor playground perfect for burning off some steam before the drive home.
And there you have it – five museums, tons of fun and all just a short drive away!