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Cincinnati Museum Center

Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center

© Richie Diesterheft

The Cincinnati Museum Center has made its home in Cincinnati's Union Terminal since 1990. In addition to its own collections, the Museum Center regularly features traveling exhibitions, and is home of the state-of-the-art OMNIMAX Theater. Union Terminal towers at the end of a private, tree-lined boulevard and fountain. Its impressive Art Deco architecture has been preserved throughout the years and is a symbol of the National Historic Landmark's permanence in the Cincinnati community.

In the museum's West wing is the Cincinnati History Museum. Modeled to represent the Queen City as it appeared in its early years, the museum offers guests a unique look into the everyday lives of Cincinnatians past. The museum occupies three handicap-accessible levels and features costumed performers who act as townspeople to provide a more immersive experience.

The East wing contains the Museum of Natural History & Science. Its main features include recreations of scenes from Cincinnati's ice age, a simulation of the type of underground caverns found throughout the area, and an interactive exhibit which educates visitors on the workings of the human body. These attractions make for a truly enriching and informative visit for children and adults alike.

The lower levels feature the Duke Energy Children's Museum, meeting rooms, and exhibition space reserved for special and touring exhibits. Since its opening in 1998, the Duke Energy Children's Museum has provided children of all ages with hands-on learning and exploration. A three-story, wheelchair-accessible soft playground called The Woods challenges children's motor skills and creativity while educating them on fossils and habitats. In the Energy Zone, children learn about teamwork and simple machines. The museum also hosts weekly events for children and their families such as story times, cultural activities, and explorations of science and art, many of which are free and do not require advance registration.

In addition to its three museums, the Museum Center is home to the OMNIMAX Theater. Here, moviegoers rest in reclined seats and are fully immersed in the action on the five-story, dome-like screen. Imagine soaring above the Grand Canyon, reaching the North Pole, or exploring the depths and artifacts of the Titanic wreckage. OMNIMAX guests can do all this and more. Because the Museum Center itself owns many of the films it screens, the OMNIMAX is able to bring back favorites with its weekly Friday Classic Films Series. Each month the series features a film that has been popular in the past.

The often forgotten gem of the Cincinnati Museum Center, the Cincinnati Historical Society Library, is a true marvel. The collections house thousands of photographs, newspapers, personal letters, scrapbooks, home movies, newsreels, census reports, and other documents which chronicle life in the Cincinnati area since its settlement. Non-circulating copies of originals are available for patron personal or professional use, and copies of items may be bought for a fee. Historical, anthropological, and genealogical research is made easy with the library's online catalog and a fee-based research service.

The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is certainly an attractive way to spend a rainy day for local residents as well as visitors to the city. The Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Duke Energy Children's Museum, OMNIMAX Theater, and Cincinnati Historical Society Library provide endless hours of education and entertainment for visitors of all ages. With exciting summer camps, lectures, excursions, and volunteer opportunities, the Museum Center provides countless opportunities for community involvement. In addition, the Grand Rotunda and other smaller venues throughout Union Terminal are available for event rental. The Cincinnati Museum Center is entirely wheelchair-accessible. Contact the Museum Center for ticket deals and information regarding membership and special programming.

Attraction Information

  • Hours:
  • Monday through Saturday: 10am to 5pm
  • Sunday: 11am to 6pm
  • Admission, per museum:
  • Adults: $8.50
  • Seniors: $7.50
  • Children (ages 3-12): $6.50
  • Toddlers (ages 1-2): $4.50
  • Infants (under 1): free
  • See OMNIMAX page for show times and prices.
  • The Cincinnati Historical Society Library is free and open to the public.
  • Metro Stop:
  • No. 1 bus stops near the museum entrance
  • Parking:
  • Available at the museum for $6 until 4:30pm when the price is reduced to $4
  • Contact:
  • Location: 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, OH
  • Phone: 513-287-7000
  • Toll-free: 800-733-2077
  • TTY: 800-50-0750
  • Website: cincymuseum.org
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