From art to history to hands-on fun, be inspired at these local museums.
This hotel-museum hybrid in the heart of downtown is a historical restoration to preserve the building’s original Neo-Classical Revival style of 1912. In addition to its 156 guest rooms, 21c welcomes the public to its free contemporary art gallery, which is open day and night, Metropole restaurant and bar on the ground floor plus a rooftop bar.
21c Museum Hotel
One of the nation’s most unique and quirky museums, the American Sign Museum expanded into an upgraded residence in 2012. This massive collection of vintage and neon signage (think drug stores, restaurants and ice cream parlors) gives glimpses into yesteryear charm.
American Sign Museum
Behringer Crawford Museum
Featuring 450 million years of Northern Kentucky history and culture as viewed through the lens of transportation - Rivers, Roads, Rails & Runways - visitors enjoy hands-on, interactive exhibits and activities in a 20,000 square foot facility. BCM is also home to definitive collections of artwork by Mary Bruce Sharon, Harlan Hubbard and Wolfgang Ritschel and presents a broad range of ongoing creative, innovative and fascinating exhibits and educational programs for all ages.
Cincinnati Art Museum
Free admission and parking every day! Explore the Cincinnati Art Museum’s rich, encyclopedic collection of more than 67,000 objects, spanning 6,000 years of world art. Ranked 'Top Art Museum for Families' by Parenting magazine, the museum offers public tours and educational activities for all ages. Learn more about the art museum here.
Home to three museums (Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, and the Museum of Natural History & Science) plus the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library, Cincinnati Museum Center is housed in historic Union Terminal (recently restored after two-and-a-half years of work) and is a must-see for any visitor.
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal
Contemporary Arts Center (photo: @shamanslife)
The CAC is a museum that showcases "art of the last five minutes" in a building that has gained international acclaim for its extraordinary architecture. Nestled in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, the CAC has served as a beacon for progressive thought in the community for more than 75 years. The center offers daily free admission. Learn more about the arts center here.
This creationism museum, open since 2007, offers a biblical history featuring more than 160 exhibits, a planetarium, Special FX Theatre, animatronics, insectorium and a petting zoo and botanical garden. Plus, the Creation Museum is home to the biggest zip line and sky bridge course in the Midwest!
The center brings to life the importance – and relevance – of struggles for freedom around the world and throughout history, including today. Made up of three buildings that symbolize the cornerstones of freedom – courage, cooperation and perseverance – the Freedom Center's curving architecture reflects the winding river and the often-changing path to freedom.
Known as one of the finest small art museums in America, this National Historic Landmark was built in about 1820. The Taft is home to nearly 700 works of art, including European and American master paintings, Chinese porcelains and European decorative arts. Learn more about the museum of art here.
Taft Museum of Art
Click here for a complete listing of museums in the Cincinnati region.