There are several different museums in one spot. Three of them are there all the time, the Duke Energy Children's Museum, Cincinnati History Museum, and Museum of Natural History & Science. I went through the Cincinnati History and Museum of Natural History & Science. Both were about average. There were some memories that stand out. Some of the rock formations were great as well as the bird displays. Then the man made cave was fun - but way too short. With the History of Cincinnati I liked the old machinery and the fairy boat they had built in there.
There is a point on each side of the entrance, where a person can stand on each side and be able to hear what the other is saying in a quiet voice. That was kind of fun.
I bought the All Museum Pass thinking it went to all of the displays - it didn't. There was a Gold display there that looked interesting. I did not know this was not part of the regular museum. This did not cover the special displays, they wanted another $14.75 to see just that. Not happening. I would have like to have gone to see the Omnimax theater, but did not have time.
The last picture of Inky Jack Black is primarily for a friend. She always takes Inky with her and takes pictures of him. So this was a photo op for him.
Union Terminal, the old railroad station in Cincinnati, is one of the city's finest buildings. Now called the Cincinnati Museum Center, it houses two fine museums. Each one deserves its own tip, so check out my tips for the Museum of Natural History and Science and the Cincinnati History Museum.
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal
This converted train station (and you can still catch an AmTrak from here!) is a superb example of art deco architecture. The kidlets & I will be taking the AmTrak from Cincinnati to NYC Labor Day weekend!
Complete with Imax Theatre and several childrens museums.
Inside the vast hall you'll find large well-done mosaics adorning the upper walls & ceiling depicting historical scenes of Cincinnati. Another VTer mentioned that you could stand at the water fountain at one end & another person at the opposite end can whisper & you can hear it! This is due to the great acoustics of the place & the sound traveling not out, but along the curved wall & ceiling to reach the other side.
Photos: September 2005
In it's heyday this beautiful old art deco terminal was one of the busiest passenger train stations around. It could handle a maximum of 17,000 passengers and 216 trains per day. The last passenger train pulled out of the terminal in 1972. However, since 1991, Amtrak once again is using the station. Now only six trains a week pass through Cincinnati. It's the "Cardinal," with three weekly trains going west (to Chicago) and three trains going east (to Washington, D.C). Karen and I love railroading. We have traveled in and out of this terminal on several occasions and we hope for the day when America will once again have a more viable railway system.
Union Terminal was begun in August, 1929, and completed in March 1933, as the joint venture of 7 different railways. The rotunda of the building is fabulous - a definite "must see" for those visiting Cincinnati - regardless of their mode of transportation. It spans 188 feet and soars to a peak of 106-feet-high. The walls are decorated with murals which portray the history of Cincinnati and environs.
In addition to the small Amtrak station, the building now is home to the Cincinnati Museum Center, one of the top cultural attractions in tthe Midwest. Inside are:
Museum of Natural History and Science
Cincinnati Historical Museum
Cinergy Children's Museum
Linder Family Omnimax Theater
Cincinnati Historical Society Library
Each of the three museums is a worthy destination within itself, and the Omnimax has a giant wrap-around screen, five stories high, that offers an unending series of spectacular shows. Also, more than 700 special events are held in the Museum Center each year.
Tickets to the different museums vary. Multi-passes for the museums as well as annual passes are a good value. Click the web link below for current details.
The Cincinnati museum center is one of my favorite places to go. It is actually three museums, the Cincinnati historical center, the childrens museum, and the natural history museum. In reality, they are all geared more towards the kiddies. But, a good time can be had by grown ups too.
There is an Imax theater on the site as well, which is fun, but I still love to play with the exhibits like the kiddies do. plus fun can be had with the building too. The design of the train station building that houses the museum allows for some interesting fun. For example, talk into one of the water fountains in the main atrium while someone is listening to the other one. It is scary! Your voice carries from one side to the other, but is barely heard in the middle.
In this collection of musea, one could bye tickets for different musea combinations or for the whole package. As engineer, I was especially interested in the 'Museum of Natural History & Science'. Although it was more oriented towards children, their were some very nice artifacts (animal species, indian clothings,...). At that time, their was also a World tour exhibition running on ancient Egypt which I particularly enjoyed (a show which actually went to brussels some weeks after, what the heck). The best thing in their was the OMNIMAX: big screen 3-D: the show of the day was about the Nile-river: impressive!!! MUST DO
See the Museum Center at the old Union Terminal
FIrst of all, the museums are great and there is an IMAX theater. Secondly, if you are a train buff, you will love the nostalgia. Also if you are into Art Deco, this is the place to see.
Families traveling with children have some great options. Two obvious choices are the Paramount's Kings Island amusement park and the Cincinnati Zoo. But my all time favorite family destination is the museum complex at the old Union Terminal. This restored art deco train station houses a children's museum, an Omnimax theatre, a history museum and a natural history museum. Arrive early if you want to see all the museums and do them justice. Also, volunteers lead free tours pointing out the architectural highlights of the building, such as the restored board room for the railroad companies who ran the train station when the massive structure was built.
The old Union station is a treat in itself for architecture fans because of the art deco design and the mosaic murals inside. The arch way to the museum is huge. I am a big fan of history, so I love the history museum. It has a model display of historic cincinnati and a replica of a steam boat. The natural history museum has an ice cave, a replica of a Kentucky limestone cave and natural history artifacts children can look at with hands on displays, but my young boys love the children's museum best of all. It features a maze of tunnels, a water works display which is especially fun for the younger children and an activity center with plastic balls that are dumped, thrown, and used in a variety of child power machines. As I write this, the museum is hosting a traveling exhibit of Titantic artifacts.
Cincinnati Museum Center / Union Terminal
Former Union Terminal transportation station that has been rneovated on the inside to accomodate an I-MAX theater, The Cincinnati Natural History Museum, The Cincinnati Histoy Museum & a wonderful Childrens' Activity Center.
This converted train station houses a number of Cincinnati Museums including the History, Natural Science and Children's museum
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