Cincinnati’s Eclectic Museums


Fine Art, Ancient Jewish Artifacts, Fire Engines, Fossils and More

Taft Museum of Art, Hebrew Union College Museum, Sharon Woods Village, College Football Hall of Fame, and Vent(triloquism) Haven Museum illustrate museums’ diversity.

Taft Museum of Art

Even if you don’t regularly visit museums, you’re sure to find one that interests you in Cincinnati. The elegant Taft Museum of Art (316 Pike St.) houses one of the nation’s finest private art collections. Displays that definitely should not be missed are a case filled with out-of-the-ordinary pocket watches and an exhibit of etched rock crystal items.

Cincinnati Art Museum

At Cincinnati Art Museum (953 Eden Park Dr.), visitors can review the visual arts of almost every major civilization of the world over the past 5,000 years. Paintings, prints, sculptures, musical instruments, costumes, period rooms, photographs, and decorative arts are displayed in more than 100 galleries.

Hebrew Union College Museum

The Hebrew Union College Museum features “A Walk Through the Past” which presents the Jewish experience through a display of ancient artifacts, ceremonial art objects, illuminated manuscripts, and photos of modern religious ceremonies and practices. A Palestinean cooking pot from the Roman period, an 1830 paper-cut, and 19th century silver Kiddush cup are among the eclectic array of exhibits.


On the University of Cincinnati campus is one of the world’s finest collections of fossils native to the Ohio Valley and surrounding area. Visitors can touch dinosaur bones and learn how the animals, whose fossilized remains are on exhibit, lived before they became extinct.

Sharon Woods Village

At Sharon Woods Village, visitors can stroll through the past midst restored 19th-century buildings gathered from all parts of southwestern Ohio. On the grounds are a Carpenter Gothic house, a Greek Revival farmhouse, a Federal-style home, a train station, and farm outbuildings. At Christmas, each house in the village is decorated as it would have been decades ago. Craft demonstrations, antique sleigh rides, candlelight tours, and old-fashioned dinners are also a part of the holiday celebration.

College Football Hall of Fame

At the College Football Hall of Fame (King’s Island), which commemorates more than 450 college football greats, visitors can kick field goals, score touchdowns using computer terminals, and stroll through a “Time Tunnel” tracing football’s evolution.

Vent Haven Museum

Just a few miles south at Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky, is Vent Haven Museum, one of the most unusual repositories in the United States. The museum contains the largest collection of ventriloquist dolls and memorabilia in the world, including items from the Edgar Bergen collection.

Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Planetarium

And there are more. Among them are Cincinnati Museum of Natural History and Planetarium (1301 Western Ave.), which contains the world’s largest simulated cavern and a “Wilderness Trail” depicting life in the Ohio forest 200 years ago. The Cincinnati Historical Society Library in Eden Park contains a first-rate research library for people interested in genealogy.

Cincinnati Fire Museum

And role-playing is an integral part of the Cincinnati Fire Museum, housed in a restored 1907 firehouse on Court Street. There, visitors can slide down a fire pole and attach a hose to a hydrant in addition to admiring the vintage fire engines on display.

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