children

Fort Ancient

6123 St. Rt. 350
Oregonia, Ohio 45054

Website: http://www.fortancient.org/

Quick Review: Historical museum with lots of walking trails to explore more history.

Fort Ancient is a museums and grounds representing the Native American cultures which once inhabited the area. It contains a museum and surrounding grounds.

The history of the area is long and complicated. The first people to build a village at the site were the Hopewell people. They were a mound building society, which they inherited from the Adena. Some of the best examples of this are at Hopewell Culture National Historic Park. The Hopewell Culture only lasted till the 500’s. About 500 years later people of the Fort Ancient culture took over the site and used th area until the arrival of Europeans. It is because of the walls and mounds that the first archaeologist to study the area thought that the recent inhabitants had used it as a fort. Only recently has it be understood that the walls and the later village were from separate unrelated cultures.

img_0386The museum offers 9,000 sq ft of exhibit space. There are exhibits on the first Ohioans, how they used the land, their first contact with the Europeans, and the conflict which ensued. There is also a prehistoric garden, showing all the crops that would of been grown during the time There are lots of hands on exhibits.

Fort Ancient is not just a museum but also and great outdoor space. It is the largest outdoor historic site of its kind in the country. There are 2.5 miles of walking trails. These trails allow one to see the historic mounds and also the surrounding countryside.  There are two overlooks that give a great view. The trails are easily accessed from parking lots through out. The park is nice because what is learned at museum can be experienced in the natural setting. The maps and dioramas in the museums show off where everything used to be, so seeing this outside really adds to the overall experience.

Tip: Fort Ancient is worth a visit on its own, but is also part of the Ohio History Connection and is free with Membership

Meanwhile at the Hall of Justice: An update on Cincinnati Museum Center and Union Terminal

In 2014 the citizens of Hamilton County voted to increase the sales tax of their county to pay for a restoration of the historic Union Terminal. Due to the the work that needs to be done on the building Cincinnati Museum Center’s two history museums will be closed during the process. The Duke Energy Children’s Museum and Special Exhibits should remain open during construction.

The construction is expected to take up to two years and be completed around Nov of 2018.

For more information visit the website of Cincinnati Museum Center

Here are a few pictures of what the museum looked like before the renovation.

 

Cincinnati Museum Center

Rating: ****

Link: http://www.cincymuseum.org/

Quick Review: 3 cool museums in one awesome building, with array of other things to top it off.

The Cincinnati Museum center is more than just a museum, it’s 3 museum in one, and a train station, and a gift shop, and a historic land mark, and etc., etc., etc. One can spend all day inside and still not see everything.

Housed inside the historic Union Terminal the center is mostly three museums: The museum of Natural history and Science, Cincinnati History Museum, and Duke Energy Children’s Museum. Not being a kid and all I have not been to the children’s museum… but what one can see from the escalator looks awesome.

The Cincinnati History Museum is dedicated to the history of the area. Starting off with a giant train display (worth the admission itself) of the city the museum slowly works back up to the modern day. A lot of the exhibits are well designed and make one feel as if they actually are in the time period described. On busy weekends the museum even has costumed interpreters. The artifacts are not just displayed but used to enhance the story. From a log cabin of the frontier days to a rocking riverboat, every era is brought life.

The Museum of Natural History and Science is just as amazing as the history museum.  Starting off with an audio/visual/ artifact presentation one is slowly transported in to a world of learning. As with the other museums the displays are large and looming. The best of which is a HUGE walkthrough cave with 2 separate paths to explore, waterfalls, and bats. The museum does get to be a little bit to scientific at times but quickly gives hands on displays to help enforce the subject matter.

The best part of the center is the terminal it’s housed in. With a large format screen (ominmax which is a domed IMAX) to a working Amtrax Station, Art Deco decor, and a pretty good food center, it has a little bit of everything. Give yourself a 1/2 hour to explore it.

Quick tip: Find the original Train yard switch room; it has an awesome view of the train yard in back.  The Amtack boards at night and you can see the museum empty. Extremely creepy!!! Worth seeing.

COSI

Rating: ***1/2

Link: http://www.cosi.org/

Quick Review: A cool little museum about science…designed more for kids.

Okay, COSI (Center Of Science and Industry) is not a kid’s museum. It is designed to teach kids, but even adults can learn there.

“A good museum cannot be just a warehouse of Artifacts. It also must tell a story.” COSI does this. From brightly lit exhibits to plenty of hands on displays, COSI has a little bit of something. That also is the problem. While exploring the museum the first timer might learn a lot of new stuff. On subsequent visits one might not learn anything new.

The museum is broken into 5 distinct separate sections with each section teaching something different. The sections are well done although a bit small. While basic information about the subject matter is taught, no space is left for any real in-depth study. This is great for kids learning about a subject but not so much a place to “explore more information.” It is like a Reading Rainbow book review. “To know more visit your local library”

The “Extreme screen” is extreme. What major museums IMAX isn’t. The format is available at many places and shows many great movies. Don’t think that the screen is the only reason to go to the theater. The shows are awesome. IMAX has some of the best documentaries out there. The screen helps. As with anything that has been around over 100 years there are some not so good aspects. Think about the show playing before buying a ticket. If you wouldn’t rent it from a library, why pay to see it.

Overall COSI is a good museum to take kids to or Visit once.

Quick Tip: The life section is a bit too adult for some kids. (Testing for testicular cancer anyone?) AVOID SCHOOL DAYS (too many school kids.)