Cincinnati/ Arts & Culture
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Published on November 09, 2018
Where to go: The 4 best museums in CincinnatiCincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. | Photo: Katie H./Yelp

Looking to visit the best museums in town? Using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce, Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top museums in Cincinnati. 

Offering everything from themed play areas to historical artifacts, here are the must-see museums for locals and visitors alike.  

1. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal

Photo: Elyse F./Yelp

Topping the list is Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. Located in Lower Price Hill at 1301 Western Ave., it is the highest rated museum in Cincinnati, boasting 4.5 stars out of 151 reviews on Yelp.

The Museum Center houses the Union Terminal, Duke Energy Children's Museum, Cincinnati History Museum, Cincinnati History Library and Archives, Museum of Natural History and Science and an OMNIMAX Theater. Due to a multi-year renovations project at the site, only the Union Terminal and Children's Museum are open to the public. 

At Union Terminal, visitors can view the largest half-dome in the Western Hemisphere, hear about the intricate details and stories of the Winold Reiss mosaics and visit Tower A, the original control tower of Union Terminal. 

At the Children's Museum, children can engage in hands-on fun in eight educational and themed play areas, including two specifically designed for those preschool-aged and younger. Visitors should be sure to check out The Woods, where children can go on a wilderness adventure, and be a part of a complex machine in the Energy Zone.

2. American Sign Museum

Photo: Cindy W./Yelp

Next up is Camp Washington's American Sign Museum, situated at 1330 Monmouth Ave. With 4.5 stars out of 111 reviews on Yelp, the museum has proven to be a local favorite.

Visitors can take in the largest public museum dedicated to signs in the country. Featuring 20,000 square feet of indoor space, it is a trip through the ages of sign technologies and designs. Signs on display include the earliest electric signs to art-deco neon signs to modern plastic-faced signs. 

3. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Photo: Jimi D./Yelp

Central Business District's National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, located at 50 E. Freedom Way, is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the museum 4.5 stars out of 95 reviews.

The museum illuminates the true meaning of inclusive freedom by presenting permanent and special exhibits that inspire, public programming that provokes dialogue and action and educational resources that equip modern abolitionists. It houses exhibits such as the Slave Pen, which was used as a holding pen by a Kentucky slave trader; and Invisible: Slavery Today, which focuses on the subjects of modern-day slavery and human trafficking, and much more. 

4. Memorial Hall

Photo: John b./Yelp

Memorial Hall, a music venue, museum and performing arts spot in Over-the-Rhine, is another much-loved go-to, with five stars out of 25 Yelp reviews. Head over to 1225 Elm St. to see for yourself.

The hall hosts live music and comedy performances, as well as demonstrations, movies and even wedding and corporate events. It houses a special collection of artwork and artifacts of local civic and military history. More than 40 pieces are on display, including the storied wreath that adorned Abraham Lincoln's casket when it passed through Columbus.

Parking is located directly across the street from the hall at the Washington Park Garage.