1301 Western Ave.
Cincinnati Ohio 45203United States
Midwest Living Recommends
An amazing re-creation of an Kentucky Ice Age cave is reason enough to visit.
You can't have a museum of natural history without a giant reconstructed mastodon, and that's what greets you inside the doors of the Museum of Natural History and Science at the Cincinnati Museum Center. But this museum is about more than looking at fossils from the past. It's full of incredibly detailed exhibits you experience. Our favorite has to be "The Cave." It's based on the limestone caves of Kentucky, and every bit the two-story reproduction cave feels like an actual cave (including the smell and feel of absolute dankness). The beginner's trail is wheelchair accessible and has nice lookout points but doesn't have the steps, twists and turns, and narrow passageways of the advanced trail, which takes about 10 minutes to walk, more if you linger at the waterfall, bat colony (no bats are flying around--they're all enclosed!) or stream. The ice cave (in the Ice Age exhibit) is fabulous, too: You never know when you might come face-to-face with a giant sloth. The museum is designed with kids in mind, with good interactive exhibits and themes they can appreciate (like the detective theme of the Ice Age exhibit), but adults can enjoy it, too. Who doesn't love examining the reconstructed bones of a T. rex or pondering the history of the earth and the giant creatures that once roamed free? Oh, and don't forget to pop into the Nature's Trading Post, where kids can bring in various artifacts they find and earn points toward a trade.