Hard Hats and History: Behind-the-Scenes Tours of the Restoration of Union Terminal
October 29, 2016
November 12, 2016
December 10, 2016
January 14, 2017
February 11, 2017
Walk through the halls of history during the historic restoration of Union Terminal. Together with Turner Construction, Cincinnati Museum Center’s Heritage Programs will be offering Hard Hat Tours to give a behind-the-scenes look at the fascinating blend of engineering and science that is being used to save a national historic landmark. Hard hats will be provided for these 45 minute tours. Must be 16 (with guardian) or older. No photography permitted for safety reasons. Call (513) 287-7031 to reserve a tour. Listed dates have sold out but additional tours will be available for future dates.
$15 Member; $20 non-Member
Tour begin at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Please see our Notice of Conditions and Waivers before registering.
Cincinnati Heritage Programs Tours
Cincinnati Museum Center Heritage Programs is proud to offer historical, cultural and architectural tours around Greater Cincinnati. For more than 30 years, the docents have enjoyed sharing their passion for history through their walking and motorcoach tours and hundreds of audiovisual presentations. As an outreach association of the Cincinnati History Museum, the all-volunteer Cincinnati Heritage Programs has unlocked doors to privately owned places generally not open to the public. All topics are thoroughly researched for accuracy. The Ambassadors of Cincinnati History strive to inspire people to learn and appreciate the region’s history. Click on a title below for more details. Scroll to the bottom of the page to check out descriptions of past tours. If you see one that may interest you, contact our team about setting up a custom tour!
Our 2016 tours have wrapped up, but check back soon for our 2017 schedule or create your own by giving us a call at (513) 287-7031.
Fruit of the Vine in the Ohio Valley
In the mid-19th century, the tristate was internationally renowned for their award-winning wines. Visit Meier's Winery, Ohio's oldest, which produces a variety of beverages and enjoy wine samplings with cheese and crackers. At the award-winning Vinoklet Winery, meet the aerospace engineer who created the only working winery and vineyard now in Hamilton County where you will enjoy lunch, wine tastings and a tour of the wine making area.
Starry, Starry Night
Enjoy a magical evening with wine and cheese while learning about the Cincinnati Observatory. Learn why its original cornerstone was laid on Mt. Ida in 1843 and why the observatory was moved to its present site thirty years later. Weather permitting, gaze at the summer stars through the world's oldest operational telescope. While touring this National Historic Landmark, discover how the 19th-century astronomers determined time for Cincinnati and learn how the first U.S. weather prediction was achieved. Parts of this tour are not handicap accessible.
Northern Kentucky German Heritage
Cross the river to Covington, KY and tour walkable MainStrasse Village and see the glockenspiel Carroll Chimes Bell in Goebel Park. Explore the famous art-filled Mutter Gottes Kirche (Mother of God Church) and cemetery filled with gifted immigrant artwork. See the Hellman Lumber Company building that employed German immigrants who created custom woodwork for many fine homes and churches. Raise a glass for this great brewing tradition beer at the restored, resplendent Wiedemann Hill Mansion with its view of the Cincinnati skyline. Lunch is included.
Greater Cincinnati Water Works
Since 1996, the City of Cincinnati Water Works has been regarded as one of the finest municipal water suppliers in the world. Meet us at the Richard Miller Treatment Plant to see rapid sand and carbon filtration systems. Learn about the UV light disinfection process used on millions of gallons of water each day and see the Old River Station with its world-famous triple expansion steam pumps. Government Photo ID required. Parts of this tour are not handicap accessible. A snack will be served.
Craft Beer in Historic Places
Prost! Dust off your lederhosen and dirndls and raise a glass to Cincinnati's brewing legacy. Tour historic buildings and churches in Over-the-Rhine, which are now the breweries of Rhinegeist, Christian Moerlein and Taft Ale House, and hear brew masters explain the beer-making process. Head over to the neighborhood of Northside to sample the "wild culture" of Urban Artifact beers. Enjoy traditional German foods and sample some of the queen city's finest beers on this day-long adventure. Lunch is included.
Inclines and Overlooks
During the late 1800s, Cincinnati had five inclines that carried people and freight away from the smoke, noise and crowds of the city basin. Discover the story of Cincinnati's seven hills and experience the wonders of the 19th-century transportation engineering by visiting the sites of the inclined planes. Hear about the beer gardens and entertainment venues where families gathered after work and on weekends. A snack will be served.
2016 Subway Tours
Tours of the Cincinnati subway tunnel are no longer permitted by the City of Cincinnati due to a risk assessment performed in the spring of 2015. Please take advantage of one of our other fantastic tour experiences we have planned for 2016.
High Steel of Union Terminal
Explore the arched steel structure of one of our city's most recognized landmarks. After an audiovisual presentation on its construction, climb to the high steel trusses that support one of the largest half-dome rotundas in the world. The tour lasts about 2 hours, ascends 300 steps and has ladders in dimly lit areas. No cameras or personal carried items are permitted on this tour. No photos permitted. Sturdy shoes required. Children 12-18 must be accompanied by an adult. Not handicap accessible.
Union Terminal Photo Shoot
Attention photo enthusiasts! Here's your chance to obtain photos of areas in Union Terminal that are not regularly open to the public. Bring your camera equipment and capture photographs of the beautifully restored President's Office, Cincinnati and Losantiville Dining Rooms and original Men's Lounge, now the Amtrak Waiting Room. Experience a unique perspective of the Grand Rotunda from the balcony and visit Tower A. The 3-hour event begins with an optional 30 minute tour.
Cincinnati City Hall
City Hall is a Richardsonian Romanesque monument constructed in the late 1800s to celebrate Cincinnati in the 19th century. Listen to a talk on City Hall's history and architecture, visit council chambers and the Mayor's Office. Walk the marble staircases to see the interior stained-glass windows and climb to the top of the City Hall tower for a special view. This tour meets at City Hall and has a trek to the tower with 300 steps.
Fossils and Formations
Spend a morning with Museum Center's Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology, Dr. Brenda Hunda, at the Geier Collections & Research Center. Witness our extensive geologic collection and learn about the formations and stratigraphy that make up our hillsides. Find out about the lifestyles and taphonomy of the invertebrate and vertebrate fossils that called the tristate their home.
The Mill Creek
Hear the "civilized" history of the 28-mile "Makatewah" flowing through two counties and the center of our region. The once pristine watershed stream enticed settlers, farmers and industrialists to the area. It has been used as a dump and sewer for mills, slaughterhouses and breweries. Dr. Stan Hedeen, Ph.D., will explain how it is being returned to its use as a natural resource. There will be walks on dirt paths over uneven ground. A snack will be served.
Down the Drain
Tour the Metropolitan Sewer District's Mill Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, the largest water-reclamation facility in Hamilton County. Find out how 450 million gallons of storm water and sewage per day are cleaned and treated for re-entry into the environment. This is a 2-hour walking tour with steps and traversing grated walkways over tanks. Not recommended for people with a fear of heights. Not handicap accessible.
Behind-the-Scenes at CVG
Learn about the day-to-day operations of the tristate's largest and award-winning airport. Hear about the ever important issues of public safety, police and fire operations at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Get an inside look at one of the global superhubs for shipping giant DHL. This tour meets at the CVG airport. Directions and parking instructions will be sent upon registration. Must be 18 years and older and able to climb stairs. Not all sites are handicap accessible. Due to the sensitive nature of this tour, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency requires that each participant provides their full name, date of birth and social security number in advance of the tour and in-person at the airport. Lunch is included.
Verdin Bell and Chime Company
Since the installation of Old St. Mary's clock in 1842, six generations of the Verdin family have installed more than 50,000 bells throughout the world. Visit the factory for a first-hand look at the manufacturing process. See the World Peace Bell, the world's largest swinging bell, and visit their museum housed in Old St. Paul's Church. Play the giant Foot Piano in Smale Park with its 32 individual chimes overhead spanning two-and-a-half octaves, all engineered by the Verdin Company. Lunch is included.
Churches of Price Hill
Visit the Gothic-style St. Lawrence Church, the "Mother Church" of the Catholic churches in Price Hill. Enjoy the Romanesque Renaissance styles of Holy Family Church and St. William Church and hear how they completed building them despite the Depression. Visit the Price Hill Historical Society Museum to enjoy lunch and their exhibits, displays and extensive archive of photographs. Stopover at Cincinnati Christian University to learn of its rich history and witness its breathtaking view of downtown Cincinnati.
Big Bone Lick State Historic Site
Known worldwide as the "Birthplace of American Paleontology," Big Bone Lick State Historic Site in Union, KY, continues to fascinate visitors and scientists. Dr. Brenda Hunda will explain how fossilized remains of mastodons, wooly mammoths and ground sloths interpret the Ice Age ecology of the area. This tour involves some hiking on trails and meets at the Big Bone Lick Visitor's Center. Guests will receive directions to the meeting site upon registration.
The Clooney Sisters Tribute Tour
Rosemary and Betty Clooney may have gotten their big break on Cincinnati's WLW radio, but they came from humble beginnings. Head to their hometown of Maysville, KY to visit the Gateway Museum and drive-by their favorite hometown haunts. Tour the Russell Theater, where the sisters debuted as children and returned as stars. Enjoy lunch with a river view and a live performance of Clooney hits by a Cincinnati singer. Top off your day with a visit to the restored Opera House and the Rosemary Clooney House Museum where special guests will share personal stores of Maysville's own celebrities.