Cincinnati Heritage Programs 2018 Tours
Cincinnati Museum Center Heritage Programs is proud to present its 2018 schedule of historical, cultural and architectural tours. All topics are thoroughly researched for accuracy. Join us as we explore everything our community has to offer.
All bus tours depart from the north parking lot of Cincinnati Museum Center. All tours are subject to change. Lunch is included unless stated otherwise. There are no refunds after the registration deadline. Heritage Programs strives to provide access for all individuals attending our programs, activities and events. No pets are permitted on tours. We ask that patrons do not smoke during tours.
If you're interested in a tour that is listed as "Sold Out", you can be added to the waitlist by contacting us at (513) 287-7001.
Starry, Starry Night
Wednesday, August 29, 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Begin your stellar evening at the Cincinnati Observatory with wine and cheese. Hear how “The Birthplace of American Astronomy” was first located on Mt. Ida in 1843 and why the observatory was moved to its present site 30 years later. Weather permitting, view Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus across the southern sky through one of the country’s oldest operational telescopes. Learn about the accuracy of the “Time Ball” before electronics. Parts of this tour are not handicap accessible.
$30 Member; $45 non-Member
Register by August 24
Distinctive Small Museums
Wednesday, September 12, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit the Skirball Museum, one of the oldest repositories of Judaic artifacts in America, showcasing the cultural, historical and religious heritage of the Jewish people. At the American Sign Museum, walk among the brilliant artwork that reflects 100 years of technology, artistry and the craftsmanship of sign making. Learn about print making at the Cincinnati Letter and Type Museum while viewing the presses that once made the Queen City an important printing center. Tour Vent Haven, home to the world’s largest collection of ventriloquist dummies and memorabilia. There is standing throughout the day.
$90 Member; $105 non-Member
Register by September 5
A Walk in the Woods
Limited spots available!
Friday, September 14, 10 a.m. to Noon
When the first settlers arrived in the Miami Valley, the land was enveloped by a deciduous forest. On this walk-through of Eden Park, Dr. Stan Hedeen will explain the environmental and geological factors of what remains of that woodland and what survives on our undeveloped hillsides. A visit inside the Krohn Conservatory will clarify why our forest differs from the tropical, boreal and desert woodlands of other American cities. This tour meets at the entrance of the Krohn Conservatory.
$20 Member; $35 non-Member
Register by September 12
The Warbird Museum
Tuesday, September 18, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Head to Clermont County for a private guided tour of the Tri-State Warbird Museum. Observe the restoration process in the workshop where the aircraft from the “greatest generation” are being restored to flying condition. Hear accounts of heroism and the significance of the airplanes. Weather permitting, watch in awe as a warbird takes flight and thunders across the sky. There is standing for long periods. Lunch is not included but a snack will be served. This tour meets at the Tri-State Warbird Museum in Batavia. Directions sent upon registration.
$40 Member; $55 non-Member
Register by September 14
Greater Cincinnati Water Works
Sold out! Contact us to be added to the waitlist.
Saturday, September 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Since 1906, the City of Cincinnati Water Works has been regarded as one 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. Explore the Old River Station with its world-famous triple expansion steam pumps. Government Photo ID required. Parts of this tour are not handicap accessible. There is standing and walking during the entire tour. Lunch not included. Snack will be served. This tour meets at the site.
$35 Member; $50 non-Member
Register by September 14
The Roebling Suspension Bridge & The Covington Shore
Saturday, October 6, 9 a.m. to noon
One of the highlights of Cincinnati’s skyline is also a National Historic Landmark. Walk the suspension bridge to learn about the construction of its famous towers and cables. View the Covington Flood Wall Murals that chronicle episodes in the Ohio River Valley. Stroll Covington’s Riverside Drive and hear about the sculptures and celebrated figures of our river valley. Dress for the weather. Tour meets under the Roebling Suspension Bridge on the Covington side, at the foot of Greenup and Bernstein Place. Lunch is not included.
$35 Member; $50 non-Member
Register by October 3
Abolitionists on the Ohio River
Tuesday, October 16, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit Washington, Kentucky, to see the Key Home, where Harriet Beecher Stowe reportedly began to develop her ideas for Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In Maysville, Kentucky, explore the Bierbower Family home, once a safe house where slaves were sheltered before they crossed the Ohio River. Travel to Ripley, Ohio, to visit the hilltop home of Abolitionist John Rankin, which was a beacon to more than 2,000 runaway slaves. See inventor John Parker’s house, a former slave who repeatedly crossed the river, bringing people to the northern boundary on their way to freedom.
$95 Member; $110 non-Member
Register by October 9
Inclines and Overlooks
Saturday, October 20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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 19th century transportation engineering by visiting the sites of the inclined planes. Hear about beer gardens and entertainment venues where families gathered after work and on weekends. Lunch is not included. A snack will be served.
$45 Member; $60 non-Member
Register by October 10
Canal to Northern Ohio Tour
Sold out! Contact us to be added to the waitlist.
Tuesday, October 30, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Explore Lockington, with its six stair-step locks, to grasp the massive effort involved in Ohio’s transportation achievement of constructing the Miami–Erie Canal, which ran from Toledo to Cincinnati. See Grand Lake St. Mary’s, one of the largest man-made feeder reservoirs in the world. In New Bremen, visit Lock #1 and the lockkeeper’s home. Enjoy a special visit to the American Bicycle Museum, filled with one of the largest collection of bicycles of all ages. There will be walking and standing on uneven surfaces. Not all sites are handicap accessible.
$100 Member; $115 non-Member
Register by October 16
Treasures of the Queen City
Visit the Geier Collections & Research Center, a treasure trove of Cincinnati memorabilia, with Museum Center’s Curator of History and Fine Art. This is a rare opportunity to view the collections and hear why and how Cincinnati Museum Center collects and safeguards the artifacts that tell Cincinnati’s significant story. A mid-morning snack will be served. Lunch is not included.
See Cincinnati Bus Tour
Learn about Cincinnati’s remarkable history from settlement in the late 18th century through its early 19th century boom town era to today. See the renaissance of the Queen City’s core. Hear the history of German immigrants who gave Over-the-Rhine its distinctive charm. Visit the scenic hilltop neighborhoods of Mt. Auburn, Clifton, Walnut Hills and Mt. Adams and hear the stories of many prominent people who lived there.
The Mill Creek
Hear the recent history of the 28-mile “Maketewah” 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 known as a dump and sewer for mills, slaughterhouses and breweries. Dr. Stan Hedeen will explain how it is being returned to its use as a natural resource. There will be walks on dirt paths over uneven ground. This tour is not handicap accessible. Lunch is not included.
This tour meets at the Geier Collections & Research Center.
Churches, Chapels and Graves
Explore the 1859 St. Francis Seraph Church in Over-the-Rhine and see the underground crypt containing the remains of some of the city’s earliest Irish Catholics. Visit the towering Romanesque Revival 1873 Franciscan St. George Church, recently restored by Crossroads Church. Discover St. Clare Chapel, completed in 1895 on the campus of Franciscan Sisters of the Poor. Marvel at the Italian Romanesque 1926 St. Monica Church, once the cathedral for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, adorned with a bas-relief crucifixion scene by sculptor Clement Barnhorn. Not all sites are handicap accessible.
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.
Dayton, The Gem City
At the Carillon Park museum complex, explore historic buildings brimming with artifacts showcasing Dayton’s many innovations that we use in our daily lives as well as the original 1905 Wright Flyer III. Visit Hawthorne Hill, Orville Wright’s stately home where he welcomed famous dignitaries. Ride through Woodland Cemetery, one of the nation’s oldest and most beautiful rural garden cemeteries. See quaint historic neighborhoods along with the Civil War National Soldiers’ Home and National Cemetery. Visit the Wright-Dunbar National Park Visitor Center and restored Wright Cycle Company.
The Fernald Preserve
Walk the site that was once a uranium processing facility and, since 2006, is now the pride of several government and community agencies who collaborated to create a 1,050 acre wetland and prairie area. Since its environmental and ecological restoration, 240 species of birds have been observed on the 1,000 acres. Hear about its diverse history and the $4.4 billion cleanup at the award-winning Visitors Center. Lunch is not included but a snack is served. This tour meets at the Fernald Preserve. Directions sent upon registration.
Tour the Rookwood Pottery Factory in Over-the-Rhine to watch pottery artisans creating new works for today’s market. Visit the Cincinnati Wing of the Cincinnati Art Museum with Anita Ellis, author of many books on Rookwood Pottery and the museum’s former curator of decorative arts. Visit St. Ursula Convent’s archives, where Rookwood Pottery founder Maria Longworth Storer lived and created some of her works of art. Tour the LeBlond Estate, now St. Ursula Villa, to explore other kinds of decorative tiles.
Native American Sites in the Little Miami Valley
Dr. Stan Hedeen will narrate the account of ancient Native Americans in one of our country’s most prehistorically significant regions. Visit the active Hahn Site, Cincinnati Museum Center’s archaeological research location which has been uncovering prehistoric items since 1885. Explore the Newtown American Indian Education Center, displaying flint, stone, bone, pottery and shell items. Hear an explanation of the Mariemont Embankment, a Fort Ancient Culture Effigy Mound running along the Miami Bluff. Discover Pioneer Cemetery with the graves of Columbia’s founders. Lunch is not included. A snack will be served.