A new generation learns through play; celebrating 25 years of The Children's Museum

Special events through October and new additions planned in 2024

CINCINNATI - One of Cincinnati Museum Center’s most beloved museums is celebrating a major milestone this month. The Children’s Museum, home to showers of plastic balls, the coolest treehouse and the finest diner in the city, is celebrating its 25th anniversary at Union Terminal.

The Children’s Museum opened in Union Terminal on October 24, 1998, Cincinnati Museum Center’s third museum and an immediate favorite for children. The space was designed for open-ended, hands-on learning through play, a practice proven to enhance early childhood development. As children pretend to grocery shop and serve food at a diner or experimented with streams of water and moved balls along conveyer belts, they learn cause-and-effect, how to share, compassion and care for others and tactile motor skills. Children Inside the Grin

“One of the most magical things about our museum is the way it brings people together,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president & CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “As The Children’s Museum celebrates 25 years here at Union Terminal, we’re seeing that first generation that grew up here now experiencing it with their children. Not only are they reliving some of their favorite memories, they’re making more, together.”

Every person has their favorite spot in The Children’s Museum. Maybe it’s the tunnels and slides of The Woods or the currents and geysers of Water Works. For a lot of future couponers it’s the mini Kroger store in Kids Town. There are also the giant teeth of Inside the Grin, the bells and balls of Energy Zone, pawprints and specimens of Animal Spot, interactive art of KidSPACE and so much more. And, over the next year, CMC is giving little learners even more to explore.

CMC is welcoming the newest generation of Children’s Museum explorers to a new home of learning through play. With support from Fischer Homes, a brand-new home in Kids Town will invite imaginative play and sensory engagement. The new cozy environment will include even more to explore as children learn responsibility, compassion and patience while gardening, cooking for others, cleaning up dishes afterward and doing laundry. In 2024, a new literacy park will encourage lifelong habits as children play with a projected alphabet, illustrate scenes and learn through silly rhymes. Designed for children from birth to age six, the park-like setting will help early learners get curious about letters, sounds and words, building a foundation for future academic and social success.

Throughout October, CMC will host a variety of programming to celebrate 25 years of The Children’s Museum at Union Terminal, including exclusive Members-hour programming beginning at 9 a.m. every Saturday. Additional story times, dance parties and art activities will be cause for celebration every weekend in October in The Children’s Museum.

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About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized, award-winning institution housed in a National Historic Landmark. CMC is a vital community resource that sparks curiosity, inspiration, epiphany and dialogue. CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012, one of a select few museums in the nation to receive both honors. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History MuseumMuseum of Natural History & ScienceThe Children’s MuseumRobert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® TheaterCincinnati History Library and Archives and the Geier Collections and Research Center. Housed in historic Union Terminal – a National Historic Landmark restored in 2018 and recognized as the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects – CMC welcomes more than 1.8 million visits annually, making it one of the most visited museums in the country. For more information, visit