FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 23, 2024

Cincinnati History Museum again recognized among best in the country

The Children's Museum also named in top five nationwide in USA TODAY vote

CINCINNATI - Two of Cincinnati Museum Center’s (CMC) museums have been recognized among the best in the country. Following a four-week nationwide vote, the Cincinnati History Museum was named one of the top three in the Best History Museum category, while the Children’s Museum finished among the top five. Each museum was among 20 finalists from across the country in USA TODAY’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards.

“We’re honored to be recognized by our community and voters across the nation as the home of some of the country’s best museums. The excellence of our individual museums really drives home the value and impact of our unique multi-museum complex,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president & CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “This is a moment for us to celebrate our staff and volunteers who have developed and delivered incredible experiences for individuals who visit and make memories together with us, and to celebrate our city that supports us.”

The Cincinnati History Museum traces its roots to the Cincinnati Historical Society in 1831. It’s among the nation’s premier regional history museums, showcasing incredible historic artifacts alongside interactive experiences that transport guests to the city’s earliest days. The Cincinnati History Museum features five exhibits that invite guests to tower over a scale model reproduction of historic Cincinnati, walk the cobblestone streets of the mid-19th century riverfront, meet the innovators and entrepreneurs who powered Porkopolis and the Queen of the West, discover what has come to define the city as Cincinnati and explore the ways the city has shaped and been shaped by the land around it. Together, the exhibits take guests through more than 250 years of Cincinnati history, with additional galleries in development.

“We’ve designed a history museum that lets us travel to the past while finding its place in the present, being both immersive and introspective in a way that is both wildly enjoyable and powerfully informative,” said Pierce.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, also located in Cincinnati, took home second place in the vote for the nation’s Best History Museum.

“We’re so proud of our friends at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center who telling important stories in our shared cultural fabric,” added Pierce, who also serves as the CEO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “It’s an honor for our city to claim two of the nation’s top three history museums.”

Children’s Museum secures a top-5 finish

The Children’s Museum opened in 1998 and is now helping its second generation learn through play. The museum turns unbound energy into unbridled curiosity as kids, and adults, splash, climb and play through 11 themed areas. Among the most popular areas is The Woods, where kids can explore two levels of a forest, climbing into the treetops, crawling through logs and peering inside an aquarium filled with local aquatic wildlife. With flowing streams, locks, geysers and jets, the power and properties of water spring to life in Water Works. Cause-and-effect and simple machines come to life as a blizzard of plastic balls cascade and float in the Energy Zone. Kids also learn about healthy food choices, sorting and job responsibilities in a mini Kroger grocery and about proper oral health in a positive, inviting way by stepping Inside the Grin, a massive anatomically-accurate recreation of a mouth.

“It’s so important to instill a love of learning from an early age, which is why we’ve designed our Children’s Museum to not only be accessible to kids of every age and ability, but of every interest,” added Pierce. “As they play, they are learning about physics, biology, hygiene and engineering and, importantly, the value of being curious and trying new things.”

CMC is a multi-award winning, nationally-accredited museum recognized by the American Alliance of Museums for its excellence in the museum field. It opened in its current home at Union Terminal in 1990 with the Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science and the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater. The Children’s Museum opened as part of CMC in 1998.

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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