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Cincinnati Museum Center welcomes the community home

Homecoming week activities include Veterans Day celebration, projection mapping and more Nov 11-18

CINCINNATI – After more a two-and-a-half year restoration to preserve historic Union Terminal, Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) is celebrating the completion of the project and the debut of new museum experiences with a homecoming week November 11-17. The week includes a Veterans Day celebration, Member preview and projection mapping on the building’s iconic façade, all leading up to the public opening on Saturday, November 17.

For the first time in its 85-year history, Union Terminal has received a full structural restoration. The primary goal of the project was to address significant water damage suffered over eight decades and to prevent future water penetration. To achieve this goal, exterior masonry, windows, rooftops, even the fountain and plaza were repaired, replaced and waterproofed. Historic spaces and artwork critical to the building’s historic fabric were also restored. Now, with the National Historic Landmark’s past preserved and future secured, CMC is excited to welcome guests home.

To help tell the history of Union Terminal, Prestige AV & Creative Services worked with Landor Associates to illuminate the National Historic Landmark’s unmistakable façade. The projection mapping utilizes historic photos and videos from CMC’s collections projected onto the building’s face to create a drive-in theater of epic proportions. The building will be illuminated with a different story every night from dusk to 10 p.m. in 15-minute looping sequences from November 11 through 18, tracing Union Terminal’s past to its bold future.

Of course, just walking through the doors of Union Terminal is an awe-inspiring experience. Guests will get their first jaw-dropping view of the grand Rotunda and newly-restored glass tile mosaics on November 11, an appropriate kickoff to CMC’s homecoming week.

Veterans Day Celebration, November 11

Homecoming week kicks off with a celebration in honor of those who have served our country. The Veterans Day Celebration continues Union Terminal’s long history of serving those who served. Union Terminal was the nation’s first USO Troops-in-Transit lounge, providing soldiers the comforts of home as they passed through the station on their way to boot camps and the front lines during World War II. It’s estimated that one of every five soldiers who served in World War II passed through Union Terminal – more than 3 million servicemen and women!

The Veterans Day Celebration begins at 1 p.m. with a flyover of vintage airplanes from the Cincinnati Warbirds (weather permitting) and a veterans honors ceremony featuring the 338 United States Reserve Command Band Woodwind Group. Panel discussions featuring veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan will give guests an opportunity to hear their stories of courage and sacrifice. The day will also include free Rotunda tours led by Cincinnati Heritage Programs and B105 will broadcast live from the plaza.

Veterans and active duty military get free admission to CMC on November 11 (tickets to Chocolate: The Exhibition and GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World available to purchase at a $5 discount).

Member Preview, November 16

CMC Members will be among the first to visit the first phase of CMC’s new permanent exhibits during an exclusive preview from 2 to 9 p.m. Friday, November 16. Members will have the opportunity to tour the new Dinosaur Hall in the Museum of Natural History & Science, the reimagined Public Landing in the Cincinnati History Museum and the holiday favorite Holiday Junction Featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains. Members can reserve their spot at the preview at XXXXX.

Public Opening, November 17

After a two-and-a-half year closure, the new Dinosaur Hall will open in the Museum of Natural History & Science and the reimagined Public Landing will reopen Cincinnati History Museum, part of the first phase of exhibits. Walk among Jurassic beast and come face-to-face with giants from our prehistoric past in the new Dinosaur Hall. See five rare dinosaur specimens on display to the public and the scientific community for the first time. Walk in the shadow of the 60-foot-long Galeamopus, the most complete specimen of its species in the world. Notice the similarities of the T. Rex’s much older cousin Daspletosaurus silhouetted against the backdrop of downtown. And gaze up at the apex predator of the Jurassic Period, the 35-foot, four-ton Torvosaurus, a dinosaur so rare you won’t it anywhere else in the world. Dig deeper into the Jurassic past with electronic telescopes and microscopes, touchable fossil specimens and an interactive projection globe that shows the movement of tectonic plates and land masses over time.

The reimagined Public Landing in the Cincinnati History Museum invites you to walk the cobblestone streets of Cincinnati’s 1850s riverfront and onto a paddlewheel steamboat. The immersive experience fills the gallery with the sound of horse hooves and wagon wheels, the impassioned eloquence of political speeches from the era and the clamor of a shadow herd of pigs. Guests will also have the opportunity to peek into the lives and hear the stories of men and women who built our city, from the immigrants who carried their lives in a suitcase to the Western frontier, to the riverboat captains who facilitated a booming economy, to the innovators who transformed our city from Porkopolis to the Queen of the West.

November 17 also marks the return of one of Cincinnati’s most loved holiday traditions – the Duke Energy Holiday Trains. Back for their 72nd year, the historic trains are part of Holiday Junction Featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains in a new gallery, giving guests a bird’s-eye view of the historic trains and a whimsical take on our region’s skyline. Holiday Junction is an interactive winter wonderland where you can build your own snowman beneath the mesmerizing northern lights, track your footprints in the snow and climb aboard a riding train. In addition to the Duke Energy Holiday Trains, Holiday Junction also features historic trains dating as far back as 1903 – the Carlisle and Finch layout, one of the earliest electric toy train sets. Plus, CMC’s holiday experience includes over 2,000 square feet of custom-built LEGO buildings and scenes, including iconic Cincinnati landmarks like Union Terminal, the Roebling Bridget and Music Hall. (Don’t miss Santa’s grand arrival on November 23!)

Future beloved exhibits and new museum experiences will open later in 2019 and beyond.

The eagerly-awaited reopening of the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater will occur in late December 2018.

Visit for a full slate of homecoming week activities.