Museum of Natural History & Science
The Museum of Natural History & Science, Cincinnati Museum Center’s oldest predecessor institution, has its roots in the very earliest days of the city. It’s also one of the three museums that make up Cincinnati Museum Center.
Just thirty years after the founding of Cincinnati, physician and scientist Daniel Drake founded the Western Museum in 1818 and hired naturalist John James Audubon as its first employee. In 1835 Drake established the Western Academy of Natural Sciences, incorporating the collections of the Western Museum. After the Civil War, this organization evolved into the Cincinnati Society of Natural History. The Society continued to grow in sophistication, adding to its collections and expanding its staff.
After nearly a century as a tenant in various downtown buildings, the museum moved into its own home on Gilbert Avenue in Eden Park in 1958. Here it distinguished itself with by creating a widely-adopted educational program where hundreds of museum exhibit cases rotated through the Cincinnati public school system, reaching thousands of students weekly in their classrooms. Attendance and membership continued to grow until the museum moved to Union Terminal in 1990. Today it attracts more than 1.5 million guests every year.
Museum of Natural & History Science today
The Museum of Natural History & Science at Cincinnati Museum Center offers a world of science, history and nature through interactive exhibits and amazing artifacts. Guests can reach their own “ah-ha” moment through creative thinking and problem-solving skills. They can go spelunking in our recreated limestone cave, walk through an ice age glacier, get up close with Neil Armstrong’s space suit, watch Big Brown Bats take flight, visit Dinosaur Hall’s one-of-its-kind collection of Jurassic specimens and more. With something for all ages, there’s always more to explore in the Museum of Natural History & Science.
Creating monumental educational experiences is what makes Museum Center unlike any other museum, and we know that the most effective educational experiences spark interest through fun. The Museum of Natural History & Science inspires wonder and teaches basic principles of science, while also highlighting our active role in groundbreaking research. By connecting science and history, the Museum of Natural History & Science inspires the next generation to keep asking questions so that we can find tomorrow’s answers.
Museum of Natural History & Science Exhibits
Ever wondered how a tornado forms, how you can lift your weight or what happens when push comes to pull? Find out in the new Science Interactives Gallery, and try your hand at experiments for all ages! The Science Interactives will open in the Museum of Natural History & Science in December 2018 and expand in spring 2019.
Cincinnati Museum Center’s replica limestone cave, one of our most popular attractions, will return in spring 2019, complete with an accompanying Cave Plaza. Guests can pick their adventure: choose between beginner and advanced expeditions and feel the chill as you dip below ground and follow the flow of water as it carves formations through 500 feet of twists and turns. Then, deepen your understanding of these features of our regional landscape in the above-ground interpretation center.
Ohio is a space state, with a proud aviation heritage. This fall, join the museum in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and dare the next generation of space pioneers to aim for the stars. See if you have the right stuff, like John Glenn, or follow in the small steps and giant leaps of Neil Armstrong. This exhibit features a 360° theater experience and artifacts that can only be seen in Cincinnati — including a moon rock presented to CMC by Armstrong himself.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Open daily with the exception of Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day.