Ah(hhhh)! The kids have disembarked for the month with my parents in Florida and I am just beside myself. While we super look forward to them getting such quality time in with their grandparents, it is both exciting and sad to have them gone. Four weeks with no kids? Good grief.
Naturally, before they departed we tackled some of our favorite spots in the Queen City. It’s no secret, we’re big fans of the Cincinnati Museum Center. So, here are our 5 favorite things to check out at there this summer:
1. Camp – Museum Center Camps– Both the kids attended one of the day camp offerings where Lego was king. T’s class was on engineering. He built bridges, boats, and more and tested their weight capacity. He was so excited to show me his boat when he came home and how much it was able to carry before sinking! As well as share with me some of the architectural and engineering history of our city. T is my introvert, so the fact that he came home excited and wanting to go back spoke volumes to me. P’s class was all about getting creative with Legos and letting your imagination take flight. She enjoyed building all of the random concepts she could dream up and came home ready to dive into our personal Lego collection for more. Recess was play time in The Woods of the Children’s Museum after a packed lunch we provided. The staff made it super easy, and super safe. I walked them up to the lobby for check in, and for pick up I didn’t even have to get out of the car! (WIN). They had a great day, (and so did I because it’s rare I get an entire day to myself for work)! T was able to snap a photo of one of his bridges below, but typically electronics are not allowed at camp – which for us, was also great. No temptation to spend breaks playing games on handheld devices! He enjoyed the smaller group setting than a traditional classroom and the one on one attention that provided. Parents – if you are local, and you want to give your kids an amazing week of fun (and secret learning) – you need to check out the camps that CMC offers. We had no clue they had all of these amazing programs right in our own backyard. (Camps are offered all summer long beginning next week, and there are even a few day camp options. You can sign up here).
Know before you go: Plan for single day, or week long, allergen friendly experiences for kids only. Price varies pending duration of camp and museum membership. Ages: K-8
2. Blast Off – Neil Armstrong Space Exploration Gallery at the Museum of Natural History & Science – Holy moly you guys. This new space gallery is amazing. If you’ve followed along on our Insta, you know were invited to preview this exhibit the day it opened. It is only the first phase of the space gallery, but it is so, so good. We ended up spending about two hours just reading and interacting with the immersive theatre. We can’t wait to see how they expand it, but for now – it is well worth the visit. On display is an actual piece of moon rock from Neil Armstrong’s famous first steps, as well as his communication cap and spacesuit. Mr. Armstrong was actually quite a pivotal force in making Cincinnati Museum Center what it is today. Fun fact: He served on the board of the Cincinnati Museum Center and was a major player in getting the center relocated to its home today at Union Terminal. You can catch our “in the moment interview” on Fox19 here.
Know before you go: Plan for 1 (maybe 2) hours pending your love of space, admission is included with the Museum of National History & Science ticket. All ages.
3. Time Travel – Egypt: The Time of the Pharaohs featured exhibit – We still can’t say enough good about this special collection. It is an exhibit the entire family will love, or if you’re a history lover like myself – you will want to spend hours here. From Hatshepsut, to a portion of the actual Rosetta Stone, to pyramids, tombs, and amazing interactives; this is an exhibit not to miss. The Egyptians were so incredibly intentional with everything that they did, whether decadent or scarce, there was purpose behind it. We loved that this exhibit doesn’t just focus on the royalty of the Pharaohs, but they day to day of even the commoners as well.
Know before you go: Plan for 3-4 hours, pending your love of Egyptian/Ancient civilization history, admission for this exhibit is sold separately. All ages.
4. Paint the Town – Public Landing at Cincinnati History Museum The newly remodeled Public Landing space will give you hands on experience as an early town folk at the turn of the century. Try your hand at typesetting, enjoy the period photobooth, a friendly game of checkers or see if you have what it takes to be a barkeep. The interactive landing allows you and your kiddos to hop aboard a riverboat or stroll the streets of the old downtown. We love engaging in role play and really getting into the old city feel.
Know before you go: Plan for 2+ hours if you really want to read and get hands on with each of the town’s shop offerings. Admission included with the Cincinnati History Museum ticket. All ages.
5. Play – Duke Energy Children’s Museum – Study (or splash in) the properties of water, climb inside a smile, take a quick trip around the world, or go for a climb in The Woods. There’s so much to cover and discover within the Children’s museum. The Woods are definitely a favorite for our crew. There’s even a trading post for your nature loving little to swap out one of their own finds for something else. Additional youth programs are offered too.
Know before you go: Plan for 4+ hours if you want to meander through the entire museum. Admission covered with a Children’s Museum ticket, adults must be ticketed too. All ages, but play environments are geared towards those 12 and under with special areas for the younger kiddos too.