The 10 Best Museums in Ohio!

Ohio has a copious number of museums that offer both an educational and exciting environment to visitors of all ages. If your thing is music and art, we’ve got a pretty popular Hall of Fame here that should be on your bucket list. If it’s science and history that you’re interested in, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery may have something to pique your interest! It’s time to explore these 10 great museums in the Buckeye State. 

1. Center of Science and Industry, Columbus, OH

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is a great science museum for kids, but they have lots of interesting events for adults as well. The first Thursday of every month is “COSI After Dark,” a 21+ event. Check out their new state-of-the-art planetarium, the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater, and if you're not afraid of heights, the High-Wire Unicycle!

2. Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH

The Dayton Art Institute was rated one of the top 10 best art museums in America and ranks in the top 3 percent of all art museums in North America. They have rotating exhibits year-round, but their collection spans 5,000 years of art history from cultures all over the world!

3. National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Dayton, OH

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is sure to fascinate adults and kids alike. Check out planes and zeppelins from World War I and before, all the way up through present day aviary machines. You can even visit the space gallery to check out the history of space travel, the R&D gallery to look at concept planes, or the missile gallery if you're more interested in things that go boom.

4. Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

The Cleveland Museum of Art is home to more than 45,000 permanent exhibits, showcasing works of art from around the world, and is completely free to the public. In 2004, they acquired an ancient bronze sculpture of Apollo Sauroktonos, believed to have been sculpted between 350 B.C. and 250 B.C.

5. Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH

The Toledo Museum of Art has an international reputation as one of the best art museums in the world, housing more than 30,000 pieces of art. Head over to the Glass Pavilion, designed by Frank Gehry, for exhibits on the visual arts, or make your way to the Peristyle concert hall which is the permanent home of the world-renowned Toledo Symphony Orchestra!

6. Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus, OH

If you're looking to experience nature for your museum visit, the Franklin Park Conservatory houses over 400 plant species from the Himalayas, tropical rainforests, deserts, and the Pacific Islands. You can also explore the vibrant glass artwork by Dale Chihuly, light art exhibits from James Turrel, or even take classes on fine arts, gardening, and culinary arts!

7. Warther Museum, Dover, OH

The Warther Museum is dedicated to legendary wood-carver Ernest “Mooney” Warther. The museum is built around his original home and workshop. While exploring the museum, you can see hundreds of wood carvings by Warther or his wife, Frieda's collection of 73,000 mounted button-art patterns. The Warthers both had an intense passion for educating others and making art, and their museum carries on that spirit today.

8. Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Dayton, OH

The Boonshoft Museum is a combination children's museum, science center, and zoo with over 60 species of animals native to Ohio. If your kid is a space lover, check out the Hall of the Universe. If they're fascinated with ocean life, head over to the tidal pool and learn about sea stars, anemones, and more!

9. Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum, Columbus, OH

The Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum may be the smallest museum on the list, but it's a rare hidden gem that you won't want to miss. With classic cars, rare automobiles, and “unusual vehicles,” this little museum offers sights you won't be able to find in other car collections or car shows.

10. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH

Located on the shore of beautiful Lake Erie, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland inducts new musicians every year, and despite the name, it's not just Rock and Roll. From Elvis Presley to Grandmaster Flash, from Nirvana to legendary Beatles producer, George Martin, if you're a music lover, this should be on your bucket list.

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