Akron Fossils & Science Center

Admission to Akron Fossils & Science Center is approx. $12/person.

  • Open:  Memorial Day to Labor Day from Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm. Off-season hours are Saturday-only from 10am – 5pm.
  • Location:  (Map It) 2080 S. Cleveland-Massillon Rd in Akron, Ohio
  • Phone: (330) 665-DINO (3466)
  • Web: https://www.akronfossils.org/

The Akron Fossils & Science Center is an interactive science center with hands-on guided tours and activities for the whole family. Unlike many science centers, we don’t keep our exhibits behind glass.  As you go through the center, you will love interacting with our live animal collection, getting your hands on real fossils, and even making your fossil replica to take home!

For those looking to dive deeper into studying the Earth’s origins, The Creation Education Museum, housed within Akron Fossils & Science Center, is open for self-guided tours throughout the day. The museum features 18 exhibits that explore topics such as the age and origins of our Universe and some of the science behind what is recorded in the Bible.

General admission includes a hands-on guided tour, admission to our self-guided Creation Education Museum, and entrance to our 2-acre Truassic Park and playground, which features a 200ft long zipline (Please visit the Akron Fossils & Science Center website for zip line rules and guidelines). Hours change seasonally.

Akron Fossils & Science Center also offers various enriching science programs for all ages. Programs include science-themed birthday parties, a monthly Super Science Saturday event, a K-12 class for home-educated students, educational days, overnight lock-ins, and science-themed summer camps.

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American Sign Museum

Photo of American Sign Museum by Alias Imaging

Admission to the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati is $15/adult, $10/senior, and student.

  • When: Open 10am – 4pm Wed – Sunday. Guided Tours are provided at 11am and 2pm from Wed Thru Sat and 2pm only on Sunday
  • Location: (Map It) 1330 Monmouth Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-541-6366
  • Web: https://www.americansignmuseum.org/

American Sign Museum in Cincinnati:  This is a unique institution that celebrates the rich tradition of sign-making and sign design. Not only does the museum feature vintage signs, but the materials and tools, salesman’s samples, ad specialties, and more that characterize the sign industry.  Visitors to the museum first enter the lobby or “Sign Garden,” an indoor landscaped display of free-standing and hanging vintage signs.

The American Sign Museum has five sections:

  1. A timeline history of the sign industry exhibits the evolution of the three-dimensional letter with samples from 1900 to 1970.
  2. “Signs on Main Street” features a streetscape of four life-size storefronts and offers a backdrop to display period signage, while the store’s windows serve as themed display cabinets.
  3. A memorial tribute to Rick Glawson and the “art of gilding” celebrates
    goldleaf techniques and glass sign decoration.
  4. The entire left side of the museum traces the evolution of the electric sign–from the pre-neon, light bulb era of the turn-of-the-century to the late 1920s; through to
    neon’s heyday of the late 20s through the late 40s; and on into the Post
    WWII era of plastic – with restored vintage signs.
  5. An exhibit on porcelain enamel shows samples of this favorite technique of the late 1930s through the late 1950s.
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National Barber Museum & Hall of Fame

Admission to The National Barber Museum and Hall of Fame is approx. $5/person.

  • Open by appointment only
  • Location: (Map It) 135 Franklin St. in Canal Winchester, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-837-8400 or 614-833-1846
  • Web: click here

The National Barber Museum and Hall of Fame in Canal Winchester: For not advertising or promoting this Ohio gem, former owner/curator and barber Edwin Jeffers had had visitors from more than 40 states and five countries. The museum is one-of-a-kind. It features 58 barber poles, barber chairs from six eras, re-created barbershops from eras past, hundreds of mugs and razors that are hundreds of years old, and blood-letting and tooth-pulling tools that were used long ago when barbers sometimes moonlighted as surgeons and dentists. It’s no wonder Mr. Jeffers had appeared on many cable television shows and a Japanese station.

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Toy and Plastic Brick Museum

Admission to the Toy and Plastic Brick Museum is approx. $8/adult (less for kids and seniors).

  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm (Call in advance as they are expected to go seasonal)
  • Location: (Map It) 4597 Noble Street in Bellaire, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-671-8890 or email toymuseum@hotmail.com
  • Web: click here

The Toy and Plastic Brick Museum is the Unofficial LEGO Museum in Bellaire, Ohio. And it is being built one Lego at a time. It is housed in the old Gravel Hill School turned museum. Dan Brown, the founder of the Bellaire Historical Society and Toy Museum, boasts the world’s largest private Lego collection. Although that may be true, one distinction officially proclaimed by the Guinness Book of World Records cannot be denied. The Bellaire Historic Society and Toy Museum is home to the World’s Largest Lego brick image. The museum now holds many other records, such as the largest castle and longest castle wall, and there will be more to come in the future, such as the one being tried for now by building and breaking the tallest tower made of Lego.

Although originally conceived as a toy museum, the Lego exhibit grew and grew. And GREW! Now, instead of a Lego room in the museum, each room has a theme. If you enjoy the sea, there’s an “aqua” room with ships built from Legos. And there are other rooms like Lion’s Den, a zoo, an old-west town, Star Wars (Has a real life-size Darth Vader!), Mars Mission Room you will glow in, and don’t forget life-sized Spiderman. The last time someone checked, it was estimated the total museum brick count exceeded 4 million!

Although Dan Brown has had a hand in creating much of the museum’s displays, he has also been instrumental in acquiring one-of-a-kind pieces. Some of the one-of-a-kind exhibits feature Lego creations that were done for the NBA and Kellogg’s. Throughout the museum are eye-popping masterpieces demonstrating the engineering world of Lego. Some of the astonishing pieces even seem to come to life with animatronics, such as a working band.  There are fascinating pieces from worldwide and from artists such as Nathan Sawaya, Brian Korte (Brickworkz), and Dan Brown. Children make adult Lego fan-made displays and displays from around the world that came for a visit. Check out the second-floor map showing where all the visitors came from.

The museum will schedule private tours, motor coaches, schools, churches, scouts, and more. Walk-through tours are welcomed. Birthday parties, weddings, retirement, and red hat parties are also welcome. The Museum does school programs, lectures, and builds. The Museum will do a build or fun time for a festival, convention, or other.

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Bicycle Museum of America

Admission to the Bicycle Museum of America is approx. $3/person.

  • Open Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm and  Saturday from 10am – 2pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 7 West Monroe St. (St. Rt. 274) in New Bremen, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-629-9249
  • Web: click here

Read the article:
A Bicycle Trip Thru History

Bicycle Museum of America:  The bicycle has to be the world’s most popular vehicle. The Bicycle Museum of America rotates over 1,000 bicycles through its displays, featuring over 300 at a time. It offers viewers an opportunity to see how it all began. At the museum, bicycles are displayed according to era. See the 1892 Victor, which must have seemed like the Rolls Royce in its time. It sold for $130 – when salaries were generally $18 monthly. The museum also offers glimpses of the 1880s high-wheeler designs and the 1886 model of the bicycle-built-for-two.  More modern bicycles, including race models, are displayed. But let’s not forget the balloon tires of the 1940s and 1950s. New Bremen offers a notable museum in a historic setting.

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Buckeye Imagination Museum

Admission to the Buckeye Imagination Museum is approx. $15/person.

  • Open: April 1 – November 30 from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am – 4pm; and December 1 – March 31 from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am – 4pm
  • Location: (Map It) 44 W 4th St. in Mansfield, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-522-2332
  • Web: click here

Buckeye Imagination Museum is located in the heart of downtown Mansfield in Richland County, Ohio. It offers a hands-on, imagination-based facility with over 30 interactive play exhibits for children ages 2-10, making it the perfect destination for families and school groups!

Buckeye Imagination Museum understands that exploration and play are critical to healthy child development. They know play benefits children physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. They also know that not every child gets the opportunity to play in a safe and developmentally stimulating environment.

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Buckeye Telephone Museum

Admission to The Buckeye Telephone Museum is nominal.

  • Open by appointment
  • Location: (Map It) CWA Union Hall at 581 Bellefontaine Avenue in Marion, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-947-8676 or 800-371-6688

The Buckeye Telephone Museum:  With the  Clare E. Williams Telephone Museum Association, a volunteer group of telephone retirees and employees worked to preserve the telephone industry’s history. The public museum display will keep alive memories of the items that made the telephone industry what it is today. Local telephone companies have donated many items for years as service and system changes. View various open-wire insulators, operator switchboards, wall-mounted magneto crank phones, maps, phonebooks, testing gear, and more.

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Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Admission to Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is approx. $15/person (less for kids and seniors).

  • Open  Mon-Sat from 9am – 5pm and Sun 12-5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 2600 DeWeese Parkway in Dayton, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-275-7431
  • Web: click here

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton is based on the understanding that science is the process through which we come to understand our world and that play is how children do science. We are a place where play and learning come together so that visitors of all ages can explore the world’s wonders. The Museum includes a host of places for adventure – – That Kid’s Playce, the Hall of the Universe, the Caryl D. Philips Space Theater, Oscar Boonshoft Science Central, EcoTrek, the Mead TreeHouse, Bieser Discovery Center, Charles E. Exley, Jr. Wild Ohio Zoo, and two galleries for temporary exhibits – where reality and imagination mix. Adventures are enhanced through real specimens and artifacts from the museum’s collection of 1.4 million items.

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Candyland Children’s Museum

Admission to the Candyland Children’s Museum is approx. $10/person.

Open: Wednesday & Thursday from 10am – 4pm, Friday & Saturday from 10am – 6pm, and Sunday from 1pm – 4pm.

The Candyland Children’s Museum has multiple floors designed for kids to discover and learn through exploration and play. Learn engineering at the water table, wind tube, race track, and ball track. Costumes and props open the imagination of what’s possible. Use a variety of materials to express self through art. A farm-to-table experience features a barn, farmers market, food truck, and ice cream truck. Burn some energy on a two-story climbing structure and ninja warrior course, and strengthen gross motor skills by climbing, running, and jumping! There’s even a two-story cityscape with buildings, costumes, and toys for different professions.

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Castle Noel Christmas Museum

Admission to Castle Noel in Medina is approx. $29.50/person age 13+,  and $22.50/child age 12 and younger.

  • Open year-round. Hours vary per season and days of the week. See the website below for the current schedule.
  • Location: (Map It) 260 S. Court St. in Medina, Ohio
  • Phone:  330-721-NOEL (6635) or 440-453-5889
  • Web: https://castlenoel.com/

Click here to enjoy a multimedia feature story about Castle Noel: The Miracle in Medina, Ohio

Castle Noel Christmas Museum in Medina, Ohio:  Hollywood meets Christmas …in an old church in a quaint town. In it is America’s largest year-round indoor Christmas entertainment attraction.  Mark Klaus (It’s all in the name) and his wife, Dana, have created a wonderland. It features authentic props from Hollywood Christmas movies, including Elf, Grinch, Christmas Vacation, and many other holiday classics. It even has Eddy’s infamous RV from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! Other delights are unique structures like Santa’s Squeeze simulating the feeling of going down a chimney.  There’s even a two-story slide coming down Santa Clause Mountain, a replica of the slide from the movie, A Christmas Story.  Toy Land allows people to relive childhood by revisiting favorite toys from Christmas past. And there’s $2 million worth of stunning Christmas displays from New York City stores.  All this and much more wait for your Xmas celebration any time of year.

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Central Ohio Fire Museum

Admission to Central Ohio Fire Museum is approx. $8/person.

  • Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am-4pm. Group tours by appointment.
  • Location: (Map It) 260 N 4th St. in downtown Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-464-4099
  • Web: click here

The Central Ohio Fire Museum & Learning Center is an authentically restored 1908 engine house featuring hand-drawn, horse-drawn, and early motorized fire apparatus and other displays and fire safety education. Educational and Interesting guided tours for visitors of all ages.  Our primary focus is school-age children, with a complete fire station play area.

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Chocolate Cafe & Museum

Welcome to the Chocolate Cafe & Museum in Put-In-Bay.

  • Open: Daily from May to September
  • Location: (Map It) 820 Catawba Avenue in Put-in-Bay, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-285-2268
  • Web: click here

The Chocolate Cafe & Museum in Put-in-Bay:  The café serves coffee, chocolate, and desserts.  The museum inside the store is based on the history behind making chocolate and can be visited while enjoying the collection of antique chocolate collectibles.  In addition to various exhibits, the museum also offers a short video to help educate about the history of chocolate making.

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Clay Center of Ohio

Admission to The Clay Center of Ohio in Roseville is approx. $5/person.

  • Open: Call for hours
  • Phone: 740-697-7021
  • Location: (Map It) 7327 Ceramic Road N.E. in Roseville, Ohio
  • Web: click here

The Clay Center of Ohio in Roseville is a small local museum.  The Roseville, Crooksville, Zanesville, region of Ohio is known for having extraordinary pottery.  At the museum, visitors can see exhibits of some classic “old” pottery and some very good “new” pottery.

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Cincinnati Museum Center


Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal features the Cincinnati Children’s Museum,  Cincinnati Natural History & Science Museum, Cincinnati History Museum, and OMNIMAX.

  • Click here for ticket information
  • Open: Thursday – Monday from 10am – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 1301 Western Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-287-7000 or 800-733-2077
  • Web: www.cincymuseum.org/

The Cincinnati Museum Center is a nationally recognized institution dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight, and inspiration. As one of the top cultural attractions in the Midwest, Cincinnati Museum Center has served as an educational, research, and entertainment resource to millions of visitors from around the world. In October 2009, The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) presented the National Medal for Museum and Library Service to the Cincinnati Museum Center as one of 10 award recipients. The honor is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries that make “extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental and social contributions.”

Organizations within the Museum Center include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater, and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. These organizations combine to serve more than 1.4 million visitors annually, reaching out to nearly 400,000 young people through hands-on exhibits and programs.

Originally built in 1933 as a train station, Union Terminal is one of the last grand-scale Art Deco-style railroad terminals. The building is a National Historic Landmark and was renovated and reopened as Cincinnati Museum Center in 1990. For information, call 1-800-733-2077 or visit www.cincymuseum.org.

The Duke Energy Children’s Museum opened in 1998 and has consistently ranked in the world’s top 10 children’s museums. The museum’s exhibits allow kids to climb, crawl, explore, and learn about themselves and the world around them. Discover hands-on fun for kids of all ages in our eight educational and dramatic exhibit areas, including two specially designed for preschool-age children and younger—Little Sprouts Farm and Kids’ Town. Each year, the Children’s Museum presents over 1,800 hours of programming for children, covering arts, culture, reading, science, and more. At the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, fun and learning go hand in hand.

The Museum of Natural History & Science allows visitors to walk through a glacier and step back 19,000 years into the Ice Age of the Ohio Valley. Or explore a re-created Kentucky limestone cave, complete with underground waterfalls, streams, fossils, and a live bat colony. Interactive exhibits of the human body, a natural trading post, and migration and extinction complement live demonstrations from gardening to collecting and cleaning fossils to teach how all facets of the natural world interact.

The Cincinnati History Museum opened in 1990 and is one of the country’s largest and most significant urban history museums. The Cincinnati History Museum displays materials and related aspects of the history of Cincinnati and the surrounding region. Permanent exhibits include a re-creation of the Cincinnati Public Landing of the late 1850s, where you can step aboard a 94-foot side-wheel steamboat. The museum also has a large home-front exhibit on World War II and a 1940s streetcar. Visitors can also see a model of Cincinnati from the 1900s to the 1940s with working trains, inclines, and interactive computer stations.

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Cincinnati Children’s Museum


For Cincinnati Children’s Museum ticket information, click here.

  • Open: Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.  – 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 1301 Western Avenue in Cincinnati, OH 45203
  • Phone: 513-287-7000 or 800-733-2077
  • Web: Click here

The Duke Energy Children’s Museum in Cincinnati opened in 1998 and has since consistently ranked in the top 10 children’s museums in the world. The museum’s exhibits allow kids to climb, crawl, explore and learn about themselves and the world around them. Discover hands-on fun for kids of all ages in our eight educational and dramatic exhibit areas, including two specially designed for preschool-age children and younger—Little Sprouts Farm and Kids’ Town. Each year, the Children’s Museum presents over 1,800 hours of programming for children covering topics such as arts, culture, reading, science and more. At the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, fun and learning go hand in hand.

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Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science

For Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science ticket information, click here.

  • Open: Thursday – Monday from 10am – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 1301 Western Avenue in Cincinnati, OH 45203
  • Phone: 513-287-7000 or 800-733-2077
  • Web: Click here

Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science allows visitors to walk through a glacier and step back 19,000 years into the Ice Age of the Ohio Valley. Or explore a re-created Kentucky limestone cave, complete with underground waterfalls, streams, fossils, and a live bat colony. Interactive exhibits of the human body, a natural trading post, and migration and extinction complement live demonstrations from gardening to collecting and cleaning fossils to teach how all facets of the natural world interact.

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Cincinnati History Museum


For Cincinnati History Museum ticket information, click here.

  • Open: Thursday – Monday from 10am – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 1301 Western Avenue in Cincinnati, OH 45203
  • Phone: 513-287-7000 or 800-733-2077
  • Web: Click here

The Cincinnati History Museum opened in 1990 and is one of the largest and most significant urban history museums in the country. The Cincinnati History Museum displays materials and related aspects of the history of Cincinnati and the surrounding region. Permanent exhibits include a re-creation of the Cincinnati Public Landing of the late 1850s, where you can step aboard a 94-foot side-wheel steamboat. The museum also has a large home-front exhibit on World War II and a 1940s streetcar. Visitors can also see a model of Cincinnati from the 1900s to the 1940s with working trains and inclines, as well as interactive computer stations.

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Cincinnati Police Museum

Admission to the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum is approx. $8/person.

  • Open for tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.
  • Location:  (Map It) 308 Reading Rd. in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-300-3664
  • Web: https://police-museum.org/

The Greater Cincinnati Police Museum features uniforms, equipment, badges, photographs, artifacts, and other items telling the story of police agencies throughout the Greater Cincinnati area.  Items such as a percussion cap rifle used to quell the Court House riots in 1884, and a modern Taser are on display. Special displays rotate, such as FBI and Policewomen exhibits.

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Clark Gable Museum, Home, Store

Admission to the Clark Gable Museum, Home, and Store is approx. $10/person.

The Clark Gable Museum, Home and Store in Cadiz
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Robert Carpenter

The number of people from Ohio who have made outstanding contributions to society is enormous.  The legacies of the famous—and a few infamous—would fill volumes.  A smattering of biographies includes the world’s greatest inventor, numerous industry titans, the first man on the moon, eight presidents, and one king.

The king’s gift didn’t produce the same upshot to the nation’s progress as, for example, the benefaction of Kettering or Edison. Still, it’s also fair to say that during his reign, he influenced the social order of our country more than any man elected to the nation’s highest office.

His humble origins certainly didn’t portend an empire.  Born into the working class, he grew up answering to names such as Willie, Clarkie, and Gabe. He dropped out of school to toil in the oil fields, a tire factory, and at farm work. But all of that was forgotten by the time he reached the pinnacle. And no one disputed the anointment of Clark Gable as “King.”

Recalled by many as an overnight success, his career took years of perseverance. As a young man, he worked west of Ohio with a second-rate theater company—ending in Oregon as a department store tie salesman. There he met his first wife and manager—seventeen years his senior—who saw the uncultured but strikingly masculine potential. She had his bad teeth fixed, fortified his chronically undernourished body, and coached him in lowering his naturally high-pitched voice before heading for Hollywood in 1923.

Still, the coronation was a long way off. His first venture in Tinseltown met with little success, and he retreated to his love of the stage. But in the early Thirties, with talkies revolutionizing the arts, Gable was back, transforming the role of the leading man with panache never before seen.

The crowning followed the 1936 movie, It Happened One Night. Ed Sullivan polled readers of his newspaper column resulting in twenty million fans declaring Clark Gable the “King of Hollywood.” Such was his influence that in correlation to a scene where Gable was bare-chested after doffing his shirt, men’s undershirt sales nationwide went into the dumpster.  He went on to make his best-known film in 1939—Gone With The Wind—one of sixty-seven. Until he died in 1960, he never once abdicated the throne.

Regardless, and atypical of stardom, Gable never forgot from whence he came. He constantly referenced his unpretentious Ohio origin and once told a reporter, “Look, I eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom just like everybody else.”

It was strange then, that his birthplace of Cadiz, Ohio displayed no acknowledgment of Hollywood’s most famous celebrity. For years, the only things existing on the location where he was born in an upstairs apartment were a garage and flower garden—the house having long since been demolished—hardly proper recognition of royalty.

The inattention ended in 1984 when a group of Cadiz citizens formed the Clark Gable Foundation, raising money to place a monument on the spot where the house once stood. With numerous tourists stopping daily just to stand on what they deemed hallowed ground to take pictures, it was realized that the sovereignty of the foundation’s namesake deserved much more.

Their needs were answered in 1991 when they received a sizeable endowment from longtime Cadiz resident Isabelle Clifford. In 1999 after much research and preparation, the foundation opened the Clark Gable Museum—an authentic reconstruction of the house where William Clark Gable came into the world on February 1, 1901.

Perhaps the lack of homage in Cadiz was due to Gable’s residence only as an infant. His mother died seven months after his birth, and his father moved to Hopedale, a small town a few miles to the east. Almost anyone in Hopedale can point out the house where Gable spent his formative years, but it’s a private residence. Besides the stories passed down, the house is the only Gable reminiscence in Hopedale.

Given the past oblivion, the Clark Gable Foundation has made a special effort to honor his beginning in their town. The two-story replica of his birthplace and a bed and breakfast next door are decorated in the period of his boyhood. The museum is filled with memorabilia from his early days in southeastern Ohio simplicity through the years of Hollywood glitz.  You can see the sled he rode down the formidable Hopedale hills and the 1954 Cadillac that symbolized success. There is the receipt for $10 charged by the doctor for his delivery that blustery February morning to collectibles from the height of his career. Time Warner/Turner Entertainment, owner of rights to most of Gable’s movies, agreed to provide stills and films. Both rooms in the small bed and breakfast are equipped with VCRs and tapes, as well as books about Clark Gable. There are also keepsakes from his best-known wife, (there were five) actress Carole Lombard, and as proof of early interest in the performing arts, there is a program listing him, at age nine, as the performer of a duet and solo at the Patton Opera House in Hopedale.

In the past ten years, visitors to the museum have come from nearly every state and several foreign countries. Gable’s only son, John Clark Gable (born after his death), stepdaughter Joan Spreckels, and many cast members from his movies have toured the museum.

Number 138 Charleston Street isn’t and wasn’t befitting of majesty. Still, it’s a sincere portrayal—and you’re hastened to remember one of Gable’s most unassuming statements:  “This ‘King’ stuff is pure bullshit,” he said.  “I’m just a lucky slob from Ohio who happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

Sure, every success is attended by a bit of luck, but it takes more than coincidence to be a king.  You be the judge.

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COSI Columbus

Admission to COSI in Columbus is approx. $30/person.

  • Open: Click here for hours and days per season.
  • Location: (Map It) 333 W. Broad St. in downtown Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-228-2674
  • Web: click here

COSI – Center of Science & Industry – is in downtown Columbus, Ohio.  COSI Columbus is one of the most respected science centers in the nation, serving more than 30 million visitors since it opened. For decades, COSI has continued to create programs and experiences that make science fun while empowering and engaging visitors through hands-on discovery.

At COSI, you’ll be dazzled, amazed, and delighted as your family explores one incredible wonder after another. COSI features more than 300 interactive exhibits throughout our discovery-based and ten-themed exhibition areas, including Ocean, Space, Gadgets, Life, little kidspace®, Progress, Adventure, Innovation Showcase, the outdoor Big Science Park, and WOSU@COSI. The exhibition areas provide experiences for all age levels to combine science facts and learning through creative play. Beyond the exhibits, you’ll find COSI’s hair-raising Electrostatic Generator Show, a High-Wire Unicycle, the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater, Science 2Go! retail store, and the Atomicafe restaurant. COSI also hosts world-class traveling exhibitions from other museums throughout the year.

COSI’s groundbreaking, award-winning education programs have touched more than six million teachers and students. These innovative outreach education programs are tailored to support national and statewide science curricula and standards. Unique programs such as Electronic Education and COSI On Wheels bring science learning to students throughout Ohio and the country. Camp-In®, an overnight experience for Girl Scouts that began 40 years ago, is now duplicated nationwide.

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Dr. John Harris Dental Museum

Admission to the Dr. John Harris Dental Museum in Bainbridge is nominal.

  • Open: Saturday & Sunday, from 12-4pm, or by appointment.
  • Location: (Map It) 209 Main Street in Bainbridge, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-634-2228
  • Web: click here

The Dr. John Harris Dental Museum in Bainbridge, Ohio, is home to 11 unique exhibits that showcase fascinating, fun, and interactive showcases and artifacts all about dentistry. The National Museum of Dentistry exhibits range from the George Washington Gallery, which uncovers the truth behind the president’s teeth, to MouthPower- an interactive role-play and dress-up area of a dentist’s office that teaches kids proper dental care. The museum aims to help all of its visitors celebrate the heritage and future of dentistry.

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Great Lakes Science Center

Admission to the Great Lakes Science Center is approx. $20/person

  • Open:  Usually Tuesday – Saturday from 10 – 5pm (12 – 5pm on Sunday). For more details, click here.
  • Location:  (Map It) 601 Erieside Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio (Located between Browns Stadium and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum)
  • Phone: 216-694-2000
  • Web: www.greatscience.com/

Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland is one of America’s largest interactive science museums.  The Science Center features over 400 exciting hands-on exhibits, themed traveling exhibits, breathtaking OMNIMAX® films, live science demonstrations, special events, and exciting educational programs.  Separate admission for Great Lakes Science Center plus NASA Glenn Visitors Center and the Cleveland Clinic OMNIMAX® Theater and Steamship William G. Mather.  Combination tickets are your best value!

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History of Time Museum

Admission to the History of Time Museum at the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute is free.

  • Open: Monday – Friday by appointment only
  • Location: (Map It) 701 Enterprise Drive in Harrison, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-367-9800
  • Web: www.awci.com/about-us/

The History of Time Museum & Library at the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute:  If you just like to watch time go by, this museum is just the place to do it. It celebrates the art and science of time-keeping devices, also known as horology. It displays interesting exhibits, from rope clocks and sundials to modern watches. In addition, there are plenty of pocket-watches, ship chronometers, and anything else with a face and hands.

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Imagination Station Toledo

Admission to Imagination Station Toledo is approx. $15-30/person.

  • Open: Tuesday-Saturday from 10am – 5pm and Sunday from 12-5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 1 Discovery Way in Toledo, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-244-2674
  • Web: click here

Imagination Station in Toledo: In an age of technology and everyone trying to get 15 minutes of fame on one screen or another, the LIVE Report! at Imagination Station is like flypaper to flies. This mock television studio makes sportscasters of anyone willing to step in front of the green screen, face the camera, and read the teleprompter. Then, on a delay screen, the budding television stars can view their newscast as if they were on location at an area sporting event. Imagine that!

Sticking to the screen theme, enter Simulator Theater. But hold onto your seat. It moves! It hovers more than 20 feet off the ground facing its riders toward a big screen that sucks everyone into the ride of their life. In perspective, you must be 42 inches or taller for this thrill ride.

Now that the adrenaline is rushing, it’s time to heat a screen. The Infrared Camera sees the thermal spectrum in colors. Roy G. Biv has never been so cool. Know your science. Get the joke. Moving on.

Time to defy gravity.

You, too, can be a human Yo-Yo, so hop up to BOYO. Just add energy, and before you know it, you’re bouncing 13 feet into the air. After your body chemistry is grounded again, you just might absorb a science lesson. Imagine that!

Or perhaps while you’re head is still floating, you may want to trust your life to a two-inch cable and take a spin on the High Wire Cycle. No worries, it’s safe. Strap in and pedal away. You’re only 20 feet high with no mat, no net, just a hard floor below.

In order to experience these gravity activities and science lessons first-hand, you must be 54 inches or taller.

But there is mind-bending fun for everyone just around the corner.

Sometimes, you have to see it to believe it, but in Mind Zone, that may be a stretch even for the best of imaginations. Here you’ll discover how we process, interpret, and create illusions and perceptions. Are you getting curiouser and curiouser? Then, step into a wonderland of learning fun!

Inside the Distorted Gravity room, doors, windows, etc., seem perfectly normal at a glance. But the floor is tilted 25 degrees. And that’s enough to throw off anyone’s perspective!

While your mind is trying to recover from that experience, enter another room where you can grow big or shrink small in just a few steps, depending on which end of the room you stand. Line up with friends, and at one end, a person needs to bend over so their head doesn’t hit the ceiling, and at the other end, a person can wave their hands freely overhead. All those who pass by can see the irregularity on a TV monitor or through peepholes.

Okay, let’s shake things up and step inside a hurricane. The Hurricane Chamber is a simulator that puts you in the middle of windy mayhem. Anyone can enter and face category 1 winds of up to 95 MPH. But here’s a little-known tip, you may have a chance to withstand the horrific cat-5 hurricane winds of 156 MPH. Just ask!

With that, we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg.

Imagination Station teaches how water, nature’s most powerful resource, works. It’s wet. It’s fun. It’s for everyone. A Science Studio teaches biology, chemistry, and physics in ways that won’t be forgotten. The Energy Factory explores our world’s natural resources using stimulating hands-on exhibits. Those who really want to get their hands on science can Engineer It! This open-ended discovery process allows you to think it, build it, test it …and do it again. There’s even a little KIDSPACE, complete with storytime. It’s a land of make-believe while learning science fundamentals about forces, motion, math, and science. Imagine that!

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Maltz Museum

Admission to Maltz Museum is approx. $12/person (varies for special exhibitions).

  • Open: Daily from 11am – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 2929 Richmond Road in Beachwood, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-593-0575
  • Web: click here

The Maltz Museum joins an elite group of world-class institutions as a living testament to the courage, conviction, and achievements of Cleveland’s Jewish community. The stories of individuals and families – past and present – come to life through state-of-the-art exhibitions, interactives and films, oral histories, photographs, and artifacts. The Museum includes The Temple-Tifereth Israel Gallery, an internationally recognized collection of Judaica, and a special exhibition gallery featuring important national and international acclaim exhibitions.

The Maltz Museum is a partnership of The Maltz Family Foundation, the Jewish Community Federation’s Centennial Initiative, and The Temple-Tifereth Israel with research support from the Western Reserve Historical Society.

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Merry-Go-Round Museum

Admission to the Merry-Go-Round Museum in approx. $8/person (less for kids and seniors).

  • Open:  Memorial Day – Labor Day on Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 4pm, and Sunday from 12 – 4pm (Offseason days/hours vary / Closed in January)
  • Location: (Map It) 301 Jackson St. in Sandusky, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-626-6111
  • Web: click here

The Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky is where you may take a carousel ride into history. Your visit features a tour and woodcarver demonstrations. In addition, there are special events throughout the year and birthday party packages (call for details). ADA compliant.


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Motts Military Museum

Admission to Motts Military Museum is approx. $12/person.

  • Open: Tuesday – Saturday from 9 am – 5 pm, and Sunday from 1-5 pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 5075 S. Hamilton Road in Groveport, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-836-1500
  • Web: mottsmilitarymuseum.org/

The Motts Military Museum’s goal is to preserve, protect, and display items from an area of history that is often overlooked and sometimes misunderstood.  Military history was and still is the backbone of American and world-historical accounts.  Military conflicts have shaped the makeup of America and the world.  It has established governments, freed people, and overthrown dictators.  Motts Military Museum is unique because it encompasses all periods of military history with all countries in which the United States has been involved.  The museum is committed to telling the stories of the brave military men and women who have served and are still serving this great country, allowing us to live in freedom.

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National Heisey Glass Museum

Admission to the National Heisey Glass Museum is approx. $5/person (free for kids).

  • Open: Wednesday to Saturday from 10am – 4pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 169 West Church Street in Newark, Ohio in Veteran’s Park at the corner of Sixth & Church Streets
  • Phone: 740-345-2932

The National Heisey Glass Museum:  Owned and operated by the Heisey Collectors of America, Inc. (HCA) since 1974, the National Heisey Glass Museum displays more than 5,000 glassware and plant memorabilia from the A.H. Heisey & Co. The plant produced high-quality, hand-wrought glass in Newark, Ohio, from 1896 to 1957. Highly skilled craftsmen produced, cut, and etched glass in many styles and colors. This glass’s beauty and superior quality make it a highly collectible item.

The Museum is housed in the historic Samuel D. King residence, an 1831 Greek Revival home that was moved to the site in 1973, and an additional wing added in 1993. The Museum Gift Shop offers original Heisey pieces and re-issue pieces made from the original Heisey molds.

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National Imperial Glass Museum

Admission to the National Imperial Glass Museum is approx. $5/person.

  • Open:  Friday – Saturday, from 11am – 3pm
  • Location: (Map It) 3200 Belmont Street in Bellaire, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-671-3971
  • Web: click here

The National Imperial Glass Museum: On display at the Museum are many fine examples of Imperial glassware. Also, a photo gallery, mold-making display, and gift shop visit a truly educational experience.

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National Afro-American Museum

Admission to the National Afro-American Museum is approx. $6/person.

  • Open: Wednesday through Saturday from 9am – 4pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 1350 Brush Row Road in Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-376-4944 or toll-free 1-800-752-2603
  • Web: click here

The National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center provides African-American history and culture from African origins to the present. It features a permanent exhibit, From Victory To Freedom: Afro-American Life in the Fifties. A small theater inside shows the award-winning Music As a Metaphor, tracing the origins of African-American music from its roots in Africa to the 1950s and includes Gospel, Jazz, BeBop, Classical, and protest music. Call the museum for special events and traveling exhibits.

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National Construction Equipment Museum

Admission to the National Construction Equipment Museum is $7/person over age 12. Outside viewing only is normally free.

  • Open: Weekdays from 1 – 5pm (recommended to call ahead).
  • Location: (Map It) 16623 Liberty Hi Road in Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-352-5616
  • Web: click here

The National Construction Equipment Museum by the Historical Construction Equipment Association:  If you like to visit offbeat places, here’s one you won’t want to miss, especially if you have children who like playing in the dirt. Turn north off US Route 6 onto Liberty Hi Road west of Bowling Green and drive 1-1/4 miles. Now, look to your left. There, emerging from the trees like a giraffe foraging for food, you’ll see the tips of two crane booms. A little bit further on, a sign at the head of a long gravel driveway signals that you’ve arrived at the National Construction Equipment Museum, one of NW Ohio’s most unusual attractions.

The NCEM, established by the Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA) to preserve the history and equipment of the construction, surface mining and dredging industries, is guaranteed to thrill both junior and adult construction equipment enthusiasts. Be sure to bring your camera.

The first thing you’ll probably notice is the equipment that dots the museum’s thirty acres of land. Don’t worry, though, they haven’t been abandoned. Each piece is waiting patiently for its day (or more likely, months) of attention in the museum workshop, where volunteer enthusiasts from all walks of life spend every Wednesday night and one Sunday a month cleaning, dismantling, fabricating, painting, and restoring donated equipment to its former glory.

Once a machine is finished, it is then moved into the museum, where hulking metal monsters arranged in displays will take you back to childhood days spent in the sandbox. The displays include signs packed with historical information, but you won’t need them if you get the pleasure of a tour conducted by museum archivist Tom Berry. After nine years with the museum, Berry seems to have almost everything at the tip of his tongue, and as he bubbles over with story after story, you can tell he loves what he does.

Although enthusiasts come from all over the world to ooh and ahh over the museum’s contents, the museum isn’t just for sightseers. It has been the venue for several of the HCEA’s international conventions. The museum archives also hold an extensive collection of historical documents, photos, slides, movies, and videos representing over 2,600 companies, including dozens from Ohio (among them Bucyrus-Erie, Euclid, and Marion Power Shovels), providing research material for researchers around the world..

Several things not to miss: the cool wall of advertising signs, both restored and original condition; the glass cabinet full of construction equipment toys and memorabilia in the Office and Archives Building’s lobby; and the guest book, with signatures from visitors as far away as Australia and the UK. If you time it just right, you might even be able to take some pictures of your junior construction equipment enthusiast seated at the controls of one of the machines. However, do be sure to ask for permission first before allowing your children to climb on anything, to avoid injury to both your children and expensive equipment.

Finally, when you get back outdoors, check out the patio, which is made up of bricks and pavers recognizing donors from all over. (My favorite was the one from New Zealand…)  There’s also a pond, so be sure to keep an eye on the little ones.

Excerpt from from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Betty Winslow

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National Museum of Cambridge Glass

Admission to the National Museum of Cambridge Glass is usually a nominal fee. 

  • Open: April – October on Wednesday – Saturday from 10am – 4pm, and Sunday from 12-4pm.
  • Location:  (Map It) 136 South 9th Street in Cambridge, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-432-4245
  • Web: click here

The National Museum of Cambridge Glass, featuring works by The Cambridge Glass Company, is owned and operated by the National Cambridge Collectors, Inc. (NCC).  It houses one of the world’s most extensive collections of Cambridge Glass, plus the tools, molds, and etching plates used to manufacture the glass.  There is something of interest for everyone.  Enjoy the beauty and the history and learn about this highly skilled craft.

The Museum includes dioramas depicting the glass-making process, a dining room appointed with Cambridge glass, the Edna McManus Shepard Education Center where hands-on exhibits are available, and a gift shop featuring genuine Cambridge Glass, limited-edition reproductions, and books on glass collecting. The Museum is accessible to the handicapped, and parking is free.

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National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Admission to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is approx. $17/person (less for kids and seniors).

  • Open: Open Wednesday – Sunday from 10am – 5:00 pm
  • Location: (Map It) 50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-333-7500 or toll-free 877-648-4838
  • Web: https://freedomcenter.org/

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati pays tribute to the Underground Railroad and all efforts to “abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people.” It features The Slave Pen, a two-story 1830 log structure used to house slaves being shipped to auction, and many other exhibits and films addressing the struggle for freedom. There is also an interactive iPod tour.

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Ohio Glass Museum

Admission to the Ohio Glass Museum is approx. $6/person.

  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday from 12 – 4pm (Closed Sunday Jan-Mar)
  • Location: (Map It) 124 West Main Street in Lancaster, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-687-0101
  • Web: https://ohioglassmuseum.org/

The Ohio Glass Museum in Lancaster, Ohio:
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Robert Carpenter

Here’s a thought you may not have considered: What would we do without glass? A glance around the average household reveals the most common use in windows and doors but also table tops, light bulbs, light fixtures, picture frame glass, tableware, shelves, art items, mirrors, jars, bottles, and that tube that brings us news and entertainment for hours every day—all taken for granted. Attempts at alternatives have been made, of course, but how often have you picked up an item to discover that it’s “only plastic.” Glass is “quality,” and there is no substitute for some things.

Glass was discovered as far back as the Bronze Age, and the first manual on glassmaking is dated 650 B.C.  Yet, for all the technology developed in the last half-century, there are applications for which nothing exceeds the superiority of this most ancient of manufactured materials.

The history of glass is chronicled in the movie Born of Fire, shown continuously at the Ohio Glass Museum in Lancaster. Established in 2002, the museum documents the science of glassmaking throughout time and emphasizes the glass industry in Fairfield County, which has been a mainstay of the economy for over 100 years.

It’s hard to imagine a finished material more dissimilar to its ingredients than glass. Although the mix has minor elements, normally, glass is 75 percent silica. For us laymen, that’s sand—the same stuff you scooped and shoveled around in that big box when you were a kid.

Fairfield County is rich in natural resources, and two of the most abundant are sand and the natural gas that provides flames of extraordinary temperatures to transform silica into a molten state. The glass industry, innately compatible with these resources, resulted in the 2003 State Legislature’s designation of Lancaster as the “Pressed Glass Capital” of Ohio.

Different themes are featured throughout the year, such as Milk Glass and Milk Bottles. Regardless of the description, they have related only to material, and both became obsolete decades ago. Those experienced with such simple items as milk bottles never dreamed they would become treasures of archival interest. But they’re one of the items we’ve found more efficient construction—meaning cheaper—such as plastic and waxed cardboard. It seems inconceivable that there are people of middle age who have never experienced pouring from one of those cold slippery bottles—one of the most ubiquitous items of the modern age—but, that’s why they’re in museums today.

They were recyclable long before the word was commonly used. When empty, they were rinsed and taken back to the dairy, or if you were on a route, you put them out for the milkman, who exchanged them for full ones. There is hardly a nostalgic note more pleasant than the clank of those bottles at 5 a.m.—knowing that your fresh, cool breakfast milk was waiting at the door. The most common were round quart bottles with small necks and cardboard caps pressed into the opening, but in the museum display, you will find every conceivable size and design ever made.

And there is the milk glass exhibit. The most popular was the milky white translucent glass from which it got its name, but it was also manufactured in various colors, including blue, pink, yellow, brown, and black. Milk glass has existed since the sixteenth century, although it did not acquire the name meant to describe its appearance until early in the last century. It came into vogue in the nineteenth century, and French milk glass is highly collectible today.

There was a time when milk glass symbolized style and privilege in American homes. Large domestic glass makers such as New England Glass Company, Bryce Brothers, and Atterbury & Company were quick to embrace the fashion, and it appears that collectible plates is not the recently conceived industry that some imagine. Most sought after were plates of early American historical figures like George Washington, whose picture and the flag’s stars were pressed in relief into plate bottoms. Christopher Columbus was also popular, and presidential nominees used commemorative plates as part of their campaigns.

Unlike dinnerware that demanded a certain level of functionality, platters were manufactured with extreme decorative effects. The relief, for example, on the exceptionally rare Lincoln platters, is so deep they could hardly have been used for anything but ornamental objects. Other more generic designs were also admired, and some were not conventionally shaped but formed as ducks, fish, and other animals.

Some companies made their name and entire reputations on milk glass, but the milk glass fashion trend, like all others, finally ended. During the Depression, it began to lose its luster, and at the end of the ‘50s—about the time milk bottles were phased out, milk glass ceased to be a symbol of status.

Of course, its demise, at least after a period, caused it to become more valuable. The whole story can be found at the Ohio Glass Museum in Lancaster, and it’s advisable to look closely—that forgotten piece you inherited from Grandma and have tucked way in the back of your upper closet shelf may have gained more than cobwebs and dust.

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Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame

Welcome to the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame (wall of fame) at Scioto Downs by Eldorado Gaming. Hours vary.

  • Location: (Map It) At Eldorado Gaming & Scioto Downs Race Track, 6000 S. High St. in Columbus, Ohio (two miles south of I-270 on Rt. 23)
  • Phone: 614-295-4700
  • Web: click here

The Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame at Scioto Downs by Eldorado Gaming:  The hall of fame is better described as a “wall of fame” at Scioto Downs. The racetrack has offered harness racing for over 50 years, and now honors people who made it all possible. The display is located about midway into the main level of the clubhouse. Live racing is usually held from early May through mid-September.

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Pro Football Hall of Fame

Admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio is approx. $45/person (less for kids).

  • Open: Daily from Memorial Day – Labor Day from 9am to 8pm and 9-5 the rest of the year.
  • Location: (Map It) 2121 George Halas Dr. NW in Canton, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-456-8207
  • Web: click here

Names are revered at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The plays are forever etched in the collective memory of football fans everywhere. They are the giants of this game. And to pay homage, you must go to the one place sacred enough to immortalize such heroes: the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It is here that childhood memories are revisited and new ones made. Your passion is rekindled here, and breathtaking moments are brought to life. It is here…that legends live.

Enjoy America’s Premier Sports Museum and Showplace.  The Pro Football Hall of Fame is more than a museum -an interactive experience!  Over 83,000 square feet of awe-inspiring exhibits present pro football’s unique story and bring words such as courage, skill, and dedication to life.  Interactive exhibits act as windows to the dramatic stories behind the artifacts.

Don’t miss three new galleries, including the Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery featuring Super Bowl Theater.  Experience the defining moments of the NFL season and Super Bowl in a wide-screen, surround sound, rotating theater.

Before exiting, don’t miss the 4,000-square-foot Museum Store; shop for yourself or friends and family.  There is something for all fans of the NFL and other pro league teams, plus Hall of Fame collectibles.

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Admission to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is approx. $35/person (less for kids).

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland:  The Rock Hall houses interactive exhibits, films, videos, and many priceless artifacts used by many artists featured in the Hall of Fame.  Not only does the museum have many permanent exhibits, but also, each year, it houses a variety of temporary ones that will sometimes be so large they take up the top two levels of the building.  The museum offers many services to the public, including concerts, lectures, film series, and teacher education.  The main attraction of the museum, however, is the large number of artists that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame and, therefore, have their own exhibits at the museum.

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

If you try to name anything that has had more influence on our culture than the music of the last fifty years, you’ll have to think long and hard—and you may still come up with a blank. That’s because it was never a mere evolution. We’re talking revolution—rock and roll, baby—the sound that changed everything. Cynics said it wouldn’t last, but generations later, devotees have manifested their passion with a $92 million, 150,000 square-foot shrine to honor every performer, songwriter, producer, and disc jockey who contributed to this phenomenon of the music world.

And why Cleveland? It isn’t easy to pinpoint the exact birthplace of rock and roll, but Cleveland was where the real commitment began.  Every act of consequence debuted in Cleveland, sometimes on TV, but often in ordinary high school auditoriums. Cleveland was the Mecca—where the new sound gained traction—where rock and roll took on the fuel that blasted it into the stratosphere.

Those of us who were around in the beginning didn’t realize the significance of what we were hearing on Cleveland stations. We sang, danced, and listened to the disc jockeys while the fuddy-duddies said it was only a fad that would destroy our hearing and corrupt the youth of America. They didn’t know either that we were at ground zero of a movement that soon swept the country—and then the world. Rock music has branched off in several directions from its inception, but I agree with the way Billy Joel summed it up: “Everybody’s talking bout the new sound. Funny, but it’s still Rock and Roll to me.”  That’s how it’s been for over five decades, and it has never gotten old.

The Hall of Fame Foundation, a nonprofit organization, selected Cleveland as the site in 1986 after being formed three years earlier. Groundbreaking wasn’t until 1993, and the grand opening was in September 1995. Since then, many millions of visitors have passed under the dual-triangular-shaped glass “tent” that forms the entry façade to a 65,000-square-foot plaza. From the beginning, the structure and the exhibits were intended to be of a caliber commensurate to the music’s impact on society. Architect I. M. Pei, one of the world’s most renowned, said that in designing the building, he wanted it to “echo the energy of Rock and Roll.”

Located in downtown North Coast Harbor, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame houses more than 55,000 square feet of exhibition space. All your old favorites are there, but not all the current artists. Eligibility requires twenty-five years to pass from the time of their first recording. Due to the Rocker lifestyle, this means that more than a few are inducted posthumously—but then, what is rock and roll without its excesses.

To date, hundreds of artists, as well as members from the non-performer and early influence categories, have been inducted into this temple of Rock greats. They represent careers beginning in the ’50s and ’60s to those defining the modern sound, demonstrating a miscellany of talent and the rich diversity of the music itself.

The Museum continually offers fresh new experiences from the Rock and Roll past through changing exhibits. There are thousands of instruments, costumes, and personal effects, such as John Lennon’s passport and green card and Buddy Holly’s high school diploma. A favorite of sentimentalists is the photo display of George Shuba, known as the “Grandfather of Rock and Roll photography.” He captured the images of all the early performers and fans—teenaged guys in suits and ties and girls in short cotton dresses and lacquered beehives. Another interesting item is Janis Joplin’s Porsche. A few years ago, a major car magazine persuaded curators to let them test-drive it around the streets of Cleveland. The little two-seater—heavily abused like everything at the hands of Janis—barely made it back with help.  If only cars could talk.

But plenty of talk emanates from three theaters that take visitors on a cinematic journey through Rock and Roll history, plus the live concerts scattered throughout the year. Anchoring more than fifty exhibits this year is MOTOWN: The Sound of Young America Turns 50.

Like the music, the displays give a fast-paced trip, chronicling Rock and Roll from one-hit wonders to legendary Inductees, from its roots in gospel, country, and blues to important music scenes such as Memphis, Detroit, and San Francisco. You’re even reminded of political protests against the music and the interplay between fashion and rock. For young, old, or in-between: If you love Rock & Roll, you’ve got to go.

By Robert Carpenter
Robert Carpenter was born and raised in the New Philadelphia, Ohio area.

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The Sanctuary Museum

Admission to The Sanctuary Museum is approx. $12/person.

  • Open: Saturdays 12 – 4pm and Wednesday from 10:30am – 1pm
  • Location: (Map It) 12905 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-712-7094
  • Web: click here

The Sanctuary Museum is inside the former St. Hedwig’s Church. It displays a collection of beautiful statues and other Catholic artifacts. The owner, Louis McClung, has personally restored each piece, who has also provided visitors with historical information on each piece. By doing this, he hopes to preserve Catholic history and traditional art. The oldest artifact found in the museum (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) dates all the way back to 1855.

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Susie’s Museum of Childhood

Admission to Susie’s Museum of Childhood at Bluebird Farm Park is a nominal fee.

  • Open: Monday – Friday from 11am – 3pm.
  • Location: (Map It) Bluebird Farm Park at 190 Alamo Road in  Carrollton, Ohio
  • Phone 330-627-8046
  • Web: click here

Susie’s Museum of Childhood at Bluebird Farm Park:  This museum features many playthings available to American children from the 1700s to the present day. The toys are featured in imaginative and colorful displays and include wooden, wax, china, French and German bisque, mechanical, paper-mâché, composition, and cloth dolls; and stuffed animals and Teddy bears, most notably those manufactured by the German maker Margarete Steiff. Special sections are devoted to some of America’s most beloved and certainly popular toys – Raggedy Ann and Andy, Shirley Temple, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and all the 1930s Disneyana! Also, a miniature fantasy world awaits you – toy china sets, antique dollhouses, doll-size kitchens, doll and child-size furniture, and a detailed circus filled with Steiff and Schoenhut circus pieces. Make plans for a whimsical step back in time. Hopefully, you will be happily transported to a world of wonderful childhood memories during your visit. Group tours are encouraged, and special occasions can be accommodated. Upon request, special programs can be prepared and presented to groups such as doll clubs on topics ranging from Madame Alexander Dolls, Steiff animals, advertising dolls, SUN rubber, Bernard Lipfert, doll designers, and antique dolls and toys. Whatever your area of interest, arrangements can be made to discuss it.

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The Troll Hole Museum

Admission to the Troll Hole Museum is approx. $12/person.

  • Open: Thursday – Sunday from 10am – 4pm
  • Location: (Map It) 228 E Main Street in Alliance, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-596-1157
  • Web: click here

The Troll Hole Museum in Alliance, Ohio, is the world’s largest collection of troll dolls.  Explore this one-of-a-kind museum and discover the history and creation of the dolls, along with the myth, magic, and folklore of the ancient trolls themselves! The museum features rooms containing floor-to-ceiling trolls but also a troll hunters’ cabin, a walk-through troll cave & treasure room, and an indoor waterfall. By the end of the tour, you’ll love the trolls just as much as the curator herself!

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The Works

The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology

Admission to The Works is approx. $12/person (less for kids & seniors).

The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art, and Technology, central Ohio’s only destination where you can experience history, art, technology, and glass blowing – all under one roof. Come face-to-face with an Ohio mastodon (and learn his fate!) in The Works’ history exhibits; discover the beautiful work of local artists in The Works’ art gallery; build and race your race car, or see what’s printing on their 3-D printer, in the interactive science labs; and create your own blown glass with help from a professional glass artist in The Works’ hot glass studio. It’s like visiting four museums for the price of one. Guests can also visit The Works’ restored Ohio-Erie Canal lock and Interurban streetcar and refresh in the beautiful courtyard. Visiting The Works is a great family day trip, school field trip destination, or a unique venue for your private or corporate event – from kids’ birthday parties and bridal showers to corporate retreats. The Works offers activities and programming for kids, teens, families, grown-ups, and educators. Plan your discovery at The Works today!

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Wyandot Popcorn Museum


Admission to the Wyandot Popcorn Museum is approx. $6/person.

  • Open May 1 – October 31 on Wednesday – Sunday from 1 – 4pm.   (Weekends only in winter and closed Jan & Feb)
  • Location: (Map It) Heritage Hall at 169 E. Church St. in Marion, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-387-4255
  • Web: click here
  • Click here for an article in a past edition of OhioTraveler

Wyandot Popcorn Museum in Marion:  Everybody loves popcorn! Back in the glory days of the vaudeville theatres and movie houses, one of the reasons to go out on the town was to get some popcorn from the popcorn wagon. These beautifully crafted traveling snack machines, with their wafting aromas of fresh popcorn and roasted peanuts, were as popular as the theatres parked in front of them. The Wyandot Popcorn in Marion will take you back to that earlier time with the largest collection of poppers all in one place. Horse-drawn, steam-powered, and electric, enjoy your guided tour and watch some of the machines as they pump, turn, and whistle! These priceless wagons date back as far as the turn of the century and have been restored to their original condition. Actor Paul Newman’s antique popcorn wagon, which sat in New York City’s Central Park, is also on display at the museum. The classic antique poppers are here – Cretors, Dunbar, Kingery, Holcomb & Hoke, Cracker Jack, Long-Eakin, Excel, and more—even a few homemade one-of-a-kind antiques.

Inside the Marion Historical Society’s Heritage Hall, admission to the Popcorn Museum includes entry into the Society’s exhibits covering prehistoric times to early life in the Ohio frontier and through the mid-20th century. Heritage Hall itself is worth a visit. The former Marion Post Office, with its colonnaded entrance, high ceilings, and beautiful woodwork, is a perfect setting to explore the past.

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More Things to do This Month in Ohio

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