Everything you need to know about the Ohio History Center Tour

There’s a place in Columbus that just doesn’t get all the hype it deserves.

The Ohio History Center is such a gem on so many levels. From its iconic architecture to the treasures on display, the center showcases so much to love about Ohio.

The state has a rich history, and you can see some of the highlights of an afternoon spent at both the Ohio History Center and Ohio Village. We’ll dive a little deeper into all the best things to do and see at the center here in a bit, but first, let’s answer these frequently asked questions!

Frequently Asked Questions

via Ohio History Connection Facebook

How much are tickets to the Ohio History Center?
Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and students (with ID), $7 for children 4-12, and free for children 3 and under. Members of the Ohio History Connection can also enjoy free admission.

Does the ticket price include the museum and Ohio Village?
Ohio Village is included with admission to the Ohio History Center. Advance tickets are available but not required.

How long does it take to walk through the Ohio History Center?
It really can take as short or as long as you want, but we recommend giving yourself at least 2-3 hours to explore.

Where is the Ohio History Center?
The Ohio History Center is located at 800 E 17th Ave, Columbus, OH, 43211, at the intersection of I-71 and 17th Avenue (exit 111).

Is the Ohio History Center family friendly?
Yes! There are tons of exhibits that visitors of all ages can enjoy.

History of the Ohio History Center

via Ohio History Connection Facebook

When Ohio History Connection was founded in 1885, it was known as the Ohio Historical Society. For a time, the Ohio Historical Society had a home at Ohio State University. It wasn’t until the mid-1960s that a bond issue brought the historical society into a new home.

The Brutalist building we all know and love was created by architect W. Byron Ireland and completed in 1970. Described as “arguably the most architecturally significant public structure built in Ohio since the State Capitol “, in Architectural Record, the building is immediately recognizable. .

While the shape of the building doesn’t immediately evoke a “museum” vibe, it is truly a unique representation of Ohio. The shape of the building was inspired by a typical blockhouse on the Ohio frontier.

via Ohio History Connection Facebook

The brown color comes from the Ohio silo tiles that make up the exterior of the building. And the sloping mound on which the building sits is meant to evoke ancient earthworks constructed by the region’s earliest inhabitants.

The Ohio History Center Museum showcases Ohio’s history from the Ice Age to the present day. Exhibits feature a variety of topics, including Native history, natural history, World War I, the 1950s, Ohio sports history, and more.

Now that we’ve settled all those burning questions, let’s dive deeper into some of the more exciting exhibits on display.

Indigenous Wonders of Our World — The Ceremonial Earthworks of Hopewell

In the Indigenous Wonders of Our World exhibit, visitors can learn about The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, a series of ancient earthworks across the state.

As you walk through the exhibit, you’ll learn how ancient American Indians used both astronomy and geometry to align earthworks with the cycles of the moon and sun. You’ll also have the chance to see 2,000-year-old artifacts that help paint a better picture of how these sites were used by ancient people.

The eight ancient earthworks presented are candidates for the United Nations World Heritage List.

The nature of Ohio

Ohio has a rich natural history, and it’s all on display at the Ohio History Center. The natural history section is divided into themes including plants, animals, geology, geography and climate.

via Ohio History Connection Facebook

Visitors will be able to see everything from rocks and minerals to exhibits of locally extinct animals. The most magnificent of these has to be the gigantic Conway, a reconstructed Ice Age mastodon skeleton that towers over the museum.

1950s – Building the American Dream

One of the most colorful areas of the museum is the section devoted to mid-century American life. In this exhibition, you will be able to fully immerse yourself in one of the most emblematic houses of the time: a fully furnished and rebuilt Lustron house.

via Ohio History Connection Facebook

Fully immerse yourself in mid-century American life! The 1950s – Building the American Dream features a fully furnished and rebuilt Lustron house for you to explore and investigate. When you’re done exploring the Lustron House, you can learn more about the 1950s through videos and panels showcasing the memories of Ohioans who grew up during the era.

Ohio Village

through facebook

Ohio Village is the living history museum portion of the Ohio History Center. The village showcases daily life in Ohio in the 1890s. There are villagers and artisans throughout the village where visitors can hear fascinating stories. You can also tour the buildings and homes and even take part in 1890s-themed activities.

One of the best things about the Ohio History Village is the seasonal events they hold on the village grounds.

Vacation Activities at Ohio Village

via Ohio History Connection Facebook

In October, you can visit the Ohio History Center’s Halloween celebrations. 1890s-style family fun at All Hallows’ Eve includes retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by bonfire, pumpkin carving, divination, crafts, games, and more. All Hallows Eve will take place every Saturday from October 8 and until October 29.

Things are really kicking off in Ohio Village for the annual Dickens of Christmas celebration. This 19th century holiday brings Charles Dickens’ festive vision of Christmas to Columbus.

via Ohio History Connection Facebook

A variety of holiday characters will be on hand, including Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge, Krampus, and more. There will also be music, era-appropriate dances and tons of activities. You can read more about Dickens of a Christmas here.

All in all, the Ohio History Center is one of those places that never seems to get the attention it deserves. If you want to start planning your visit, go to ohiohistory.org.

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