Duke Energy Children's Museum
The Duke Energy Children's Museum, formerly the Cinergy Children's Museum, is part of the three museums comprising the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. Opened in 1998, the museum was moved from historic Longworth Hall near downtown Cincinnati location following the Ohio River Valley Flood of March 1997 that inundated it.
The museum offers eight unique exhibit areas. The museum is designed for children from a few weeks old to about twelve.
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For the older kids, about 8 - 12 years of age, there are a few specially designed exhibits.
First, the Woods is a large indoor play set with an outdoor theme. Here, one can explore cave life, watch real fish, or slide down the enclosed tree tube. Scavenger hunts are frequently updated for education fun.
Animal Spot is a set of display cases, some comparing different animals' bones and other their skin types. There are a freshwater fish tank and a saltwater tank. Also present are life-size tortoise shells and elephant skulls.
Also designed for older kids is the Energy Zone. Here, run a treadmill, fill a container, or work a vacuum to get the play balls into "The Big Bucket." Once a sensor detects a full bucket, the bell rings and the balls drop!
Children Just Like Me includes special exhibits for eight real children from around the world. Learn about their culture, toys, and clothes as you try on a sari, dance in a tutu, or put on a puppet show.
Some exhibits are more suitable for those ages 4 - 8 years old.
Kids at Work offers a set of building blocks and Legos to make your own tower, house, bridge, whatever! If you make something awesome you can get its picture on the construction wall.
Water Works is a large table where water runs from the top pool to the bottom. Along the way, build a dam, work a canal, and use pulleys to ring a bell. Be sure to wear a provided smock--you will get wet!
Building Zone is a place where you can "work" like a real construction men/women and use a container to fill plastic rocks to dump in a bucket.
For the infants and toddlers there are certain exhibits where older children generally don't play.
Kids Town is a pint-sized city, including a grocer, post office, diner, fix-it shop, two homes, and more. Play house, deliver mail, sell vegetables, just have fun in Kids Town.
Little Sprouts is aimed for children 4 years and younger. In fact, children older than 4 are not allowed in to play on their own (they must be with a sibling 4 or under and a parent). Parents need not worry to let their little ones play here, because children will not be let in or out of the exhibit without their presence.
There are two resource centers which include learning computer games like I-Spy and other activities such as puzzles, magazines, books, and more.
The Parent Resource Center includes parenting magazines and special information important to mothers and fathers, such as recent product recalls.
Voice guidance systems and "touch boxes" allow the visually impaired guests to experience the museum. The special boxes contain models and toys that are not displayed for the general public.
The museum is entirely one level. Elevators and escalators run from the rotunda to the lower level.
The museum is open Monday - Saturday from 10am - 5pm and Sunday from 11am - 6pm. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Winternitz, Felix et al (2007). "Insiders' Guide to Cincinnati". Globe Pequot. p. 166. Retrieved 2013-05-08.