Cincinnati Observatory Center, Cincinnati

4.8
#6 of 11 in Childrens Museums in Ohio
The Cincinnati Observatory is located in Cincinnati, Ohio (USA) on top of Mt. Lookout. It consists of two observatory buildings housing an 11 inch (28 cm) and 16 inch (41 cm) aperture refracting telescope. It is the oldest professional observatory in the United States. It was a key facility for astronomical research and education at the University of Cincinnati and currently operates as a 19th-century observatory. There are regular viewings through both historical telescopes as well as tours and additional programs. The observatory also has an extensive outreach program, providing astronomical education for the Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana region.The Cincinnati Observatory is a contributing property to the Observatory Historic District.HistoryCincinnati Observatory was built by Ormsby M. Mitchel at the peak of Mount Ida, a hill that overlooks downtown Cincinnati. Nicholas Longworth donated 4acre of land for the purpose. The Holy Cross Monastery and Chapel stands today at the site. The cornerstone was laid on November 9, 1843, and presiding over the occasion was former President John Quincy Adams, with an introduction by Judge Jacob Burnet. At 77 years old, it was to be his last public speech, and Mount Ida was renamed to Mount Adams in his honor.
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Cincinnati Observatory Center Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
54 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Nice place to visit. Fun to find concrete markers outside that show the distances between planets, although Pluto was supposedly buried in bushes and should be cleared off so you can find it (even if ...  more »
  • I was in town, and decided to go to the observatory for the eclipse. It was awesome! Everyone there was very friendly, and it was amazing getting to see the eclipse through the Mitchell telescope!  more »
  • I didn't even know we had an observatory. Even if you are not a science lover this is a lot of fun. There's a powerpoint presentation in the beginning - this part ended up being way too long and borin...  more »
Google
  • This place is amazing. There are so many cool things to see inside. The telescope is the second biggest in the United States and is very cool. I will definitely be coming back and I will being my kids. The people that work there are very friendly. They offer tours if you are interested. Just check on the website for times as they only have tours at certain times during the day.
  • My adult son and I came here to enjoy a tour and even though my son came too late for us to have the tour we had a delightful evening on the observatory grounds. They have markers in the grass to show the relative distance between the planets and they have a geological benchmark behind the observatory which is interesting to see and they have a beautiful lawn where deer often come on the slopes. My son and I were able to pick out Jupiter and Saturn as the sun went down and just had a wonderful time.
  • I took my wife for the Stargazing Program for her birthday. It was awesome! A beautiful clear evening allowed us to see Saturn and the Moon. Wonderful evening!
  • The 2nd and 4th Sunday tours are fantastic. It is a personal tour of the two telescopes with a very knowledgeable volunteer. My 6 and 9 year olds were allowed to move wheels that move the roof, and we walked the scaled solar system. Fantastic!
  • Cheap and educational. Very fun. They do great work.

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Where to stay in Cincinnati

To take advantage of the best cultural attractions available in Cincinnati, stay at a hotel downtown. Though pricey, centrally located hotels offer spacious rooms packed with high-tech features, as well as quick and easy access to the city's best shopping, dining, and entertainment. If you're traveling on a budget and prefer to sleep in a quieter area, explore more affordable hotels in Covington, Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati's downtown.
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