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Best Museums in Columbus

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Located in a restored early 20th-century engine house, Central Ohio Fire Museum is indeed a fun and educational place to be. Featuring old fire trucks, wagons, alarms, paraphernalia and more it gives a glimpse of a fire station from 1908 to 1982. Find out how the advancement in technology improved the safety measures and find out more about it for precaution. The museum is also known for its resident ghosts but they are not at all a cause to worry.

Perched on the western bank of the river and across from downtown, the hulking COSI building is jam-packed with thrilling explorations of the world of science. Entertaining movies, hands-on workshops and interactive exhibits all aim to encourage the young (and young at heart) to discover new and exciting things about the natural world around them. Family-themed events and overnight adventures are scheduled here throughout the year.

The Columbus Museum of Art is a great place to get acquainted with the works of artists such as Renoir and Picasso. If intricate observations on Cubism, Picasso and the like go right over your head, helpful docents come to the rescue. Sit back and enjoy a cup of piping hot tea at the museum cafe, while surrounded by paintings by some of the world's greatest artists. Public tours are held regularly. Become a member and avail yourself of free admission and parking.

Maintained by the Ohio Historical Society, the Ohio History Center aims to celebrate the history of the city. From archaeology and natural history to political and cultural artifacts, this museum has it all. So, if you're in the mood to go back into the past of the city, this is the right place to be. The center also houses a resourceful library, Ohio Village and serves as a host to numerous event venues.

The Ohio Railway Museum was founded in 1945 and is among the oldest of its kind in the nation. It was originally called The Central Ohio Railfans Association and got its current name in 1993. Enjoy a round-trip ride on a streetcar or interurban. Get educated in the demonstration tour about the history of steam and electric locomotive and how it impacted the economic growth and lifestyle in the early 20th Century. The museum is into preserving and operating historic railway machinery. It aims to enlighten the public through their exhibits, publications and special events. Their collection includes trams from 1900 to 1949, interurbans (1905 to 1965), passenger cars, electric and steam engines from around 1910 through 1926.

Historic Kelton House is an actual physical relic of a bygone era, restored to its original grandeur and open to all. The Kelton Family were Columbus society at its finest, and as such, they amassed an immaculate collection of period furniture and other items and cataloged via scrapbook and diary the details of daily life in the 1800s.

The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum celebrates one of the most important innovations in human history: slapping some wheels and a handlebar on a big, fat engine and hitting the open road (also known as the invention of the motorcycle). Collected here are classic bikes from every decade dating back to the 1890s, as well as the stories of hundreds of Hall's inductees. Memorabilia lines the walls, and the museum shop is loaded with supercharged souvenirs.

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