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What’s Around: Museums in Columbus

It’s always nice to scratch that intellectual itch every now and again! Whether you’re a city resident or simply visiting, there are several great museums in Columbus for those looking to discover more about art, history, industry, science or culture.

In our latest installment of What’s Around – a series from Columbus Downtown Apartments that gives residents a look at the various shopping, culture and entertainment options available in their backyard – we explore a few of Columbus’ best museums to visit.


Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum

Located in the German Village district of Columbus, the Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum features a large private collection of rare, antique automobiles and memorabilia from Steve Wagner and J. Mark Hagans.

The Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum, which opened in 2009, contains many unusual and historic cars not normally seen in traditional auto museums. These include the failed Ford Edsel, and Packards, Buicks and Auburns produced between 1900 and 1936.

Consistently ranked highly on TripAdvisor, this free auto museum in Columbus can only be toured by appointment only. Call (614) 271-0888 to schedule your visit!



Columbus Museum of Art


Columbus Museum of Art (CMOA)

If you’re a lover of art or history, the Columbus Museum of Art–founded in 1878 and located in the heart of downtown Columbus–is a must-visit! The museum’s galleries are filled with collections that include late 19th and early 20th century American and European art.

CMOA houses the world’s largest collection of works by beloved local artists, and carries a strong commitment to contemporary art, folk art, glass, and photography showcasing Columbus and Ohio.

Columbus Museum of Art also hosts several programs and events each month – including live music, art workshops, art book club and more! Whether you’re alone, with friends, family or a loved one, this Columbus museum will never fail to keep you intrigued and engaged.


Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

COSI is a science museum and research center located on the bank of the Scioto River in downtown Columbus. Its purpose is to inspire the scientists, innovators and dreamers of tomorrow with family-friendly exhibits that include dinosaurs, music, history, a planetarium and much more.

In 2008, COSI was named America’s number one science center for families by Parent Magazine – a testament to its interactive, hands-on displays and engaging staff. The museum offers birthday parties, summer camps, sensory-friendly experiences and more to get little ones curious about learning.

There’s also a ton to do for adults! COSI features lectures, panel discussions, evening films, craft beer nights and more to keep Columbus residents and visitors in love with science.



Central Ohio Fire Museum

Central Ohio Fire Museum

Located just a few blocks from the Arena District in downtown Columbus, the Central Ohio Fire Museum is housed in a restored 1908 engine house, and focuses primarily on fire safety education for all ages.

CHFM offers visitors interactive programs like its 9-1-1 Simulator and Burned Items Display – which showcases items from house fires to inform of the dangers from intense heat. Guests can also suit up as firefighters, slide down a fire pole, ride in a real fire truck cab and more.

On the history side, this Columbus museum allows visitors to learn about the history of firefighting in Columbus, see fire equipment dating back to the early 1800s and explore the original stables that once housed horses used by early firefighters.



Ohio History Center

Have you ever been curious about the rich history behind the state of Ohio and its great cities? The Ohio History Center – located north of downtown Columbus, next to MAPFRE Stadium – sparks discovery of Ohio’s stories through fun, interactive exhibits.

Visitors to this Columbus museum can explore everything from life in Ohio in the 1950s, to endangered species from Ohio, to World War I photography capturing experiences from the Ohio men and women who served and more.

The Ohio History Center also features an archives/library research room that allows you to learn more about your access to geneology, print, audio and video resources. A great way for Columbus history lovers to get written and graphic information of Ohio’s history!



What are some of your other favorite museums in Columbus? Share suggestions in the comments below!