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The best things in life are free.
And that sentiment certainly includes museums. We’re so lucky that we have some incredible museums around this state offering free admission to those hoping to explore. If you’ve already got your fill of free and discounted options here in Columbus, it may be time to expand your horizons to the rest of the Buckeye State.
So pack some snacks, hop in the car, and go see something new. There’s so much out there to enjoy.
Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art collections are always free to the public. Special exhibitions sometimes have an additional charge, but you can purchase those online, at the ticke center, or by calling 216-421-7350. You can get a sneak peek of the museum’s collection online before you visit.
Location: 11150 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday & Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The museum is closed on Sunday.
The Ohio Statehouse Museum is a great place to explore both Ohio’s history and our government. You can take a self-guided tour, check out the Ohio constitution, and even participate in exhibits. The Ohio Statehouse Museum is located on the ground floor of the Ohio Statehouse. The Ohio Statehouse Museum is open every day, except on state holidays.
Location: 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Decorative Arts Center of Ohio
The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio is one of my favorite museums in the whole state. It is a nonprofit museum that offers unique exhibitions that inspire creativity and innovation. In addition to the collections available to view, the Center also offers public programs, art classes, and workshops.
Location: 145 E. Main St, Lancaster, OH 43130
Hours: Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday & Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Mansfield Memorial Museum
The Mansfield Memorial Museum was established in 1889. Founded by Edward Wilkinson, the museum has a varied and extensive collection that has grown over the years. There are multiple collections on display, including natural history, public documents, the industrial history of Mansfield, and more. One can’t-miss item on display at the museum is ELEKTRO, the Westinghouse Robot of the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
Location: 34 Park Avenue West, Mansfield, OH 44902
Hours: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Butler Institute Of American Art
The Butler is such an underrated gem. Through the preservation of art by Americans, taking a walk through The Butler is a unique way to get a glimpse of American history. The museum is intimate but the art leaves a profound impact.
Location: 524 Wick Ave, Youngstown, OH 44502
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. The museum features over 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles, plus thousands of artifacts. Some things inside the museum, like flight simulations, do cost money, but general admission is free.
Location: 1100 Spaatz St, Dayton, OH 45431
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Toledo Museum of Art
The Toledo Museum of Art has a lot to offer. With 35 galleries, a Sculpture Garden, and the Glass Pavilion, it’s easy to spend the whole day getting lost in the works of Degas, van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt, and more. You can get a sneak peek of the collections on display by visiting the Toledo Museum of Art website.
Location: 2445 Monroe Street Toledo, OH 43620
Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday & Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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