It’s so much fun to experience Cincinnati with kids. We live in such a rich, beautiful city that’s full of fun attractions and hidden gems, and parenthood allows us the opportunity to experience brand-new spots and revisit time-honored favorites. Heritage Village Museum falls into the latter camp, and it’s always fun to visit this Cincinnati field-trip favorite with my crew.
Located literally inside Sharon Woods, Heritage Village is an outdoor history museum with more than a dozen structures. It’s hiding right in plain sight; and as soon as you exit the Sharon Center and enter this outdoor museum, you’ll be transported to another time and place.
The buildings are from various locations around Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky, and include churches, log cabins, a general store, and an old train station. Most are authentic, plucked-from-the-1800s structures that were saved from demolition and moved to the museum, and a few are carefully recreated replicas of historic buildings.
Heritage Village is a great outing for small groups, as guided tours are led by knowledgeable interpreters dressed in authentic 17th-century attire who demonstrate historic crafts such as spinning, candle-dipping, soap making, hearth cooking, and printing. Of course, you can opt for a self-guided tour, too, which is a wonderful option that allows kids to roam and explore without an agenda.
Museum must-visits include the Chester Train Station (a real train station from the late 1800s that handled local trade, commerce, and commuters), Fetter General Store (a Clermont County general store from 1866 that’s been restored by the museum), Schram Print Shop (one of Heritage Village Museum’s newly constructed buildings that houses an original collection of printing presses and letter trays), and the Flatboat (a life-sized vessel kids can explore).
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the number of interactive activities at this living history museum. Kids can climb stairs, decks, and carts; wander down dirt paths and through gardens; and let their imaginations run wild with stories and notions from the past. Heritage Village Museum is one of Cincinnati’s most unique hidden gems. It’s a well-preserved glimpse into Ohio’s history and heritage, and it’s just waiting to be explored.
Heritage Village Museum is located inside Sharon Woods, just behind the Sharon Center, 11450 Lebanon Rd./Route 42, Sharonville. Please note you’ll need a Great Parks of Hamilton Coutny car permit for entry.
From October through April, Heritage Village Museum is open Wed–Fri for outside, self-guided tours only. From May through September, self-guided and guided tours are available Wed–Sun.