In New Richmond, Ohio, you’ll find a superlative superstar of the most unassuming kind: The Cardboard Boat Museum. This unique attraction is the only cardboard boat racing museum in the entire world, and it’s peak Cincinnati charm.
The museum opened in 2007 to display boats from New Richmond’s annual cardboard boat regatta. A tradition since 1993, this summer race features the most intricately designed and crafted water vessels, all of which are constructed entirely out of cardboard. Past regattas have featured elaborate riverboats, Batboats, and pun-tastic pontoons like The Floater. Dates for this year’s race are still TBA, but you can stay up-to-date at the regatta’s website.
Back to the museum—you’ll find it in an old service station in the heart of downtown New Richmond. Inside, child-sized boats line the concrete floors and hang in the retired service bays. They are brightly colored, expertly crafted, upcycled masterpieces. It’s the most unexpected art gallery ever.
Not only is The Cardboard Boat Museum an exuberant display of creativity, it’s also a place that invites invention in its guests. Our original visit to this hidden gem inspired my kids to design their own cardboard creations for their very own epic boat race. This activity has since become a beloved summer tradition in our family, and it’s something my kids look forward to each year!
Whenever a place sparks this much creativity, you know it’s special. And The Cardboard Boat Museum is someplace special. It’s a celebration of all things Cincinnati: the arts, the river, the community, and the charm.
The museum is open year-round on Saturdays, Sundays, and Tuesday evenings, and admission is by donation. Staffed entirely by volunteers, it’s a treat to hear the old timers talk about past regattas and the inspiration behind these winsome works of art.
The Cardboard Boat Museum, 311 Front St., New Richmond