Ohio’s rich history, scenic landscape, and wonderful communities are three of the top reasons visitors flock to the state, especially in the summer. But Ohio also has a number of fantastic, and unique, museums that are worth a trip any time of year. If you are traveling to Ohio, or even if you live here, here are 10 “Only in Ohio” museums you don’t want to miss.
A Christmas Story House and Museum (Cleveland)
This is the real house that was featured in everyone’s favorite Christmas movie. A Christmas Story House is open for public tours year-round. Across the street you will find the official museum, containing props, costumes, and other memorabilia. Yes, you can purchase your own Major Award Leg Lamp marked “FRAGILE.”
Toy and Plastic Brick Museum (Bellaire)
LEGO Darth Vader and LEGO Bart Simpson are just two of the life-sized plastic characters you will find at the Toy and Plastic Brick Museum, aka the “Unofficial LEGO Museum of the Ohio Valley.” Check the website for hours, and call first if you are part of a large group.
Mazza Museum of International Art from Picture Books (Findlay)
According to its website, “the Mazza Museum is the largest museum of original artwork by children’s book illustrators in the world.” The entire collection changes at least once per year, so plan a visit every time you are passing through Northwest Ohio.
National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame (Euclid)
Cleveland-style polka is a Slovenian-American form of the popular central European style of music. The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame is located near where the fusion style was born back in 1900. It contains artifacts, a library, and a video collection that traces polka history.
Marietta Soda Museum (Marietta)
Take a trip back in time at Southeast Ohio’s Marietta Soda Museum, which pays homage to all things soda (particularly Coke). It’s fun just to look around, but for the full experience, plan your trip around a visit to the lunch counter.
Greater Cleveland Slow Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and Museum (Euclid)
Its name may be a mouthful, but the Greater Cleveland Slow Pitch Softball Hall of Fame and Museum is worth a visit for all softball, and Cleveland, enthusiasts. The exhibits on display chronicle the history of slow pitch softball and Ohio’s place in it.
Trapshooting Hall of Fame (Vandalia)
If fringe sports are your thing, you will definitely want to spend some time in the Trapshooting Hall of Fame. They are also adding a museum, scheduled to open soon.
Merry-Go-Round Museum (Sandusky)
Everyone can be a kid again at the Merry-Go-Round Museum. Dedicated to the history of the amusement and carousel industry, the museum exhibits antique tools and memorabilia including carving shop tools and amusement park artifacts.
Snook’s Dream Cars (Bowling Green)
Not your ordinary automobile museum, Snook’s Dream Cars features antique cars presented in scenes including a 1940s era Texaco station. All of the cars in the museum are still working, and it isn’t unusual to see one of the Snooks (Bill and his son Jeff) driving one around town of an afternoon.
Robbins Crossing Historical Village (Nelsonville)
Run by students and community volunteers, Robbins Crossing is an 1850s-era village located on the Hocking College campus. Visitors get a taste of what life was like in the 19th century as they tour restored shops and homes.