More than 80 years ago, the Taft family bequeathed their stately home to the people of Cincinnati–and they also gave them plenty to hang on the walls. Home to the Taft's collection of 690 works of art, the Taft Museum welcomes visitors to view paintings by European and American masters, Chinese porcelains, European decorative arts, and captivating rotating exhibitions throughout the year. As they wander the museum, patrons view Rembrandt van Rijn's Portrait of a Man Rising from His Chair, Whistler's At The Piano, and John Singer Sargent's portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson, among other notable works.
The house itself is equally impressive. William Howard Taft accepted his nomination for President of the United States beneath the portico, and the structure, first built in 1820, is considered one of the country's finest examples of Federal architecture in the Palladian style.
The 1970s were a transformative time for the Cincinnati Reds. Over that decade, the Reds cast off the lingering shadows of controversy—the team's first NL Pennant and World Series title were overshadowed by the notorious "Black Sox" scandal—to become a dominant force in Major League Baseball. The Reds appeared in four Fall Classics during that stretch and won back-to-back titles in 1975 and 1976—the latter of which forever etched "The Big Red Machine" into baseball lore. Today, the Reds continue to build on their rich history at Great American Ball Park. There, fans can gaze the outfield walls and soak in views of the Ohio River and the hills of Northern Kentucky where Mr. Redlegs buys all of his mustache wax.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center narrates the story of slavery through the past and into the present with vivid photo- and artifact-filled exhibits. Learn about the houses, tunnels, and basements traversed by the more than an estimated 100,000 enslaved people who sought freedom on the Underground Railroad, before settling in for a 25-minute, experiential film detailing the courageous path of one woman’s flight to freedom. Recently opened in 2010, the 4,000 square foot Invisible: Slavery Today exhibit examines contemporary forms of enslavement, guiding guests through an informative and elucidating sensory experience. Concluding the tour, visitors can make a personal commitment to the 21st Century Abolitionists. Museum guests can also delve into their own family history in the genealogical archives where personalized assistance from a history buff volunteer will help steer your search through your family tree’s foliage.
Step inside the unassuming Victorian walls of Creativities' hands-on studio, where artists of all age levels and skill levels hone their crafting skills across a wide range of mediums. Give yourself or your youngsters some tactile stimulus through projects utilizing beads, clay ($3–$10), metal, wood ($3–$10), paper, textiles, and more. Once you cover the modest studio fee for each artist in your party ($8 per person for two hours), make yourself cozy anywhere in Creativities' comfortable reaches and become an insta-engineer by assembling a wooden train kit ($5), a ribbon expert with a ribbon headband ($10), or another type of expert craftsperson via the crafty items available for purchase in the store. Let your mind relax, and simply see where your hands, brains, and optional monocle take you. If you experience a creative block, or any other block-sensation, the friendly, artistic staffers will be happy to assist. If the muse strikes most at home, pick up a few supplies and relocate to your home kitchen, family room, or crafting dungeon.
Laura Paul Gallery is a boutique with two driving ambitions: to beautify abodes and to make special occasions special. Amplify your home’s aesthetics with original artwork or framing and interior-design services, or make housewarmings, weddings, or baby showers memorable and carefree with gifts or event-planning and personal-shopping services. Personalize any item, from overnight bags and cheeseboards to wax-molded wings, or pick up uniformly beloved gifts such as children’s toys and candles. Laura Paul herself may be on hand to help any befuddled buyer navigate the land of endless options as she applies her personal-shopping expertise to tricky gifting circumstances, such as what to get the clown who has every clown thing except a clown car big enough for 141 clowns.
The American Sign Museum dazzles peepers with its staggering collection of nearly 3,000 signs and sign-related objects. Admission for two (a $20 value; children under 12 are free) grants curious excursionists, postmodern art-lovers, and knowledge-thirsty bounty hunters a personally guided tour through a century’s worth of clearly labeled exhibits, including spinning Sputnik-like signs, opulent gilded specimens, and the samples used by salespeople. Witness scientific signage with a “changeable” neon sign that runs on radio waves, or surf through a sense-sating sea of sign-making tools, photographs, models, and artwork. Founder Tod Swormstedt leads most tours, doling out generous portions of knowledge on various signs’ histories and contributions to the American landscape.