History is like Frankenstein's monster: the right education, a large body of artifacts exhumed from the earth, and an electrical storm are all it takes to make it come alive. Learn from the past with today's Groupon: for $8, you get two adult admissions to the Ohio Historical Center in Columbus (a $16 value).
As the headquarters for the Ohio Historical Society, the Ohio Historical Center is dedicated to preserving, displaying, and interpreting eras of the state's history and prehistory. It maintains permanent exhibits such as Ohio: Centuries of Change, which chronicles the state from its admission to the Union through the 1970s, and The Nature of Ohio, which flexes chiseled memory muscles even harder to examine natural artifacts from as far back as the Ice Age. Running until the end of the year, The American Soldier: A Photographic Tribute from the Civil War to Iraq floods eyeballs and hearts with 100 enlarged photographs of the beauty, danger, frustration, and camaraderie of soldiers' physical and metaphysical battles of the past 150 years. Researchers and genealogists can also make use of the Ohio Historical Center's archives library to prove or disprove claims of Sasquatch ancestry.
The Ohio Historical Center allows memory preservers to capture the exhibits with flashless cameras, video cameras, and butterfly nets for personal use only.
Ohio Historical Center
The headquarters of the nonprofit Ohio Historical Society, the Ohio Historical Center abounds with exhibits and activities that showcase the state's diverse social, natural, and archeological history. Built in 1970, the museum's towering Brutalist edifice is a piece of history itself, lauded as "bold" and "imaginative” by the American Institute of Architects. Inside, a 15,000-square-foot gallery explores pivotal moments in the Buckeye State’s past, examining everything from Ohio’s role in the Civil War to Boomer Esiason’s stint as Secretary of State. A natural-history exhibit regales guests with interactive displays of animals, plants, and geography. In addition to its permanent exhibits, the center hosts an ever-changing selection of featured exhibits and special events.
Outside the museum sits Ohio Village, a re-creation of a Civil War–era town. Costumed villagers bustle about the square, performing chores and activities of the era, such as churning butter and checking wooden PalmPilots. The town's 15 buildings showcase the height of 19th-century architecture and include a Gothic-revival church, a large town hall, and an open market. The village is also the home of the renowned Ohio Village Muffins, who regularly compete in games of baseball played by 19th-century rules.