A visit to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio is a must.
The content of the museum is not easy to face, but it’s important for all ages and races to learn more about freedom’s heroes.
I’m sharing 10 reasons why you will definitely want to visit.
1. It’s a reminder not to forget the injustices of the past
As painful as it is to read about the horrific experiences that people suffered from being forced into slavery, we need to know their stories so that history does not repeat itself.
The museum has both permanent exhibits and special exhibitions giving you an excuse to visit more often.
2. You’ll learn about everyday heroes that you didn’t know existed
Many of the heroes that you read about at the museum might not be very well known, but each of their stories was vital to bringing change.
Many of these heroes risked their own freedom to help others find theirs including Levi and Catharine Coffin.
3. You can step inside a former slave pen that is now used as an opportunity to educate
The slave pen gives you a frame of reference for what slaves experienced and really gives you greater understanding and empathy for what the slaves experienced.
Built in the early 1800s, the slave pen was recovered from a farm in Mason County, Kentucky, located less than 60 miles from the Freedom Center.
4. The docents at the museum powerfully bring history to life
Their phenomenal ability to share stories with visual aids really helps you in trying to process what slavery would have been like.
5. You will gain a better understanding of the underground railroad and its multifaceted logistics that were necessary to make an escape possible
The museum does a great job of helping visitors feel some of the emotions and get a sense of the surroundings that someone escaping slavery would experience.
One of the exhibits allows you to step inside a home with secret hiding spaces used as a safe haven for freedom seekers traveling along the underground railroad.
6. The short films at the museum will challenge us to see things through the eyes of a slave
There is a short film about the underground railroad called “Brothers of the Brotherland” that is narrated by Oprah Winfrey that inspired me to visit Ripley, Ohio.
I immediately wanted to plan a trip to Ripley, Ohio after watching the film because I wanted to see those locations in person and learn more about the backstory of Rev. Rankin and John Parker.
7. You need to be reminded that there are still injustices going on in the world today
Once you are aware of the injustices you can’t turn a blind eye any longer.
“Invisible: Slavery Today” is the world’s first museum-quality permanent exhibition on the subject of human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
Unfortunately, the work to end slavery around the world is not finished.
There are still 27 + million who suffer from being forced into slavery for sex or labor, and many of these victims are children.
That means that there are more slaves on the planet now than ever before.
This stat from the museum website is really eye-opening!
“On average it costs $90 to buy a person today. In 1850, the cost of a slave (in today’s dollars) was $35,000.”
What if this were your sister, your brother, your son, or your daughter?
8. You will be challenged to live differently when you learn what you can do to help
You’ll learn how your actions can help and bring freedom to others.
Once you have this knowledge, you won’t want to live the same way.
You can learn how to become a better ally and support businesses and non-profits dedicated to bringing social justice.
9. The museum is conveniently located close to other attractions and the Riverfront
You can park once and find restaurants, parks, and other attractions within close walking proximity. The streetcar also stops near the museum.
Make sure that you step onto the deck with the eternal flame while you are at the museum for another great perspective of downtown and Smale Riverfront Park.
10 The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is FREE on Martin Luther King Jr Day
This is the perfect day to visit the National Underground Freedom Center as we honor the work that Martin Luther King Jr did to bring change.
Whether you have visited the museum before or it’s your first time, you can learn a lot from your visit each time that you go.
It’s a little more crowded because of the FREE admission but I still think it’s worth going.
My family has enjoyed going as an annual reminder to never forget!
Additional Days When You can Visit The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for FREE
Thanks to the Fifth Third Foundation you can enjoy free admission to The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on the following days
- The 5th and 3rd Sunday of each month
- Martin Luther King Day
- Juneteenth – June 19th
*You can reserve your tickets online or in person.
National Underground Freedom Center Parking
You have several options for parking. There is some limited street parking near the museum.
I would suggest using The Central Riverfront Parking Garage at the Banks (closest) or The Fountain Square Parking Garage (a few blocks).
Check out the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on their website.
Where is the National Underground Freedom Center Located?
The National Underground Freedom Center is located at 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
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2 thoughts on “10 Reasons to Visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati”
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the museum! We’re lucky to have this place in our city. FYI, the general phone number is 513-333-7739