Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is a world-class treasure that has been inspiring visitors of all ages for generations, and it will continue to do so when it reopens this July.

The Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) welcomed over 1.8 million visitors in 2019, an attendance milestone in the first year after the historic Union Terminal restoration, and in the 200th anniversary year of the Museum of Natural History & Science.

Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center, says the increased attendance has been sparked by the fact that people have been excited to come back to Union Terminal to see it in all of its refined, restored glory. Also, they have been exhilarated by the way new exhibits are being displayed.

“We’ve had a great drumbeat of reasons to visit, and reasons to continue to celebrate the history and the science collections that this community has benefitted from for so long,” says Pierce.

Pre-COVID-19, crowds were thrilled to visit Dinosaur Hall, which showcases incredible specimens, and the “Cincinnati in Motion” gallery in its refreshed and renewed space. Patrons have also discovered new content in the Robert D. Lindner Family Omnimax Theater, and explored new, notable exhibitions.

While its doors closed temporarily in March due to the pandemic, Cincinnati Museum Center has continued to offer a wide variety of virtual opportunities through its website and social media platforms. Resources are available for all ages. “Museum on Tap” is one popular program for adults, while “Wonder Zone” brings experiments and museum experiences into visitors’ homes. More than 200,000 people have engaged with CMC through the various digital opportunities.

CMC has been following the directives of Governor Mike DeWine and local officials, and Pierce says CMC is anticipating reopening on July 17.

As its reopening date draws nearer, the museum is gearing up for new and featured exhibitions, which will debut later this summer and into the fall. Two new permanent galleries are being added in the Museum of Natural History & Science—“Shaping Our City” and “You Are Here.”

“What you are going to see as we roll out new permanent galleries in the History Museum… are really deep ways to appreciate how we work, live and play in this community, and how has the geography of this area and then innovation shaped how we continue to live here?” Pierce says.

“Maya: The Exhibition” is also making its United States debut at CMC. The exhibition will allow guests to immerse themselves in Mayan culture through over 300 original artifacts. The pieces detail daily life, religion, politics and innovations of the Mayan people. The exhibit design features the civilization’s iconic stepped pyramids and the vibrant colors of Mayan artwork. The exhibition will remain on display through December of 2020.

“‘Maya: The Exhibition’ is spectacularly beautiful. People are going to love it. It is amazing. It is in collaboration with the national museums in Guatemala. The artifacts that they have lent to us are breathtaking, and they give such incredible detail of carvings…The objects are unbelievable, and people are going to be blown away when they walk through,” Pierce says.