The Cincinnati Museum Center is known as a one-stop destination for museums, special exhibits and plenty of programs and events. One of the biggest new exhibits coming to the Museum Center is “Science of Sports.” Opening May 23, this exhibit will give people of all ages the chance to play sports while learning about the science behind their actions.

Visitors will get to balance on a 10 centimeter-wide balance beam, throw a baseball the regulation 60 feet and 6 inches, and play basketball, hockey, soccer and volleyball using green screens. There is also a 10-meter dash in which participants can race against each other, an Olympic athlete, a dinosaur or a cheetah. Rowing competitions are also available, as are sport wheelchair races. “It’s not a typical exhibit that we have here in the sense that there are no artifacts in the exhibit,” says Media Relations Manager Cody Hefner. “There’s nothing in cases, nothing behind glass.” The exhibit is all about what the visitor makes of it. 

While the exhibit will be fun for kids, Hefner anticipates it being entertaining for parents, too. “It’ll be a lot of fun for parents to challenge their kids,” he says. “I know I’m excited to go down there to see how fast I can throw a baseball!” 

Younger children can enjoy “Science of Sports,” as well, with a special section designed for preschoolers. This portion of the exhibit includes foam barbells and costumes. “It focuses on safety for young children, but also taking everything and shrinking it down so that it’s accessible to their size and their age,” Hefner says. However, young visitors will still be able to enjoy the activities in the rest of the exhibit. 

Each station has information on the science behind the sport, providing a learning opportunity while kids play. “I think this really hits that age group that has just outgrown the Children’s Museum, that is either losing interest in science or that is getting a little more advanced interest,” says Hefner. “You can really push yourself to get more out of it or you can just pick up bits and pieces of science as you’re having a great time.” 

This exhibit is timely, given that Cincinnati is hosting the All-Star Game this year. Accompanying “Science of Sports” is “Queen City Baseball: Diamonds and Stars,” a temporary exhibit showcasing memorabilia from the Reds and its predecessor, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The exhibit will feature financial records from the early days of the Reds, as well as handwritten schedules from the 1869 inaugural season of the Red Stockings. “It’s a very nostalgic exhibit,” says Hefner, “because no sports fans know their history better than baseball fans.” 

In addition to these special exhibits, the Cincinnati Museum Center has exhibits in the Children’s Museum, the Cincinnati History Museum, and the Museum of Natural History and Science; an OMNIMAX Theater; the Geier Collections and Research Center; and the Cincinnati History Library and Archives, all housed in historic Union Terminal.