Cincinnati Observatory to Reopen to the Public for Limited Hours and Tours

There's a limit of 12 guests per tour. Reservations must be made and paid for in advance and face masks are encouraged.

click to enlarge The Cincinnati Observatory - Photo: Brittany Thornton
Photo: Brittany Thornton
The Cincinnati Observatory


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on June 4 that museums and other public entertainment venues could begin reopening on June 10. A few weeks since the announcement, Cincinnati’s museums and historical centers have started to welcome back visitors.

Starting July 7, one of Cincinnati’s most notable attractions, the Cincinnati Observatory, will be opening its doors to the public for the first time since closing on March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The historic observatory, known for being the first public observatory on this side of the world, will be open for visitors on Tuesdays and Thursdays with tours starting at noon and ending at 4 p.m.

“The tours are held at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., and will include both of the Observatory’s buildings and two main telescopes, including the Mitchel scope, the oldest public telescope still in use in this hemisphere. Weather permitting, there will also be the opportunity for safe solar viewing during the tours,” states the observatory’s website.

The return of the tours will see safety guidelines regarding the COVID-19 enforced, with a limit of 12 guests per tour. Visitors wanting to take one of the tours are encouraged to wear face masks to ensure the safety of all guests, employees and volunteers.

Tours are $5 per person and must be reserved and paid in advance online. The observatory will not be accepting walk-ins for tours in order to maintain capacity and social distancing. 

Online space classes are still being held. Upcoming events include space trivia, Intro to Astronomy and Constellation Mythology. Get dates, times, costs and register at cincinnatiobservatory.org/events.

Visits will be a welcome return for connoisseurs of science and Cincinnati history. However, the tours of the buildings are just a fraction of what the Cincinnati Observatory provides for curious people in the city. Heavily supportive of STEM education within local K-12 schools, the observatory offers educational programs and outreach to local groups and institutions to educate young people interested in astronomy and all things science. 

To learn more about the Cincinnati Observatory, visit cincinnatiobservatory.org.


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