'The Cave' to Reopen at the Cincinnati Museum Center After Two and a Half Years

"We’re excited to welcome our community to go caving once again.”

click to enlarge The Cave is reopening to the public. - Photo: Cincinnati Museum Center
Photo: Cincinnati Museum Center
The Cave is reopening to the public.

After a two-and-a-half year closure, a beloved Cincinnati attraction is reopening to the public.

The Cincinnati Museum Center's immersive exhibit The Cave is slated to open its cavernous passageways on Sept. 2.

The replica limestone cave was refreshed in 2019 as part of the CMC's larger $213 million restoration and then closed to the public due to the pandemic and for additional maintenance.

“The beauty of The Cave is that it truly connects you to the natural world around you in immersive, dynamic ways,” says Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of the CMC, in a release. “It remains one of our guests’ favorite exhibits and has been the one asked about most over the past two years of COVID pivots and recovery. After some necessary prudence and needed repairs, we’re excited to welcome our community to go caving once again.”

The Cave, which is partially modeled after Mammoth Cave, encompasses 500 feet of "narrow twists and turns across two levels," says the CMC.

"The exhibit features two trails, allowing guests of all abilities a chance to explore. The lower trail sends you shimmying through tight corridors and down narrow stairways, while the accessible upper trail offers spectacular overlooks and opportunities for discovery," reads the release.

Fans of subterranean critters can also see a collection of brown bats, crickets and fish outside the entrance.

A favorite of mini spelunkers and grown-ups alike, the museum says The Cave opened in the original Cincinnati Museum of Natural History in 1967 and was moved to Union Terminal in 1990 to be a part of the Cincinnati Museum Center. The natural history museum opened in the 1950s and was located where WCPO now stands, at the base of Mt. Adams. It has since been torn down.

The Cave is located in the CMC's Museum of Natural History & Science. Museum admission is $16.50 for adults and $12.50 for seniors and those ages 3-12. Members get in free.

The Cincinnati Museum Center is located at 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate. For more info, visit cincymuseum.org.

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