If you’re interested in an educational afternoon activity, you’ll find a wealth of intriguing museums in and around Westerville, Ohio. These destinations can take you back through history, help you delve into new aspects of science, or offer up inspiring works of art. Whether you want a hands-on experience with experiments or a lesson in arts and crafts, there’s something on this list to suit your tastes. Start exploring these museums now.
Anti-Saloon League Museum
Image via Flickr by Thomas Cizauskas
110 S. State Street, Westerville, OH
The Anti-Saloon League was an active group between 1893 and 1933 that worked to take action against the making, sale, and consumption of alcohol. They promoted the Prohibition Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and worked beneath the motto, “The Saloon Must Go.” Due to their works, Westerville came to be known as the “The Dry Capital of the World.”
The Anti-Saloon League Museum highlights the history of prohibition in Westerville and the surrounding areas through a wide range of displays. The museum is attached to the Westerville Public Library.
Westerville History Center & Museum
110 S. State Street, Westerville, OH
Like the Anti-Saloon League Museum, the Westerville History Center & Museum is a part of the Westerville Public Library. This museum features a wide range of historical artifacts that illuminate the history of Westerville. As part of the Underground Railroad and home to the Westerville Whiskey Wars, this city has a great deal to offer those who are interested in its storied past.
Frank Museum of Art
39 South Vine Street, Westerville, OH
The Frank Museum of Art is part of Otterbein University, and it operates Wednesday through Saturday when school is in session. The museum features a vast collection of art from Japan, New Guinea, and Africa. A selection of rotating exhibits are typically on show as well. You can check the schedule for information on current exhibits as well as lectures and recitals taking place at the museum.
Myers Inn Museum
45 S. Street, Sunbury, OH
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Myers Inn Museum is home to the Big Walnut Historical Society and features a large collection of local memorabilia. In 1916, the house was home to Lawrence Myers, and in 1820 it became a stagecoach inn. Today, you can visit the historic building to see period dresses, historic art and artifacts, and Civil War exhibits. The barn beside the inn has intriguing highlights as well with a livery stable and blacksmith’s shop inside.
Ohio Craft Museum
1665 W. Fifth Avenue, Columbus, OH
The Ohio Craft Museum has a rotating display of permanent exhibits as well as five major exhibitions on show throughout each year. You can explore pieces crafted from clay, wood, fiber, glass, metal, and more. The museum also hosts a variety of workshops and special events, many of which cater to visitors of all ages. If you’re interested in taking stunning arts and crafts home, keep an eye on the museum’s calendar of annual fairs.
Nash House Museum
157 E. William Street, Delaware, OH
The Nash House Museum transports visitors back to the Victorian age when the original Slattery family lived here. You’ll find period pieces and accessories, reproduction wallpaper, and a construction that is nearly identical to the home’s 1878 form. The home retains its personality in myriad ways, down to the dents in the doorframes from Linnie Nash’s wheelchair. The museum is open to the public on Sundays and Wednesdays by reservation only.
333 West Broad Street, Columbus, OH
The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus turns education into an engaging adventure for visitors of all ages. Exhibits explore space, oceans, life, dinosaurs, progress, gadgets, and more. The Little Kidspace caters to the smallest of visitors with its tot-sized activities, while the Life exhibit hall caters to older visitors with its in-depth exploration of the human body. The on-site Atomic Cafe and Molecules Brews & Bites bar serve food and beverages so you can easily stay and play all day at COSI.
Central Ohio Fire Museum
260 N. Fourth Street, Columbus, OH
The Central Ohio Fire Museum is housed in a restored 1908 engine house. Visitors can check out fire apparatus that’s hand-drawn, horse-drawn, and motorized as they trace the history of firefighting. The museum focuses on providing fire safety education through guided tours. Contact the museum prior to your visit to make arrangements.
Early Television Museum
5396 Franklin Street, Hilliard, OH
The Early Television Museum spans 6,000 square feet and features more than 150 television sets. You can see mechanical TVs from the 1920s and 30s through early color sets of the 1950s. There are even televisions all the way from Britain. Many of the television sets still work, and visitors can operate them by pressing automated buttons beside the displays. You’ll find an extensive display of broadcast equipment in the museum as well, for a look at the setup on the opposite side of those early transmissions.
Jack Nicklaus Museum
2355 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH
Located in the sports complex at Ohio State University, the Jack Nicklaus Museum pays homage to this golf great. You’ll find immersive exhibits that cover his entire career. Explore photos, trophies, and mementos from his games which include 18 major championships and 100 worldwide professional games.
Groveport Village Heritage Museum
648 Main Street, Groveport, OH
The Groveport Heritage Museum is located in the Groveport Town Hall. This museum features exhibits that explore the opening of the Ohio and Erie Canal, local 19th century history, and the life of the so-called “Horse Whisperer” who successfully trained horses that others deemed unbreakable. Though small, this is an engaging spot that’s worth a stop as you’re exploring the surrounding area.
Did we include your favorite local museums on the list? If we missed any top destinations let us know so we can share your local discoveries with other families in the area! If your kids need something to do while you’re at work, the Creme de la Creme of Westerville, OH. daycare, childcare, and preschool services are here to help. We’ll make sure there’s always something engaging to enjoy!