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“More Memorial than Museum”

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
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The Nati in a Nutshell Cincinnati Food Tour Including Carew Tower Entrance Fee
Ranked #9 of 183 things to do in Cincinnati
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Owner description: Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center stands as the nation's newest monument to freedom. It brings to life the importance - and relevance - of struggles for freedom around the world and throughout history, including today.
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“More Memorial than Museum”
Reviewed April 11, 2013

As a long time Cincinnati resident who likes museums, the Freedom Center has been on my to do list for a while. We finally went during a staycation, about noon on a weekday. To be honest, I was a little disappointed. Parking was easy, the building is beautiful with an amazing view of the river, and the price was appropriate.

You start with a movie made by about 3 different artists, but I felt the movie was more artsy than substantive. Also, I'm 5'3 and my knees touched the seat in front of me- I have no idea how taller people can sit in the theater. Anyway, my feelings on the movie pretty much sum up the rest of the museum- that the freedom center is more focused on art and acts more like a slavery memorial than actual museum that engrosses the audience in history.

The center does have a fascinating, reassembled slave pen and you can download a free app that will let you follow the exhibit along. But overall, I felt the exhibits lacked artifacts, interactions, and depth. Slavery is such a raw, emotional part of history, but I've been more moved and educated with a one hour documentary than I did with several hours at this center. Also, the movie about half way through has laughably bad acting.

No one but us and a school field trip were there. And from what I hear this museum has continued to take financial losses, only to be saved by the public and union terminal. Now I know why. Save your time and your money and go to union terminal.

Visited March 2013
2 Thank Stephanie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Detroit, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
224 reviews
107 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“large gift shop”
Reviewed April 10, 2013

a beautiful building on the outside, but too expensive for my family to take the tour. We visited the huge gift shop instead. Great variey of posters, books, artwork, jewerly, kids stuff, and the typical mugs.tshirts etc. Well staffed-I counted 3 employees, but not very quick to give customer service. I waited over 5 minutes in line to pay and I was the only person in line. Another employee didn't know the price of postcards "between 30 and 80 cents-each one is different" kind of frustrating

Visited April 2013
Thank Katherine L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
201 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Fascinating learning experience”
Reviewed April 7, 2013 via mobile

We spent several hours in this museum, and I could easily have spent more time. The exhibits are informative and well-presented. The history of slavery in America is covered extensively, but present day slavery is explored as well. For the low admission of $12 per adult, this museum covers a disturbing topic with great depth. A highly recommended visit if you are in the Cincinnati area.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Teri99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring Creek, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wrong name for this museum.”
Reviewed April 6, 2013

This is a beautiful museum, very interesting, and informative, but it is about slavery and not the underground railroad. The underground railroad was people working together to help slaves. Unfortunately this museum focused on slavery and didn't even mention people working to free slaves. I went through every room I came to and never saw anything about the underground railroad. I expected to see quilts that people used to direct slaves to safety, also how people changed their houses to hide the slaves. I wanted my children to learn about the horrors of slavery but also that people can make a difference in their world when they work together or step out of their comfort zone. Definitely not kid friendly, We had a group of 13 with young children, teens and adults.

Visited March 2013
Thank 989Lee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Sobering but very informative”
Reviewed April 6, 2013

Very well presented history of the Flight to Freedom. Good use of mixed media. Accessible to all ages. The exhibit on modern day slavery was very informative. Would highly recommend.

Visited April 2013
Thank momanddoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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