Sound the alarm! The Cincinnati Fire Museum is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Housed in the historic City Firehouse, Engine House #45 the museum is home to one of the best collections of firefighting artifacts in the country.
The Cincinnati Fire Museum is listed on the National Historic Registry and allows visitors to experience what everyday life was like in the firehouse during 1906. Take a guided tour or stroll through the museum at your leisure and take in the deep-rooted history of fire fighting in our city.
The History Of The Cincinnati Fire Museum
Did you know that Cincinnati had the first paid professional fire department in the nation and became a model for other fire departments? How about that the first female firefighters in Cincinnati weren’t hired until 1984? The museum is full of interesting facts and even more fascinating history about fire fighting in Cincinnati.
Stepping into the old fire station it’s signature fire pole greets you. Guests even have the opportunity to slide down it. Many items in the museum date back to the early 1800s and are in pristine condition. The leather fire buckets are most impressive along with the fire drum dating back to 1808! Guests can’t help but marvel at the antique fire engines and full-size live-saving trampoline.
Take note of the building itself. See where the fire hoses were hung to dry, where the hay came down to feed the horses and the gorgeous spiral staircase leading up to the second floor.
A Plethora Of Information
Did you know that on average a U.S. Fire Department responds to a fire every 23 seconds or on average fire claims the lives of nine people daily? The Cincinnati Fire Museum does a terrific job of highlighting fire safety facts and offers plenty of resources for families to take home. In addition, a visit to the Cincinnati Fire Museum has a direct bearing on fire-related health risks and their prevention.
Another intriguing fact is that the first recorded fire in the Cincinnati area was the “Goudy’s Fire” in 1794. The fire started as a small brush fire that spread over 100 acres, however, firefighting efforts in the city weren’t established until 1802. The fire museum brings to life all the momentous occasions to remembering those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
The museum does have a few interactive exhibits that little ones will enjoy. You little firefighter will get the chance to run the lights and siren in the E-One Pumper cab, pump water to put a “fire” out, then after that, they can test out their fire safety skills in the Safe House. In addition, kids get the opportunity to slide down the fire pole and sit in the tiller bucket of an aerial ladder.
The museum not only houses tons of artifacts but it also goes into the daily life of the firefighters who served the city. What a typical day was like, the expectations, and what they wore. A collection of hats, gear, boots, and a variety of medals are on display that offers a glimpse into the life of a firefighter. In addition, take time to read the stories about the firefighters who made a significant impact on Cincinnati and fire fighting across the world.
Making your way through the museum there are fascinating pieces of history in every nook and cranny. Don’t miss the exhibit that discusses the Firefighters Radio Program which helped implemented important fire safety measures in homes and businesses across the US.
Tips For Visiting The Cincinnati Fire Museum
- The fire museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am-4 pm.
- Guided tours for adults and children are available. The museum asks for you to call ahead and RSVP for guided tours. Take the guided tour if you can. It will bring the whole museum to life.
- A self-guided tour with a child will often result in a very quick walk-through of the museum. I would say 15-20 minutes. A half-hour max, if you can’t pull them away from running the lights and siren. Depending on the interest, adults would likely spend an hour reading history and signage.
- The museum has a fun little gift shop with firefighter themed gifts.
- Yearly passes are available for purchase online or in the museum.
- The museum often has promotional admission tickets on Groupon. Be sure to check to save your family a little money.
Where Is The Cincinnati Fire Museum and Parking
The address for The Cincinnati Fire Museum is located at 315 West Court Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Parking is located on the street or in the paid parking lot directly across the street from the museum. However, the majority of street parking is metered.
One thing that stood out is the affordability of their party room. They offer a Junior Firefighter package of $175 that includes room rental and admission to the museum for up to 15 people. You can bring in your own food, beverage, and decorations. They do rent the room out for other occasions as well.
Did you know that on average a U.S. Fire Department responds to a fire every 23 seconds or on average fire claims the lives of nine people daily? The Cincinnati Fire Museum does a terrific job of highlighting fire safety facts and offers plenty of resources for families to take home.
Another intriguing fact is that the first recorded fire in the Cincinnati areas was the “Goudy’s Fire” in 1794. The fire started as a small brush fire that spread over 100 acres. Firefighting efforts weren’t established until 1802.
Firefighter Museum Thoughts
In conclusion, this museum is ideal for history buffs and those looking for something outside of the ordinary to do. The antique photos, equipment, and artifacts are impressive.
I personally would not recommend taking young toddlers down as there is not much for them to do and you end up chasing them away from exhibits they can’t touch. I think the ideal age for the fire museum is ages 4-and-up unless you have a young fire truck enthusiast.
Go down and support this local museum, you won’t regret it.
More Great Things To Do In Downtown Cincinnati
Visit The Greater Cincinnati Firefighters Memorial Park located at 537 Central Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45202. The park is dedicated to all the men and women who have served the community in the role of a Firefighter.
A great spot to grab lunch after visiting the Cincinnati Fire Museum is the Fiery Hen. Nashville Hot Chicken sandwiches are what they are famous for, however, they have plenty of other options on the menu.
Another fun museum to explore in Cincinnati is the UnMuseum. The UnMuseum is the interactive exhibits on display at the Contemporary Art Center. The Contemporary Art Center offers free admission.
Rainy weather can often put a damper on plans. Be sure to read our Indoor Date Night Ideas in Cincinnati.
Explore downtown Cincinnati by using the Street Car. Plan out your own custom Cincinnati Street Car Tour or use one of ours. Head over to our Cincinnati Streetcar Tours.
Cincinnati Fire Museum