5 Most Fascinating Museums in Akron
Akron is home to some of the most unique and fascinating museums in Northeast Ohio. From art and history to planes, automobiles, and hands-on fun for kids, you can find a museum in the area that will interest everyone. Here’s a quick look at a few of the most popular Akron area museums.
Akron Art Museum
“20120423 15 Art Museum, Market & High Sts., Arkon, Ohio” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by davidwilson1949
The goal of the Akron Art Museum is to enrich lives through modern and contemporary art. This museum showcases national, international, and regional artists and their art. It first opened in 1850 and was run entirely by volunteers until 1924, when they hired the first professional director. Over the next 100 years, the museum continued to grow and evolve, and it now features a collection that includes a wide variety of art that spans three centuries.
Some of the exhibits you can currently see at the museum include:
Mouse House Party
This exhibit is a collective commission project from Liz Maugans. It has over 150 pieces and continues to grow, featuring the work of Northeast Ohio artists. Maugans conceived the idea during the pandemic, and it offers local artists an opportunity to share their work whether they created it during the pandemic or before.
Continuum: Historical Resonance in Contemporary Art
Explore a combination of the old and new with this exhibit. Artist Diana Al-Hadid crosses cultures and disciplines with her pieces and draws from different histories. The large-scale sculptures blend different architectural elements, and the three-dimensional wall panels showcase her brushwork.
The 10,000 Things
You won’t find the 10,000 Things exhibit inside the museum. This unique display is at the museum’s latest outdoor exhibition. The beautiful pieces are all inspired by traditional Chinese painting combined with Japanese anime and manga, and you can also see hits of modern video games and comics.
Akron Fossils & Science Center
The Akron Fossils & Science Center is a unique museum and hands-on experience for all ages. You’ll find it in Copley, Ohio, where there are two different educational experiences to explore. The first is the Fossils and Science center, where hands-on activities are designed to explore general science from the past, present, and future. The Creation Education Museum is the branch with programs and activities to explore theories about the origins of the universe.
The center offers guided tours such as:
The Fossil Fun Tour. The fossils at this museum are not behind glass cases. They are open, so you can touch and hold real fossils to learn from them.
Fossil Replica Making Tour. Take this tour to make a replica of a trilobite to take home.
The Animal Adventures Tour. This takes you through the live animal collection, where you can interact with our animals. Learn how to feed and take care of snakes, guinea pigs, and turtles, and even come up close to a Madagascar hissing cockroach.
After your tour, head outside to the 2-acre outdoor park. The kids can play on the 60-foot giant slide, take a ride on the helicopter swing, and go on the old-fashioned merry-go-round. There’s also a mini-challenge course and a 200-foot zip line if anyone is looking for a little adventure.
Akron Children’s Museum
Bring the kids to the Akron Children’s Museum, where they can play and explore while learning. There are all kinds of exhibits here for kids of all ages.
Some exhibits they can enjoy include Farm to Table, where the kids can pick apples off the trees, pick vegetables from the garden, and gather eggs from the chicken coops. They can bring the food to the farmers market to sell it to the other kids and then use their money to buy other items they want. Grammies’ Kitchen is the last stop in this exhibit where they put on their chef’s hat and make a delicious meal with all their goodies.
Other exhibits include Wind & Air, Jumbo Blocks, and Derbytown. There’s also the Baby Zone for the little ones and the music garden outside where they can make their own music.
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Spend an afternoon exploring the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. This museum offers self-guided tours of the Stan Hywet Estate. Hywet was one of the co-founders of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and built a large home on the west side of Akron. The 65-room Tudor revival manor house is an impressive home, and the estate also includes the gate lodge and the historic gardens.
All indoor tours are self-guided, but you can take a guided outdoor history tour. This experience highlights the domestic staff that lived on the estate and provides information about the builders who constructed the buildings. You can also take the gardens, gate lodge, and Corbin Conservatory tour to learn more about the outside spaces while enjoying the gardens at your own pace.
MAPS Air Museum
Take the short drive to North Canton to visit the MAPS Air Museum. This museum celebrates the heroes of aviation with a broad collection of aircraft, military vehicles, munitions, and more. During your visit to the MAPS Air Museum, make sure to check out the Medal of Honor display, where you can see the extensive collection of displays honoring Ohioans who have received the Medal of Honor.
The Military Vehicle Collection includes several vehicles used by the U.S. Military, such as the M725 ambulance, the M62 5-ton Wrecker, and the Willy MD 1/4-Ton 4×4. The extensive aircraft collection includes aircraft from several eras and wars, such as the Pioneer era from 1903-1914, the World War I era from 1914-1918, and the Golden Age era from 1918-1939.
All these museums are either in Akron or just a short drive away. When you need a reliable vehicle to get you around town to the Akon museums and outside the city when you want to visit some of the nearby attractions, make sure to stop by North Coast Auto Mall to find your next used car or truck. You’ll find us at 1875 Brittain Road in Akron, Ohio.