FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
Wines on the Wing

The American Sign Museum

by Holly Riddle

Mar 15, 2018

© The Enquirer/ Liz Dufour

Travel Tips

Looking for a fun museum to take the kids, somewhere out of the ordinary, where both parents and children can remain engaged?

Cincinnati’s American Sign Museum checks all the boxes. The homage to American signage is on the small side, meaning short attention spans won’t have hours to complain of boredom, but the flashing lights, moving parts and elaborate displays are enough to keep anyone enthralled.

With 20,000 feet of indoor space, you can choose to walk through the museum or take a small group tour, like I did. The guides do their best to give you a thorough overage of the museum’s features, with plenty of humor and interesting fun facts. The exhibits cover more than 100 years of American sign history, showing off the progression from wooden and glass signs from the late 1800s through the neon era to the regional barn signs to those from the 1970s.

I have to admit — I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I showed up for my tour, but it wasn’t the discovery that signage history can be, in fact, riveting. The most interesting area of the museum is Main Street USA, which displays various signs in all their neon glory, many requiring you to crane your neck back to take in the full effect. Walk along Main Street and you’ll see mock storefronts displaying all kinds of interesting signs from every era.

If you’re lucky, the on-site neon shop will be open during your visit and you can walk right in to get a glimpse at how neon signs are made (it’s probably not how you expect!).

The American Sign Museum hosted a sneak preview on Saturday. It opens to the public on June 23. The Enquirer/ Joseph Fuqua II American Sign Metro Saturday June 2, 2012: People tour and take pictures of sign exhibits during the Sneak Preview Grand Opening at the American Sign Museum Saturday June 2, 2012 in Camp Washington.

© The Enquirer/ Joseph Fuqua II

One aspect of the museum I found appealing (and most children would as well) is just how accessible all of the exhibits are. The signs aren’t hidden away behind glass or out of reach. You could walk right up and touch the majority of the signs on display (though it’s not exactly recommended). There’s also so much to take in — it could take hours upon hours to notice all the little details of the almost endless array of signage displayed on the walls, the ceiling, everywhere. You’ll for sure notice all the big brands, but you’ll also possibly see some signs that surprise you (for example, did you know church signs were once made in bright, Las Vegas-esque neon?).

The tours last about an hour, and cover almost every inch of the small museum, with time at the end to get photos with your favorite signs and explore anything that particularly caught your eye, up close and personal. Plus, guided tours are included in your ticket price ($14 for adults, free for children 12 and under) and no reservations are needed. Just show up at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m., Wednesday–Saturday, or 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Even if you don’t have children, you’ll still enjoy the American Sign Museum and the often-overlooked history it contains. Before you visit, check the museum’s website. They offer many events throughout the year, and you can catch a musical performance, workshop or comedy.

#WhereverFamily

Insta Feed
North America
Feb 23, 2024

Easter Brunch, Egg Hunts, Bunny Pics and More at Camelback Resort

Make this Easter the best yet and take your family to Camelback Resort. With the holiday quickly approaching, Camelback gears up for a weekend filled with family fun and Easter festivities — perfect for family travelers.

Interior Upgrades Begin Rolling Out Across United Fleet

United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.

Destinations
Feb 23, 2024

6 Spring Break Destinations for Families in 2024

Spring break is a great time for family travel, and these six destinations might be the inspiration you need for this year’s getaway.

Destinations / Asia
Feb 22, 2024

Don’t Miss These Family-Friendly Attractions in Tokyo

Tokyo is a fascinating city that draws visitors for many reasons. Some go for the city’s exceptional cuisine, some look to experience a city teeming with technical innovations, while others go to discover Japan’s fascinating culture. But one theme seems to be constant no matter what your reason for visiting the city; it is a great place for family travelers, with plenty to see and do.

Make the Most of Hamad International Airport When Transferring

Making travel plans can be exciting; did you know planning on how to spend time at the airport the right way can enrich the overall trip experience? As a transfer hub, traveling through Doha's Hamad International Airport is a unique experience, as waiting never feels like waiting at one of the best airports in the world.

Parents
Feb 22, 2024

Tiny Traveler: A Safer Way to Travel with a Baby

Are your upcoming family travels taking you on a road trip? It’s not always easy trying to keep an eye on the little ones while also keeping an eye on the road, but with Tiny Traveler, parents can have peace of mind about their child's safety on the road. This safe companion monitors the kids and can even record precious moments for eternity.