SPMH Tours of Music Hall

"Fascinating!" "Fabulous tour guides" "A must see for all who live here!" These are just a few of the many favorable reviews given by everyone who has taken the SPMH Tour featuring the architecture of Cincinnati's historic Music Hall . As you patiently await the grand re-opening following renovation of Cincinnati's historic Music Hall, take a stroll around Music Hall's exterior, get a close look at structural details and hear fascinating, unpublished stories about the people who built it. In every tour, knowledgeable volunteer program guides share stories and anecdotes on the structure's history and fabulous architecture, design construction, people who helped make it happen, along with the cultural and society of the neighborhood in 1878. Everyone who experiences an SPMH Tour gains new insight into why Cincinnati Music Hall truly merits its designation as a community event gathering place and one of the best and most beautiful concert theaters in the world.

Details for SPMH Tours
SPMH Tour of Music Hall

The popular Outdoor Walking Tours are held Saturdays from 10:00am to 11:30am and Thursdays from 4:00pm to 5:30pm. As Music Hall is closed during revitalization, tours are entirely outdoors, rain or shine. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and sunscreen, hat and sunglasses are recommended. No pets - no alcohol, but bring bottled water. And individuals under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian. While we are happy to make reasonable accommodations for all people, tours are not recommended for very young children or people for whom walking is difficult. Check out the Frequently Asked Questions page for more details.

Coming in November 2017 - Tours taking you through the ''new'' Cincinnati Music Hall! You'll see the renovations that have taken place in public and private areas, including backstage. Tickets will be available in early to mid October.

Walking Tour Fees and Special Offers

For outdoor tours: tickets must be purchased in advance and are $20 per person. Group discounts are available:

  • $18 per ticket when you purchase 5 or more tickets together
  • $15 per ticket when you purchase 10 or more tickets together
  • Group Rates are available for 15 guests or more
  • Discounts are available for school groups, based on financial need
Members of the the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce, SPMH, and Certified Tourism Ambassadors receive 10% off their tickets. Follow Music Hall on Facebook for announcements on special offers.

A Special ''Smokin' Thursday'' Offer

Top off your tour with a reservation for ''Smokin' Thursday'' dinner at The Symphony Hotel. Bring your SPMH Tour ticket and receive a complimentary side dish/per person offered on their menu! You can also save your ticket, make a future Smokin' Thursday reservation and receive a complimentary side dish/per person.

A Special ''Pic-Tou'' Offer

Enhance your touring event with a visit to one of the nearby restaurants within walking distance of Washington Park, or make it special with a picnic lunch delivered in the park! Pre-order your special picnic lunch from Revolution Rotisserie or Bottle & Basket, or stop in and receive a discount off the full menu. Proof of tour purchase is required. NOTE: Adult refreshments are not permitted on the tour, but are available after the tour at the Deck in Washington Park.

SPMH Speaker Series

SPMH Speaker Series Presentations are designed to be held at your location. Each is about 1-hour long, features images and information about Music Hall, and can be somewhat tailored according to the audience. Currently there are four topics available for presentation:

Evolution of an Icon
Cincinnati Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark, is living history. Learn how Cincinnati Music Hall, came to be and discover why it was the envy of the Great Midwest in the 19th-century. Discover its unique role in Cincinnati's history reflecting the spirit of the past and present, when culture and commerce went hand-in-glove, as it serves as the cornerstone of the 21st-century renaissance of Cincinnati's historic heart.

Music Hall 360
This presentation takes the audience on a 360-degree, around-the-building view of Cincinnati Music Hall's history and fabulous architecture. Explore garrets, turrets, gables, insets and nooks. Learn about Music Hall's design construction, architectural styles and the cultural neighborhood of 1878. Historians, architecture enthusiasts and adventurers alike will gain new insight into why Cincinnati Music Hall truly merits its designation as one of the best and most beautiful venues in the world.

Music Hall in Pictures: A Virtual Tour
Cincinnati's Music Hall was built in 1878 as a multipurpose facility for the May Festival and exhibition center for technology, agriculture, and the arts. It has been a national treasure and a community and cultural center for 138 years. Discover the unique history and take a virtual tour of the hall's evolution over the years.

Pulling Out All the Stops: Music Hall's Mighty Organs
Visit 19th century Cincinnati, ''the city that sings'' and learn about Music Hall's 6 organs, including the first, the Hook & Hastings, which, at the time it was built, was considered the largest and best organ in the country. Can you imagine over 6,000 pipes or a pipe organ's bellows run by water? More recently, a renewed interest in authentic theater and classical pipe organs led to the restoration of the famed ''Mighty Wurlitzer'' Albee Theatre organ, now housed in Music Hall's Ballroom. Hear the organs' stories of triumph and defeat, of loss and renewal!

Speaker Series Fees

Information on cost is available by calling (513) 744-3293 or

SPMH In-School Program
(coming in 2017)

The Society for the Preservation of Music Hall (SPMH) in partnership with the Cincinnati Arts Association is committed to supporting educators and enriching the classroom experience with opportunities for students to learn the rich history of one of their city's most significant icons and National Historic Landmark - Cincinnati Music Hall.

Designed with 21st Century Skills and curriculum requirements in mind, the Music Hall in-school curriculum entertains and inspires with customized lessons that relate to multiple subject areas and to life experiences. This program, led by SPMH-trained docents, combines vivid storytelling and hands-on activities to teach the unique history of our city's cultural and industrial past and the prominent role Music Hall has played in the history of Cincinnati.

This in-school program is recommended for third- and fourth-grade students and runs approximately two hours.

In-School Program Fee and Scheduling

The in-school program costs $175.00. For information, resources, and to schedule a classroom visit the Cincinnati Arts Association website. You can also call (513) 744-3293 or contact us

All tour fees support the efforts of SPMH - The Society for the Preservation of Music Hall, a non-profit 501(c)(3), to help secure Music Hall for future generations. See a list of many of the SPMH Accomplishments.


Don't miss out - hear unpublished stories and architectural gems about Cincinnati's historic Music Hall on an SPMH Tour of Music Hall. Purchase tickets online or by calling (513) 621-2787 [ARTS].

Group Rates available for 15 guests or more! Book a tour for your group by calling (513)744-3293 or

SPMH is recruiting volunteers! Find out more.

When Music Hall reopens in October, indoor tours will resume. Meanwhile, enjoy reading ''Hidden Places of Music Hall,'' the story of a tour taken by the late Gene Saenger, a long-time Music Hall supporter and member of the SPMH board.

Special Offer for Thursday Tour Participants

SPECIAL THANKS to the Symphony Hotel for the generous donation for a voice amplification system for the SPMH tour! Visit the Symphony Hotel website for dining information.

Watch a video of an SPMH Tour, courtesy of WCPO.

If you'd like to receive updates on the tour program - e.g. pop-up tours, hard-hat tours during construction, etc. - submit your contact information on the Music Hall Tour Request Form.

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