There’s a new exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center that’s Willy Wonka approved.
Chocolate: The Exhibition at the Cincinnati Museum Center explores the milky sweet and bitter dark sides of chocolate’s rich history. Open daily through January 6, 2019, this exhibit is a must for chocolate lovers young and old.
At Chocolate: The Exhibition, you’ll learn about how chocolate was originally founded, how the cacao beans are pollinated by tiny flies (!), the process of harvesting and grinding the cacao beans. The exhibit features a life-sized cacao tree that really makes you feel like you’re in the rainforest.
You’ll watch a video of chocolate being made that will make your mouth water. (Your mouth will probably already be watering, because the smell of chocolate permeates this entire exhibit!) Interactive screens throughout the exhibit will keep kids busy and engaged. Near the end, kids will be delighted to learn about the pop culture appropriations of chocolate through merchandise and marketing. And the larger-than-life box of chocolates near the end is straight out of Willy Wonka.
But this exhibit is as varied as a box of chocolates — Chocolate: The Exhibition is also a history lesson (and history isn’t always sweet). You’ll learn that chocolate was originally reserved just for royalty, and even used as currency. You’ll follow chocolate’s path across the Atlantic to Spain, which apparently kept chocolate a secret for decades. But once the secret was out, popularity spiked and slave labor was used to keep up with demand.
This exhibit is also a cautionary tale for the future of chocolate, as its sustainability and environmental impact currently hangs in the balance. I think it’s really important that kids understand where things come from — that they’re connected to the rest of the world.
Chocolate: The Exhibition isn’t simply a love letter to chocolate; it’s a way to start a conversation about living ethically and responsibly. This exhibit is as rich and deep as chocolate itself, and you’d expect nothing less from the Cincinnati Museum Center.
Chocolate: The Exhibition is open daily through Jan. 6, 2019 at the Cincinnati Museum Center Admission for nonmembers is $14/adults, $12/seniors and $10/children. Member adults pay just $7 and member children are free.