The Observatory is a lovely, unique, park like setting ideal for smaller, intimate wedding ceremonies, receptions, business meetings, dinners, cocktail parties, adult birthdays and reunions. Your rental fees directly support the Observatory’s educational programming.
For more information download our Rental Information Brochure (56k pdf).
Or email or call Craig Niemi at the Observatory (513-321-5186) for more information.
Because we are a National Historic Landmark and are located in a quiet residential neighborhood, there are limits on group sizes (max 50-70 indoors, 100 outdoors) and we do not permit amplified music at outdoor events.
While this may not make us the best venue for typical wedding receptions it does make the Observatory a unique venue for smaller, more intimate events.
Include set up and clean up time in your scheduling.
Weekdays (during regular business hours, 9am to 5pm)
Space for Business Meetings, Retreats, Conferences, etc.
- Without an Astronomer/Historian:
4 hours, 1 building $550.00
- 8 hours, 1 building $850.00
Weekends and Weeknights (Event must end by 10pm)
Weddings, Receptions, Dinners, Parties, Meetings, Conferences, etc.
- With Astronomer/Historian & Volunteers:
Less than 4 hours, 1 or 2 buildings $850.00
- 4-6 hours, 1 building (no tent) $1150.00
- 4-6 hours, 2 buildings, grounds for tent* $1,700.00
* cost of tent in addition to COC rental fee
Reservations / Fees / Deposits
- Reservations can me made no more than 9 months in advance. 14 day hold only on tentative dates
- 50% non-refundable deposit is due when booked. Any damages to COC property may require compensation.
- Final payment is due 14 days prior to your event.
- Your rental fee includes a one year Star Cluster membership.
- Due to Observatory programming and holidays certain dates will not be available.
- No refunds for canceled events
Building and Grounds Capacities
- Fewer than 50 for a sit-down dinner, or 70 for cocktails, is a comfortable number for your indoor event.
- Due to parking availability and limited number of rest rooms, outdoor events should be limited to 100 or fewer. You are welcome to use our tables (12 @ six foot x 30") and chairs (75) for indoor events. Additional items can be rented (see tent & other rentals below).
Hours & Music
- The Observatory is located in a quiet historic district. To be respectful of our neighbors we do not recommend the Observatory for large parties or receptions. The Observatory is the perfect setting for more intimate events.
- We do not allow amplified music outdoors or otherwise where it may disturb the neighbors.
- All events (indoor or outdoor) end by 10pm. Music must be played at a reasonable level and be off by 10pm.
- Caterer's teardown and clean up must be completed by 10pm .
- You are welcome to use your choice of caterers or self-cater your event. Because of the uniqueness of the Observatory we have a list of preferred caterers who have successfully hosted events at the Observatory. If you choose a different caterer, they should schedule a walk-through prior to booking. Caterers have limited prep and serving areas to work from.
- No alcohol sales are permitted. You may provide your own refreshments or hire a caterer.
- Caterers are responsible for clean up of prep, service areas and trash removal.
Tent & Other Rentals
- You are welcome to use any rental company. Again because of our uniqueness our preferred rental companies are
Camargo Rental, All Occasions and Alleen. Others not familiar with the Observatory should do a walk-through.
- Set up and tear down of tables, chairs, etc is the renter's responsibility. Check with your vendor for costs.
- The tent is typically set up is to the west of the main building (to the left as you face the building).
- We have a limited number of outdoor outlets. For larger power needs (tent lighting, etc) a power distribution box can be rented from any of the above mentioned companies.
- We reserve the right to make the final decision on the use of tents or other items.
Set-Up & Decorating
- Observatory Staff or Volunteers will be available at a reasonable time prior to your event to open for set up.
- Decorations are welcome but are limited to table decorations and freestanding displays. Prior arrangements must be made for hanging signs, flags, etc. Nails, tape and confetti are not allowed.
- Tall taper candles are not allowed.
- Clean up is the responsibility of the Renters and/or Caterers.
- All personal items, decorations, etc must be removed at the end of
- The parking circle can accommodate parking for approximately
- The grounds behind the main building can be used for parking if dry.
- Valet parking may be required (at your cost) for groups over 75.
- There is no parking along Observatory Place or Avery Lane.
- Your hosts are volunteers from the Friends of the Observatory. They are here to make sure you and your guests have a wonderful event and are always willing to share their expertise in the history of the Observatory, our telescopes and astronomy in general.
- They are charged with protection of the Observatory's buildings, property and grounds.
- They have the final say in all decisions during your event.
- Our volunteers make your event at the Observatory possible. Please consider them for refreshments and food.
Caterers & Rental Companies
The Cincinnati Observatory Center permits you to use the vendor of your choice. Those listed below are not endorsements, only a partial listing of companies that have successfully hosted events at the Observatory and are comfortable working with our unique facility.