Things To Do In Cincinnati
Located on the Cincinnati side of the Ohio River, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a monument to freedom in our great country. Built in 2004, it is one of the new “museums of conscience.” This museum’s mission is to shine a light on heroes who have fought for freedom throughout history, taking a close look at the past, present, and the future. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is an amazing place to bring the family and spark conversation about what freedom really means.
Dive under the sea at Northern Kentucky’s crown jewel: The Newport Aquarium! At the #1 aquarium in the Midwest, guests can explore a wide range of exhibits and even pet a penguin! Feeling brave? Walk across Shark Bridge, a suspension bridge just a few inches above a tank of two dozen sharks! Then go visit Stingray Hideaway and befriend the multitude of species that reside there. This is one place you won’t want to miss on your trip to Cincinnati!
There are many reasons to visit the Cincinnati Zoo- it’s the fifth-oldest zoo in America and was named a National Historic Landmark in 1987. Its 75 acres are home to over 500 beautiful animals, many of whom you can interact with throughout your visit. The Botanical Garden exhibits are lush and colorful. But the main reason the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is a don’t miss attraction is its world famous inhabitant: Fiona the Hippo.
While visiting the many parks that Cincinnati has to offer, escape to the middle of Eden Park and find an other-worldly oasis in the Krohn Conservatory. With a series of exhibits that change throughout the year to match the changing seasons, the plant species and gorgeous butterflies that reside here are truly striking. Explore the beauty of their indoor rainforest waterfall, or gaze at exotic plants in one of the many themed rooms. The Krohn Conservatory is a magnificent place to visit any time of the year.
When you step inside The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, guests have a few different options for exploration. For families, the best place to visit is the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. Encouraging learning through play, the hands-on experiences here are second to none! Let your children run free as they burn energy while exploring the twists and tunnels of The Woods, and be sure they’ve grabbed an apron before interacting with the water play area. Here, fun and learning go hand-in-hand!
Cincinnati has an incredibly vibrant and active theatre scene, and some of the best proof can be found at the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati! Over 100 years old, this establishment in the arts community is a place where kids enjoy performances of some of their favorite shows, like The Wizard of Oz and Annie. This theatre’s mission is to educate children and engage its audiences in the magic of live theatre. So sit back, grab some popcorn, and prepare to be entertained!
Fun for all ages can be found at the Drake Planetarium and Science Center! Great for guests with inquisitive minds, the center is full of hands-on learning experiences in the STEM fields. Gaze at the stars and all that the Universe has to offer in one of the center’s many planetarium shows in its intimate 70-seat theatre. Explore innovation in the Lego Lab! Each custom program is designed to engage guests in scientific exploration.
Located on the top of Mount Lookout along the Ohio River, The Birthplace of American Astronomy has an unencumbered view of the stars above. The Cincinnati Observatory is the first public observatory in the Western Hemisphere and houses one of the oldest working telescopes. Open to everyone, the observatory prides itself on being a place where people can gather and be educated and inspired by astronomy and science. Stop by, look through the oldest working telescope, and wonder at the magnificence of the galaxy.
Looking to engage your children in art during your trip to Cincinnati? Look no further than the Rosenthal Education Center at the Cincinnati Art Museum! This interactive space is a place where children can get hands-on experiences while learning about the art collections the museum has to offer. All projects available in the studio correspond with the themes and cultural exhibits currently on display. For kids of all ages, this is a great place to bring a budding Picasso.
If you drive just a few minutes from Downtown Cincinnati, you will find the Cincinnati Nature Center, a refuge of solace and beauty among the ever changing nature trails. There are experiences and exhibits for all who are willing to stroll the grounds in this unique community. Around every corner is a new educational moment for young minds!
One of the Great Parks of Cincinnati’s Hamilton County, adventure is limitless while on the Trails at Sharon Woods. With gorgeous, lush trails for hiking, beautiful lakes for boating and fishing, and heritage village right in the heart of it, this place has everything for the family that loves the outdoors! If you have younger children, make sure you stop by the Adventure Center, the park’s two-story indoor play area. Adventure is abounding!
Journey to a time of knights and kings when you visit The Historic Loveland Castle. Nestled in the woods of Loveland, Ohio, it was built as a reminder of the simple strength of the Knights of the Golden Trail. This is a great place for a picnic far from the modern world, or you can stroll the museum inside, showcasing some of the swords and other weaponry of the time period. Who knows, maybe you’ll even be visited by some of the ghosts who are said to reside in the Castle…
Stretching 99 miles along the edge of Ohio, the Great Miami Riverway is great for families who long to explore! This collection of small riverfront communities is the only National Water Trail in Ohio. Here, families can partake in a multitude of water sports, such as kayaking and canoeing, or find a place to picnic along the river. Come enjoy the serene atmosphere and escape the bustle of Downtown Cincinnati.
In the middle of Downtown Cincinnati, right outside of the historic Music Hall, Washington Park is the perfect place to visit on a sunny day! A state-of-the-art, interactive water park is the main attraction on a hot summer day, made for children of all ages. The water feature contains more than 130 pop-up jet that work in tandem with synchronized music and lights, steps with cascading water, and a large boulder with water flowing down the sides. This playful attraction is one of the many unique places to visit in our busy city!
One of the main attractions in Cincinnati is the John Roebling Bridge, linking Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. At the base of this bridge that was built by the architect of the Brooklyn Bridge is a new playground featuring twin racing slides, rope bridges, and a mini rock climbing wall! This playground is sure to please the whole family.
On the Cincinnati side of the Roebling Bridge is a magnificent carousel featuring 44 Cincinnati-centric characters that children can choose to ride on. The artwork throughout the carousel’s panels is an ode to many of the historic sites and events in the city’s history. Housed inside a glass building so it can operate all year round, this is a perfect place for families looking to partake in one of the newer Cincinnati traditions along the riverfront.
Are you visiting Cincinnati during baseball season? Then a trip to the Great American Ball Park to watch the Cincinnati Reds play is a must! With a grand entrance right on the Banks, this ballpark contains a limitless (or so it seems) choice of snacks such as hotdogs, popcorn, ice cream, and some of that famous Cincinnati Chili. There’s even an area with an open patio full of games such as cornhole, ping pong, and other outdoor games for those who wish to socialize throughout the nine innings. Let’s play ball!
Even if you missed baseball season in Cincinnati, you can celebrate the sport at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame Museum! Come and see artifacts from Reds players past including Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Larkin, and Pete Rose. Maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to visit during one of the many player appearances throughout the year. This is the perfect Cincinnati activity for any sports family!
Jump into fun at Cincinnati’s #1 indoor trampoline park, Skyzone Cincinnati! Built for children full of energy, there is so much to do, from jumping into the Foam Pits to climbing the Skyladder. There are a few sport challenges as well, such as Ultimate Dodgeball on trampolines and Skyslam, where guests can jump as high as their favorite NBA players to score that game-winning point as they dunk the ball into one of the many basketball hoops. Perfect for groups large and small, Skyzone is fun for all ages!
Break out your skates for a trip to Cincinnati’s largest roller skating rink! Built in a replica of the Historic Loveland Castle, this place prides itself on providing safe and family-friendly fun, as you and your family can skate round and round to some of the hits of the 80’s, 90’s and now. Special effect lights and fun games only enhance the carefree experience. At Castle Skateland, it’s always time to rock and roll!
Are you a sports family with a wide range of playful interests? Then Sports Plus is the place for you! Here, families can choose from ice skating, hockey, basketball, volleyball, broomball, and many more. Kids can run from one sport to the next at this giant sport complex, and then grab a slice of pizza or some popcorn from one of the many snack counters. It’s the ultimate sports destination!
Once you’ve crossed the Roebling Bridge to the Kentucky side, you will want to make your way over to Newport on the Levee. There, you and your family can have tons of fun at Gameworks, a family-friendly and dining experience entertainment center! This place has games, food, and drinks all in the same place. With over 130 games to entertain kids of all ages, this is truly the ultimate gaming destination!
Visiting Newport on the Levee but looking for a place to play more sociable games with your family? Stop by Rotolo, an eatery with both bowling alleys and bocce ball centers! This unique, boutique atmosphere is the best place to get a good Italian meal while playing games. Not interested in bowling or bocce? There are also foosball tables, billboards, and a life-size checkerboard! Come lounge with your family at this bowler’s paradise.
This large-scale entertainment center is like no other in the country! Jam-packed with video-games, laser-tag, blacklight mini-golf, bumper cars, the list truly goes on. Scene 75 Entertainment Center prides itself on affordable fun for the whole family with special day passes, granting access to all 13 of the fun activity centers located inside the complex. Come see what all the fuss is about at one of the Top Family Entertainment Centers in the U.S.
One of the main attractions in Cincinnati, Kings Island is home to some of the most famous roller coasters in the U.S. From the longest wooden roller coaster to the newer, innovative rides, Kings Island boasts 15 thrill rides for all adventure seekers! If you have younger children, take them over to Snoopy Planet, which has been voted “Best Kids’ Area” by Amusement Today. Come to Kings Island for world class fun!
At Coney Island, the motto here is “Come Out and Play!” Full of many places to enjoy some fun in the sun, this water park is full of Carribean inspired decor to make you and your family feel as if you have entered a tropical paradise. At the Sunlite Adventure Center, take a dip in the world’s largest recirculating pool. Feeling competitive? Race down twin 130-foot water slides. Stick around after the sun has gone down for one of the many special events at Coney Island, right along the banks of the Ohio River.
The Escape Game King of Cincinnati, located in The Banks, is an accessible and an awesome spot to spend an hour on any day of the week! The Escape Game offers an hour of epic adventure by immersing you and your team into an adventure like no other! Whether you are on the hunt for gold ,trapped in Prison, or recovering a priceless painting, The Escape Game is made for any age. Tickets are $34.99 per person and experiences are by reservation. You can book yours now at TheEscapeGame.com/Cincinnati/Book-Now.
If you’ve bought a day pass to Kings Island, you also have access to Soak City, where you can splash in the sun after riding the thrill seekers right next door. Rent a cabana for the whole family and relax while kids race between the many exhilarating water parks. For those who feel brave enough, they can even slide down the Rendezvous Run, which spins you around in the dark! Designed with kids in mind, this water park is fun for all!
Open all year round, this indoor water park is part of the Great Wolf Lodge, a beautiful resort in the middle of Cincinnati. No matter what the weather is like outside, no gray day can ruin your chance for fun. There’s even an adult Hot Springs section where parents can relax while their children play in the water park tree house or slide down one of many attractions. Truly something for everyone!