Cincinnati is known for being the third-most populous city in Ohio and the 65th most populous city in the United States. Historic 19th-century architecture can be seen all through the city, with several buildings in the downtown area dating back over 200 years.
Cincy, the ‘Nati,’ the Queen City, the Queen of the West, the Blue Chip City, and the City of Seven Hills are just a few of Cincinnati’s nicknames. Mount Adams, Walnut Hills, Mount Auburn, Vine Street Hill, College Hill, Fairmount, and Mount Harrison are the hills that create a crescent from the east bank of the Ohio River to the west bank, giving it the nickname the City of Seven Hills.
Tourists of all ages will enjoy Cincinnati’s great heritage, history, exciting attractions, and famous “Cincinnati chili.” The city has been called the “Chili Capital of America” because it has more chili restaurants per capita than any other city in the United States.
15. Ride Carol Ann’s Beautiful Carousel
(image via Visit Cincy)
44 animal steeds populate Carol Ann’s Carousel, and each character alludes to different parts of the city. It’s also composed of beautiful works of art, including original artwork by Jonathan Queen, and the Anderson Pavilion, which is a magnificent banquet and conference venue.
While riding the Carousel, you can marvel at the carved figures, paintings, and rows of animal characters. Carol Ann’s Carousel is dedicated to celebrating Carol Ann Haile’s life and philanthropy, which focused on communities on both banks of the Ohio River.
14. See Celebrated Art Collections At The Taft Museum Of Art
(image via Taft Museum of Art)
The Taft Museum of Art is a fantastic attraction for fine art fans, housing paintings by European masters such as Dominique Ingres and Jean Auguste, as well as 19th-century American paintings like the iconic Duncanson murals.
Sculptures, watches, furniture, Chinese porcelains, Limoges enamels, and European decorative arts can all be found in the museum’s galleries. Explore educational activities, concerts, tours, workshops, and virtual studios with your family through the Taft Museum of Art.
13. Explore The Scenery At The Krohn Conservatory
(image via The Krohn Conservatory)
In Eden Park, the Krohn Conservatory houses around 3,500 plant species from all over the world. A 45-foot Palm House packed with palm trees, rubber plants, bananas, and a waterfall with goldfish stream are just a few of the features.
Six seasonal floral shows can be found in the Floral Display collection, as well as a permanent citrus tree collection with oranges, big Ponderosa lemons, and grapefruit.
12. Experience The Great Outdoors At Eden Park
This 186-acre public park has multiple viewpoints of the Ohio River valley from the Twin Lakes, including a footbridge and walking paths. The Krohn Conservatory and the Cincinnati Art Museum are both located here.
Throughout the year, Eden Park hosts special events, such as the celebrated EdenSong Music Series at the Seasongood Pavilion. Chess can be played in an excellent spot within the park. The park is accessible to everyone for free.
11. Explore Space At The Cincinnati Observatory
(image via The Cincinnati Observatory)
The Cincinnati Observatory is the country’s oldest professional observatory, with two buildings housing the Merz und Mahler 11-inch and Alvan Clark & Sons 16-inch refracting telescopes, which were made in 1845 and 1904, respectively.
The Cincinnati Observatory dubbed the “Birthplace of American Astronomy,” provides frequent viewings of the telescopes, including daytime (Solar viewing) and nighttime stargazing, as well as active space programs for both kids and adults.
10. Catch A Game At The Great American Ball Park
The Cincinnati Reds play their home games at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Power Stacks, where two smokestacks flash lights, emit flames, and launch fireworks immediately after the Reds strike out a batter, is one of the Park’s best highlights.
The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, which honors the Reds’ history through exhibits and extensive use of multimedia, is a notable feature of the ballpark. Tickets vary from game to game.
9. Enjoy Shopping And Entertainment At The Findlay Market
(image via The Findlay Market)
Findlay Market is Cincinnati’s oldest continually operating public market and is known for its large array of Italianate buildings. About three dozen indoor vendors sell meat, fish, poultry, fruit, flowers, cheese, deli, and ethnic delicacies at the market.
Other outdoor traders, street performers, and special events are held at Findlay Market, including the city’s annual Opening Day Parade for the Cincinnati Reds. The market is open for free to everyone.
8. Explore Your Ancient Roots At The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
(image via The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center )
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a museum dedicated to commemorating all attempts to eradicate slavery in the United States and ensure freedom for all. The Center sheds light on the past, present, and future struggles for freedom.
The Center also hosts the John Parker Library, which includes a collection of multimedia materials about the Underground Railroad and freedom-related matters. The Family Search Center allows you to ponder the essence of freedom in your life while also discovering your ancestry.
7. Take A Journey Down History Lane At The Cincinnati Art Museum
(image via The Cincinnati Art Museum)
With collections spanning 6,000 years of human history, the Cincinnati Art Museum is one of the Midwest’s most extensive museums. Every year, it hosts a number of national and international special exhibitions, each of which is complemented by public programs, activities, and special events.
The museum’s collection includes works by Domenico Tintoretto, Sandro Botticelli, and Frans Hals, among others. Other exhibits feature paintings by Claude Monet and a vast collection of paintings by Frank Duveneck, an American painter. General admission is free to the Cincinnati Art Museum’s 73 permanent collection galleries and the Rosenthal Education Center (REC), a family interactive center of the museum.
6. Experience The Adrenaline Rush At Kings Island
(image via Kings Island)
Kings Island is a 364-acre theme park with over 100 rides, including 14 roller coasters and a 33-acre water park. The park is divided into numerous themed sections, such as the Action Zone, where you can ride a monorail through an animal preserve for a safari-style tour, and Area 72, where you can defy gravity on Orion, a 300-foot drop giga-coaster.
Throughout the year, Kings Island organizes special events like Tricks and Treats Fall Fest, Halloween Haunt, and Winterfest.
5. Enjoy The Power Of Sound At The Cincinnati Music Hall
The Cincinnati Music Hall was built to serve two purposes: musical performances in the main auditorium and industrial exhibits in the side wings. The Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, May Festival Chorus, and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra all perform in the Music Hall.
The Music Hall Ballroom holds exhibitions, fashion events, and other large banquets throughout the year. Ticket prices vary from show to show.
4. Get Up Close To The Animals At The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
(image via The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden)
America’s second-oldest zoo boasts over 500 animals and 3,000 plant varieties. Samantha, the world’s oldest gorilla in captivity, was born in 1970 and is housed in the Gorilla World’s naturalized rainforest habitat.
When touring the Red Panda Habitat, you’ll find various Chinese plant types that support the red panda’s native forest habitat. Swan Lake, African Penguin Point, Jungle Trails, Wings of the World, and many other exhibits can be visited in the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.
3. Learn The Fun Way At The Duke Energy Children’s Museum
(image via The Duke Energy Children’s Museum)
Encourage your children to have fun while learning about themselves and their environment at the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. Previously known as the Cinergy Children’s Museum, it offers a variety of hands-on educational activities.
Preschoolers can explore the farm-themed playground as well as a miniature town with shops and a veterinary clinic. Other active exhibitions for older children include rope bridges, a climbing wall, and a tree house.
2. Make A Splash And Cool Off At The Coney Island Park
(image via Coney Island Park)
Several water slides and the world’s largest recirculating swimming pool will make any vacation memorable. Coney Island Park, known as the “People’s Playground,” lets you explore the 70 interactive spray stations at Typhoon Tower or get splashed by the world’s largest erupting hydro storm, which releases 1,300 gallons of water from a 33-foot tower. A shallow water area of about an acre awaits the kids, and a mini-golf course is located off the water area.
Summerfair Arts Festival, the Cincinnati Celtic World Festival, the Appalachian Festival, and the Cincinnati Flower and Farm Fest are all just a few of the festivals held at Coney Island Park throughout the year.
1. Experience The Sea Life At The Newport Aquarium
(image via The Newport Aquarium)
The Newport Aquarium features 70 exhibits and 14 galleries, ranging from Gator Alley, where you can watch 6-foot-long albino alligators, to Shark Central, which contains a variety of shark species, including the leopard shark and the Port Jackson shark. At the Shore Gallery and Shark Central, you can reach over the glass to pet sea urchins, stingrays, and sharks.
The Newport Aquarium is a great place to visit for visitors of all ages, and it hosts seasonal events like Mermaid’s Cove, where children can interact with mermaids while learning about ocean conservation and other ways to improve the planet.
As you can see, Cincinnati has a lot to offer everyone. If you are looking to do more in the surrounding area, check out other weekend trips nearby Cincinnati, Ohio.
These areas are perfect for a quick day trip or a long weekend getaway. Explore our favorite things to do or peruse some pre-built itineraries.