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Staycation Cincinnati Ideas, Attractions, and Adventures

Have a Staycation in Cincinnati this year? There is so much to do!

Whether you want to attend a baseball game, take a nature walk, visit a museum, or have some delicious root beer – The Queen City has tons of options for your Staycation for all ages!

I’m sharing some of my favorite Staycation Cincinnati suggestions in Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

Your biggest challenge may be deciding which Cincinnati Staycation idea you want to try next.

What You Need to Know About Visiting Kings Island This Year

This article contains affiliate links.

Enjoy Extreme Fun at King Island Amusement Park 

6300 Kings Island Dr, Mason, OH 

Our family loves going to Kings Island! You also get two parks in one during the summer season with Soak City waterpark included with your admission.

Kings Island has a great section for kids called Planet Snoopy, live shows, family rides, and lots of great roller coasters for thrill-seekers. 

If you don’t like going on rides there are still plenty of options at Kings Island for non-riders. 

Purchase Discounted Tickets for Kings Island Amusement Park Here

Pinocchio sculpture at Cincinnati Art Museum

Explore Cincinnati Art Museum

953 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati Art Museum has an incredible collection of art that spans the centuries.

You can find pieces that range from ancient times to modern art. There are even areas where kids can try hands-on activities at the Rosenthal Education Center.

The Cincinnati Art Museum is FREE to visit but special exhibits may be an additional fee.

Learn more about the top things to do at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Underground tour with American Legacy Tours

Take a Tour in Cincinnati

Our city has something for every interest level from art to beer, to history and adventure.

I would start by trying one of these 10 tours in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky.

fans at Cincinnati Reds baseball game

Attend a Cincinnati Reds Baseball Game

100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH 

Did you know that the Cincinnati Reds are the oldest team in MLB?

Baseball fans of all ages will have a great time at a baseball game at Great American Ballpark.

Learn more about why families love attending Reds games here.

Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame

To enhance your visit, learn the history of the Reds at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum or on a Ballpark Tour.

hippo at The Cincinnati Zoo

Visit Your Favorite Animals at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens

3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH

The Cincinnati Zoo has a great variety of animals to see including world famous hippo Fiona and additional hippos named Fritz, Tucker, and Bibi.

Tunes and Blooms at The Cincinnati Zoo

The Botanical Gardens at the zoo make for amazing pictures, especially in the spring when the tulips are in bloom.

You don’t want to miss Tunes and Blooms each Thursday evening in April.

The Cincinnati Zoo offers many behind-the-scenes tours and animal encounters. You can even sleep overnight at the zoo.

If you like a challenge, check out the Kanga Climb Aerial Adventure Course that’s fun for kids and adults.

Purchase Discounted Tickets for the Cincinnati Zoo Here

The Cincinnati Zoo is also on the POGO Pass.

Great Wolf Lodge Mason

Enjoy the Indoor Pool at Great Wolf Lodge Year Round

2501 Great Wolf Dr, Mason, OH

Great Wolf Lodge is a great place for families to go for a local getaway if you have cabin fever.

The indoor waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge is a comfortable 84 degrees all year round. You can relax in the lazy rivers or go on the waterslides.

During the summer months, there is an outdoor pool too.

In addition to the waterpark, there is indoor glow mini golf, MagiQuest, bowling alley, and arcade.

Save on Booking Your Stay at Great Wolf Lodge Here
sting ray touch tank at Newport Aquarium

Visit Newport Aquarium

1 Levee Way, Newport, KY

Newport Aquarium has an assortment of opportunities to get up close to aquatic animals. There are several touch tanks where you can pet sting rays or sharks.

There is even a Shark Bridge that you can walk across that’s above the tank filled with sharks.

Mix things up and enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium or book a penguin encounter to see penguins up close.

Purchase Discounted Tickets to Newport Aquarium
Tips For An Awesome Drive-In Movie Experience

Watch a Movie at a Local Drive-In Movie Theatre

A drive-in movie is a great way to mix up your next movie night with friends or family, or for a date night.

We have two drive-in movie theaters in the Cincinnati Metro.

You’ll want to use these tips for what to pack for the drive in movie before you go.

American Sign Museum in Cincinnati Ohio

Explore the American Sign Museum

This is one of my favorite museums in the city. It’s a lesser-known hidden gem that’s worth checking out. You’re going to love this museum especially if you enjoyed the Neon Museum in Las Vegas.

I highly recommend taking a guided tour to truly appreciate what you’re looking at and hear the stories behind the neon signs.

swings at Smale Park

Visit a Local Park

We have so many great parks downtown that give you great views of the city.

Sawyer Point in Cincinnati

Sawyer Point & Yeatman’s Cove

705 E. Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 

This park is located between Smale Riverfront Park and Berry International Friendship Park.

There are tennis and Pickleball courts, sand volleyball courts, a large playground, a sprayground, and bike rentals.

stand in two states at once on the Purple People Bridge

You can also walk across the Purple People Pedestrian Bridge from Sawyer Point to Northern Kentucky.

Smale Riverfront Park

Smale Riverfront Park

166 W Mehring Way, Cincinnati, OH

Kids can play in the fountains day or night and there is a giant keyboard that you can play with your feet.

Along the Ohio Riverfront, there are walking paths, play areas, and fountains, along with two separate swing areas that have a nice view of the Ohio River.

Washington Park in Over the Rhine in Cincinnati Ohio

Enjoy a Free Event at Washington Park

1230 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 

Washington Park is located in the Over the Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati.  

Washington park fountains  in Over the Rhine in Cincinnati Ohio

Kids will love the playground and when the temperatures heat up, pack an extra set of clothes and a towel so that they can cool off running while through the interactive water fountains.  

City Flea at Washington Park in Over the Rhine in Cincinnati Ohio

There is also a great community element there with special events like live music, Easter Egg hunts, City Flea (Urban Flea market), yoga, and movie nights.

Washington Park is also home to pre-match activities for FC Cincinnati soccer games.

The park is well-lit at night and the colorful lights make it even more magical with views of Cincinnati Music Hall in the background.

There is an affordable two-level parking garage underneath the park with 450 parking spaces.

Devou Park in Northern Kentucky

Enjoy the Scenic View at Devou Park in Covington

854 Park Ln, Covington, KY

The scenic overlook at Devou Park is a great place to have a picnic and enjoy another vantage point of the Cincinnati skyline.

The park also has walking trails, a playground, a golf course, and mountain bike trails.

Learn more about all of the things to do at Devou Park here.

BB Riverboats

Take a Scenic Tour on the Ohio River With BB Riverboats

101 Riverboat Row, Newport, KY

You can be a local tourist in your own city on a riverboat tour.

Book one of the following cruises with BB Riverboats below:

The Highfield Discovery Garden treehouse

Highfield Discovery Garden at Glenwood Gardens

10397 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, OH

Kids can play at a one-of-a-kind unique park with a 25-foot Discovery tree/ treehouse at Highfield Discovery Garden at Glenwood Gardens.

The 12-acre garden is designed for kids of all ages and has seven themed garden areas.

Cincinnati Museum Center

Explore Cincinnati Museum Center

The art deco inside is incredible and I highly recommend taking their free rotunda tour.

The Cincinnati Museum Center has multiple museums under one roof.

cave inside Cincinnati Museum Center
  • Cincinnati History Museum
  • The Children’s Museum
  • Museum of Natural History & Science
  • Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater
  • The Cr(eat)e Culinary Studio
  • Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center
  • Cincinnati History Library and Archives

*You can save on admission with the Cincinnati POGO Pass which includes -One (1) Museum Admission ticket to Cincinnati Museum Center which includes… The Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, and Cincinnati History Museum

Cincinnati Museum Center Union Terminal Rotunda Tour

FREE Union Terminal Rotunda Tours at Cincinnati Museum Center

1301 Western Avenue; Cincinnati, OH

You can learn about the history of Union Terminal as a former vibrant train transportation hub and access areas that aren’t open to the general public.

Rotunda Tour at the Cincinnati Museum Center

Public Rotunda tours are on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and last 45-minutes. No reservations are needed and they are first come first serve.

Check the Union Terminal Rotunda Tour Times here.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Cincinnati

Visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH

Learn about stories of heroes from the Underground Railroad to the modern day at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

There are both permanent and special exhibits to explore. Make sure that you also check out the section of the Berlin Wall that’s on display outside the museum.

You can save on your visit to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center with a POGO Pass.

Sing the Queen City sign Cincinnati

The Sing the Queen City sign is located on the opposite side of the street which is a great spot for a photo opp.

Findlay Market in Cincinnati Ohio

Explore Findlay Market Tour

1801 Race St, Cincinnati, OH

Findlay Market is also nearby and has so much history and variety to check out. Sample foods from vendors and learn the history of our city’s longest-running public market.

You can even take a Taste of the World Food Tour that gives you samples and the story behind the vendors.

There is also a self-guided tour of Findlay Market that you can take.

Findlay Market in Cincinnati Findlay Market in Cincinnati Ohio

The Over the Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati has the largest collection of Italianate-style buildings in the United States.

statue of a soldier at Spring Grove Cemetery

Visit Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum

4521 Spring Grove Ave, Cincinnati, OH

I realize that a cemetery walk can sound a bit morbid but Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum is especially stunning in the spring and the fall.

The cemetery is the second oldest in the United States and offers historic tours throughout the year.

balancing a ladder at Family Matinee Circus and Workshop at Bircus Brewing Company

Attend the Family Matinee Circus at Bircus Brewing Company

322 Elm St, Ludlow, KY 

A fusion of the love of the circus and beer, Bircus Brewing Company is a gimmick in the BEST kind of way!

The Family Matinee Circus is located inside the Ludlow Theatre which is also the home of Circus Mojo and Bircus Brewing.

The circus performance matinee is a good mix of audience participation, clown antics for little kids, and impressive circus skills.

Performers from Circus Mojo do the performances at Bircus Brewing Co., along with a lot of events throughout the community.

The circus workshop at the end of the Family Circus Matinee at Bircus allows you to try out some basic circus skills that you can build on.

mural of James Brown in Cincinnati

Discover AMAZING Art Everywhere!

From the art museums to the sides of buildings, there is so much to uncover around every corner.

I love walking around downtown and taking pictures of all of the street art. Artists from around the world have beautified our city with their incredible murals.

There are over 230 public works of art around Cincinnati and you can book a guided mural tour through Art Works or download the self-guided mural tour.

living mural in Cincinnati

We even have an incredible living mural located at 1037 E. McMillan St, Cincinnati, OH.

Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati Ohio

Cincinnati Art Museum, Contemporary Arts Center, 21C Hotel, and Taft Museum of Art showcase incredible art within close proximity, and the street art/ murals rival many of the works indoors.

Krohn _Conservatory_ in _Cincinnati

Learn About Plants and Flowers from Around the World at the Krohn Conservatory

1501 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 

Get inspired for your garden at home with plants and flowers from around the world. 

The Krohn Conservatory has special floral shows throughout the year.

The Butterfly Show and the Holiday Show are two of the most popular floral shows that you don’t want to miss.

After you visit the conservatory enjoy the walking trails at Eden Park.

Trammel Fossil Park

Discover fossils at Trammel Fossil Park

11935 Tramway Dr, Sharonville, OH

You can dig for fossils at this free park. Bring an old paintbrush and a bucket and see what you can unearth.

A mini road trip up to Trammel Fossil Park and a root beer float at the Root Beer Stand near Sharon Woods is also a unique treat.

neon sign for the root beer stand sharonville ohio

Enjoy a Root Beer Float at The Root Beer Stand

11566 Reading Rd, Sharonville, OH 

This is a great stop that’s located close to Trammel Fossil Park and Sharon Woods.

You can get an incredible root beer float or order other classic diner items off the menu. There is a playground behind The Root Beer Stand and multiple picnic tables.

Don’t forget to order a gallon of root beer to take home with you too.

Lawn Bowling

Try Lawn Bowling at Little Miami Golf Center

3811 Newtown Rd, Cincinnati, OH

This is the only place that you can try this sport within a 150-mile radius.

Lawn bowling is a fusion of bocce ball and bowling. The ball shapes for lawn bowling and bocce balls are different. Another difference is that the ball for lawn bowling is rolled instead of thrown.

Cincinnati Lawn Bowling typically plays from mid-April through mid-October (weather permitting) on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7pm and Saturdays at 10am.

Guests & visitors are welcome to observe or you can arrange an introductory lesson for a $20 fee which includes a club member-coached lesson and equipment.

Burnet Woods stair steps slide

Go Down the Slide Stairs at Burnet Woods

3251 Brookline Ave, Cincinnati, OH

Enjoy lots of outdoor activities with hiking trails and this awesome slide built into the side of a staircase!

Check out all of the stops on a self-guided walking tour of Burnett Woods here.

Taft National Historic site

Learn About a Former U.S. President at the William H. Taft Museum

316 Pike St, Cincinnati, OH

You can learn about the interesting history of William Howard Taft and his ties to Ohio at the William H. Taft National Historic Site.

The site preserves his birthplace and boyhood home and there is no admission fee to visit year-round.

You can learn more about presidential-themed hidden gems around Cincinnati here.

fountain square in Cincinnati

People watch at Fountain Square

This area in the heart of downtown offers lots of activities from free concerts to movie nights on the giant big screen.

convert at Fountain Square in Cincinnati

Salsa on the Square in the summer is a fun event not to miss!

Loveland Castle

Explore Loveland Castle

12025 Shore Dr, Loveland, OH

Discover one man’s labor of love as you explore the castle he built by hand.

You can take a self-guided tour of The Historic Loveland Castle & Museum Chateau Laroche and learn more about Harry Delos Andrews who brought his vision to life.

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Staycation Ideas in Cincinnati

23 thoughts on “Staycation Cincinnati Ideas, Attractions, and Adventures”

  1. Thanks for sharing all these fun ideas! I’ve always wanted to Segway… and the surf exercise class is crazy cool! 🙂 Have a FUN summer!

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