When you think of Cincinnati, what comes to mind? Baseball, for sure (love those Reds).
King’s Island. And Skyline Chili! But there’s so much more to Cincinnati, especially for
families. I’ve been delving into a new book, called Adventures Around Cincinnati: A Parent’s
Guide to Unique and Memorable Places to Explore with Your Kids. Written by Laura Hoevener
and Terri Weeks, it’s extraordinary, and full of great ideas for exploring Cincinnati and its
The book is split into three sections. The first section, Creating Memories with your Family, is an excellent read for ANY traveling family. It’s a manifesto for creating adventures (and memories) for your family while you travel. Both inspiring and instructive, this should be read by anyone with kids in their lives (whether you’re headed to Ohio or not). The second section, Attraction Listings, is PACKED with detailed information on a plethora of attractions (both free and with a fee) in central Cincinnati and Newport, Kentucky, greater Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus, Lexington, Louisville, and Indianapolis. This is the meat of the book and it shows in the honest, informative listings.
The third part, Planning Help, lists sample itineraries and an attraction table (showing which categories each attraction is in – VERY helpful if you have a kid into art, or fossils, or planes). Laura and Terri KNOW what they are talking about – their kids have experienced this all (lucky kids!). This book also teaches you that there is MUCH more in your own backyard than you can imagine. So the five great things to do in Cincinnati? Drawing from the many activities in this book, here are my favorites for family travel:
1. Cincinnati Art Museum. First, because they have an Artworld JUST FOR KIDS. Secondly,
because in their family guide (get one at the front desk) is a SCAVENGER HUNT! Yes. Some
parts of the Art Museum are hands-on, and there are many programs for children.
2. Cincinnati Fire Museum. Well, my brother is a firefighter in Seattle, so there’s the first
interest. But this fire museum also has interactive things for kids to do, like sliding down a fire
pole and climbing into a fire truck’s cab.
3. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Kids love zoos. They will for sure love this one – one
of the top zoos in the nation (Zagat) and one of the 10 best zoos for kids (Child Magazine). See
gibbons, giraffes, gorillas, manatees, polar bears, insects, and even Siegfried and Roy’s famous
white lions. There are also indoor attractions (including an IMAX) for rainy days.
4. Duke Energy Children’s Museum at Cincinnati Museum Center. Ranked as one of the top
10 children’s museums in the world, this museum features a Little Sprouts Farm, Kids Town,
Energy Zone, The Woods, and many other places for kids to play and learn. Head there in the
afternoons – mornings can be crowded.
5. Ride the Ducks. While officially next door in Newport, Kentucky, these amphibious rides
take you on the Ohio River and on land, in a 45 minute tour that shows the local landmarks. Kids
of all ages love this!
Of course there are hundreds of things to do in the Greater Cincinnati area (and the book also
covers up to Columbus, Ohio, and over to Indianapolis, Indiana). You can get a glimpse of some
of these activities at AdventuresAroundCincinnati.com, and download a free guide to a 7-day
Staycation in Cincinnati with no admission fees (love that for summer budget travel planning!).
The authors are also available to speak on tv, radio, and to school groups about exploring Greater
Cincinnati – pure inspiration!. Once you’ve read the book, you, too, will find more and more
reasons to head to Cincinnati – baseball included. Go Reds!