Top 10 Family-Friendly Things To Do in Cincinnati

March 4th, 2021 by
Amusement Park

Photo via Flickr by eliduke | Licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

With its legendary amusement parks, renowned museums, educational attractions, and natural beauty, Cincinnati, Ohio, is a great place for family fun. Whether you’re looking for an all-day adventure to create some unforgettable memories with the kids, or you just need a quick stop to let your little ones get their wiggles out, Cincinnati has you covered. Here are our top 10 family-friendly activities in Cincinnati.

Kings Island

Ohio is world-famous for its amusement parks, and Kings Island is a Cincinnati favorite that lives up to the hype. Featuring nine exhilarating miles of roller coaster track, the park will delight the thrill-seekers in your family. For the little ones, Planet Snoopy is an award-winning Peanuts-themed kids’ area with scaled-down coasters and rides, costumed characters to meet, and a petting farm. 

Kings Island also features classic attractions like the Grand Carousel and a replica of the Eiffel Tower. You can get cooled off by splashing around in White Water Canyon or Congo Falls or put on your swimsuit and head over to Soak City water park.

Coney Island Park

If cooling off from the summer sun with some water park fun is on your agenda, there’s probably no better place to go than Coney Island Park. Founded in 1886, Coney Island Park is a true Cincinnati classic, and the 75-acre park is full of exciting opportunities to splash, play, slide, and soak. It features North America’s largest recirculating pool, plus Typhoon Tower, an interactive soak zone with 73 interactive play stations. Kids of all ages love the park’s water slides, including the four-chute Twister, the spiraling Cyclone, and the vintage Silver Bullet.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

If your kids love animals and learning about the natural world, what better way to spend the day than enjoying some quality time at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden? The world-famous zoo offers your children the chance to meet over 500 animals, including giraffes, gorillas, white Bengal tigers, and Fiona, the celebrity hippo. The zoo is home to a massive insectarium and dozens of themed exhibits, rides, and interactive encounters. Don’t miss Gibbon Island, where you can see the primates playing in the trees. Then, head to the botanical gardens to unwind and smell the flowers.

Newport Aquarium

Just a quick drive across the Ohio River in Newport, Kentucky, Newport Aquarium is another must-see Cincinnati area attraction. The aquarium invites you and the little ones to explore exotic and awe-inspiring undersea life in a safe, fun, educational environment. A highlight is the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit, where your family will be amazed as they walk through an underwater tunnel with sea life all around. The aquarium also provides opportunities to get up close and personal with stingrays, seahorses, eels, penguins, frogs, and even rare white alligators. The touch-friendly Tide Pool is an attraction your kids will never forget.

Museum of Natural History and Science

A family favorite nestled within the Cincinnati Museum Center, the Museum of Natural History and Science is perfect for dinosaur lovers and science buffs of all ages. The museum’s Dinosaur Hall features six huge, towering dinosaur specimens from the late Jurassic period, plus lots of interactive learning experiences that bring the prehistoric world to life. 

Meanwhile, the Science Interactives Gallery offers even more ways to get in touch with the principles of physics. Your kids will love playing with powerful pulleys, blasting targets with bursts of air, creating soaring clouds, and witnessing a vortex and the world of the infrared up close.

Duke Energy Children’s Museum

Another must-see museum located in the Cincinnati Museum Center, The Duke Energy Children’s Museum, features eight educational areas with exciting themes and endless opportunities for hands-on fun. Kids are encouraged to explore the museum through touch and play. With two learning areas designed specifically for preschoolers, it’s one of the best Cincinnati attractions for toddlers. Let your little ones get in touch with science, art, reading, and culture at one of the top 10 children’s museums in the United States.

Irwin M. Krohn Conservatory

For a breath of fresh air, head to the Irwin M. Krohn Conservatory on a beautiful day. Founded in 1933, the conservatory offers a chance to experience a piece of Cincinnati history through its unique Art Deco architecture. Featuring thousands of plants from all around the world, the conservatory provides visitors an awe-inspiring look into plant life. With themed areas, seasonal displays, and an indoor waterfall all set within a picturesque garden, the conservatory is truly one of the city’s treasures.

Smale Riverfront Park

A day out with the kids just wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Smale Riverfront Park. Located right downtown, the park offers great views of the Ohio River and the city, plus a whole lot of fun for the kids to get into. It features several playgrounds that include exciting climbing structures, swings, slides, a giant flying pig, and a massive, working piano. The park also has hiking and biking paths, fountains, a walking labyrinth, and a gorgeous, classic carousel. During the summer, kids love getting a good soaking while running through the park’s spraygrounds.

Highfield Discovery Garden

With its unique fairy-tale sculptures and exciting play structures, the 12-acre Highfield Discovery Garden is a dream come true for little ones with big imaginations. If you’ve ever wished you could magically transport your child to a fantasy world, this is one Cincinnati attraction you don’t want to miss. It includes fairy gardens, playgrounds, hiking trails, a butterfly garden, miniature trains, an interactive and educational discovery tree, and more than enough excitement to entertain the kids for an afternoon.

Mt. Airy Forest

When it’s time to get out into nature to relax, play, and enjoy some respite from the city, explore Mt. Airy Forest. This 1,459-acre park is perfect for hiking, biking, disc golf, and even horseback riding with your family. Its quirky and wheelchair-accessible treehouse is great for family photo ops and taking in the treetop view.

There are so many opportunities for family fun in Cincinnati that it’s impossible to fit them all into a list like this without feeling like we’ve left something out. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know. We hope you have as much fun exploring Cincinnati with your family as we do!

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