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Fun Things to do in Cincinnati


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city guide

Cincinnati was ranked as the best place to live in Ohio. Here is what to love. U.S. News & World Report ranked Cincinnati as the No. 1 city to live in Ohio for 2021-22 but the accolades don't stop there. Cincinnati's strong job market, good schools and relatively low cost of living attract families. Some choose to stay close to the city proper in neighborhoods such as Oakley, Hyde Park and North Avondale.


Best time to go

The best times to visit Cincinnati are September or May when the weather is pristine and the city's events calendar is packed. Summertime is hot, but pastimes on the river as well as frequent concerts in the city's Fountain Square redeem the humid season.


Fun city facts and activities

    Cincinnati is a city of contradictions. The Queen City (as its often called) has a unique spirit that matches Germanic Midwestern roots with Southern flair, small-town loyalty with cosmopolitan arts and amenities, and a river-view skyline with inland rent prices.

    Just over the river, Newport, Kentucky is home to some of the best nightlife in the region, while the ultra-trendy Over-the-Rhine neighborhoodformerly one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the U.S., by some reportsis now jampacked with breweries, music venues, wineries, and great restaurants.
City facts

Neighborhoods to explore

    Hyde Park
    Mount Lookout
    Mount Adams
    Indian Hill

Food Specialties

    In the last decade, Cincinnati has risen in prominence among foodies, becoming a hub for craft brewers, mixologists, skilled artisans and celebrity chefs. Hundreds of new restaurants have cropped up in the city in recent years to take advantage of Cincinnatis rise to culinary fame. USA Today and Food & Wine have taken notice, recently naming Cincinnatis food scene among the best in American small cities.

    Cincys rich cultural history and regional status as a border city between the Midwest and the American South contributes to its growing dining scene. With an eclectic melting pot of immigrant populations serving up various cuisines, Germanic roots, Midwestern sensibility and Southern flair, youre sure to find unique takes on staples (Cincinnati chili, anyone?) and bold new flavors in The Queen City.

Cincinnati Offbeat activities

Free or cheap things to do

1. Take a guided tour of the Cincinnati Observatory.
2. Visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
3. Go to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.
4. Explore the Cincinnati Art Museum.
5. Visit the American Sign Museum.
6. Spend an afternoon at Smale Riverfront Park.
7. Take a boat tour of the Ohio River.
8. Enjoy a game of bocce at Findlay Market.
9. Tour the historic Underground Railroad sites in the area.
10. Spend the day at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

Offbeat activites
Kid friendly

Fun things to do in with kids

Free or cheap things to do

1. Cincinnati Zoo Avondale
Opened in 1874, the countrys second-oldest zoological park lures families with several charming animals, like the world renowned hippo Fiona.

2. Cincinnati Fire Museum East End
With a plethora of amusing and informative exhibits, this museum is truly one of the best things to do in Cincinnati with kids

3. Duke Energy Childrens Museum Downtown
Duke Energy Childrens Museum sparks your tots curiosity and passion for learning through play and adventures.

4. Mt. Airy Forest Cumminsville
Mt. Airy Forest is a picturesque escape for families who are aching to savor the beauty of Mother Nature.

5. Taft Museum of Art Downtown
Theres something for everyone at this art museum, making it one of the best family things to do in Cincinnati today.

6. Smale Riverfront Park Downtown
Smale Riverfront Park is a local favorite, home to a number of marvelous attractions and family activities in Cincinnati.

7. Krohn Conservatory Uptown
Krohn Conservatory dazzles with its soothing waterfall, art deco architecture, fragrant orchids and exotic plants.

8. California Woods Nature Preserve California
California Woods Nature Preserve will quench your thirst for nature trips and outdoor adventures.

9. Newport Aquarium Newport
With interactive experiences and exhibits, its easy to see why its often labeled as one of the countrys finest aquariums.

10. Fountain Square Downtown
Searching for free kid-friendly things to do in Cincinnati this weekend?
With fantastic events throughout the year, Fountain Square is certainly one of the top places to take kids in Cincinnati for free entertainment.

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Best Parks

City data and FAQ 

Is Cincinnati Worth visiting?

Sure! The walk along the Ohio River alone should make the trip worth it all by itself. In the evenings try walking along the river walk and visiting a few of the bars and clubs along there. Last time I was down there there was something going on in a few of the bars that was entertaining and kind of fun. Cinncinnati is a fun and worthwhile city to go and visit and enjoy.
Greg Ellis - Former Dept Director at The Ohio State University

Its an interesting city with a German immigrant background. Some good restaurants, known for its chili, and with a fairly good baseball team and an NFL team that went to the Super Bowl last year.
Robert Gowens - Lives in Georgia (2007 Present)

What is Cincinnati famous for?

WKRP, Chilli over Macaroni, called a Cincinnati 3way if you add cheese. The Reds (and Pete Rose) Plus a Great Ball Park. WILLIAM TAFT the 27th POTUS was Born there, as was Stephen Spielberg and Doris Day.
John Symank

Cincinnati style chili (aka Skyline, Gold Star, Empress, etc); A popular sitcom from the 1970s, WKRP in Cincinnati; Baseball - Cincinnati Reds (first all-professional baseball team, 1869), Big Red Machine, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, etc; WLW Radio - Powell Crosley - Voice of America Radio (look it up); Deep German heritage - Oktoberfest - Over the Rhine - Flying Pigs - saying Please? when we mean What? (all related to the tidal wave of immigrants from Germany directly to Cincinnati, late 19th Century); Being a conservative city (not as much anymore, but historically yes, and regionally still so); Famous Cincinnatians: William Howard Taft, Steven Spielberg (born here), Pete Rose, George Clooney, Rosemary Clooney, Ted Turner (born here), Doris Day, Charles Manson (yep), Nikki Glaser (born here, childhood here), Roy Rogers, Roger Staubach, Barry Larkin, Bootsy Collins, Drew Lachey, Nick Lachey, Ezzard Charles (boxer), Aaron Pryor (boxer), the Isely Brothers, Kennesaw Mountain Landis.
Sean Halloran - B.A. from University of Dayton
Are two days enough to visit Cincinnati?

King's island can be a full day. Football, baseball, basketball or hockey can take the better part of the day. Depending on the season there are the opera, symphony, and pops orchestra. Add to that the plays. The Art Museum is great and Krohn Conservatory is near it. Small kids are good for hours at the Children's Museum. If you get here for October fest, second largest to Munich, that's a day.
Don Bruck - MBA in Multidisciplinary, The Ohio State University

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