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16 Fun Things to do in Cincinnati, Ohio

This list of things to do in Cincinnati, Ohio offers some of the best ways to experience all the fun this great Ohio city has to offer!

We love visiting Cincinnati, Ohio! Since our home base is Columbus, Cincinnati has been a convenient destination for many weekend getaways, anniversary celebrations and even day trips with the kids! The Queen City is a great place to explore with the whole family! Located on the banks of the Ohio River, across from Northern Kentucky, the city is full of fun things to do!

​Read on to discover some of the best things to do in Cincinnati!

1. Play and Learn at the Cincinnati Museum Center

  • Address: 1301 Western Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45203
  • Website

The Cincinnati Museum Center is an awesome place to visit with kids in Cincinnati! We LOVE this museum! Technically, the Cincinnati Museum Center contains multiple museums under one roof including an OMNIMAX theater!

The Museum Center is housed in Union Terminal, a beautiful train station built in the Art Deco style. It’s gorgeous! It currently still operates as an Amtrak train station!

Art Deco ceiling inside the lobby of the Cincinnati Museum Center.

An All Museums Package includes admission to the Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, The Children’s Museum, Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center. Or you can choose general Museum Admission which is just the first three listed previously. OMNIMAX tickets are purchased separately.

There’s so much that can be said about the Museum Center! It’s such a fun place to visit in Cincinnati! A definite must if you have kids!

The Cincinnati History Museum includes a large model train display that shows Cincinnati throughout time! It’s one of our very favorite parts of the museum!

The model train at the Cincinnati History Museum.

The Museum of Natural History & Science has a lot of dinosaur skeletons and information about dinosaurs!

Two boys looking at dinosaur skeletons at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

The Children’s Museum has a huge play area that is divided into different themes! It is easily one of the best children’s museums in Ohio!

The Children’s Museum also includes a really large play forest called The Woods for kids ages 8 and up and a play town called Kids’ Town that my kids have always loved to explore.

The indoor play area at the Cincinnati Children's Museum.

2. Enjoy Washington Park

  • Address: 1230 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
  • Website

Whenever we visit Cincinnati we always go to Washington Park! It’s such a great park for all ages! This public park in the Over-The-Rhine neighborhood is a true community gathering place with a playground, fountains, a large green space, a permanent bar, a gazebo and space for performances and special events!

Tulips in Washington Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Cincinnati Music Hall provides a majestic backdrop to the park! There is convenient and reasonably priced parking in a garage underground and there are also public restrooms within the park.

Two boys on the playground at Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine.

The playground here is fenced off and you must be accompanied by a child to enter! The sprayground (splash pad) in the park is free for kids to splash in during the warm months!

The gazebo at Washington Park in Cincinnati.

We often park here and explore the park and then walk a few blocks to the main business district of Over-The-Rhine (Vine Street). It’s also around a 10-minute walk from Washington Park to Findlay Market. Or you can easily take The Connector streetcar to the market from the park.

3. Play on the PNC Grow Up Great Adventure Playground at Smale Riverfront Park

  • Address: 100 W Mehring Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
  • Website

We happened to stumble upon this park on a recent visit to Cincinnati! We took The Connector from Washington Park to the southernmost stop, The Banks, right on the waterfront and by The Great American Ballpark where the Cincinnati Reds play. We walked down Main St. past the ballpark and to Smale Riverfront Park along the river.

A rope bridge at PNC Grow Up Great Park in Cincinnati.

From there, if you head west along the Ohio River (head toward Paul Brown Stadium which you can see in the distance), you will find the PNC Grow Up Great Adventure Playground which includes fun play structures for kids, tall slides, climbing walls and a net bridge.

Kids on tall slides at the Smale Riverfront Park in Cincinnati.

A little bit further down the path, don’t miss The Flying Pig statue which kids can climb into!

Two boys inside the Flying Pig at Smale Riverfront Park on the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The waterfront views combined with the John A Roebling Suspension Bridge in the background make for a stunning backdrop to a playground! (P.S. Did you know that John A Roebling also designed the Brooklyn Bridge?!) Even if you visit Cincinnati without kids, it’s worth walking along the Riverfront!

4. Ride The Connector Street Car for Free

Downtown Cincinnati is home to a free streetcar called The Connector. You can get on and off at any of the stops at any time. It is a convenient way to get around downtown Cincinnati without having to worry about parking at each location!

The Connector Streetcar in Cincinnati, Ohio.

My husband and I took The Connector around on our anniversary weekend one year when we stayed at the 21C Museum Hotel downtown. We also took our kids on it to get from Washington Park to Smale Riverfront Park and back during a recent visit.

Make sure to check the website and download the map so you can pay attention to where the stops are and which way The Connector is heading when you get on! When you are approaching the stop you need, you can press the STOP button near the windows of the streetcar to request your stop.

A father and son waiting for the Cincinnati Connector.

The streetcar will pass your stop every 15-20 minutes or so. The route is just over 3.5 miles and will take you from Over-the-Rhine to the Riverfront and back!

5. Enjoy the American Sign Museum

  • Address: 1330 Monmouth Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45225
  • Website

The American Sign Museum exceeded my expectations! I had seen pictures online but visiting in person was even more impressive! There is a lot to see here! My husband, who is a graphic designer, could have spent all day here!

Neon signs at the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati.

The kids loved how a portion of the museum is set up like a town – “Main Street USA”!

Neon signs at the American Sign Museum.

The signs in the museum cover over 100 years of history! You can take self-guided tours via an audio tour on your phone or just read the signage along the way. The museum’s collection of signs continues to grow and they have plans to expand very soon!  Allow some time to shop in their cool gift shop as there are some really unique items I haven’t seen elsewhere!

If you’re looking to experience a slice of American pop culture, this museum on the north side of Cincinnati will not disappoint!

6. Get Coffee at Mom ‘n ‘ Em Coffee & Wine

  • Address: 3128 Colerain Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45225
  • Website

I had recently run across the fact that Mom ‘n ‘Em has been named the Number 5 coffee shop in the United States by Food & Wine! So, like I do, I added them to my list of places to eventually visit! The next time we were in Cincinnati, we stopped by their original location on Colerain Avenue.

The front counter at Mom 'n 'ems Coffee and Wine.

This location is located inside a good sized house and there is a huge patio and seating area outside. It was February, so we didn’t get to enjoy the patio, but we could just imagine how fun it would be when the weather is warm!

The coffee was, in fact, delicious! The kids got hot chocolates and we all tried a pastry! The coffee shop was definitely a popular destination on a Sunday afternoon! The staff was very friendly and I’m so glad we got to try it out!

A latte at Mom 'n 'ems Coffee and Wine.

This location of Mom ‘n ‘Em is really close to the American Sign Museum, so tuck that little piece of info away for a fun day trip in Cincinnati! A second location of the coffee shop can be found on the east side of the city!

Check out my list of the coolest coffee shops in Ohio for more ideas!

7. Grab an International Snack at Jungle Jim’s International Market

  • Address: 4450 Eastgate S Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45245
  • Website

Jungle Jim’s International Market is somewhere you have to visit at least once! And after you do, you will start planning your next trip! Jungle Jim’s Eastgate location is on the east side of Cincinnati. Eastage is the second location. You can read about the original location in my blog post about things to do in Butler County, Ohio!

International foods at Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati Eastgate.

Jungle Jim’s International Market started out as a roadside produce stand and has become a humungous shopping experience featuring food and other items from over 70 different countries! In addition to the unique food options, the decor in the store makes for an extra fun shopping experience!

Our kids would never call going to the grocery store a “good time” but there were no complaints heard from either of them at Jungle Jim’s! Of course, it didn’t hurt that there is a huge Candy Castle and a toy section!

The fish and meat area at Jungle Jims.

I love looking at all of the international foods and trying new things! It is such a fun experience! Definitely put a visit to Jungle Jim’s on your Cincinnati itinerary!

8. Take in the Cincinnati Skyline at Mt. Adams Steps

  • Address: 30 Guido St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
  • Website

If you want to take in one of the best views of downtown Cincinnati, head to the Mt. Adams Steps behind the Holy Cross Immaculata Parish! Mt. Adams is a Cincinnati neighborhood in the hills, overlooking the Ohio River.

A view of the Cincinnati skyline from Mount Adams.

There are many restaurants to choose from in the neighborhood and nearby is Eden Park, home to the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Krohn Conservatory.

A walkway lined with flowers in Mt. Adams.

This is a hidden gem in Ohio and can be hard to find if you’re unfamiliar with the area! To get to the Mt. Adams Steps, look for public parking anywhere in the surrounding neighborhood. We usually find parking on the street. Then walk to the Holy Cross Immaculata Parish and head to the back of the building. You won’t regret it!

9. Visit the Cincinnati Art Museum

  • Address: 953 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202
  • Website

Admission to Cincinnati Art Museum is free! The museum features 3 floors of art including Ancient Art, Modern & Contemporary Art and an area for kids to get creative!

Art and seating at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

The museum also has a cafe and a gift shop. Ticket to special exhibitions may have an admission fee.

A unique feature of the Cincinnati Art Museum is the Art Climb! Located at the corner of Gilbert Avenue and Eden Park Dr., there is set of steps that lead to the museum. Along the way you can enjoy outdoor sculptures!

The Art Climb steps behind the Cincinnati Museum of Art.

Parking for the museum is also free! It’s hard to beat a totally free art museum!

10. Explore Findlay Market

  • Address: 1801 Race St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
  • Website

My husband and I visited Findlay Market for the first time on an anniversary trip to Cincinnati! I was highly impressed by the market and I fell in love with the whole vibe of the whole area! The window boxes filled with flowers on the surrounding historic buildings, the open market stalls and the large outdoor patio made me feel like I was in Europe, not southern Ohio!

Tents and flowers in window boxes at Findlay Market.

Findlay Market is Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market and it is a stop on the free Connector street car. It’s also within walking distance of Over-the-Rhine.

Outside seating area at Findlay Market in Cincinnati, Ohio.

There are indoor and outdoor portions of the market and you can find everything from fresh produce to prepared food. A Farmers Market is open on the weekends in an area called the Shed. It happens year-round!

The Farmers Market at Findlay Market.

Definitely make a visit to Findlay Market a priority on your next road trip to Cincinnati!

11. Have a Drink at Rhinegeist Taproom

  • Address: 1910 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
  • Website

If you love craft beer, you have to have a drink at the Rhinegeist Taproom in Cincinnati! This local brewery makes “beer for humans” and their taproom his humungous! There are cornhole boards and other activities to enjoy as well as lots of seating!

Cornhole inside the brewery at Rhinegeist Taproom.

They also have an incredible rooftop patio! While I’m not a huge beer fan, I do love their ciders and the Geist Tea! I’m also a fan of Bubbles!

A beer flight at Rhinegeist.

My husband and I got beer flights (and I could try all of the ciders)! That was a fun way to get a little taste of several of the beers.

Food is also available from the Mac’s Pizza vending machine as well as some grab-and-go snacks at the bar. You can also bring in your own food if you prefer!

12. Explore Over-the-Rhine

  • Address: W. 14th St. at Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
  • Website

Pretty much any time we take a trip to Cincinnati, we spend time in the downtown neighborhood, Over-the-Rhine. Much like the Short North in Columbus, Over-the-Rhine has gone through a long period of transition. The neighborhood is trendy yet still gritty.

A painted street in Over-the-Rhine Cincinnati.

The neighborhood includes high-end shopping, boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, theater and more! I love the architecture of the buildings and all of the colorful murals in the neighborhood. It’s a unique area that feels like you’re part of a larger city like New York or Philadelphia.

A street view in OTR.

Washington Park is a great starting point. It’s easy to park in the underground garage at the park. Then walk west on 14th street. Vine St. is the heart of the shopping and restaurant district in OTR but be sure to explore the side streets as well!

13. See the Animals at Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

  • Address: 3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45220
  • Website

The Cincinnati Zoo is a beautiful zoo to visit! And a big reason for that beauty is the fact that the zoo is also a botanical garden! The animal habitats are spread amongst beautiful flowers and trees! It really makes for a unique experience. The one thing I really came away from the zoo thinking was how pretty it is!

A boy looking at a zebra at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

If you’ve been anywhere near Cincinnati over the past few years, you know that Fiona the hippo has been the star of the zoo! Fiona was born a premie in 2017. Her brother Fitz came along in 2022! We got to see the hippo family on our visit to the zoo in 2024. It was a major highlight of our visit! We managed to time it with a hippo feeding and it was a joy to watch all 4 hippos come up out of the water to eat lettuce!

Hippos being fed at the Cincinnati Zoo.

The Cincinnati Zoo is in the middle of the city and there is a main parking lot and overflow parking lots. Make sure to arrive early during busy seasons to get good parking (and see the animals when they are most active in the morning)!

14. Explore King Arthur’s Court

  • Address: 3040 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45209
  • Website

Kids will be in awe at this amazing toy store in Oakley. Wow. It is one of the best toy stores I have ever been in! The toy store is not only filled with toys, it has a ton of fun elements like huge stuffed animals, a stage area, play tables, King Arthur’s throne to sit on and so much more!

A throne and a giant knight at King Arthur's Court.

At King Arthur’s Court you will find all of your favorite toy brands, books, games, stuffed animals plus unique toys you won’t see in a big box store!

A seating area inside King Arthur's Court in Cincinnati.

In the basement of the store, called The Dungeon, there is a play area! Kids can enjoy a zipline, climbing elements, a play house, train table and more! This is a toy store you just need to see to believe!

The Dungeon at King Arthur's Court, a toy store in Cincinnati, Ohio.

With free coffee, seating areas and play tables, this toy store is a destination! It’s built with families in mind and it’s a place where it’s okay for the kids to play!

15. See Sharks and More at Newport Aquarium

  • Address: 1 Levee Wy, Newport, KY 41071
  • Website

When you visit Cincinnati, plan to take a drive across the Ohio River to Newport, KY and visit the wonderful Newport Aquarium! As you wind through the Newport Aquarium you will find sharks, stingrays, penguins, seahorses, sea turtles and so much more!

A white alligator at Newport Aquarium.

The white alligator was a highlight for my son and I when we visited over spring break this year! Did you know that white alligators exist but you’ll never see them in the wild because they can’t be in the sun!

A boy walking through a glass tunnel filled with fish at Newport Aquarium near Cincinnati, Ohio.

There is a huge Shar Ray Bay Theater where you can watch sharks and other large sea creatures swim through a huge glass window. That was my favorite part! If you dare, you can walk over Shark Bridge, a rope bridge over the swimming sharks! (yes, I did it!)

There are lots of opportunities for visitors of the aquarium to get up close to sea creatures! You can pet stingrays and catsharks! There are many tunnels to walk through where fish are swimming over top of you and glass floors where you can walk overtop of fish! And if kids need a break, the aquarium has a play area for kids called Splash & Bubbles Play Climber.

A boy looking down at fish through a glass floor at Newport Aquarium.

It is highly recommended that you buy your tickets in advance as tickets are timed and popular times may sell out!

16. Build a LEGO set at The Brickery Cafe & Play

  • Address: Levee Wy, Newport, KY 41071
  • Website

The Brickery Cafe & Play is the first LEGO-themed cafe in the United States! Inside the main shopping center at Newport on the Levee, this shop allows customers to rent a LEGO set and build it inside the cafe!

If your kids love building LEGO sets but don’t do much with them after that, this is a great way to build a popular LEGO set at a fraction of the price! My kids love to play with their LEGO sets afterwards so I wasn’t sure how my son would feel about not being able to keep the set, but he assured me that it was fun to put the set together and not keep it!

A boy building a LEGO set at The Brickery Cafe in Newport on the Levee.

The cafe serves prepackaged snacks and drinks. They even have their own LEGO-themed drinks made from sodas and flavored syrups. Drinks are named after characters in The LEGO Movie! For example, The Emmet is Sprite, Orange Syrup and Peach Puree.

A LEGO display at The Brickery Cafe in Newport on the Levee near Cincinnati, Ohio.

When we visited in April of 2024, the cost to build a set ranged from $4 to $12 depending on the size of the set. The largest sets may take up to 2 hours to complete and the smaller sets may only take 15-20 minutes.

The Brickery also sells LEGO sets and minifigures. You can also build your own mini figure in the store!

I think Cincinnati is one of the best places to visit in Ohio! There’s so much history in the city and there are so many fun attractions for families in Cincinnati! It’s a great spot to spend a weekend with young children or even as a couple! We’ve had a great time exploring the city and we have so much more to see! Feel free to leave us a suggestion for where to go next in the comments!

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Best Things to do in Cincinnati.