Cincinnati is one of Ohio’s major cities, so of course, you’ll find lots of fun things to do in it. It has historical architecture, beautiful nature spots, and even some amusement parks.
So, if you’re looking for an action-packed trip right in the Midwest, this Ohio city is a great place to consider. Just remember that vacations during summer months will probably be the most enjoyable.
So, here are 13 fun things to do in Cincinnati that you should consider for your upcoming trip.
#1 – Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
The Cincinnati Zoo has been around since 1873, making it one of the oldest zoos in the United States. It has about 2,000 animals of 500 different species. You’ll see animals like alligators, Komodo dragons, giraffes, rhinos, and camels. This zoo is successful when it comes to breeding endangered animals and helping animals live longer than normal lives too. When visiting, you can take tours and opt to feed the animals yourself. It’s one of the best-rated zoos in the country and an excellent family-friendly activity.
#2 – Cincinnati Art Museum
The Cincinnati Art Museum is another popular attraction that’s one of the oldest of its kind. It was built in 1881, and it has a collection of over 65,000 art pieces. The museum is located in Eden Park, and it’s a great place to stop on a rainy day. It showcases paintings, sculptures, carvings, and other works that date back as far as six centuries ago. You might recognize some pieces from famous artists like Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso. The museum often offers workshops and other art events too.
#3 – Kings Island
Kings Island is an amusement park that’s only a short drive from downtown Cincinnati. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Cincinnati if you’re traveling with kids. In fact, it’s known as the biggest amusement park in the Midwest. It’s a 364-acre park with a continuously updating list of rides. You’ll find roller coasters, carousels, drop towers, and even a water park! Of course, it also has lots of carnival games and dining options too. Also, it’s only open during warmer months, so plan your trip accordingly.
#4 – Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum
A cemetery doesn’t sound like the most uplifting vacation spot, but this park has more than just some spooky gravestones. The Spring Grove Cemetery is over 700 acres, making it the second largest cemetery in the United States. It’s a historical landmark with lots of beautiful structures and plants. While you’re there, you can explore the grounds and admire the plants, sculptures, and ponds. You can also take a guided tour or tram tour to find out more about this attraction’s history.
#5 – Findlay Market
If you feel your stomach grumbling during your vacation, you might want to stop by the Findlay Market. It’s an indoor and outdoor market that was founded in 1852. You’ll see all types of mouth-watering foods, including meat, produce, bread, cheese, wine, and desserts. You might even come across artwork and souvenirs too. Even if you’re not planning to buy anything, it’s still a lively place to walk around and explore.
#6 – Carew Tower
The Carew Tower is no match for New York’s Empire State Building, but it’s still a tall building with impressive views. It has 49 floors and it stands over 570 feet. On the various floors, you’ll find shopping, dining, and event spaces. But the most popular part of the tower is the observation deck on the 49th floor. You can step out onto the open-air deck to get the best views of the city. It’s one of the most perfect photo opportunities in Cincinnati, but it’s certainly not a good idea if you’re scared of heights.
#7 – Krohn Conservatory
The Krohn Conservatory is another attraction that you’ll find in Eden Park. It’s a large botanical garden that has everything including waterfalls, bonsais, and orchids. In this conservatory, you’ll also find lots of produce growing, such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and bananas. This attraction has plants both indoors and outdoors, so you can enjoy the sights no matter the time of year. The indoor space also has special exhibits regularly, such as floral shows and butterfly shows.
#8 – Eden Park
It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the busy city. So, Eden Park is one of the most fun things to do in Cincinnati if you’re looking for a break from all the chaos. It’s a large park right in the city, where you can access tourist attractions like the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Krohn Conservatory, and the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Yet, if you just want to spend time outside and enjoy the park, there’s plenty to explore. There are trails, lakes, fountains, and gardens for guests to admire.
#9 – American Sign Museum
The American Sign Museum isn’t your average museum, but it will give you a unique way of learning history: through signs! This museum has 20,000 square feet of signs from different points in history. In fact, this attraction is the largest museum in the United States dedicated solely to signs. You’ll find store signs, movie posters, flashing neon signs, and more. You’re free to explore the attraction on your own or you can take an audio tour to learn a little more history about each display.
#10 – Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum
This attraction is one of the most fun things to do in Cincinnati for sports lovers. It’s a 15,000-square-foot museum that’s dedicated to the baseball history of the Reds. It has displays about all the accomplishments made by the players, managers, and everyone else involved with the team. Some items you’ll see during your visit include World Series trophies, MVP awards, and a scorecard from the first professional baseball team. If you’re able, you should also try to catch a game or at least take a tour of Great American Ball Park.
#11 – Cincinnati Dinner Train
The Cincinnati Dinner Train is a delightful and unique dining experience. It’s a 3-hour dining excursion that will take you on a tour of the city’s many vibrant sceneries. The train has vintage dining cars, which are perfectly restored for the occasion. Guests will also be presented with a fancy four-course meal. When you’re done eating, you can head over to the bar and continue to admire the views over some drinks. It’s a perfect event for couples, especially during special occasions.
#12 – Coney Island Park
Coney Island Park is located only 10 miles away from downtown Cincinnati. It’s an amusement park and water park, both of which are fun for all ages! The park first opened in 1886, and it currently has over 24 rides, including roller coasters and water slides. It’s the perfect destination for some summer fun. Coney Island is also a popular area for festivals and other events, so be sure to check out what’s going on before your visit.
#13 -National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
While this attraction isn’t as action-packed, it’s still a must-see in Cincinnati. It won’t be an uplifting experience, but you will learn a lot of valuable information about history. The museum goes into details about the history of slavery, including stories, photos, and relics from the time period. Plus, the attraction was built right on the banks of the Ohio River, which is where slaves once escaped and headed to Canada. You’ll get the opportunity to get up close to a lot of the items used back then, which is heartbreaking to experience. But as hard as this information is to learn about, it’s sure to make you feel more compassionate afterwards.
There’s more to Ohio than meets the eye. There are lots of fun things to do in Cincinnati, which is why it’s one of the most popular locations in the state. But if this city doesn’t seem like a good fit for you, you can consider other Ohio destinations like Columbus. Like Cincinnati, the whole state has much more excitement than you’d expect!