Family Destinations in Cincinnati

April 16th, 2021 by

The red doors are shown on the Cincinnati Fire Museum.

Whether your family is into learning about the history of our city and state or they enjoy spending the day watching the habits of exotic animals, there is a multitude of satisfying and fun things to do with the kids in Cincinnati. Perhaps you grew up in the area and have already experienced much of what Cincinnati has to offer. But as a parent, you get the wonderful opportunity to relive and rediscover all of the things you enjoyed when you were young. Whether it’s a classic favorite or a newly added offering, the Queen City suffers no shortage of fun and excitement. With a huge selection of interesting and fun destinations, you and your family will love spending your free time learning, living, and making permanent memories. Here are just a few places in Cincinnati where you and your family can visit for a memorable experience.

Cincinnati Fire Museum

The Cincinnati Fire Museum, also known as the Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati, exhibits artifacts and honors both past and present firefighters. If you and the family are interested in observing the oldest fire engine in Cincinnati or seeing examples of early leather fire buckets, this is a wonderful destination for young and old alike. The museum is located in downtown Cincinnati housed in the restored Court Street Firehouse.

In addition to the exciting and interesting artifacts you will enjoy, the museum presents a simulated house fire in a mock house where tour guides discuss how house fires are started, burn hazards, and what can be done to prevent a house fire. The safety education program teaches participants how to protect themselves in the event of a fire and ways to escape should a fire occur. The tour is entertaining, educational, and appropriate for adults and children of all ages. The tour takes about an hour and is free for children under the age of six.

Findlay Market

Findlay Market is the city’s oldest operating public market and was named by Newsweek as one of the top 10 markets in the world. Founded in 1852, the market is located north of downtown Cincinnati in Over-the-Rhine. The market hosts street performers, outdoor vendors, and a farmer’s market. It’s the perfect place to bring the kids and spend a few hours exploring the goods, grabbing a bite to eat, and people watching.

Inside the market is a foodie’s dream where you can find fresh seafood, bulk spices, the finest cheese, and colorful produce. After shopping for fresh and tasty groceries, head outside and try to decide what you want to eat from the many specialized food shops. But it won’t be easy, not when you are forced to choose between Belgium waffles, freshly-made pasta, or jalapeño cheddar grits. Whatever type of food you can imagine, you can likely find it at Findlay Market.

A stone walkway is shown at a botanical gaden.

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is located in the Avondale neighborhood and houses over 500 animals and 3,000 plant species; in 1987, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark. The animals on exhibit include the two-toed sloth and screaming hairy armadillo in the P&G Discovery Forest, the Jamaican boa and Northern copperhead in the Reptile House, and the Malayan tiger and snow leopard in the Cat Canyon. The zoo is one of the very few in North America that breeds pygmy chimpanzees, which is an endangered species.

There are also several garden exhibits for the family to enjoy. The Butterfly Garden is located on the north side of the gift shop and is filled with butterfly-friendly plants. The flowers are full of nectar and feed the many species of moths, butterflies, and other insects within the garden. The Edible Gardens are meant to demonstrate how easy it is to grow a garden; vertical window boxes display peppers, kale, and other growing goodies. There is simply no better way to spend the day than at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

Holtman’s Donut Shop

Holtman’s Donut Shop is a sweet shop that sells old-fashioned and new fangled donuts that are made from scratch. There are six locations throughout the area for your convenience, including shops in Loveland, Cincinnati, West Chester, and Williamsburg. But if you are planning on taking the family out for donuts and other goodies, you had better leave early as this is a popular destination, and they do run out of donuts from time to time.

Whether you desire an exotic donut or prefer something more traditional, Holtman’s Donuts delivers beyond your expectations. From simple old-fashioned glazed donuts to donuts topped with bacon, Fruity Pebbles, and Oreo crumbles, anyone with a sweet tooth will feel as though they are in heaven. To be on the safe side, you might want to scour their website first and decide what you want; it could save you time in the long run as there are so many choices.

Eden Park

Nestled between Walnut Hills and Mount Adams neighborhoods, Eden Park is one of Cincinnati’s most scenic and well-known parks. The park spans nearly 190 acres and is home to sweeping views of the Ohio River, a beautiful overlook, and several lakes. There are also plenty of green areas for picnics, a pond with a fountain, walking paths, and a basketball court. The park is open all year long, and it is free to the public. It is an ideal destination for all members of the family.

Eden Park is home to several city landmarks and landscape features. For example, the Elsinore Arch, which was built in 1883, is a natural entrance to the park. There are several events held at the park each year, including one of the largest hot air balloon gatherings in the country and the popular EdenSong Music Series, which is held at the Seasongood Pavilion. Eden Park is a wonderful destination on sunny and warm days that the entire family will enjoy. We suggest you pack a picnic lunch for the event.

A hallway is shown with neon lights.

American Sign Museum

The American Sign Museum archives, preserves, and displays a collection of signs. It is the largest public museum in the states dedicated to signs. The museum boasts 19,000 square feet of exhibit space with 28-foot ceilings, which are needed to accommodate the larger signs. There is even a working neon shop that makes the event even more unique and interesting. Browsing the museum feels like a trip to the past as you enjoy the various signs that represent a 100-year history.

There are over 200 signs on display at the museum, which is located at 1330 Monmouth Avenue. The collection includes a fiberglass Frisch’s Big Boy statue, a single-arch McDonalds sign from 1963, and a neon sign from Johnny’s Big Red Grill, which was once a popular restaurant that students from Cornell University would frequent. This little gem is a great destination for the whole family and promises plenty of education and entertainment.

Cincinnati’s Vibrant Community

Cincinnati has a vibrant community with plenty of places for the entire family to enjoy. Whether the members of your family enjoy museums, parks, or eateries, there are plenty of options in the city. It doesn’t matter what interests you; you are sure to find something to do in Cincinnati. If you are into green spaces and nature, the parks in and around the area enable you to enjoy intense hikes and peaceful walks. Cincinnati is also home to a thriving food scene; in terms of food, every type of dish can be found in the city. And while you are out and about exploring the beautiful city, make sure to take in the historic architecture.

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