Cincinnati Family Attractions
Cincinnati Family Attractions fit this border and riverfront city like a glove. A major zoo, children’s museum, natural history museum, science museum two theme parks, an aquarium, a water park, and pro football and baseball stadiums are the ticket. One of the newest developments is the Brewing Heritage Trail — three cheers from beerlovers.
Cincinnati Museum Center
DESCRIPTION: Three museums in one great building, a re-imagined train station: Cincinnati History Museum explores Cincinnati’s rich heritage in re-created scenes, while Duke Energy Children’s Museum lets kids climb, crawl, explore and learn about themselves and the world around them is perfect for kids of all ages in nine educational and dramatic exhibit areas. Museum of Natural History & Science you’ll learn about the creatures and features of the ancient Ohio River Valley and the sciences that shaped them. Lindner OMNIMAX Theater and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library round this robust collection of family attractions.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sat 10a-5p, Sun 11a-6p
ADMISSION: ticket price varies by combination of venues you visit; see website.
ADDRESS: Union Terminal at 1301 Western Avenue; Cincinnati, OH
PARKING: $10 per vehicle
PHONE: 513-287-7000 or 800-733-2077
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
DESCRIPTION: Opened in 1875, it is ranked one of the top zoos in the nation. The Zoo’s 65 acres feature over 700 different animal species. Many programs and activities for kids to meet and learn about animals; the zoo is particularly noted for its efforts to conserve and propagate endangered species. The botanical garden has over 3,000 types of plants that demonstrate diversity and symbiotic relationships with animal life in naturalistic settings to promote conservation. The Zoo train rides through a portion of the botanical garden. The annual Festival of Lights showcases over 100 lighted displays during the winter holidays, as ice carvers also turn giant blocks of ice into beautiful holiday sculptures. Giraffe Ridge is also special for little kids.
DAYS & HOURS: Daily 9a-6p Summer hours
ADMISSION: Adults 13-61 $23, Age 2-12 $19, Age 1- enter Free
ADDRESS: 3400 Vine Street; Cincinnati, OH
PARKING: paid available
PHONE: 513-281-4700 or 800-94-HIPPO
Great America Ball Park
DESCRIPTION: Opened in 2003 as home to the Cincinnati Reds baseball team, this marvelous park overlooking the Ohio River seats 43,000 and sits next to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Special features at the ballpark include Crosley Terrace statues, Italian-marble mosaics, famous-dates banners and a nostalgic Sun/Moon Deck. Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is a special palace for the baseball fans covering the formation of the Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869, where America’s passion for the sport were born.
DAYS & HOURS: depends on Cincinnati Reds baseball season; see website
ADMISSION: see ticket pricing matrix on website
ADDRESS: 100 Main Street
PARKING: seperate price for general parking on site
PHONE: ballpark tour 513-765-7000 and Hall of Fame Museum 513-765-7576
Paul Brown Stadium
DESCRIPTION: Opened in 2000 as home of the Cincinnati Bengals football team. Its a striking architectural design, it stands in stark contrast to other modern stadiums with naming rights paid by a large corporation — instead, its named it after legendary football coach and first coach of the Bengals, Paul Brown. Seating 65,500 plus 114 suites, the stadium is noted for having artificial FieldTurf which looks and feels like real grass, and for having two large high definition screens.
DAYS & HOURS: depends on Cincinnati Bengals football season; see website
ADMISSION: based on Bengals tickets price matrix and per special event
ADDRESS: One Paul Brown Stadium; Cincinnati, OH
PARKING: seperate price for general parking on site
DESCRIPTION: Everything you need in a family theme park, including comparably affordable prices. Over 50 rides and attractions like a Grand Carousel, Dodgems, Pepsi Python Family Roller Coaster, Ferris Wheel, Scrambler, Bumper Boats and Coney Kids Town. Famous Fairways Miniature Golf Course has 18-holes of replicas of some of the famous golf holes in the United States. Sunlite Pool is the world’s largest re-circulating swimming pool, holding more than three million gallons of water, with six diving boards, a 15 foot pool slide, The Pipeline Plunge, enclosed slide and the Zoom Flume, a twin chute slide.
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10a-8p
ADMISSION: matrix of ticket prices; see website
ADDRESS: 6201 Kellogg Avenue; Cincinnati, OH
The Beach Waterpark
DESCRIPTION: Ohio’s largest water park, the Beach has more than 40 thrilling rides and exciting attractions. At 35 acres and 2.5 million gallons of good, clean fun, the Beach is rated as one of the top five waterparks in the country.
DAYS & HOURS: open daily May-Labor Day
ADMISSION: $22 online one day
ADDRESS: 2590 Waterpark Drive; Cincinnati, OH
PARKING: $7.50 per vehicle
Newport on the Levee
DESCRIPTION: Situated just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati in Newport, Kentucky, this entertainment destination features an exciting mix of entertainment venues, restaurants and retailers; some of its tenants include AMC Theaters. Empire, a 27,000 square foot nightclub featuring three clubs in a single venue. Shadowbox Cabaret, offering a wild live cabaret theater experience. Firstar IMAX Theatre; Mitchell’s Fish Market, a restaurant offering more than 80 kinds of fresh fish daily. Having Barnes & Noble, Newport Aquarium and more Newport on the Levee is easily accessible from I-471, the Taylor Southgate Bridge and Pete Rose Way, and via TANK, the Transportation Authority of Northern Kentucky.
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Thu 11a-9p, Fri-Sat 11a-10p, Sun Noon-6p; Summer Hours – Mon-sat open at 10a
ADMISSION: free for most establishments, but some venues have an admission charge
ADDRESS: 1 Levee Way; Newport, KY
PARKING: Varies from Free-$5 per vehicle depending on the time you enter the garage
DESCRIPTION: Home to 1 million gallons of fun and edutainment, the aquarium invites families for a day of interactive exhibits. The walk-through tunnel lets you safely peer at sharks cruising overhead in the 380,000-Gallon Shark Tank. Stingray Hideaway: Enter Their World” provides an interactive experience, including a 17,000 gallon stingray touchpool containing two dozen stingrays. Additionally, the aquarium features more than sixty exhibits and five underwater tunnels. Brave kids of all ages can take the Shark Bridge, a rope bridge that crosses over one of the many shark tanks at the Aquarium.You can also stroll through a bayou where fish glide underfoot. Other attractions are 600 marine species, 12 King Penguins, 17 larger-than-life murals, 16 themed galleries, and 60 exhibits packed into a 100,000 square foot venue; you can walk on the pedestrian bridge across the Ohio River to this venue.
DAYS & HOURS: daily
ADMISSION: Adults $22, Ages 2-12 $15, Age 1 and under enter Free
ADDRESS: One Aquarium Way; Newport, KY
PARKING: hourly garage on-site
DESCRIPTION: A mini-vacation destination like no other in the Midwest offers families an array of dynamic activities, entertainment and fun that just won’t stop. Mystic Timbers, a 3,265 foot wooden coaster, reaches 53 mph, 109 feet high and 16 “airtime moments” through wooded terrain. Following the theme of an abandoned lumber company, the coaster finishes with a mysterious feature, which includes a special effects-enhanced scene. Only open weekends until the last week in May then daily regular season starts.
DAYS & HOURS: Summer hours are daily 10am-10pm, check their website for other hours
ADMISSION: $39 season pass or $95 for 4 people or more
ADDRESS: 6300 Kings Island Drive; Mason, Ohio