Cincinnati: the city of many nicknames. Whether you refer to it as Cincy, The ‘Nati, The Queen City, The Queen of the West, or The City of Seven Hills, one thing is for sure – there’s never a dull moment here!
Rich in history, art, culture, food, and outdoor activities, Cincinnati offers visitors a lot. Art lovers will be in awe of the many museums and art galleries, history buffs will enjoy exploring the various historic sites, and foodies will be spoiled for choice with the abundance of eateries.
And let’s not forget about the great outdoors. Cincinnati has numerous parks and green spaces, perfect for a relaxing stroll or a picnic lunch.
If you’re still unconvinced, look at our guide to the best things to do in Cincinnati, Ohio, and we’re sure it will earn a spot on your “to visit” list.
Get ready to explore a different side of Cincinnati on the Ultimate Queen City Underground Tour. This guided tour takes you through some of the city’s lesser-known history, underground tunnels, and even a hidden crypt. You’ll learn about the city’s unique past while exploring its hidden corners – even most locals don’t know about! The escorted tour begins in historic Over-the-Rhine, one of Cincinnati’s most vibrant and lively neighborhoods. From there, you’ll descend underground into the city’s extensive network of tunnels.
Looking for a delicious way to experience all that Cincinnati has to offer? Join this streetcar food tour and enjoy a variety of dishes from different restaurants and markets across the city. You'll be able to try something new at each stop, and your expert guide will be there to answer any questions and ensure you have a great time. This tour is the perfect way to get a taste of Cincinnati's amazing culinary scene.
With a guided tour of Cincinnati's top sights, you'll get an insider's look at all the best places to see, from the banks of the Ohio River to downtown and Findlay Market. And, with food tastings at some of the city's best restaurants included, you'll get a true taste of what Cincinnati has to offer. Plus, with an all-day streetcar pass included, you can spend the rest of the day exploring on your own.
Show Table of Contents
- Things to Do in Cincinnati, Ohio
- 1. Cincinnati Art Museum
- 2. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
- 3. American Sign Museum
- 4. Great American Ball Park
- 5. Cincinnati Music Hall
- 6. Downtown Cincinnati
- 7. Duke Energy Children’s Museum & Cincinnati Museum Center
- 8. Underground Railroad Freedom Center
- 9. Spring Grove Cemetery
- 10. Findlay Market
- 11. Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum
- 12. Taft Museum of Art
- 13. Cincinnati Observatory
- 14. Roebling Suspension Bridge
- 15. Cincinnati Dinner Train
- 16. Cincinnati History Museum
- 17. Smale Riverfront Park
- 18. Cincinnati Riverwalk
- 19. Coney Island Park
- 20. Food Tour of Cincinnati
- 21. The Cincinnati Ballet
- 22. 16-Bit Bar + Arcade
- 23. Sawyer Point Park
- 24. Ghost Tour of Cincinnati
- 25. Over-The-Rhine Neighborhood
- 26. Day Trip to Northern Kentucky
- 27. The Escape Game Cincinnati
- 28. New Riff Distilling
- 29. Indoor Skydiving
- 30. Eden Park
- 31. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
- 32. The Contemporary Arts Center
- 33. The Vent Haven Museum
- 34. Fountain Square
- 35. A Dinner Cruise on the Ohio River
- What are some fun things to do in Cincinnati, Ohio?
- What is the best thing to do with kids in Cincinnati?
- What is the best thing to do on a rainy day in Cincinnati?
- Most significant landmark – Findlay Market
- Best park – Sawyer Point Park
- Best free activity – The Cincinnati Art Museum
- Best activity for kids – Cincinnati Zoo
- Best activity for adults – Ghost tour of Cincinnati
- Best food – Cincinnati chili dog
- Best nightlife – 16-Bit Bar + Arcade
- Best all-around accommodation – Renaissance Downtown Cincinnati Hotel
Things to Do in Cincinnati, Ohio
1. Cincinnati Art Museum
Address: 953 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Founded in 1881 as the city’s first purpose-built art museum, the Cincinnati Art Museum is one of the most historical places in the city. It has an outstanding collection of over 60,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of human history, making it home to one of the most comprehensive collections in the Midwest.
The museum’s extensive holdings include paintings by European masters such as Rembrandt, Rubens, and van Dyck; influential American artists like Charles Willson Peale, Winslow Homer, and Georgia O’Keeffe; and a superb selection of Asian, African, and Native American art. The museum also has an excellent program of temporary exhibitions to enjoy.
In 2003, the museum unveiled its Cincinnati Wing, which added more than 4,000 square feet (372 square meters) of exhibition space. This wing is dedicated to showcasing art from local Cincinnati artists or art created for the city of Cincinnati only.
The Cincinnati Art Museum is located in Eden Park, about three miles (five kilometers) north of downtown. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is free.
See Related: Best Museums in the US You Need to Visit
2. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Address: 3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45220
Just look at that cute face! Kiddos and parents will have a blast visiting the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Home to over 500 different animal species, it’s one of the largest zoos in the United States.
Some of the most popular animals include gorillas, lions, tigers, and bears. Oh my! But Fiona the Hippo is easily one of their most famous attractions. Born six weeks premature, she is world-famous as the smallest hippo ever to survive.
The zoo has several unique attractions, seasonal events, and traditional exhibits. For example, their “Zoo Brew” event allows visitors to sample over 100 different types of beer while walking around the zoo. And their “Zoo Babies” event showcases all of the newest arrivals.
The zoo is also one of the city’s most beautifully landscaped green spaces, with 74 acres (30 hectares) of gardens, walking trails, and picnic areas. The Botanical Garden is home to over 4,000 different plant species, and a stroll through the gardens is a great way to relax and take in the beauty of nature.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Cleveland, Ohio
3. American Sign Museum
Address: 1330 Monmouth Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45225
When I’m on the road, I love visiting unusual places, and the American Sign Museum most certainly fits the bill. Dedicated to preserving and displaying signs from all over the US, it’s one of Cincinnati’s top things to do.
The museum has a jaw-dropping collection of signs in all shapes and sizes, from vintage neon to hand-painted wooden works of art. The collection of characters spans over 100 years of US history, from the early 1900s to the present, all organized into exhibits focusing on specific periods or sign types.
In addition to its fascinating collection, the American Sign Museum also offers a program of educational events. One of the most popular is their “Sign Camp,” which allows kids aged 7-12 to learn all about the history and art of sign making. Guided tours are also available and are a great way to learn more about the collection and the significance of each sign.
See Related: Best Unusual Museums in the US
4. Great American Ball Park
Address: 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Baseball fans will enjoy spending an afternoon watching a baseball game at the Great American Ball Park, home of the famous Cincinnati Reds. This stadium opened in 2003 and is one of the newest places to catch a game in Major League Baseball.
The Great American Ball Park has a capacity of 42,319, making it the third-largest baseball stadium in America. The stadium is located on the banks of the Ohio River, providing a stunning view of the Cincinnati skyline. I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest baseball fan, but in these surroundings, taking in a game while washing down a hot dog with some good beer is a seriously memorable experience.
In addition to being a great place to watch a professional baseball team play, the Great American Ball Park is also a popular spot for concerts, conventions, and even weddings held here. Past performers include Taylor Swift, The Rolling Stones, and Kenny Chesney.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Findlay, Ohio
5. Cincinnati Music Hall
Address: 1241 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Cincinnati Music Hall is a national historic landmark built in 1878. This grand building is the home of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Opera. As well as being a top-notch performance venue, the Cincinnati Music Hall is one of the city’s most beautiful buildings.
The Music Hall was designed by architect Samuel Hannaford, who was behind several other iconic Cincinnati buildings, including Cincinnati Union Terminal and Cincinnati City Hall. The exterior of the building is made of limestone, while the interior features a grand staircase, chandeliers, and stained glass windows.
The hall hosts more than 200 performances yearly, and if you’re a fan of classical music, attending a performance here is one of the best things to do in Cincinnati.
Or, if you’re searching for a unique and beautiful venue to host an event, Cincinnati Music Hall is a great option. No matter your reason for visiting, spending time at this historic landmark is highly recommended.
See Related: Best Music Festivals to Attend This Summer
6. Downtown Cincinnati
Address: 8 E Mehring Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Cincinnati’s downtown region is a popular spot packed with things to see and do, including museums, theaters, restaurants, and more. Some of Cincinnati’s most iconic attractions are here, so you don’t want to miss out on this part of town.
I always think a walking tour of downtown is the best way to get your bearings and learn about the city simultaneously. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who will share stories and facts about Cincinnati’s natural history and architecture.
Need a bite to eat after all that exploring? Downtown Cincinnati has plenty of great restaurants to choose from. Maplewood Kitchen and Bar is a relaxed but smart diner selling American classics, or try the upmarket Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse if you’re really pushing the boat out.
For shopaholics, the selection of charming boutiques selling everything from clothes to jewelry to home decor has the potential to put a serious dent in your wallet.
Downtown Cincinnati also features some of the best accommodations in the city. The unique Museum Hotel features a contemporary art gallery and rooftop bar, while the Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel is perfect for couples.
See Related: Ohio Travel Guide – Tips for Visiting
7. Duke Energy Children’s Museum & Cincinnati Museum Center
Address: 1301 Western Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45203
If you have kids and you’re in town, the Duke Energy Children’s Museum is one of the best places to check out during your trip. It is dedicated to providing interactive and educational experiences for children of all ages. It was founded in 1998 in the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal.
The museum features four floors of hands-on exhibits, each with a different theme. Themes include energy, health and safety, the environment, and Cincinnati’s history. Kids can explore an oil rig, experiment with light and sound, and learn about recycling, just for starters.
Some of the museum’s most popular exhibits include the Bubble Gallery, where kids can learn about the science of bubbles, and the Energy Zone, where they can learn about different forms of energy. There’s also a section of the museum for toddlers, so even the littlest ones can enjoy the educational fun.
The museum also offers a varied program of events, including story times, science demonstrations, arts and crafts activities, and more. There’s also a cafe on-site, so you can grab a bite to eat before or after exploring the museum.
And don’t forget about the Cincinnati Museum Center, an unmissable collection of multi-museums that all the family can enjoy.
See Related: The Best Travel Insurance for Children
8. Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Address: 50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Another must-see in downtown Cincinnati is the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. This museum tells the story of the Underground Railroad and the brave men and women who risked their lives to help others escape slavery.
This important museum features interactive exhibits, films, and artifacts. Visitors can learn about the Underground Railroad’s history, see what life was like for enslaved people, and hear stories of courage and heroism. Learn about heroes like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass and be inspired by their stories of strength and determination.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is more than just a museum; it’s also a place of learning and inspiration. Educational workshops, live performances, and panel discussions are popular events, and there’s also a research library, which is open to the public.
If you’re interested in learning about one of the most critical chapters in American history, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a must-visit. It’s an essential educational and inspirational experience you will never forget.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Lima, Ohio
9. Spring Grove Cemetery
Address: 4521 Spring Grove Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45232
For some folks, visiting a cemetery might not be their ideal choice for sightseeing, but I think they’re missing out.
Established in 1845, Spring Grove Cemetery is a national historic landmark in Cincinnati. This beautiful resting place is one of the country’s largest and oldest, covering 733 acres with over 80,000 monuments and gravestones.
And with around 12,000 trees, the cemetery is also a designated arboretum and bird sanctuary. It features a number of beautiful gardens, including the Rose Garden, the Magnolia Garden, and the Rock Garden. Several benches are located throughout the cemetery, so you can take a break and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Spring Grove Cemetery is ideal if you’re looking to take some time out and enjoy a stroll and the beautiful scenery. It’s also a great place to learn about Cincinnati’s history, as many of the city’s most prominent citizens are buried here.
10. Findlay Market
Address: 1801 Race St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Findlay Market is Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market and a prominent Cincinnati tourist attraction. Located in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, the market dates back to 1855 and has been frequented by Cincinnati locals ever since.
Today, the market is home to over 50 vendors selling various goods, including fresh produce, meat, cheese, flowers, and more. The market has several restaurants, cafes, ethnic food stalls, and specialty stores. Try the Alabama Fish Bar for some delicious seafood or the popular Goose & Elder, which boasts a great selection of American dishes from local ingredients.
Findlay Market hosts cooking demonstrations, live music, and festivals, and there’s a weekly farmers market where you can buy fresh produce and other goods directly from local farmers.
Try this popular Sunday Brunch tour, which offers a delicious local food sampler menu as you explore the market.
11. Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum
Address: 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Baseball fans will want to visit the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum, dedicated to honoring the Reds’ rich history. It is one of the must-see attractions in Cincinnati.
You’ll see a replica of the Cincinnati Reds’ home stadium, Great American Ball Park, and impressive displays relating to the team’s history, including interactive exhibits, artifacts, and photos. The museum is filled with mini bobbleheads of Cincinnati Reds players, which will surely be a hit with kids.
There’s even a library that’s a must for any fan of baseball history. It contains a wealth of information on the Reds, including team statistics, player biographies, and historical newspaper articles. Even if you’re not a Reds fan, the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is still a great place to spend the afternoon.
And why not try to take in a game when you’re there? The museum is located in the Great American Ball Park, and tickets are available for matches when in season. You can also enjoy a baseball walking tour that takes in key locations around the city and focuses on the controversial 1919 World Series between Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago White Sox.
12. Taft Museum of Art
Address: 316 Pike St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Once home to William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States, the Taft Museum of Art is one of the finest small art museums in the country. It houses European and American art collections, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Gainsborough.
You’ll also see several Chinese porcelains, European sculptures, and furniture. The Taft Museum is housed in an 1820s Greek Revival mansion, which is a work of art in itself. You can tour the mansion, which is the best way to learn about its history and see some of the original furnishings.
Admission to the Taft Museum of Art is free for Taft museum members, military veterans, and children under 18. This National Historic Landmark is well worth a visit and a great way to spend a rainy day in Cincinnati.
13. Cincinnati Observatory
Address: 3489 Observatory Pl, Cincinnati, OH 45208
Cited as the “birthplace of American astronomy,” the Cincinnati Observatory opened in 1873 on top of Mount Lookout. Dedicated to gazing at the stars, it features the third-largest telescope in the world.
The observatory is open to the public from Tuesday through Sunday, and it offers visitors tours of the building, which include a chance to look through the telescopes. Tours are offered throughout the day, and they’re a great way to learn about the observatory’s history and see some of the special equipment used for astronomical research.
It also offers a regular program of seminars focusing on the facility’s history, astronomy, and physics. Be advised that many special events are immensely popular and likely to sell out.
A National Historic Landmark, the Cincinnati Observatory is an essential stop if you’re interested in astronomy and is one of the city’s most significant and historical places.
14. Roebling Suspension Bridge
Address: John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, Covington, KY 41011
If you’re a fan of impressive architecture and civil engineering feats, the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge is a must-see. The bridge spans the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky, and was completed in 1867. It was the first suspension bridge to use steel cables, considered one of John A. Roebling’s most important engineering achievements.
This impressive 1,600-foot bridge sits over 100 ft high above the waters below. It’s a popular spot for pedestrians and cyclists, as a valid path crosses the bridge. The views from the bridge are breathtaking, and on a clear day, you can see downtown Cincinnati.
You can take a tour if you want to learn more about the bridge’s history, which is a great way to learn about its construction while taking in some fantastic vistas at the same time.
15. Cincinnati Dinner Train
Address: 2172 E Seymour Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45237
All aboard the Cincinnati Dinner Train, where you’ll be transported back to the 1950s for a dining experience like no other.
The Cincinnati Dinner Train experience offers a four-course meal served in vintage cars by waitstaff in period clothing. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you enjoy your meal and have a chance to explore the vehicles and learn about their history.
On board, you’ll enjoy a full-service bar and 1950s-era music before feasting on a decadent prime rib, salmon, or chicken breast meal. Your entree will be served with a salad, vegetables, potatoes, and dessert. Gluten-free and vegan options are available too.
The train runs every Saturday throughout the year (except January), and reservations are required in advance. And if you really feel like digging the vibe, you can don some 1950s clothing and dine in style. You’ll be sure to have a ball.
See Related: Weird Food Combinations That Are Strangely Good
16. Cincinnati History Museum
Address: 1301 Western Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45203
Step back in time and look at Cincinnati’s rich history at the Cincinnati History Museum. The museum is located in the historic Union Terminal and tells the story of Cincinnati and its people.
The museum has three main galleries. The first is Cincinnati in Motion, which explores the city’s transportation history. Cincinnati: The Queen City highlights growth and development. Finally, Cincinnati: Caring for One Another examines the city’s philanthropic history. And if you’re looking to delve deeper, the museum has extensive archives for dedicated history buffs to peruse.
The Cincinnati History Museum is a great place to bring kids, and they have a play area where youngsters can dress up in period clothing and play old-fashioned games.
17. Smale Riverfront Park
Address: 166 W Mehring Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Located on the banks of the Ohio River, Smale Riverfront Park is a must-see for any visitor to Cincinnati. With stunning views of the city skyline – including the suspension bridge – you’ll find some perfect picture postcard moments here.
But this green space is more than just a nice collection of plants and decent views.
Smale Riverfront Park is a popular community location with interesting and entertaining features, including a giant swing set, an imaginative zone for kids, a water play park, a beautiful carousel, and even an interactive foot piano. The chance to reenact that famous scene from the movie Big was too good to miss!
The park also hosts the Pre-Arbor Day Celebration and Cincinnati Trail Fest each year and is a great place to simply sit back and indulge in a spot of people-watching.
18. Cincinnati Riverwalk
Address: Riverside Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Another iconic Cincinnati attraction is the Cincinnati Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is a paved walking/biking path stretching four miles along the Ohio River.
The Riverwalk is the go-to place for locals and tourists to take a stroll, run, or ride their bikes and take in the city skyline. The trail stretches across both Cincinnati and into Kentucky, so there’s plenty to see and do.
And not only is the path a great place to exercise, but the Riverwalk boasts several enticing annual events as well. The Riverfront Music Festival, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, and the Roebling Bridge Celebration are just a few of the attractions that grace the Riverwalk each year.
And the Riverwalk is one of the best places to see the Roebling Suspension Bridge, which is essential if you want that “I’ve been to Cincinnati” snapshot.
19. Coney Island Park
Address: 6201 Kellogg Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45230
Coney Island Park is a local favorite and an awesome way to spend a day with the family. It’s a short ten-mile drive from downtown, and among the more traditional water park attractions, it also features the largest recirculating pool in North America.
The amusement park has all your family’s favorites, ranging from roller coasters to kiddie rides. The waterpark is also a great spot to cool off in the summer months, and it features a lazy river, slides, and a wave pool.
Coney Island Park also has a beach where you can relax in the sun, play volleyball, or go for a swim. And, if you’re looking for places to eat, you’re more than covered here, with plenty of choices for even the pickiest of pallets. Just make sure to try the park favorite – the Cincinnati chili dog – which is some seriously iconic grub in these parts.
See Related: The Best Theme Parks in Europe
20. Food Tour of Cincinnati
If you’re anything like me, food is one of the best parts of a vacation, and a culinary tour is an excellent option if you’re looking for things to do that revolve around eating. Good news, then, as Cincinnati has an abundance of food tours that offer a taste of the city’s best cuisine.
One popular Cincinnati food tour is the Findlay Market Food Tour, which takes participants on a three-hour walking tour of Cincinnati’s oldest public market. You can sample local favorites like cheese, chocolate, and Cincinnati chili, all while learning about the city’s food culture.
Another fan favorite is the Cincinnati Streetcar Food Tour. Participants will be whisked on a two-hour ride on the Cincinnati Streetcar, with stops at some of the city’s best restaurants, including Skyline Chili, Graeter’s ice cream, and Khong Thai.
For beer and brewery connoisseurs, there’s the Underground Beer Cavern Tour, which explores some of the city’s best beer bars and breweries. The tour includes stops at two underground beer caverns, the Linck Brewery tunnels and the Jackson Brewery tunnels. Just remember that we encourage you to drink responsibly!
See Related: The Best Father and Son Trips
21. The Cincinnati Ballet
Address: 1801 Gilbert Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45202
The Cincinnati Ballet is one of the city’s most popular attractions, offering several stunning performances throughout the year, ranging from classical ballets to modern productions. This famous ballet company was founded in 1958 and showcased its first performance in 1964.
Here, you can catch a performance of iconic shows like The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet. Ensure you get your tickets well in advance, as the top shows will likely sell out.
The ballet is also home to the world-renowned Otto M. Budig Academy, which offers dance classes for children and adults.
Fitness classes are also available, ranging from yoga to pilates, and they even have a barre studio, so you can “plie” until your heart’s content.
22. 16-Bit Bar + Arcade
Address: 1124 Main St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
When it comes to nightlife in Cincinnati, you couldn’t be in a better place. The city has a dizzying selection, ranging from dive bars to upscale nightclubs. But if you’re hunting for a truly unique nightlife experience, check out the 16-Bit Bar + Arcade.
16 Bit Bar + Arcade is a bar that combines the best of beer and gaming, offering a selection of classic arcade games and a full bar. The bar has two stories, a mezzanine level, and a patio, so there’s plenty of space to spread out and have a good time. And with over 50 arcade games, there’s no shortage of opportunities for you to smash high scores.
Some of the most popular games include Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter II, and Mortal Kombat. The bar also has a full food menu to help you fuel up for a gaming night.
23. Sawyer Point Park
Address: 705 E Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Cincinnati has many beautiful parks, and Sawyer Point is one of the best. Located on the banks of the Ohio River, it incorporates comfortable picnic areas, award-winning playgrounds, walking trails, and a place to take your four-legged friends (although they need to be on a leash).
There’s a selection of public art and attractive landscaping to enjoy, and it’s a top location if you’re into hitting balls over a net, with tennis, volleyball, and pickleball courts on offer.
The best time to visit Sawyer Point Park is during the summer when you can catch some major musical and cultural events in full swing.
24. Ghost Tour of Cincinnati
Address: Memorial Hall, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Cincinnati is an old city with settlers dating back to the late 1700s, and as you might expect, it’s not without its tales of the macabre. The best way to learn about the city’s haunted history is on a ghost tour of Cincinnati.
You’ll hear about Cincinnati’s most famous spooks, including a woman who roams the streets looking for her lost child and a man who died in a fire at the Taft Hotel. The ghost tour will transport you to some of the most haunted places in the city, including the caretaker’s house at Spring Grove Cemetery and the Music Hall – home of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
The tour takes around two hours and is suitable for all ages, and if my scaredy-cat sister can enjoy these chilling tales, so can anyone.
See Related: Most Haunted Place in the US
25. Over-The-Rhine Neighborhood
Address: 1939 Race St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Over-The-Rhine is Cincinnati’s most historic neighborhood. A once-thriving German immigrant community, the site is home to various bars, restaurants, and shops, and it’s the perfect place to spend a day exploring.
Some of the best locations to visit in Over-The-Rhine include Findlay Market, Washington Park, and the Brewery District. This walking tour is the ideal way to get the most out of your visit as you explore the community with a knowledgeable guide while learning about the history and architecture of the area.
You’ll visit some of the most popular places in Over-the-Rhine, discover how it became the iconic neighborhood it is today, and sample some delicious food and drink.
You should also consider this neighborhood when deciding where to stay in Cincinnati, as it boasts several outstanding vacation rentals. Try this luxurious condo, this charming five-bedroom home, or this modern loft apartment – all within walking distance of the neighborhood’s best sights.
26. Day Trip to Northern Kentucky
It might be a bit counterproductive to suggest that one of the most fun things to do in Ohio is to actually leave Ohio, but just a short drive across the river will take you to Northern Kentucky, where you’ll find even more attractions. Think of it as a two-for-one special.
First on your list should be the Newport Aquarium, which features over 70 exhibits, including a shark ray breeding program, an Amazon jungle exhibit, and the delightfully named frog bog. You can take a behind-the-scenes tour at the aquarium to learn about the animals and how they’re cared for.
Newport has an insalubrious past, and although you can visit one of the 20 World Peace Bells here, the Newport Gangster Tour will teach you all about the region’s less-than-cordial characters.
For nature lovers, you can relax with a walk through the 700-acre Devou Park, which offers hiking trails, a playground, and scenic views of the Cincinnati skyline. The Behringer-Crawford Museum is located in the park and is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Northern Kentucky. And you can take a ride on the Devou Park Train if you want to explore while taking a load off.
So, don’t just stick to the Ohio side when you visit Cincinnati. Take a hop over the state line to enjoy what the neighbors have to offer.
See Related: 21 Fun & Best Things to Do in Lexington, Kentucky
27. The Escape Game Cincinnati
Address: 28 West Freedom Way UNIT 300, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Perfect for groups of friends, family members, or even a date night – The Escape Game Cincinnati will have you solving puzzles and riddles to “escape the room” in under 60 minutes.
You’ll be placed in a themed room where you must examine clues and use your wits to find your way out before it’s too late. With five different rooms to choose from – The Museum, The Study, The Theater, The Chapel, and Pharaoh’s Tomb – you will be challenged no matter which one you pick.
While each room will test your skills to the limit, one of the toughest challenges will be not falling out with your teammates. So make sure your relationships are watertight before diving in!
The room’s themes change often, so you can come back repeatedly and never get bored. If you love games that keep the old grey matter ticking, then don’t miss this exciting attraction in Cincinnati, Ohio.
See Related: The Best Road Trip Games for Couples
28. New Riff Distilling
Address: 24 Distillery Way, Newport, KY 41073
For liquor lovers, New Riff Distilling is an absolute must when visiting Cincinnati, Ohio – except it’s not actually in Cincinnati, Ohio, but rather Newport in Northern Kentucky. Fear not, though, for it’s only a ten-minute drive from downtown.
They offer seasonal and limited-edition spirits, tours, tastings, and a program of annual events. And, of course, bottles of New Riff’s award-winning bourbon and gin are available for purchase.
Tours are offered daily and last about 45 minutes, and you’ll receive a souvenir glass to commemorate your visit. And if you happen to be stuck for things to do on a Saturday night, you can catch live music in the bar while you sup delectable cocktails made with concoctions distilled on the premises. Where do I sign up?
29. Indoor Skydiving
Address: 7689 Warehouse Row, Liberty Township, OH 45069
I’m terrified of heights. I also suffer from flight anxiety – which is a weird thing for a traveler, I know. There’s no way you’d ever catch me jumping out of a plane, but I must admit I’m intrigued to know what that would feel like. If only there was some kind of simulation that could make it possible.
Thanks to iFLY in Cincinnati, you barely have to leave the ground in order to experience the rush of skydiving. Sessions include two flights for one person, full training provided by a certified instructor, and all the gear you need. You’ll even get a certificate when you’ve successfully completed your “jumps.”
And while I’m sure the purists will say it can never compare to the real thing, it’s the perfect solution for anyone who doesn’t actually want an instructor strapped to their body before leaping out of a light aircraft.
And that’s fine by me. I like my personal space, anyway.
See Related: Best Travel Products to Combat Flight Anxiety
30. Eden Park
Address: 950 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Nestled between the Ohio River and Mount Adams, Eden Park is one of Cincinnati’s most scenic places. Some notable attractions are located within the park’s boundaries, including the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Eden Park Standpipe, and Mirror Lake.
Eden Park is a great place to walk or run, with several routes winding throughout and the option to take a scenic turn along the Ohio River Trail.
If you’re looking for more of a challenge, try running or biking up nearby Mount Adams, an upscale residential neighborhood and geographical landmark.
Mirror Lake is a great place to relax and take in the scenery, enjoy the fresh air, and watch the world go by. The lake features the Bettman Fountain and is a popular spot for wedding photos. And if you visit in the spring, don’t miss the Hinkle Magnolia Garden, which is a beautifully serene location for a spot of meditation and mindfulness.
See Related: Best National Parks in the USA to Visit
31. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Address: 962 Mt Adams Cir, Cincinnati, OH 45202
“All the world’s a stage,” said Shakespeare, and never a truer word was spoken. For theater-loving travelers, budding thespians, or anyone interested in live performances, the Cincinnati Playhouse is not to be missed.
Located in Mt. Adams, taking in a show at this Tony Award-winning theater is one of the top things to do in Cincinnati.
Founded in 1959, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park produces a veritable smorgasbord of plays and musicals each year, with something to delight even the most hardened of theater critics. And for anyone seeking to tread the board themselves, the Playhouse is home to an Education Department, which offers theatrical-related art programs for children and adults, including classes, workshops, and performances.
Whether you’re a keen audience member, an aspiring actor, or simply looking to learn more about theater, the Playhouse is a must-see when visiting Cincinnati, Ohio.
32. The Contemporary Arts Center
Address: 44 E 6th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
If the Cincinnati Art Museum hasn’t quenched your thirst for art galleries when visiting Cincinnati, Ohio, then surely the Contemporary Arts Center will help.
Notable for being one of the first contemporary galleries in the United States, the CAC houses a stunning collection of remarkable work, focussing on cutting-edge development across multiple genres.
The building itself is a striking contemporary design, the brainchild of Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid. The CAC moved into this dramatic, purpose-built location in 2003.
A well-stocked museum shop is on-site, but be advised there’s currently no food available in the museum. I highly advise picking something up from the nearby branch of BRU Burger in order to fuel your journey around the gallery exhibits.
And as there’s no charge to enter, it’s one of the best things to do for free in Cincinnati, Ohio.
33. The Vent Haven Museum
Address: 33 W Maple Ave, Fort Mitchell, KY 41011
Have you ever wanted to visit the only ventriloquist museum in the world? Of course you have! The Vent Haven Museum is a one-of-a-kind experience and a must-see alternative attraction when visiting Cincinnati.
The museum is actually located in Northern Kentucky, but it’s well worth the 11 minutes it takes to drive here from downtown. Especially because I can almost guarantee you’ve never seen over 1000 ventriloquist dummies in one place, anywhere else on the planet.
To be honest, for those of a nervous disposition, that might not necessarily be a good thing.
But don’t let their dead, staring eyes freak you out, as this is a fascinating treasure trove of exhibits, all dedicated to the much-loved art of ventriloquism. And in case you’re wondering, a “vent” is industry-speak for a ventriloquist.
Note that no walk-ins are permitted, and tours are by appointment only.
34. Fountain Square
Located in downtown Cincinnati, the historic Fountain Square is at the heart of a district that has become a popular entertainment hub for the city.
The square has undergone refurbishment on several occasions since its founding in 1871 and is a focal point for a year-round program of events, as well as boasting an impressive selection of bars, restaurants, and comfortable hotels. Right in the heart of downtown, the surrounding streets are where Cincinnati locals come out to play.
Within a stone’s throw of the square, you can find classy bars like the Righteous Room, enjoy world-class food at the Crown Republic Gastropub, and even sing your lungs out at the hugely popular Japanese-style karaoke bar Tokyo Kitty.
For accommodation, look no further than The Westin Cincinnati, which overlooks Fountain Square and can be a great place to watch busy events.
Fountain Square is the symbolic center of Cincinnati, Ohio, and with something happening here almost every day of the week, you should take some time to stop by.
See Related: 38 Fun & Best Things to Do in Tokyo, Japan
35. A Dinner Cruise on the Ohio River
Address: 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, KY 41071
Maybe it’s because I’m originally from an island, but there’s just something wonderful about stepping onto a boat. We humans are naturally drawn to the water, after all.
And when you’re all but exhausted from a day of sightseeing around Cincinnati, surely the best possible way to unwind is to let someone else take the reigns (or the rudder – in this case) as you enjoy a leisurely dinner cruise on the Ohio River as the sun goes down.
Step aboard the Belle of Cincinnati and tuck into a delicious three-course buffet meal as you take in the city skyline at sunset, with a two-hour round-trip cruise that departs from Newport landing dock.
Aside from the great selection of dishes, there’s also the thrill of being on board a traditional riverboat, which I would highly recommend if you’ve never done it before – especially if you’re not from the US.
There’s no need to dress up if you don’t want to – simply come in the same togs you’ve been wearing to explore Cincinnati and enjoy the perfect end to the perfect day.
See Related: The Best River Cruises in Europe
What are some fun things to do in Cincinnati, Ohio?
Some fun things to do in Cincinnati include visiting the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, taking a dinner boat cruise along the Ohio River, and exploring Eden Park.
What is the best thing to do with kids in Cincinnati?
The best thing to do with kids in Cincinnati is to visit the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. This world-famous zoo is home to several animals and is a great place to learn about wildlife. Other activities include the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Newport Aquarium.
What is the best thing to do on a rainy day in Cincinnati?
On a rainy day in Cincinnati, you can visit one of the city’s many museums. The Cincinnati Art Museum, the Museum Center at Union Terminal, and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.