By Jan Ross
Cincinnati, Ohio (Flickr: Frank Pierson)
The “Queen City” of Ohio is a beautiful location on the banks of the Ohio River with a wide variety of family-friendly attractions – from a zoo to an amazing aquarium to a major league baseball park and a football stadiums – that everyone, including the grandparents, will enjoy.
Check out these great spots on your next family visit to Cincinnati.
BB Riverboats. The best way to see Cincinnati with kids is on one of the riverboats that cruise along the charming Cincinnati riverfront area as your whole family learns the history of these river towns and the impact the river had on their development. The riverboats are large and comfortable, with plenty of seating for grandparents, snacks available for purchases and no worries about seasickness! Plan for a lunch, dinner or just sightseeing cruise, or go on one of the special themes cruises available like a pirate cruise! These are perfect multi-generational experiences as they are enjoyable for all ages.
Newport Aquarium (Courtesy Newport Aquarium)
Newport Aquarium. No family vacation in Cincinnati is complete without a visit to this wonderful, world-famous aquarium. Located in the Newport Levee where there are dozens of interesting restaurants, shops and even a movie theater, Newport Aquarium has thousands of animals from all over the world and a million gallons of water full of every color, size and species of fish you can possibly imagine. Its new Shark Bridge is the only suspension bridge in North American where visitors can walk across a lagoon full of sharks on a rope bridge – a thrilling experience that’s safe for everyone. Grandparents will especially enjoy sharing this experience with their grandchildren. Grab lunch at Tom and Chee, a few steps from the aquarium, for tomato soup and yummy grilled cheese sandwiches. The Embassy Suites Cincinnati Riverfront in Covington is a wonderful location for multi-generational families, thanks to their expansive suites, indoor pool and full complimentary breakfasts that include an omelet bar.
Baseball Game at the Great American Ball Park. Home of the Cincinnati Reds, this stadium also has breathtaking views of the river and the city, along with very affordable seating options, which make it a great family-friendly attraction. Grandparents will enjoy the pedestrian-friendly area around the park. Spend time before the game at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum or take the Scotts Ballpark Tour when the Reds are not playing at home. Arrive early and spend some time in the beautiful Smale Riverfront Park to explore its gardens, walking paths, nice and innovative playground, fountains to splash in, and darling merry-go-round. When you are ready for a meal, there are dozens of restaurants near the ball park; but the Moerlein Lager House will appeal to all ages with its local brews and kids menu.
Duke Energy Children’s Museum (Cincinnati Museum Center)
Duke Energy Children’s Museum. Part of the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, this museum is ranked in the top 10 children’s museums in the United States. This interactive museum encourages kids to climb, crawl, explore and learn all about the world around them. Hands-on fun for kids of all ages are included in eight educational and dramatic exhibit areas, two of which are specifically for preschool kids who will appreciate their grandparents help. When it’s time for lunch, walk to nearby Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurant. Founded in Cincinnati, Frisch’s is the perfect place for a family meal with lots of choices and kids menus.
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden (Flickr: Justin)
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. One of the most family-friendly attractions in the city, this 75 acre location offers animal encounters for the whole family, with over 580 animal species, a ride on the Safari Train or a spin on the Conservation Carousel. Grandparents will especially appreciate the conveniently placed benches for a rest, and sharing their own past zoo experiences with their grandchildren. Buy tickets online at a discount, and try to visit early in the morning on a weekday to avoid crowds. The zoo allows food and beverages to be brought in, so bring a picnic to enjoy. The Hampton Inn & Suites Cincinnati/Uptown-University is an ideal place to stay as you can easily walk to the zoo entrance in just a few minutes. The indoor pool and complimentary breakfast at this hotel will also keep everyone in the family happy.
Jan Ross contributed this to MiniTime. She writes for a variety of venues, both print and online, and often travels with her photographer husband.