Cincinnati offers plenty of attractions and activities for travelling families, no matter who you consider your travelling family. Toddlers, teens, grandparents, aunts, and uncles will all find something they enjoy in The Queen City.

    From nature centres to kid-friendly museums, children’s theatres to sailing the Ohio River, you’ll have no problem filling your itinerary. And one of the best parts? Many of Cincinnati’s best family-friendly activities are also budget-friendly, meaning you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank when you bring along the entire crew for some fun in the city.


    Duke Energy Children's Museum

    Explore one of the top children’s museums in the United States

    • Families

    The Duke Energy Children’s Museum is consistently named one of the best children’s museums in the United States and any family with elementary-age children would be remiss to not visit this museum during their tour of Cincinnati. The museum includes more than half a dozen educational areas, all of which encourage learning through hands-on play and exploration. Two separate educational areas are created with your youngest travellers in mind, specifically those who are toddlers or even younger.

    Make sure to check the museum’s calendar before you visit; there are more than 1,800 hours of special programming each year and you may decide you want to visit for a special cultural, artistic, entertainment, or educational event.

    Location: 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 513-287-7000


    Coney Island Amusement Park

    Visit a different Coney Island

    • Families
    • Adventure

    You may know Coney Island as the historic theme park outside New York City, but there’s another Coney Island Amusement Park in Cincinnati. It provides a nice respite for families looking to burn off some energy and stay cool throughout the summer. Originally founded in the 1800s, this vintage amusement park sits right on the Ohio River.

    What can you expect to find? How about North America’s largest recirculating pool? Or an acre-large kiddy pool? More than 4 waterslides that stretch more than a quarter of a mile? Check Coney Island’s calendar before your visit, to catch fun summer events like fireworks shows, too.

    Location: 6201 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45230, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 513-232-8230


    Carew Tower Observation Deck

    Get a bird’s-eye view of downtown Cincinnati

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    Enter the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza and travel up, up, up to the outdoor rooftop observation deck atop Carew Tower. The second-tallest building in the city, Carew Tower has been open for nearly a century and stands 49 storeys above downtown.

    Families will enjoy the sweeping views of the city as they peer down on the pedestrians below. Help your kids find famous landmarks in the skyline as you take in the views. Adults will enjoy the observation deck just as much as the kids.

    Location: Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, 41 West 5th Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 9 am to 5.30 pm, Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 513-579-9735


    photo by Sorah Fukumori (CC BY 3.0) modified


    BB Riverboats

    Take a ride down the Ohio River

    • Families
    • Couples
    • History
    • Photo

    As BB Riverboats’s cruises embark from the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, you’ll have to take a short drive across Ohio’s famed John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge to get to this favourited Cincinnati activity. Known as the “Official Riverboat Cruise Line of Cincinnati”, BB Riverboats has offered a variety of river cruising experiences for approximately 4 decades.

    Take a daytime sightseeing cruise with the kids (just about any kid loves a boat ride, after all) or book a dinner cruise for the older travellers in your party, for a unique date night.

    Location: 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Kentucky 41071, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 800-261-8586


    Cincinnati Reds Museum

    Uncover the history of Cincinnati’s famed baseball team

    • Families
    • History

    It’s worth a stop by the Cincinnati Reds Museum if you have anyone in your family with an interest in sports and even if you and your family don’t get to catch a Cincinnati Reds baseball game during your visit to the city. The 16,000-sq-ft facility offers a range of exhibits over 2 floors, all on a self-guided tour that only takes about an hour. The museum is near many other favourited attractions in downtown Cincinnati, making it an easy stop on most itineraries.

    Location: 443 East West Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, USA

    Open: April–September: night game days from 10 am to 8 pm, day game days from 10 am to 2 hours after the end of the game, non-game days from 10 am to 5 pm. October–March: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 513-765-7923


    photo by David Berkowitz (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Highfield Discovery Center

    Play in a whimsical (and educational) garden

    • Families
    • Photo

    The Highfield Discovery Center is an open-air, garden-set educational centre that will appeal to children and adults alike. Explore 12 acres of delightful fun and landscaping, including a 25-ft Discovery Tree and 7 small gardens.

    Look for the frogs among the lily pads in the Frog & Toads Garden. Keep your eyes peeled for fairies and dragons in the Wizard’s Garden. Watch the trains go by in the Trolley Garden. Learn all about growing your own food in the Vegetable Garden. Sniff out your favourite smells in Grandma’s Scent Garden and then get up-close and personal with some butterflies in the Morph and Butterfly Gardens.

    Location: 10397 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio 45215, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Saturday from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm, Sunday from 12 pm to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +1 513-771-8733


    Cincinnati Nature Center

    Get a little fresh air just a short drive from the city

    • Families
    • Budget
    • Photo
    • Adventure

    Cincinnati Nature Center shows that you won’t have to go far to enjoy a bit of nature while visiting Cincinnati. Though it's just a few minutes’ drive from downtown, it feels like it’s a world away. The centre is made up of more than 1,700 acres of forests and fields, dotted with beautiful waterways.

    Take a hike on one of the trails that make up the centre’s 20-mile trail system, or just enjoy the beautiful colours that adorn the grounds all year long, from the spring flowers to the fall foliage. Kids and adults programming alike help round out any visit.

    Location: 4949 Tealtown Road, Milford, Ohio 45150, USA

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 513-831-1711


    photo by Aryeh Alex (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Cincinnati Fire Museum

    Discover the birthplace of professional firefighting

    • Families
    • History

    Cincinnati Fire Museum is a place you won’t want to miss if you have a child who dreams of being a firefighter one day. Even adults will enjoy learning about the history of firefighting in the birthplace of the profession.

    Hour-long tours are suitable for all ages and led by a trained educator. Tours cover not only the history of firefighting and how the profession got its start in Cincinnati but also common fire hazards and how families can better protect themselves from home fires.

    Location: 315 West Court Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 513-621-5553


    photo by Jerome Strauss (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

    Shine the light on a still-relevant issue at a groundbreaking museum

    • Families
    • History

    The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a first-of-its-kind museum in downtown Cincinnati. The museum’s location near the Ohio River is a significant part of its story, as the Ohio River was the natural barrier separating the US slave states from the free states of the North – and often the final barrier slaves would need to cross when travelling along the Underground Railroad.

    Visitors learn all about this period of American history, as well as how racial issues and abolitionism still impact us today.

    Location: 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday–Monday from 12 pm to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 513-333-7739


    Children's Theatre of Cincinnati

    Catch a show at this historic theatre

    • Families
    • History

    Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has been delighting audiences for over a century. The theatre puts on a regular season of riveting productions, both new and old, all with top-tier talent and state-of-the-art tech.

    Shows include the likes of Harriet Tubman: Straight Up Outta’ the Underground, Disney’s Descendants: The Musical, and more, including an array of family-friendly holiday productions. Performances feature diverse casts, educational storylines and moving messages the entire family will appreciate.

    Location: 4015 Red Bank Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45227, USA

    Phone: +1 513-569-8080

    Holly Riddle | Contributing Writer

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