10 Boredom Busting Summer Activities for Kids Around Cincinnati
Summer is here! And if you’re in the Cincinnati area and looking for kid friendly things to do, there’s no shortage of activities and adventures to keep boredom at bay all summer long. From playgrounds to parks, museums to festivals, there’s something your kids are bound to enjoy. Keep in mind this list is just the tip of the iceberg of fun things for kids to do in Cincinnati- so let’s dive in!
2023 opening day is on May 27! Sunlite Pool is America's largest recirculating pool with 4 slides totalling ¼ mile and a whole acre of shallow water for your little ones! Come to the 2023 Balloon Glow July 3rd: more than 10 colorful tethered hot air balloons, fireworks, food, fun and more!
Zero-depth activity pool with kiddie area, aquatic play structure with slides, family slide, lazy river, basketball hoops, large open-flume slide, separate 8-lane competition pool, and diving boards.
Soak City is the premier water park in the Cincinnati area and is included with your Kings Island admission: 50+ water activities, including 36 water slides with options galore for all ages!
Very popular indoor attraction in West Chester should be on your list for train-loving kids. Featuring a huge model train display, funhouse maze, and a large play area with slides and climbing structures.
PARKS & NATURE
Mt. Airy Forest is the largest Cincinnati Park at 1,459 acres and situated between Mt. Airy and Westwood. Miles of hiking trails, many picnic areas, disc golf course, and multi-use mountain biking trail. Has a beautiful arboretum, and an enclosed dog park, and Ohio’s only wheelchair accessible public treehouse.
Krohn Conservatory opened in 1933 and is located in Eden Park. Exhibits include: the John Carroll Bonsai Gallery, Fern House, Plm House, Orchid House, Desert House, Children's Activity Area, Koi Pond and the BUTTERFLIES OF THE MEADOW exhibit available March 25 - JUNE 18, 2023.
A 730-acre park with a 2.6-mile paved trail around the lake, a 1.0-mile fitness trail, and the 0.7-mile Gorge nature trail. Their Heritage Village Museum recreated from a 1800s community and features historic buildings in Sharon Woods. The Visitor Center has nature exhibits and live wildlife. The Harbor has a large playground, water feature play area, and lots of seating for a picnic.
The John G. and Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront Park connects downtown Cincinnati to the Ohio River and the existing riverfront parks. Lots of water play features, splash pads, giant swings, an interactive foot piano, pollinator gardens, and a carousel.
A paved trail running 78 miles and follows the Little Miami River from Newtown to Springfield. Great for biking or hiking with kids, lots of scenic views and rest stops.
A local favorite since the early ‘70’s, huge theme park home to The Beast roller coaster, rides galore for nearly every age, dining, live entertainment, Planet Snoopy Kids Area, and Soak City Water Park.
June 2, 2023 - June 4, 2023; This 56th Annual Summerfair Summerfair features more than 300 fine artists and craftspeople and is one of the oldest continuous art fairs in the country, Select artists exhibit in 12 categories including photography, painting, drawing/printmaking, wood, metal, sculpture, glass, ceramics, fibers. Live entertainment from regional performers, and a large variety of great food and drinks.
FARM & PICKS
Enjoy a self-guided tour of their 122-acre farm which has a variety of gardens: flowers, wildflowers, an interactive Children’s Garden, Market Garden, and a Woodland Garden. Interact with a variety of farm animals including a zebu cow, sheep, goats, mini horses, mini donkey, mules, and chickens. Explore their H=hiking trails through the woods and see some historic structures including a rehabilitated Bank Barn.
U-pick Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and potatoes! Produce stand, market barn, garden center, play yard and petting farm: Scottish Highland Cows, Sheep, Goats, Miniature Ponies, Donkeys, Alpacas and Llamas.
Education & Culture
Located three blocks north of the Cincinnati Convention Center “The Birthplace of Professional Firefighting” exhibits include The Safe House, and a Multimedia Theater: “A Day in the Life of a Firefighter”. They also offer Junior Firefighter birthday packages.
Houses an indoor play area for younger kids with interactive exhibits and play areas focused on science, history, and culture. Kids can explore The Woods, Little Sprouts Farm, and spend A Night at the Museum for Bricktionary: the ultimate LEGO® A–Z and the OMNIMAX® Theater.
Walk through this 75,000-square-foot state-of-the-art museum through biblical history, garden of Eden and Flood exhibits, botanical gardens, a planetarium, zoo, zip line adventure course, Buddy Davis’ Dinosaur Den, Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium, Noah’s Ark exhibit, Dragon Legends, a 4-D special effects theater, and their full size allosaurus named “Ebenezer”.
The family-friendly Ark Encounter theme park (sister to the Creation Museum) near Cincinnati features a life-size Noah’s Ark, zoo, zip lines, and timber-frame restaurant. Experience bible history and meet Noah, his family, and the animals on the Ark.
Museum Properties and Points of Interest include:Township House, Doty Homestead, DeWitt Log Home, Black Covered Bridge, Pioneer Barn, Doty Cemetery. Events and Activities: Arts & Crafts Fair, Summer Programs, and Pioneer Day.
Harry Delos Andrews built this fascinating castle in 1929 “as an expression and reminder of the simple strength and rugged grandeur of the mighty men who lived when Knighthood was in flower.” Ever since, thousands have enjoyed “Chateau Laroche” which is the World headquarters and Residence of the K.O.G.T. (the Knights of the Golden Trail). Activities include Castle Gardens, picnicking, games and puzzles, exploring the castle’s unique architecture and sword and weapons. Groups can even stay overnight at the castle!
The Cincinnati Zoo is the second oldest zoo and one of the largest animal collections in the United States, with more than 17,000 specimens. Events and activities include: Wildlife demonstrations, giraffe feedings, a Safari Train, Carousel, and Scooter Pals. Events coming up: Kids, Cultures, Critters, and Crafts Festival June 21, 2023 and Ice Cream and Hippos July 30, 2023.
A local favorite since 1999, the Newport Aquarium is a state of the art facility that lets you discover the underwater world with penguins, white alligators, stingrays and more! Encounter sharks at Shark Bridge, where you can cross inches above a tank full of sharks on a rope bridge. Try their new exhibit Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels!
There are too many activities in the Cincinnati area to list them all but I hope that this list will give you a start to family friendly fun. From exploring the beautiful outdoors to discovering artists and culture, new hiking trails and farms, water parks,animals, indoor play areas, or festivals and music, you’ve plenty of ideas to keep boredom at bay!