Growing up in a very small town where there wasn’t much to do and then living in a city where there are endless activities and places to explore feels like a dream. Now I have a child of my own who gets to have a childhood in an amazing city, Cincinnati, Ohio. I take every chance I get to find kid-friendly fun in Cincinnati with my daughter, Rylie. Since moving here a little over four years ago I’ve been working a list of places to explore with her. My list is not only fun for children, but entertaining for adults as well. Enjoy!
Our recent trip to see the Nutcracker performed by the Cincinnati Ballet sparked a new interest for my daughter. She loved it so much she requested to see another ballet, Alice, next. I personally hadn’t been to a professional ballet previously and was truly amazed with the performance myself. The two-hour dance routine didn’t seem long enough for Rylie who is six years old. Stepping into the historic Music Hall we felt like royalty – the building alone is a beautiful sight and there’s not a bad seat in the house.
My very favorite spot in the city to spend time with Ry is the Cincinnati Zoo. It has so much to offer no matter the season. We see something different each time we’re there – they are always changing things at the zoo and adding new exhibits. (Per my daughter: Be sure to keep an eye out for the black bears who are currently out searching for us.) If you’re looking for a challenge, the Kanga Klimb added in 2022 will certainly test your physicality. Whether you go for two hours or spend the entire day it’s one of my favorite ways to have kid-friendly fun in Cincinnati.
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
This one is completely free. The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio has over 350 planes within the four terminals. It is the oldest and largest air-force museum in the world. There is so much to see and learn here – you could spend multiple days and still not see it all. You even get the opportunity to walk on an Air Force One airplane.
The Children’s Museum at Union Terminal
One of my favorite rainy-day activities is The Children’s Museum at Union Terminal. Located in the lower level of the Cincinnati Museum Center awaits hours of fun for your little one. Exploration at its finest there is a Kroger store to “shop”, water exploring, climbing through trees and even the ability to use a bulldozer. The world becomes a child’s oyster here and I usually need to bribe Rylie with a Graeter’s ice cream (located in the lobby on the way out) to get her to leave. Even then we must play at the water feature outside the building. I caution you not to go unless you have multiple hours.
Take a step back into your childhood and visit Castle Skateland in Loveland, Ohio. While it’s sort of like the saying “riding a bike”, it took me a minute to get into the rhythm on roller skates. This is one of the most fun times I’ve had with my daughter. If you’re looking for kid-friendly fun in Cincinnati, do NOT forget to go roller skating!
While there are still adventures awaiting us throughout the city, many of these spots for kid-friendly fun in Cincinnati have become repeat places for us to visit. Whether you have out-of-town visitors, or just love to explore where you live, never stop being a tourist in your own city.
Looking for more fun to do with kids? Check out these posts.