Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cincinnati with Kids

I am in serious road trip planning mode right now (Spring Break, here we come!), but whenever I start my research, I always also start to reminisce about all the other great vacations that I've taken with Matt and the kids.

Cincinnati is one of my favorites, totally drivable for even a day trip from our hometown, but with more than enough to do to fill up a long weekend. The kids and I were last there in October, when we added to my list of great things to do in Cincinnati. Here are all of our favorites over the years, all nice and organized for you:

Cincinnati Zoo

Now, I have met people who dislike the Cincinnati Zoo, but when we went, we thought it was lovely and exciting and that the animals looked well cared-for and that there was an emphasis on animal conservation. 

Mind you, something that happened to us there did foretell the Harambe tragedy pretty clearly, but then, I'm quite used to human beings being the most obnoxious and most dangerous  creatures that I encounter.

William Howard Taft National Historic Site

The William Howard Taft National Historic Site wouldn't be a terribly engaging field trip for a super little one, as it's just a museum and historic house tour, BUT it has a Junior Ranger program that will engage elementary and up, AND it's indoors, so you've got something to do for the morning even if the weather is cruddy.

Newport Aquarium 

You can simply go to Newport Aquarium, of course (which is technically across the state line in Kentucky, but it's nevertheless practically in downtown Cincinnati), but I highly recommend one of their Family Overnights, which my Girl Scout troop attended over the summer. We didn't get as much sleep as I wish I, personally, had, but we did see every single thing in the aquarium, much of it via private tour, and many backstage scenes that regular aquarium visitors don't get to see. And since our arrival was in the evening after the aquarium closed to the public, and our departure was just as the aquarium was opening the next day, it took care of our overnight and left the days free for more sightseeing!

Riverfront Park

Seasonally, this is the BEST thing to do in Cincinnati! You could spend the entire day at the Riverfront Park, walking the whole stretch and stopping for the carousel, the porch swings overlooking the river, the shady spots to sit in the grass, tons of creative, interactive features and playgrounds and mazes and climbing structures and wading areas all along the paths:

There weren't food carts, though, at least on the day that our Girl Scout troop was there, so finding a budget lunchtime option was a struggle. Finally, we settled on burgers and hot dogs at the single spot under one of the bridges, so if you go during a mealtime, plan to pack or leave the park to eat in a restaurant downtown.

Jungle Jim's

Yeah, this is my kids' favorite thing to do in Cincinnati. There are two Jungle Jim locations, and we've been to both of them by now and like them both equally. I'm there for the interesting international food--I was able to find spoon sweets!--but the kids are all about the novelty food:

It's also often international, and we'll take it home and make a taste-test out of it. I like to pretend that it's educational.

Trying new things is ALWAYS educational!

Obviously, we've only just tapped the surface of what Cincinnati has to offer the traveling family, and we've already got more to do when we go there than you could possibly do in a single weekend. 

And we still haven't gone to a baseball game!

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