Fall is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy nature. And if you need a little encouragement or inspiration, there’s Great Outdoor Weekend.
Enjoy over 100 free events during Great Outdoor Weekend, the region’s largest outdoor activity sampler event.
This year’s Great Outdoor Weekend is Sept. 28-29 and features a variety of free, family-friendly events throughout the tristate. Participants can try out a variety of activities, like hiking along the Whitewater River, paddling down the Mill Creek, tagging monarch butterflies or lighting up the Avondale community on a night walk. Sponsored by Green Umbrella, Great Outdoor Weekend is a way of commemorating National Public Lands Day, which celebrates protected greenspace in our region. (Fun fact: the Cincinnati Parks system is ranked among the top 10 in the nation by the Trust for Public Lands!)
During Great Outdoor Weekend, you can get FREE admission at the following:
- All Great Parks locations
- Cincinnati Nature Center
There are over 100 FREE events across the tristate, but the following are worth special mention:
Saturday, September 28
Saturday Night with the Stars
We’ll take you to the planets, stars and beyond with views through our many telescopes. Under clear skies you’ll see giant Jupiter, and the spectacular ringed planet Saturn. If it’s cloudy you can tour historic observatories, learn how telescopes work and get all your “spacey” questions answered. Sept. 28, 8-10 pm at the Cincinnati Observatory Center
Public Lands Day at Parky’s Farm
Volunteer to join Great Parks as we improve Parky’s Farm for the barn animals that call it home, the wildlife that surround it and the guests that come to experience it! Help us to work on native pollinator areas, planting trees and many other volunteer tasks to honor National Public Lands Day. Ages 7 and up. Sept. 28, 9 am-12 pm at Parky’s Farm
East Fork Canoe Adventure
Join the Clermont County Park District and the Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District at Sycamore Park in Batavia for a 45 minute canoe trip down the East Fork Little Miami River. Naturalists will give a brief talk about the flora and fauna while you enjoy nature from the water. Children over 5 are welcome! Participants need to be able to get in and out of canoes and walk through shallow waters. You will get wet! Registration required; please RSVP to [email protected]. Sept. 28, 9:30 am-12 pm at Sycamore Park
Explore the wonderful world of butterflies at our outdoor butterfly garden. Get up close and personal with several type of butterflies. Kids will enjoy a craft! Guided tours of the Butterfly Garden will be at 10 am, 11 am and 12 pm. Boone County Arboretum
Explore Big Bone Lick
Walk the trails of Big Bone Lick State Historic Site with archaeologists and paleontologists to learn why it is considered to be the Birthplace of American Vertebrate Paleontology. Learn about the Ice Age, native Americans, fossil mammals, as well as the geology and native vegetation of the area. Visit an 1800’s-era campsite. Bring artifacts and fossils to be identified by experts. Tours will take place throughout the day and will begin beside the Visitor Center. Sept. 28 from 10 am to 4 pm at Big Bone Lick State Park
Sunday, September 29
Birds of Prey Open House
During the Open House our educators will be available to welcome guests, lead tours, conduct educational programs with our avian ambassadors, share biological artifacts, and answer questions. Participate in special activity stations, shop for merchandise, and enjoy some treats! Sept. 29, 1-4 pm at RAPTOR Inc.
Bring the whole family to Camp Joy’s annual Harvest Festival! This free of charge event includes a complimentary picnic lunch, games, hay wagon rides, pumpkin painting, fishing, climbing tower and giant swing, canoeing, face painting, cider making, and live music. Sept. 29, 1-5 pm at Camp Joy
Summer Camp Greatest Hits
For this day we pick our favorite activities from an entire summer of camps and condense them into one day. You’ll launch rockets, go on a mini-safari, make nature artwork, get creative to help animals and so much more. Sept. 29, 1-5 pm at Imago