You can only meet your playdate friends at the same old local park so many times before things get monotonous.
Check out this list of fresh ideas around Cincy, from educational activities disguised as play to hot summertime water fun.
Get the Energy Out: Indoor Play for Rainy Days
Learning Through Play Café
6844 Tylersville Rd., West Chester Township, ltpcafe.com
This indoor playset, playroom, cafe, art zone combo has a little bit for everyone, and is geared toward younger playdaters. Programs throughout the week focus on movement, crafting, stimulating toys and even a curbside coffee pickup service for exhausted parents.
Dig ‘N Play
9405 Cincinnati Columbus Rd. (Rt. 42), West Chester, dignplay.com
This brand-new indoor open playspace is designed to give parents peace of mind that they can see their children anywhere they play. It features a custom sand table, three level play structure, inflatables, an outside seating area, as well as a private nursing room and coffee for parents. (Note: this play place is not open yet; check their website for updates!)
Get Some Air: Into Mother Nature
Cincinnati Nature Center
4949 Tealtown Rd., Milford and 6926 Gaynor Rd. Goshen, cincynature.org/events-and-programs
If your play date group involves kids of many different ages, this is your ticket. Members and nonmembers can participate in programs from firefly walks to building your own walking stick, and there are animal-themed pond adventures perfect for a play date.
Behringer Crawford Museum Nature Playscape
1600 Montague Rd., Covington, KY, devougood.com/natureplaybcm
The perfect combination of a history lesson, a nature hike and a playground, this contained outdoor space is free and handicap accessible. Slides are built into the landscape, and pioneer settlement lessons abound.
Get Wet: Splash Pads, Slides and Pools
Woodland Mound/Parky’s Wetland Adventure
8250 Old Kellogg Rd., Anderson Township, greatparks.org/recreation/playgrounds
Picture a bunch of large animals spraying water in all directions, a 16-foot water tree and multiple slides, and you have discovered this well-loved splash pad. Oh, and the view of the Ohio River from your shady bench isn’t bad, either.
Ziegler Park and Pool
1322 Sycamore St., Cincinnati, zieglerpark.org/feature/pool/information
Older kids will enjoy a rock climbing wall over the water, and the pool is accessible to younger kids via a gradual walk-in style shallow end. Sprinklers, splash pads, fountains and a play place make this a solid choice for the hottest days.
Get Creative: Arts, Crafts and Toys
9019 Reading Rd., Reading, robotinside13.com
STEAM learning meets arts and crafts in this unconventional art center. Think clay animation sea creatures, slime, cardboard castles, sewing and more. Summer camps and workshops are for children and adults (mainly ages 7 and up).
1306 Main St., Cincinnati, playlibrary.org
Instead of just checking out books, kids can play with and take home over 1,000 games and toys, making it the perfect playdate for varying interests. Kondo the playroom and just rent toys instead for a small monthly membership? Yes, please.