Did you know Cincinnati has one of the largest free outdoor Shakespeare programs in the nation? Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is one of our city’s best gems, and their free (!) summer Shakespeare in the Park program is a great way to introduce kids to the Bard! This year, Shakespeare in the Park tour opens earlier than in previous years — A Midsummer Night’s Dream will have its first performance on June 24, with Romeo & Juliet and Julius Caesar also on the playbill this summer. Check their website for a full directory of shows, which happen at various venues throughout the tristate!
Shakespeare in the Park is the perfect way to introduce your kids to The Bard. Shows generally start at 7 pm (with a couple exceptions), and take place at some of Cincinnati’s most picturesque outdoor locations. With Shakespeare in the Park, you bring chairs, blankets and a picnic, and get to take in a world-class Shakespeare show – for free.
This year’s Shakespeare in the Park kicks off with a 7 pm performance at Eden Park on June 24th (look for another Eden Park performance July 14th). Other venues include Smale Park, Washington Park, the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, Downtown Madeira and many Northern Kentucky venues!
Last year, Cincinnati Parent Reporter Jon, brought his two daughters (ages 8 and 5) and had an absolutely fantastic time. In terms of Shakespeare, Jon loved how accessible everything was. His girls were able to walk around if they got restless, the performers came into the audience after the show, and the whole atmosphere was very laid back, festive and family friendly.
The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company delivers the Bard’s works in a fun, playful way. Because it’s Shakespeare, some of the material may be a little risqué, though Jon says the lines were all delivered in a lighthearted way, and his kids really enjoyed the performance. “Having been to several shows over the years, I’d say this was a great first exposure to Shakespeare for them!”
There are 3-4 shows each week through Labor Day, and they’re all over Greater Cincinnati at fabulous outdoor locations. For a complete listing of Shakespeare in the Park performances, check out Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s website here.