Festival season is upon us! From foodie favorites to community festivals, holiday celebrations to summer fairs, Cincinnati comes alive during the summer. With rides, games, prizes and funnel cake, summer festivals are guaranteed fun for the entire family. From May through August, each weekend brings another opportunity for festival fun — and we hope you make it a very festive summer!
Our guide to the Best Summer Festivals in Cincinnati features 30 can’t-miss fests and events for your family!
COSI Science Fest
This May, COSI will be hosting one of the largest science fairs everin Ohio! The COSI Science Festival is happening May 1-4, and will be four days of super-STEM-powered events concluding with a free carnival celebration on the Scioto Peninsula. Science festivals are fantastic ways to engage communities and make STEM topics more exciting and accessible for kids. And this year is just the beginning – the COSI Science Festival will be an annual event that will cement Ohio as a top place for innovation and technology – and inspire the next generation of budding scientists, researchers and engineers.
May 4-5 at Fountain Square
Enjoy dance, culture, kids’ activities – and lots of authentic Latin American cuisine.
May 10-12 at Coney Island
The Appalachian Festival is one of Cincinnati’s most popular annual festivals, drawing approximately 10,000 people over the three-day event each Mother’s Day weekend. An additional 1,500 school children take part in “Education Day” on the first day of the festival.
Asian Food Fest
May 11-12 at The Banks
This vibrant community festival celebrates culture and cuisine from Asian countries including Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, China, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. While food is definitely the heart of this festival, this year will also feature live entertainment, local craft and Asian beer, fun family activities, and more. Admission to the festival is free, and vendors will be offering a mouthwatering tour of Asian foods, in the form of small plates priced from $2-$6.
Buckeye BBQ Fest
May 17 and 18 at The Square at Union Centre
The 2019 Buckeye BBQ Fest will feature two nights of non-stop music, BBQ and family fun. On Friday and Saturday, there will be a Kids Zone with inflatable bouncy rides and a petting zoo. Free admission.
Taste of Cincinnati
May 25-27 at Fountain Square
Taste of Cincinnati is held every Memorial Day weekend in downtown Cincinnati, and is now the nation’s longest running culinary arts festival. This three-day festival signals the start of summer in Cincy!
May 30-June 2 at the Frontier Days Grounds on Victor Stier Drive in Downtown Milford
Games, rides, food, a parade and more – don’t miss the festival voted ‘Best of the East’ by Cincy Magazine 2013, 2014 and 2015!
May 31-June 2 at Harvest Home Park
CincItalia offers a fun, festival atmosphere celebrating all things Italian: a wide selection of great food, wine, and beer… lively music to sing and dance to…cooking demonstrations…culture & travel talks…games and rides for kids… raffles and games for adults, including a Main Award with a grand prize of $7,500!
May 31-June 2 at Our Lord the King Parish in Mt. Lookout
Enjoy magicians, balloon artists, great food and drink, and games of chance throughout the weekend. All You Can Ride bracelets will be available Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to stop under the KidsFest tent too: where you’ll find a variety of exciting games and prizes for all ages and great “Kid/Family” raffle packages.
Worth the Drive: 9th Annual Snowville Creamery Open House & Farm Tour
June 1 from 1-4 pm at Snowville Creamery
Don’t miss Snowville Creamery’s 9th Annual Open House & Farm Tour! Meet the farmers, “bicycle” churned ice cream, taste samples, meet the Snowville cows, tour the creamery, enjoy live music and kid-friendly activities! FREE.
Old West Festival
June 1-July 7 (weekends only) at the Old West Festival grounds (1449 Greenbush Cobb Rd, 45176)
Head to the Wild West for a fun family adventure! Enjoy live performances (including shoot outs and duels), live music, horse rides, petting zoo, lots of vendors, amazing food and drinks at an Old West Saloon and interactive games.
St. Gertrude Parish Festival
June 7-9 at St. Gertrude Parish in Madeira
Over 60 fun booths and rides; festival fare; live entertainment; a super-sized auction booth; plus lots of raffles, including a “reverse” raffle to win a full year’s tuition!
Sayler Park Sustains
June 8 from 12-10 pm at Nelson Sayler Memorial Park
Sayler Park Sustains educates and empowers festival-goers to bring DIY sustainable practices into their daily lives. The festival was born out of love for the neighborhood, and its unique agricultural heritage, and features free music and activities for kids, food trucks, local beer, vendors and raffles.
June 8 from 2-11 pm at Summit Park
SummitFest is Cincinnati’s premier country music festival! The spectacular event is returning for its second year at Summit Park in June of 2019. SummitFest will feature national country music artists, a beer and whiskey garden, restaurants, concessionaires, food trucks and family-friendly activities! This event is free and open to the public.
Explore Deerfield Towne Center
June 14 from 6:30-10:15 pm and June 15 from 8:30 am-7 pm
Bring the family for two fun-filled days at Deerfield Towne Center! Enjoy free activities at all your favorite stores, a scavenger hunt, giveaways and festival fun at this family-friendly event! Be sure to stop by the Adventure Station on June 15 from 12-4 pm: kids can zipline, take a train ride, climb the rock wall, meet exotic creatures, visit the Cincinnati Museum Center’s exploration stations, complete an obstacle course, try vegetable carving and wax hand art and much more!
Tusculum Street Fest
June 15 from 3-10 pm on Eastern Avenue between Delta and Stanley Avenues
This year’s event will feature live music, great local food, craft beer, kid’s activities, and much more!
June 22 in Downtown Cincinnati/Sawyer Point
The Cincinnati Pride Festival presented by Pure Romance is a family-friendly, fun event that takes place at Sawyer Point Park on the fourth Saturday in June. Food, drinks, vendors and entertainment fill your Saturday afternoon with fun.
Panegyri Greek Festival
June 28-30 at Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
Authentic Greek cuisine, pastries, music, dancing, raffles, games and amusement rides. Admission is $2/person over 12. Free parking at and shuttle from St. Xavier High School.
Northside 4th of July Parade and Festival
July 3-4 in Downtown Northside
A free, music-filled festival in the Heart of Northside with the most colorful parade in town!
Red, Rhythm and Boom
July 3 from 4-10 pm at Mason Municipal Campus
The fun begins at 4 pm with access to carnival and kid zone activities such as a zipline, extreme air trampolines, interactive inflatables, a climbing wall, bounce houses, strolling entertainment and more! Fireworks and live entertainment make this event a can’t-miss.
Red, White and Blue Ash
July 4 at Summit Park
Head to Summit Park on July 4th for an amazing day of family fun, great music and fantastic fireworks! FREE.
St. Thomas More JulyFest
July 12-14 at St. Thomas More (800 Ohio Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45245)
St. Thomas More’s annual festival includes food, drink, games and entertainment. The award-winning summer tradition returns this year, and it will be bigger and better than ever. Delectable dishes, games and rides for all ages, the giant JulyFest casino, tons of raffles, the enormous Bid N Buy, special attractions and a tremendous line-up of live musical entertainment for all tastes — make JulyFest your mid-summer festival destination!!
Bastille Day Summer Festival
July 13 in Downtown Montgomery
Montgomery celebrates its sister city, Neiully-Plaisance, France with this annual fundraising street festival that helps to fund the many activities we do as a sister city. Bastille Day has a kid’s area with games and pony rides, two stages of live entertainment, 15+ food vendors, domestic and craft brews, wines and more in a festive setting. The City closes down Montgomery Road at Cooper to Remington on a Saturday mid-July and runs a fun-packed day from noon to 11 pm.
Macy’s Kids, Cultures, Critters and Crafts Festival
July 17 at the Cincinnati Zoo
A day of fun for kids at the Cincinnati Zoo for just $1? This is perhaps our #1 event of the summer!
Crazy Cardboard Regatta
July 20 at Voice of America MetroPark
BOATS! BOATS! BOATS! Cardboard boats, that is. The MetroParks of Butler County presents the 10th Annual Crazy Cardboard Regatta on Saturday, July 20th. Do you think you’ve got what it takes? Then sign your team up to build your own cardboard boat and join the amazing race around the lake! Sea legs aren’t quite ready; you say? No problem! Vendors, entertainment, activities, and more await you upon shore. So, come on out for some summer family fun, and don’t forget to keep calm and boat on!
Glier’s Goetta Fest
Aug. 1-4 at Newport on the Levee
A weekend stuffed from top to bottom with live entertainment, family-focused goetta games, and super inventive food, what makes it all so grand is the gathering of the goetta-lovin’ community who travels from all corners of the country, to decorate with festivity and joy Northern Kentucky’s Newport on the Levee at the breathtaking Ohio Riverfront.
Worth the Drive: Annual Vintage Truck Show at Young’s
Aug. 3 from 9 am to 4 pm
If a free truck show in the pastoral surroundings of Yellow Springs, Ohio, sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday this summer, plan to attend the Annual Vintage Truck Show. The event runs from 9 am to 4 pm, rain or shine, at Young’s Jersey Dairy on Rt. 68. Enjoy all of Young’s family friendly fun while you’re there!
Cardboard Boat Regatta
Aug. 3 in New Richmond, OH
New Richmond, Ohio, America’s Cardboard Boat Racing Capital will celebrate the 26th Annual International Regatta this year! These unique water craft are powered & crewed by 1-10 unique people, ranging in age from 6-86 years young coming from places formerly unknown in Cardboard River Boat Racing including, Honolulu, Finland, Montana, Colorado, Lexington, Falicity, Mason, Landon, West Chester, Lebanon, Loveland, Columbus, Lancaster, Athens & even some as far away as Bridgetown over on the “sun in your eyes” side of Cincinnati.
Second Saturday Street Faire
Aug. 10* in Downtown Waynesville (ongoing summer event: June 8, July 13, Aug. 10 and Sept. 14)
The Street Faire boasts Artist Booths where they display and sell their unique one of kind creations.
Over forty artisans will feature woodworking to fiber. Live art demonstrations, face painting and local musical talent, plus an art Contest Each Month. Event also includes a variety of Food Trucks and Farmer’s Market.
Clifton Gorge Music & Arts Festival
Aug. 23 and 24
The event features live music, displays of arts and crafts, as well as vendors for shopping and eating, activities for the kids, plus a beer tent. Free admission and parking!