Summer’s flying by – school will be here before you know it! So savor these lazy, crazy days by planning a little staycation with the fam. From indoor water parks to must-visit museums, Cincinnati is full of one-of-a-kind attractions that will make you feel like a tourist in your own city!
Here are 15 Epic Summer Staycations in Cincinnati:
Kings Island (pictured)
Cincinnati is also the ultimate city to treat like a vacation and Warren County may just be the best area to do so. We are so incredibly lucky to have the largest amusement park and water park in the Midwest, right in our backyard, and this attraction is truly wonderful for families of all ages.
BB Riverboats offers unparalleled views of the city and several interesting, kid-friendly cruises. These excursions are a wonderful opportunity to show your family our city and a playful time aboard one of Cincinnati’s iconic riverboats.
The Cincinnati Art Museum is a beloved institution, and this summer’s Burning Man exhibit is the best reason to go. Burning Man is an accessible, family-friendly exhibit where kids can touch, interact and ogle these dynamic, inspiring and colorful works of art. Also — admission and parking are FREE for this wonderful exhibit, which runs through Sept. 2.
Cincinnati Museum Center
Between the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Public Landing, OMNIMAX and Cave; the all-new Dinosaur Gallery, Science Interactives Gallery and Neil Armstrong Exploration Gallery; and the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts to ever show in the U.S., there are so many reasons to visit Cincinnati Museum Center this summer.
Arguably Cincy’s most popular attraction, the Cincinnati Zoo is always a fun place to visit. From #TeamFiona to the new gorilla habitat to the baby giraffes, this kid-favorite is a must during summer break.
Great Wolf Lodge
You don’t have to travel far in search of a great “staycation” — adventure awaits in Warren County, Ohio’s Largest Playground, at Great Wolf Lodge! Located in Mason, this vacation destination has everything your entire family desires under one roof: an indoor water park, activities, spa, attractions and delicious dining options.
Land of Illusion is known as a scary haunted attraction in the fall, but last year, they added the summer-friendly Aqua Adventures. If your children are 43” or taller, then all of you can try the floating inflatable course that sits right on the water. The property also offers paddle boarding, games, food, and other entertainment for a day filled with outdoor fun.
Do you want to slow down and savor the summer? LM&M Railroad’s family-friendly excursions are the perfect way to sit back and enjoy some quality time with your family.
This authentic, full-scale castle was built brick by brick by Cincinnati native (Sir) Harry Andrews and includes gardens, several towers, a dungeon and rooms full of medieval replicas and memorabilia.
It’s #SharkSummer at Newport Aquarium! In addition to a brand-new baby epaulette shark, extended summer hours and lots of interactive activities make Newport Aquarium the perfect place to cool off.
The Ohio Caverns are a great day adventure for families of all ages. During the summer season, three tours are offered: The Historic Tour, The Natural Wonders Tour and the Combination Tour, which combines both the Historic and Natural Wonders tours. For guests with limited mobility (or younger families) Ohio Caverns offers the Limestone Tour in the summer season with advanced reservations.
Pyramid Hill is a true hidden gem – it’s tucked away in Butler County off a rolling country road. But to be fair, nothing about Pyramid Hill is “hidden;” this outdoor sculpture museum is big and bold. A bright red sculpture stands at the entryway; and from there, the hills and valleys of Pyramid Hill’s 300 acres are covered with larger-than-life sculptures that demand to be seen (and admired).
The SkyStar provides million-dollar views of downtown Cincinnati, Covington and the Ohio River that will make you just weak in the knees for our beautiful city. While admittedly a bit expensive, the SkyStar is a well-worth-it staycation splurge that your whole family can enjoy together. Great news – this riverside attraction has decided to stay in Cincy!
The Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati is located in Latonia, KY, at the former Louisville and Nashville Railroad yard. The museum is entirely volunteer-run and owns and maintains an impressive collection of authentic trains and railroad equipment.
Young’s Jersey Dairy
Young’s Jersey Dairy is a family-owned farm that has welcomed and entertained visitors for generations. There’s lots to do at this real, working farm — in addition to wandering its charming facilities and noshing on farm-fresh ice cream and cheese curds at its restaurant, Young’s Udders & Putters is sure to be a big hit with kids. This area features miniature golf, a large batting cage, a play area for those 48” and under, an exciting slide, a barrel train ride and even a driving range!
Don’t let summer pass you by – enjoy some quality time with your kids right here in Cincinnati.
Kings Island photo credit: Warren County – Ohio’s Largest Playground