16 Best Things to Do in Cincinnati Ohio
Last updated on July 24th, 2018 at 11:33 am
Cincinnati, also known as the Queen City of the West, is a thriving city with plenty of history, culture, and food to explore, enjoy and experience. Read on to discover our top attractions to enjoy when visiting the seat of Hamilton country and one of the most beautiful cities in Ohio. No matter whether you’re traveling with family, friends or on your own, you are sure to find plenty of things to do in Cincinnati Ohio.
Climb the Carew Tower
Towering 49 vertigo-inducing stories above the ground, the Carew Tower is the highest elevated building in Cincinnati. Climbing to the Observation Deck at the top of the tower for incredible 360-degree views of the city is one of the most rewarding things to do in Cincinnati where you can see the city laid out beneath you as far as the eye can see. While you’re here, be sure to pick up some souvenirs from one of 25 shops located in the tower.
Cycle through Eden Park
One of Cincinnati’s most famous parks, Eden Park always hums with activity. Spend your time here cycling through the park – one of our favorite free things to do in Cincinnati – on the bicycle paths that wind past two lakes, Arabic-style gazebos, trickling fountains, a kids’ playground and the Crohn Conservatory, home to some incredible free-flying butterflies. Take in the lush greenery of the Hinkle Magnolia Garden with its memorial tree groves and the Bettman Fountain or stop and challenge each other to a game of chess. The views along the way are incredible with stunning vistas over Kentucky and the Ohio River. Hotels in that area can be expensive, but you can get a good view and even better accommodation prices with Hotels.com deals and promo codes.
Browse the Findlay Market
If you’re looking for things to do in Cincinnati today, we’d recommend a visit to the Findlay Market. Tucked away within cobbled streets and 19th-century architecture, the Findlay Market is one of the most traditional public markets in Cincinnati. Founded in 1852 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the market is also the oldest continuously operated market in Ohio. The historic market is located in a pretty Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, so it’s always a bustle of activity with local food vendors touting their wares, fresh farmers and arts and crafts on display as well as street performers and a beer garden in the summertime. So if you are looking for things to do in Cincinnati Ohio this weekend, the market is a great place to start your way, open from Tuesday through to Saturday, with some vendors open on Sunday.
Get a Bird’s Eye View of the City by Helicopter
For a different perspective of Cincinnati, why not take to the skies with a scenic sightseeing helicopter tour? Stratus Helicopters offer a variety of fantastic aerial tours of the city to see all of the iconic landmarks such as the Great American Ballpark and Tower. You’ll also be able to see the United States Bank Arena, the Paul Brown Stadium, Jack Casino, Cincinnati Convention Center, Museum Center, Carew Tower, Fountain Square, and all of the many bridges that surround downtown Cincinnati. Up to three passengers can go at a time, each with a window seat for enjoying the incredible views of the city. If you’re planning a special occasion, you can also book customized tours such as engagements and anniversaries. Organizing a tour is arguably one of the most fun things to do in Cincinnati for couples.
Barbecue with the locals at Eli’s BBQ
One of the local hotspots in Cincinnati, Eli’s BBQ promises guests the appeal of the classic American barbecue. Think Hickory smoked ribs, pulled pork burgers and all-beef dogs paired with mouth-watering sides like classic American mac and cheese, jalapeno-infused cornbread and baked beans. Whether you’re looking for a place to enjoy a good old American dinner with the family, friends or even on your own, dining at Eli’s BBQ with live music on Thursday nights is one of our favorite fun things to do in Cincinnati. Whatever you choose, you won’t be leaving hungry! Also, if you love barbecuing with the locals, you’ll also love staying either with them or at their place. Assuming you want that kind of experience, you can exploit one of the Airbnb promo code offers and get a terrific value deal.
Have a beer at MadTree Brewing
One of the most amusing things to do in Cincinnati in the winter is savoring a warming beverage at MadTree Brewing. Perfect for a laidback pint, this independent microbrewery in Cincinnati is conveniently located within a chic industrial warehouse, and you can look forward to makeshift wooden bars and a blackboard menu with craft beers and more than fifteen of their beers on tap. Line your bellies in advance with some of the city’s best wood-fired Neapolitan pizza from the resident food truck. Want to learn how the beer is made? Tours of the brewery take place each Saturday.
See the Mushroom House
Do you love traveling to explore the unusual attractions to be found around the world? There’s always unusual stuff to do in Cincinnati, and the Mushroom House located in the Hyde Park neighborhood is undoubtedly different. Designed by live-in architect, Terry Brown, who transformed his bungalow into a fungus, this house in the shape of a mushroom is nothing sort of Instagram-worthy. Think warped shingles to look like the underside of a mushroom, strange staircases and a bulbous roof. While its owner passed away ten years ago, the building is still a famous landmark in Cincinnati.
Explore the Lucky Cat Museum
If you’re looking for things to do in Cincinnati Ohio this weekend, why not visit the Lucky Cat Museum? Dedicated to the Japanese cat statues that are believed to bring good luck, this museum is filled with over 700 waving paws and more than 1,000 different types of feline figurines. The Lucky Cat, also known as Maneki-Neko, is a Japanese symbol that dates back over a century. Visitors can explore the museum from Tuesday through to Saturday from 15:00 to 18:00.
Discover the American Sign Museum
The American Sign Museum tells a tale of America’s history and heritage, dating back over 100 years. The enormous 20,000 square foot exhibition area is home to signs from all over the world and touring the neon interior is one of the most interesting and fun things to do in Cincinnati. It is the largest public museum dedicated to signs in the United States, and it even has a working neon sign shop where you can watch how the flashing neon signs are created and learn interesting facts about the art of sign making. Guided tours are available, but these must be booked in advance.
Go to Coney Island
Cincinnati, Ohio is never short of things to do, and Coney Island cannot be missed. Located on the edge of the Ohio River, this fun-filled theme park and water park can be found just 10 miles outside of Cincinnati. Open during the summer months; visitors can enjoy 24 exciting rides and slides, including a rollercoaster and water-based rides like the Pipeline Plunge. Test your courage on the Scream Machine, Topspin and the Python and cool off at Typhoon tower – the world’s largest hydro storm at Sunlite Water Adventure – with 73 different interactive play stations. Or swim in the largest recirculating pool in the world that holds more than three million gallons of water! Finally, you can even stay at Coney Island! Hotel rooms are reasonably priced, but if you want, you can get a discount using Priceline promo codes!
Ride the Cincinnati Dinner Train
Taking a scenic ride on the Cincinnati Dinner Train is one of the most romantic things to do in Cincinnati. A truly unique way to spend an evening, you will be seated in one of three vintage dining cars with booth window seating for admiring the magnificent views as you trundle along. You will be treated to a four-course dinner, and afterward, you can curl up with drinks at the bar or in the lounge car. Bliss!
Stroll through the Spring Grove Cemetery
Spring Grove Cemetery is both a beautiful and an eerie place. One of the most haunting National Historic Landmarks in Ohio, the 700 acres of green space makes it the second largest graveyard in the United States – and exploring the greens is genuinely one of the most enjoyable outdoor things to do in Cincinnati. The graves mark the final resting place of luminaries, from civil war generals to baseball players, and the public park is a scenic spot to spend the weekend with picnic spots, lakes, and ponds linked by footbridges and winding pathways that lead to chapels, sepulchers, and mausoleums.
The Cincinnati Observatory
Stargaze to your heart’s content at the Cincinnati Observatory, believed to be the “birthplace of American Astronomy.” This 19th-century working observatory is open to the public and staring into the night sky here is one of the best things to do in Cincinnati at night. The observatory is housed in a building with an iconic silver dome, and it’s home to one of the oldest working telescopes in the western hemisphere. Declared a National Historic Landmark, it was once a research station, but it is now its used for educational purposes with astronomy classes, telescope training, fundraisers and more!
Visit the Cincinnati Zoo
Located to the north of Cincinnati’s University District, the Cincinnati Zoo is filled with all sorts of creatures such as cheetah, snow leopards, sand cats, bears, wolves even the rare pangolin. Spending a day exploring the exhibits is one of the most fun things to do in Cincinnati, Ohio where you may see exotic snakes, sunfish, and piranhas at the aquarium. Dating back over 140 years, the zoo is the second oldest in the United States with over 2,000 animals of 500 different species from around the globe. Within its 65 acres, the zoo runs important breeding programs including that of the California sea lion, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Malayan tigers and pygmy chimpanzee. It also has many claims to fame – did you know that it is known for having had the largest Komodo dragon in captivity and the longest living alligator in captivity (an alligator that lived up to the age of 70 years old). When you create an extensive Cincinnati travel guide, the Cincinnati Zoo has to be a part of it.
Go to the Duke Energy Children’s Museum
If you’re looking for entertaining things to do with kids in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Duke Energy Children’s Museum has eight exciting and interactive exhibits that are both fun and educational. The hands-on exhibits encourage kids to crawl, climb, explore and learn more about the world around them. We love the Little Sprouts Farm and Kids’ Town which has been made for children in their preschool years and the shows and events that are well-catered for all ages. Exploring the Energy Zone and the adventure based wilderness of The Woods is one of the best things to do in Cincinnati with kids.
Walk the John A Roebling Suspension Bridge
This iconic bridge is a landmark of Cincinnati, and it has become a massive part of the city since it was built in 1866. Connecting downtown Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, it is a National Historic Landmark and even has a festival named after it. Designed by the same person who built the Brooklyn Bridge, the John A Roebling Bridge was the longest in the world when it was completed and notably the first bridge in history to use both diagonal stays and vertical suspenders. Taking a stroll along the bridge is one of “must do” things to do in downtown Cincinnati.
BONUS: Discover the American Legacy Tours
Want to learn about the history and heritage of Greater Cincinnati? The American Legacy Tours are guided tours and one of the most informative things to do in one of the largest cities in Ohio. The various tours include the Queen City Underground Tour which takes visitors along a 130-year-old tunnel and through the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. The Queen City Haunted Tour delves into the past and tells spooky ghost stories while the Baron’s Brew Bus – perfect for beer lovers – visits the alehouses of Cincinnati. Rounding up our list of things to do in Cincinnati Ohio, there is also a tour called 1919: The Year that Changed Baseball. This educational walking tour shows the city of Cincinnati’s role in the history of this all-time American sporting favorite.
Spend Your Vacation in Cincinnati, Ohio!
Any given Ohio travel guide will showcase this city’s intriguing history and many sights and activities that make Cincinnati well-worth the visit. We can also recommend booking with one of Expedia’s promo codes to get the best price available! To conclude, you will never be short of things to do in Cincinnati Ohio. The only remaining question is – what’s next on your bucket list?