I’ll be honest, I’d never really considered taking my kids to Cincinnati, though this is largely because I had no idea what was in Cincinnati. Then, I took a look at Adventures Around Cincinnati, a book co-authored by fellow family travel writer, Terri Weeks, and realized there’s a lot to do with kids in Cincinnati, like way more than I expected.
This book includes more than 120 “kid-tested” destinations within a two-hour drive of Cincinnati. From riverboats to botanical gardens to state parks to, yes, tours of landfills (Rumpke Landfill Tour), like I said, there’s a lot to do in Cincinnati and the surrounding areas.
What I love about Adventures Around Cincinnati is that each entry not only includes the address, phone number, website, hours and cost, but the authors also include how much time you’ll want to spend at each attraction and a fun three to four paragraph description of each must-do activity in the Cincinnati area.
The book includes tips and insights you may not get from a website visit alone, like that you can find discounts in the local Entertainment Book, that certain sections of a museum are very much hands-off or that free family programs are offered during certain times of the year. I also liked specific suggestions for preschool age kids as they relate to select attractions. Very helpful.
I had a chance to catch up with Terri to ask about her five favorite activities for school-age kids making their very first visit to Cincinnati. I was afraid she’d be hesitant to answer, like I was asking her to pick a favorite child, but she kindly obliged and shared the following five activities as tops for school-age kids and families.
1. Spend the Day at Cincinnati Museum Center. Housed in Union Terminal, Cincinnati Museum Center includes three museums popular among school-age children: Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science and Duke Energy Children’s Museum. You’ll also find an OMNIMAX Theatre and don’t leave before taking a tour of Tower A, the main terminal control tower.
2. Explore the History of the Underground Railroad. Make a stop at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Be sure to pick up a complimentary audio tour designed for kids and families. Kids will find it interesting to learn how slaves were brought into this country and what it was like to be a slave. There are also several short films worth a watch, such as Brothers of the Borderland.
3. Dig Your Way Through Trammel Fossil Park. Kids will dig (nice pun, I know) a visit to Trammel Fossil Park in nearby Sharonville. Wear durable shoes as you hike and climb around the property. Keep your eyes open as most fossils are right there under your feet. As a bonus, your kids can bring home a small collection of fossils they discover at the site.
4. Spend the Day as an Aviator. Drive one hour to Dayton, where the Wright Brothers built the first airplane, and pay a visit to two aviation-related attractions: the National Museum of the United States Air Force and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park (ask about the Junior Ranger program). Both attractions are free and offer incredible insights into the history of aviation.
5. Interact with Rescued Wolves. Where else can you get up close and personal with rescued wolves but at Wolf Creek Habitat in Brookville, IN (about an hour away)? Wolf Creek Habitat is only open on the weekends and offers a unique opportunity to view, interact with and learn about wolves. You may even be able to toss marshmallows into their dens to encourage the wolves to come out and visit.
For those looking for even more adventures in and around Cincinnati, be sure to purchase Adventures Around Cincinnati, which is available both as a paperback book and a Kindle download.
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