Cincinnati is filled with activities to keep you entertained, fed and happy. The best hot spots in Cincinnati right now may surprise you, from an interactive art museum, to a giant Ferris wheel, to axe throwing, here are the best hot spots in Cincinnati that you have to check out!
1. Smale Riverfront Park
Smale Park has quickly become one Cincinnati’s most beloved destinations for both tourists and natives. The park has become widely popular in the past few years due to its many attractions. Walking distance from downtown, both the Reds and Bengals stadiums, as well as the popular bar and restaurant scene “The Banks”; Smale park offers something for everyone. With an obstacle course, a waterpark and giant swings, you’ll be fighting with six year olds over who’s turn it is.
It’s also a perfect place for anyone who wants a good workout, you get a great view as you run or bike along the river. Or, if you’re more like me and are just there for the food and drinks you have plenty of options both downtown and across the Roebling Suspension Bridge into Kentucky.
The Suspension bridge is another sight along Smale park that Cincinnatian’s and tourists alike love. This beautiful bridge was the model for the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC. It’s a perfect backdrop to look out at while sitting along the water at Smale park. Making a day of walking across all the bridges can be a fun, free way to experience Cincinnati without being right in the middle of the crowds.
The absolute best thing about Smale Park is that it is completely free. This is perfect for college students looking for a cheap but fun date, parents trying to get their kids to burn off some energy or even to relax and rock in a swing enjoying the view.
2. Skystar Wheel
While you’re at Smale Park you won’t be able to miss the blue lights of the Skystar Ferris wheel. The Skystar Wheel is to Cincinnati as what the London Eye is to London. Only, Cincinnati sized. The Ferris wheel overlooks the river and gives you an even better view of downtown. At night, the Skystar wheel will have a bit longer of a wait to it, but once you’re in your little glass orb looking at the bridges and buildings lit up, you won’t regret the wait.
The skystar wheel has a fee to ride but it changes seasonally and is definitely worth the extra cash. It’s a good time filler while waiting for a table at Yard House or a way to sober up after hitting the bars. Just make sure you didn’t have too much to drink or else the rocking on the wheel might not sit well with all those margaritas.
3. Flying Axes
Axe throwing has taken over the Cincinnati area at an alarming rate. This is truly one of the hottest spots in Cincinnati right now. Flying Axes, located just across the river in Covington, KY, is exactly what is sounds like it is , you literally are throwing axes like lumberjacks.
You do have to sign a waiver saying that you adhere to the rules of Flying Axes, and you’re given a trained axe thrower, they call captains, to supervise and offer assistance. Although this may seem scary, it is absolutely safe as long as you listen to your captains. If you’re looking for something different that just going to the same four bars and a way to feel badass, Flying Axes is your answer. It’s the perfect way to destress on a Friday night after the work week.
4. Contemporary Arts Center
If you’re more of a gentle spirited person and axe throwing seems too aggressive for you, the Contemporary Arts Center is the hot spot for you. Art museums can come off as boring to many people these days. The contemporary arts center has really embraced modern art and has a wide array of interactive art pieces. A sculpture of a little girl’s body with the head of a shark, sitting on a bench, has become a staple of Cincinnatian’s instagrams.
The art center has a vast selection of pieces, ranging from light shows, to wooden carvings to live action art with performers. The art center has become a hot spot for millennials looking for something different to do. It’s far different from the art museums you went on field trips to in grade school.
The art museum is what you make it, you can spend an entire day here reading up on art history, fashion trends and even political issues, or you can make it a quick stop. Admission is free so it’s another perfect option for something to do that won’t cost you a lot.
5. Washington Park
Washington Park is the ultimate hot spot of Cincinnati. There is always something going on at Washington Park, during the summer they host streamings of movies, live theatre performance, game nights, yoga classes. Anything you can think of, Washington Park thought of it first, and also did it better. And probably made it free, so everyone can enjoy. Way to go Washington Park.
It’s located in the art hub of Cincinnati, wedged between three theatre and music hall they are often hosting art related events, but they also host events for kids, game night, wine tastings, musicians, flea markets, group workout classes and even a dog park; need I say more? They truly offer something for everyone and
In the heart of OTR, Washington Park the best way to spend a Saturday in Cincinnati. Grab and donut and coffee from Holtman’s and make your way over to Washington Park to see what events are going on, or simply walk around the beautiful park and take in the day. Either way you will never be disappointed by a day spent at Washington Park.