We’ve been lucky to host my niece and three nephews this month from out of town. The cousins all love spending time together and I love having all the kids around. We’ve had a fantastic time around town- camping in Stonelick State Park, taking a hike at Withrow Nature Preserve, making an outdoor movie theater in our back yard and playing a wiffle ball tournament at Juilf’s Park. There are a ton of great activities to do in the Cincinnati area! Inspired by WLWT’s Bucket List- 50 Must-Do Things in Cincinnati, my nephew Josh requested we take a walking tour of downtown Cincinnati to see some of the signature local landmarks. I told the kids to put on comfortable shoes and off we went to explore. We didn’t want to break the bank with our large group so we focused on free things to do in town. Besides food, we didn’t spend any other money and had a great time exploring Cincinnati.
Dewey’s Pizza at Newport on the Levee
We started our day at Newport on the Levee where we headed to Dewey’s for my family’s favorite pizza. While the first Dewey’s opened in Oakley in 1998, Cincinnati now has eight area stores and additional locations have opened in Cleveland, Dayton, Columbus and St. Louis. Dewey’s phenomenal growth is not surprising because not only is the atmosphere friendly and fun, they make some of the most delicious pizzas found anywhere. Since there were ten of us, we split 3 medium pizzas and ate every yummy bite. My favorite is the Ryan’s Inferno and my nephew’s especially loved it as well. Topped with olive oil, mozzarella, buffalo chicken, gorgonzola, red onion, ranch and celery, it is a delicious flavor explosion. We also enjoyed the Caprice and a traditional pepperoni. Full and happy, we left the restaurant and explored the Levee shops for a while before taking in the view of the Ohio River and downtown Cincinnati from the levee walkways. During weekdays, parking is only 2 dollars in the Newport Garage (and free if you are in after 11 and out before 2) which is a great bargain so we left the cars here while we set off.
Purple People Bridge
Crossing the Ohio River on the half mile long Purple People Bridge, we saw beautiful views of both the Newport and Cincinnati skylines as we walked from Kentucky to Ohio. A pedestrian only bridge, this had been on my nephew’s must do list as it is a fun way to travel to downtown and we saw lots of other people out walking and jogging and the warm summer day.
Once in Ohio, we passed by the beautiful Taft Museum before heading inside Procter and Gamble’s headquarters where Dave works to take a bathroom pit stop and look around the gorgeous building. We spent a little while looking at the History Museum before continuing on our way. P&G is a big part of the city so it seemed fitting to learn a little bit about its history during our Cincinnati tour.
Main Library at Downtown Cincinnati
We then walked the several blocks towards the Main Library. With an annual circulation greater than any other American library, our Main Library is impressive and we had a wonderful time meandering through the huge building and browsing their enormous collection of books. A few of the kids watched a speed chess match between library patrons while the older kids looked around the teen spot section. In my view, there isn’t a better indoor place to spend the afternoon and we all enjoyed our time here. After visiting the the Friends of the Library Gift Shop where we found a lovely journal to give a friend for her high school graduation, we each picked a book to check out before heading back outside.
Walking tour of Cincinnati, Ohio: Fountain Square
Our next stop was beautiful Fountain Square where we visited Graeter’s Ice Cream before sitting at the tables and enjoying our desserts. No visit to Cincinnati is complete without at least one visit to Graeter’s. Made in small batches for five generations, they make some of the most decadent ice cream you could have and we all savored our choices. Definitely try the Black Raspberry Chip!
Great American Ballpark
With several baseball fans in our group, we headed over to Great American Ball Park where the kids posed for pictures in the front courtyard and also visited the gift shop. We didn’t have time during our visit, but a tour of the Red’s Hall of Fame is a great activity for baseball lovers. There was an evening game scheduled (they later beat the Cubs!) but since it was early in the day there weren’t many people around yet. Go Reds!
Walking Tour of Cincinnati: Yeatman’s Cove and the Serpentine Wall
Next up was exploring Yeatman’s Cove and the Serpentine Wall along the Ohio River. The kids loved running up and down the steps and wandering along the river bank. With beautiful gardens, artwork, tennis and volleyball courts and a playground, there is tons to do here and it’s a destination all by itself! The Labor Day festival and fireworks display here is a definite must-do.
Walking back to Kentucky over the Ohio River was a fun way to end our day exploring. Even for us locals, Cincinnati is a great place to visit and our guests had a great time too. Hope you make it here someday.
Here are some helpful links for planning your own trip to Cincinnati-
Have you been to Cincinnati? I’d love to hear what your favorite things to do were!