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50 Under $50: Things to Do With Kids in Cincinnati

November 25th, 2014

Who says it’s impossible for families to go out and have fun without spending close to $100 in doing so? The Greater Cincinnati area offers lots of free and affordable family attractions, events, and activities.

As proof, Forbes Magazine ranked Cincinnati among the Top 10 places to raise a family, a nod to the area’s amenities for great family living, including the many options for family-friendly fun places.

Rather than take time to search for budget-friendly things to do with your family in Cincinnati, this listing puts them all in one place. But, you won’t find attractions with expensive ticket prices on this list. Instead, you’ll find a diverse variety of 50 things to do with kids in Cincinnati for under $50 and all within 30 miles of Cincinnati.

So get ready to enjoy some family fun throughout the Cincinnati-North Kentucky metropolitan area.

 

Attractions

1. The Web Extreme Entertainment

Contact UsHours | Pricing

Why spend close to $100 or more on just one family attraction when you can get two, plus arcade credits, for under $50? The best value in town is the Family Fun Package at The WEB.

It costs $49 and includes four premium passes for Laser WEB laser tag or Inside Track go-karts, four standard passes for Jurassic Par mini-golf or Hang Ten mini-bowling, and 40 game credits for the largest arcade and redemption center in the greater Cincinnati area.

You get a lot of fun for your money with four attractions all under one roof. Plus, there’s the on-site Winners Café and Sweet Shop to refuel before enjoying more fun. Open daily year-round, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday–Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday–Saturday.

Details: 7172 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, West Chester, Ohio 45069; Phone: 513-860-2882.

2. Beechmont Rollarena

This rink is ideal for families with kids who have different roller skating preferences. The roller/inline skating rink offers regular roller skating and speed skating. There’s great music and a great family atmosphere.

Hours and admission prices are 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday with a $2.50 admission; 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday with a $6 admission; 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday with a $6 admission before 6 p.m. and $7.50 after 6 p.m.; and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday with a $6 admission. Skate rentals are $2 for regular skates and $4 for speed skates.

Details: 3988 Commercial Boulevard, Cincinnati, Ohio 45245; Phone: 513-753-6868.

3. Loveland Castle

It’s hard to imagine that one man, Sir Harry Delos Andrews, made each brick by hand to build the Loveland Castle, featuring four types of towers. Inside more of Sir Harry’s craftsmanship awaits, with games and puzzles to enjoy.

Kids especially like checking out the swords and period weapons on display and pictures of the castle’s ghosts accompanied by Knights’ ghost stories. The grounds also feature pathways to gardens and family picnic areas by the river or atop the arched tower overlooking the river.

Admission: $5 adults, $3 children ages 12 and younger. Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April–September, weekends only October–March.

Details: 12025 Shore Road, Loveland, Ohio, 45140; Phone: 513-683-4686.

4. Fun Factory Roller Rink

Here’s a great way for families with children of all ages to have some fun together and get some exercise in at the same time. Every Wednesday, it’s family night from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., where admission is only $2 and up to four children, ages 12 and younger, are admitted free of charge.

Skate rentals are an additional $3. Roller skate to music, try out some skating moves, and enjoy the special effects. Afterwards, have some family fun in the game room, with a good ol’ gaming competition.

Details: 1631 Sherman Avenue, Norwood, Ohio 45212; Phone: 513-631-1311.

5. Blue Manatee Children’s Bookstore & DeCafe

Along with a great selection of books and a family-friendly café, there’s a full calendar of family activities going on every week at this children’s bookstore.

Activities and events appeal to children, pre-teens and teens. Special events include discussions with best-selling authors, writing and drawing workshops, story times, and music and movement.

Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday–Saturday and Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Most programs are free.

Details: 3054 Madison Road, Oakley Square, Cincinnati, Ohio 45209; Phone: 513-731-2665.

6. Climb Time of Blue Ash

Everyone in the family can get into the climbing act since there’s no experience necessary and no minimum age for climbing. The 7,000 square foot climbing facility has shorter walls for bouldering and higher walls for top rope climbing.

Hours are 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday–Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, September 1–May 31 and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. June 1–August 31. Closed on major holidays.

A daily pass is $10 per person. Sunday is Kids Night after 5 p.m., with a day pass costing $8 for kids ages 2-13. Save on the $5 shoe rental by wearing sneakers or closed toed shoes.

Details: 10898 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242; Phone: 513-891-4850.

7. The Skatin Place

Known for being fun and family-friendly, this family owned and operated roller skating center offers public skate times and has a full-service skate shop, a stuff shop, an arcade, and a snake bar. Skating rounds include colorful lighting, surround sound and musical fun.

Family hours and admission are Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., $5 admission with regular skate rental included; Friday, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., $5 admission, $7.50 from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Saturday, 1 p.m. to 11 p.m., $6 admission; Sunday, 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., $6 admission.

Skate rentals are $2 for regular roller skates, $3 for inline, and $4 for jam skates.

Details: 3211 Lina Place, Cincinnati Ohio 45239; Phone: 513-522-2424.

8. Parkland Theatre and Entertainment Center

The movie theatre is historic and so are the prices, but the movies are first-run. Families can now enjoy movie night at an affordable price at the oldest operating movie house in Cincinnati.

The theatre, originally built as a vaudeville house in 1881, now shows newly released films for only a $3 admission price. Plus, all concessions, including popcorn, candy and drinks, are $2 or less.

The theatre features state of the art projection, sound and lighting systems, plus has stadium style seating with leather reclining seats.

Details: 6550 Parkland Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45233; Phone: 513-600-7900.

9. Florence Family Aquatic Center

Families have a splashing good time enjoying the lazy river, spray grounds, spiral and speed slides, and competition pool. The sunbathing areas, funbrellas, and sun shelters offer sun and shade options.

The bathhouse includes family restrooms, and the concession area offers refreshments.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays–Saturdays, late May to mid-August. Daily admission is $10 adults ($7 for Florence residents), $7 for children ages 3-15 ($5 for Florence residents), Free for children ages 2 and younger.

Details: 8200 Ewing Boulevard in the Florence Government Center complex, Florence, Kentucky 41042; Phone: 859-647-4619.

10. Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater

Families can travel to exotic adventures all from the comfort of the seating in this five-story theater, with surround sound that puts you in the action. Films change regularly, but all have a family focus. Journey to the hidden universe, the underwater world, faraway places, or historic time periods.

During the holiday season, a returning family favorite is the Rocky Mountain Express. Showtimes vary. Admission is $8.50 for adults, $6.50 for children ages 3-12, Free for infants and toddlers ages 2 and younger.

Details: 1301 Museum Center, 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203; Phone: 513-287-7000.

11. Carew Tower Observation Deck

Check out the panoramic view of the greater Cincinnati region from the 49th floor observation deck of the Carew Tower. Have fun trying to spot your family’s favorite spots from the highest elevated building in Cincinnati and the second tallest building in the city.

Make a day of it and enjoy the shops and restaurants located in the Carew Tower. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday–Sunday. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children.

Details: 441 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; Phone: 513-579-9735.

12. Tower A

Call it a family time travel as you step back in time when Union Terminal was a train station and view where all rail operations were controlled.

Restored and maintained by the Cincinnati Railroad Club, Tower A looks out over Queensgate Freight Yard, one of the busiest yards in the United States.

Children of all ages will be enthralled watching trains coming and going. Access to the tower is by stairs only. Hours are Noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays–Sundays. Admission is free.

Details: 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203; Phone: 513-287-7000.

13. Cincinnati Union Terminal House Detective Agency

This is a real-life game of Whodunit as family members become agents to solve mysteries using their knowledge of Cincinnati history and observations about the Cincinnati Union Terminal.

And the best part is families get paid by the detective agency for their services, which can be used to buy awesome prizes.

Hours are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday; 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Fee is $5 per agent.

Details: 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203; Phone: 513-287-7000.

14. Arcade Legacy

It’s family game night taken to a whole other level with 7,800 square feet of arcade games, pinball, and 18 gaming stations. Use the high-definition projection screens for family favorites like Rock Band, Minecraft, or Mario Kart 8.

On Friday family nights, mom, dad, all the kids, and even grandma and grandpa, can all play for one price of $20. On other days, affordable daily and hourly rates range from $5 to $10. Hours are 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday, 3 p.m. to midnight Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday, Noon to 1 a.m. Friday–Saturday, and Noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Details: Cincinnati Mall, 662 Cincinnati Mills Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45240; Phone: 513-874-8766.

 

Museums

15. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park

This outdoor museum just 25 miles from Cincinnati is a wide open space where families can explore both art and nature. Spend the day exploring the park’s four areas: East Ridge, Central Valley, Overlook Hill and North Woods, where huge, colorful sculptures are displayed among gardens, meadows, lakes, and forests.

The thousands of years old Greek, Egyptian Etruscan and Roman sculptures in the 10,000 square foot Ancient Sculpture Museum are sure to captivate kids of all ages.

Pack a lunch to enjoy in one of numerous picnic areas. Admission is $8 adults, $3 children ages 6-12, free for children ages 5 and younger. Open year-round, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Details: 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road, State Route 128, Hamilton, Ohio, 45013; Phone: 513-868-1234.

16. Museum of Natural History & Science

Fun family exploration awaits, like the 20-foot long Allosaurus skeleton in the Dinosaur Gallery, a replica of an actual limestone cave found in the region, actual moon rocks in the space exhibit dedicated to Ohio native and astronaut Neil Armstrong, and an Ice Age Trail of the area.

A great family activity is trying to master the Stranded Island Survivor Challenge in the STEM Discovery Lab.

Admission is $10.50 for adults, $8.50 for children ages 3-12, $5.50 for toddlers ages 1-2 and free for infants under age 1. Parking is $6 per vehicle. Open daily except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday–Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Details: 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203; Phone: 513-287-7000.

17. Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati

All family members will find something of interest at this museum dedicated to all things firefighting, from Cincinnati’s early fighting days to present.

Kids get to slide down a real fire pole, sound the siren on a modern fire engine, learn fire safety tips in the Safe House display, and much more.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for children ages 7-17, free for children ages 6 and younger with an adult.

Details: 315 West Court Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; Phone: 513-621-5553.

18. Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum

Families can relive the greatest moments from baseball’s oldest professional team, The Cincinnati Reds. The self-guided tour through this 16,000 square foot facility features two floors of exhibit galleries. Interactive monitors showcase the biggest names in Reds history, complete with video and audio clips.

Kids will get a kick out of viewing Reds artifacts from the early days of the team to present.

In season hours: Non-game days, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Day games, 10 a.m. to two hours after game ends, Night games, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Off-season: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday–Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students, and free for children age 4 and younger.

Details: 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; Phone: 513-765-7923.

19. Duke Energy Children’s Museum

Ranked among the top 10 children’s museums in the U.S., the Duke Energy Children’s Museum appeals to kids of all ages with its eight exhibit areas where they can touch, climb, crawl and explore.

Every visit is a new experience with the many children’s programs and activities offered, ranging from arts to science.

A single museum pass is $10.50 for adults, $8.50 for children ages 3-12, $5.50 for toddlers ages 1-2, and free for infants under age 1. Parking is $6 per vehicle.

Open daily except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday–Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Details: 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203; Phone: 513-287-7000.

20. Cincinnati Art Museum

Art exhibits, art-related programs and activities, and special events await families to this museum displaying over 60,000 works covering 6,000 years. Families can explore the art collection on their own or take a free public tour.

Especially for families is an interactive scavenger hunt and special exhibition guides. Be sure to ask about them at the visitor’s desk.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday–Sunday. Admission is free, parking is $4 per vehicle.

Details: 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; Phone: 513-721-2787.

21. Heritage Village Museum

Kids learn about Ohio life during the 1800s through exhibits and 13 historic buildings that were saved from destruction and moved to the museum’s grounds.

Among them are the Chester Train Station, Fetter General Store, and Myers Schoolhouse. Demonstrations of 19th-century life include traditional crafts and cooking.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday, with tours at 10:30 a.m., 12: 45 p.m. and 3 p.m., and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with tours at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Admission for the guided tour is $5 adults, $3 children ages 5-11, free for children under 4. Admission for exhibits only is $2 adults, $1 children. Open year-round.

Details: Located in Sharon Woods Park, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, Ohio 45241; Phone: 513-563-9484.

22. Cincinnati History Museum

Costumed interpreters and a recreation of the 1850 Cincinnati Public Landing bring Cincinnati’s past alive. Families can board the replica Queen of the West steamboat, help a flatboat man unload cargo, talk with a street car conductor, or help the printer in his shop.

Be sure to view the model of Cincinnati from the 1900-1940s, complete with working trains.

Admission is $10.50 for adults, $8.50 for children ages 3-12, $5.50 for toddlers ages 1-2, free for infants under age 1. Parking is $6 per vehicle.

Open daily except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday–Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Details: 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203; Phone: 513-287-7000.

23. Krohn Conservatory

Families only need to travel inside the aluminum and glass walls of the Krohn Conservatory to explore a desert or a rainforest waterfall. Nationally recognized, the conservatory is home to 3,500 exotic plant species from around the world on display in the Palm, Tropical, Orchid and Desert houses.

Special events and programs are held throughout the year, with the 4th of July at Krohn, the fall harvest celebration, the holiday floral show complete with an interactive train display, and the seasonal butterfly show among popular family events.

Admission is $4 adults, $2 children ages 5-12. Open Tuesday–Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours during special shows and events.

Details: 1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; Phone: 513-421-4086.

24. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Here’s a great way for families to learn about the struggles for freedom in the United States. The immersive exhibits share stories of freedom heroes from yesterday and today. Complementing the many exhibits are family programs, lectures, films, and gallery talks.

Be sure to check out the Solomon Northup Tour, created for the film, 12 Years a Slave, with seven stations depicting the story of Solomon Northup. Also not to be missed are the handcrafted quilts telling the history of African American heroes.

Admission is $14 adults, $10 children ages 3-12, free for children under age 3. Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday.

Details: 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; Phone: 513-333-7500.

 

Outdoors

25. Smale Riverfront Park

The 45-acre park, with an incredible view of Cincinnati’s trademark Roebling Suspension Bridge, is the perfect spot to spend a day outdoors with the family.

There’s plenty of activities, including a bike trail, playgrounds, interactive fountains, watercurtains, cascades and pools, a meditative labyrinth, a promenade with fantastic river views, Yeatman’s Cove, and tree groves for picnicking.

View the Black Brigade Monument and learn about the men who protected Cincinnati from Confederate troops by erecting barriers.

Open daily. Admission is free. Parking rates are $1 for each 30 minutes, $8 maximum rate.

Details: West Mehring Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; Phone: 513-352-4079.

26. Starlite Drive-In

Make it family night at the drive-in, featuring digital projection for a bigger and brighter picture. Plus, stereo FM sound is available by tuning into 90.7 FM. The Starlite shows newly-released movies, and as an added bonus, offers two movies for the price of one.

Open nightly rain or shine during summer months, open weekends in spring and fall. Be sure to visit the concession stand for movie candy favorites, popcorn, sandwiches, drinks, ice cream, and more.

Tickets are $8.50 adults, $5.00 children ages 4-11, free for children 3 years and younger.

Details: 2255 State Route Ohio-125, Amelia, Ohio 45102; Phone: 513-734-2282.

27. Fountain Square

There’s bound to be something going on in the square, from free concerts to family movie night to special events, but if there isn’t, make your own family fun.

The Water Wall is a popular attraction, where kids can make patterns on the sheet of water, or jump around the pop-jets on the granite floor.

During the summer, check out the summer music series, and in the winter, have a family skate on the outdoor U.S. Bank Skate Rink. Enjoy Cincinnati’s seasons by viewing the tree groves and gardens. Free admission. Open daily, year-round.

Details: 520 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; Phone: 513-534-5877.

28. Big Bone Lick State Park

Kids can discover where bison roamed during the Pleistocene Era along the park’s Discovery Trail. The 4.5 mile trail through woods, grasslands, and wooden savannas leads to a salt-sulphur spring, a bog diorama, an outdoor discovery area, and a bison herd, part of an effort to reestablish these animals that once roamed the area.

Known as the birthplace of American paleontology, Big Bone Lick State Park also offers great family fun with its 7.5-acre lake for fishing, basketball and tennis courts, and two family playgrounds. Free admission. Open daily from dawn to dusk year-round.

Details: 3380 Beaver Road, Union, Kentucky, 41091; Phone: 859-384-3522.

29. Sharon Woods

An excellent family adventure awaits at this popular 730 acre park. Take a scenic bike ride or hike around the 35 acre lake, or on the Gorge nature trail or one mile Parcours trail. The harbor area features a playground with water features and fishing at the pier.

Boat rentals of all types are available at the boathouse, with hourly rates ranging from $10.77 to $40.28. At the Sharon Center are educational nature displays and the Adventure Station two-story indoor play area.

Park admission is $3 per vehicle ($10 annual pass to all Hamilton County parks). Open daily from dawn to dusk.

Details: 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, Ohio 45241; Phone: 513-563-4513.

30. Loveland Bike Trail

Located in Little Miami Scenic State Park, the multi-use trail is the fourth longest paved rail trail in the United States. The bike trail follows an old railway line, passing by Civil War sites, rivers populated with Canadian geese and ducks, deer darting through the woods, Indian burial grounds, and more.

For families with small children, consider biking the trail to Riverview Park and its playground. The round trip is 1.75 miles. For bike rides of a few hours, ride from Loveland to Milford, Morrow, or Lebanon. Free and open daily year-round.

Details: 206 Railroad Avenue, Loveland, Ohio 45140; Phone: 513-897-3055.

31. Niederman Family Farm

Whatever the season, there’s family fun down on the farm for all ages. From mid-April to June, two-hour farm tours, complete with a tractor ride and farm animals, are educational and fun.

Fall activities include a corn maze, hayride, pumpkin patch, jumping pillow, and more. Farm tours are $7 per person. Fall festival admission is $10 per person, free for children under age 2.

Details: 5110 Lesourdsville W. Chester Road, Liberty Township, OH 45011; Phone: 513-779-6184.

32. TCC Berry Farm

A great family activity awaits at pick your own farms, where everyone can do their part picking delicious berries right from the fields.

The Teen Challenge Cincinnati (TCC) berry farm offers pick your own organically-grown red raspberries from summer through fall. Several varieties are available throughout the 9,000 foot field.

The pick your own price is $5 a pound, which includes picking containers. Saturdays 8 a.m. to Noon from mid-June through September. Be sure to call before going to verify picking dates.

Details: 1466 U.S. Highway 50, Milford, Ohio 45150; Phone: 513-248-0452, ext. 103.

33. Shawnee Lookout

This family outing combines Ohio’s historic heritage with outdoor activities and a great view. The park is home to the historic Springhouse School and Log Cabin, as well as Native American archaeological earthworks. Bike or walk the nature trails that range from 1.3 miles to two miles.

Take a break and enjoy the lookout, offering incredible views of the Great Miami River valleys and the Ohio River. There’s also a playground, picnic areas, a golf course, and boat access to the Great Miami River.

Park admission is $3 per vehicle ($10 annual pass to all Hamilton County parks). Open daily, dawn to dusk.

Details: 2008 Lawrenceburg Road, North Bend, Ohio 45052; Phone: 513-521-7275.

34. Mitchell Memorial Forest

For families who love to fish, bike, or hike, this is the park for you. Take a pleasant walk or ride along the one mile Wood Duck nature trail, or for a challenge, ride or hike the 8.1 mile mountain bike trail.

The park also has a catch and release fishing pond, a playground for youngsters, and picnic areas.

Open daily, dawn to dusk. Park admission is $3 per vehicle ($10 annual pass to all Hamilton County parks).

Details: 5401 Zion Road, Cleves, Ohio 45002; Phone: 513-521-7275.

35. Embshoff Woods

Disc golf is the main attraction in this park, where family members can challenge each other throughout the nine holes. The course winds through the woods, making for some challenging features.

Bring your own discs. Keep the family challenge going on the one mile Parcours fitness trail.

There’s also a playground for kids and family picnic areas. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Park admission is $3 per vehicle ($10 annual pass to all Hamilton County parks).

Details: 4050 Paul Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45238; Phone: 513-521-7275.

36. Otto Armleder Memorial Park

Even the family dog is welcomed to join in the fun at this park. Featuring a 10 acre dog park with separate areas for large and small breeds, families can walk the off-leash run with their dogs or run throughout water fountains.

The park is also home to several trails, including the popular Lunken Airfield Loop.

A playground and a river outlook with canoe access to the Little Miami River makes this a great place for family fun. Open daily, dawn to dusk. Park admission is $3 per vehicle ($10 annual pass to all Hamilton County parks).

Details: 5057 Wooster Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226; Phone: 513-521-7275.

37. Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve

Get away from the bustling city and enjoy a relaxing day with nature at this Cincinnati nature preserve. An enjoyable family walk on the 0.6 mile Pin Oak Trail hugs a butterfly and wildflower garden.

For some family fun, stop in at the two-story barn, where nature programs, special events, and exhibits take place.

Open daily from dawn to dusk. Park admission is $3 per vehicle ($10 annual pass to all Hamilton County parks).

Details: 3455 Poole Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45251; Phone: 513-521-7275.

38. Woodland Mound

Home to one of Cincinnati’s most popular disc golf courses, the 18 hole course is ideal for beginners and experienced players. For more action, bike or hike the nature or Parcours trails.

Not to be missed is the spectacular view of the Ohio River Valley from the Breezy Point Pavilion.

Popular with kids are the wildlife exhibits in the visitor center, the playground, and Parky’s Wetland Adventure playground (open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Memorial Day – Labor Day, with separate admission of $3 per child ages 2-12 or $7 for 3 children).

Open daily, dawn to dusk. Park admission is $3 per vehicle ($10 annual pass to all Hamilton County parks).

Details: 8250 Old Kellogg Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45255; Phone: 513-521-7275.

39. Campbell Lakes Preserve

A great place to take the family fishing, with four lakes stocked with northern pike, bass, crappie, and bluegill. Northern pike and bass are catch and release, but you can keep 10 bluegill and crappie per day.

Fish from the bank, or a canoe, jon boat, or kayak.

No Ohio fishing license required. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Park admission is $3 per vehicle ($10 annual pass to all Hamilton County parks).

Details: 10431 Campbell Road, Harrison, Ohio 45030; Phone: 513-521-7275.

 

Tours

40. Northern Kentucky Riverwalk Statue Tour

An interesting and fun way for kids to learn the area’s history, this self-guided tour in Covington’s Historic Licking Riverside neighborhood features seven life-like statues along the Riverwalk.

View the historical figures, James Bradley, Chief Little Turtle, John James Audubon, Captain Mary B. Greene, Simon Kenton, Daniel Carter Beard, and John A. Roebling, and learn what each contributed to the history of Greater Cincinnati. Open daily. Free.

Details: Riverside Drive and Greenup Street, Covington, Kentucky 41011; Phone: 859-655-4159.

41. Anderson Ferry

Pack up the bikes and take the Anderson Ferry to Hebron, Kentucky. Or drive on to the ferry in your car and explore northeastern Boone County for the day. On the five-minute ferry ride, enjoy the scenery along the Ohio River.

In operation since 1817, the Anderson Ferry is a popular Cincy landmark. Board on Anderson Ferry Road, located in Cincinnati’s west side.

The ferry runs daily, except on Christmas Day, with early morning and late evening runs. Admission is $1.50 each for passenger and bicycle, $8 roundtrip ticket for car and passengers.

Details: 4030 River Road, Hebron, KY 41048; Phone: 859-586-5007.

42. Union Terminal

Families can experience one of Cincinnati’s incredible architectural wonders and learn all about this national historic landmark with a 45 minute rotunda tour.

Cincinnati Heritage docents explain all about the Art Deco style architecture and provide interesting details on the famous mosaic murals.

Tours are offered on the hour from Noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tours are free.

Details: 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203; Phone: 513-287-7000.

43. Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

Carriage Occasions offers a variety of horse-drawn carriage tours around downtown Cincinnati, or will create a custom ride for your family. The downtown Cincinnati tours are a great way to see the city’s historic buildings and churches, city parks, and other landmarks.

Plan a carriage ride during the Christmas season, the kids will love it! All carriages have heated blankets and AM/FM CD stereos.

Prices start at $35 for a 30 minute ride. Available Friday and Saturday evenings, weather permitting, or other days and times can be reserved.

Details: The carriage stand at Vine Street and 5th in front of Tiffany’s across from Fountain Square, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; Phone: 513-309-3251.

44. Spirit of Christmas Tour

A wonderful holiday family tradition is the Spirit of Christmas Tour presented by American Legacy Tours. Visit churches of national and local significance in the Gateway Quarter, including St. Francis Seraph Church to view nativity scenes from around the world and a detailed Charles Dickens Village.

In the church’s courtyard, view a live nativity scene, complete with a full stable of animals.

Estimated tour time is 90 minutes to two hours. Tours are available from the day after Thanksgiving to the last Saturday in December. Tickets are $20 per adult, with free admission for children with a paying adult.

Details: Tour begins at 1332 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; Phone: 859-951-8560.

 

Performing Arts

45. The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati

Presenting theatre performances specifically for families, The Children’s Theatre’s one hour productions run the gamut from music, dance, drama, and visual arts to appeal to all ages and interests.

The Snow Queen, Aladdin, and School House Rock Live are just a few examples of the fine family-friendly performances the theatre presents.

The theatre never disappoints in presenting productions that are popular, vibrant, and professionally performed. Performance dates and times vary.

Advanced purchase of four balcony seats is $11.54 each or $46.16. Expect to pay for parking at meters, parking lots, or parking garages.

Details: The Taft Theatre, 5th & Sycamore Streets, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; Phone: 513-569-8080, ext. 10.

46. The Children’s Theatre of Mason

Ideal for families with children ages 5-18, the theatre presents family-friendly performances, such as Cats, Camp Rock, the Musical, Bye, Bye Birdie, Shrek the Musical, and The Little Mermaid, plus gives children the opportunity to become involved in theater, either as a performer, crew member, or a behind-the-scenes role.

Performances are held at the Mason High School Theatre, 6100 Mason-Montgomery Road, usually on Friday and Saturday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Ticket prices vary by performance, but are typically in the $10-$12 range.

Details: 308 West Main Street, Mason, Ohio 45040; Phone: 513-398-0116.

47. Calico Theatre

With a goal of introducing children and families to the visual and performing arts, each year’s theatre season offers a range of one hour shows, from magic and puppet shows to plays and musicals.

Be sure to catch the entertaining pre-show activities, which are typically free.

Performances take place in Krueger Auditorium in the Peter-Jones building on the University of Cincinnati Clermont College campus. Dates and times vary, depending on the show. Tickets range from $5 to $7 per person, free for children ages 2 and younger.

Details: 4200 Clermont College Drive, Batavia, Ohio 45103; Phone: 513-558-1215.

 

Sports

48. Cincinnati Reds Ballgame

During the April to October professional baseball season, families can see the Cincinnati Reds play at the Great American Ballpark. Simply take advantage of the Reach Magazine Family Days promotion every Sunday during home games.

One adult family member pays full ticket price and can then purchase up to three non-premium tickets at half-price in advance of game day.

Under $50 admission options include View Level ($18 full price) and View Level Line ($8-$18 full price). Parking fees or bus fare is extra.

Details: 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202; Phone: 513-765-7000.

49. Florence Freedom

Head out to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Stadium and take in a Florence Freedom ballgame. The game is baseball at its purest, as these professional ball players compete in the independent Frontier League baseball league.

Team mascots Liberty and Belle are great entertaining the kids and the ballpark offers family entertainment throughout the game, including interactive fan activities on the big video board, playground areas, music, and games. The season runs from May through September.

Choose from reserved seats close to the Kids Zone at $10 a ticket, or dugout seats directly behind the dugout at $12 a ticket.

Details: 7950 Freedom Way, Florence, Kentucky 41042; Phone: 859-594-HITS.

50. Cincinnati Rollergirls

Experience the fast-paced action as Cincinnati’s first all-female amateur track roller derby team faces off against the competition.

Families can arrive early and tailgate before the bouts, which take place at the Cincinnati Gardens in a season that runs from January through September.

The team is a member of the sport’s governing body, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), so the bouts are very competitive.

Save a couple of dollars and buy tickets in advance. General admission is $10 ($12 at the door) for adults, $5 ($6 at the door) for children ages 7-12, free for children age 6 and younger.

Details: 2250 Seymour Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45212; Phone: 513-631-7793.

 

There you have it, 50 great things to do with kids in the greater Cincinnati area, all under $50. You’re sure to find other inexpensive things to do in Cincinnati, especially during the summer season, when free outdoor concerts and activities are in full swing.

In addition, some attractions may have special family promotions, so keep an eye out for them. Either way, one thing is for certain: There are numerous Cincinnati attractions that offer family fun at a great value!