Cincinnati boasts a plethora of city parks all throughout Hamilton Co. Two of my favorites are Eden Park & Sharon Woods (pictured). Natural beauty surrounds you as you walk, jog, bike or roller blade throughout any of the city's parks. Check out the website listed below to see what's on offer any given day of the month. You'll find many educational activities such as fossil-finding in Sharon Woods, foliage finding tours or preservation of local habitats (prairie environments, for instance).
Of particular note is the fact that Cincinnati and Paris top the world cities of most green space; this is due to the large park systems in both cities!
$1 will gain your car entry into the park for the day, while $3 will buy you a pass to all the parks for the year (you'll receive a sticker to place on the inside of your car window).
During the summer be sure to be on the lookout for the Friday Night Flicks, a selection of kids movies. Bring your folding chairs, picnic baskets, coolers, & citronella candles for a few hours of free fun with your kids!
During Halloween, you can enjoy "haunted" festivities in Sharon Woods at their historical center.
Photo: May 2008 & January 2005
Having heard that one of the best folk punk bands ever (along with The Pogues) was playing at McFadden's downtown, we headed on out to see the show. As it was festival seating it was crowded but we managed to find a spot off to the side for a premier view. The place was absolutely rockin', the acoustics were great, the verve of the crowd was infectious and the concert tees were reasonable (one of my pride & joy purchases).
Gordon Gano, the lead singer, lyricist & guitarist for the band told us he felt quite at home here considering the concert was held outside behind McFadden's in Gano Alley. What a welcome!
Read recently that McFadden's has closed but that there is new ownership already who'll reopen the place under a different name. Hopefully, the tradition of bringing excellent bands to the Queen City will continue!
The BIG festival here in Cincinnati seems to be the Toyota/WEBN fireworks during Riverfest every Labor Day weekend (they don't seem to do July 4th - that seems to be scattered about amongst the differnt townships).
Access is free but the food & drinks are not.
Usually, the kids & I park on the top floor of the Cincinnati Enquirer Building located on Elm Street between 3rd & 4th streets so we can get an exemplary view of the fireworks without the crowds, bring our own coolers of food & drinks and also get free parking in the bargain (for some reason after a certain hour at the parking garage there's no attendant so we just usually leave).
Streets usually start closing around 3pm so you'll want to check the website below to check the street closing times.
We like to get there fairly early so we can park, get situated, and walk around downtown to people watch. A few years back they had a really cool hoverjet display - that was awesome!
Photos: September 2005
Like Taste of Cincinnati, Taste of Blue Ash is an event that highlights the various great restaurants in a given neighborhood/location, so you might see samplings from The White Swan, one of my fave Chinese restaurants in Cincy, or from Parker's Blue Ash Grill.
Partnered by 700WLW (long-standing radio station), Toyota & Time Warner Cable, this year the event runs from August 22nd-24th (the weekend before Labor Day's Riverfest/WEBN fireworks).
You'll see the booths set up for each resto & there you can buy food samples for $1 - 3.50. Some places will also be selling wine & beer!
To augment the festivities, there will be various live acts, some are big name acts (I believe Ray Charles was here just 5-6 years ago), but mostly the bands are from the '50s & '60s (Jerry Lee Lewis, Petula Clark, Kingston Trio). They don't have the lineup on-line so keep checking back periodically.
Admission is free - only the food will cost you! Check the website below for the Concert Schedule.
If you can't wait until then for your music fix, The City of Blue Ash also runs a Tuesday & Friday night concert series from the beginning of June to the end of August.
UNFORTUNATELY, THIS WONDERFUL INSTITUTION IS NOW CLOSED
Cool concept of dining while watching a movie. A great place for the family to enjoy themselves! They usually show movies geared towards the family and serve such items as popcorn, pizza, chicken wings & chicken fingers. For the adults there is a small selection of beer & wine to choose from.
You can also rent out the theatre or the theatre will create a "birthday bash" charging $8.95 per child which includes admission, popcorn, soft drink and choice of Chicken fingers & fries OR Pizza & fries.
I used to work in Evendale at Formica Corporation that abuts onto the GE property, so I'm familiar with this area.
First off, my favorite mall in the city is the Kenwood Towne Center which is maybe a 15-minute drive from GE to Kenwood,depending upon traffic.
Some of my favorite girly things pretty much in one area in that mall:
L'Occitane (bath & beauty products from Provence)
Crabtree & Evelyn (bath & beauty products from England)
Sephora (French makeup including the Sephora brand as well as Bourjois, the inexpensive Chanel line)
J. Jill (women's clothing)
At the other end of the mall is Macy's where you can find one of my FAVORITE places, Lush (bath and body works line from London).
But they also have a Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, BCBG Maxazria, crewcuts by J. Crew, those types of shops. This is one of the more upscale malls in town and I'm sure you'll find tons of cool, fun places to browse! Here's a listing of all the stores at this mall; just click "SELECT STORE DIRECTORY", choose "ALPHABETICAL STORE LISTING" or "STORE LISTING BY CATEGORY" and scroll down:
Trio (great bar for drinks; right across from the mall)
UDF - United Dairy Farmer's (for ice cream)
Trader Joe's (go west on Montgomery)
Everybody's Records (THE best music shop - even further southwest on Montgomery)
El Rancho Grande (Mexican food - best place in Cincy)
La Petite France (French)
Root Beer Stand (diner/drive-in type food)
Through the Garden (one of my absolute favorites in the city)
White Swan (Chinese)
Three miles from downtown Cincy in Covington, Kentucky, this park offers a panoramic view of the Cincinnati skyline. The view isn't the greatest on a hot, hazy, humid summer day, but worth a look anyway. The park doesn't offer much for walkers and bikers, but there is an 18 hole golf course and a natural amphitheatre (summer venue for the Northern Kentucky Symphony). There is also the Behringer-Crawford Museum which houses artifacts, paintings, and other exhibits that highlight the area's history.
If you are a lover of Art Deco then you must see the masterpiece that is the Hilton Netherland Plaza. It is considered one of the world's greatest examples of French Deco architecture and for good reason. From floor to ceiling, wall to wall, it immerses you in deco and recalls a glamorous, bygone age. I hope to enjoy a Sunday Brunch at the hotel's Palm Court soon.
Jungle Jim's is a HUGE market in northern Cincy that carries just about every food product you could imagine and then some. They have 300,000 square feet of food in an entertaining setting.
When you enter the property it has an amusement park type of feel. Inside, you will find a cheese department, wine, produce, meat and fresh fish sections, a large bakery, and healthfoods, as well as an enormous department filled with regional food items ranging from Vietnamese to German to Mexican! There's even three aisles dedicated to hot sauces! Amazing displays and singing characters keep everyone entertained.
Sample cheeses and make an appointment for beer and wine tastings, enjoy an ice cream and buy something new to try. Check their website for info on tours, cooking classes and other attractions.
PS don't miss the bathrooms!
The Beach Waterpark is about 20 min North of Cincy near King's Island. Its a great place to cool off on a hot summer day. They have about 20 attractions including a wave pool and plenty of waterslides. The Cliff is a waterslide that drops at a very steep angle and makes you feel like you are free falling. Scary!! There's lots of fun for adults and kids.
I went in late August after 5pm and paid only 10 dollars. No lines to wait in meant plenty of time to do everything! Weee! Fun! (I HATE lines!!)
Regular prices are $27.00 adults. End of season prices are $20 adult , $11 kids and $10 after 3pm.
Locker rental will cost $5 plus a $5 refundable deposit.
Across the river from Cincy on the Kentucky side; a fab place with fab view of the famed Cincinnati skyline while overlooking the Ohio River!
It's like a mall but bigger & better with great shops, Barnes & Noble, movie theatres, ice cream shop (mmm, Cold Stone Creamery), restaurants (my faves: Claddagh Irish Pub, Café Istanbul, and now my NEW FAVORITE Jeff Ruby's Tropicana a sister restaurant to The Precinct!) & bars (my fave: Bar Louie)! Even my fave Cincy pizza is here: Dewey's!!
Also on the Levee is the new, huge, Newport Aquarium complex. It's said to be very popular but personally I find it to be too expensive.
Check out the website for a list of everything. There's a map that's shows where everything is, too, for your convenience!
Supposedly one of the most haunted houses in Cincinnati.
I don't believe in ghosts but if you do or you'd just like to take a ghost tour you'll want to check out the following websites:
The website below provides a link to a story on the Resor House's history including an interview with the current family who do claim to have "incidences". You be the judge. I asked one of the neighbors what he thought and he mused that it was merely for publicity's sake. The current owners or the previous one's, I asked? The previous one, he said, surmising that it makes the resale value of the house higher. He also mentioned the previous owner was a bit of an alcoholic (and prone to fantasies, one wonders?). ;)
If for nothing else, you may wish to take a gander here merely to gaze at a fine example of the architecture the Clifton Gaslight District has to offer!
The Cincinnati Museum Center provides historical tours throughout Cincinnati, including tours of local hauntings.
My favorite arty theatre The Esquire located in the very cool Clifton Gaslight district, which is the hub of university student activity! Any art flick or foreign film (Traffic, Before Sunset, Amélie, Jim Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes, De-Lovely) I'd like to see I'm guaranteed to see it here. I'm looking forward to seeing the new Modigliani movie starring Andy Garcia.
They also serve Lindt chocolates & popcorn with REAL butter - wow - color me impressed!
Before or after the movie you'll want to pop into one of THE COOLEST coffeehouses in Cincy, Sitwell's Coffeehouse, right next door, baby!
Discount day is Tuesday with ticket prices at only $5.
While the newer Aronoff Performance Center is making a splash in town, it's not slowing down the old, stately Taft Theater. Walking into the beautifully ornate theater, you're reminded of the gilt and grandeur of days past. Take a look at the schedule and you'll see that the variety -- and quality -- of musical performances and theatrical productions gracing the stage is unparalleled. Where else can you see national and local music in the same week as a Broadway hit and your favorite stand-up comedian? From Ani Difranco to Beck to George Carlin, from classic children's matinees to the Broadway hit 'Rent', The historic Taft is still providing Cincinnati residents the diversity in the arts they have come to expect. The Taft is open seasonally, so check their site for ticket and show information.
When Union Terminal opened in 1933, the newsreel theater was a convenience unknown to rail stations up to that time.
The 100 seat theater entertained passengers and visitors between trains with Newsreels of current events. Newsreels lasted 7 to 10 minutes and contained several stories accompanies by dramatic narration.
Inside this theater, the seets (with Hat Racks beneath) , the uphostery, the stage and much of the interior detailings are original.
It was open when I went to look inside. I'm not sure whether or not they play old newsreels or not.
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