Take a break from the Queen City's staples of spaghetti topped with chili and Graeter's Ice Cream at these 10 family-friendly attractions that will keep you energized during a weekend getaway.
1) Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Explore this 74-acre zoo during spring, when the gardens are in full bloom. Feed lettuce to a giraffe, stroke scaly reptile skin and hike to Cat Canyon for an up-close look at Malayan tigers. cincinnatizoo.org
2) EarthJoy Tree Adventures Leave your fear of heights at home. This all-ages adventure takes tree climbing to the extreme. Certified instructors show you how to safely ascend and descend using a saddle harness and a rope system. Navigating these knots and pulleys is more of a workout than you might expect, but strategically positioned hammocks and tree chairs give you a chance to catch your breath. climbtreeswithearthjoy.com
Photo courtesy of EarthJOY Tree Adventures.
3) Queen City Underground Tour Get down and (maybe a little) dirty on this exploration of some of Cincinnati’s underground sites. Wander through the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and the Gateway District with stops at historical buildings, creepy crypts and mysterious tunnels connecting a network of local breweries. Emerge from Under-the-Rhine at Christian Moerlein Brewing Company tap room. americanlegacytours.com
4) Loveland Bike Trail Four trailheads give bicyclists access to this 70-mile path in Little Miami State Park (rentals available on the trail). The flat, paved path follows a former railroad line. History buffs will love the scenery—a castle on the Little Miami River, Civil War sites and Indian burial grounds. Refuel in Loveland’s downtown cafes and ice cream shops. lovelandbiketrail.com
5) Legendary Run Golf Course Five sets of tees accommodate all skill levels at this manicured public course. Wildlife habitats maintained by the Audubon Sanctuary Program run alongside some of the greens. legendaryrungolf.com
6) Wake Nation Cincinnati The first cable wake park in the Midwest makes its home on a 10-acre lake. No boats here; an overhead cable tows daring riders across the surface on wakeboards, water skis and kneeboards. Not feeling brave? Watch the action from the observation deck, or bounce along the trampoline course in the Aqua Glide Waterpark. wakenationcincinnati.com
7) Ozone Zipline Adventures Soar through the air on one of 12 ziplines at YMCA Camp Kern. Our favorite: the 11-story River Line duo, which carries riders over the Little Miami River. Try night zipping to feel like you’re floating among the stars. campkern.org/ozone
Photo courtesy of Ozone Zipline Adventures.
8) Wheel Fun Rentals Rent bikes or surreys for a two- or four-wheeled spin through downtown. Wheel Fun provides maps (and helmets and locks) for self-guided tours. Points of interest include the Great American Ballpark, Freedom Center and Fountain Square. wheelfunrentals.com
Photo courtesy of Wheel Fun Rentals.
9) Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Downtown activities surround this 1931 Art Deco hotel. A short walk leads guests to Sawyer Point Park, ballparks, the riverfront and the Purple People Bridge, leading to Newport, Kentucky. On rainy days, stay active in the gym at Carew Tower. www3.hilton.com
10) Green Dog Cafe Pastel decor and bold flavors harmonize at this environmentally conscious cafe. Local vendors provide hormone-free meats and poultry, organic dairy and roasted coffee. The menu appeals to a wide range of palates and dietary needs, but carnivores and vegetarians alike love the cilantro pesto quesadilla. greendogcafe.net
Angela Ufheil contributed to this blog.