A Spring Weekend in Cincinnati With Kids

Cincinnati, Ohio, is a one and a half hour drive south on I-71 from Columbus. Located on the Ohio River, the “Queen City” has much to offer on a weekend getaway with the family. It’s such an easy drive and a whole new city of adventure for Columbusites like us. Read on to see how we spent 28-hours exploring Cincinnati with our 19-month-old daughter.

Where to Stay

Do you Airbnb? Airbnb is a unique way to book lodging when you are traveling. It allows you to book a single room within a residence, an apartment, or an entire house in a unique location. I find when we travel with a toddler, it is nice to have a a room to put our daughter down for naps and bedtime, and then a separate space where my husband and I can unwind. In a hotel, it is often out of our price range to book a suite with separate living and sleeping spaces. With Airbnb, I can book an entire apartment for $50-$100/night that gives us a sleeping area, living area, and a full kitchen. In Cincinnati, I booked an apartment in the Hyde Park neighborhood for $50/night. It was everything we needed in a living space and was 15 minutes from all of the attractions. Airbnb is definitely my new way to find lodging when I travel. If you haven’t yet, be sure to click my personalized link and get started!

The Highlights

The Duke Energy Children’s Museum: The children’s museum was the first stop on our weekend away. It is an easy one and a half hour drive down I-71 from Columbus and admission is only $5.50-$10.50 (depending on age). The museum provides eight educational and themed play areas, with two specifically designed for preschool-aged and younger. For a full recap of our visit to the museum, be sure to click here.

The Newport Aquarium: The aquarium is located just over the Ohio River in Newport, Kentucky. It boasts 14+ exhibits where you are up close and personal with thousands of aquatic animals from around the world. From sharks to penguins and alligators to frogs, there is a different creature around every turn. Click here for the highlights of our trip to the aquarium, and five experiences that both adults and toddlers can enjoy.

The Findlay Market: “Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market and one of Cincinnati’s most cherished institutions, welcoming more than a million visitors a year.” Be sure to make a stop at the market to take in all the sights, smells and tastes it has to offer.

Where to Eat

The Maplewood offers “West Coast-style cuisine, which emphasizes healthier food using local and seasonal ingredients.” Although, there is no kids meal per se, we were able to build a delicious meal for our daughter A La Carte, and the adult meals were amazing. This is the type of “fast-casual” restaurant where you place your order at the counter and then your food is delivered after you find your seat. A unique feature of the restaurant that we greatly appreciated is that the staff helps your party secure a table (and a highchair) after you have placed your order.

The Sleepy Bee Cafe “is a gathering place that offers locally sourced sustenance – food that tastes, makes you feel, and is, good. In an environment that embraces the beauty of it’s community, through it’s and featured artistry.” This restaurant was recommended to us for breakfast and we are so glad we made a visit. There is a kids menu with healthy options. Our server was wonderful! She staggered food delivery for our hungry little one and dropped off books from the restaurant library to keep her entertained.

Until next time – A huge Thank You to The Duke Energy Children’s Museum and The Newport Aquarium for hosting our visits, and to the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau for coordinating our visit. We had a great time and are looking forward to visiting again in the summer months.

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