35 Fun Things To Do in the Summer in Cincinnati

There’s no debating that summer is the best time of year in Cincinnati because there are so many things to do around the city.

From going to Reds baseball games to checking out rooftop bars to hiking at one of the many parks around the city to getting drinks at one of the 40+ breweries, it’s impossible to be bored during the summer in the Queen City.

If you need some help thinking of things to do, we’ve got you covered. In this post we share 35 fun things to do during the summer in Cincinnati.

1. Attend a Cincinnati Reds Game

One of the most obvious things to do during the summer in Cincinnati is attend a Reds baseball game. You can find their full schedule here.

2. Attend a FC Cincinnati Soccer Game

Sticking with the sports theme, another fun activity is to attend a FC Cincinnati soccer game. The team joined the MLS in 2019 so they’re relatively new to the major leagues, but the city truly loves them and the games are always exciting to attend. They play from March through September and you can find their full schedule here.

3. Grab a Cone at One of Cincinnati’s Best Ice Cream Shops

Cincinnati has a ton of awesome ice cream shops and there’s no better time of year to enjoy them in than the summer. If you’re looking for a place to grab a cone, check out this post where we share our 10 favorite shops around the city.

4. Enjoy Some BBQ Food 

BBQ food is also another genre of food that is best enjoyed during the summer. Fortunately for us Cincinnatians, there are plenty of excellent BBQ joints around the city. Check out this post to learn about our 12 favorite BBQ spots in the Queen City.

5. Check Out One of the City’s Many Rooftop Bars

There’s nothing better than enjoying drinks with a view. One of the best places to have this experience is at a rooftop bar and Cincinnati has tons of them. We share our favorite 16 rooftop bars in this post.

6. Play Volleyball at 50 West Brewery

Located on the east end of the city along the Little Miami River, Fifty West is one of the only breweries in the region that boasts six outdoor volleyball courts, which hosts weekly leagues and tournaments. One of the most fun summer activities you can do is enjoy some drinks and play a couple games of volleyball at Fifty West on a summer night. Best of all, most of their games take place on weeknights which breaks up the work week nicely and gives you something to look forward to in the middle of each week.

7. Participate in the Ohio River Paddlefest

The Ohio River Paddlefest is the nation’s largest paddling celebration that attracts thousands of kayak and canoe lovers to the Ohio River each year. Participants travel nine miles through downtown Cincy and Northern Kentucky in a canoe or kayak. This event is a blast and is open to the public.

8. Attend the Bunbury Musical Festival

The Bunbury Music Festival is a three-day music festival that takes place in early June at Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove along the Ohio River. Each year the festival features over 100 acts performing on three to six different stages and it’s one of the most fun live music events you can attend in Cincinnati.

9. Attend the Hyde Park Blast Bike Race

Another fun summer event to attend is the Hyde Park Blast Bike Race, an event where the Hyde Park Square is shut down for one weekend and turned into a racing course. Amateur and professional cyclists compete in several different races and food tents and live bands set up shop near the square, which makes this race a true community event.

10. Catch a Concert at Riverbend

Another fun summer activity is to catch a concert at Riverbend, an outdoor amphitheater located on the east end of Cincinnati along the Ohio River. With a capacity of 20,000+, this venue is the most popular place to see big-name musicians and artists that come from around the country to perform.

11. Spend the Day at Kings Island

Something that the whole family can enjoy during the summer is a day at Kings Island, the largest amusement park in the region. The park offers water slides, a massive variety of roller coasters, and several carnival-style booths and games.

12. Do Some Sightseeing and Dining on BB Riverboats

BB Riverboats is the official riverboat cruise line of Cincinnati and has been since 1979. It offers sightseeing, dining, and private event cruises along the Ohio River. Check out their many cruises and their pricing options on their site.

13. Catch a Concert at Seasongood Pavilion

Seasongood Pavilion is an outdoor pavilion located in Eden Park that offers a variety of plays and performances year-round, many of which are free to attend. Check out the pavilion on a summer evening if you’re looking to enjoy some outdoor entertainment. 

14. Admire the Butterfly Show at Krohn Conservatory

Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati, Ohio

Each year the Krohn Conservatory hosts a Butterfly Show, which takes place between late March and mid-June. During this time, thousands of butterflies are free to fly throughout the show room in a specially-themed garden. This is one of the coolest events to attend during the summer with friends and family.

15. Wander through Findlay Market

Another fun summer activity is to wander through Findlay Market, the largest and oldest farmer’s market in Cincinnati. With over one hundred vendors selling meat, produce, desserts, and other local foods, this is a perfect place to check out if you’re a foodie or if you’re just looking for a fun and unique place to visit. They also have plenty of outdoor seating areas and typically live bands during the summer, which makes it a fun place to hang out and enjoy some food and music outside.

16. Attend an Event at Fountain Square

Fountain Square is arguably the most well-known downtown city square in Cincinnati. It serves as home to food trucks, local vendors, free public concerts, and it hosts a wide variety of events and festivals throughout the year. If you’re looking for something to do on a summer evening, be sure to check out the events taking place at Fountain Square.

17. Visit the Cincinnati Observatory

Cincinnati Observatory is home to the world’s oldest telescope still in use nightly by the general public. The observatory offers daytime tours and also regularly hosts public events, which include festivals, guided stargazing, and much more. Whether you’re looking for a unique place to go with friends and family or simply interested in learning more about the science of astronomy, the Cincinnati Observatory is a great spot to visit.

18. Enjoy the Views from Carew Tower

The Carew Tower Observation Deck is an observation deck located on the 49th-floor of Carew Tower downtown that offers incredible sweeping views of the city for miles in each direction. The price to go on the deck is $6 for ages 12 and up. This is a particularly great place to check out on a clear summer day when you can see for miles in different directions around the city.

19. Take a Hike Through California Woods

California Woods in Cincinnati, Ohio

One of the best places to go hiking in all of Cincinnati is California Woods, a nature preserve located on the east side of the city. California Woods offers several miles of hiking trails and it serves as the perfect place to get away from urban life and enjoy some peaceful time in nature.

20. Walk Along Smale Riverfront Park

Located directly on the Ohio River, Smale Riverfront Park is a beautifully landscaped, well-maintained park that has a long winding walking trail with several swinging benches to sit on and enjoy the views of the River and the bridges that cross over into Northern Kentucky. This is an excellent park to check out on any summer day with friends and family.

21. Walk Through Glenwood Gardens

One of our favorite outdoor areas in all of Cincinnati is a bit of a hidden gem: Glenwood Gardens. Located on the northern end of the city in between the neighborhoods of Glendale and Woodlawn (hence the name), Glenwood Gardens has several miles of paved, gravel, and dirt hiking trails and offers a variety of different habitats to walk through. Whether you’re looking for a place to take a peaceful walk, go for a long hike, or simply enjoy some nice views, Glenwood Gardens is the perfect place to check out.

22. Attend the  City Flea

The City Fleais Cincinnati’s original urban flea market that takes place once a month at Washington Park in the Over-The-Rhine neighborhood. The flea market offers a variety of vendors selling everything imaginable and it’s an attraction that draws visitors from all over the city. Check out the dates and locations of the city flea for the coming year here.

23. Play a Round of Frisbee Golf

One of the most fun sports that you can play outdoors when the weather is warm is frisbee golf. Fortunately for Cincinnatians, there are tons of frisbee golf courses scattered throughout the city. Best of all, they’re completely free to play on. Check out our post here to find a course near you.

24. Shoot Some Hoops at a Public Basketball Court

Sticking with the outdoor theme, another fun free activity that you can do is get a group of friends together to play at one of the many public basketball courts located around the city.

25. Attend an Event at Washington Park

One of the more popular city parks is Washington Park, located in the heart of Over-The-Rhine. The park hosts a variety of free public events throughout the year – check out their online calendar to see what events they have upcoming.

26. Check out the Loveland Bike Trail

One of the largest bike trails in the Cincinnati area is the Loveland Bike Trail. Covering 70 total miles, the trail is perfect for bike lovers and it’s also accommodating for anyone who wants to walk along the trail, admire the views, and check out the many bars, restaurants ,and shops that line the trail. It’s also home to one of our favorite coffee shops, Mile 42 Coffee, which is a great place to grab some caffeine before or after you go on a walk.

27. Take a Self-Guided Mural Tour

Cincinnati is filled with murals in the Downtown area and in Over-The-Rhine. Fortunately, Artworks Cincinnati has published a map of where each mural is located, which makes it easy to take a self-guided tour through the city to check out the incredible larger-than-life drawings. You can also check out a list of our 12 favorite murals in the Cincinnati area here.

28. Sip on Some Coffee Outdoors

Collective Espresso in Northside

Cincinnati is home to 50+ independent coffee shops, and several of them have excellent outdoor areas where you can sit and sip on a drink. A few of our favorites include Iris Book Cafe, Sidewinder Coffee, Collective Espresso (Northside location), and Coffee Emporium (Hyde Park location).

29. Enjoy the Views from Alms Park

Located on the east side of the city, Alms Park offers some excellent views of the Ohio River, the Little Miami River, the hills of northern Kentucky, and the Lunken Airport. With several different overlooks, this is a peaceful place to check out on any summer day.

30. Go Canoeing or Kayaking

Another fun summer activity is to go canoeing or kayaking. The two most popular spots for doing so are the Little Miami River and the Great Miami River, which are located on opposite sides of the city. Both rivers have several drop-in points at various places and there are several kayak and canoe rental companies you can use as well if you don’t have your own equipment.

31. Go Hiking at the Cincinnati Nature Center

One of the best places to go hiking in all of Cincinnati is the Cincinnati Nature Center. Located on the east side of the city in Milford, this nature center spans more than 1,000 acres (including 65 acres of old growth forest) and offers 16 miles of hiking. The center is open year-round, but note that daily admission is $9 for adults, or alternatively you can get a yearly membership. You can find out more about their admission, hours, and rates here.

32. Take a Pedal Wagon Tour

A pedal wagon is exactly what it sounds like – a huge “wagon” that requires multiple people to pedal on it at once to make it move through the street. One of the most popular pedal wagon tours is through the heart of Over-The-Rhine and lasts two hours, offering multiple stops at different bars and breweries along the way. Find out more about the tours here.

33. Attend an Event at Summit Park

Located in the heart of Blue Ash, Summit Park is a 130-acre park featuring a huge variety of restaurants, several shops, a dog park, two huge playgrounds, walking trails, and much more. Summit Park regularly offers events to the public such as outdoor yoga, a weekly farmers market, and outdoor fitness classes.

34. Visit the Coney Island Amusement Park

Located on the east side of Ohio along the banks of the Ohio River, Coney Island is an amusement park with a large water park area that is a great place to check out during the summer with the family. Find out more info on their site.

35. Watch a Movie at a Drive-in Theater

Summer offers the perfect time to watch a move at a drive-in theater. Grab some friends or family and check out one of the many drive-in theaters within a 50-mile radius of Cincinnnati.

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