15 Places To Beat The Dog Days Of Summer

As we approach the end of summer, the craziness of the school year is right around the corner, and the excitement of this hot season can definitely become harder to hang onto. We’ve tried our best to check off those bucket lists, swim, play, relax, perhaps fit in some summer reading, and now we’re just in that odd transition when it’s still hot, and we’re a little over it.

These weeks are called the “Dog Days of Summer” for a reason, and we have some ideas to help you through them. Whether you’re looking for an air-conditioned indoor playground, a few places to cool off in the water, or some unique last minute chances of summer fun, we’ve got you covered!

Here are 15 Places To Beat The Dog Days Of Summer:


Indoor Fun Ideas:

Red Balloon Café + Play

Red Balloon Café + Play is ideal for little ones and for parents who are eager for them to burn off some energy, while you can relax in a cool environment. Children can play, climb, and challenge their imaginations in this fun-filled indoor play space, and they have a delicious café, as well!

Jump Zone

Jump Zone is located in Florence, Kentucky and is a great place for families from all over the Tristate. There are several large inflatables, perfect for energetic little ones, and there is even an area created especially for those 5 and under. Check out their website for open jump and play times throughout the week.

Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park

Rockin’ Jump is a newer trampoline park in Colerain that has plenty of space for active guests of all ages. Younger visitors will love the area that’s just for them, and parents will appreciate the comfortable and safe environment.

Pogo Play

Pogo Play in Blue Ash is a great spot for all ages thanks to the variety of fun you’ll find throughout the space. Babies and toddlers can play in their specific area and everyone will love the unique entertainment available throughout this indoor playground.

Recreations Outlet (pictured)

Recreations Outlet offers Open Play 7 days a week and budget-friendly “Charitable Play” times on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9-11 am (at just $2/kid, this is truly one of the best-kept secrets in town). The showroom at Recreations Outlet is incredible: there are huge trampolines, playsets in every size and setup, foosball tables, basketball hoops and more.


Fun in the Water:

The Wet Playgrounds in the Great Parks of Hamilton County (pictured)

Wet playgrounds are ideal for families, as they allow you to cool off in the water, but you don’t have to worry about the potential dangers of a pool. Great Parks of Hamilton County has three great options located at Winton Woods, Miami Whitewater, and Woodland Mound. Each one is filled with wet and wild fun, perfect for an end of summer adventure.

Smale Riverfront Park

Smale Riverfront Park is a great spot to visit in the summer so everyone in the family can take advantage of the number of different splash fountains, spread around the property. There’s also a unique water play area for the kids, and everyone can then cool off in the air-conditioning with a ride on Carol Ann’s Carousel.

Cincinnati Nature Center

The Cincinnati Nature Center is a beautiful place for a hike in the shaded woods, but be sure to check out the water fun within the Nature Playscape. This is a wonderful, fenced-in area that allows families to connect with nature, splash in a creek, and play creatively in the outdoors.

Coney Island & Sunlite Water Adventure

Sunlite Water Adventure is the ultimate place to cool off in the dog days of summer. The massive pool is extra inviting on those hot and humid days and everyone will love splashing in Typhoon Tower and heading down the water slides. Grab one of those big floats from the summer clearance aisle and head out for one last water park adventure.

Land of Illusion

Land of Illusion is known as a scary haunted attraction in the fall, but new this year is Aqua Adventures. If your children are 43” or taller, then all of you can try the floating inflatable course that sits right on the water. The property also offers paddle boarding, games, food, and other entertainment for a day filled with outdoor fun. Learn all about the brand new Aqua Adventures on its website here.

Unique Family Fun

BB Riverboats

Cool off on the lovely Ohio River! BB Riverboats offers a variety of fun, kid-friendly cruises all summer long. These excursions are a wonderful opportunity to show your family our city and a playful time aboard one of Cincinnati’s iconic riverboats

Newport Aquarium (pictured)

The Newport Aquarium is a wonderful family-friendly destination in our region that’s perfect for something different and exciting. Beat the heat as you go underwater in air conditioning and experience unique fun like walking the shark bridge and getting up close to beautiful stingrays.

Cheers To Art

If your kids are missing art class at school, check out a kid-friendly class at Cheers To Art. The Madeira location often offers classes on Saturdays that are just for the kids, and it’s a unique experience that’ll definitely cure that summer boredom.

Scallywag Tag

Scallywag Tag is a west side favorite and filled with fun for the family. Of course it’s cool inside, so even on a hot day you can run around, play, and make a few more summer memories. The pirate theme adds even more fun to the laser tag offered, and it’s sure to entertain even those hard-to-please kiddos.

Contemporary Arts Center

The Contemporary Arts Center may typically be thought of as an adult destination, but they are very family-friendly and even have programs geared toward the youngest of artists. Thursday mornings are a great time to visit for their “Art Play” sessions, and a unique experience for family fun.

With so many fun options in Cincinnati, it’s easy to turn the dog days of summer into the best weeks yet. Before summer is a distant memory, and when you’re feeling the need to shake things up a bit, give one of these family-friendly options a try.



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