25 Free Things to do in Cincinnati this October

October is many people’s favorite month of the year — the weather’s nice, there’s pumpkin everything, there’s trick-or-treating and Halloween fun. We love October for all those reasons, plus the fact that there’s just so many free things to do! Don’t believe us?

Here are 25 free things to do in Cincinnati this October:


Cincinnati Transportation: Past, Present and Future
Daily through January 8, 2017
This brand-new exhibit at the Cincinnati Library’s Main Branch is timely, given the streetcar‘s recent debut! The exhibit features memorabilia connected to public transportation in the city of Cincinnati.

Nature Journal Trail
Daily through Oct. 22 at the Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve/Pin Oak Trail
Take a trip back in time along the trail! Your 2/3-mile journey will travel the pages of a re-created historic nature journal set in 1916 – a year marked by the creation of the National Park Service and the re-election of Woodrow Wilson against the backdrop of World War I.

Make Your Own “Monster Book of Monsters”
Oct. 6 from 6-8 p.m. at the Deer Park Branch Library
If you’re a teen who would totally take the “Care of Magical Creatures Course” at Hogwarts, then join us to craft your own “Monster Book of Monsters” straight from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” All supplies provided.

Harvest Moon Festival
Oct. 8, 5-8 p.m. at Swaim Park
Enjoy s’mores, crafts, hayrides, food, entertainment, pony rides, crafts and face painting at this annual Montgomery festival. Free!

Halloween Face Painting with Cecelia Padilla
Oct. 8, 2-3 p.m. at the North Central Branch
Stop in with your family for cool face painting ideas for Halloween.

National Head for FUNday
Oct. 10, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. at Main Event Entertainment
Come celebrate National Head for FUNDay at Main Event Entertainment on Columbus Day, October 10th, from 8 AM – 12 PM. Each group arriving between 8 AM – 12 PM will be given one free hour of bowling (shoes included) and a FREE $10 FUNCard for game play. Additionally, prize giveaways will be handed out every half hour all day and life-sized bowling “head” props will be available for photo booth fun!


Meet the Fire Department at Your Library
Oct. 11, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Green Township Branch
The Green Township Fire Department is visiting the library! Come see a fire engine, talk to fire fighters, and learn about fire safety.

Special Edition Family Story Time: Fire Prevention Week
Oct. 12 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Harrison Branch
Join firefighters from the Harrison Fire Department as we learn what to do in case of a fire, how to protect ourselves and our homes, and see a real fire truck up close! 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. storytimes will be combined into this special 11 a.m. time so all groups can meet our guests. For children and their caregivers.

Books By the Banks
Oct. 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Duke Energy Convention Center
Celebrate the 10th annual Books by the Banks Cincinnati Regional Book Festival this year on Saturday, October 15 at the Duke Energy Center. Admission is free – and includes author meet-and-greets, family friendly activities, children’s story times and more!

Fabulous Fall Funday
Oct. 16, 1-4 p.m. at Taft Museum of Art
Halloween is on its way — start the fun at Fabulous Fall Funday! Make an autumn decoration to take home, meet some live “spooky” animals from Great Parks of Hamilton County, become an art detective at the Art Cart, and, at 2 p.m., enjoy a performance of Madcap’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Madcap Puppets (ideal for kids in grades K–5). Free!

Wump Mucket Puppet Halloween Show
Oct. 17, 6-7 p.m. at the Northside Branch
“The Ghost Who Couldn’t Say BOO!”, which tells the original tale of a ghost who isn’t able to scare people.

Powered by Wind
Oct. 19, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Child Focus Training Center
This windy program features the oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, and piano. The music they make will blow you away! Don’t miss this special, free fall PB&J Session!

Kooky Spooky Halloween Show
Oct. 20, 4-5 p.m. at the Elmwood Branch
Wump Mucket Puppets presents a Halloween themed puppet show. Program sponsored by the Friends of the Public Library.

Talkin’ Turkeys
Oct. 22, 2:30-4 p.m. at Sharon Woods
There’s more to turkeys than just Thanksgiving! Join us for a fun and informative look at Ohio’s biggest bird. For ages 8 and up.

Spooky Sunday
Oct. 23, 3:30-6:30 p.m. at President’s Park
This event for Ghosts and Goblins 12 and under features a costume parade, costume contest and Haunted Forest.

Howling Pooch Parade
Oct. 23, 1-4 p.m. in Wyoming
The 17th Annual Howling Pooch Parade is October 23! Registration starts at 1 p.m., parade begins at 2 p.m., with contests and awards directly following the parade.

Scary Cupcakes
Oct. 24, 3-4 p.m. at the Oakley Branch
Create spooky, terrifying, downright delicious cupcakes with your friends!

Trick or Treat Tuesday
Oct. 25, 6-8 p.m. at IKEA West Chester
Come in costume and trick or treat at IKEA!

Pumpkin Painting
Oct. 26, 3-4 pm. at the Oakley Branch
Paint your own pumpkin to take home and enjoy!

Read for the Record!
Oct. 27, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Blue Manatee
Join us for the 11th anniversary of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record®, a global campaign generating public support for high-quality early learning and focuses on the importance of building children’s vocabulary and love for reading. This year’s book, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, written by Julia Sarcone-Roach, is a lighthearted tale bound to fill the reader with joy. Come help us support Jumpstart in breaking the world reading record for the most people reading the same book on the same day!

Zombify Yourself
Oct. 28, 4-5 p.m. at the Westwood Branch
Want to look like a scary Zombie this Halloween? Sign up today and prepare to look gruesome with Cecilia Padilla’s airbrush makeup!

Nature at Night Pumpkin Hike
Oct. 29, 7-9 p.m. at the Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve/Ellenwood Nature Barn
Jack-o’-lanterns will light your path as you discover the wonder of nature at night along the trail. Bring a flashlight and arrive any time between 7–8 p.m. to check in for this self-guided hike. A limited number of pumpkin tickets will be sold for the 8:30 p.m. jack-o’-lantern drawing.

Birds of Prey Meet & Greet Open House
Oct. 30, 1-4 p.m. at RAPTOTRS, Inc.
RAPTOR Inc. hosts a free open house on the last Sunday of each month. You’ll have the opportunity to meet their avian ambassadors up close, learn about the important role raptors play in our environment, hear the sounds of their calls, touch some interesting artifacts and speak to bird experts.


Get Zombified!
Oct. 28, 4-5 p.m. at the Blue Ash Branch
Attention zombies! Head to the Blue Ash Branch and get your makeup done by the amazing artist Cecilia Padilla!

Trick or Treat Bag
Oct. 31, 3-4 p.m. at the Oakley Branch
Get ready for trick or treating by decorating your own bag to stash all your loot!

For more family fun in Cincinnati, be sure to bookmark our Online Calendar, which is updated daily with the latest and greatest activities!

Let’s make it a spook-tacular October, friends!

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