With mid-March comes (hopefully) the promise of warmer weather. A light at the end of a really cold tunnel. Relief from the intense cabin fever we’ve got going on over here. So where are the best parks and playgrounds for families with tiny ones, you ask? Search no more!
Here are my top 5 baby friendly playgrounds in Cincinnati:
A huge playground and swings for the toddling/climbing age, plenty of open space for the sitting and crawling kids, and lots of wooded and paved trails throughout the park for the little ones bound to a stroller. Just a few minutes off I-75 makes this park easy to get to from wherever you are in the city.
Because the inevitable 3-day long rainstorm will at some point throw a wrench in your “get the kids outside” plans, get them over to Red Balloon Cafe + Play for some indoor fun. Lots of space for climbing, blocks for building, mats for rolling and a HUGE space to splash with water toys (plastic aprons provided!) makes Red Balloon a great place to play when it’s raining and you’d rather let your kids make a mess somewhere other than your own living room. Grab an extra large coffee in their cafe and turn those little wild animals loose for a few hours.
This place has everything for every age. Not only do they have a huge playground and plenty of swings – how about a splash park, paddle boat rentals, fishing, wooded trails for walking or paved trails for tricycling? We love it here and we think you will, too.
If you have a little explorer, future veterinarian or baby botanist, Highfield Discovery Garden is perfect. 12 acres of themed garden spaces like butterfly-shaped butterfly garden, fairy garden and a “scented” garden where you can literally stop and smell the roses makes for the perfect educational adventure for any age.
5. Sharon Woods
Much like Miami Whitewater, Sharon Woods offers more than just your average local park. Several spaces to run (or crawl!) and climb, two large playgrounds, several smaller playgrounds, indoor play area and very gentle splash park make Sharon Woods a great choice no matter the weather. During warmer seasons, hit up the snack bar if you work up an appetite or need a mid-day ice cream. Go fishing, watch the boats, feed the ducks or have a picnic — you can do it all at Sharon Woods!
Emily grew up just north of Cincinnati in Hamilton, OH and now lives in Western Hills with her husband Jim, their son James and their lunatic yellow lab, Rosey. Emily graduated from Xavier University (Go Muskies!), and is now a stay at home mom after working in marketing and promotions for local radio and TV stations.
Emily spends most of her free time visiting the manatees (James’ favorite) at the Cincinnati Zoo, shopping at local antique shops, or singing Beatles songs with James who typically just stares at her like she’s crazy. Emily hopes one day he’ll join in but for now she enjoys his giggles. She also enjoys photography and has quickly turned into a Pure Barre addict while trying to melt away the daily milkshakes she consumed while pregnant. So far it’s going well, but Skyline frequently gets in the way.
Emily loves to write and is looking forward to connecting with other Moms in Cincinnati while writing for Cincinnati Parent.