It’s official: the gray gloominess of winter has settled upon the Queen City. From now through March, we can expect cold, cloudy, dreary days here in Cincinnati. And when you’ve tired of indoor playgrounds and are looking for a change of pace, it may feel like your options are limited. They’re not. Cincinnati is full of hidden gems, and today we’re going to prove it!
Here are 5 indoor attractions in Cincinnati that are surprisingly kid friendly:
Contemporary Arts Center – UnMuseum (pictured)
Located in the Contemporary Arts Museum’s Sara M. and Patricia A. Vance Education Center on the sixth floor, the UnMuseum is a educational space for children, schools and families. True to its name, the unMuseum is *not* your typical art museum, but rather an eclectic collection of interactive art ready to be experienced. Everything in the UnMuseum is designed to be touched, felt, experienced and enjoyed. In addition to being an expansive space full of family-friendly pieces to be experienced, kids are invited (and encouraged) to make art. With tons of materials and supplies, washing stations and kid-sized counter spaces and tables, the UnMuseum’s Art Lab is the perfect place to create. Plus — admission is always free!
American Sign Museum
The American Sign Museum is a piece of living history that’s as accessible to kids as it is to adults.My toddler absolutely loved it. The signs all feature something that will appeal to younger audiences: recognizable imagery from popular culture (Ronald McDonald, Big Boy and Colonel Sanders), known objects (cars, bears, spinning globes) and vivid, bold colors. If you’re looking for something fun to do this winter, definitely plan a trip to the American Sign Museum. There’s free admission for up to three kids 12 and under with each paying adult — but if you take advantage of the library’s Discovery Pass program, you can get one adult ticket for free!
Cincinnati Art Museum
Don’t be intimidated – the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) has always been a welcoming space for families to explore art and creativity by offering drop-in, family focused activities. CAM’sRosenthal Education Center (REC) is a family-focused studio space where kids of all ages can explore art through hands-on experience. The REC offers a focused theme that rotates a couple times each year; right now, the “Girl Power” theme is a kid-friendly accompaniment to the Women Breaking Boundaries exhibit. The best part? Admission is always free.
Krohn Conservatory is one of my favorite places to escape winter. In addition to several gorgeous permanent displays, Krohn offers lots of places to wander and explore. Ramps, steps, a “cave” and bridges make for a fun and varied walking experience for kids. Send them on a hunt to find different colored flora or fruit on a tree. Right now, you’ll want to check out the seasonal Bloom and Grow show. It’s an exuberant celebration of life and nature, and this show is unique in that it’s geared especially towards kids. There are activity stations and a reading corner, plus an entire indoor hiking path where kids can explore and collect treasures.
Newport Aquarium is the perfect place to spend a winter day in Cincinnati. Located just across the river, this Northern Kentucky gem is an entire world unto itself; you’ll explore worlds and biomes under the sea that seem unreal and otherworldly. Currently, there are 24 adorable reasons to visit the aquarium: the Bayou Babies! There are two dozen American alligators who now call Gator Alley home — and they’re super cute. Plus, Newport Aquarium has an under-the-radar indoor playground that’s part of Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles Reeftown Adventure. And right now is the perfect time to visit: it’s Winter Family Days. Now through March 1, one child (ages 2-12) gets in FREE with each full price adult.