Ask any Cincinnatian East of 1-75 what their favorite park is, and they’ll probably answer “Ault Park.” And, for good reason: this lush, 224-acre oasis tucked in the hills of Hyde Park, is gorgeous. Its Pavilion is a favorite venue for weddings; its breathtaking views of the Little Miami make it a great picnic/date night destination; its lush greenspace is perfect about anything and everything.
And, while older kids can play Frisbee or soccer on the greenspace, hike along the many trails or run up and down the Pavilion steps Rocky-style — that’s not the most little-kid friendly.
Guys — I went to Ault for years before realizing its best-kept secret: the Playground.
Located up and around the hill off Principio Avenue, you’ll find:
- Two massive play structures (one geared toward ages 2-5, the other for 5-12),
- Two swing sets with loads of swings for babies, toddlers and big kids,
- Plenty of picnic tables,
- Lots of greenspace for picnics and games, and
- Bathrooms — that are actually in good shape!
The little kids’ playground is built atop that super-safe squishy ground, while the older kids’ area is covered in mulch/wood chips. Because it’s a mature, established park (the park was founded in 1911 and is named after Ida May and Levi Ault, the former Cincinnati Park commissioner), there are big, beautiful trees everywhere, providing lots of shade.
Harvey just started walking, and loved practicing his moves on the various steps, tunnels and bridges on the smaller play structure.
After they’d tired of the playground, we explored the greenspace and trails surrounding the playground. The grounds crew was mowing and doing various maintenance, which was thrilling for my kids to watch. And despite being a hot, muggy day — but we stayed relatively cool and comfortable in the shade of all the trees.
On this particular afternoon, we spent two hours at the park — and could have easily been there longer. Next time, we’ll hike over to the Pavilion to explore. The possibilities are endless!
So pack a picnic, grab a the Frisbee, and take your kids to Ault for a day of outdoor fun and exploration in this beautiful Cincinnati Park!
Ault Park is located at 3600 Observatory Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45208. The Playground is on Principio Avenue.