May is here, and we have a wild case of spring fever! After a long, long winter, we’re ready to get outside and hit the town! Happily, there’s no better month to do that than May. Warm and sunny, with blue skies for days, May is Cincinnati at its best. And with tons of free family activities, you can enjoy Cincy all month long without spending a dime!
Our Cincinnati May Free Guide features 25 free activities happening this month:
Story Time with Author Timothy Young
May 2 from 4-5 pm at Blue Manatee
Join as we welcome author and illustrator Timothy Young! Mr. Young will read from his books, answer questions, and sign copies of his books, which include his most recent picture book, I’m Going To Outer Space! Free event, all ages welcome!
“May the Fourth Be With You” with Author Emma Carlson Berne
May 4 from 4-5 pm at Blue Manatee
Author Emma Carlson Berne will read from and sign her “Star Wars Forces of Destiny books.” This chapter book series for young readers is based on the all-new animated micro-series spotlighting some of Star Wars’ greatest heroes. Copies of the books are available now at blue manatee! Free author event.
P&G Health and Fitness Expo
May 4 and 5 at the Duke Energy Convention Center
The P&G Health and Fitness Expo serves as packet and premium pickup for participants. The expo is free and open to the public and hosts over 120 local and national vendors. FREE.
Free Junior Clinic*
May 5 from 1-2 pm at Winton Woods
This free, one-hour introduction to golf teaches basic safety, etiquette and full swing fundamentals to junior golfers ages 7−17. It is also a great preparation for our Junior Golf I class that begins 5/12.
Flying Pig Marathon
May 6 with mile markers at various locations across city
Come cheer on your fellow runners and be inspired!
Cincy Staycation Showcase
May 7 from 11 am – 1:30 pm on Fountain Square
Create your own Cincinnati Bucket List while visiting with over 40 attractions and events on Fountain Square! Enjoy fun activities for the whole family, take pictures with mascots and enter to win great prizes including a grand prize valued at over $500. FREE.
Story Time with Author Julie Fogliano
May 8 from 2-3 pm at Blue Manatee
Blue Manatee welcomes author Julie Fogliano for a special afternoon story time! Ms. Fogliano is the author of many beloved picture books, including And Then It’s Spring, When’s My Birthday?, and If You Want to See a Whale.
May 9 from 6:30-8 pm at the Anderson Branch Library
Don’t miss The Space Painter, Tom Sparough, as he performs his interactive show, Juggling Rocks! No registration required. FREE.
May 11 at 11 am at Woodland Mound
Nighttime brings out a whole new crew of animals, with adaptations suited for navigating dark spaces. Meet and greet an owl as we discover owlish tricks for survival during a time when most of us are sleeping. FREE.
Story Time with Author and Illustrator Will Hillenbrand
May 12 from 10-11 am at Blue Manatee
Author and illustrator Will Hillenbrand will be at blue manatee to share his newest books, I’m a Duck and First Star: A Bear and Mole Story! A long-time friend of our store, Will has illustrated and written over 65 books for young readers and their families. A book signing will follow the story time. Line numbers will be given with purchase of I’m a Duck and/or First Star: A Bear and Mole Story. Find out more about I’m a Duck and First Star: A Bear and Mole Story at bluemanateebooks.com. FREE.
Green Township Touch a Truck
May 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Green Township Administration Building
This year we will have the Hamilton County Specialized Rescue Unit on display along with many other cool trucks for you to explore. This free annual event is a favorite for young and old alike.
Mother’s Day at the Cincinnati Zoo
All moms get FREE admission on Mother’s Day at the Cincinnati Zoo!
First Responders Days at Kings Island
Kings Island is honoring those who protect our community May 14-20 by offering free admission to all active fire, police and safety personnel. Valid ID needed. The offer also allows fire and police personnel to purchase admission tickets at the first responder rate of $34/ticket for up to six family members. In addition, guests will have an opportunity to interact with emergency response teams and vehicles on select days.
PJ Library Petting Zoo & Pizza Party
May 17 from 5-7 pm at the JCC
Come learn about and celebrate Shavout with other PJ Library families at the JCC. Meet baby animals with a fun petting zoo! Children will participate in an animal-themed activity that celebrates the traditions of Shavuot, with a pizza party to follow! All ages are welcome. FREE with RSVP.
National Kids to Parks Day*
May 19 from 12-4 pm at Sharon Woods, Miami Whitewater Forest & Woodland Mound
Come on out for this exciting new event in celebration of National Kids to Parks Day. Each location will offer engaging activities to help you enjoy the great outdoors. For a list of activities, visit greatparks.org. FREE.
Blue Ash Touch a Truck
May 23 from 4-7 pm
As part of Public Works Week, enjoy a FREE Touch-a-Truck event at Summit Park with some of the city’s best big trucks and machines!
May 25 from 1-2 pm at Woodland Mound/Seasongood Nature Center
Discover what kinds of animals may live in your own backyard and meet a few up close! FREE.
May 25-29 at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve/Ellenwood Nature Barn
Kick off our summer series of nature weeks with Frog Week! Learn about some of Ohio’s favorite frogs and toads. There will be live animals, activities and a craft for kids for a small fee. FREE.
Military Appreciation Days at Kings Island
Kings Island will pay tribute to members of the military by offering free admission on military appreciation days during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Military who qualify for the free admission ticket include active military, retired military, National Guard, veterans with honorable or medical discharge and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps with government issued ID. A valid military ID must be presented. Qualifying military personnel can also purchase discount tickets at a special price of $34/ticket for up to six family members at the park.
Autism Family Exploration
May 26 from 9-11 am at the Cincinnati Art Museum
Now two hours long, this program is designed for families with children with autism to explore the Art Museum before public hours. Families or individuals are welcome to visit sensory stops and participate in an all-ability art making experience. At 11, families are welcome to join the staff-guided Connect sensory tour. FREE.
RAPTOR Inc. Open House
May 27 from 1-4 pm
RAPTOR Inc. opens its doors to the public on the last Sunday of each month from March through November. During these times our educators will be available to welcome guests, lead tours, conduct educational programs with our avian ambassadors, share biological artifacts, and answer questions. Participate in special activity stations, shop for merchandise, and enjoy some treats! The Open Houses are FUN and FREE!
Memorial Day Celebration*
May 27 from 2-4 pm at Winton Woods
This festive open house features activities sure to please all outdoor lovers. We’ll showcase native Ohio animal and discover a few unique surprises of the live animal variety. Come celebrate the beginning of summer. FREE.
Memorial Day at Krohn Conservatory
May 28 from 10 am – 5 pm
On May 28, all active military and veterans receive free admission to Krohn Conservatory!
Wednesdays in the Woods: The Comet Bluegrass All Stars
May 30 from 7-9 pm at the Burnet Woods Bandstand
Come celebrate everything great about summer at our spirited series of 10 free weekly concerts, this week featuring the musical stylings of The Comet Bluegrass All-Stars. Good friends, good tunes, good food, good times with a variety of hands-on art making activities for the kids – all at the historic 1911 Burnet Woods bandstand!
Painting with Light
May 31 from 6-7 pm at the Westwood Branch Library
Did you know that you can paint with light? Come learn about shutter speeds, cameras, and create cool images with light! Registration not required. FREE.
Of course, story times and farmer’s markets are also free! Check out our Calendar for a full directory of free family happenings around town.
*All Great Parks activities require a 2018 Motor Vehicle Permit, which is $3/day or $10/year.