Springtime Family Fun

After a long winter, families are ready to get back outside. Here are some great local places to enjoy the outdoors!

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens

A great tradition to welcome spring, Zoo Blooms transforms the zoo into a magnificent explosion of color. Or get musical with Tunes & Blooms and see a collection of Cincinnati’s finest and most respected music veterans playing together in the Zoo’s beautiful gardens, for free.

cincinnati zoo tulips
Zoo Blooms

Cincinnati Museum Center

The CMC is the place to be this spring! Bonus: The museum center is offering discounted admission through April 15, so now is a great time to revisit your favorite exhibits and discover new ones.

Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm

Open rain or shine all year round, Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm is a great place to enjoy the outdoors. Discover woods, streams, ponds, prairies, meadows, a working sustainable farm, educational animal exhibits, and, of course, the giant Aullwood trolls.

Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm

Krohn Conservatory

Step into a world where wonder and science meet. Discover the patterns that surround us in nature and interact with the giant crystals of Oscillation that come alive through movement. This park is a fusion of live art and nature!

Nature Playgrounds

It’s no secret that southwest Ohio is home to many beautiful playgrounds, but these natural ones stand out for their unique design — bringing you closer to nature.

Arlitt Playscape: The playscape is completely enclosed by a fence, so you can truly let your kids run wild in this little piece of urban paradise. There are trails winding through the playscape, like a labyrinth, connecting the various areas together.

Five Rivers MetroParks: Some Dayton-area parks have designated nature play areas, including Englewood, Hills & Dales, Possum Creek, Sugarcreek, Wesleyan and Wegerzyn Gardens MetroParks.

Huffman Park: The slides are built into the hillside, and there is a tunnel that literally takes kids underground. There are fun structures to climb and other playground-like features, brightly colored and spread across the park’s rolling hills.

Summit Park Nature PlayScape: Summit Park’s Nature Playscape is expansive and features natural materials such as water, sand, mud, sticks and timber.

Highfield Discovery Garden

Located at Glenwood Gardens, this is quite possibly the most magical place in Cincinnati. This 12 acre park-within-a-park has shallow ponds that allow kids to inspect what lives within, lots of imaginative little houses to play in, an outdoor train set, and a fun playground area.

Highfield Discovery Garden

Cincinnati Reds

Reds season is in full swing! Enjoy a baseball game in Great American Ball Park, and stay after for a post-game fireworks show every Friday this season.

Smale Riverfront Park

It’s easy to spend an entire day at Smale Riverfront Park and Carol Ann’s Carousel. Between the different playgrounds and endless green spaces, this is a park with lots of playdate appeal.

Nature Centers

Southwest Ohio is home to endless opportunities for kids to simply be kids and get a little dirty out on a trail or wading through a creek. You’ll likely find yourself benefiting from and enjoying these nature centers just as much as your kids!

Brukner Nature Center: Located in Troy, visitors can take a stroll in the woods, do a discovery hike, visit with wildlife ambassadors or see the view from the popular Tree-top Bird Vista. Inside, check out books about wildlife and nature, participate in story time, and lots more.

Caldwell Nature Preserve: Home to a variety of wildlife, this nature center includes 3.5 miles of nature trails, including a level-paved trail that makes it possible for wheelchair users and people with strollers to go into the woods, see the  flowers and hear the birds.

Cincinnati Nature Center: Boasting 1,600 acres and 20 miles of trails, Cincinnati Nature Center is the largest member-supported nature center in the country. For kids, the main attraction is the PlayScape — plants, soil, and water can be touched and manipulated, creeks stomped in and logs built with.

Cincinnati Nature Center PlayScape
Cincinnati Nature Center PlayScape


Enjoy some spring weather at one of these top parks!

Carillon Historical Park: This 65-acre open-air history museum is a great place to play and learn about Dayton History. Home to the Wright Flyer III, 1903 Barney Smith parlor car, a 1930s print shop, and a carousel, there’s something for everyone here.

Cottell Park: This 46-acre green space is perfect for all sorts of activities. The playground itself is entertaining for all ages with a designated spot for toddlers. It’s also mostly shaded, with plenty of benches, and other wide-open spaces to run around.

Makino Park: The park’s Common Ground Playground is a one-of-a-kind play space that encourages inclusivity and accessibility. This 23-acre park in Mason is the first of its kind in the area, with numerous features designed to make it a place for all.

West Fork Park: This play space has too many unique features to count, and even has a zip line for kids to test their bravery.

Summit Park: Located in Blue Ash, this is a beautiful, 130-acre world-class park where you can experience a 360-degree view of the Tri-State in the free Observation Tower, explore the Naturescape playground, discover trails, catch a fish in the pond, take your furry friend to the dog park, and more.

Ziegler Park: This park has a great urban feel, with plenty of creative fun for kids. The park is adjacent to the sprayground, too.

mason makino playground inclusive
Common Ground Playground

Mt. Airy Treehouse

Tucked away in Mt. Airy Forest is a hidden gem. Dubbed “Everybody’s Treehouse,” Mt. Airy Treehouse is as charming, unique and accessible as the Queen City herself, and is worth a visit with your family.

Trammel Fossil Park

This hidden treasure is 10 acres of rocky, rugged terrain, exposed to the elements — and totally rich with remnants from the past. The park is unique because it’s one of the only places to dig for fossils in the area that’s safe and accessible. Admission is free — and you can take whatever fossils you find!

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