Big Fun for Little Ones

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    Cincinnati Reds
    When craving family fun for the summer, a good place to start is the Great American Ballpark, says Shannan Boyer, founder of  Family Friendly Cincinnati.

    “The first thing that came to mind [when thinking of family friendly places] was the Cincinnati Reds,” Boyer says. “They have family fun days where the games are really catered towards kids. They have the family section, but you can also hit the museum while you’re there too.”

    Sundays are family fun days at Great American, and that entails cool giveaways for the kids and a price break for Mom and Dad, too — “families can purchase up to three non-premium tickets at half-price with the purchase of one full-price ticket in the same section,” according to the Reds’ website.

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    It’s easy to assume that downtown Cincinnati mostly has things to do for young professionals and the rest of their twenty-something cohorts, but that’s not so, Boyer says. Parents and their kids can catch an age-appropriate show at Fountain Square through part of its family friendly events, like movie nights and Strauss Troy Markets.

    Visitors downtown can also go to Carew Tower‘s famous observation deck for breathtaking views of the city from 49 stories above the ground. Boyer says her kids love looking down at the city from the top of the 574-foot tower.

    For hungry kids, Venice on Vine and Findlay Market are great options as well, Boyer says. “My family goes down to Findlay Market about every other weekened,” she says. “My kids enjoy it just about as much as we do. You can get a waffle from Taste of Belgium while you’re down there, too. They really like that.”

    Newport on the Levee
    Parents looking for a whole day’s worth of entertainment for the little ones need look no further than Newport on the Levee. Between the Newport Aquarium, Newport’s Ride the Ducks, Star Lanes and many other restaurants and fun activities, it’s almost impossible to be bored in this cool place south of the river.

    “Then of course there’s also Gameworks, Star Lanes and Coldstone Creamery,” Boyer says. “You could spend a whole day at Newport on the Levee.”

    Fun days are the best when the kids also get to learn at the same time. For this reason, the Cincinnati Museum Center, which is comprised of the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science and Cincinnati History Museum, presents a perfect possibility for great day with the family. And these days don’t have to break the bank — the museum center is hosting Free Fridays, which will be on July 13, August 10 and September 14.

    “I think a great standalone activity is the Cincinnati Museum Center,” she says. “There’s always something going on there.”

    Hamilton County Parks
    When kids and their parents are looking to explore the great outdoors, Hamilton County Parks fit the bill. “It’s not that the rest of the city doesn’t have amazing parks, but Hamilton County has some great acetivities at these parks,” Boyer says. “They’re all really great with lots of things for kids of different ages to get them into nature and outdoors.”

    But regardless of where families go for their fun day in the city, parents should be glad they live in Cincinnati, a place chock-full of fun things for families to do, Boyer says. “In terms of comparing Cincinnati to other cities, I’m not an expert on other cities by any means, but when Family Friendly Cincinnati puts together a weekly list of things to do, there’s no shortage there,” she says. “There’s a lot to do. I feel like we’re really lucky to live here.”