A cursory reading of the attractions awaiting visitors to Cincinnati reveals a plethora of sites, attractions and locales geared towards strengthening the loving ties that bind families together. And a closer inspection confirms this to be so. “Cincy” or “The Queen City” was ranked the ninth best city in the United States for raising a family by Forbes, one of the country’s leading business magazines. It was the only city in Ohio to make the Top 10 in this list.
In Cincy, having fun normally means having fun with one’s family. So, here are our choices for the best sites where families can share fun and excitement.
All of 186 glorious acres, Eden Park in the heart of Cincinnati should be one of your family’s top — or, better yet, its top — destination if you’re visiting “The City of Seven Hills” for the first time. And it should again be on your list even if you’re returning to this magnificent urban park located at Walnut Hills and the chic Mt. Adams neighborhood where culture and entertainment fuse.
Why return to Eden Park? Because, as that famous adage goes, “Once is never enough.” For those that love art and the finer things in life, and Mother Nature, Eden Park is a godsend. This lavish space is overrun by towering trees, flowering plants, a splendid magnolia garden and abundant greenery and is accessible by walking paths. There are also a couple of lakes and several scenic overlooks offering majestic views of the Ohio River. One visitor wrote online that Eden Park reveals “beautiful views of the city — especially at night time.”
Complementing the abundant natural beauty intrinsic to Eden Park are man-made wonders you must visit. Nested in this enclave is the Cincinnati Art Museum complex; the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; the Seasongood Pavilion and the Irwin M. Krohn Conservatory.
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The Cincinnati Art Museum
One of the top classical art museums in the USA, the Cincinnati Art Museum opened its doors in 1886 and has since amassed an art collection world famous for its excellence and scope. It was the first art museum west of the Alleghenies, and its collection of more than 67,000 works extending back 6,000 years of human history give it one of the most comprehensive art collections in the Midwest.
The museum’s art collection includes African Art; American Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings; Asian Art; South Asian Art; Islamic Art and Antiquities; Contemporary European Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings; Fashion Arts and Textiles; Musical Instruments; Native American Art and Photography
Its collection of paintings by European masters is noteworthy. On display are masterworks by Pablo Picasso; Sandro Botticelli (Judith with Head of Holofernes); Matteo di Giovanni; Bernardo Strozzi, Frans Hals; Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot; Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (St. Thomas of Villanueva); Peter Paul Rubens (Samson and Delilah); Pierre-Auguste Renoir; Camille Pissarro and Claude Monet (Rocks At Belle Isle), The museum also has a large collection of paintings by American figure and portrait painter Frank Duveneck (1848-1919), one of which is an oil on canvas painting of his wife, Elizabeth Boott.
The museum also holds regular family and child-friendly art workshops on the grounds. Its splendid architecture is also a reason for its fame, and its location in northeast Cincinnati atop a bluff overlooking Cincinnati offers wonderful views of the city. General admission is free however special exhibits cost extra.
The Great American Ball Park
Baseball is a family game, right? And baseball is sacred in Cincinnati. The Great American Ball Park is home field to the Cincinnati Reds, the first and oldest professional baseball team in the United States. This stadium on the banks of the Ohio River is famous for its baseball shrines and the Reds Hall of Fame Museum. A general admission tour (costing $17 per person) of the ballpark will take you to the dugouts, the press box and more. It also covers entry to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, where families can better appreciate the history of the city’s famous ball club.
The Great American Ball Park opened in 2003, replacing Cinergy Field (formerly Riverfront Stadium). The Reds played at seven different stadiums before this year. The Great American Ball Park is noted for the great views from nearly every seat, and awesome views of the Ohio River. It can seat 42,000 persons.
The Great American Ball Park is also famous for “The Gap,” a 35 foot-wide break in the stands between home plate and third base. The Gap provides views into the stadium from downtown and out to the skyline from within the park.
Another landmark is the imposing “Power Stacks” located at right center field. These two replicas of steamboat smokestacks flash lights, emit flames and launch fireworks to incite or respond to the Reds on-field efforts. For example, the Power Stacks launch fireworks after every Reds home run and win.
In the 2015 season, the Great American Ball Park became the first Major League Baseball ballpark to feature a suite designed exclusively as a place for mothers to feed and care for their babies. The suite has five glider chairs; diaper-changing stations; a restroom; a kitchenette; a refrigerator; lockers and TV showing the game.
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