top of page

Things To Do On A Simple And Fun Family Vacation In Cincinnati, Ohio"

Sitting on the steps besides the Newport Aquarium in Cincinnati Ohio.

I really enjoy family vacations. It's not something we typically did as a family when I was growing up, so being able to travel different places with my children was fun for me. Now, you know I always traveled on a budget, and it allowed me to have certain experiences with them and create memories that will last a lifetime.


20 years ago, I had two daughters and my husband and I decided to take our first family trip. It was simple and affordable. After hearing so much about the Cincinnati Zoo and Newport Aquarium, we decided that would be our first little adventure together. It was fun, and now fast forward 20 years, and there's a third daughter and a granddaughter who absolutely loves the zoo. It didn't take long for me to realize I wanted to share this experience with her too, so I made a plan to get away a couple of days, and I have a few tips to consider for your trip to the Ohio.

My daughter feeding the giraffe at the Cincinnati Zoo

Visit one place each day: Give yourself a day each for the zoo and aquarium. There’s going to be a lot of walking, and you will want to prepare for that and give yourself time to rest and the end of each day. You know I’m a walker, and I very easily got in over 10,000 steps each day. My suggestion will help you focus and take your time to really take in each space. Also, purchase your tickets online to save time. You have to reserve a time slot at the aquarium, so start looking early to get an idea of when you would like to go because spaces can fill up.


Zookeeper holding a snake for us to pet at the Cincinnati Zoo

I specifically chose to go on a weekday in May to try and avoid crowds that can be higher on the weekend, and likely even busier when the kids are out on summer break. We were there at a good time and did not have to contend with a lot of people at all. Check for extra savings with places like AAA and Kroger. I was told the local kroger has money off coupons you can use on your ticket purchase. It looks like weekends tend to be pricier at the zoo too, but it can vary, and those coupons can help bring that cost down a little more.

Taking a picture in front of Iguana Rock at the Newport Aquarium.

Try the local restaurants in the area: I was in the mood for a good burger, and when I was researching the best burgers in Cincinnati, i opted to try a place called Krueger’s Tavern. Once I got there, at first, I was a little nervous after seeing the menu. They are very specific in their offerings and don't have certain things you might expect to find elsewhere, like ranch dressing. My group is a fan of ranch, so they asked and were disappointed initially, but the food did not disappoint at all.


Fried Mozzarella at Krueger’s Tavern in Cincinnati Ohio

Absolutely try the fried mozzarella appetizer and the veggie burger. They say they have the best veggie burger in town, and while I didn't have it, my daughter who is a vegetarian said it was the best she has had so far. I opted for the Krueger burger and while it didn't stand out for me in any specific way, it was a well prepared and tasty burger. After dinner, we had ice cream at the local ice cream shop Graeter’s. I stepped out of my box and tried a new flavor called bourbon pecan and I loved it. Delicious small batch ice cream, and only one block away from Krueger’s.


hamburger and three side sauces from Krueger's Tavern in Cincinnatti, Ohio

Explore the downtown: Cincinnati is a vibe. I only saw so much of it, but it was definitely giving me New York City vibes without all the craziness of the crowds. There was a lot of restaurants with outdoor seating and boutiques, and people out and about enjoying the day. When you visit the aquarium, make sure to take a look at the river and maybe even go down the stairs to walk along the pathway and see more sights. Trust me, you want to take the time and check it out.


Let me also mention the Homewood Suites we stayed at while we were there. It seemed to be a newer space because it was nice and updated, and clean. They have some construction going on, but I didn't deal with noise, and parking was nearby and plentiful. One of the rooms we shared was a two-bedroom 2 bath suite. It was spacious and four people were able to have their own bed, enjoy the shared living space, and be comfortable each day and evening we were there. It was also close to the places we were visiting, which made our trip a little easier each day.


If you're in the mood for some good family time, a cool learning adventure, and overall simple but fun family vacation in Cincinatti, Ohio, I highly recommend checking out the Cincinnati Zoo and Newport Aquarium. Both adults and children enjoyed this trip, and we would definitely go back again.


bottom of page