With more opportunities for fun than you can fit in one trip, the Queen City is an ideal family vacation spot, and the hotels and accommodations of Northern Cincinnati are the perfect hosts. Book your stay at one of Northern Cincinnati’s comfortable chains, historic inns, luxury hotels or waterpark lodges, and you’ll be just minutes from the all of area’s best attractions. Hear the roar of the crowd at Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds, or feel the thrill of the ocean and its creatures at the Newport Aquarium. The Queen City teems with museums, waterparks, fun parks and ballparks. Bring the family and choose your own adventure. For more information about accommodations and attractions, visit www.CincyNorth.com.
Original thrill seeker Evel Knievel made history at Paramount King’s Island by jumping 14 Greyhound buses here more than 30 years ago. This summer, get your g-force fix on the park’s 300-plus rides and attractions. You haven’t lived until you’ve challenged legendary coaster The Beast, which still stands as the world’s longest wooden roller coaster. Smaller riders find fun on the Fairly Odd Coaster, a shorter wooden coaster designed to give pint-size visitors a rush. To beat the heat in the summer, head over to the 30-acre waterpark and cool off in the wave pool or take The Plunge down the 70-foot waterslide.
The weather and the water are always warm at CoCo Key, the area’s newest indoor waterpark, where you’ll find the feeling of the Florida Keys without the expensive flight. At CoCo Key, the temperature never dips below 84 degrees, making conditions just right for splish-splashing your way through the resort’s fun-filled rides and slides. Take a tube ride though Coconut Grove Adventure River, or swoosh down one of the park’s four waterslides. When you need a break, parents and kids can lounge screen-side at the Dip-In Theater, a movie mega screen that plays your favorite family-friendly movies as you free float in the park.
During the summer the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down at The Beach Waterpark, thanks to its Saturday night “Dive In” movies. Rent an inner tube and float in the wave pool, or stay on land in a lawn chair while you enjoy modern-day kids’ classics like “Cars” and “Charlotte’s Web” on the park’s big screen. During the day, the waterpark runs more than 40 waterslides and rides, including 500 feet of twists and turns on Aztec Adventure, the only water coaster in the Midwest.
As the weather warms up, the action heats up at Great American Ball Park — home to America’s oldest professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds. Head out to the ball game, or make a day of it with a tour of the park and a stop at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. The museum hosts 10 galleries filled with some of the most significant pieces of the team’s history, including trophies, equipment and interactive exhibits chronicling the careers of Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey Sr. and other Reds greats. Don’t miss the downsized locker room, where kids under six can suit up in Reds jerseys. Step out of the real world and into the animal kingdom at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, the nation’s second oldest zoo that’s also a national historic landmark. Consistently ranked as a top zoo for kids, you’ll spend a wild day interacting with its 500 animal species. Or check out the zoo’s schedule for information about annual events like Zoo Babies, a chance to see the zoo’s newest furry faces, or Giraffe Ridge, the zoo’s newest exhibit that lets you hand feed a giraffe (opening in June of 2008).
Now that you’ve seen the king of the jungle, see the animals that rule the sea at the Newport Aquarium. The brave will love Shark Central, which gets you up close and personal with sand sharks, cat sharks and other species, and teaches you how to safely pet them. If sharks aren’t your thing, head to the Kingdom of Penguins display, where you can watch King and Gentoo penguins play on snow-capped cliffs from theater-style seating. The aquarium is filled with some of the rarest, most beautiful, and in some cases, most dangerous animals in the world.
For a slightly less adrenaline-inducing day, The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal in downtown Cincinnati houses three museums — the Cincinnati History Museum, the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and the Museum of Natural History and Science — as well as an Omnimax Theater and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. Union Terminal has been an important piece in the city’s architectural collage since it was built in 1933 to serve as a busy station for the city’s commuters.
IKEA fans, grab your tents. March 12 marks the long-anticipated grand opening of IKEA at West Chester, the first — and currently the only — location of this incredibly popular home furnishings store in the state. As part of its big opening celebration, the store is inviting those who want to be first through the doors to set up camp out front — promising giveaways and other prizes to shoppers willing to sleep outside in March, when the average temperature here is 44 degrees.
It’s just one more example of how Northern Cincinnati delivers a truly unique shopping experience. IKEA is known throughout the world for its trendy design, huge selection and unbeatable prices — not to mention its devoted following of shoppers who gladly drive hundreds of miles to spend a few hours roaming the aisles in search of interior inspiration. But if big stores aren’t your style, you’ll find an amazing collection of small shops selling clothing, jewelry and art, some of it locally made, sprinkled throughout the area. Stop by the village of Waynesville — appropriately dubbed the antiques capital of the Midwest — where everywhere you turn you’ll find more opportunities for treasure hunting. Bargain chasers will love Cincinnati Mills, Northern Cincy’s newest mall, which delivers an unusual mix of outlet, off-price and full-price retail shops. Upscale, big-city shopping abounds at stylish Kenwood Towne Center and Rookwood Commons, just two of the area’s 12 shopping centers. Food and wine aficionados absolutely shouldn’t miss Jungle Jim’s International Market — six acres of food from more than 75 different countries, all under one roof.
Whatever your shopping style, you’ll find stores that fit in Cincinnati. For more shopping destination ideas, visit www.CincyNorth.com
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When you need a weekend getaway — fast — move your mouse to www.CincyNorth.com
, where you’ll find all the information you need to plan your perfect Queen City escape. Northern Cincinnati is home to more than 6,000 hotel rooms, most of them just 15 minutes from the area’s biggest attractions, with every amenity including free parking. Book your stay up north, and you’ll have a few extra bucks to spend hitting the links at Blue Ash Golf Course, Golf Digest magazine’s pick for a top public course, or investigating the Cinergy Children’s Museum, where kids are encouraged to climb on, crawl around and explore the museum’s 30,000 square feet of exhibit space. The www.CincyNorth.com
site is packed with enticing offers and package deals that destinations, hotels and venues have created. They are guaranteed to deliver opportunities for more fun than you can fit into a weekend. Get your itinerary in order at www.CincyNorth.com