If you're looking for a fun-filled adventure with plenty of things to do, Cincinnati is the perfect place to be. This vibrant city has an abundance of entertainment, fabulous food, and breathtaking landmarks that will leave you wanting more. In this article, we'll reveal the 12 must-do activities within Cincinnati's city limits, from exploring the world-renowned Cincinnati Zoo to experiencing the thrill of the city's amusement parks. So, whether you're a local looking for a new adventure or a tourist visiting for the first time, get ready to discover a list of unique and exciting attractions that will make your trip to Cincinnati unforgettable.
|Visit the Zoo||The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is home to over 500 animal species from all over the world.|
|Explore the Museum Center||Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is a collection of museums on the history of Cincinnati.|
|Catch a Game||Head to Great American Ball Park or Paul Brown Stadium to watch a baseball or football game.|
|Try Cincinnati Chili||A local specialty, Cincinnati chili is a dish of spaghetti topped with chili, cheese, and onions.|
|Go Shopping||From boutiques in Over-the-Rhine to the upscale Kenwood Towne Centre, options for shopping abound in Cincinnati.|
|Visit the Art Museum||The Cincinnati Art Museum houses an impressive collection of over 67,000 works of art spanning 6,000 years.|
|Enjoy the Parks||There are over 100 parks in Cincinnati, including Eden Park and Sawyer Point, offering hiking, biking and picnic areas.|
|Attend a Festival||Cincinnati celebrates Oktoberfest, Taste of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati May Festival to name a few.|
|Take a Brewery Tour||Cincinnati was once known as the "Beer Capital of the World." Visit a local brewery for a tour and tasting.|
|Relax at Fountain Square||Fountain Square is the hub of downtown Cincinnati with a variety of restaurants, live music, and a seasonal ice rink.|
What You'll Learn
- Visit the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
- Explore the exhibits at Cincinnati Museum Center
- Take a stroll through Fountain Square
- Catch a game at Great American Ball Park
- Go on a riverboat cruise on the Ohio River
- Enjoy the views from Carew Tower Observation Deck
- Visit the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky
- Explore Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and its historic architecture
- Sample local brews on a brewery tour
- Try Cincinnati-style chili at Skyline or Gold Star
- Take a ghost tour through Music Hall
- Attend a performance at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra or Cincinnati Ballet
Visit the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
|Name||Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden|
|Type||Zoo in Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Website||Go to website|
|Rating / Review count||4.6 / 24,895|
|Address||3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45220|
|Hours||Tuesday - 10 AM–5 PM|
Wednesday - 10 AM–5 PM
Thursday - 10 AM–5 PM
Friday - 10 AM–5 PM
Saturday - 10 AM–5 PM
Sunday - 10 AM–5 PM
Monday(Memorial Day) - 10 AM–5 PM
Cincinnati is a beautiful and vibrant city that has a lot to offer to its visitors and locals alike. One of the top attractions in the area is the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, which is a must-visit for anyone who loves nature and animals.
The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is a 74-acre zoo that was founded in 1875 and is one of the oldest and most respected zoos in the country. It is home to over 500 animal species from all over the world, including lions, tigers, elephants, gorillas, and more. The zoo’s exhibits are designed to provide an up-close and personal experience for visitors of all ages.
One of the most popular exhibits at the Cincinnati Zoo is the Cat Canyon, which is home to some of the world's rarest and most endangered big cats. Visitors can get a close-up view of tigers, lions, and other big cats as they roam in their spacious habitats. Another popular exhibit is the Giraffe Ridge, which lets visitors feed and interact with the zoo's resident giraffes.
Aside from the animals, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is also well-known for its stunning botanical gardens. The zoo's gardens feature over 1,000 plant species from around the world, including exotic orchids, rare cacti, and vibrant tropical plants. The gardens change with the seasons, so visitors can always enjoy something different and new, no matter when they visit.
The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden has a lot to offer its visitors that go beyond just animal exhibits and breathtaking gardens. It also offers a wide range of educational programs, including zoo camps, field trips, and conservation initiatives. The zoo is dedicated to preserving endangered species and is an important advocate for animal welfare.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a fun and educational day trip in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is definitely worth a visit. With its extensive animal exhibits, breathtaking botanical gardens, and educational programs, this attraction offers something for everyone. So pack your bags and head out to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden for an unforgettable experience.
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Explore the exhibits at Cincinnati Museum Center
Located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Museum Center is an exciting destination for both tourists and locals looking to learn more about the rich history of the area. With a wide range of exhibits showcasing everything from natural history and science to art and culture, there is truly something for everyone at this fascinating institution.
One of the highlights of the museum is the Natural History & Science exhibit, which features a range of interactive displays and hands-on activities that are perfect for visitors of all ages. Here, you can explore everything from the ancient world of dinosaurs to the mysteries of space and the cosmos. You'll also discover more about the geology and ecology of the local region, learning about the unique flora and fauna that call Cincinnati home.
Another popular exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center is the Duke Energy Children's Museum. This vibrant space is geared towards younger visitors, and offers a range of interactive exhibits and play areas designed to engage and educate kids. Whether you're climbing a treehouse, exploring a submarine, or learning about the history of transportation through a hands-on train exhibit, the Children's Museum is a must-see for families visiting Cincinnati.
Of course, there are plenty of exhibits at the Cincinnati Museum Center that will appeal to older visitors as well. For example, the Cincinnati History Museum takes you on a journey through the history of the city, from its early days as a frontier settlement to its status as a thriving metropolis today. You'll learn about the people, places, and events that have shaped Cincinnati over the years, and come away with a deep appreciation for the unique culture and character of this remarkable city.
Finally, no visit to the Cincinnati Museum Center would be complete without a stop at the Art of the Brick exhibit. This incredible display features the work of artist Nathan Sawaya, who has created stunning sculptures and artworks entirely out of Lego bricks. From towering mosaics to intricate, life-sized figures, the Art of the Brick is a testament to the limitless possibilities of creativity and imagination.
With so much to see and explore at the Cincinnati Museum Center, it's easy to spend an entire day (or more!) wandering through the exhibits and galleries. Whether you're a lifelong resident of Cincinnati or a first-time visitor, this world-class institution is a must-see destination that will leave you with a greater appreciation for the history, culture, and natural wonders of this amazing region.
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Take a stroll through Fountain Square
Cincinnati, Ohio, also known as "The Queen City," offers visitors and locals alike an abundance of activities to enjoy. If you're looking for a relaxing and scenic walk, Fountain Square is a must-visit location.
Fountain Square is situated at the heart of Cincinnati, surrounded by iconic buildings such as the Carew Tower, the Fifth Third Center, and PNC Tower. The square is named after its beautiful fountain that sits prominently in the center of the green space. The fountain's water display is impressive, with water shooting up to 10 feet in the air.
Apart from the fountain and green space, Fountain Square is also home to several attractions, including a small stage for live events. During the summer months, you can enjoy free concerts, dance parties, and movies under the stars. If you're hungry, you can indulge in some local cuisine at one of the many food trucks or restaurants that are designated around the square.
A stroll around Fountain Square is a great way to immerse yourself in Cincinnati's culture and lifestyle. As you walk, you'll notice that the square is surrounded by art installations and sculptures, making it a hub for public art. Perhaps the most popular piece is the Tyler Davidson Fountain, which commemorates Tyler Davidson's contribution to the city's growth in the late 19th century.
Fountain Square is an excellent place for people-watching, and it offers a mix of people from all walks of life. From business executives to street performers, the square is always bustling with activity. You can take a seat on one of the many benches and observe the city's pulse as you soak up the sun or enjoy the evening breeze.
In conclusion, a stroll through Fountain Square is a fantastic way to experience Cincinnati's charm and creativity. Whether you're a local or a visitor, you're sure to enjoy the surreal atmosphere and diverse range of activities offered in this picturesque location. So, why not get out there and explore it for yourself?
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Catch a game at Great American Ball Park
Cincinnati is known for a lot of things - its world-famous chili, the Ohio River, and the Cincinnati Reds, just to name a few. If you're in town and looking for something to do, why not catch a game at Great American Ball Park?
Located right in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, Great American Ball Park is the home of the Reds and a must-visit for any baseball fan. With a seating capacity of just over 42,000, the park offers an intimate setting that makes you feel like you're right in the action.
But it's not just the atmosphere that makes Great American Ball Park special - it's also the amenities and events that the park offers. Before the game, swing by the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum for a dose of team history and memorabilia. During the game, indulge in some classic ballpark food like hot dogs, nachos, and peanuts. And after the game, stick around for the post-game fireworks show that lights up the Cincinnati skyline.
Of course, the main attraction is the game itself. The Reds are a storied franchise with a passionate fanbase, and there's nothing quite like experiencing a game at Great American Ball Park. From the crack of the bat to the roar of the crowd, it's an experience that's sure to leave a lasting impression.
So if you're in Cincinnati and looking for something to do, make sure to catch a game at Great American Ball Park. Whether you're a die-hard baseball fan or just looking for a fun night out, it's an experience you won't want to miss.
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Go on a riverboat cruise on the Ohio River
If you are looking for a unique experience in Cincinnati, Ohio, going on a relaxing riverboat cruise on the Ohio River might be just what you need. This type of adventure promises a perfect blend of history, sightseeing, and relaxation, and will definitely be one of the highlights of your trip.
There are several options for riverboat cruises in Cincinnati, depending on your preferences and schedule. However, one of the most popular is the BB Riverboats, which has been operating for more than 40 years. Their cruises range from sightseeing tours that offer the best views of the city skyline to lunch, dinner, and specialty cruises with entertainment and music.
The BB Riverboats also offers themed cruises, including a historic sightseeing tour, a wine tasting and pairing cruise, an Oktoberfest cruise, and even a Halloween haunting cruise. No matter which type of cruise you choose, you'll enjoy beautiful views of the Cincinnati skyline, bridges and landmarks In a unique and unforgettable way.
The tours usually last for a few hours, giving you enough time to take in the beauty of the river and surroundings while enjoying food, drinks, and entertainment. The crews are always friendly and knowledgeable, and you’ll get plenty of stories and information about the river and the city, and its rich history.
Whether you are visiting Cincinnati for the first time, or you are a returning visitor, taking a riverboat cruise is a great way to add a touch of adventure and relaxation to your trip. It’s also an excellent way to get a new perspective on the city, and discover some hidden gems you might have missed otherwise.
In summary, going on a riverboat cruise on the Ohio River with BB Riverboats is an excellent activity to add to your Cincinnati itinerary. From the stunning views of the city skyline to the delicious food, drinks, and entertainment, it is an experience to remember!
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Enjoy the views from Carew Tower Observation Deck
|Name||Carew Tower Observation Deck|
|Type||Observation deck in Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Rating / Review count||4.6 / 374|
|Address||41 W 5th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202|
Cincinnati is a beautiful city, and one of the best ways to take in its views is from the Carew Tower Observation Deck. Located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, the observation deck offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the Ohio River.
The Carew Tower Observation Deck is located on the 49th floor of the Carew Tower, which was built in 1930 and is one of the most iconic buildings in Cincinnati. The observation deck was opened in 1949 and has been a popular attraction for locals and visitors ever since.
From the observation deck, visitors can see for miles in every direction. To the north, you can see all the way to the Ohio-Kentucky border. To the east, you can see the hills of Northern Kentucky and the historic Roebling Suspension Bridge. To the south, you can see the Ohio River and the rolling hills of Kentucky. And to the west, you can see the sprawling urban landscape of downtown Cincinnati.
Visitors to the Carew Tower Observation Deck can enjoy the views from inside the enclosed deck, or step outside onto the open-air platform for an even more thrilling experience. The open-air platform is covered with wire mesh, so you can feel the wind in your hair and take in the views without any obstructions.
In addition to the stunning views, the Carew Tower Observation Deck also features a small museum that showcases the history of the tower and the city of Cincinnati. The museum includes vintage photographs, memorabilia, and other artifacts that give visitors a glimpse into the city's past.
If you're planning a trip to Cincinnati, make sure to include a visit to the Carew Tower Observation Deck on your itinerary. With its breathtaking views and fascinating history, it's truly an experience you won't forget.
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Visit the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky
|Type||Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky|
|Website||Go to website|
|Rating / Review count||4.5 / 16,228|
|Address||1 Levee Wy, Newport, KY 41071|
|Hours||Tuesday - 9 AM–6 PM|
Wednesday - 9 AM–6 PM
Thursday - 9 AM–6 PM
Friday - 9 AM–7 PM
Saturday - 9 AM–7 PM
Sunday - 9 AM–8 PM
Monday(Memorial Day) - 9 AM–6 PM
When visiting the Cincinnati area, there's much more to explore than just the Ohio side of the river. Just across the Ohio River in Kentucky lies the Newport Aquarium, a must-see attraction for visitors of all ages.
The Newport Aquarium is home to thousands of aquatic animals, showcasing different types of marine life from around the world. One of the main attractions is the Shark Bridge, a rope bridge that spans the 385,000-gallon tank where sharks swim beneath you. It's a thrill for anyone brave enough to walk across!
Another popular exhibit is the Jellyfish Gallery. The glowing, ethereal creatures float gracefully through the darkened room, providing a mesmerizing display. And don't miss Gator Alley, where you can see everything from baby alligators to massive, 14-foot-long giants.
Visitors of all ages will enjoy the Amazon exhibit, where you'll see piranhas, anacondas, and other exotic creatures found in the Amazon rainforest. Kids will love the Frog Bog, where they can see and learn about different types of frogs from around the world. And if you have little ones with you, be sure to make a stop at the Tide Pool Touch Tank, where they can reach in and touch starfish and other sea creatures.
In addition to the exhibits, the Newport Aquarium offers events and experiences for visitors. For example, you can schedule a Penguin Encounter or Behind the Scenes Tour, where you'll get an insider's look at how the animals are cared for.
Overall, the Newport Aquarium is an excellent place to spend a day exploring and learning about marine life from around the world. It's also easy to get to from Cincinnati, just a short drive across the river into Kentucky. So when planning your trip to the Cincinnati area, be sure to include a visit to the Newport Aquarium in your itinerary.
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Explore Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and its historic architecture
Nestled in the heart of downtown Cincinnati lies a historic neighborhood that is garnering attention for its beautiful architecture, vibrant arts scene, and trendy culinary offerings. Known as Over-the-Rhine, this neighborhood was once home to German immigrants and is currently undergoing a renaissance that is bringing newfound life to the area.
One of the primary draws of Over-the-Rhine is its stunning architecture. The neighborhood boasts the largest collection of 19th-century Italianate buildings in the country, with many of these structures meticulously restored to their original grandeur. The ornate facades, intricate brickwork, and charming wrought-iron details are a testament to the neighborhood's rich history and are a photographer's dream come true. Visitors can join a guided tour or explore the area's architectural gems on their own.
In addition to its architecture, Over-the-Rhine is also quickly becoming a hub for the arts in Cincinnati. The neighborhood is home to several art galleries and performance spaces, including the Woodward Theater, which hosts a variety of concerts and events. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra also calls Over-the-Rhine home, performing at the beautifully restored Music Hall.
Foodies will find plenty to savor in Over-the-Rhine, as the area is known for its exceptional culinary offerings. Trendy coffee shops, artisanal bakeries, and award-winning restaurants line the streets. Several food tours are available for visitors who want to explore the area's culinary scene, including tours that highlight local breweries and the best street food in the neighborhood.
One of the best ways to experience Over-the-Rhine is to simply wander the streets and take in the sights, sounds, and flavors of the area. From the colorful and eclectic shops to the friendly locals, there's something for everyone in this historic and vibrant Cincinnati neighborhood. So if you're looking for a unique and authentic experience, head to Over-the-Rhine and see for yourself why this neighborhood is quickly becoming one of Cincinnati's most popular destinations.
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Sample local brews on a brewery tour
If you're looking for a fun and tasty way to explore the city of Cincinnati, then you'll definitely want to go on a brewery tour.
Cincinnati has a thriving craft beer scene, with dozens of local breweries producing some of the best beers in the world. And what better way to experience these amazing brews than by going on a tour of some of the best breweries in the area?
There are several different brewery tour companies in Cincinnati, each offering a slightly different experience. Some tours focus on a specific neighborhood or region of the city, while others will take you to several breweries throughout the day.
One popular option is the Cincinnati beer tour, which takes you on a three-hour journey through some of the city's most beloved breweries. You'll get to sample a delicious selection of beers, learn about the history of brewing in Cincinnati, and meet some of the passionate brewers who make it all happen.
Another option is the Pedal Wagon brewery tour, which lets you explore the city on a pedal-powered wagon while stopping at some of the best breweries along the way. This is a great option if you want to combine sightseeing and beer drinking into one fun activity.
No matter which tour you choose, you'll get to sample a wide variety of craft beers, from traditional IPAs and stouts to more experimental brews like sour beers and barrel-aged ales. You'll also get a chance to learn about the brewing process and the unique history of Cincinnati's beer culture.
So if you're looking for a unique and fun way to explore Cincinnati, be sure to check out one of the city's many brewery tours. With so many amazing breweries to discover, you're sure to have a great time tasting your way through this vibrant and beer-loving city.
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Try Cincinnati-style chili at Skyline or Gold Star
Cincinnati, Ohio is known for many things, including its unique take on chili. In this Midwestern city, chili is traditionally served on top of spaghetti or hot dogs, and is known as Cincinnati-style chili. If you're in the city, there are two places that you absolutely must visit to try this local specialty: Skyline and Gold Star.
Skyline is a popular chain restaurant that has been serving up Cincinnati-style chili since 1949. The restaurant offers a variety of ways to enjoy their chili, including on a plain hot dog, in a burrito, or on top of spaghetti. But no matter how you choose to enjoy it, make sure you order your chili "three-way," which means it will be served on top of spaghetti and covered with a layer of shredded cheddar cheese. If you're feeling adventurous, give the "four-way" or "five-way" a try, which includes beans and/or onions as additional toppings.
Gold Star is another popular chain restaurant that has been serving Cincinnati-style chili since 1965. Like Skyline, Gold Star offers a variety of ways to enjoy their chili, including on a plain hot dog, in a burrito, or on top of spaghetti. They also offer unique creations like their Chili Cheese Fries, which are french fries topped with chili and shredded cheddar cheese. If you're really hungry, try the Loaded Chili Bowl, which is a massive bowl of chili served with beans, onions, and spaghetti.
So what makes Cincinnati-style chili so unique? It's all in the spices. The chili is seasoned with a blend of cinnamon, cumin, and allspice, which gives it a sweet and spicy flavor that is unlike any other chili you've ever tasted. The chili is also thinner than traditional Texas-style chili, which allows it to be poured over spaghetti or hot dogs without becoming too heavy.
If you're in Cincinnati, you simply must try the city's famous chili at Skyline or Gold Star. It's a local tradition that has been around for decades, and it's not hard to see why. With its unique blend of spices and sweet and spicy flavor, Cincinnati-style chili is sure to become one of your new favorite foods.
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Take a ghost tour through Music Hall
If you're looking for a spooky adventure in Cincinnati, consider taking a ghost tour through Music Hall. This iconic building, which was built in 1878, has a rich history and a reputation for being haunted.
The ghost tour is offered by the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall, and it takes visitors through the various areas of the building where paranormal activity has been reported. The tour guides share stories of the strange occurrences that have happened in these spaces, and they offer insights into the history of the building and its former occupants.
Of course, the main attraction of the ghost tour is the chance to see and possibly interact with some of the spirits that are said to haunt the hall. Visitors have reported seeing shadowy figures, hearing eerie noises, and feeling cold spots as they move through the different rooms and corridors.
One of the most famous ghosts in Music Hall is the Lady in White, who is said to be the spirit of a performer who died on stage in the late 1800s. She has been spotted on numerous occasions, and some even claim to have captured her likeness in photographs.
Another creepy spot on the tour is the sub-basement, which is home to a maze of tunnels and rooms that were used for various purposes over the years. Visitors have reported feeling uneasy or even sensing a malevolent presence in this area.
While the ghost tour may not be for everyone, it's a unique way to experience the fascinating history of Music Hall and maybe even encounter a ghost or two. Whether you're a believer in the paranormal or just looking for a spine-tingling adventure, this tour is sure to deliver.
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Attend a performance at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra or Cincinnati Ballet
The city of Cincinnati is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to some of the most renowned performing arts organizations in the country. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Ballet are two such organizations that have brought art, music, and dance to the city for decades.
Located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is one of the oldest and most prestigious orchestras in the country. Founded in 1895, the orchestra has been a cornerstone of the city's cultural scene for over a century. With a repertoire that spans from classical to contemporary, the orchestra has something for everyone. From Beethoven to Broadway, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra never fails to deliver a memorable performance.
Another must-see organization in the city is the Cincinnati Ballet. With a strong reputation for its spectacular performances, the Cincinnati Ballet has been captivating audiences for over 50 years. The ballet company boasts a diverse repertoire that ranges from classical to contemporary and features some of the most talented dancers in the world. Whether it's Tchaikovsky's classic "The Nutcracker" or a contemporary masterpiece, the Cincinnati Ballet offers a unique and unforgettable experience for all its visitors.
Attending a performance at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra or Cincinnati Ballet is a truly unique experience. Not only are the performances world-class, but the stunning architecture of the venues themselves is worth the visit. The stunning aesthetic of the Cincinnati Music Hall and the Aronoff Center for the Arts provide the perfect backdrop for these unforgettable performances.
Moreover, these institutions have a deep sense of community engagement, which encourages the development of young talent and creates opportunities for all to experience the arts. The Cincinnati Ballet Academy offers dance education to students of all ages, while the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's Education and Community Engagement programs provide access to music education, free concerts, and interactive workshops within the city.
In conclusion, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Ballet offer a world-class performing arts experience in the heart of Ohio. Whether you're a visitor or a lifelong Cincinnatian, these institutions, with their rich history, beautiful performances, and deep sense of community engagement, are a must-visit.
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Frequently asked questions
There are several indoor activities to enjoy in Cincinnati. You can explore the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, visit the Newport Aquarium, attend a performance at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, or experience virtual reality at The Escape Game.
Cincinnati has plenty of family-friendly indoor attractions. You can have fun at Kings Island amusement park, learn about science at the Cincinnati Museum Center, enjoy hands-on exhibits at the Cincinnati Children's Museum, and go bowling at Axis Alley.
Cincinnati offers quite a few indoor activities for adults. Visit the Taft Museum of Art to admire European paintings and decorative arts, try your luck at the Jack Casino, explore the Over-the-Rhine district to discover trendy bars and restaurants, or attend a concert at the Music Hall.