Passionate About Cincinnati
and the Moms Who Live Here

A Cincinnati Staycation: The Outdoorsy Family {Series}

Staycations are amazing for several reasons. Sometimes you just can’t afford the big fancy vacation. Sometimes you just don’t want that added stress. And sometimes, it is just downright more relaxing to take some time off without leaving home. And lucky for us, Cincinnati is an incredible city for staycation planning. In this series, the Cincinnati Moms Blog team is giving you some excellent suggestions to help you plan your staycation. Feel free to follow the themes or mix and match between them! And as always, feel free to share your own suggestions and ideas in the comments.


A Cincinnati Staycation for the Outdoorsy Family:

DAY ONE:: Start the week off right with a day dedicated to being active in nature. We suggest one of the following locations.

  • The Cincinnati Nature Center. At the nature center in Milford, you can tackle some amazing trails for just about every skill age and skill level (there is even a wheelchair friendly trail). While there, you can also check out the Playscape and enjoy a nature scavenger hunt to see if you can spot turtles, frogs, fish, butterflies and more. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in one of their beautiful picnic spaces and make a full day of it. We also suggest bringing extra clothing if you plan to let the kids get muddy or wet… which why wouldn’t you?
  • Gorman Heritage Farm. This is a working farm that provides it’s visitors with the chance to get their hands dirty. There are gardens, trails and animals included in the experience and the landscape is simply beautiful. They have a sunflower festival every fall that is worth checking out as well.
  • HFDGGreatParksorg

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    Highfield Discovery Garden. This is a great option for those of you who love being outside, but have younger kids. Go early for the educational programming and then stay to enjoy the whimsical play area. There are also trails surrounding the smaller garden which are great for hunting down fairy house to build or to try your hand at geocaching. Read more HERE.

DAY TWO:: Get Physical. Do something different that will get the whole family active and involved. These are also activities that we don’t always think of when planning family outings, which makes them perfect options for a staycation.

  • Rent a Surrey at Serpentine Wall. Rates are reasonable and there are several wheeled options to keep everyone in the family happy. So if group riding isn’t your think and you have some independents on your hands, you can always rent a bike or coupe instead of the surrey. What a great way to get outside and see this amazing city of ours from a different point of view!
  • Zipline.  Definitely not something you get the chance to do every day. Exciting, adventurous and taking advantage of the outdoors are sure to create some great family memories.
  • Raptor’s Nest Ropes Course. There are ziplines here too, but the obstacle courses are a great way to challenge yourselves as individuals and to build teamwork as a family.

DAY THREE:: Take to the water. A mid week break to get wet, sounds like a great break in the action to us!

  • Go Canoeing. An entire day floating and swimming on the Little Miami is the stuff summers are made of.
  • Paddleboats. Sharon Woods and Winton Woods are great options in the Cincinnati area.
  • Visit a Splash Pad. For some great options, check out our Splash Park Round Up.

DAY FOUR:: Keep it simple. Even the best vacations need some built in down time.

  • Picnic at a Park. Some of our favorite for picnics and play are Juilf’s Park on the East Side. Fernbank on the West Side. Summit Park up North, Washington Park in the city, and Tower Park in NKY.
  • Take a Family Walk or Bike Ride. You can head to a location park or path to do this. (Five Mile Trail, Lunken Airport, Winton Woods… to name a few.) Or you can keep it really simple and scout out a path through your own neighborhood. If you can find a way to end up at an ice cream shop, that would be even better!
  • Ride the Ducks. Hit the streets and the water to learn about Cincinnati, while being silly as a family. The tours are fun and unique. Definitely not something you do every day.

DAY FIVE:: Enjoy the Evening. These suggestions are a great way to bring a week of fun outside activity to a relaxing close.

  • FirepitBackyard Camping. Set up a tent in the backyard and camp out close to home. Add a fire in the fire pit and the making of s’mores for a simply fun night as a family.
  • Catch Fireflies. Head out to a local park or even just in your own backyard to catch some of the flickering bugs that remind us all of childhood. Basic bug catchers can be found at the dollar store or in the dollar spot at Target. Or you can make your own by poking holes in some tupperware.
  • Star Gaze. Hit up the library earlier in the day to check out some books on stars. Read them before heading outside and talk about how the stars form pictures. Spread out a blanket and put on some music and lay together as a family, seeing what shapes you can find in the sky – real or made up.

For more Cincinnati Staycation suggestions, click HERE.

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