top-15 spots for family-friendly fun

Whether you're passing through town or have made NKY the destination for your family vacation, we have put together a list of top-15 spots your family is sure to love.  What are you waiting for?!  Start exploring!

Ark Encounter

Ark Encounter is a full-sized Biblical replica of Noah's Ark.  Stretching more than 1.5 football fields in length and higher than a modern four-story building, the sheer size of the Ark will amaze visitors young and old!  Dozens of fascinating exhibits within this unique attraction will bring to life the biblical account of Noah's Ark.  Add to your fun with a visit to the petting zoo, experience the themed restaurant and shop in the gift shop.

Creation Museum

The Creation Museum brings the stories of the Bible to life in a state-of-the-art, 75,000 square foot museum.  Designed by a former Universal Studios exhibit director, the museum's admission includes a walk through of the museum, special effects theater, botanical gardens and petting zoo.  Ticket add-on options include a planetarium and zip on up to 20 zip lines on the Screaming Raptor Zip Line and Canopy Adventure Tours.

Newport Aquarium

While exploring Newport Aquarium's million gallons of fun, guests have the opportunity to touch a shark, play in the interactive frog bog and even pet a penguin during the Penguin Encounter. If you're daring, take a stroll across the Shark Bridge - the only suspension bridge in North America where guests can walk just inches above nearly two dozen sharks! The V-shaped rope bridge is 75-feet long and is suspended over the open water of the 385,000 gallon shark exhibit. Dive shows in the are exciting for the whole family as divers talk from underwater and don't forget a visit to Shark Ray Bay.

Newport on the Levee

Newport on the Levee, home of Newport Aquarium, is a urban entertainment and dining complex located on the bank of the Ohio River in Newport, Ky. with views of the Downtown Cincinnati skyline. Kick back, relax and enjoy the many experiences at Newport on the Levee including AMC Newport movie theater, GameWorks arcade games, bowling at Axis Alley, or satisfy your taste buds at any one of the delicious dining venues.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The Zoo’s 75 acres house more than 580 animal species (including the popular baby hippo, Fiona) and 3,000 plant varieties making it one of the largest zoo collections in the U.S.  Feed a giraffe or meet a new animal friend during an Animal Encounter at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden's Africa exhibit. Take the kids for a ride on the Safari Train or for a spin on the Conservation Carousel. Or send your senses into overdrive at the 4-D Theater featuring a cinematic experience that combines high-definition 3-D high projection with thrilling sensory effects. 

BB Riverboats

Take a cruise with BB Riverboats, a staple of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky riverfront for more than 30 years, and learn about the history of the river, take in a magnificent meal, or dance under the stars on an unbelievable journey you will never forget. BB Riverboats offers lunch, dinner and sightseeing cruises plus themed and specialty cruises so it's great for a family adventure or a romantic evening for two.

Florence Freedom Baseball

The Florence Freedom Professional Baseball team is a member of the independent Frontier League. Freedom games are tons of fun for the entire family and offer post-game bands, fireworks, giveaways, discounted tickets, food and drink specials and promotional theme nights. 

Coney Island & Sunlite Pool

Featuring Sunlite Water Adventure, classic rides, live shows, mini golf and more, Coney Island has all the makings of a full day of fun for the whole family.

World of Golf

World of Golf includes an 18-hole golf course, miniature golf, practice range, indoor range, golf simulator.

Full Throttle Indoor Karting

Full Throttle Indoor Karting is Cincinnati’s premier high-speed indoor go-kart track. Everyone from the novice to the professional racer will enjoy their state-of-the-art karts and racing at speeds up to 40mph.  Full Throttle has youth karts for anyone at least 8-years-old and 48” tall, and adult karts for ages 16 and up.

Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption

Originally opened as St. Mary's Church in 1837, the first Roman Catholic Church in Covington, by 1895 the St. Mary's Cathedral was nearly complete: the interior being modeled after the Abbey Church of St. Denis in Paris while the facade would mirror Notre Dame de Paris. Visitors are welcome to enjoy free self-guided tours (brochures available in multiple languages) plus a yearly concert series is offered free of charge. 

Big Bone Lick State Historic Site

Big Bone Lick is a unique state park where the prehistoric past is enshrined, containing the remains of some of America’s early animal inhabitants.  Once covered with swamps, the land that makes up Big Bone Lick had a combination of minerals and water that animals found difficult to resist.  The Big Bone Lick museum features exhibits that tell of the park’s momentous historic and prehistoric past. 

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center stands as a monument to freedom bringing to life the importance - and relevance - of struggles for freedom around the world, throughout history and today.  Through it's exhibits and programming, the Freedom Center offers an educational and inspiring experience for children and adults alike.

Behringer-Crawford Museum

This family-friendly museum celebrates the unique arts, heritage and culture of Northern Kentucky.  During your visit to Behringer-Crawford Museum, examine a mammoth fossil, take a ride through time with the beautifully restored 1892 streetcar “Kentucky,” activate the engines, lights and music of a miniature, mid-century community in the Faragher G-gauge train display and even watch a drive-in movie from the seat of a 1959 Buick Electra convertible. NaturePlay@BCM is an innovative outdoor play space for letting kids be kids -- running, jumping, climbing, swinging, using their imaginations, digging in the dirt and having quiet moments to look and observe. Music@BCM concerts are “the place to be on Thursday nights” during the summer, while the annual Holiday Toy Trains display is a child’s delight in winter. 

Smale Riverfront Park

Located on 45-acres along Cincinnati's downtown riverfront, Smale Park features include splash grounds and water play areas, playground, picnic area, Carol Ann's Carousel and more.

 

For more family-friendly attractions, explore the list below:

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