Kid-friendly Restaurants near Popular Cincinnati Attractions
If you’re traveling with kids this summer, you’ll find an amazing number of things to do in the Cincinnati region. Kings Island amusement park is on every family’s list, and you’ll need a whole day to have time for both the rides and the water park. Everyone knows the Cincinnati Zoo is a must-see family attraction, too, but even with a half day you may not be able to take in all the exhibits and shows. At either attraction, you’ll have plenty of choices for kid-friendly food to refuel when you need a break.
When we traveled with our kids to a new city, we usually preferred to do two or three different things each day rather than commit an entire day to one location. Focusing on one attraction for a couple hours and then moving on to something different kept everyone’s interest and allowed a little break in between stops. Regrouping in an air-conditioned car was always refreshing, and it wasn’t always the kids who needed a nap or a bite to eat before the next attraction.
Since Cincinnati is fairly compact, seeing a few of our most popular attractions in one day is easy to do. I have plenty of recommendations, but I’ve narrowed it down to a few family-friendly attractions. I tried to suggest places that are fun for the whole family and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Of course, I know you’ll need to eat between stops so I’ve also included some suggestions for locally-owned, reasonably-priced, kid-friendly restaurants near each attraction.
If you’re new to the area, be sure to check out the individual websites for hours, pricing, and directions. And if you’re a local, feel free to add your favorite family attractions and nearby restaurants in the comments below.
- Smale Riverfront Park and Carol Ann’s Carousel–Play in the fountains, explore a number of playgrounds, ride the Carousel, or rent a bike. Then hop on the Cincinnati Bell Connector at The Banks. Ride the 3.2 mile loop to Fountain Square where a short walk takes you to Sleepy Bee Cafe on Fourth Street. Great kids menu for breakfast, brunch, and lunch.
- Great American Ball Park and the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame Museum–Take in a game, but first visit the Hall of Fame. Interactive exhibits let kids learn from the pros. Then once inside the stadium, play whiffle ball in the Kroger Fan Zone or climb on the playset. After the game, visit nearby Taste of Belgium at The Banks for a Belgian waffle or a full meal.
- Cincinnati Art Museum–This FREE attraction in Eden Park deserves some attention. This summer you can see not only centuries-old Egyptian mummies, but also the contemporary “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” exhibit. Then visit the Rosenthal Education Center where kids can engage in hands-on art activities. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to the Mt. Adams Bar & Grill. Since 1941, this Mt. Adams institution has been serving up burgers, soups, and shareable plates that are perfect for families.
- Washington Park–Make the front yard of Cincinnati’s historic Music Hall your next play stop. Another great place to cool off in the fountains or play at the playground, the park is a focal point in the revitalized Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. In addition to the usual park attractions, you may discover an outdoor concert or a mini-festival taking place. Just a block away, you’ll find Revolution Rotisserie, known for its rotisserie chicken and serving some of the best mac and cheese in town. Or walk four blocks to the beloved Findlay Market where you’ll find foods from around the world and enough choices to satisfy the whole family.
- Cincinnati Museum Center–Five museums in one location and it happens to be in an historic Art Deco train station! Take in an Omnimax movie or explore the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. Don’t miss the Dinosaur Hall in the Museum of Natural History & Science. You’ll definitely be hungry after all these adventures so head to Camp Washington Chili for a Cincinnati favorite since 1940. Give Cincinnati chili a try as a 3-, 4-, or 5-way, or try a cheese coney. For the not-so-adventurous ones, the kids’ menu features hot dogs and grilled cheese, too.
You’ll find more Fun Things to Do in Cincinnati on the Cincinnati USA website. Whatever you do, don’t forget that the best way to get the flavor of a region, with or without kids, is to EAT LOCAL.