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Play Hooky in Cincinnati


Revised July 24, 2020

For many of us, this year’s vacation was a dud. COVID-19 put the whammy on any plans that we had. Now with the end of summer already approaching and talk of the kids staying home AGAIN from school to learn remotely, it’s time to just forget about everything! Just sneak away for a day and play hooky!

Of course, our first recommendation for a special day off would be one of our Cincinnati Food Tours. We try to offer at least two different public tour options each week, and we fit private group tours in wherever we can. You still have plenty of time to get your family together and book your tour. In fact, some of our favorite tours (and photo opportunities) happen when kids and parents or grandparents experience Findlay Market together. These days we’re being extra careful. Merchants meet us outside their shops, and we gather our samples for a Biergarten picnic. Except when we’re seated and eating, we wear masks. And we stay close at heart but 6′ apart!

As you might understand, I’d rather not take a food tour myself when I take a day off. However, I still like to do things in our Cincinnati region that add to my knowledge base. And when I top off the experience at a local restaurant or bar, I feel like I’ve taken a mini-vacation.

Inspired, but unsure of where to start? To help, I’ve done some serious testing and come up with some tried and true ways to spend the day the next time you play hooky in the Cincinnati area.

  1. Visit the Reds Hall of Fame. It’s open by reservation and fun for kids of all ages. After your visit, pick up a bite to eat from one of the nearby restaurants and stroll down to The Banks to enjoy a picnic at Smale Riverfront Park.
  2. Explore the Cincinnati Art Museum. But first do the Art Climb for a good workout and another great view of the city. 
  3. Stop in at New Riff Distillery right across the river in Newport, KY. Then enjoy a walk along the riverfront at George Rogers Clark Park in nearby Covington, KY. The Cincinnati skyline has never looked better than it does right now from the banks of Northern Kentucky. And there are plenty of restaurant options in NKY!                               
  4. Go to the world-famous Cincinnati Zoo. (Open with timed reservations.) After saying hello to Fiona the Hippo, take a short drive down Vine Street to the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Relax at Skeleton Root with a glass of wine in an historic warehouse turned urban winery.
  5. Working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Get your colleagues together, and go on a team building scavenger hunt with Let’s Roam Team Building Cincinnati. They will customize your experience with a personal treasure map. Include office trivia and quips to humor your team. Additionally, treat your coworkers to a refreshing drink or two at your favorite pub. A dedicated event manager takes care of all the details and tasks. Build friendships and savor your inside jokes in this charming scavenger hunt. The final treasure could be anything, but the real treasure is in your team.
  6. And finally, if you can’t take a walking, tasting, cultural tour of historic Findlay Market, make sure to at least drop by for shopping or lunch. In 2019, Newsweek recognized Cincinnati’s favorite landmark as one of the Top 5 Food Markets in the World!