Cincinnati in the Winter: 10 Things We Learned

The first thing I had to learn about this city was how to spell it--Cin-cin-nati.

I kept wanting to write Cinncinatti. Or Cinncinnati.

Cincy, what the city is affectionately known as and much easier to spell, is a family destination that was wholly new to us. We've never been. We didn't even know what there was to do. We went in with no expectations, and discovered we were the only ones on the planet that didn't know how fun Cincinnati really is.

Things to do in Cincinnati: ThoseCrazyNelsons, photo cred: Samantha Nelson Photography 

Things to do in Cincinnati: ThoseCrazyNelsons, photo cred: Samantha Nelson Photography 

Here are 9 other things we learned about Cincy:

2. If you're traveling from the South, like Florida, Alabama, Georgia or Tennessee, and want to see a life-sized, built to scale version of Noah's Ark, visit The Ark Encounter. It's on your way!

3. Cincinnati Cyclones hockey fans like to stack beer cans in a tall tower against the glass during game-time. So don't be alarmed by the tiny beer pyramids lining the glass around the ice; just watch and wait for the players to slam each other against the glass. When the pyramids tumble, cheer loudly and you'll fit right in with the locals.

Union Terminal, Cincinnati, Samantha Nelson Photography

Union Terminal, Cincinnati, Samantha Nelson Photography

4. Union Terminal, which houses many of Cincinnati's prestigious museums is being restored and renovated. As of February 2017, The Museum of Natural History and Science, The Cincinnati History Museum,  and the OMNIMAX Theater were all closed due to construction. However, The Children's Museum is still open and worth the visit. Just be sure to read the website before your next visit to stay up-to-date on the construction's progress and any pertinent closures.

5. Carew Tower Observation deck is on the 49th floor of the Carew Tower; it's one of the least expensive tourist attractions in downtown! The cost for adults is under $5 , and children are even less. Be sure you have cash on hand when you visit; it's cash only up there!

Carew Observation Deck, Cincinnati, Samantha Nelson Photography

Carew Observation Deck, Cincinnati, Samantha Nelson Photography

6. Parking prices in the city are expensive! Finding safe parking garages that have inexpensive overnight rates is a must, especially if you're staying directly downtown. The parking lot near 6th and Elm is only $10 a night, compared to my hotel's parking rate of $17 a night, and was well lit and safe. Drop your luggage off at your room after check-in, then park your car and leave it at this garage, even if it's a few blocks away. You won't need it. Public transportation is great.

7. Mount Adams is a quaint and popular neighborhood on a hill adjacent to downtown. It overlooks the city and the river, with houses on windy, steep hills that make you feel like you were just transported to a street in San Francisco. Restaurants, bars, parks, and a monastery are located here, as well as 8. the Cincinnati Art Museum, which is free--all the time. 

Things to do in Cincinnati, Samantha Nelson Photography

Things to do in Cincinnati, Samantha Nelson Photography

9. Newport Aquarium is not really in Cincinnati, but directly across the river from it in Newport, Kentucky. Still, if you visit, count this as one of Cincinnati's main family attractions.

10. Some winter days can be mild. When we planned a winter vacay in Cincy, we expected snow and freezing conditions. We ended up with 70-degree weather the entire time we were there. Was it a fluke? Probably. But it's also proof that you should consider a trip up to Cincy, even in the winter. And if you go...bring your winter coat and your shorts, just in case.

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