African Painted Pups at the Cincinnati Zoo

African Painted Dogs at Cincinnati Zoo (Photo: Liz Dufour)
African Painted Dogs at Cincinnati Zoo (Photo: Liz Dufour)

There are lots of new faces at the Cincinnati Zoo. This spring, for the first time, visitors will be able to see African painted dog Imara’s newest litter of 11. The species is one of the most endangered carnivores in Africa, with fewer than 5,000 wild dogs. Only 52 percent of painted dog pups survive, so a healthy litter like Imara’s is a boon for the species. The Zoo’s black rhino, Seyia, is also expecting her first calf this summer. And of course, don't miss a chance to see baby hippo Fiona in Hippo Cove!

Ark Encounter 

Ark Encounter
Ark Encounter

This life-sized model of Noah’s Ark opened in the summer of 2016, and since then the attraction has made some exciting additions: the Ararat Ridge Zoo (with camel and donkey rides and a petting zoo) and Screaming Eagle Zip Lines (an adventure park boasting 24 zip lines—one a 2,100 footer that’s among the longest in the Midwest—an aerial ropes course and four free-fall jumps). After a day of Ark Encounter activities, grab some Sidewinder Fries or Noah’s Chili and Cheese at Emzara’s Kitchen, a two-story casual eatery off the bow of the Ark. 

BLINK

BLINK
BLINK

BLINK is a four-day light and art event spanning 20 city blocks from Cincinnati’s The Banks to Findlay Market. The event will feature more than 70 animated light shows projected onto buildings, new street art murals, interactive art sculptures and other light-based displays. October 12-15, 2017.
 

Brewing Heritage Trail

Cincinnati Brewery Tours
Cincinnati Brewery Tours

Cincinnati was once a booming brewing center, with a per capita consumption of beer outpacing that of any other U.S. city. The Brewing Heritage Trail is a celebration of that heritage, an urban walking trail weaving through Cincinnati neighborhoods and past (and into and under) dozens of historic breweries, illustrated along the way with a mix of public art and digital experiences. Download the informative free smartphone app for augmented reality, interactive learning experiences and self-guided tours to further enhance the experience. Guided Cincinnati brewery tours available year-round, first segment opens early fall 2017; brewingheritagetrail.org

Mystic Timbers at Kings Island 

Mystic Timbers at Kings Island
Mystic Timbers at Kings Island

Kings Island has added its 16th roller coaster—Mystic Timbers, a 3,200-foot-long wooden coaster that weaves through the forest on the edge of the park and boasts 16 airtime hills. The amusement park is no stranger to epic wooden coasters: It’s home to the world’s longest, The Beast, which has earned recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records and American Coaster Enthusiasts. Also returning after a 12-year hiatus is Winterfest—a holiday-themed transformation of the park’s International Street. Watch for more details about Winterfest coming up.

RE(NEW)ED Celebration

Music Hall
Music Hall

RE(NEW)ED is a free community event produced by ArtsWave that celebrates the reopening of Music Hall, the state-of-the art, newly-renovated iconic home of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati May Festival. The celebration will feature more than 50 live performances by these performing arts organizations and others at multiple stages and venues, plus behind-the-scenes tours of Music Hall, hands-on experiences and tours of the brand-new Cincinnati Shakespeare Company venue and renovated Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. All events are free and open to the general public. October 7, 2017.

Star Wars and the Power of Costume at Cincinnati Museum Center

Star Wars and the Power of Costume at Cincinnati Museum Center. (Photo credit: 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.)
Star Wars and the Power of Costume at Cincinnati Museum Center. (Photo credit: 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.)

Calling all Star Wars fans: Cincinnati Museum Center’s newest exhibit, Star Wars and the Power of Costume, features more than 60 handcrafted costumes from the first seven Star Wars films, along with the latest installment Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s a deeper look at the creative process of the artists who worked to bring George Lucas’s fantastical world to life, whether it was the menacing black mask of Darth Vader, the gilded suit of C-3PO, the lavish royal gowns of Queen Amidala or the iconic bikini worn by Princess Leia when enslaved by Jabba the Hutt. Open through October 1, 2017.

Stingray Hideaway at Newport Aquarium

Stingray Hideaway at Newport Aquarium
Stingray Hideaway at Newport Aquarium

Newport Aquarium is open 365 days a year and showcases thousands of aquatic animals from around the world. This May, the attraction added a 17,000-gallon stingray touch pool where visitors can experience what it’s like to pet the majestic creatures as they glide through the water. The pool is set inside the inlet of a rocky Caribbean coast, so guests can also venture underneath the water’s surface to see the stingrays in an underwater viewing area.

By: Baihley Grandison & Amber Potter