The Behringer Crawford Museum does an excellent job of displaying the history of Northern Kentucky and making it appealing for preschoolers and adults alike. You’ll find a fun activity just for little ones in each area; a kitchen, a train table, a tea party set or dress up clothes. The top floor showcases a two-story steamboat and a replica of the Roebling Suspension Bridge. Kids can play dress up and use the magnetic poles to fish from the back of the boat.
Explore the great outdoors! Multiple hikes are available for every fitness level (including stroller- and wheelchair-friendly paths). Look for frogs and turtles among other aquatic creatures in the ponds. You may also spot birds, deer, foxes, raccoons, snakes, owls and other wildlife. The Nature Playscape is an outdoor playground where kids can play in the creek, build forts, and explore nature in the enclosed area. Be sure to bring along a change of clothes and maybe even a pair of boots to make it easier to play in the water!
Highfield Discovery Garden is a treasure found inside of Glenwood Gardens for young kids (best for kids ages 3-8). There is a separate entrance fee to enter Highfield, but you will be rewarded with smiles, creative playtime and happy memories. Highfield is filled with brightly-colored gardens and scenery. You’ll find a 25-foot tall Discovery Tree, Grandma’s Scent Garden and The Wizard’s Garden (watch out for the dragon!). You can visit the Butterfly Garden and push the buttons to control the train in the Trolley Garden and see the fish in Frog and Toad’s Pond.
The petting zoo is the highlight of a trip to Jane’s Saddlebag. A Watusi cow, a pot-bellied pig, a llama, goats and a donkey are some of the animals you’ll be able to pet and interact with. Preschoolers love the children’s village which is a collection of small buildings including a chapel, a jail and a garage. Skip stones in the creek and let the kiddos roll down the big hill.
Tucked away in Loveland is an honest-to-goodness castle. Loveland Castle, or Chateau LaRoche, was built to resemble a medieval European castle. Give your little knights or princesses a sword or a princess dress and let them pretend they are in charge of the castle. There are twisted staircases to climb and beautiful flower gardens to explore. If little ones are easily scared, you might want to avoid the dungeon in the basement. This is a great adventure for both preschoolers and grown-ups alike!
This is a special, out-of-the-ordinary playground built within Colerain Park. It’s a wooden playground with zip-lines, multi-level climbing structures, curvy slides and more. Pack your lunch and enjoy it under the shelter. Pull out a Frisbee in order to keep the older kids happy, too.
Put the kiddos in their swimsuits and bring along a change of clothes. You’ll find jets shooting from the ground, animals spraying water, giant mushrooms of water falling down and more. Check out Parky’s Wet Playgrounds, Clippard Park, Home of the Brave Park, Pleasant Ridge Sprayground, Smale Riverfront Park and Washington Park to name a few. Don’t forget the towels!
For the train-loving preschooler, make sure you plan a visit to Tower A at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Head back towards the Omnimax Theater and climb the stairs up to Tower A. (Warning: it's not wheelchair- or stroller-friendly.) Tower A is the former control room of Union Terminal. Look out the large windows and see the trains transfer their cargo to the waiting trucks. Volunteers are knowledgeable and eager to answer questions. *Note: The Museum of Natural History & Science, the Cincinnati History Museum and the OMNIMAX Theater are temporarily closed for renovations. Please visit cincymuseum.org or call (513) 287-7000 for complete details regarding the closing of certain parts of the venue for renovation and construction.