With iconic scenery, family-friendly attractions, hands-on fun, tasty treats and more, it can be hard to decide what to do in our dynamic river region! This year is a bit different given the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still plenty ways to have a safe, enjoyable getaway in the Cincinnati region. Here are 15 memorable experiences to include during your next visit.

Walk across the Roebling Bridge

John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge
John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge

The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge is an icon in the Cincinnati region. It's the prototype of New York's Brooklyn Bridge and has been dubbed "the singing bridge" due to the way car tires hum when driving across it. Pedestrian lanes make it a picturesque way to get from Cincinnati to Northern Kentucky (and vice versa) on foot. Read more about the bridge here

Ride the Beast at Kings Island

Kings Island - The Beast
Kings Island - The Beast

Riding the world's longest wooden roller coaster is a rite of passage! And if you like those Kings Island thrills, try the record-breaking Banshee (the world's longest inverted roller coaster) or 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. NOW OPEN 

Touch a stingray at the Newport Aquarium

Stingray Hideaway at Newport Aquarium (photo: Newport Aquarium)
Stingray Hideaway at Newport Aquarium (photo: Newport Aquarium)

Touch a stingray. Or a shark. Visit with seahorses. Or walk across the Shark Bridge suspended over the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit. Kids and adults will be amazed at all the sea life on view at the Newport AquariumNow Open; All visitors must purchase tickets/schedule their visit online in advance.

Snap Instagram-worthy shots of the Cincinnati skyline from Northern Kentucky

View of Ohio River and Cincinnati skyline
View of Ohio River and Cincinnati skyline

Covington, Newport and Bellevue in Northern Kentucky all have amazing views of the Ohio River and Cincinnati skyline across the river. Go for the views and stay for lunch or dinner at neighboring restaurants. Find more spots for great views here.

Feed a giraffe at the Cincinnati Zoo

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (photo: David Bradbury)
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (photo: David Bradbury)

You can feed a giraffe at Giraffe Ridge, go eye-to-eye with hippos at Hippo Cove, take a train ride, get up close with gorillas and so much more at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical GardenNOW OPEN. Advanced reservations required.

Eat a cheese coney

Cheese Coney (photo: Cara Owsley)
Cheese Coney (photo: Cara Owsley)

Cincinnati-style chili is a way of life for locals. Whether you pour it over a hot dog for a coney or over spaghetti for a 3-way, you've got to try this regional favorite during your next visit. Find chili parlors here.

Watch the sunset aboard BB Riverboats

BB Riverboats(photo: A Imaging)
BB Riverboats(photo: A Imaging)
Book a sightseeing or dining cruise aboard BB Riverboats to get a view of the riverfront like none other. Admire the hillsides and sights along the shores of the Ohio River while enjoying the afternoon or evening breezes on the open-air decks. 

Drink a locally-crafted beer at the oldest bar in Cincinnati, Arnold’s Bar & Grill

Arnold's Bar & Grill
Arnold's Bar & Grill

Arnold's opened as a saloon more than 150 years ago and survived Prohibition by adding a kitchen to convert the saloon to a cafe. These days, the bar & grill is known for its local selection of craft beer, good food and popular courtyard for outdoor dining.

Shop at Findlay Market

Findlay Market
Findlay Market

Historic Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine is the perfect spot for families and couples to relax for a casual lunch, purchase fresh locally-sourced food, sip a craft beer in the biergarden, or enjoy a scoop of Dojo GelatoClick here to find out how to shop like a pro at Findlay Market.

Enjoy a black raspberry chip ice-cream cone from Graeter’s

Graeter's Ice Cream (photo: Wendy Pramik)
Graeter's Ice Cream (photo: Wendy Pramik)

It's hard to resist a scoop of creamy French-pot ice cream with huge chunks of chocolate chips. Black Raspberry Chip is a favorite at Graeter's, but don't miss the chance to try their seasonal flavors, too. Oh, and we also recommend the donuts.

Drink locally-made bourbon in Northern Kentucky

Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar
Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar

Tour The B-Line and enjoy a sip at bourbon distilleries and bourbon bars like New Riff Distilling, the northernmost stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour; Boone County Distilling, which makes authentic bourbon whiskey in the northern hills of Kentucky; and Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar, home to more than 300 domestic bourbons and whiskeys to choose from. Find a list of distilleries here

Visit the Cincinnati Art Museum via the new Art Climb

Art Climb (photo: Cincinnati Art Museum)
Art Climb (photo: Cincinnati Art Museum)

Ascend 450 feet from the base to the top at the Cincinnati Art Museum's new experience, Art Climb, and enjoy views of the city and surrounding Eden Park along the way. Plus, tour the museum for free to browse their collection of more than 67,000 objects spanning 6,000 years of art work from around the world. NOW OPEN Click here for more museums to explore.

Play "Heart and Soul" on the foot piano at Smale Riverfront Park

Smale Riverfront Park
Smale Riverfront Park

Kids and adults will enjoy pouncing on the giant foot piano at the popular Smale Riverfront Park. Plus, there's a carousel, slides, rock climbing wall, porch swings and so much more to explore while at the downtown park. Click here to explore more at the parkSUMMER 2020 UPDATES: Spraygrounds and Carol Ann's Carousel are closed. Playgrounds and other park features are open.

Spend a day at the Ark Encounter

Ark Encounter (photo: Answers in Genesis)
Ark Encounter (photo: Answers in Genesis)
Explore the architectural marvel, Ark Encounter, the largest timber frame structure in the world. Go inside to see the world-class, biblical-themed exhibits. Outdoors the family will love the Ararat Ridge Zoo and Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventures. 

Cheer on the Cincinnati Reds at Fountain Square

Fountain Square (photo: 3cdc)
Fountain Square (photo: 3cdc)

Watching a Cincinnati Reds baseball game is a tradition that dates back to 1869 when the Cincinnati Redlegs became America’s first professional baseball team. But this year due to the pandemic, we have to get creative with how we experience America’s favorite pastime. Fountain Square, in the heart of downtown, has plenty of space between their outdoor tables and their consession stand is open daily serving refreshments including alcoholic beverages. Bring some peanuts and grab some dinner from a nearby restaurant to enjoy while watching the Reds play on the big screen.

Updated by Julie Brock