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.

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. The trail will officially open on June 9th. Guided Cincinnati brewery tours are available year-round.

Cincinnati Art Museum

Terracota Army
Terracota Army

Masterpieces await at the Cincinnati Art Museum, including the newest exhibit Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China. The exhibition features approximately 120 indivdual objects dating from the Pre-Qin period to the Qin dynasty including terracotta figures of warriors, arms and armor, ritual bronze vessels, works in gold and silver, jade ornaments, precious jewelry, and ceramics. The exhibit will be on display from April 20th until August 12th.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Cincinnati Zoo (photo: Lisa Hubbard)
Cincinnati Zoo (photo: Lisa Hubbard)

Celebrate the newest arrivals at the zoo in May with Zoo Babies. There are lots of new faces at the Cincinnati Zoo including Winsol the aardvark, Kendi the black rhino, and fan favorite Fiona the hippo. 

Cincinnati Zoo (photo: Lisa Hubbard)
Cincinnati Zoo (photo: Lisa Hubbard)

Visitors to Gorilla World have the opportunity to get up close with all 11 gorillas at the new indoor habitat. The floor-to-ceiling viewing glass allows for great photo opportunities and the chance to watch the gorillas play and explore. The outdoor portion of Gorilla World also has some new improvements, including a more energy-efficient stream and waterfall, random rolling hills, and new landscaping.

Coney Island

SkyWheel at Coney Island
SkyWheel at Coney Island

A new ride will roll into Coney Island this summer, the SkyWheel! Passengers will get a one-of-a-kind view from 155 feet above the Ohio River, both day and night. The SkyWheel will be spinning from May 26th until July 8th and tickets are $5.

Music Hall

Music Hall
Music Hall

Be sure to plan to visit to Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark that underwent an extensive renovation and reopened in Fall 2017. Official tours of backstage and beyond are scheduled through January. Visitors can also get a firsthand look and listen of the venue during Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, May Festival, and some Cincinnati Ballet performances.

Another Brick in the Wall (photo: Yves Renaud, Opera de Montreal)
Another Brick in the Wall (photo: Yves Renaud, Opera de Montreal)
This July, The Cincinnati Opera will present the U.S. premiere of Another Brick in the Wall, a powerful new opera based on Pink Floyd's The Wall.

MusicNow Homecoming Festival

Smale Riverfront Park (photo: Cincinnati Park Board)
Smale Riverfront Park (photo: Cincinnati Park Board)

Hosted by members of the band The National, the MusicNow Homecoming Festival will be held at Smale Riverfront Park on April 28 & 29, 2018. The festival will feature a variety of world-class contemporary classical, electronica, folk, and alternative rock concerts, with special exhibitions and talks throughout the festival weekend. Headliners include The National, Father John Misty, Feist, Future Islands, Lord Huron, The Breeders, Moses Sumney, Julien Baker, Alvvays, and Big Thief.

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.

Newport Aquarium

Stingray Hideaway at Newport Aquarium
Stingray Hideaway at Newport Aquarium

Visit the Newport Aquarium to meet the mysterious Giant Pacific Octopus, Moon Jellyfish and Japanese Spider Crabs who dwell along The Ring of Fire where volcanoes and deep ocean trenches line the Pacific Ocean. The exhibit features three zones that focus on each of the species and special light and sound effects will transport visitors to the depths of the ocean where these shape-shifting and color-changing creatures make their home. 

Be sure to also check out Stingray Hideaway, 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.

New Places to Eat & Drink

Boone County Distilling
Boone County Distilling

The Cincinnati region continues to be a hot destination for foodies. Don't miss these new restaurants and bars that have popped up in the past year:

West Side Brewing
Court Street Lobster Bar 
Buzzed Bull Creamery 
Grand Central Delicatessen 
Bauer European Farm Kitchen 
Boone County Distilling Company 
Poke Hut 
Taft's Brewing Co. Brewpourium 
Sartre OTR 
Commonwealth Bistro

Written by: Baihley Grandison. Updates made by: Amber Potter, Julie Brock, and Emily Lloyd