Cincinnati Museum Center: Neil Armstrong Space Exploration Gallery & Maya: The Exhibition

Maya CMC (photo: Royal BC Museum)
Maya CMC (photo: Royal BC Museum)

Journey into space in the new permanent exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum CenterNeil Armstrong Space Exploration Gallery, which celebrates the legacy of the historic Apollo 11 mission. The gallery features interactive elements, original equipment and artifacts from the mission and an immersive theater component.

Maya: The Exhibition uncovers a sophisticated civilization buried in the heart of the rainforest. For the first time in the United States, the mysteries of the Maya come to life through hundreds of artifacts that tell us the stories of their inventions that continue to shape our daily lives. The exhibit is open March 14-September 7, 2020.

Cincinnati Reds: Ballpark additions

Mr. Redlegs spraying water at a Cincinnati Reds game (photo: CincinnatiUSA.com)
Mr. Redlegs at a Cincinnati Reds game (photo: CincinnatiUSA.com)

Cincinnati Reds and baseball fans alike can enjoy the new TriHealth Family Zone opening this year on the View Level, which includes an interactive space with appearances by Reds mascots, activities and special family-focused concessions. A second Pampers Nursing Suite and a TriHealth Sensory Room for fans with autism is also available. Bourbon drinkers should make way to the Press Club, the new bourbon-themed premium seating area that was previously reserved for working members of the media. 

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden: Hops craft beer garden & Roo Valley

MadTree Brewing (photo: MadTree Brewing)
MadTree Brewing (photo: MadTree Brewing)

In between visits with Fiona at Hippo Cove and swinging through Jungle Trails, stop by Hops, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden's new beer garden with a multi-tiered deck. Sip on a local brew from Fifty West, HighGrain, MadTree, Braxton and 3 Points; or enjoy something from the rotating national tap. Come spring 2020, the beer garden will have a great view of Roo Valley featuring a kangaroo walk-about (the zoo's first kangaroos!), a new penguin habitat and an adventure ropes course.

Coney Island: Cannonball Cove & Challenge Zone

Kids jumping off diving boards at Cannonball Cove at Coney Island (Photo: Coney Island)
Cannonball Cove at Coney Island (Photo: Coney Island)

Coney Island's new dive pool is open for splashes all summer long. Cannonball Cove features two 3-foot diving boards and one high dive with at over 9-feet tall with a dive depth of 12.9 feet.

New in 2020 is Challenge Zone, the largest Aquaglide pool obstacle course in the country. Obstacles include King of the Mountain (climb to the top, then slide on down), Freefall Extreme (a 10-foot-tall climbing wall connected to a slide), Foxtrot (a challenging balance beam) and more.

Florence Y'alls

Florence Y'alls (photo: Justine Krieg)
Florence Y'alls (photo: Justine Krieg)

Formerly knowns as the Florence Freedom, Northern Kentucky's independent Frontier League team has a new look and a new name: The Florence Y'alls, for 2020. Take the family to a game at the UC Health Stadium for a mix of nostalgic charm and competitive baseball.

Kings Island: Orion roller coaster

Eiffel Tower at Kings Island (photo: CincinnatiUSA.com)
Eiffel Tower at Kings Island (photo: CincinnatiUSA.com)

Calling all thrill seekers! Kings Island welcomes Orion, the new giga coaster that is the park's tallest, fastest and longest steel coaster! Riders plummet down an exhilarating 300-foot first drop, sending them on a high-speed journey over seven more hills and 5,321 feet of track at speeds up to 91 mph.

Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center

Holocaust and Humanity Center (photo: Drew Money)
Holocaust and Humanity Center (photo: Drew Money)

Located within the walls of historic Union Terminal, the exact station where many Holocaust survivors passed through Cincinnati to begin their new lives, The Holocaust and Humanity Center teaches lessons from the past to inspire action for the future in today’s society. Learn through storytelling, interactive experiences, and genuine artifacts the struggle and hardships individuals faced during one of the darkest times of human history, and see how individuals now are taking action to ensure equality and create positive change in our community. 

Newport Aquarium: Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels

Shark Tunnel at Newport Aquarium (photo: Newport Aquarium)
Shark Tunnel at Newport Aquarium (photo: Newport Aquarium)

This epic new exhibit anchors at Newport Aquarium in spring 2020. Discover the ruins of a long-ago sunken ship now home to hundreds of animals including mysterious eels, brightly colored fish and curious crustaceans as they thrive in this accidental reef.
 

Ark Encounter expansions

Ark Encounter playground (photo: Ark Encounter)
Ark Encounter playground (photo: Ark Encounter)

The Ark Encounter – a life-size recreation of Noah's Ark built to the specs shared in the Bible – has expanded its offerings to include a 2,500-seat auditorium, a new family play area, and a larger Ararat Ridge Zoo with a walk-through kangaroo and emu area. Kids ages 10 and under receive free admission to Ark Encounter (and Creation Museum) in 2020.
 

New Culinary Experiences

The B-Line

Bourbon Haus 1841, part of The B-Line (photo: Samuel Greenhill)
Bourbon Haus 1841, part of The B-Line (photo: Samuel Greenhill)
The B-Line, Northern Kentucky’s new bourbon tour is centered around five Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® Distilleries – New Riff Distilling, Boone County Distilling Co.The Old Pogue DistilleryNeeley Family Distillery and Second Sight Spirits – and also includes five bourbon-centric bars and five amazing restaurants. Visit two of each, get your Line Guide stamped, and then return the guide to claim your free swag.
 

Brewing Heritage Trail

Mural on the Brewing Heritage Trail (photo: Julie Brock)
Mural on the Brewing Heritage Trail (photo: Julie Brock)

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 history as 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 (many beginning and ending in a local bar or brewery tap room) are available year-round. Guided tours include Brunch, Beer & Breweries, Heritage & Hops, and the Cellarmen’s Tour to name a few. 
 

Eat & Drink at these New Hot Spots

Social OTR (photo: Erin Glass)
Social OTR (photo: Erin Glass)

The Cincinnati region continues to be a popular destination for foodies. Here are just some of the new restaurants, breweries, and bars that have opened in the past year: Wodka Bar OTR, Pendleton Parlor, Social OTR, Branch, Night Drop Bar, Libby's Southern Comfort, The Lonely Pine Steakhouse, Mikey's Late Night Slice with Oddfellows Liquour Bar, Sugarfire Smokehouse, Humble Monk Brewing Co., Holiday Spirits Bar with Forty Thieves, Hoppin' Vines and Fishbowl at the Banks

New Breweries

The Cincinnati region — known as the beer capital of the world before Prohibition shut down all the breweries — is well on its way to regaining that title with more than 60 breweries today. Here are a few of the newest venues that have joined the ranks: Dead Low BrewingCincy Brewing Co.Braxton Barrell HouseBig Ash Brewing and Highgrain Brewing. Cheers!

 
Written by Abby Davidson. Additional updates by: Amber Potter and Julie Brock.