First time visitor or returning friend, experience memorable moments with these fun new activities.
New Family-Friendly Fun
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal
Under renovation since late 2016, November 17, 2018 is the anticipated public reopening of Union Terminal’s grand Rotunda, Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains, and the first phase of new permanent galleries: the Museum of Natural History & Science’s Dinosaur Hall and Cincinnati History Museum’s Public Landing.
Dinosaur Hall is a completely new feature that will display six towering prehistoric beasts. State-of-the-art interactive elements will help you experience the Late Jurassic like never before. Dinosaur Hall will utilize Cincinnati Museum Center’s globally-significant fossil collections to explore dinosaur evolution, ecology and biology.
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.
While you’re there, be sure to see all the newest faces at the Zoo including Winsol the aardvark, Kendi the black rhino, and fan favorite Fiona the hippo
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.
Be sure to also check out Stingray Hideaway, 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.
Skystar Observation Wheel
Open daily through December 2, 2018, take a ride on SkyStar at The Banks. This 150-foot observation wheel features climate-controlled, enclosed gondolas that give visitors a birds-eye view of the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky riverfront areas and the surrounding landscape.
Winterfest at Kings Island
brought back this wintertime family favorite in 2017 after a 12-year hiatus. Enjoy a festive winter wonderland including an ice skating rink, millions of sparkling lights, a 315-foot-tall Christmas tree, carolers, train rides, Santa's workshop and more at the amusement park.
New on the Arts Scene
Music Hall (photo: @retiro.photography)
Check out some of these new performances being held at Music Hall
, a National Historic Landmark that underwent an extensive renovation and reopened in Fall 2017.
This September at Aronoff Center for the Arts, Cincinnati Ballet’s annual Kaplan New Works Series includes four World Premieres: one by San Francisco Ballet’s own Myles Thatcher, another by Resident Choreographer Jennifer Archibald, and, for the first time, premieres by two Cincinnati Ballet Company members.
"Kaplan New Works Series" Cincinnati Ballet (photo: Peter Mueller)
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Make plans to also enjoy these theatrical premieres:
Fotofocus (photo: Ryan Elliott)
is the largest photography and lens-based biennial in America, and takes places every other fall in the Cincinnati region. While not new itself, FotoFocus Biennial welcomes new photography exhibits to more than 90 local museums and galleries for this year’s event. Some highlights include:
TWISTED at Taft Museum of Art
While visiting Taft Museum of Art, be sure to leave time to explore TWISTED, an interactive maze-like installation on the front lawn by Patrick Dougherty comprised of six tons of willow tree saplings twisted into whimsical, whirling shapes.
Cincinnati Art Museum Fabric of India
Also this fall, Cincinnati Art Museum presents the U.S. premiere of The Fabric of India
. Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, this exhibition is the first to explore the dynamic and multifaceted world of handmade textiles from India showcasing textiles from the fifteenth century to today.
New Culinary Experiences
Prohibition Resistance: Lager Tour
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 (many beginning and ending in a local bar or brewery tap room) are available year-round. New this fall, Haunted Brewery Tour
is an experience taking patrons on a trip back in time to meet actual colorful (and doomed!) characters in Cincinnati brewing history.
Eat & Drink at these New Hot Spots
3 Points Urban Brewery
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 this year: Agave & Rye
, Alexandria Brewing Company
, Blackbird Eatery
, Condado Tacos
, Crown Republic
, LouVino OTR
, Peppe Cuchina
, Sartre OTR
, S.W. Clyborne Provision & Spirits
, 3 Points Urban Brewery
, and Wiedemann Brewing Company
Written by: Baihley Grandison. Updates made by: Amber Potter, Julie Brock, and Emily Lloyd