BLINK® | Illuminated by ArtsWave

BLINK® (photo: CincinnatiUSA.com)
BLINK® (photo: CincinnatiUSA.com)

BLINK® is a four-day interactive light and art event spanning Cincinnati's urban core including Downtown Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine and, new this year, expanding into Covington, Kentucky! The inaugural event in 2017 featured more than 60 animated light shows projected onto buildings, murals, interactive art sculptures and other light-based displays. Through an immersive, inclusive and magical experience, BLINK® defines Cincinnati as a welcoming, innovative and creative future city. The event returns October 10-13, 2019. 
 

Cincinnati Reds 150th anniversary

Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park (photo: @real.mayhem)
Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park (photo: @real.mayhem)

Join the whole city as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the oldest professional team in baseball, the Cincinnati Reds! Multiple events will be taking place all season long at Great American Ball Park, the Reds Hall of Fame, and more! Events to look out for include 15 throwback uniforms being worn by players at select home games, more than 20 Mr. Redlegs benches around town in the different uniforms, and the renovated Reds Hall of Fame. 

Cincinnati Museum Center's new and improved exhibits

Dinosaur Hall at Cincinnati Museum Center (photo: Abby Erwin)
Dinosaur Hall at Cincinnati Museum Center (photo: Abby Erwin)

With the reopening of this classic Cincinnati work of art, the Cincinnati Museum Center is ready to explore. The Museum of Natural History & Science’s Dinosaur Hall includes new displays of six gigantic prehistoric creatures. Explore the late Jurassic period with the help of state-of-the-art interactive elements! Take a look at a vast collection of fossils to study the life and evolution of dinosaur biology. Also new to the Museum of Natural History & Science is the Science Interactives Gallery. In this hands-on STEM-inspired exhibit visitors can engage with pulley systems, watch clouds form, knock down targets with concentrate walls of air and even games of tug-of-war! 

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission with Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service selected Cincinnati Museum Center as the final stop on the national tour of this exhibit that features the Apollo 11 command module Columbia and more than 20 original Apollo 11-flown objects, models and videos, that tell about the historic journey of the Apollo 11 crew – Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. The exhibit runs September 28, 2019-February 17, 2020 and complements the center's Neil Armstrong Space Exploration Gallery, a new permanent exhibit celebrating 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.

Make sure to also stop by The Duke Energy Children’s Museum and the remastered Robert D. Lindner Family OMINMAX Theater, now featuring brand new, next-generation laser technology. 

Coney Island's Cannonball Cove

Coney Island (Photo: Coney Island)
Coney Island (Photo: Coney Island)

Coney Island's new dive pool is open for splashes all summer long.Located in Sunlite Water Adventure, 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.

FC Cincinnati joins MLS

FC Cincinnati crowd (photo: FC Cincinnat)
FC Cincinnati crowd (photo: FC Cincinnati)

New for the 2019 season, FC Cincinnati has been awarded a Major League Soccer expansion! With this comes a brand-new stadium slated to be ready for home matches for the 2021 season. Until then, the team will continue to play at Nippert Stadium on the campus of University of Cincinnati. Click here for more on FCC fan fun.
 

Kentucky's Edge

Prohibition Bourbon Bar at Newberry Bros. Coffee, part of The B-Line (photo: Jessica Cunningham)
Prohibition Bourbon Bar at Newberry Bros. Coffee, part of The B-Line (photo: Jessica Cunningham)

This brand-new festival takes place October 4-5, 2019, and is the place to be for bourbon lovers. Get a world-class bourbon education at conference sessions; let loose with free music festivals; bourbon pairings, tastings and tours; an artisans market; and more at venues throughout Northern Kentucky.
 

Kings Island's new rides and events

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

Joining the newest roller coaster, Mystic Timbers, Kings Island welcomes back a beloved favorite, the antique car rides. In the new Kings Mills Antique Autos family ride, guests board replica classic touring cars and take a leisurely drive around a scenic track equipped with a small rail to keep the car on the path. The ride is comparable to the original Les Taxis antique car ride, combining nostalgia with new enhancements.

Kings Mills Antique Autos is located in Coney Mall, across from the Juke Box Café and alongside The Racer roller coaster. The cars are 2/3 scale replicas of the 1911 Ford Model T; though all-new, they will retain the vintage feel of the original Les Taxis. The ride's name, as well as theming throughout the attraction, enhances the nostalgic experience for riders.

Start planning your 2020 visit to ride, Orion, the new giga coaster that will be the park's tallest, fastest and longest steel coaster!

And new this fall, HalloTween rounds out the Halloween experiences offered by the amusement park with activities geared toward teen ages and family-friendly versions of the Halloween Haunt attractions. (Halloween Haunt is intended for adults and The Great Pumpkin Fest is for little ones.)

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's Freshwater Falls

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

Inspired by the TV show by the same name, Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles Reeftown Adventure extends the footprint of the area between Frog Bog and Stingray Hideaway. Also new is Freshwater Falls, which provides a glimpse into what is within the cascading streams and waterfalls all over the world! Enjoy a flowing stream in the Congo that includes animals like the West African lungfish and the elephantnose fish. Kids can explore Coral Cave and learn about One Big Ocean and the animals that make their home there. Get lost inside this whimsical fun world of ocean exploration!
 

SkyStar Observation Wheel

Skystar(Photo: Mackenzie Frank)
Skystar(Photo: Mackenzie Frank)

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. After taking a spin on SkyStar, step into The Escape Game and test your wits during a 60-minute escape room adventure in which teams must work together to find clues and solve puzzles.
 

Ark Encounter expansions

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

Opened in 2016, 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 that will soon have a walk-through kangaroo and emu area.
 

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)
Northern Kentucky’s new bourbon tour is centered around four Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® Distilleries – New Riff Distilling, Boone County Distilling Co.The Old Pogue Distillery and Neeley Family Distillery – 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

Brewing Heritage Trail (photo: Brewing heritage trail)
Brewing Heritage Trail (photo: Brewing heritage trail)

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, and Hoppin' Vines

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