“Just be yourself, there is no one better.” ~ Taylor Swift
As the Swifties (Taylor Swift fans) start to take over Cincinnati for the upcoming concert, this interesting city in Ohio gives the perfect opportunity for travelers to explore the destination and discover a myriad of free attractions that it offers.
The city of Cincinnati has plenty to offer whether you’re here for the concert or simply looking for a fun weekend getaway. With this blog post today, we delve into the top 15 free things to do in Cincinnati that ensure you have a marvelous experience without having to spend a fortune.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
Table of Contents
15 Free things to do in Cincinnati
1. Discover the Beauty of Washington Park
First on our list of the best free things to do in Cincinnati is visiting the Washington Park, located in the heart of the city and famous as the delightful urban oasis.
The main features of the park include: majestic gardens, interactive fountains, a dog park and a children’s playground.
The park offers an opportunity to relax, stroll around and have a fun family escape from the bustling city. With the inviting ambiance and delighting amenities, Washington Park is a must-visit attraction in the city when you seek a moment of tranquility and want to be amidst the natural beauty.
2. Immerse Yourself in Art at the Contemporary Arts Center
A haven for art enthusiasts and inspiration seekers, the Contemporary Arts Center is the next among the most interesting free things to do in Cincinnati. You get to explore a wide and diverse range of though-provoking exhibitions showcasing masterpieces of both local as well as international artists.
The place is filled with inspiration, creativity, a sense of calmness and all other things that art is made up of. Lose yourself in the hall full of incredible art, let it speak to you, let it stir up your emotions and see how you look beyond the art and try to figure out the story behind these artistic expressions.
The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati offers a blend of ever-changing displays and vibrant atmosphere which is a must-have experience for all art lovers.
3. Stroll Through Smale Riverfront Park
Third on our list of the best free things to do in Cincinnati has to be this picturesque waterfront park which offers unimaginable views of the city skyline.
The skylines in the States are all gorgeous, and the Smale Riverfront Park offers one which should definitely be among the top rankers on that list – right beside cities like New York and more!
You can enjoy a family picnic by the river, stroll around along the walkable paths or relax over the swings as you explore the beautiful gardens.
Also, the place has plenty opportunities for bird watching and some high quality photographs with the breathtaking backdrop of the Ohio River.
The Park offers interactive water features like fountains and sprays which lets the visitors to cool off on hot days. These features offers fun and interactive experiences for all ages and include running through sprinklers, hopping over the water jets or simply getting refreshed mist.
4. Explore the Cincinnati Art Museum
Cincinnati is known to be one of the most artistic cities in Ohio and the United States. And the Cincinnati Art Museum is home to extensive collection that spans through at least a thousand year.
The museum offers free of charge admission which makes it come on our list of the best free things to do in Cincinnati today.
From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, the museum offers a diverse range of art forms including legendary paintings, sculptures, ceramics and more.
With free admission, exploring the Art Museum is not only an enriching experience but also a budget-friendly one as well.
Whether you appreciate classical forms or modern creations, this gem of a place offers a captivating experience for every art lover out there.
5. Wander Around the Carew Tower Observation Deck
For the next best free things to do in Cincinnati, head towards the Carew Tower Observation Deck.
Personally, I love looking at the skyline of a city. During my trip to the Elephanta Caves, while we were coming back towards the shore in Mumbai, I saw the magical sight of the sun seeming like a large golden ball at one side, and the mystical golden hour making the city’s skyline just like a scene from a beautiful movie.
The deck offers awe-inspiring and stunning views of the city from the 49th story. You can capture the magical sunset behind the skyscrapers and take memorable and insta-worthy photographs or admire at the marvelous architecture of the entire city from this vantage point.
Whether you are a local or a tourist, this observation deck has to be a must-visit place which lets to experience the world of Cincinnati at its very best – with a bird’s eye perspective.
6. Experience Nature at Eden Park
Nestled in the heart of Cincinnati, the Eden Park is another park on the list as the city is quiet famous for the immersive parks and gardens it has. Maybe one could even refer this city as a land of beautiful greens.
The Eden Park is another fascinating picnic spot for families on our list of the best free things to to in Cincinnati for this weekend maybe.
This park boasts the beautifully manicured gardens, the peaceful walks and picturesque lakes which offer a fantastic opportunity for families and loved ones to relax and lay down and just let it all be.
With lush greenery and magnificent garden area, a leisurely stroll around the park is an exciting thing to do while here which provides you with a peaceful retreat experience and a way to connect with the nature.
7. Visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Other than the gardens and the observation decks of the city, Cincinnati also offers a deep dive into its history with the Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
This sight offers travelers to delve into the story behind the fight for freedom with an educational and interactive museum offering a comprehensive understanding of the African American community.
Visiting the freedom center stands to be among the free things to do in Cincinnati because it showcases the stories of courage and freedom through powerful exhibits and interactive displays of individuals who risked their lives to seek freedom from slavery.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center offers a unique and profound educational experience highlighting why freedom and equality for all is and needs to be an important subject of discussion throughout the world.
8. Enjoy Live Music at Fountain Square
Music adds a spark of energy into your travel venture and people take along a road trip playlist with them for the journey, look for amazing pubs and live music shows and sights to experience it while exploring a new city or destination worldwide.
And the next free things to do in Cincinnati is enjoying a live music event at the Fountain Square.
The Fountain Square is a vibrant spot which hosts numerous free events throughout the year. From live musical performances to cultural fests and more, there is always something happening at this buzzy square.
9. Explore the Findlay Market
The Findlay Market is the oldest continuously operated public market in Ohio and gives out a vibrant ambiance making it a fun destination to drop by when you are looking for the popular free things to do in Cincinnati at night.
Filled with an array of fresh produce, local delicacies and handmade crafts, this place offers an interactive experience as you wander through the entire market.
Aromas of freshly baked breads and delicious local treats, colorful displays of fruits and veggies and the sound of so many friendly vendors asking you to try their offerings just lit up the entire place during the evening.
The Market has something to offer to all kinds of travelers from a shopping enthusiast to a food lover and more.
10. Take a Tour of the University of Cincinnati
When we look for free things to do in Cincinnati or any other city for that matter, we tend to find some experiences or attractions which one would normally miss out on if you are on a normal tour.
The University of Cincinnati is one of the hidden gem of a self-guided tour. With stunning architecture, lush green spaces, admirable campus and vibrant libraries, this place has its own charm and offers so much to see and do for visitors.
The self-guided tour of the campus introduces you to the rich history of the place while offering stunning views of the large campus full of buildings and libraries and whatnot.
You can explore the academic programs of the university and look into the many innovative research initiatives – which leave you inspired and impressed.
11. Discover History at the Taft Museum of Art
Being a city full of art and artists, Cincinnati has many museums dedicated to some outstanding artworks and the Taft Museum is one of the most popular one among them – as well as a popular one among the free things to do in Cincinnati for art lovers.
You get to explore the impressive art collection here as well, including the works of highly renowned artists and also get to delve deeper into the history of the Taft Family.
From the renowned paintings to the exquisite decorative artworks, each piece at the museum tells a different story of the past and makes one admire the intricate creativity and thoughtfulness of the artists of the past.
Whether you are an art lover, history buff or just an explorer, the visit to Taft Museum of Art will surely leave you speechless.
12. Wander Along the Roebling Suspension Bridge
Other than the art museums, another form of art can be seen and experienced when you visit the iconic Roebling Suspension Bridge in the city of Cincinnati.
A must-visit attraction for all kinds of travelers, this marvelous architecture offers breathtaking views of the Ohio River and the city at the same time.
You can appreciate the grandeur that the place offers as you walk through the pedestrian walkway and admire the city and the natural world around you.
Designed by John A. Roebling, this bridge is a combination of intricate design and stunning vistas which make it a perfect spot for a memorable time spent together with friends, families or your love.
13. Uncover the Beauty of Krohn Conservatory
The Krohn Conservatory gives you an escape into a world of vibrance and exotic plant life. It is basically a botanical garden which showcases a massive variety of plant species from different corners of the world.
13th on our list of the best free things to do in Cincinnati is this fascinating green sight in the city boasting different themed rooms and a sense of tranquility that the nature makes you feel.
Taking a leisurely stroll across the conservatory gets you access to marvel at the intricate details of the flora and to breathe in the fresh and sweet fragrance in the air. This botanical oasis is a haven of serenity and a delight for the eyes promising an awestruck experience for nature enthusiasts.
14. Explore the Cincinnati Public Library
If, like me, you are more inclined towards the world that books take you in, this place has to be in your list of free things to do in Cincinnati.
This stunning architectural gem of a library offers an extensive book collection and a few cozy spots that are perfect to spend hours in with your books and the world they create as you read them.
Other than the books, the sight also has beautiful aesthetic interiors and hosts several events and exhibitions throughout the year.
With the welcoming staff, cozy atmosphere and fascinating book collection, this place is a haven for book lovers and acts as a cultural hub for artists, writers and more.
15. Enjoy the Scenic Beauty of Mount Airy Forest
Last but not the least on our list of the most interesting free things to do in Cincinnati is to visit the Mount Airy Forest and experiencing the scenic beauty of this expansive green space.
This forest has it all: verdant hiking trails that wind through towering trees, picturesque picnic spots for a family vacay and beautiful lakes filled with serenity. Known to be the largest urban forest in Cincinnati, the Mount Airy Forest provides a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers while offering a respite from the buzzing city life.
So, whether you are on a family picnic looking for a natural spot or seeking a peaceful sight to relax in alone or with your partner, this forest has to be the your go-to destination.
Ohio is a place of tranquility blended together with the buzzing city life and so much in between and Cincinnati is a place that bursts out the most environment-friendly vibes for explorers of all types.
From exploring the majestic parks and museums to immersing oneself in the art culture of the place, there is something to do for free for everyone.
Whether it is the Swift Concert that brought you here or you decided this to be a family getaway, Cincinnati can easily be one of the most unforgettable travel venture for you.
Have you ever visited this place? Tell me in the comments below!
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