“Baby, if you ever wondered..” things you can do in Cincinnati for free (or nearly free)

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I loved “WKRP in Cincinnati”.  As a young kid, I had this fantasy of visiting Cincinnati and meeting Venus Flytrap, Mr. Carlsen, Johnny Fever, or even better Bailey and Jennifer.  Even when I finally got to visit the “Queen City”  as a middle-aged adult, part of me was still disappointed not to see them.  That is the power of fantasy.

The reality though is you can still have a wonderful time in Cincinnati and visiting the “Queen City” shouldn’t cost you a King’s ransom. There is so much to do and a lot of things you can do for almost free.  Here are my top choices.


Cincinnati shines like a diamonds against onyx Ohio river

Ride the belle connector 

Cincinnati’s belle Connector light rail connects you with many of the downtown sights for just 2.00 for an all-day pass.  Several of the sights listed here are all connectable by the connector including the music hall, fountain square, Smale Park, Finlay market, the Carew Tower and the riverfront bridges. Only a few sights on the list are out of range. The connector will save you a lot of extra parking fees and time in traffic and is clean and very reliable.

Get your bearings at Fountain Squarecinn1

In many ways the heart of Cincinnati, fountain square is a popular meeting area for visitors and locals alike. The fountain is featured in the opening credits to “WKRP”. The fountain is called the Tyler Davidson memorial fountain and was a gift from wealthy local businessman Henry Probosco to the people of Cincinnati in memory of his brother in law and business partner.

Check out the view from the Carew Towercinn5

The second tallest building in the city and located next to fountain square, the Carew Tower has an observation deck located on its 49th floor. The admission is 4$ and the view enables you to see most of the city as well as the Ohio River and suburban Kentucky.

Check out some amazing architecture



Downtown Cincinnati has some marvelous architecture such as the city hall (right) and the music hall. There are also restaurants that feature food from all over the world and Lytle Park a lovely patch of flowers and greenery which affords a respite from the fast-paced atmosphere of the city center.

Smale Riverfront Park

Located so close to downtown Smale Park even serves as a lunchtime getaway for many nine to fivers the park has a labyrinth and a walk on keyboard similar to the one in “Big”

Cross the mighty Ohio River  on the Purple people and Roebling Bridges



Two of Cincinnati’s most iconic bridges are located almost next to each other. The Purple people bridge is a pedestrian bridge that actually marks the state line between Ohio and Kentucky. The Roebling bridge was designed by the same person who designed the Brooklyn Bridge and was at the time of its completion, the world’s longest.  The bridge has a pedestrian and automotive lane.

Have a beer and people watch at Findlay Marketcinn7

Heading back north from the river we are at Findlay Market. Findlay Market is a great place to shop for fresh meats and produce and also to relax with a drink. The Market is partially covered so you are able to shop all year although the farmer’s market is seasonal.  In May through October, the market has a large Biergarten.

Admire the butterflies at Krohn Conservatorycinn8

Krohn Conservatory contains over 3,500 species of plants from throughout the world. Built in 1933 in art deco style the glass conservatory contains plants and an assortment of butterflies. on permanent display are an interior rainforest and a nice collection of bonsai trees. Admission is 4$ for adults and 2$ for children.

Get some culture at the Cincinnati  Art Museumcinpp.png

Pinocchio welcomes visitors to the Cincinnati art museum. The CAM has a great collection of art from all major time periods and features one of the largest collections of antique musical instruments. This spring and summer the museum will host a collection of the terracotta warriors from Xian China. The museum is free and well worth the visit.

While not in the free or nearly category I should mention Cincinnati has the Underground Railroad Museum which honors the brave men and women who escaped the south during the days of slavery and also those who risked their lives to help them.  You can also find the ever popular Sign Museum which houses period neon signs and is a lot of fun. Both are about 15$ for adults but worth visiting.

Well, that’s the list. What do think? your feedback is always encouraged and welcome.




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