As every good Midwesterner knows, it’s important—vital, even—to make the most of summertime weather. The very most. As most as possible. Living in a locale with four seasons is delightful, but turquoise blue skies and cotton candy clouds make June, July, and August a little sweeter.
To help you take advantage of the sweetness with your sweetheart, we compiled a list of some favorite summertime date spots.
Beers & Bikes
Alisha Page, of Liberty Township, bikes weekly, but she swears this path is doable for novices (her 8-year-old twins have even managed): Start at Rentschler Forest MetroPark, then follow the Great Miami River Trail until just about Municipal Brew Works. Google Maps says it should take you about 25 minutes to bike the just-shy-of 5 miles.
Once you’re in downtown Hamilton, there’s plenty to do, too. Page recommends the Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area (better known as DORA, where you can purchase a to-go drink and walk around the district); Marcum Park; and, located in Marcum, Hamilton Flea, a monthly, curated market with urban artisans, food trucks, and craft beer. (Rentschler, 5701 Reigart Rd., Fairfield Township; Municipal Brew Works, 20 High St., Hamilton)
A hidden gem in Eden Park, Krohn Conservatory boasts a fern house, a palm house, a desert house, an orchid house, and butterflies in free flight (until September 6). After taking in the flora, stroll around Mirror Lake or drive up to the overlook for a spectacular view of downtown and the Ohio River. (1501 Eden Park Dr., Mt. Adams)
The Roll of the Dice Date
Nicole Zistler, who’s lived in southwest Ohio for most of her life, call this one of the best dates she ever went on with her husband:
Step 1: Hop on the Cincinnati Bell Connector (find a route map here). Bring dice.
Step 2: Roll a die. Get a 1? Get off at the next stop. Get a 2? Get off in two stops. A 3? In three stops, and so forth.
Step 3: This is where it’s helpful to have a bit of knowledge about downtown: Pick a direction where you’ll find stuff to do. Head that way. Have two directions to choose from? Assign one to an even roll of the dice and the other to an odd roll.
Step 4: When you get to an intersection, roll two dice. The first die will tell you which direction to go (left if you roll a 1 or 2, straight with a 3 or 4, right for a 5 or 6) and the second will tell you how many buildings to pass. Stick with it until you find something to do.
Zistler’s pro tip? “Keep the dice in a small Tupperware container so you can see them but not drop them.”
Located in the smack-dab center of Blue Ash, Summit Park has beautiful views, pond fishing and four on-site restaurants. The park is one of the highest points in Hamilton County; and from the Observation Tower, visitors can see downtown Cincinnati, the Eiffel Tower at in Kings Island in Mason, Mt. Rumpke in Colerain Township, and West Chester’s Top Golf. (4335 Glendale Milford Rd., Blue Ash)
Yes, we’re suggesting you go to a grocery store for a date. Wander the aisles, find something new to try, cart it home, and dine al fresco in the backyard.
As anyone who’s been to Jungle Jim’s International Market knows, however, it’s much more than a grocery store. A number of the attractions are currently closed due to COVID, but events are slowly opening back up. Pint Nights, where area breweries provide samples, have started up again, from 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays at the Tasting Bar (Fairfield location) and Paradise Pavilion (Eastgate location). (5440 Dixie Hwy., Fairfield; 4450 Eastgate South Dr., Union Township)