Rediscover These Recently Upgraded Local Family-focused Hangouts

Some of the city’s best kid spots have been seriously upgraded (and are seriously so much fun).

Photograph courtesy Blue Manatee

Blue Manatee
One of Cincinnati’s longest-running independent bookstores and a beloved spot for local parents, Blue Manatee closed its doors temporarily in January. But worry not! It has since reopened as a nonprofit that focuses on one-to-one book donations to improve literacy for children ages 4–8. So next time you visit Blue Manatee for story time or a craft party, you can feel good knowing that each book you buy for your little one provides a book to another avid reader-in-training.

Photograph courtesy Cincinnati Museum Center

Cincinnati Museum Center
The restoration project at Union Terminal is finally complete, and with the updated look come new attractions. The Museum of Natural History & Science has a Dinosaur Hall where children can see dinosaur fossils and learn through interactive play. The new Space Exploration Gallery gives visitors big and small opportunities to learn more about space exploration, including experiences in a 360-degree theater.

Photograph courtesy Reds Hall of Fame and Museum

Reds Hall of Fame and Museum
The Reds are celebrating their 150th anniversary, and that means special exhibits for fans of all ages. The Reds Hall of Fame and Museum has reopened after renovations and now boasts nine new galleries and a 360-degree interactive theater. The best part? Kids under 12 receive free admission to the new-and-improved Reds historical experience.

Photograph courtesy Cincinnati Zoo

Cincinnati Zoo
The Cincinnati Zoo’s More Home to Roam campaign is dedicated to ensuring its animals have first-rate habitats, as well as taking the visitor experience to the next level. In keeping with that mission, the zoo is planning a new nature-based play area in its improved Elephant Trek area, with completion slated for 2025. Kids will enjoy water-based play amid grass, trees, and streams, while the elephants have plenty of room to roam.

Photograph courtesy Newport Aquarium

Newport Aquarium
A cool new exhibit at the Newport Aquarium brings the magic of television to life. Jim Henson’s Splash & Bubbles Reeftown Adventure is now open, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy a tour with TV favorites Splash and Bubbles. The duo helps children explore the topics of ocean conservation through games and guidance from the Reeftown characters.

Photograph courtesy Summit Park

Summit Park
Summit Park in Blue Ash has taken play back to its roots—literally. The park’s new nature playscape uses natural elements like water, sticks, and sand to create an engaging outdoor experience. Kids can zipline across smoothed dirt pathways and play in forts made of timber. Families already flock to Summit’s colorful, futuristic playground, and they’re sure to love the nature playscape, too.

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