Your Official End-of-Summer Cincinnati Bucket List

Before the PSLs invade your social timelines, make the most of the dog days of summer, Cincinnati-style.
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School’s back in session, the sun’s setting a little earlier each evening, and pumpkin-flavored everything has begun to line the shelves. Enjoy as much warm-weather fun as you can stand before summer unofficially wraps up on Labor Day—and officially does so Sept. 22. That leaves you with about a month to pack in the last of summer’s shine.

Here are some ways to get the most out of it.

Photograph courtesy ArtsWave

Tour the city’s outdoor murals

ArtWorks hosts a range of mural tours, depending how you’d like to travel and learn. Private walking tour? Check. Mural presentations? Got it. A 15-person group mural tour on a pedal wagon? You bet. Or art-goers can forego the guide person entirely and download ArtWork’s free self-guided mural map. Select a small square of the city or go big, starting at McMicken Avenue down south to Freedom Way, as far west as Central Parkway and over east to Pendleton Street.

Photograph courtesy Coney Island

Ride a paddle boat at Coney Island

Between the pools, water slides, mini-golf and a floating obstacle course, there’s plenty to get in before summer’s end at Coney Island. But we especially love the Storybook Paddle Boats, included with admission to Sunlight Water Adventure. Select a 5-foot-tall swan or dragon as your ark and enjoy your paddle about the picturesque pond. 6201 Kellogg Ave., Anderson Township

Pack a picnic

Jam your basket full of your favorite snacks—Italian subs? grown up charcuterie? picked-up-on-the-drive Skyline?—and head to a favorite spot with an old blanket and a small Bluetooth speaker (volume low­—no one wants to be those people). We’ll suggest Mt. Lookout’s Frederick H. Alms Memorial Park, a park on a hill with a great view of the Ohio River. 710 Tusculum Ave., East End

Photograph by Jaclyn Youhana Garver

Celebrate KI’s 50 years

Did you know? Have you heard? 2022 is Kings Island’s 50th anniversary. Yes, you’ve likely been clobbered over the head with that information all summer, but that’s not to say the park isn’t a perfect part of a this season’s farewell. Final ride on the Beast? Final blue ice cream cone? Final log flume or merry-go-round? It’s all a perfect so long to summer. 6300 Kings Island Dr., Mason

Meet Fritz

If you haven’t been to the Cincinnati Zoo yet this summer, now’s the perfect time to go: The sun still sets late, the weather is glorious, and they’ve just welcomed Fiona’s baby brother, Fritz the hippo, born August 3. Fritz and his mom, Bibi, will take turns rotating with Fiona and their dad, Tucker, into Hippo Cove, according to the zoo. Visitors will see one of the two duos until Fiona and Tucker are ready to share a space with the new baby. 3400 Vine St., Avondale

Photograph courtesy Bishop's Quarter

Check out a rooftop bar

Al fresco dining and drinking is loved the world over, but it can feel especially sweet in the Midwest, when the heat is fleeing and the cold months linger too long. Check out Bishop’s Quarter, a three-level, New Orleans-inspired bar with a craft beer/fine wine/bourbon focus. The top bar level, a.k.a. The Landing, is where you’ll find the beer—and the best view. 212 W. Loveland Ave., Loveland

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