Top 12 Things To Do In Cincinnati This Weekend (Aug. 20-22)

From a free festival focused on health and wellness — and live music — to the Midwest Black Family Reunion and an immersive digital Vincent van Gogh show, here's what's happening this weekend.

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Jewel - Photo: Game Day PR
Photo: Game Day PR

From a free festival focused on health and wellness — and live music — to the Midwest Black Family Reunion and an immersive digital Vincent van Gogh show, here's what's happening this weekend.


"Little Shop of Horrors" - Photo: Mikki Schaffner
Photo: Mikki Schaffner
"Little Shop of Horrors"

The Carnegie's Little Shop of Horrors

The horror-flick-inspired cartoonish musical Little Shop of Horrors, with a Motown-style score by Alan Menken, has been entertaining audiences for three decades. The story of a nerdy guy, a spacey gal and Audrey II, a bloodthirsty exotic plant, is a great choice for a summer musical — especially after a year-and-a-half of almost no live theater on Cincinnati stages. For more than a decade, The Carnegie in Covington has presented late-summer musicals, typically of the frothy, fun style. Staged and choreographed by The Carnegie’s Maggie Perrino, the production offers a spirited cast with fine voices. Read CityBeat's review of the production.8 p.m. Aug. 20 and 21; 6 p.m. Aug. 22. $32 adults; $29 Carnegie members; $25 students. Covington Plaza Amphitheater, 1 Madison Ave., Covington,

The Wellness Experience with Jewel

Singer/songwriter Jewel and local grocery mega-giant Kroger are once again bringing their Wellness Experience to Cincinnati. This year's Wellness Experience will take place Aug. 20-21 outdoors at The Banks and will include "live music, celebrity-led workouts and cooking demonstrations, mental wellness talks, beauty demonstrations, panel discussions, a food expo and family-friendly activities," per a release. The Wellness Experience kicks off on Friday night with a free concert featuring Cincinnati's Blessid Union of Souls and Quinn XCII. Aug. 20-21. The events themselves are free to attend, and guests can get a wristband for food samples by either donating one non-perishable Kroger brand, Simple Truth or Private Selection item or paying $5. RSVP at The Banks, Downtown, 

Western & Southern Open

The Western & Southern Open is back at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. The oldest tennis tournament to be played in its original city, the first ball to hit the court in the W&S Open (originally the Cincinnati Masters) was in 1899, when the matches were held at the current-day site of Xavier University. Today, the Mason-based open features more than a week's worth of men’s and women’s tennis matches, with players competing for $5 million and $2.8 million in prize money, respectively. And if you don't care about tennis, don't worry: There's plenty of food, drink and entertainment to keep you busy. Through Aug. 22. Single-session tickets start at $24 for the qualifying rounds with prices and packages going up from there. Lindner Family Tennis Center, 5460 Courseview Drive, Mason,

Summermusik: Women in Musik

Nicknamed “Summermusik Under the Stars,” Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s summer festival returns from pandemic shutdown with performances running through Aug. 20 at outdoor venues throughout the city. Summermusik’s final mainstage concert on Aug. 20 continues to highlight women with three CCO premieres of works by Reena Esmail, Gabriella Smith and Jessie Montgomery, whose composition “Banner” opened the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s 2020-21 virtual season. 8 p.m. Aug. 20. $37-$47. Seasongood Pavilion, 1600 Art Museum Drive, Eden Park,

Germania Society's BIG Biergarten Experience

Instead of hosting a traditional Oktoberfest weekend, the Germania Society of Cincinnati is taking things bigger with a "BIG Biergarten Experience" spread out over two weekends. Enjoy all the typical gemütlichkeit you've come to expect, plus eight German beers on tap, tons of German-style food (including Oktoberfest chicken), live music, carnival rides and German merchandise. Germania's Oktoberfest event is slated to return in 2022. 6-11 p.m. Aug. 20; 2-11 p.m. Aug. 21; noon-7 p.m. Aug. 22; 6-11 p.m. Aug. 27; 2-11 p.m. Aug. 28; noon-7 p.m. Aug. 29. $5; $10 parking. Germania Park, 3529 W. Kemper Road, Colerain,

Midwest Regional Black Family Reunion

This weekend, the Midwest Regional Black Family Reunion hosts a variety of events across the city. Things kick off at 9 a.m. Friday on Fountain Square with a breakfast, followed by keynote speakers throughout the day. On Saturday, there will be a parade that leaves the Avondale Town Center at 10 a.m. Then, an Urban Concert Series starts at noon at Sawyer Point Park, with guest Dru Hill. On Sunday, there will once again be live music at Sawyer Point with a Gospel series. Aug. 20-22. Find a full list of events, locations and times at


Wave Pool Pool Party - Photo: Provided by Wave Pool
Photo: Provided by Wave Pool
Wave Pool Pool Party

Wave Pool Pool Party

Camp Washington's Wave Pool art gallery and community space is taking its name literally this weekend with a Pool Party fundraiser and block party. Wear your bathing suit and be prepared to careen down an inflatable waterslide in between sets of live local music and carnival games, all located along the street and grassy lots around the neighborhood. Musicians include Brooks Taylor, Jennifer Grantham and Brad Myers, Freedom Nicole Moore and Byron Hutchins, as well as parades by the "Heavy Metals Marching Band." There will also be an "artist-made carnival," says Wave Pool, with "artful versions of PLINKO, bean toss, duck pond, put-put and more." If all that activity has you working up a thirst, drinks and tamales will be available. Noon-5 p.m. Aug. 21. Free admission. 2940 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington,

Vanilla Ice and the I Love the '90s Tour

Fans of a certain age (ahem, us) may be delighted to learn about this weekend's Reds' promotion — a free "I Love the '90s" concert featuring Vanilla Ice, Naughty by Nature, Tone Loc and Rob Base. The concert will be available to all ticketholders after the Reds. vs. Marlins game on Aug. 21. The show with the '90s Hip Hop stalwarts and purveyors of some of the best karaoke songs ever will take place on the field at Great American Ball Park and will begin about 20 minutes after the game ends. VIP packages and Ohio Lottery field passes are available as upgrades, according to the Reds website. Concert starts 20 minutes after end of game; game time 6:40 p.m. Aug. 21. Tickets start at $12. Great American Ball Park, Downtown,

Pop Empire at Fountain Square with The Harlequins and Slow Glows

Cincinnati Psych-Rock bands Pop Empire's Novena arrived mid-2019, and signified a sonic breakthrough — and a new lineup — 10 years into the trio’s history. Disparate musical interests leading up to the release of Novena intersect perfectly to form a spooky atmosphere that sounds like impending doom. According to a 2019 interview with Audiofemme, Katrina Eresman has a penchant for Drone-y riffs, while the subtle influences of Gospel and Boogie Rock on bassist Henry Wilson’s songcraft come from listening to “a lot of ’20s and ’30s” music. The Cincinnati show at Fountain Square’s Fifth & Vine Live concert series (with locals The Harlequins and Slow Glows) will mark Pop Empire’s first performance since spring of last year. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more scenic spot to return to the live music circuit. 7-11 p.m. Aug. 21. Free admission. Fountain Square, 525 Vine St., Downtown,


Vincent van Gogh digital exhibit at The Lume - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Vincent van Gogh digital exhibit at The Lume

Digital Vincent van Gogh Exhibit at The Lume at Newfields, the Indianapolis Museum of Art

This year, “immersive” van Gogh exhibits from five international presenters are coming to cities across the United States. The exhibitions create all-encompassing, multi-sensory indoor environments by pairing the latest in digital technology with images recreated from van Gogh’s paintings. Perhaps the most ambitious, in terms of a traditional art museum’s embrace of this new technology, is at Newfields, the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Almost 30,000 square feet of space is devoted to 150 high-definition projectors displaying 3,000 images from such van Gogh masterpieces as “The Starry Night,” “Sunflowers,” “Self-Portait,” “Irises,” “Almond Blossoms” and 26 others. Read CityBeat's cover story about The Lume exhibit.Through May 2022. Timed tickets are required; prices for adults are $25 for the general public and $20 for museum members. 4000 N. Michigan Road, Indianapolis, 

Burlington Antique Show

The Burlington Antique Show, the Midwest’s premier antique market, is back. Expect to hunt through authentic wares — Midcentury Modern, Art Deco, pre-war, Industrial and more — from more than 200 dealers offering the best antiques and vintage collectibles. The remainder of the season's show dates are scheduled for Sept. 19 and Oct. 17. If you’re a real hunter, aim for early-bird admission. Early bird entry 6-8 a.m.; regular admission 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 22. Early-bird admission $6; general admission $4. Boone County Fairgrounds, 5819 Idlewild Road, Burlington, Kentucky,

John A. Ruthven Tribute on the Trails at the Cincinnati Nature Center

The Cincinnati Nature Center is offering an immersive way to enjoy the art of late local wildlife painter and conservationist John A. Ruthven. Through Nov. 14, the center will be displaying prints from the artist for the "John A. Ruthven Tribute on the Trails." The nature center says the artworks were picked and placed along the trail to correspond with the flora and fauna of each area where they are on display. Hikers can download a map on the Cincinnati Nature Center Mobile Guide to find each print. The center's Rowe Visitor Center will also have educational resources and some original Ruthven works on exhibit. Through Nov. 14. $9 adults; $6 seniors and active military; $4 for children 4-12. Memberships are available.4949 Tealtown Road, Milford,

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