22 Obscure Attractions in Cincinnati You Should Visit This Summer

From ventriloquist and lucky cat museums to old-school amusement parks and oddities shops, the Queen City is full of strange and obscure attractions. You won't find these destinations in most Cincinnati guide books, and that's why we love them.
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22 Obscure Attractions in Cincinnati You Should Visit This Summer
Get Slightly Freaked Out at Vent Haven
33 W. Maple Ave., Fort Mitchell
Vent Haven is the only museum in the world dedicated to the art of ventriloquism. In addition to more than 800 figures (don’t call them dummies), guests can view a library of vent-centric books, playbills and thousands of photographs. The museum also hosts the international ConVENTion every year for hundreds of ventriloquists. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Get Slightly Freaked Out at Vent Haven

33 W. Maple Ave., Fort Mitchell
Vent Haven is the only museum in the world dedicated to the art of ventriloquism. In addition to more than 800 figures (don’t call them dummies), guests can view a library of vent-centric books, playbills and thousands of photographs. The museum also hosts the international ConVENTion every year for hundreds of ventriloquists.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Get Some Air at the Swing House
1373 Avon Place, Camp Washington
The Swing House is a whole-building art project — a freestanding 1880s three-story brick home in Camp Washington where owner and artist Mark de Jong has removed the interior walls and upper floors and built a swing right in the middle of the opened-up interior. Made from pine he salvaged from third floor joists, the swing is attached by 30 feet of natural-fiber rope to a metal beam on the ceiling. Visit during the monthly open house event, every second Saturday from noon-4 p.m.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Get Some Air at the Swing House

1373 Avon Place, Camp Washington
The Swing House is a whole-building art project — a freestanding 1880s three-story brick home in Camp Washington where owner and artist Mark de Jong has removed the interior walls and upper floors and built a swing right in the middle of the opened-up interior. Made from pine he salvaged from third floor joists, the swing is attached by 30 feet of natural-fiber rope to a metal beam on the ceiling. Visit during the monthly open house event, every second Saturday from noon-4 p.m.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Go Cat Crazy at the Lucky Cat Museum
2511 Essex Place, Walnut Hills
Located inside Essex Studios, the museum boasts a one-of-a-kind collection of Japanese maneki neko “lucky cat” figures. The glass displays stretch across the walls, containing thousands of styles, colors and sizes of cats. Some are golden, others white with red ears and a green bib. Some don black fur or are chipped. Some are stuffed, others ceramic and plastic. There are some wacky ones, too. All of them, however, carry an undeniable charm. There's even a gift shop.
Photo: Kellie Coleman

Go Cat Crazy at the Lucky Cat Museum

2511 Essex Place, Walnut Hills
Located inside Essex Studios, the museum boasts a one-of-a-kind collection of Japanese maneki neko “lucky cat” figures. The glass displays stretch across the walls, containing thousands of styles, colors and sizes of cats. Some are golden, others white with red ears and a green bib. Some don black fur or are chipped. Some are stuffed, others ceramic and plastic. There are some wacky ones, too. All of them, however, carry an undeniable charm. There's even a gift shop.
Photo: Kellie Coleman
Summon Aliens at the Spaceship House
222 Wright St., Covington
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Finnish architect Matti Suunerro designed less than 100 Futuro houses, or flying saucer-esue homes — and Covington has one of them. It was purchased in 1973 by Rob Detzel, who first saw it in an issue of Family Circle. He made arrangements for its display at a home and garden show, then took it on a tour of sorts; in 1987, it landed (er, it was delivered) to its current location. The community embraces its presence and the Futuro House has even been included in a mural titled “Love the Cov” by Jarrod Becker, on the wall at Kroger’s Covington location. In 2013, Covington's Mayor Sherry Carran declared Nov. 2 — the 40th anniversary to its purchase by Detzel — “Futuro House Day,” officially naming the property it is on “Area 89.” Note: This is a private residence.
Photo via Google Street View

Summon Aliens at the Spaceship House

222 Wright St., Covington
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Finnish architect Matti Suunerro designed less than 100 Futuro houses, or flying saucer-esue homes — and Covington has one of them. It was purchased in 1973 by Rob Detzel, who first saw it in an issue of Family Circle. He made arrangements for its display at a home and garden show, then took it on a tour of sorts; in 1987, it landed (er, it was delivered) to its current location. The community embraces its presence and the Futuro House has even been included in a mural titled “Love the Cov” by Jarrod Becker, on the wall at Kroger’s Covington location. In 2013, Covington's Mayor Sherry Carran declared Nov. 2 — the 40th anniversary to its purchase by Detzel — “Futuro House Day,” officially naming the property it is on “Area 89.” Note: This is a private residence.
Photo via Google Street View
Have a Picnic at the Loveland Castle
12025 Shore Drive, Loveland
Former World War I army medic and Boy Scout troop leader Harry Delos Andrews built Château Laroche over the course of 50 years with handmade bricks (formed with quart-sized paper milk cartons) and stones from the nearby Little Miami River. Modeled after European castles, it features towers, a dry moat, hand-tiled ceilings, murder holes and a collection of period weaponry. The castle grounds are available for picnics, overnights and private parties and are rumored to be haunted by a variety of ghosts.
Photo: Brittany Thornton

Have a Picnic at the Loveland Castle

12025 Shore Drive, Loveland
Former World War I army medic and Boy Scout troop leader Harry Delos Andrews built Château Laroche over the course of 50 years with handmade bricks (formed with quart-sized paper milk cartons) and stones from the nearby Little Miami River. Modeled after European castles, it features towers, a dry moat, hand-tiled ceilings, murder holes and a collection of period weaponry. The castle grounds are available for picnics, overnights and private parties and are rumored to be haunted by a variety of ghosts.
Photo: Brittany Thornton
Gorge Yourself on the Butler County Donut Trail
Various locations throughout Butler County
Just a short 45-minute jaunt from Cincinnati is a magical place called Butler County, home to one of the largest number of donut shops per capita in the Midwest. And among these donut shops are 12 family-run establishments that have come together to offer humans a chance to test the limits of their interest in fried and filled dough, as well as their blood glucose levels. Get an official Donut Trail passport stamped at all nine and get a free T-shirt.
Photo: Jesse Fox

Gorge Yourself on the Butler County Donut Trail

Various locations throughout Butler County
Just a short 45-minute jaunt from Cincinnati is a magical place called Butler County, home to one of the largest number of donut shops per capita in the Midwest. And among these donut shops are 12 family-run establishments that have come together to offer humans a chance to test the limits of their interest in fried and filled dough, as well as their blood glucose levels. Get an official Donut Trail passport stamped at all nine and get a free T-shirt.
Photo: Jesse Fox
Visit Handsome at the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum
308 Reading Road, Pendleton
Handsome was the city’s first police dog. Found by a patrolman in 1898 as an abandoned puppy, the mutt quickly became a fixture at the police station and soon joined daily patrols, chasing down thieves and murderers. He reportedly assisted in hundreds of arrests in the course of his career. After his death in 1912, the beloved Handsome was stuffed and placed in a glass case to honor his contributions. He is now on public view at the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum, also home to thousands of local law enforcement artifacts and a memorial wall to fallen local, state and federal officers.
Photo: Megan Waddel

Visit Handsome at the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum

308 Reading Road, Pendleton
Handsome was the city’s first police dog. Found by a patrolman in 1898 as an abandoned puppy, the mutt quickly became a fixture at the police station and soon joined daily patrols, chasing down thieves and murderers. He reportedly assisted in hundreds of arrests in the course of his career. After his death in 1912, the beloved Handsome was stuffed and placed in a glass case to honor his contributions. He is now on public view at the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum, also home to thousands of local law enforcement artifacts and a memorial wall to fallen local, state and federal officers.
Photo: Megan Waddel
Bathe in Neon at the American Sign Museum
1330 Monmouth Ave., Camp Washington
Get lost in the ads and landmarks of yesteryear. Winding pathways of colorful signage give way to a mocked-up Main Street, with faux storefronts, cobblestone and giant logos from Howard Johnson, McDonald’s and Marshall Field. From roadside nostalgia and a looming Big Boy to pharmacy signs and gas station markers, the flashing lights, buzzing electricity and rotating wonders are almost a sensory overload. Almost. Guided and self-guided tours available.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Bathe in Neon at the American Sign Museum

1330 Monmouth Ave., Camp Washington
Get lost in the ads and landmarks of yesteryear. Winding pathways of colorful signage give way to a mocked-up Main Street, with faux storefronts, cobblestone and giant logos from Howard Johnson, McDonald’s and Marshall Field. From roadside nostalgia and a looming Big Boy to pharmacy signs and gas station markers, the flashing lights, buzzing electricity and rotating wonders are almost a sensory overload. Almost. Guided and self-guided tours available.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Pet a Wolf at the Wolf Creek Habitat and Rescue
14099? Wolf Creek Road, Brookville, Indiana
When the wild calls, answer it at Wolf Creek Habitat and Rescue. The owners share their Brookville home with a pack of more than two-dozen wolves, all of whom were either surrendered to the sanctuary or rescued from the wild. Guests are able to go inside the animals’ enclosures and interact with them (alongside a center volunteer). Warning: The wolves have been known to give kisses and request belly rubs.
Photo: Mackenzie Manley

Pet a Wolf at the Wolf Creek Habitat and Rescue

14099? Wolf Creek Road, Brookville, Indiana
When the wild calls, answer it at Wolf Creek Habitat and Rescue. The owners share their Brookville home with a pack of more than two-dozen wolves, all of whom were either surrendered to the sanctuary or rescued from the wild. Guests are able to go inside the animals’ enclosures and interact with them (alongside a center volunteer). Warning: The wolves have been known to give kisses and request belly rubs.
Photo: Mackenzie Manley