25 COVID-Conscious Cincinnati Staycation Ideas to Explore This Summer

This summer may look a little different than year's past, but there's still plenty to do throughout the Queen City while staying socially distanced. From self-guided mural tours to hiking trails, drive-in movies and exploring museums or cooling off at a local water attraction, here are a few ideas for how you can have fun while staying COVID-conscious this summer. *Check each website or call for any updated COVID precautions as state or local guidelines may change.
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Take a Self-Guided ArtWorks Mural Tour 
20 E. Central Parkway, Downtown
Each summer, ArtWorks and its youth apprentices put new murals up on buildings around the Greater Cincinnati area. Schedule a guided The Heart of Pendleton or the Spirit of OTR walking tour online. All guided tours will be 10 people or less and masks are required. Download a PDF of downtown and Over-the-Rhine murals to explore solo at artworkscincinnati.org. 
Photo: Savana Willhoite

Take a Self-Guided ArtWorks Mural Tour

20 E. Central Parkway, Downtown
Each summer, ArtWorks and its youth apprentices put new murals up on buildings around the Greater Cincinnati area. Schedule a guided The Heart of Pendleton or the Spirit of OTR walking tour online. All guided tours will be 10 people or less and masks are required. Download a PDF of downtown and Over-the-Rhine murals to explore solo at artworkscincinnati.org.
Photo: Savana Willhoite
Visit the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
3400 Vine St., Avondale
The zoo is finally open (we know you’ve been missing our girl Fiona). While some indoor habitats and encounters are on hold for now, you can still feed giraffes, ride the train and see your favorite outdoor habitats. Reservations must be made online in advance to ensure staggered entry for guests' safety. And after about four decades, "Zoo Keys" have returned, featuring interactive storytelling stations with collectible zoo keys for families to learn about the animal kingdom they're exploring.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Visit the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

3400 Vine St., Avondale
The zoo is finally open (we know you’ve been missing our girl Fiona). While some indoor habitats and encounters are on hold for now, you can still feed giraffes, ride the train and see your favorite outdoor habitats. Reservations must be made online in advance to ensure staggered entry for guests' safety. And after about four decades, "Zoo Keys" have returned, featuring interactive storytelling stations with collectible zoo keys for families to learn about the animal kingdom they're exploring.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Splash at the Armleder Memorial Spray Ground in Yeatman’s Cove
705 East Pete Rose Way, Downtown
The Armleder Memorial Spray Ground features spray jets and a gigantic Brutalist-style angular shower head, all in the shadow of concrete monoliths built by architect Louis Sauer in the 1970s. The attraction is currently open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily with a 70 person limit and a 15 minute rotation schedule to ensure health and safety for guests. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Splash at the Armleder Memorial Spray Ground in Yeatman’s Cove

705 East Pete Rose Way, Downtown
The Armleder Memorial Spray Ground features spray jets and a gigantic Brutalist-style angular shower head, all in the shadow of concrete monoliths built by architect Louis Sauer in the 1970s. The attraction is currently open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily with a 70 person limit and a 15 minute rotation schedule to ensure health and safety for guests.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Hike Up the New Cincinnati Art Museum Art Climb
953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams
The Cincinnati Art Museum has debuted its new Art Climb, designed to connect the museum to its surrounding areas while offering four "art plazas" to display outdoor art. The nine-story climb features 164 zig-zagging steps and has light beam structures meant to guide users toward the CAM. Upon making it to the top, enjoy a view of the city and the nearby neighborhoods. The stairs begin at the intersection of Eden Park Drive and Gilbert Avenue. The museum asks that visitors practice diligent social distancing while making their way up. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Hike Up the New Cincinnati Art Museum Art Climb

953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams
The Cincinnati Art Museum has debuted its new Art Climb, designed to connect the museum to its surrounding areas while offering four "art plazas" to display outdoor art. The nine-story climb features 164 zig-zagging steps and has light beam structures meant to guide users toward the CAM. Upon making it to the top, enjoy a view of the city and the nearby neighborhoods. The stairs begin at the intersection of Eden Park Drive and Gilbert Avenue. The museum asks that visitors practice diligent social distancing while making their way up.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Catch a Flick at the College Hill Drive-in Theater
1538 Cedar Ave., College Hill
The College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) turned the neighborhood’s Hollywood Theatre — originally a 1920s single-screen cinema — into a drive-in for the entire community through Sept. 7. With films screening Thursday through Monday, guests can begin parking at 8:15 p.m. while films begin at 9:15 p.m. The admission price is $20 per car. There are 43 spots and you have to buy tickets in advance online. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Catch a Flick at the College Hill Drive-in Theater

1538 Cedar Ave., College Hill
The College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) turned the neighborhood’s Hollywood Theatre — originally a 1920s single-screen cinema — into a drive-in for the entire community through Sept. 7. With films screening Thursday through Monday, guests can begin parking at 8:15 p.m. while films begin at 9:15 p.m. The admission price is $20 per car. There are 43 spots and you have to buy tickets in advance online.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Make a Reservation to Swim at Ziegler Pool
216 Woodward St., Over-the-Rhine
Over-the-Rhine’s Ziegler Pool, operated by 3CDC, currently has a reservation system in place. Each two-hour reservation block can hold 75 swimmers, with additional early morning sessions for a handful of lap swimmers. Ziegler reservations are open to anyone, whether or not they have a season pass. But you must register online at least a day in advance. There is a $4 flat rate per person; any financial assistance vouchers will be distributed through neighborhood organizations. There is a waitlist if sessions are full. And if the pool is closed because of weather, rain checks will be given. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Make a Reservation to Swim at Ziegler Pool

216 Woodward St., Over-the-Rhine
Over-the-Rhine’s Ziegler Pool, operated by 3CDC, currently has a reservation system in place. Each two-hour reservation block can hold 75 swimmers, with additional early morning sessions for a handful of lap swimmers. Ziegler reservations are open to anyone, whether or not they have a season pass. But you must register online at least a day in advance. There is a $4 flat rate per person; any financial assistance vouchers will be distributed through neighborhood organizations. There is a waitlist if sessions are full. And if the pool is closed because of weather, rain checks will be given.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Get a Cone from a Local Creamy Whip
Your Neighborhood
No matter what side of town you hail from, chances are there is a creamy whip nearby. Many offer outdoor seating and encourage social distancing while waiting in line. Maybe go through the drive-thru of the Whipty-Do! in Maineville, enjoy outdoor seating at The Cone in West Chester, or try some edible cookie dough from Pendleton Parlor while you walk around the neighborhood. Check out our full slideshow for 19 favorite creamy whips.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Get a Cone from a Local Creamy Whip

Your Neighborhood
No matter what side of town you hail from, chances are there is a creamy whip nearby. Many offer outdoor seating and encourage social distancing while waiting in line. Maybe go through the drive-thru of the Whipty-Do! in Maineville, enjoy outdoor seating at The Cone in West Chester, or try some edible cookie dough from Pendleton Parlor while you walk around the neighborhood. Check out our full slideshow for 19 favorite creamy whips.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Grab at Cocktail at Lytle Park Hotel's Rooftop Bar, Vista 
311 Pike St., Downtown
Cincinnati’s new Lytle Park Hotel features a spectacular rooftop patio named the Vista at Lytle Park. The 5,000-square-foot rooftop lounge offers panoramic views of the Queen City and Ohio River. The space is equipped with an "indoor" lounge (where the bar is located) lined with windows that open up to the outdoor patio with two fireplaces, seating and tables. Choose from a selection of cocktails, wine, beer and spirits, or opt for their large-format cocktails that serve four or more. Their food offerings range from a charcuterie board to "naanchos" or peel-and-eat grilled shrimp.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Grab at Cocktail at Lytle Park Hotel's Rooftop Bar, Vista

311 Pike St., Downtown
Cincinnati’s new Lytle Park Hotel features a spectacular rooftop patio named the Vista at Lytle Park. The 5,000-square-foot rooftop lounge offers panoramic views of the Queen City and Ohio River. The space is equipped with an "indoor" lounge (where the bar is located) lined with windows that open up to the outdoor patio with two fireplaces, seating and tables. Choose from a selection of cocktails, wine, beer and spirits, or opt for their large-format cocktails that serve four or more. Their food offerings range from a charcuterie board to "naanchos" or peel-and-eat grilled shrimp.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Ride Kings Island's Orion Giga Coaster
6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason
The largest amusement park and waterpark in the Midwest. Ride the brand new Orion coaster: the tallest, fastest and longest steel coaster in the park and one of only seven giga coasters in the world. Reservations are currently required for entry, along with masks, the download of the Kings Island mobile app and the completion of a health questionnaire. 
Photo: Provided by Kings Island

Ride Kings Island's Orion Giga Coaster

6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason
The largest amusement park and waterpark in the Midwest. Ride the brand new Orion coaster: the tallest, fastest and longest steel coaster in the park and one of only seven giga coasters in the world. Reservations are currently required for entry, along with masks, the download of the Kings Island mobile app and the completion of a health questionnaire.
Photo: Provided by Kings Island
Cycle One of Six Socially Distant Bike Trails 
With more than 570 miles of trails, we asked Tri-State Trails for their picks for the six best trails people should bike this summer — especially with social distancing in mind. Some favorites include the Little Miami Scenic Trail, the Ohio River Trail and Wasson Way. For more information on their top six picks, check out our full list and get pedaling!
Photo: Savana Willhoite

Cycle One of Six Socially Distant Bike Trails

With more than 570 miles of trails, we asked Tri-State Trails for their picks for the six best trails people should bike this summer — especially with social distancing in mind. Some favorites include the Little Miami Scenic Trail, the Ohio River Trail and Wasson Way. For more information on their top six picks, check out our full list and get pedaling!
Photo: Savana Willhoite