December 21, 2022

An Introvert's Guide to Greater Cincinnati Spots Where You Can be Alone for the Holidays

The holiday season is meant to be a time to spend hours with friends and family to celebrate and make memories. But sometimes, especially for introverts, all that "together time" can be...a bit too much, and you just want to be alone. Whether you want to stock up on some solo time before the holiday parties, or maybe you're planning on having a day or two to decompress afterward, this list can help you find places where you can be completely all by yourself or alone around other people.
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Roebling Point Books & Coffee
306 Greenup St., Covington
Books are good for the soul – especially the soul that wants to be alone. And with multiple rooms of books, you can get lost for hours inside Roebling Point Books & Coffee, oblivious to anyone else around you. Grab a cup of their fair-trade coffee and get to browsing for your next favorite read.
Photo: facebook.com/Roebling Point Books & Coffee

Roebling Point Books & Coffee

306 Greenup St., Covington
Books are good for the soul – especially the soul that wants to be alone. And with multiple rooms of books, you can get lost for hours inside Roebling Point Books & Coffee, oblivious to anyone else around you. Grab a cup of their fair-trade coffee and get to browsing for your next favorite read.
Bromwell's Hearth Room
125 W. Fourth St., Downtown
With its dark walls and floors and fiery lighting, Bromwell’s recently renovated Hearth Room is a warm, welcoming place to grab a seat, drink a cocktail or craft beer, listen to some live jazz music and revel in not having to speak to anyone other than your friendly bartender.
Photo: Mary LeBus

Bromwell's Hearth Room

125 W. Fourth St., Downtown
With its dark walls and floors and fiery lighting, Bromwell’s recently renovated Hearth Room is a warm, welcoming place to grab a seat, drink a cocktail or craft beer, listen to some live jazz music and revel in not having to speak to anyone other than your friendly bartender.
Coney Island’s Nights of Lights
6201 Kellogg Ave., California
Drive-thru holiday light displays are king because you don’t have to leave the warmth of your car and you don’t have to feel weird about being alone. At Coney Island’s dazzling Nights of Lights, see “more than 2 million lights synchronized to a mix of traditional and rocking holiday music,” per Coney Island. There is also a giant Christmas tree, illuminated snowflakes, light tunnels and other glowing thematic displays. The display runs every night until Jan. 2. You’ll have to pay the $25-$30 entrance fee by yourself, but sometimes you can’t put a price on alone time.
Photo: Provided by Coney Island

Coney Island’s Nights of Lights

6201 Kellogg Ave., California
Drive-thru holiday light displays are king because you don’t have to leave the warmth of your car and you don’t have to feel weird about being alone. At Coney Island’s dazzling Nights of Lights, see “more than 2 million lights synchronized to a mix of traditional and rocking holiday music,” per Coney Island. There is also a giant Christmas tree, illuminated snowflakes, light tunnels and other glowing thematic displays. The display runs every night until Jan. 2. You’ll have to pay the $25-$30 entrance fee by yourself, but sometimes you can’t put a price on alone time.
American Sign Museum
1330 Monmouth Ave., Camp Washington
This one-of-a-kind museum is “dedicated to the art and history of commercial signs and sign making,” says its website. You can wander through the American Sign Museum’s collection and learn more about its collection and what goes into preserving and restoring an old sign and how they show a not-often-told story of the United States’ history. The ever-present neon glow throughout the museum is also a great way to pretend you’re inside a Christmas tree light bulb.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

American Sign Museum

1330 Monmouth Ave., Camp Washington
This one-of-a-kind museum is “dedicated to the art and history of commercial signs and sign making,” says its website. You can wander through the American Sign Museum’s collection and learn more about its collection and what goes into preserving and restoring an old sign and how they show a not-often-told story of the United States’ history. The ever-present neon glow throughout the museum is also a great way to pretend you’re inside a Christmas tree light bulb.
Ohio Bookstore
726 Main St., Downtown
Ohio Bookstore is a book lover’s paradise: This shop features FIVE floors full of books and magazines – over 300,000 items in stock at any given time. And as a rare and used book store, you never know what literary gems you’ll discover. And if you need a book that needs repairing or a custom binding, Ohio Bookstore can do that as you explore.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Ohio Bookstore

726 Main St., Downtown
Ohio Bookstore is a book lover’s paradise: This shop features FIVE floors full of books and magazines – over 300,000 items in stock at any given time. And as a rare and used book store, you never know what literary gems you’ll discover. And if you need a book that needs repairing or a custom binding, Ohio Bookstore can do that as you explore.
Esquire Theatre
320 Ludlow Ave., Clifton
This historic movie theater is the crown jewel of Clifton’s Gaslight District. Grab some popcorn and your favorite candy for a matinee of Avatar or a screening of a retro or independent movie, and hit the Back Alley Bar afterward for a drink.
Photo: Emerson Swoger

Esquire Theatre

320 Ludlow Ave., Clifton
This historic movie theater is the crown jewel of Clifton’s Gaslight District. Grab some popcorn and your favorite candy for a matinee of Avatar or a screening of a retro or independent movie, and hit the Back Alley Bar afterward for a drink.
The Echo
3510 Edwards Road, Hyde Park
Eating alone doesn’t have to feel weird, especially at The Echo. This diner has plenty of bar seating and cozy booths for those who want a quick, delicious meal while reading a book, scrolling their Facebook feed or flipping through the latest issue of CityBeat. The menu offers "Hangover Helpers" for those who imbibed too much over the holidays, like the Belgian Bird Sandwich, which comes with chicken tenders, a fried egg and cheddar on a waffle with powdered sugar and syrup. They also serve salads, sandwiches, soups and more for lunch, as well as cocktails like their Irish coffee and mimosas.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

The Echo

3510 Edwards Road, Hyde Park
Eating alone doesn’t have to feel weird, especially at The Echo. This diner has plenty of bar seating and cozy booths for those who want a quick, delicious meal while reading a book, scrolling their Facebook feed or flipping through the latest issue of CityBeat. The menu offers "Hangover Helpers" for those who imbibed too much over the holidays, like the Belgian Bird Sandwich, which comes with chicken tenders, a fried egg and cheddar on a waffle with powdered sugar and syrup. They also serve salads, sandwiches, soups and more for lunch, as well as cocktails like their Irish coffee and mimosas.
Primavista
810 Matson Place, East Price Hill
If you’re looking for a high-end Italian meal for one, Primavista offers that along with a panoramic view of Downtown Cincinnati. Their menu specializes in veal and fresh fish, but they offer dishes from all regions of Italy and feature nightly specials. Have an antipasto of fried calamari or bruschetta before your plate of ravioli or veal marsala and top it off with a glass of vino off their extensive wine list. Cap off your dinner with the Gelati Misti or tiramisu, only one spoon needed.
Photo: facebook.com/Primavista

Primavista

810 Matson Place, East Price Hill
If you’re looking for a high-end Italian meal for one, Primavista offers that along with a panoramic view of Downtown Cincinnati. Their menu specializes in veal and fresh fish, but they offer dishes from all regions of Italy and feature nightly specials. Have an antipasto of fried calamari or bruschetta before your plate of ravioli or veal marsala and top it off with a glass of vino off their extensive wine list. Cap off your dinner with the Gelati Misti or tiramisu, only one spoon needed.
Spring Grove Cemetery
4521 Spring Grove Ave., Northside
Okay, hear us out. Suggesting you be alone in a cemetery may creep you out, especially when the sun has been setting at 4 p.m., but Spring Grove Cemetery’s tranquility and beauty is so unmatched that it’s a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Not only is this historic cemetery the final resting place of many famous people, it’s also a Morton Arboretum Register Level III-accredited arboretum – one of only two historic cemeteries to earn that recognition. Phoebe Bridgers has a few holiday songs perfect for this gloomy, beautiful walk.
Photo: Kellie Coleman

Spring Grove Cemetery

4521 Spring Grove Ave., Northside
Okay, hear us out. Suggesting you be alone in a cemetery may creep you out, especially when the sun has been setting at 4 p.m., but Spring Grove Cemetery’s tranquility and beauty is so unmatched that it’s a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Not only is this historic cemetery the final resting place of many famous people, it’s also a Morton Arboretum Register Level III-accredited arboretum – one of only two historic cemeteries to earn that recognition. Phoebe Bridgers has a few holiday songs perfect for this gloomy, beautiful walk.
Bender Mountain Nature Preserve
6320-6468 Bender Road, Delhi Township
The Bender Mountain trail system spans about 3 miles over 50 acres of wooded hillsides and is a great place for a solo hike to see some spectacular views of the Ohio River. And if you don’t mind some ghostly companionship, Bender Mountain is also home to the historic, peaceful Darby-Lee Cemetery. It’s the only known remaining family cemetery in Delhi Township and one of its occupants, Henry Darby, stars in the local folktale and ghost story of Fiddler’s Green.
Photo: Katherine Barrier

Bender Mountain Nature Preserve

6320-6468 Bender Road, Delhi Township
The Bender Mountain trail system spans about 3 miles over 50 acres of wooded hillsides and is a great place for a solo hike to see some spectacular views of the Ohio River. And if you don’t mind some ghostly companionship, Bender Mountain is also home to the historic, peaceful Darby-Lee Cemetery. It’s the only known remaining family cemetery in Delhi Township and one of its occupants, Henry Darby, stars in the local folktale and ghost story of Fiddler’s Green.