Smale Riverfront Park: A Guide For Visiting Cincinnati’s Favorite Park

Smale Riverfront Park Fountains

With sweeping views of the Roebling Suspension Bridge and the Ohio River, this park is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Families will fall in love with multiple playgrounds and splash areas.  It even contains one of the largest outdoor chime foot pianos in the world.

Hop in a flying pig, test your skills with giant board game pieces or get active at P&G GO VIBRANTSCAPE.   Heekin Family/PNC Grow up Great Adventure Playground lets little adventures climb across a rope bridge, a rock-climbing canyon and race down twin racing slides.

Smale Riverfront Park Fountains : Riverplay

Explore the Riverplay scene complete with fountains and stepping stones.

How To Get Smale Riverfront Park

Smale Riverfront Park Garden

Smale Riverfront Park is located 100 W Mehring Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202. It can be found between Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ball Park.

The ideal parking for visiting Smale Riverfront Park is in Riverfront Garage. Other parking areas are Sawyer Point and the Public Landing.  Parking can range from $5-$20 depending on if there is an event going on.

Before you choose to venture down to Smale I would recommend checking the Red’s Schedule and the Bengal’s Schedule. The last thing you want to do is battle through traffic only to find the garages full and having to pay top dollar for a parking a half-mile away.

If you plan on visiting during game day, drive into the city and find a cheaper lot along the streetcar route. Hop on the streetcar and ride down to the Banks exit.

Tips For Visiting Smale Riverfront Park

The park is built on different terraces due to seasonal flooding and the crown jewel that sits on top is the Carol Ann Carol Ann Carousel

However, they don’t allow wet riders so keep that in mind when planning your visit. The cost to ride the carousel is $2.00.

On the same terrace as the Carol Ann Carousel, you will find the Schmidlapp Event Lawn. Check the schedule to see if they have any events going on. We have visited for puppet shows, music programs, and yoga.

Bring plenty of sunscreens, water,  towels and a change of clothes for little ones.

A few things to consider when bringing little children is that the park runs alongside a fairly busy street. Since the park is not enclosed little ones could easily make a mad dash for the street at any moment.

Flower gardens often separate the street from the park but be on your toes.   The majority of the playgrounds are aimed at children 3 and older. While there are a few things for younger toddlers to explore and do, there is not a designated play area for them.

Hidden Surprises

A Tribute To The Black Brigade

Tribute to The Black Brigade

Archimedes’ Screw

Archimedes' Screw


This unique environmentally-friendly restroom runs on solar power!  It is open 24-hours a day and is complete with changing stations.

Rent A QuadCycle

Smale Park Cincinnati


Where to Eat Near Smale Park In Cincinnati

Smale Park Cincinnati

A great kid-friendly spot is Burger-Fi or Pies and Pints.   There are tons of great bars to swing in to grab a quick drink and relax.  The Holy Grail and Tin Roof are local favorites.

Smale Riverfront Park is a wonderful place to view the river. It boasts some of the best views of Cincinnati’s Roebling suspension bridge.   Grab a meal overlooking the river, rent a bike or have a tranquil moment by enjoying the metal swings lining the Riverwalk.

The park is linked to other riverfront parks so it is easy to spend a whole afternoon exploring Cincinnati’s riverfront.

Find more great things to do in Cincinnati by checking our Cincy Favorites.

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