As cold weather sets in amidst a pandemic, finding fun toddler activities in Cincinnati has been challenging. It was by pure chance that I stumbled upon the new outdoor series Art Play Hike. This free series is brought to life by the Contemporary Art Museum in partnership with Cincinnati Parks.
Each month the group meets on Thursday at a different Cincinnati park to create art, go on a nature hike, try out some yoga and movement activities. The program for children 2-7 years old, and registration is mandatory. Currently, masks are required for adults and recommended for children four and up.
Here are three reasons why we love the Art Play Hike Program.
Explore A Variety A Great Cincinnati Parks
The class will change location each week to a different Cincinnati Park. Check the schedule to see what parks are on the agenda for each month. It is exciting as it has us visiting places that have not been on our radar. We fell in love with California Nature Park and Caldwell Nature Preserve.
It has us making return visits to many parks to explore even more hiking trails and playgrounds. Did you know Mt. Airy had a treehouse? Or that California Woods had a nature center? It is has opened our eyes to all the great amenities that Cincinnati Parks has to offer.
Create A Variety of Different Art
Coming up with creative crafts is a constant struggle in my household. Therefore, when others put together unique crafts my daughter loves, it is a win-win in my book. Each Art Play Hike starts with hand-on art-making. Whether it is ice painting, making a snow globe, or another opportunity to get their creative juices flowing.
A highlight of the crafts is that it can adapt to fit all ages. Whether simple for younger toddlers or more elaborate for the older kids in the group. Crafts are created at picnic tables, which may be shared with another participant in the program. At the end of the program, guests get to take home an art activity bag, including an interactive park print designed by a local artist.
Get Outdoors For A Little Learning And Fresh Air
After creating a few masterpieces to bring home, then it is off for an educational nature hike. A Cincinnati Park Ranger takes the kids on a fun nature walk, parents you come too, pointing out so many cool things in nature. Including identifying dormant trees, how sap is tapped to tracking footprints in the mud.
After the hike, there is an interactive yoga and movement class. It is a fun ending the program.
Bundle up on cold days because this program takes place regardless of the weather. If it is rainy, be sure to pack proper shoes, a raincoat, or an umbrella.
Tips To Know Before You Go To Art Play Hike
- Hot Chocolate and Coffee are available at the beginning of the program. Those running the program will handle distributing it to prevent gathering.
- Dress for the weather. As I mentioned earlier, this program takes place in the snow, rain, and cold.
- Get directions to the park the day before. The parks are spread out throughout Cincinnati. Therefore, one month the park could be ten minutes from your home and the next it could be a half-hour. Check the night before to ensure you leave the house in time.
- Pack snacks. As with any event with kids, snacks are a must.
- The program is an hour-long. If it is a nice day, pack a picnic to stay at the park a little longer.
- Click here to learn more about Art Play Hike and register.
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