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40 Top Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors

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Don’t let inclement weather keep you from exploring the Queen City! We share our list of the top things to do in Cincinnati with kids indoors that are bound to break up cabin fever.

Graeter's Play Area in Kenwood
Graeter’s Play Area in Kenwood

We know that rainy days or sweltering high temperatures can wreck any well-planned outdoor adventure. Whether seeing the dinosaurs on display at the Cincinnati Museum Center, venturing into the Dungeon at King Arthur’s Court, or catching a movie in luxury at City Base Cinemas, we have come up with the best indoor experiences to do with kids in Cincinnati.

In this guide, we will showcase a variety of indoor-themed days, play areas for toddlers, and even a few places where your teen may be seen in public with you.

Plan A Themed Day

Are you looking to up your adventure game? Designate a day to explore a theme your child would be interested in. Children fascinated with space would love visiting the Cincinnati Observatory, while train enthusiasts would be in heaven at EnterTrainment Junction.

Planning Tip: Many museums have varying hours and days of operation, so check before scheduling your activities. For example, The Cincinnati Museum Center is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Best Kids Indoor-Themed Days In Cincinnati

Train Day

All Aboard for a full day of adventure by planning a Train Day. Would you be surprised to hear that the World’s Largest Indoor Train Display is in West Chester? EnterTrainment Junction offers  90 large, G-scale trains that run on over 2 miles of track with a panoramic journey through three different times in U.S. history in a 25,000-square-foot interactive display.

EnterTrainment Junction Indoor Play Area
EnterTrainment Junction Indoor Play Area

Kids will love the indoor playspace, Imagination Junction, especially during the summer, when the electric train is giving rides! They also offer a maze-n funhouse!

Give your kids the ultimate train surprise by going on a train ride with the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad. Hop aboard the Princess Express, the North Pole Express, or another fun-themed train ride. Check their website for the complete train schedule.

Planning Tip: Entertrainment Junction often runs Groupons so be sure to check it out for potential savings.

Dinosaur Day

Plan a day to check out the top dinosaur spot in Cincinnati: The Cincinnati Museum Center. Dinosaur Hall lets visitors come face-to-face with six prehistoric giants and many other fascinating artifacts. The most impressive is the nearly 60-foot-long Galeamopus pabsti, a crowd favorite.

Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center

Add to your experience by seeing if there are any Dinosaur shows coming through town. Jurassic Quest and Jurassic World are known to visit Cincinnati once a year, along with various other traveling dinosaur shows.

Check our Guide To Planning A Dinosaur Week in Cincinnati for more great ideas!

Art Day

Cincinnati is bursting with incredible Art Museums that offer fabulous programming and special events. A rainy day is perfect for planning a day taking in Cincinnati’s excellent art scene. Here are a few ideas, but get our full review of how to experience the Cincinnati Art Scene in our Complete Arts Guide.

Cincinnati Art Museum

Housing over 67,000 pieces of artwork makes the Cincinnati Art Museum a destination, drawing admirers from all walks of life. Being one of the oldest art museums in the United States, they have mastered the unique skill of creating experiences to accommodate visitors of varying abilities.

Cincinnati Art Museum: Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors
Cincinnati Art Museum: Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors

Create a work of art at the Rosenthal Education Center, grab lunch at the Terrace Cafe then catch the latest exhibit!

Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center

The Creativity Center and UnMuseum are on the 6th inside the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center (CAC). The CAC is conveniently located downtown, right across from Nada. The official arts ambassador, Metrobot, will greet you as you arrive! Admission to the museum and its galleries is free to the public.

Craft Lab in Milford

Have you ever wanted to try splatter painting? Electric spin art? For an excellent and unique way to experience art books at a time, at the Paint Playground at the Craft Lab in Milford! The paint playground allows you to create your own fantastic work of art on your canvas by throwing paint, dripping paint, and even using squirt guns!

The Craft Lab Milford
The Craft Lab Milford

Fun Indoor Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Of All Ages

Cincinnati Museum Center

The Cincinnati Museum Center is home to three different museums: the Museum of Natural History, The Duke Energy Children’s Museum, and the Cincinnati History Museum. Admission includes visits to all three museums.

The Robert D. Linder Family OMNIMAX Theater, The Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center, Cincinnati History Library, and featured exhibits can also be found at the Museum Center.

cincinnati museum center
Cincinnati Museum Center

The Cincinnati Museum Center is also known as Union Terminal, as it was once Cincinnati’s premier train stain. The magnificent rotunda with beautiful mosaics still greets guests as they visit.

Fun fact: The train station is still in operation with service from Amtrak. 

The Duke Energy Children’s Museum is something to do on a rainy day. In my opinion, it leaves a lot to be desired, especially when Cincinnati locals have the Indianapolis Children’s Museum and COSI at only a day trip away.

Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors
Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors

However, I recommend visiting the Museum of Natural History as it is home to a unique cave and an Ice Age experience. The Cincinnati History Museum is fascinating as well, with a full-size replica of a side-wheel steamboat you can climb in and a recreated public landing so guests can see how much the city has changed.

Local Tips:

  • Check the museum site for changes in pandemic protocols, hours, and days of operation.
  • The Museum Center does have restaurants available onsite.
  • Guests will have to pay for parking.
  • If you only want to pop in to see the rotunda. Park in one of the 15-minute parking spots towards the entrance of the museum.
  • Holiday Junction is one of Cincinnati’s most beloved holiday traditions, featuring impressive electronic train displays.

Jungle Jim’s International Market

One of our favorite indoor things to do with kids is head to Jungle Jims. It is a supermarket experience, unlike anything you have ever seen. Wacky animatronics paired with an exorbitant amount of grocery selections make it an adventure all on its own.

We will often browse the international aisle to create our own international dinner that evening or have a tasting. Such as chocolates from all over the world or trying exotic potato chip flavors.

foodie ideas in Cincinnati
Plan a foodie adventure at Jungle Jim’s

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Another must-see is the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The Freedom Center is rooted in the stories of the Underground Railroad; they illuminate the true meaning of inclusive freedom by presenting permanent and special exhibits that inspire public programming that provokes dialogue and action and educational resources that equip modern abolitionists.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Visit The American Sign Museum

A genuinely unique indoor date night in Cincinnati is the American Sign Museum. Packed full of vintage signs, this museum is a Cincinnati treasure.  We recommend taking on of their free tours as it brings the museum to life. They also have a neon repair shop where guests can watch the fine art of neon making and repair. It is a sight to behold.

American Sign Museum
American Sign Museum

Cincinnati Fire Museum

Sound the alarm! The Cincinnati Fire Museum is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Housed in the historic City Firehouse, Engine House #45, the museum is home to one of the country’s best collections of firefighting artifacts. The Cincinnati Fire Museum is listed on the National Historic Registry as a National Historic Landmark, allowing visitors to experience everyday life in the firehouse during 1906.

Cincinnati Fire Museum:
Cincinnati Fire Museum

Take a guided tour or stroll through the museum at your leisure and take in the deep-rooted history of fire fighting in our city.

Newport Aquarium

One of the best things to do with kids in Cincinnati is to cross the river to visit the Newport Aquarium. Touch sting rays, get up close with sharks and even dare to cross Shark Bridge! The aquarium is on Newport on the Levee, which has plenty of restaurants and additional entertainment.

City Base Cinemas

Relax and enjoy your next movie in heated seats, reclining chairs, and food that can be ordered directly from your seat. The new City Base Cinemas in Kenwood is upping the movie game by allowing families to have dinner delivered directly to them while watching their next movie.

Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors
City Base Cinemas

Catch a show at the Children’s Theatre

Cincinnati loves the arts, especially when the whole family can attend. The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has been entertaining, teaching, and engaging audiences for over 100 years. The shows are perfect for younger theatre-goers, allowing them to experience live theatre. They are frequently listed as the one of the top things to do in Cincinnati with kids indoors.

Head over to The Children’s Theatre to see what shows are coming this season and next!

Urban Air Adventure Park

This indoor fun zone is way more than a trampoline park! Kids can go through ninja courses, ropes courses, sky rider, climbing walls, the leap of faith, and more.

Urban Air Cincinnati
Urban Air Cincinnati

Wipeout is always a fan favorite as kids try to avoid being knocked over by a moving arm, all while on trampolines! Urban Air is the perfect spot for kids to burn off some of that pent-up energy that rainy or snowy days bring.

Krohn Conservatory

Krohn’s Conservatory is a great spot to visit during the Annual Butterfly Show or holiday show with kids in tow. Unless your children are very interested in gardens and plants, this might not be a top priority outside of special events.

Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors around the holidays
Krohn Conservatory Holiday Display

Krohn Conservatory is in Eden Park and close to the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Visit Your Local Library

Another great place is to visit your local library. During the summer, there are tons of kid-friendly activities and programming to promote reading. Come for story times, participate in a reading challenge, or check out books around a themed day!

Get A Day Pass To Great Wolf Lodge

Treat your kids to a family fun day at the indoor water park inside Great Wolf Lodge. Zip down water slides, splash in the wave pool, then enjoy Howl at the Moon mini-golf or bowling at the Ten Paw Alley.

Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors: Great WOLF LODGE IN MASON
Great Wolf Lodge in Mason

If you plan on renting on of their rooms for the night, be sure to download our Ultimate Great Wolf Lodge Packing List!

List Of Indoor Playgrounds In Cincinnati

Cincinnati is full of excellent indoor play areas all over town. From the free play area inside the Liberty Center to the Dungeon at King Arthur’s Court, there are plenty of options to keep the entire family entertained. These are the best things to do In Cincinnati with kids indoors, especially if you have a younger child!

The Dungeon At King Arthur’s Toys

Step into times of yore at the most amazing toy store in all of Cincinnati for a day full of play, adventure, and maybe a little shopping.  Located in the heart of Oakley, King Arthurs has been selling unique gifts and toys for decades.

Dungeon at King Arthurs
The Dungeon At King Arthur’s Toys

They live true to their motto, “Where Play is King” by encouraging play and allowing imaginations to go wild.  Their recent addition, The Dungeon is located in the basement of the store. Descend the medieval stairs to a magical play area where you can practice your archery, climb a rope bridge or simply relax in one of their hanging hugglepods.

Big comfy couches are located in the dungeon and throughout the store for parents to enjoy. Not to mention complimentary popcorn and coffee. You heard me right, coffee and popcorn are free! Why would I ever pay to go to a play cafe again!

Once you emerge from the dungeon, the store is full of play tables and toys for your child to discover. From legos, train tables, kitchens to babies in strollers it is going to be difficult to get your little one to leave.

Graeter’s Play Areas

Located inside the Graeter’s of Anderson and Kenwood, are the sweetest ice cream playgrounds around. Tetter-totter on a banana,  serve up sundaes from the ice cream truck or slide down a giant ice cream cone.  The play area is free to the public, making Graeter’s play areas the sweetest spot to grab a treat and burn off that extra energy.

Graeter's Play Area in Kenwood:Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors
Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors

Wonderland Play

This new indoor play area is located in Anderson with three fun areas for kids to play with, including an area designated for toddlers! My daughter particularly loved the Ninja Course and the obstacle course at the soft play area!

Wonderland Play in Anderson,  Ohio
Wonderland Play in Anderson, Ohio

Playtime is in two-hour time slots. Reservations are required and are easy to make online. Socks are necessary; bring your own from home or purchase them there.

Local Tips:

  • Wonderland Play has one of the nicest toddler/baby areas we have seen. Plenty for them to climb on and explore.
  • There is a snack bar inside that sells coffee.

Lily Pad Play

One of the top places to bring young kids to Cincinnati is Lily Pad Play. Lily Pad offers a small play structure and plenty of imagination stations such as a kitchen, store, train area, etc.

They are unique because they also offer an art area where children can paint, color, and draw freely.

The area is smaller than the other play areas but best for kids four and under. Older kids may find it challenging to keep busy or become bored. Lily Pad offers various classes such as Zumbini, music classes, and more.

The Happy Hangout

The West Side of Cincinnati has a wonderful new play area call the Happy Hangout. This new play area has a darling Main Street full of imaginative play areas! Be a vet, go to the salon or run a store!

Happy Hangout on the West Side: Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors
Happy Hangout on the West Side

They also have a great play structure, a small space for kids two and under, along plenty of fun activities!

Dig N Play

One of the best places to bring younger kids when the weather is terrible is Dig N Play. My four-year-old claims this to be her favorite place for multiple reasons.

Dig N Play
Dig N Play

Not only is there a fun play structure, inflatables, and dress-up, but there is a massive sand table full of sand. Dig N Play is aimed at kids seven and under.

Discovery Zone

Let your kids run, jump and climb all over the indoor playground at the Discovery Zone. It is just as you remembered as a child, only less glamorous. There are arcade games and a toddler area and you can bring your own food.

Planning Tip: There are two locations; One inside the Eastgate Mall and another in the Florence Mall. They are only open Fridays-Sundays.

Indoor Activities For Teens In Cincinnati

Archery Arena

Gear up for an epic battle of archery dodgeball at the Archery Arena. Players compete in an indoor arena in archery dodgeball, trying to shoot padded arrows at their opponents skillfully. Each session is typically 60 minutes with 10 minutes of instruction. In addition to archery dodgeball, they always offer Nerf Wars! Players choose their signature Nerf Guns for a full-out battle to see which team will reign supreme.

Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors: Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors
Archery Arena

Full Throttle Indoor Go-Karting

It doesn’t have to be warm outside to get behind the wheel of a go-kart. Full Throttle Indoor Go-Karting offers racers an 8-minute experience at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Two different tracks are available to choose from, which can accommodate ages 4-94. Sorry, if you are over 95, you will have to go and throw axes in their fast axes area.  This is a great time for those in the Cincinnati area seeking a little thrill.

Escape Game

Your team will have to work together to complete a mission and escape in 60 minutes! These fun adventures are all the rage, and it is clear to see why.

Escape Game
Escape Game In Cincinnati

Each room is a differently-themed adventure with new challenges, clues, and puzzles to solve.  We did the Gold Rush Adventure at the Escape Game on the Banks, and it was a blast, and we even escaped!  Take advantage of being on the Banks and grab dinner at one of the great restaurants located within walking distance from the Escape Game.

Create a Piece of Pottery

The Mad Potter offers guests the chance to come in and paint a piece of pottery. While younger kids can participate in this activity, quite a few teens will enjoy creating a masterpiece.

Mad Potter
Painting Pottery at the Mad Potter

Note: You will have to come back in a few days to pick up your finished piece as they will have to fire it in the kiln.

Scene 75

This award-winning family fun center offers 13 incredible indoor attractions and entertainment options. Try your hand at a round of black-light mini-golf, take a lap around their indoor go-kart track, then top your evening off with a visit to the Pin Deck for bowling. There are plenty of dining options as well, including a snack zone.

We Rock The Spectrum

We instantly fell in love with We Rock The Spectrum because they have created an indoor play space for all kids. As the only kid’s gym that offers an inclusive philosophy, they have found all children can benefit from their uniquely designed sensory equipment that is specifically designed to aid children with sensory processing disorders. 

Check out their Respite & Break Time Care, which is designed to provide a break for families with children with special needs. 

Need A Few More Fun Indoor Activities

We share even more things to do in Cincinnati with kids indoors below:

  • Altitude Trampoline Park in Mason
  • Go rock climbing at Climb Time or Climb Cincinnati.
  • Recreations Outlet in Milford
  • Run-Jump-And Play In Blue Ash
  • Pump It Up in West Chester
  • Jump & Jacks – West Chester
  • Sky-Zone-West Chester
  • iFly-Indoor Sky diving- West Chester
  • Taft Museum of Art -Downtown Cincinnati
  • Totter’s Otterville- Covington, KY
  • Dave & Buster’s In Springdale and Florence
Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors
Top Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors

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Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids Indoors