fbpx

How Long Do I Have?

My husband is an incredible father.

My husband is a great baker.

My husband loves to have dance parties with our 3 year old.

My husband is kind.

My husband is loving.

My husband is THE hardest worker.

My husband likes DIY projects and HGTV.

My husband is a professional.

My husband is respectful.

My husband is goofy.

My husband is smart.

My husband is creative.

My husband is thoughtful.

My husband is patient.

My husband is generous.

My husband is a Black American.

black

We’ve all read tons of posts and articles about the murder of George Floyd and the protests and riots that have followed all over the country. To be honest, you’re probably sick of hearing about it. You know what, Black Americans are, too. Sick of seeing these headlines. Sick of watching their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, cousins, coworkers, and community suffer and die.

I’ve always known I am privileged as a White American. I’ve also always thought that I was fully aware of it, but I never truly understood until I started witnessing the discrepancies in the way I am treated in public versus how my husband is. I remember one instance early in our relationship where we were out and both wearing hoodies. It started to rain and I immediately put my hood up. He grumbled a little about the rain and I suggested he put his up as well. He politely said no and when I said it again, he just looked at me and said:

“I can’t.”

Oh. Right. If he did, he might “match a description” and put himself in danger. I had never once thought about that as a repercussion for black men.

Another day, we were in the car and stopped at a traffic light. It was a beautiful day and we had the windows rolled down. The car next to us pulled up, took one look at him and yelled the N-word. I was shocked. My immediate reaction was to yell back, to flick them off, to DO SOMETHING. My husband calmly rolled the window up and kept looking straight ahead as if he didn’t hear them. I yelled, “You really aren’t going to say anything?! I will!” He stopped me. “We don’t know who they are or what they are capable of. It’s not worth it. Leave it alone.”

Him, along with millions of other Black Americans, have spent their lives “leaving it alone” out of fear for their lives.

And they are sick of it. Can you blame them? White Americans “leave it alone,” too, but because we can. Because we have the privilege of not worrying. And in situations where someone spews hatred at me or my husband, I am privileged to even be allowed to have a reaction. (Also, pray for the people who dare to say anything about my children.)

I read a post the other day about a man saying he only goes for walks with his children because when they are with them, he is just a loving father. If he goes for a walk by himself, he’s a threat. My husband identified with this and expressed similar feelings living in a predominantly white neighborhood. I started thinking about this and my thoughts turned to our 3-month-old son. For now, he is just an innocent baby. He’s sweet and cuddly and everyone thinks he’s just the cutest (because he is). But when does that switch flip? When does he go from a cute kid with beautiful dark brown eyes and curly hair to a kid with dark skin who is up to no good? How long do we have to figure out how we are going to explain this to him? How long until I have to worry about him surviving each and every day? How long do I have with him?

My husband’s story is not unique. My son’s story will not be unique. We are beyond lucky that so far, every single encounter has resulted in him coming home alive. These issues are layered and there are decades of hurt and oppression that we are going against here, but we need change. Teach your children to see and celebrate color. Use your voice to speak out. Please don’t be complacent – lives depend on it.

*I’m not going to bombard you with resources here because there are so many and they are everywhere right now. Take some responsibility and do the work. Learn for yourself and then find an age-appropriate resource for your children and start the discussion. I’m begging you.

Am I Ready to Foster? Reflections from a Social Worker

May is National Foster Care Month.

This month is about awareness, not necessarily a time for celebration and joy (though foster care is not void of those things.) Before deciding to stay home with my kids, I was a foster care social worker. My job was full of extreme highs, and very low, lows. I can only imagine the experience of my clients, as well as their biological and foster families. So often, we get to see the positives that result from foster care through social media posts and news articles. However, I often saw firsthand the shellshock from the reality of caring for a child that is not your own.

The disillusionment of foster care often ended up being the demise for many of the families I worked alongside. People would often pursue foster care hoping that love would heal all and that a bleeding heart would be enough. Though admirable and helpful, they felt blindsided when things became more difficult than they anticipated. My hope is to both encourage anyone who is considering fostering, as well as providing some in-depth reflection from both my experience and the experience of foster parents. Here are some questions.

foster

Am I ready for a long-term commitment?
Foster care timelines are not set-in-stone. A court date, the appearance of a family member or a number of variables could extend the placement of a child in your home from months to years. If you cannot manage to be flexible in large frames of time, foster care may not be for you right now. I have a deep-seated belief that timing is very important when it comes to being a foster parent. It is very, very okay if now is not the time for your family.

Is my support network sturdy and reliable?
Being a parent, in general, can open your eyes to how much we really need a village. Within foster care, your village often needs to be fingerprinted, present, socially-aware, trauma-informed and supportive of your family. The most successful foster parents have people in their lives who are also invested in caring for the family because when the going gets rough, it can be extremely rough. It’s also invaluable to be connected to other foster parents. Fostering can become very lonely. It is an experience that is hard to empathize with unless you have experienced it yourself. Many foster agencies and some churches hold support groups for this reason.

Are my own children ready?
Deciding to foster is a family affair. Your own child’s fears, assumptions and opinions need to be explored. Also, I highly recommend considering birth order as adding a child in your home may no longer mean your oldest is the oldest, or that your baby is the baby. Some children show great resilience in this change. Others struggle to share their parents.

Am I ready for multiple voices to speak into my life and home?
Foster care is not a private affair. Between caseworkers, guardian ad-litems, possible biological family members, school personnel, lawyers, judges, therapists, and doctors, you will feel like your whole life is everyone’s business. For the safety of the child, your life and home will be on full display. Your planner may quickly fill to the brim with appointments both in and outside of your home. Though you will find new rhythms, you may find yourself “trimming the fat” when it comes to non-essential activities and commitments.

Am I ready to parent someone who is not my child?
This seems like an obvious, and almost silly question to consider. However, there were many times foster parents needed a reminder that every child is different and therefore, needed to be parented differently. I believe this is true even of biological siblings, but children of foster care come from different cultures, upbringings and often with trauma (as being removed from a parent or home is traumatic in and of itself.) As a foster parent, are you ready to try parenting techniques you never considered? Are you willing to receive constructive criticism and advice? Are you willing to be a learner, even if you have parented five other children? Are you ready to be compassionate as well as enforce clear boundaries with gentleness and respect? Are you able to accept a child where they are, and not where you expect them to be? Trauma alters the brain greatly. Healing comes when consistency and love work hand-in-hand.

This is a short-list of questions and not meant to be exhaustive. Foster care and adoption agencies do a great job preparing families and giving them a lot to consider. My hope in writing this is to encourage families to foster with a realistic mindset. I also hope that if you are not ready for this step, you consider how you can help those who are fostering. It takes a village to raise any child, and I believe everyone has a role to play in that village.

If you are a foster parent, what questions would you add to the list above? What one piece of advice would you give to prospective foster parents?

Canning for Beginners

Canning has been a part of my family as long as I can remember. I imagine my grandmother as a little girl, spending many summer days in a hot kitchen with her family, preserving the garden’s excess that would stock their pantry and feed them the rest of the year.

By the time I was a child, canning was more tradition than necessity.

canning

At times, it was tedious and boring, but I also have fond memories of arriving at the berry patch just past dawn. The kids would pick and immediately eat handfuls of sweet berries while the adults gathered enough to make 12 months’ worth of jam for peanut butter sandwiches and biscuit breakfasts. Other days, the whole family would spend hours cutting kernels off ears of corn for freezing or stringing and snapping beans for canning in an ancient pressure cooker.

While home food preservation is no longer essential to our survival, I carry on the tradition. It feels important to continue the skill and hobby passed down from my mother and grandmother. I also enjoy sharing this part of my childhood with my children, for the sake of both education and history. And of course, local food at its freshest with minimal processing is delicious far beyond what any grocery store holds.

So, what if you have never canned anything before? Now is a great time to start. There are easy techniques and small-batch recipes that the most novice home cooks can do successfully. But first, canning begins with a water bath canner.

To set up a water bath for processing, the steps required to make the food safe and shelf-stable for long-term storage, you will need just a few inexpensive tools.

Basic Water Bath Canning Supplies:

  1. Water bath canner – a large pot with a rack inside to hold jars
  2. Glass jars, like Mason or Ball jars
  3. Jar lids and bands
  4. Jar lifter
  5. Wide-mouth funnel for filling jars

Some stores carry these supplies year-round, while others have them available seasonally. I suggest you call or shop online to check on availability. Here are detailed instructions for setting up your water bath canning process.

Water bath canning can be used with high acid foods like fruit jelly, tomatoes, pickles, and applesauce. I have two recipe suggestions for beginning canners that are simple, fast, and only require easy-to-find ingredients.

Jalapeno Jelly

Ingredients:

12 oz. jalapeno peppers, stems and seeds removed

2 cups cider vinegar

6 cups granulated sugar

2 3 oz. packets of liquid pectin (such as Certo)

Directions:

Prepare water bath and heat cleaned half- or quarter-pint jelly jars in simmering water. Also wash lids and rings and heat in a small saucepan of simmering water. Place jalapenos and 1 cup of cider vinegar in food processor and process until finely chopped. Combine puree, remaining 1 cup of cider, and sugar in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Watch pot carefully and stir constantly. Stir in liquid pectin and return to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Pour jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Cover with lids and tighten rings. Place in hot water bath and process for 10 minutes in boiling water. Jelly is delicious served on biscuits, cornbread, or as an accompaniment to cream cheese on bagels or crackers. Makes about 6 half-pints of jelly.

Bread and Butter Pickles

Ingredients:

6 lb crunchy cucumbers, sliced ¼” thick

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1/3 cup kosher salt

4 cups white vinegar

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

4 tbs mustard seed

2 tsp celery seed

2 tsp turmeric

Directions:

Place sliced cucumbers and onions in a colander and set over a bowl or sink. Toss with salt and allow to drain for 2 hours. Rinse slices with water. Place a double layer of paper towels on enough cookie sheets to hold the cucumbers and onions in a single layer. Then cover the slices with two additional layers of paper towels and let dry overnight. The next day, prepare water bath and sterilize pint jars in simmering water. Also heat lids and rings in a small saucepan of simmering water. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric in a large saucepan. While the pickling liquid comes to a boil, pack cucumber and onion slices into jars as tightly as possible. Pour vinegar mixture into jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Close jars with lids and rings. Process pints for 10 minutes in hot water bath. Pickles are perfect on a burger, on a charcuterie board, or added to salads. Makes approximately 4 pints of pickles.

Summer Ice Cream

Ahhhh, summer. Time for cookouts, swimming, picnics, warm weather and…ICE CREAM! We know that UDF, Aglamesis Brother’s, Graeter’s and other chain ice cream places are delicious, but we want to give a shout out to these smaller local businesses. We rounded up our favorite soft serve ice cream establishments. Only a couple of these locations, serve their treats year round. The rest of these are seasonal places that we look forward to trying this summer. See the bottom of the guide if you’d prefer something different than soft serve!

Make sure to bring cash as many of these places are cash-only establishments.

Double check times on websites or Facebook pages as well. And be sure to let us know what your favorite place is!

Do not let the fact that Rhino’s is inside of a Shell gas station deter you. Stop in anytime (24/7!) to try some frozen yogurt, soft serve, gelato, or sorbet with over 100 toppings to choose from! They have 23 flavors at a time and are right down the road from Summit Park in Blue Ash! Your kids will love the color-changing spoons.

10415 Kenwood Road
Cincinnati Ohio 45242
513-282-4042

Cincinnati Parlor
*Links below*

2069 Beechmont Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45230
119 Main St. Milford, OH 45150
1218 Broadway St. Cincinnati OH

Now you can get your ice cream fix at any of their three locations. At the Old Milford Parlor, get ice cream, coffee or coffee, and ice cream together at this adorable parlor in downtown Milford. They serve ice cream year-round! Try the Java Whip shake or malt with espresso. Or for something different, try the edible cookie dough…it’s amazing. At the Pendleton Parlor, order anything delicious off the menu, but be sure to say hello to the life-size Bumblebee (from the Transformers) before or after you devour your sweet treat. At the Mt. Washington Creamy Whip, get some soft serve with a topping or a sundae and sit outside at a table. Then take some cookies or other baked goods home with you! Our pick is the peanut butter sundae!

Cone Zone

4101 Harrison Ave. Cheviot, OH 45211

Here you can order at the walk-up window, drive-thru or sit inside in the parlor to enjoy your shake, malt, cone or flurry. Try an ice ball with ice cream in the middle of shaved ice with your flavor of choice!

Dairy Corner

3501 Main St. Newtown, OH 45244

Established in 1955, The Dairy Corner is a walk-up ice cream experience. Enjoy soft serve cones, banana splits, malts and shakes among other goodies. Make sure to bring your pooch for some vanilla soft serve and a dog biscuit!

Dari Crest

3024 Madison Ave. Covington, KY 41015

Walk up and place your order for an ice cream cone, float, soda, shake or sundae. Then enjoy your treat at one of the many picnic tables they have. Our favorite menu item? A cyclone with your choice of candy mixed into the ice cream.

Don’s Creamy Whip

1522 Market Street. Reading, Ohio 45215

The owner of Vonderhaar Catering opened this ice cream business in 1976. Get a cone with cherry dip on the outside!

Dreamy Whip

Follow this food truck on Facebook and Instagram to find out where they will be and what their flavors are!

Flub’s

981 Eaton Ave. Hamilton, OH 45013

With 44 flavors of cyclones to try (or make your own!), cones, sundaes, shakes, pies and cakes, everyone will find something to love here. Try the Stella’s Samoan cyclone which is vanilla ice cream, chocolate dip top, caramel, vanilla wafers, and toasted coconut.

General Custers Golf and Gulp

3325 Westbourne Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45248

Not only does this place have a variety of soft serve, yogurt, and shakes, but they also have miniature golf, aqua balls, a bungee jumper and a game room. Work up an appetite doing all the activities with your family then go eat back your burned calories on some ice cream!

Gold Top

2810 Blue Rock Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45239

Get some soft serve ice cream, a shake, malt or flurry here and then get an ice cream cake to take home! Get any kind of ice cream, but make sure to get the crunch coating!

Johnny’s Creamy Whip

7901 Beechmont Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45230

Get the car washed then head over to the walk-up creamy whip. Order a cone, sundae, shake, float or turbo charger. Order the refreshing mango flavor. By the time you polish off your cone, your car will also be polished!

Legen-Dairy Whip

3376 SR 125, Bethel, OH 45106

We love this place for so many reasons! First of all, they have some innovative treats. Some days it’s pop tarts with soft serve and other flavors, some days it’s an apple fritter with soft serve and caramel—you just never know what they will come up with next. For the coffee lovers, try the affogato—soft serve with fresh brewed espresso. In addition to many flavors of soft serve ice cream, they also offer many non-dairy options and lots of yummy dole whip! They also offer soft serve pies and pints of soft serve to take home. Be sure to check their Facebook page as it is updated often with the flavors of the day as well as many food truck events. Support a local food truck for lunch or dinner and then enjoy some ice cream from Legen-Dairy!

Lil’ Goodie Shoppe

7120 Eagle Creek Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45247

Offering a huge variety of food, shakes, floats, sodas, sundaes, and flurries, among other desserts, Lil’ Goodie Shoppe also offers flurry cakes to take home. You’ll have to give them 24 hours notice for a cake. If you’re watching your waistline, this is the perfect place to try their “Only 8 Yogurt,” which is only 8 calories per ounce, has no sugar added, is low calorie and non-fat.

Loveland Dairy Whip

611 W. Loveland Ave. Loveland, OH 45140

Treat yourself to something delicious here after hiking or biking on the Loveland Bike Trail. Located 4/10 of a mile west of the trail, here you’ll find yummy cones, parfaits, and cyclones. Get the Resees parfait!

Mr. Gene’s Dog House

3703 Beekman St. Cincinnati, OH 45223

Come here hungry! Get some cheese coneys, chili cheese fries, onion rings, or even wings! Then stay for a delicious soft serve cone, sundae or banana boat!

Mt. Healthy Dairy Bar

7840 Hamilton Ave. Mount Healthy, OH 45231

Lots of soft-serve goodness here, but try one of their sherbet flavors…you won’t be disappointed!

Nanny Belle’s

1100 Summit Rd. C, Cincinnati, OH 45242

Head over to Summit Park in Blue Ash. Let the kids play at the playground and then walk over to Nanny Belle’s for a sweet treat. Their super creamy soft serve or frozen yogurt will cool everyone off on a hot summer day! Not in the mood for soft serve? They also sell brownies and cookies.

Norwood Delite Creamy Whip

4490 Forest Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45212

This centrally located creamy whip destination serves up chocolate and vanilla soft serve. They also have FlavorBursts which are swirls of flavored syrups added to your ice cream. Try a sundae inside a waffle cone!

Putz’s Creamy Whip

2673 Putz Pl. Cincinnati, OH 45211

There’s almost always a line here, and for good reason: everyone knows the ice cream is SO good! Bringing a bunch of hungry people? Get the giant banana split to share!

Rhino’s Frozen Yogurt & Soft Serve

10415 Kenwood Rd. Cincinnati Ohio 45242

Do not let the fact that Rhino’s is inside of a Shell gas station deter you. Stop in anytime (24/7!) to try some frozen yogurt, soft serve, gelato, or sorbet with many toppings to choose from! It is 49 cents per ounce so be careful how much you add to your bowl! Your kids will love the color-changing spoons.

Silver Grove Dari Bar

5178 Mary Ingles Hwy. Silver Grove, KY 41085

Choose a picnic table and order some food. Then get some strawberry soft serve for dessert!

Sprinkles Soft Serve & Tasty Treats

1861 Main St., Goshen, OH 45122

Brand new for 2020, this soft serve place offers many food options (hot dogs, nachos, soft pretzels, brownies, cupcakes and cookies) as well as a variety of delicious soft serve options, including shakes, sundaes, cones and banana splits. We also love that they offer a 10% discount at the register with a military ID!

Sweden Creme

2047 Pleasant Ave. Hamilton, OH 45015

Order some Dixie burgers for everyone and then get the kitchen sink! It’s a huge portion of ice cream served in a stainless steel sink bowl. It comes with every topping, a whole can of whipped cream and a bunch of cherries. Trust us–it’ll feed your whole crew!

Sweets N Eats

4719 Delhi Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45238

This west side favorite offers soft serve ice cream, sherbet and yogurt options. Be sure to try them all!

The Cone

6855 Tylersville Rd. West Chester, OH 45069

You cannot miss this icon in West Chester because it literally looks like an ice cream cone. On top of the large food and ice cream menu, there is a game room and kiddie rides and a drive-thru! Get the orange and vanilla twist in a cone or the buckeye parfait, made with Mackinac Island buckeyes!

The Creamy Whip

1 Eswin St, Cincinnati, OH 45218

Get a pineapple soft serve ice cream cone and a cone for your dog as well.

The Dip

1680 Gelhot Dr. Fairfield, OH 45014

Come here and sit under the gazebo. Try a pretzel cone with your choice of ice cream flavor and a topping! And bring your dog for a doggie cone!

The Goody Shop

2009 Springdale Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45231

Enjoy a delicious strawberry shortcake—soft serve with homemade cake!

Tucker’s Whippy Dip

127 East Main Street Mason, OH 45040

Bring all the kids here for an ice cream or slushie. They are known for making animal faces on the ice cream!

Twist Ice Cream Company

7813 Bethany Rd. Liberty Township, OH 45044

Try a float, sundae or twist at this newer establishment in the northern part of Cincinnati. We love the large green space and seating areas!

Walker Bros Ice Cream

9245 Montgomery Rd. Montgomery, OH 45242

This family-owned soft serve ice cream shop (named for the four sons of the owners) is right across the street from Montgomery Inn restaurant. Enjoy a yummy meal there then head across the street for dessert on the large patio.

Whippy Dip

140 S. Main St. Crittenden, KY 41030

This place has over 50 flavors of ice cream and shakes. It won’t take long to find a favorite!

Whipty-Do

2529 US Rt. 22 Maineville, OH 45039

Stop in here and enjoy blue ice cream (just like a local amusement park) or a Dole Whip (just like a famous amusement park). Fun fact: they ask for $2 bills from the bank and will often give you these back in change!

Zip Dip

4050 Drew Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45248

Shakes, malts, flurries, floats, sundaes and a variety of yogurt round out the menu at this ice cream location. Get the turtle sundae—it’s well worth the calories!



Not in the mood for soft serve? Try one of these different local establishments to get your ice cream fix!

Buzzed Bull Creamery

1408 Main St. Cincinnati, OH 45202

Here is where you will find Cincinnati’s only liquid Nitrogen ice cream. Over 30 flavors of ice cream are available with over 20 mix-ins and liquor for the 21 and up crowd. Our pick is a flight, which includes four 3 oz. “buzzed flavors.” Flight flavors change monthly.

Cowboy Cones

508 Wyoming Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45215

Offering soft serve from United Dairy, as well as hand dipped ice cream from Chocolate Shoppe, you’re sure to find something here to love. Try a homemade waffle cone, or get an ice cream kit to take home! These include two pints of ice cream, five toppings, hot fudge/caramel and 4 cake/sugar cones so you can make your own sundaes at home.

Hello Honey

633 Vine St. Cincinnati, OH 45202

Simply delicious ice cream with not so normal flavors (brown butter caramel and bourbon praline nut) in an adorable shop downtown make this a must-try. Get the banana honeycomb ice cream and don’t forget to add a flame-torched marshmallow on top!

Schneider’s Sweet Shop

420 Fairfield Ave. Bellevue, KY 41073

Stop in here to try their homemade ice cream or get a malt, shake, float, sundae or banana split. Take home some delicious chocolates or give as a special gift to someone.

Sweet Tooth Candies

125 W. 11th St. Newport, KY

Known for their ice balls in the summer, Sweet Tooth also sells handmade chocolates and ice cream!

Whit’s Frozen Custard–Lebanon

Whit’s Frozen Custard–Independence

6 S. Broadway St. Lebanon, OH 45036 & 2026 Harris Road Independence, KY 41051

Stop in to Whit’s in Ohio or Kentucky to get your frozen custard treats!



Are you up for a Cincinnati Ice Cream challenge? Try contributor Rachel’s recipe for homemade Black Raspberry Chip Ice Cream!

We are grateful to our Title Sponsor for 2020-2021, Rhino's Frozen Yogurt & Soft Serve!

June Family Fun in Cincinnati & NKY {2020}

Editor’s Note: In light of COVID-19, many venues have not updated their June event dates and information. This guide is accurate as possible as of the publish date.

Upcoming Events (Currently not Canceled)

Bluegrass Music Art and Crafts Festival

June 6

Vinoklet Winery and Restaurant
11069 Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45252
11am-11pm
$5 admission

Vinkolet Winery is very excited to continue a new tradition of great bluegrass music with the Second Annual Bluegrass Music Festival. There will be 6 bluegrass bands, arts and crafts, beer and wine and food booths.

Wednesdays in the Woods

Wednesdays from June 3-August 12, 2020

Burnet Woods – Historic Bandstand
3251 Brookline Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220
Concerts from 7-9 pm
Free, but contributions encouraged

Come celebrate everything great about summer at our spirited series of 11 free weekly concerts. Good friends, good tunes, good food, good times with a variety of hands-on art making activities for the kids – all at the historic 1911 Burnet Woods bandstand!

Sayler Park Sustains

June 13

6600 Gracely Drie, Cincinnati, OH 45233
Noon-10 pm

FREE music all day, kids’ stuff, vendors, raffles, local food and beer, and more!

Taste of Newport

June 7

Monmouth Street between 6th and 9th Street, Newport, KY
11am-6pm

Join us for the sixth year of this street festival where Newport businesses offer a taste of their best with all items priced modestly so you can sample a lot of our flavors! The event will also feature live music, sidewalk sales and more! Monmouth will be closed to vehicular traffic between 6th and 9th Streets during the event so attendees can stroll about and visit all their friends, favorite booths and businesses.

Newport Italianfest

June 11 – June 14

Newport Riverfront
June 11 5pm-11pm
June 12 5pm-11:30pm
June 13 noon-11pm
June 14 noon-9pm

Join us for the 29th Newport Italianfest, named a Top 20 Event for June by the Southeast Tourism Society and held along Newport’s Riverboat Row between the Purple People and Taylor-Southgate Bridges. The festival has authentic Italian food and live Italian music performed by entertainers from around the nation and from “the old country”, a Golf Outing, and a Family Photo Booth showcasing the history of Italian families that settled in Newport generations ago. Other fun includes a cooking contest, games and rides for the little ones. Events kick off with a Bocci Ball Tournament at Pompilio’s Restaurant on Wednesday. The event averages over 100,000 visitors. For more info: 859-292-3666

Currently Canceled 2020 Events

Summerfair

Cincitalia

Art in the Garden

Ice Cream Social Cruise
BB Riverboats Currently Closed

Family Dinner Cruise
BB Riverboats Currently Closed

Cincinnati Food Truck Association Food Fest
New Date is 9/26/2020

Father’s Day at the Zoo
Cincinnati Zoo is Currently Closed

Cuba: Journey to the Heart of the Caribbean
Cincinnati Museum Center Currently Closed

Butterflies of Bali
Event Postponed until Further Notice

Summitfest

Thursday Art Play 
The Contemporary Arts Center is Currently Closed

Tusculum Street Fest

Juneteenth Festival

Washington Park Events
Organized events at Washington Park currently suspended, including, but not limited to: Summer Adventure with the Library, Pop-Up Play: Youngster Yoga, Opera in the Park, and The City Flea.

Panegyri

Cincinnati Pride Parade and Festival

Expert Edward Wallace: COVID-19 and African American Health Disparities 

An emerging trend: African Americans are dying at higher rates from coronavirus.

Edward Wallace, PhD, on faculty at the University of Cincinnati and a public health expert with a focus on community health, health disparities and health equity, provides comments on how COVID-19 is impacting African American communities.

“Statistics are showing that African Americans are disproportionately being affected by COVID-19. However, we must remember that African Americans are more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and other chronic disease that puts them at higher risk of suffering from the illness,” says Wallace, associate professor in UC’s Department of Africana Studies, undergraduate director for Africana Studies and director for the college’s Minority Health Certificate.

African American

“When people work an hourly wage (i.e. food service) and are deemed to be working jobs that are essential to the public, they risk exposure to the coronavirus. We are seeing African Americans practice social distancing much later than whites, largely because they don’t have the luxury to stay at home and work.”

“This affects us all, either directly or indirectly. Eventually, COVID-19 will come to an end. However, health disparities will still remain when this pandemic is long gone.”

Wallace currently teaches a course called “Black Healthcare” where students learn why African American individuals tend to die sooner than any other racial or ethnic group. His most recent book project – Urban Health Disparities: The Wounds of Policies and Legal Doctrines – focuses on policies that harm people of color rather than help the most vulnerable.

Angela Koenig, Public Information Officer
University of Cincinnati

Connecting with your Neighbors

Now that we are all spending more time at home (or all of our time), it’s the perfect opportunity to intentionally connect with the people who are living through these unique times right next door, on your street, and even in your own backyard. Maybe you have smiled and waved or had a quick conversation in passing, but now these neighbors may be the only ones you see on a regular basis besides your own family.

neighbors

Here are some fun ways to connect and interact with your neighbors and build community, regardless of the situations we may find ourselves in now or in the future:

• Kids can play Tic Tac Toe, Hangman, or even Pictionary on a glass storm door. Get a window marker and kids can play away on either side of the glass.
• Chalk someone’s driveway or sidewalk with fun pictures and messages to brighten their day.
• Draw a game of hopscotch on the sidewalk in front of your house for everyone to enjoy while they are out walking.
• Organize a neighborhood scavenger hunt where everyone puts the same type of image in their window. As families walk through the neighborhood, they can count how many they find.
• Have a meal “together” in the backyard. Pull tables up to the fence if your neighbors are close in proximity and you can pretend you are eating at one long table!
• Have a “distanced” happy hour in a driveway or backyard.
• Plant a flower or vegetable garden on your property line so you can share the work, beauty, and bounty.
• Drop a surprise on someone’s doorstep, a special treat, new sidewalk chalk, or bubbles.
• Send a text when you are heading to a store for essentials to see if they need anything while you are out.
• Cleaning out and organizing? Offer unwanted toys to a neighbor whose kids may enjoy a new thing to play with.
• Paint some rocks and leave them in places around the neighborhood. It will be a fun surprise for others to find.

Most importantly, get creative! It’s so easy to stay in our houses and just try to survive. Take this opportunity to really connect and build lasting relationships with your neighbors. Someday soon, you will be drinking those margaritas without a fence in between and enjoying dinner and playdates together inside your homes.

Pregnant During a Pandemic: What’s a New Mom To Do?

 

The question leads to more questions and I am still trying to figure this out.  A new world seems to have been unveiled before our very eyes and no matter who you are, you are affected every day. As a woman who is pregnant with her first child, my concerns are definitely weighing heavy on my heart these days.  

One thing I’ve learned so far about pregnancy: You never know what pregnancy will look like for you until you are going through it. 

pregnant

On top of that, sometimes it can change in the blink of an eye. Sometimes over the course of days or weeks, things can dramatically change. For myself, within a few weeks of planning by my employer, I was sent to work from home. I actually feel extremely blessed because of this.

It’s given me less anxiety to HAVE to be around people that could be sick, has helped me focus on the health of myself and my baby AND, I’m employed. Something, unfortunately, a lot of people can’t relate to (and if you are in that pool, I am so sorry to hear that, as I know it’s more unwanted and unneeded stress). When I moved to Ohio almost a year ago, if I would’ve transferred with my old job or taken the first one that came up for me here, I’d be out of one, too.  

With that being said, being pregnant with my first child during this time has given me extra anxiety, no doubt.

His father is now not able to come to our check-up appointments and ultrasounds. Even if he were permitted, I would probably tell him not to come as it’s just one less trip “out into the world” one of us wouldn’t have to make during these times. I have to go in by myself wearing a mask and gloves, trying to not get close to anybody or touch anything unless absolutely necessary.

My doctor’s office seems to be doing a good job of making their office more of a “skeleton crew” (one doctor, one nurse, one office assistant, one patient at a time in the waiting room). Being worried about germs and getting sick without a pandemic is bad enough (normal pregnancy feelings). At a time when you want to be able to talk to people and hug people, to celebrate and be happy, you feel a shadow has been cast and you almost feel you are being held back in a way of happiness because of all the roadblocks being presented.  

I don’t go out at all these days except the walks we take with our dog, Silas. 

Fortunately, I feel like they have been saving my sanity, getting me out and getting fresh air. I have a new appreciation for it for sure. I’m also glad we are in the spring season as if this were winter… I don’t even want to think about it.  I do like to go on “drives” once in a while as well when I can – not going anywhere but just getting out of the house.  

Here are some things that have helped me get through that extra anxiety: 

  • Meditation
  • Prenatal yoga (virtually, of course)
  • Taking a walk outside on a nice spring day
  • Spending time with your loved ones/pet(s)/people you are quarantined with
  • Calling, Skyping, or FaceTiming friends and family to stay in touch

This is the time we were told to take our babymoons (canceled!) and have a baby shower (we are doing mine virtually) but really, at the end of the day, spend time doing some things for YOURSELF. Whatever that looks like, as long as you are enjoying your time and you are relaxing. Sometimes you have to shut the external noise off and just focus on you (or just take a nap).

At the end of the day, any social inconveniences or roadblocks I will survive as long as me and my baby are healthy. I am willing to sacrifice what I need to in order to get through this pandemic intact and as ready for motherhood as I can be.  

I definitely don’t have all the answers and I’m pretty sure none of us pregnant mamas do (my perspective only). Sometimes it just helps to know we are doing our best as pregnant moms and to remind yourself of that daily. Sometimes it just helps to know other people are going through the same thing you’re going through every day. Sometimes it helps just to breathe and know we will all get through this.   

One day at a time. Hang in there, new mamas! 

Splash Playgrounds & Community Pools

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we recommend checking with each venue before heading out.  Some splash pads and pools may not be opening this year.

Things to consider before you head out for some water play fun at your local splash playground.

  1. Is there an adjacent playground? If so, you may want to bring an extra set of clothes. (Of course you may want to do this anyway so the kiddos aren’t riding home in the car seats soaking wet.)
  2. Are there concessions? We have asterisked (**) the ones we know about for you below.
  3. Make sure you have the essentials! Water (to drink), snacks (fruit is great on hot summer days), sunscreen, towels, hats, water shoes and hand sanitizer.
  4. Double check if there is an admission fee. Many of the spraygrounds featured have a free component to a wet/dry playground combination, but some do charge a small fee. The community pools mentioned do have fees associated, but they are very reasonable.
  5. Bring your camera or phone, because sprayground pics are precious!
  6. There is benefit to bringing both a wet and dry bag on these kinds of outings.
  7. Do you want to wear swim clothes yourself? Sometimes it is inevitable that you will get wet as well when you are chasing your little ones around.
  8. Lather on the sunscreen before leaving the house. It takes a while to start working.

Splash Playgrounds

Washington Park Interactive Waterpark

A state-of-the-art, 7,000 square foot interactive water feature is a focal point for the park and a year-round attraction. The water feature consists of more than 130 pop up jets that can be synchronized to music and lights. Other elements include steps with cascading water and a large boulder with water flowing over the sides to create a playful attraction for children.

The water park is open daily, April through October, from 10am – 11pm.

Adjacent to a dry playground.

FREE

Over the Rhine

Smale Riverfront Park Interactive Fountains

The fountains are on the Walnut Street Plaza (opposite The Banks) and in the Main Street Plaza, at the foot of Joe Nuxhall Way along Mehring Way. Fountains can also be found on the West end of the park near the suspension bridge and adjacent to the carousel.

The fountains are open from 10am-11pm

Adjacent to a dry playground and in the Carol Ann Carousel. If you plan to ride the carousel you WILL need to do this first or bring dry clothes to change into.

FREE

Downtown

Parky’s Wetland Adventure in Woodland Mound

One of Great Parks of Hamilton County’s three wet playgrounds. Located at Woodland Mound, this playground features a 16-foot tree with two slides, a whimsical great blue heron, frogs, turtles and flowers which spray water.

Hours are 11am-7pm, starting May 26.  Starting August 20th they are only open for weekends until September 3rd.

Admission wristbands, valid at all three wet playgrounds, are $4 per child (children under 2 are free), $10 for three children or $25 for a season pass. All playgrounds pass $40.

A valid Great Parks of Hamilton County Motor Vehicle Permit ($14 annually; $3 daily) is required to enter the parks.

Adjacent to a dry playground.

** Concessions **

Anderson Township

Parky’s Ark in Winton Woods

One of Great Parks of Hamilton County’s three wet playgrounds. Located at the Winton Woods Harbor, this wet play area includes 18 animal figures that squirt and spray water onto the play surface area.

Hours are 11am-7pm, May 26th-August 20th and then on weekends only through Labor Day, weather permitting.

Admission wristbands, valid at all three wet playgrounds, are $4 per child (children under 2 are free), $10 for three children or $25 for a season pass. All playgrounds pass $40.

A valid Great Parks of Hamilton County Motor Vehicle Permit ($14 annually; $3 daily) is required to enter the parks.

Adjacent to a dry playground.

** Concessions **

Green Hills

Clippard Park

The sprayground at Clippard Park is be open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend from 11am – 5pm daily.  It features a variety of motion activated features for all to enjoy plus a nice shaded picnic table for those who prefer to stay dry.

Adjacent to a dry playground.

FREE

Colerain

Beech Acres Park

This is a great park for kids of all ages and literally a little bit of everything. The water feature is turned on from 10am-8pm and scheduled to be turned on from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Incorporated into a dry playground.

FREE

Anderson Township

Juilfs Park

The water play area completes the well-received playground renovation and continues the playground’s farm theme with these features: a pig, rooster, horse, sheep and bull aqua sprayers; trickle tractor; and silo aqua sprayer.

Adjacent to a dry playground.

FREE

Anderson Township

Home of the Brave

This 54-acre park features five multi-purpose sporting fields for soccer, softball, baseball and lacrosse, a Veterans’ memorial plaza, a shelter, and wet and dry playground areas. 

The water park feature operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day, from 11am – 7pm

FREE

Loveland

Sharon Woods

This little stream  and sprayground, is a great way to burn off energy in the late afternoons.

Adjacent to a dry playground.

FREE

** Concessions **

Sharonville

Pleasant Ridge Sprayground

Part of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, hours are 10am – 10pm.

A pool membership is required (daily admission can be purchased) during regular pool hours, otherwise, free

Pleasant Ridge

Oakley Sprayground

Part of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, hours are 10am – 10pm.

A pool membership is required (daily admission can be purchased) during regular pool hours, otherwise, free

Oakley

McKie Sprayground

Part of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, hours are 10am – 10pm.

A pool membership is required (daily admission can be purchased) during regular pool hours, otherwise, free

Northside

North Fairmount Sprayground

Open for fun late May through early September!

FREE

North Fairmount

South Fairmount Sprayground

Open for fun late May through early September!

FREE

South Fairmount

Caldwell Sprayground

Open for fun late May through early September!

FREE

Carthage

Dyer Sprayground

Open for fun late May through early September!

FREE

West End

College Hill Sprayground

Open for fun late May through early September!

FREE

College Hill

Oyler Sprayground

Open for fun late May through early September!

FREE

Price Hill

City of Covington Pool & Sprayground

The Water Park/Splash Pad is great for young children. The Water Park is subject to a seasonal schedule and is available to all Covington residents in possession of a pool pass.

FREE to Covington Residents – Proof of Residency is Required

Covington

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park

Conveniently located on High Street in the uptown shopping district, it is a beautifully landscaped area including the interactive Kyger Rader Fountain.

FREE

Oxford

Community Pools & Aquatic Centers

Ziegler Pool

Located in the northwestern-most corner of Ziegler park, the pool is a single connected entity that features three distinct areas:

  • A zero-depth entry shallow area at the eastern end
  • A central section (the largest of the three) featuring five regulation 25-meter lanes
  • A deep end including a one-meter diving board, and a climbing wall that arcs out slightly over the water

Along the western side of the shallow pool is an accessible ramp with handrails that leads swimmers into the pool – ramp slope and length were carefully considered to provide full and easy accessibility, eliminating the need for a mechanical deck-mounted lift. In addition, a fully accessible Pool Service building provides restrooms, showers, first aid, and concessions. While the pool can be utilized for general open swimming, swim lessons are also offered.

Daily Rates: $2 for 16 and younger; $4 Adult : $3

Family Summer Memberships: Rates for membership are assigned based on family income.

Over the Rhine

Cincinnati Recreation Commission

From shallow water pools built during the Great Depression to modern water parks, CRC has a safe and convenient way for Cincinnatians to play, learn to swim and cool off during the summer months. Best of all, daily admission rates are super affordable!

Daily Rates: $1 for: 8 and younger 8-18: $2 Adult : $3

Family Summer Memberships: $80 (3-6 people)

Locations include:

  • Bond Hill
  • Bush – Walnut Hills
  • Camp Washington
  • Hirsch – Avondal
  • LeBlond – East End
  • Evanston
  • Hartwell
  • Madisonville
  • Millvale
  • Mt. Adams
  • Filson – Mt. Auburn (Indoor)
  • Mt. Washington
  • Mckie – Northside
  • Oakley
  • Hanna: Otto Armleder Memorial Aquatic Center
  • Lincoln Rec Center – OTR
  • Pleasant Ridge
  • Dempsey – Price Hill
  • Dickman – Sayler Park
  • Dunham: Otto Armleder Regional Aquatic Center
  • Ryan – Westwood
  • Winton Hills
  • Spring Grove Village

Several Around Town

Wyoming Family Aquatic Center

The Wyoming Family Aquatic Center offers a competitive-size pool, play and spray area, vortex swirl pool, diving board, slide, bathhouse, and snack bar. The pool operates between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

The pool opens for the 2018 season on May 26 at Noon .  Open though Labor day (Sept 3)

Daily Rates: $8(resident)/$12(non-resident) for 18 and older; $6(resident)/$10(non-resident) for 3-17; 2 and under are free.
Twilight Rates (after 6pm): $4(resident)/$8(non-resident)

Summer memberships are available.

Wyoming

Fairfield Aquatic Center

Splash around at the Fairfield Aquatic Center this summer. Water-based activities for everyone include an eight lane lap pool, diving board, climbing wall, large swirling water slide, interactive water play structure and sprayground.

The pool opens for the 2018 season on May 26.

Daily Rates: $8 for 18 and older; $5 for 17 and younger,  0-2 are free.
Twilight Rates (after 5pm): $5 for 3 and older

Summer memberships are available.

Fairfield

Florence Family Aquatic Center

This premier facility contains a lazy river, competition pool, zero depth area, two spray grounds, a spiral and a speed slides, sunbathing areas, shelters, funbrellas, bathhouse (including family restrooms) and concessions area.

The pool opens for the 2018 season on May 26-Aug 12.

Daily Rates: $7 (resident)/$10(non-resident) adult; $5 (resident)/$7(non-resident) 3-15,  0-2 are free.
Twilight Rates (after 6pm): $4(resident)/$6(non-resident)

Summer memberships are available.

Florence/NKY

The City of Oxford Pool

The pool opens for the 2018 season on May 26.

Daily Rates: $4.50 for 18 and older; $3.50 for 3-17; 2 and under are free.

Summer memberships are available.

Oxford

To Grandmother’s House We (Can’t) Go

Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we can’t go right now, due to COVID-19 and social distancing orders. This is hard on kids and on us that have parents and grandparents still living. 

I was supposed to see my Mom and Grandma in March down in Florida, and that had to be canceled.

My stepmom lives here in Cincy, but all we can do is say hi from 6 feet away when we have gone to check on her. My MIL had her 81st birthday, and we couldn’t even give her a hug for it; we had to sing from her doorway and FaceTime some family in on it. Now, her whole building is quarantined, and we have to rely on kind strangers in medical and senior assistance fields to make sure she has basics like food and toothpaste. 

Our daughter has a grandmother in Indy that she can’t see at the moment either. Both my mothers have FaceTime, but the rest of Ady’s grandmothers do not. She is used to going over to Grammie Sue’s here in town, spending a weekend night, having breakfast together, and doing a grocery run. That is all on hold for her right now. 

grandmother

Our daughter is 10, and she understands the basics that we have to shelter-in-place in order to try not to get this virus and to stay healthy and alive – and that staying away from the grandmas will help keep them healthy and alive as well. It’s hard on her, I know, but there are you moms out there with younger ones that really don’t understand what’s going on. It’s so confusing for them, and it’s so hard for you to explain it in a way that might understand, all while trying to be brave and resilient like we do as moms. 

What are some ways you’ve tried to explain it to your kids, and what are the ways you’re trying to keep them connected to grandparents right now?

Some ways we’ve found include –

  • Phone calls
  • FaceTime calls
  • Emails
  • Letters or cards with drawings
  • Sending pictures via phone, email, or social media
  • Saying “Hi” from > 6 feet away (when it’s been safe and allowed to do so)

It doesn’t replace seeing parents or grandparents in person, but they are the ways we have right now to keep both our kids’ and their grandmas’ spirits up as much as possible. And, that’s what’s most important right now – staying connected, feeling a sense of togetherness, fiercely chasing positivity, and putting as much love out into the universe as we can. 💗

Stay Connected

20,718FansLike
4,982FollowersFollow
494FollowersFollow
995FollowersFollow

In + Around Cincinnati

Summer Ice Cream

0
There is a large selection of local places to get summer ice cream; places that are not open year round, making them extra special summer treats!

Health & Wellness