A Cincinnati Bucket List


Cincinnati is a city filled with so much to do! So much to do in fact, that even a lifelong Cincinnatian like myself probably hasn’t done it all. In light of this realization that I have more to experience within my hometown, I had to make a Cincinnati Bucket List.

bucket list

A list full of things that if you haven’t done and confess to a fellow Cincinnatian, they might feel inclined to revoke your citizenship to this great city! So here are my ideas for a Cincinnati Bucket List:

Attend a Reds Opening Day

I must confess, this is one that I have not done yet, but it feels like something every Cincinnatian should experience at least once, so I am putting it on my bucket list. Baseball has such a huge history in our city, so even if you aren’t a big baseball fan, it would still be a great experience!

Visit the Cincinnati Zoo

It may seem obvious, because if you live here, having an amazing zoo so close can be easily taken for granted. But it is worth noting on this list because not all cities have such a great zoo. I really appreciated the Cincinnati Zoo when my husband and I were at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and there were people fascinated to see real giraffes because they had never seen them before. That’s when I realized how lucky we are to have such a great zoo at our fingertips!

Fountain Square During the Holiday Season

Fountain Square is full of activities any time of year, but there is something about it at Christmas that feels special. There is the Christmas tree, lights, ice skating, old fashion horse carriage rides through downtown and much more. Experiencing the heart of downtown Cincinnati at this time of year should not be missed!

Eat Cincinnati-Style Chili

Cincinnati is famous for the chili and as a result, there are so many great chili places to choose from. It seems Cincinnatians love to disagree about who has the best chili in town. Is it Skyline? Goldstar? Or maybe a small business like Price Hill Chili? Either way, you aren’t a true Cincinnatian until you have tried them, picked a side and can argue your favorite chili place against another Cincinnatian!

See Jimmy Buffet at Riverbend

There are a lot of Jimmy Buffet fans around here and Cincinnati is the birthplace of the nickname “Parrot Heads” for Jimmy Buffet fans. He stops here every year on his tour, and he attributes some of his fame to the Cincinnati area. With a history like that, seeing Jimmy Buffet at Riverbend, no matter what kind of music you like, should not disappoint. We are far away from beaches here, but a night at Riverbend with Jimmy and the Coral Reefer Band is sure to make you feel like you are in Margaritaville!

Go to a Football Game

Pick any level of football, high school, college or pro football and you will find a devout group of parents, students, alumni and Cincinnatians who can recite players, stats and team histories. Football is big here in Cincinnati, even at the high school level. There are so many good teams and the Bengals and Bearcats were at the top of their game last season, so if you haven’t experienced a game with one of these teams, this season might be the time to go!

Take a Walk on the University of Cincinnati’s Campus

Even if you don’t get a chance to go to a Bearcat game, you should still take a walk around the campus. UC’s campus is unique because it is a campus in the middle of a city, but it doesn’t feel like you are in a city when you are walking through the large green lawns between the fountains and trees. They also have an all-natural playscape for kids to use for free when not in use by the early childhood program!

Play at Smale Park

Want to be in the great outdoors but still be near the city life? Smale Park on the riverfront is the best of both worlds. Beautiful views of the city and Ohio River, as well as within walking distance to many favorite local restaurants on the Banks. The playground is fun for all ages and even has water play in the warmer months. Experiencing all this park has to offer should be on everyone’s Cincinnati Bucket list!

Visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Cincinnati has many great museums, and the Freedom Center is no exception. Settled near the banks of the Ohio River, the location is steeped with history as the Ohio River was the natural line that divided the free northern states and the southern slave states. This national museum has seen visitors from all 50 states and 35 countries. Living in Cincinnati gives us close access to all of the history and education they have to offer.

Have a Meal at Eighteen at the Radisson

With premium food and view to match, a meal at Cincinnati’s revolving restaurant makes the list! This is another one I still have to do, but I am sure it will not disappoint. Set on top of the Radisson Hotel in Kentucky, brunch or dinner, day or evening views, any choice is sure to be a delicious and unique experience!

And that is my Cincinnati Bucket List (so far)! I know there are tons of great ideas still out there, too! What is on your Cincinnati Bucket list? What should I add to mine?


  1. I think if you are a true Cincinnati native…. You need to get to Riverfest and attend the WEBN fireworks. There are no words to describe this epic show. To feel the boom in your gut and the smell, and just the whole visual compares to nothing like any other firework show. I believe this should be on your bucket list as well.


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