Staycation for the Cincinnati STEAM Family


Staycations are amazing for several reasons. Sometimes you just can’t afford the big fancy vacation, sometimes you just don’t want that added stress, and sometimes, it is just downright more relaxing to take some time off without leaving home.

Lucky for us, Cincinnati is an incredible city for staycation planning.

This series is designed to give you some excellent suggestions to help you plan your staycation. Feel free to follow the themes or mix and match between them!

Please hear us when we say this is our absolute favorite staycation itinerary.

Staycation for the Cincinnati STEAM Family

Day One

Science Day

We could fill the entire week with science options, however, in the interest of variety, you may have to choose one of these options to focus on this week.

Trammel Fossil Park is a free community space for the whole family to explore.

  • You are able to dig for fossils Trammel Fossil Park and take home your treasures! There are several informational signs that educate about fossils in general and the fossils you’re likely to come across. A great learning experience!
  • After you work up a sweat finding fossils, stop by The Root Beer Stand on your way home for a fresh, homemade root beer float!

The Museum of Natural History and Science at the Cincinnati Museum Center is an amazing place to get your science on.

  • Newly renovated you will find some old favorites (the caves!) mixed in with some new education labs, but always tons to explore and learn. (Mom Tip: Budget for an Omnimax movie addition to your day.)

Drake Planetarium offers public programs to foster a love of science and education about this great universe we live in!

  • Located inside Norwood High School

Cincinnati Observatory 

  • Open Daytime Hours to see the historic buildings and telescopes
  • Monday-Friday from Noon-4pm with tours at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm
  • They also offer a variety of events throughout the year which are worth checking out

Day Two

History Day

Cincinnati is rich with history!

Some of these you may know about and some you may not, but you can’t lose no matter where you pick to visit.

Have you heard of the Schoolhouse Restaurant?

  • Built in the early 1860s, during the Civil War, this building housed one of the first schools in the Midwest with a second story. It was in operation from 1864-1954, and the Miller family turned it into a restaurant in the 1960s. It’s a great place to reflect and see history in action, and you can also visit the general store and the live animals in the yard!

The American Sign Museum

  • Located in the Camp Washington neighborhood of Cincinnati!
  • According to the museum, signs reflect the history, technology, commerce, and culture of our communities the years.
  • Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult and guided tours are included in the admission price. (On weekdays, tours include a stop at the neon shop for a demonstration of how neon signs are made.)

You’ve probably heard of Loveland Castle.

  • But, maybe you haven’t been there yet. If not, you’re missing out on another fun way to engage the family in a history lesson.
  • Learn about the creator, have a picnic, enjoy games and puzzles, investigate the castle ghosts, explore various forms of architecture, and view period weaponry on display.

Explore the Underground Railroad History

  • Only held in the warmer months, tours of the John Rankin House are worth the scenic drive
  • Swing by the historic home of President Taft on the way home for an added bonus

Day Three

Reading Day

We love having low-key days built into our staycations.

And reading is an amazing way to encourage stimulation in a laid-back way. Here are some suggestions to build some literacy into your staycation week.

Our local bookstores are always planning special events, and many of them are often free.

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has 40 branches in addition to the main library location downtown. 

  • With that many options, you can find a program or event for any age. You can search their online program calendar, and we encourage you to try going to a library branch you’ve never been to before!
  • Check out the makerspace at the downtown location. Take a tour and learn about all of the creative options available.

Pick a book (or seven) and go to your favorite park and read!

  • Pack a picnic lunch, bring a couple blankets, and enjoy the summer sun!

Day Four

Art Day

Art is in the eye of the beholder and the experience can be too!

Visit a more traditional art venue

Or explore some more non-traditional options

  • In the Northside neighborhood, you will find a non-profit arts organization called Happen Inc. They are always hosting events at their location (often free!) and also travel around the city bringing art programs to the masses in Cincinnati. They also have a toy lab in which you can build toys from stray pieces (for a fee).
  • Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum – Outdoor sculpture garden
  • Take a pedal bike tour and see the murals downtown

Or keep it simple and check out a local pottery, painting, or craft studio

Day Five

Technology Day

Summer technology doesn’t have to be a bad thing!

There are some really cool ways to explore this city and get in a little tech time as well.

Explore the new MakerSpace at the Main Library location.

  • Try your hand at 3D printing – there are fun programs to do the design work at home and then you can set a time to go print.
  • Record a song with your family musicians

Check out the KidsSPACE at the Cincinnati Museum Center or stay close to home and explore online free and cheap coding experiences as a family.

Cool down, old school style.

  • Arcade Legacy is a video gamer’s dream. They have 7,800 square feet of space that houses 60+ arcade and pinball cabinets plus a console area with 18 stations where you can play anything from Atari 2600 to WiiU

Wind down your week with a movie.

  • Check out a Big D or 3D cinema
  • Or see if there are any summer movies playing this week


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