In our second city guide series (you can read our Nashville city guide here), we caught up with Katie from Cincinnati, Ohio to share with us her top spots for food and fun during weekend travels with kids in tow.
Living in the city with two little boys means we've got the family dining circuit pegged! My first choice is hands down The Eagle - not only do they have the absolute yummiest fried chicken I've ever tasted, but the space is both hip and family-friendly. There are probably 10 side options for under $6 that the kids will go nuts for - think spoonbread, mac n' cheese, biscuit with jam, and cheddar grits! We are always shocked at how cheap our bill is because the food is amazing! Pro Tip: Visit The Eagle about an hour before you'd like to eat to put your name on the wait list, then walk one block west and visit Washington Park while you wait. There is a playground and a ton of green grass to play, you can even grab a beer from the deck. It's a win-win!! After dinner grab dessert at Holtman's Donuts - you don't need directions, just walk out the door and follow your nose. :)
I don't know about you, but I LOVE Mexican! And Nada serves up delicious Mexican fare in a beautiful city-center location. We mostly eat here in the summer because their patio is amazing, the kids love to watch all the city traffic go by and you feel like your finger is right on the pulse. My boys love munching on the homemade tortilla chips and us grown-ups usually split an assortment of tacos (the Baja fish is my fave!). With a cold Mexican beer or margarita on the side, it's heaven!
Americano Burger Bar
Another city favorite of ours is Americano Burger Bar. We don't eat beef so their California Turkey Burger is our go-to but I've heard all of their burgers are amazing. You can choose to sit inside where there is a shuffle board and foosball table for the kids to mess around on, or enjoy your meal out on the patio (I'm obsessed with eating outside all summer long). My kids love going here because they have yummy vanilla shakes, and as long as they behave (I'm not above a little bribery) they get to share one for dessert. :)
If you're lucky enough to be in Cincinnati during a City Flea Saturday then you're in for a real treat. This urban flea market is one of my favorite things about summer downtown and all of the vendors are local. Located inside our city's urban park, you can shop for vintage clothes, handmade jewelry, and beautiful plants and ceramics all in one spot. Food trucks line the street and live music sets the scene...with a splash pad and playground too, you AND your kiddos will have a blast!
Carol Ann Carousel & Smale Park
We live just four blocks north of Carol Ann's carousel and you better believe we have to stop in every time we walk past. It's almost never crowded and for $2 your kids can choose to sit on any of the unique animals (think cicadas, flying pigs, and gorillas). Pack a swim suit if it's hot and enjoy any of the four different water play areas nearby. Smale Park is just south of the carousel and is located right on Cincinnati's beautiful river front. There are a ton of things to keep the kids busy and the view of the Roebling suspension bridge into Kentucky can't be missed.
Contemporary Arts Center
We love to visit the CAC all year round. Depending on the age of your children you may choose to explore the entire museum. If you have little ones then you can just go straight to the top floor and visit the "Unmuseum" - here your kiddos are free to run around and play with the rotating interactive exhibits. They even have an area stocked with every art supply imaginable - you could spend all day up here and the best part? Its FREE! Pro Tip: Before or after you explore the museum grab a coffee in the lobby at Collective Espresso (it's amazing) and relax on the big couches while your kids play with the interesting toys set out for them.
Red Balloon Play Cafe
On a cold, rainy, or too-hot day we escape to the Red Balloon in Pleasant Ridge, about 10 minutes north of the city. Not only is it a fun indoor place for the kids to run and play (they have an assortment of toy options for all ages from a jungle gym and slide to trains and blocks) but their food is healthy and delicious too!! I crave their thai peanut salad all the time, it's so unique and good! They offer a play/eat combo that covers unlimited time in the play area plus a kid's lunch for just ten bucks...can't beat that!
Katie lives in downtown Cincinnati with her partner Matt and their two little boys, Wyatt (4.5) and Rowan (1.5). You can find her on instagram @sycamorekate.