As the third-largest city in Ohio, Cincinnati offers many exciting things for residents to do in their spare time. The lifestyle in Cincinnati boasts numerous bars, restaurants, nightclubs, theatre shows and shopping opportunities. With a diverse history, Cincinnati is refreshingly multi-cultured and will surely have something for everyone.
Shopping in Cincinnati
Cincinnati features many eccentric markets and shops reflecting the culture of the people. Those seeking a unique experience should head to Jungle Jim’s International Market. Known for its quirky goods, great selection of wine and beer, and international items, this shopper’s paradise is well-frequented for its ‘drink as you shop’ policy.
Cincinnati also has several shopping malls for new arrivals to keep up with the latest trends in fashion, including Kenwood Towne Centre, Rookwood Commons & Pavilion and EastGate Mall.
Eating out in Cincinnati
Cincinnati has a strong German heritage, influenced by European immigrants who settled in Ohio centuries ago. Street food has a distinctive Germanic flair, and many restaurants specialise in Bavarian cooking.
Two staple dishes in Cincinnati include ‘Cincinnati Chili’ – a Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce served over spaghetti or hot dogs – and ‘Goetta’, a dish composed of ground meat, oats and spices formed into a loaf which is then sliced and fried in butter. There are also many fine-dining restaurants throughout Cincinnati known for their quality cuisine.
Nightlife in Cincinnati
Cincinnati has a vibrant nightlife, with many bars offering craft beer, happy hour specials and late trading hours. The city has been named one of the best American cities for nightlife and new arrivals can enjoy live music any day of the week or visit a fancy speakeasy.
Arts and culture in Cincinnati
Cincinnati is also a haven for theatre buffs. The city boasts an engaging community of artists, educators and producers. New arrivals will be spoilt for choice in terms of professional plays, community theatre and everything in between all year round.
Sporting and outdoor activities in Cincinnati
Cincinnati ranks highly nationwide for its active lifestyle, boasting beautiful parks and landmarks like the mile-long Cincinnati Skywalk. There’s also a wide assortment of green spaces for outdoorsy types, whether for a quick run or a simple picnic. The city’s iconic Ohio River also offers all sorts of fun water activities, from river boating to kayaking and more.
See and do in Cincinnati
There’s no better way for new arrivals to discover their new city than by exploring the numerous attractions in Cincinnati. Below is a list of some of the highlights of things to see and do in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Museum Centre
This centre features three museums in one location at an old converted railway station. These include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, and the Museum of Natural History and Science. The centre is also home to the Robert D. Lindner Family Omnimax Theater and the Cincinnati History Library and Archives.
Irwin M. Krohn Conservatory
The conservatory is the city’s horticultural gem, with more than 3,500 plant species from across the world in themed greenhouses that include a desert garden and a tropical rainforest. The conservatory also houses a collection of bonsai trees.
Taft Museum of Art
Housed in a 200-year-old building, this museum displays a small but impressive collection of artworks. Visitors can enjoy viewing paintings by the likes of Rembrandt, Whistler and Goya, as well as sculptures and Chinese porcelains.
Carew Tower and Observation Deck
This art deco building from the 1930s is one of Cincinnati’s tallest. Classified as a National Historic Landmark, it contains shops, restaurants and offices, but the highlight is the panoramic views over the city from the observatory on the 49th floor at the very top of the building.
American Sign Museum
This unique museum displays all kinds of signs, and the colourful, brightly lit collections are a feast for the eyes. Guided tours are recommended to bring to life the stories behind the signs, and on weekdays, tours include a visit to the on-site neon shop for a demonstration of neon sign making.
What’s on in Cincinnati
Cincinnati hosts many significant annual events. From flower shows and art festivals to food events and sporting celebrations, there’s something for everyone, and those moving to Cincinnati won’t struggle to find things to do over weekends and holidays.
Here are just a few of the most popular events in Cincinnati.
Celebrate Cincinnati’s brewing heritage at Bockfest, held on the first weekend in March each year. Two of the festival’s most prominent attractions are the opening street parade – traditionally led by a goat pulling a keg – and the brewery tours that run throughout.
Flying Pig Marathon (May)
Runners from around the region flock to Cincinnati to participate in this 26-mile (42km) marathon. But new residents don’t need to be elite runners to participate in this festive annual event, including a half-marathon, shorter fun-run distances – and even a two-mile race for dogs and their owners.
Taste of Cincinnati (May)
Held every Memorial Day weekend in downtown Cincinnati, this is the country’s longest-running culinary arts festival. Attendees can enjoy the fare of more than 50 fine-dining restaurants against the backdrop of live music at one of the festival’s five stages.
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati (September)
This annual event celebrates Ohio’s German heritage with German-style music, food and beer. More than 500,000 visitors attend each year, making it the largest Oktoberfest in North America.
Festival of Lights (November/December)
For a magical start to the holiday season, newcomers can’t go wrong with a visit to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden to see the Festival of Lights. More than 3 million LED lights are used to create striking displays in dazzling colours.
Are you an expat living in Cincinnati?
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