With the official arrival of summer, Cincinnatians are looking to make the most of their leisure time soaking up the sun. Sure, we have our ol' standbys: amusement parks, pools, and festivals. But what if you could create the escape of a lifetime -- a summer worth bragging about-- without leaving the tri-state? Whether you've got the next three months free or are simply looking for a weekend adventure, CincyWhimsy has created the ultimate Summer Bucket List to  help you experience something new and break out of that boring routine!

1.       Beer & BBQ Cruise on the BB Riverboat

Sample a selection of Moerlein beers paired with a barbeque buffet while cruising along the scenic Ohio River.
Tickets are $55 for the dinner cruise, or $26 for sightseeing only.
2.       Bike to Lunken Airport CafĂ©

3.       Explore an all-accessible treehouse

Built with an elevated ramp, the treehouse is accessible for people with limited mobility and is large enough for adults too.

Home to Cincinnati's very first incline railway, a colorful stairway now occupies the space used by the Mt. Auburn Incline in 1870. Rements of the funicular are still visible, and at the top of the 960 foot climb is Jackson Park, providing a gorgeous view of the city.

5.       Tour Cincinnati on a Metro Bus

Go sight-seeing in your own city in the comfort and air conditioning of public transit! For just $1.75, pick a route of an area you’ve never visited and let the bus do the driving. See what the Westside or Eastside has to offer, ride the new Metro*Plus express route to Kenwood Mall or jump aboard Route 1 for a tour of Downtown Cincinnati and Mt. Adams landmarks, such as Music Hall, Union Terminal, Fountain Square, and Playhouse in the Park.

6.       Attend a Heritage Programs tour

Learn something new about your neighborhood with regular tours covering a broad range of topics, hosted by docents of Cincinnati Museum Center. These thorough excursions explore everything from Rookwood Pottery and Kentucky Bourbon to spelunking in the Cincinnati Subway and climbing the high steel of Union Terminal’s rotunda.

7.       Reenact a Civil War battle with an alternate ending

Photo by Heritage Village Museum
Celebrate Civil War weekend at Heritage Village Museum, a living history town, as hundreds of soldiers from the Union and Confederate armies reenact the Battle of Atlanta, with one day showing a Northern victory, and one day depicting the experience of a Southern victory.

8.       Joust!

Live in the glory of an American Gladiator with the jousting ring that travels around the tri-state to special events and festivals. We found this one at Rhinegeist in Over-the-Rhine.

9.       Eat an ice ball

Signature to Northern Kentucky, this part- sno cone, part-ice cream treat is a must for your summer sweet tooth. We recommend trying coconut ice cream and tiger’s blood ice OR coffee ice cream with black raspberry ice. Get it at Sweet Tooth in Newport or Schneider’s Sweet Shop in Bellevue.

10.   Sip a beer while porchsittin' at Mt. Carmel Brewing Company

12.   Paddle a canoe to explore an abandoned ship

Photo by Queen City Discovery

13.   Riverfront Segway Tour

Explore the urban core on wheels with a guided tour through Downtown’s eastern historic district, Procter & Gamble, crossing the Purple People Bridge, and gliding along the riverfront at Friendship Park.

14.   Artworks Mural Tour

Use the Artworks Map and Mural Guide for a self-guided tour of 64 public art installments spread throughout 34 neighborhoods in the city.

15.   Visit a new creamy whip once a week

16.   Check out the new OMNIMAX movies at Cincinnati Museum Center

17.   Take an excursion on the Cincinnati Dinner Train

Partake on a 3-hour train excursion through Cincinnati on historic 1940s passenger cars while enjoying a 4-course meal and spectacular views.

18.   Tour the rotunda at Cincinnati Museum Center

Free on weekends from 1:00-3:00pm, docents guide a walking tour along the catwalk of Union Terminal’s rotunda, high above the lobby floor. Visit behind-the-scenes features of the Museum Center, such as the historic President’s Office and railroad boardroom, which are off-limits to the public.

20.   Volunteer in your community

Give back to your neighborhood! Whether helping hands-on with Habitat for Humanity, getting active at a senior center, donating blood, or campaigning for a politician, being selfless is hot this summer.

21.   Attend a stargazing seminar at Cincinnati Observatory

Gaze into the universe using the oldest telescope in the United States. Expert staff explain the location of stars and planets on the celestial plain while you learn how to identify certain constellations and orient northward by using the night sky. Zoom in on a late-rising moon, planets or watch the whole sky for a meteor shower.

22.   Visit Rabbit Hash, Kentucky

Home to live acoustic music, folk art, simpler times, and a gorgeous view of the Ohio River. Stop by for drinks or a bite to eat at the General Store, and be sure to pet the mayor when you meet her. The first town to elect a dog for it's leader, Mayor Lucy Lou is a friendly border collie who was voted into office the same night as Obama won the presidency in 2008. Rabbit Hash has been governed by canines since 1998.

23.   Learn to make something in two hours at One Night, One Craft

For $5.00 a session, Contemporary Arts Center visitors have an opportunity to learn a new skill each week. Instructors from around the community volunteer to teach their medium, which varies from screen printing, to embroidery and gardening. Materials are included in the price of the class; all you have to do is show up.

24.   Find a creative way to watch Lumenocity with 30,000 other Cincinnatians

Photo by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Over 20,000 people in attendance at Washington Park for LumenoCity on Sunday.
- See more at:

25.   Go on a Streetcar Stroll

Once a month, transit advocate Noel Prows organizes a walking tour of the streetcar route. See the new developments and talk first hand with experts and construction crews.

26.   Go on an urban bike ride

Photo by 5chw4r7z

27.   1940s weekend at Union Terminal

Celebrate the heyday of Union Terminal, when 34,000 passengers used the facility daily to catch a train. Dress in retro attire, come dance to the big band music, have your hair styled as a pinup model, watch live history reenactments, marvel at the classic car show and watch films from the 1940s.

28.   Summer Rail at Union Terminal

In conjunction with 1940s weekend, Union Terminal is also hosting Summer Rail, a marathon of multimedia shows about railroading in Cincinnati and across the world. Under the dome, check out one of the largest railroad show & nostalgia sales in the United States, which spans the entire rotunda floor.

29.   Have a Date Night on the LM&N Railroad

The second Friday of each month, the LM&M Railroad hosts a date night train ride from Lebanon to Mason, stopping for dinner at Brazenhead Irish Pub along the way. The historic route takes place on 16 miles of track through Lebanon, Mason, and Monroe that has been in use by railroads since 1881.

30.  Have a trainspotting picnic in Glendale

Cincinnati’s northern suburb of Glendale was established as Ohio’s first planned community in 1855 due to the development of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railway (CH&D). Over 150 years later, an active railroad continues to run through the town, which has established a green space and benches near historical markers for visitors to watch the trains pass by.

31.   Visit the Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati

Fifteen minutes south of Cincinnati in Latonia, Kentucky, a group of rail enthusiasts have been acquiring vintage railcars since 1975. The museum has a collection of over 80 units of equipment that belong to the seven railroads that passed through Greater Cincinnati.

33. Enjoy live music at Behringer Crawford Museum's summer concert series

Photo by Behringer Crawford Museum
Country music legend Bobby Mackey will be performing this year, alongside several other fantastic artists during this nine week series.

35.   Visit the Observation Deck at Carew Tower

36.   Be a butterfly landing pad at Krohn Conservatory

37.   Ziplining at Dagaz Acres
38.   Visit Amish Country

Located an hour east of Cincinnati in Adams County, visit the Keim Family Market for handcrafted woodworking, homemade soaps and lotions, and scratch-baked goods.

39.   Find Waldo

Organized as a child's activity, finding a small 12-inch cutout of Waldo hiding in your favorite local shops can be just as fun for adults -- no need to claim a prize. Keep an eye out around Oakley, Northside, and Over-The-Rhine and snap a photo to share when you spot one. Make it an interactive scavenger hunt with friends on social media.

40.   Check out a book from a Little Free Library

Scattered across town in residential front yards, the Little Free Library program enables neighbors to trade used books with each other at no charge.

41.   Play frisbee golf at Mt. Airy Forest

42.   Visit the first U.S. President from Ohio, William Henry Harrison

43.   Take a night tour of Spring Grove Cemetery

Photo by Tim Jeffries

45.   Learn something new at Starfire 3 Day

A share-and-learn festival spanning three days is hosted by Starfire, a post-secondary education institute located in Oakley. Discover little-known stories about Cincinnati, make something by hand, or try something new all with the help of your neighbors. Starfire encourages members of the community to swap their skills in a potluck setting with their students, business leaders, and citizens.

…and to finish up the list, here are five amazing experiences I’m yearning to try, which I learned about last summer from my friend Nedra, author of Adventure Mom.

47.   Take a Chuck Wagon Dinner Ride at Bonnybrook Farms

48.   Nuzzle a wild animal at Wolf Encounter