Enjoying Cincinnati holiday trains has been a staple festive activity in our house since my son was a baby. Around Cincinnati are 16 holiday train displays and ride-on train attractions. So hop on board, and enjoy holiday train season before it choo choos out of town.
How lucky are we that Santa is making so many stops around the Queen City this year? There are many great places to visit Santa – and snap a photo or two in 2022. Check out our list of the best spots to see Santa in Cincinnati for Christmas 2022.
And remember – Santa’s visits usually vary from the days and hours of the holiday attraction he is visiting. Santa usually arrives the weekend after Thanksgiving and heads back up to the North Pole on December 23 or 24. Most holiday attractions run a week or two longer than Santa’s visit, so double check dates before heading out!
The best spots to be dazzled by holiday lights in 2022
Nothing captures the magic of the holiday season quite like being surrounded by thousands of dazzling holiday lights. I’ve pulled together a list of the best spots to see holiday lights around Cincinnati in 2022. Here you’ll find both drive thru and walkable light displays.
I’ve rounded up a list of all pumpkin patches near Cincinnati for fall 2022. There’s a pumpkin patch that’s perfect for everyone on this list. From farms with so many fun fall attractions that it will take all day to your simple, hayride to the pumpkin patch to pick a pumpkin straight off the vine variety. And this year, I’ve included pumpkin patches that also have apple picking – for the full fall experience.
For a real GOURD time, scroll to the bottom to check out a list of local pumpkin festivals too!
The pumpkin patches are all within about an hour and a half drive of Cincinnati. Who knew we had so many great pumpkin spots so close to the Queen City?
Head’s Up: Most of these Cincinnati area splash pads featured below are free to the public, but not all. Others require a membership or reservation, so please plan accordingly!
Free Splash Pads
New for 2022
Newly renovated Gorman Park in Sharonville features green space, new playground equipment, and a brand new splash pad. The splash pad is open daily starting May 13, 2022 from 10:00am to 8:00pm. Simply press the Play button to turn on the water for some splash pad fun!
Juilfs Park is an adorable barnyard-themed playground in Anderson Township. In addition to the splash pad, this park boasts a large themed play structure, several smaller play structures, and a giant covered sandbox. The splash pad, complete with farm animals, a silo, and a tractor, will run from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend from 10:00am to 8:00pm daily.
Beech Acres Park is another Anderson Township park that includes a large playground, a sandbox, and a splash pad. For summer 2022, the Beech Acres splash pad will run daily from 10:00am to 8:00pm starting Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
Smale Riverfront Park is located (fittingly) downtown Cincinnati along the riverfront of the Ohio River and features two spraygrounds and a water play area. The water features are open daily from 10:00am to 9:00pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
I found this map to be a handy guide in locating all three water features at Smale. Fath Fountain (3) is located on Mehring Way, near the baseball stadium, and is typically the spray ground you think of when you think of Smale Riverfront Park. A second sprayground, Pichler Fountains (21), is located on the upper level of the park, near Carol Ann’s Carousel. The main water play area (19) is located along the riverfront, just west of the Roebling Bridge.
Washington Park, the gem of Over-the-Rhine, boasts one of the largest spraygrounds in town. This interactive water park is 7,000 sq. ft. and runs from 10:00am to 10:00pm from April through October. It is currently open.
The sprayground is located only a few steps away from an awesome, fenced-in playground. You can read all about the Children’s Playground below.
Located in Loveland, Home of the Brave Park features a free splash pad that runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 11:00am to 7:00pm daily. The splash pad is next to the park’s woodland-themed playground.
The splash pad at Sharon Woods Harbor consists of a spray fountain next to the playground and a little man-made creek that runs along the side of the boathouse. Sharon Woods Harbor is the area of Sharon Woods Park next to Sharon Lake with a boathouse and playground with splash pad.
The Sharon Woods Harbor water features open Memorial Day Weekend for summer 2022. Unlike the other wet playgrounds run by the Great Parks of Hamilton County, there is no additional entry fee to enjoy the spray fountain and man-made creek.
Make sure to check out my post below for everything you need to know about Sharon Woods Harbor before you go!
Another cute, free splash pad next to a playground is Clippard Park in Colerain Township. The Clippard Park splash pad will be open daily from 11:00am to 7:00pm starting Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
The splash pad at Liberty Center in Liberty Township is up and running as of May 2022. The splash pad is open every day during center hours from 10:00am to 9:00pm. You can find the splash pad in The Park area of Liberty Center. This splash pad is activated by a start button, so don’t be alarmed if you stop by and see the water off.
Located in Maineville, Landen Deerfield Park features a small splash pad, located in the middle of the park next to the bug-themed playground. This splash pad can fit about 10 kids comfortably, but it’s still a place to cool down this summer.
The WaterScape at Summit Park in Blue Ash is a cute, nature-y way to cool down this summer. Located next to the pond, in the area over by the Nature PlayScape, the WaterScape features a zero depth entry, stepping stones, and a little stream with stoppers to redirect water flow. The WaterScape does get a bit deep towards the back and the bottom is quite slippery in parts. I would suggest having your kiddo wear water shoes and keep the littler ones close by. Also, the water is from the nearby pond, so it’s not chlorinated.
The Summit Park WaterScape is open for summer 2022, but is occasionally closed and drained for maintenance – although there is usually a sign when this occurs.
Located next to a brand new playground, Kacie Jane Park splash pad is huge and has a lot to keep kids busy. Located in Springboro, a suburb of Dayton, Ohio, this splash pad is 4,000 sq. ft. and has 15 different interactive spray toys. The park was named for Kacie Jane Hausfeld, who died in a 2010 plane crash. Kacie’s mother was inspired to create a splash pad in her daughter’s honor after looking at a picture of her two daughters playing in a fountain as children.
The Kacie Jane Park splash pad is open daily from 10am-8pm Memorial Day to September or October (depending on weather).
GREAT news! The two Great Parks of Hamilton County Wet Playgrounds are back open for summer 2022. Both Parky’s Ark Wet Playground at Winton Woods and Parky’s Wetland Adventure at Woodland Mound will be open daily from 11:00am to 7:00pm starting May 28 through August 14.
The cost is $6 per child, and a bathing suit is required to enjoy the water. And don’t forget to check out the FREE splash pad and man-made creek at Sharon Woods Harbor!
Located in Over-the-Rhine, Zeigler Pool is part of Zeigler Park. The pool features a zero depth walk-in zone with interactive water features by the bigger pool, along with a sprayground located away from the pool area. Reservations are no longer required for open swim at Zeigler Pool for summer 2022; only for lap swim sessions.
The pool is open May 2 through September 18, 2022. Hours vary by day. There is a flat entry fee of $4 per person, per session. Season passes are sold out for 2022, but there is a waitlist available.
The Cincinnati Recreation Commission operates several pools and spraygrounds throughout Cincinnati. The nine CRC spraygrounds will be open daily from 10:00am to 9:00pm beginning Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The spraygrounds are free, but there is an admission fee for the pools.
Details on CRC pools openings, hours, and fees can be found on their website.
Mason Municipal Aquatic Center
The City of Mason Municipal Aquatic Center opens for its second season this year. The outdoor leisure pool, along with the brand new enclosed 50-meter pool, will be open from 11:00am to 7:00pm May 28 through September 5.
The outdoor leisure pool is very family-friendly and perfect for younger kids. There is a big splash pad away from the pool area, big slides, a lazy river, and a zero depth entry with interactive features. We had so much fun here last summer, and can’t wait to spend time at the pool again this year.
Pool passes are still available for this summer and can be purchased by residents, corporate residents and non-residents. Daily passes are also available for $15. Children under age 3 are free.
The Sharonville Aquatic Center in Sharonville is slated to open Memorial Day Weekend for summer 2022. However, the opening may be delayed due to repairs needed from a lightning strike in mid-May.
This pool features the cutest family area, complete with zero depth entry, toddler dolphin slide, squirt whale, water playground, and more. The Sharonville Aquatic Center will be open from 12:00pm to 8:00pm on Monday through Friday, and from 11:00am to 8:00pm on the weekend.
The Blue Ash Recreation Center outdoor swimming pools will be open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend for summer 2022. The outdoor pools at the Blue Ash Recreation Center has a family area designed to be inclusive for all ages and abilities. The family pool includes two zero depth entries, a slide, interactive spray toys, a dump bucket and more.
A membership to the Blue Ash Recreation Center is required in order to access the outdoor pools. Members are able to purchase guest passes.
The Mayerson JCC of Cincinnati offers both indoors and outdoor pool options. The indoor pool includes a zero depth entry area, interactive spray toys, and slides. Outside, you can find a pool just for infants and toddlers. The indoor pool is open year round, and the outdoor pool opened for the 2022 season on May 28. Full hours can be found here.
Soak City Water Park at Kings Island opens for the 2022 season on May 28! The water park will be open from 11:00am to 7:00pm daily. Admission to Soak City is included in season passes or daily tickets can be purchased for amusement park and water park access.
Soak City Water Park has several areas designated for smaller kids, including Castaway Cove, Coconut Cove, and Lookout Lagoon. These areas have a maximum height requirement, and any adult over the maximum height must be accompanied by a child.
The Nature PlayScape at Cincinnati Nature Center in Milford is a great spot for kids to play and explore nature – and cool down in the little stream that runs down the center of the PlayScape. The water is on and running for 2022.
The Nature PlayScape is a fenced-in area designated for kids 11 and under and is located within CNC’s Rowe Woods. Access to the PlayScape is included with admission to Rowe Woods. The Nature PlayScape is open during regular operating hours. May and August hours are 7:00am to 8:30pm, while June and July hours are 7:00am to 9:00pm.
Bill Cappel Youth Sports Complex features, among many other amenities, a large splash pad for Covington, Kentucky residents. Open daily 12:00pm to 6:00pm from June 11 through August 7, 2022, this splash pad is open to residents with a pool pass only.
Otto Armleder Memorial Aquatic Sprayground is also located along the riverfront in Yeatman’s Cove – just up the river from Smale Riverfront Park. If you great up in Cincinnati, you may remember playing on the big concrete steps as water rushed down. Although the steps are now fenced off, this sprayground is still a lot of fun and can accommodate a lot of kids (and parents). This spot was our go-to for cooling down last summer.
Unfortunately, as of May 2022, the sprayground will be closed for the 2022 season due to on-going maintenance issues. However, you can still read all about it in my review.
Thanks for checking out my list of Cincinnati Splash Pads Summer 2022. Have fun this summer checking out these hot spots to cool down around Cincinnati this summer. And for more ideas, check out my Water Fun posts!
The splash pads may not be open yet, but there are still plenty of creeks to splash in and explore around the Queen City. So strap on your rain boots or water shoes and check out the best creeking spots around Cincinnati – as recommended by you!
Located in Blue Ash, Run, Jump-N-Play is an indoor play center where kids can truly run, jump and play. This is one of our favorite indoor play places to blow off steam when it is too rainy or chilly to play outside.
Run, Jump-N-Play is an indoor showroom filled with swing sets and outdoor play equipments with daily open play sessions for kids to enjoy. And make sure to visit on the weekend to enjoy the inflatable sessions.