Enjoy Labor Day fun at Fountain Square in Cincy.

Cincinnati Activities for Kids on Labor Day Weekend

by Lee Grayson

Labor Day celebrates the workers of America, and wrangling kids certainly puts parents in the category of hard-working Americans. Ask workers in Cincinnati where they'll be on Labor Day weekend to celebrate and most will tell you they'll head to the banks of the Ohio River for Riverfest. This festival features activities for the entire family, including toddlers. Visit Cincy for a break from your more mundane parenting duties and have some weekend fun at the city's family attractions.

1. Food, Music and Fireworks

Collect the kids at Sawyer's Point at Cincinnati's Riverfest. The no-alcohol zone of the celebration offers great views of one of the largest firework displays in middle America. The half-hour show happens on Sunday of the holiday weekend and fills the skies on the Ohio River banks in three states -- Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. It's not just fireworks; the fest has food, music, dancing and shopping -- a little something so everyone in the family feels the holiday love. Make the rounds of the tri-states to allow your toddler to tell her daycare class that her family traveled to three states over the holiday. That fulfills your extreme parenting duties -- at least for the weekend.

2. A Moon Rock and More

Enjoy a wide variety of experiences without the stress of a family car trip at the Cincinnati Museum Center (cincymuseum.org) -- a complex of several museums, soda fountain and movie theater. The museums feature special toddler activities, including story time and play areas. Kids also have hands-on opportunities such as exploring an early submarine, viewing operating model trains, touching an authentic moon rock and walking through a glacier. Buy an all-access ticket to visit all of the museums in one day -- if you have the energy. Celebrate the holiday by dining at the Rookwood Ice Cream Parlor, a vintage-style soda shop in the lobby of the complex, or by watching a family film on the five-story tall screen at the Omnimax Theater.

3. Play Ball

For families with baseball fans, the Great American Ball Park (cincinnati.reds.mlb.com) welcomes everyone to the All-Star Blast on Labor Day. The family has an opportunity to meet and greet the baseball greats once playing for the Cincinnati Reds at this event. More stories for your toddler to share with her class, although the adult baseball fans in the family might fight your preschooler to shake the hands of the former Reds for stories to tell coworkers and classmates when your family returns from the weekend.

4. Paddle Away

Only a few boats propelled by paddles remain in operation in America, and your family can pick up a ticket for a trip down the Ohio River on Labor Day weekend on a sternwheeler. The shuttle picks up families in Cincy and takes them across the river to board for the sightseeing trip on the Queen City Riverboats (queencityriverboats.com). If the idea of a paddle riverboat is too slow for your kids, drive to the Cincy docks to take a ride on The Ducks (newport.ridetheducks.com) instead, a combination bus and amphibious boat. This tour vehicle drives your kids through the city and then morphs into a boat to see the city sights -- and the Labor Day fireworks -- from the water. Imagine your toddler attempting to explain that transformation to her daycare classmates!

About the Author

*I have written chapters and articles for Oxford and Harvard University Presses, ABC-CLIO, and others. Arcadia Press published two of my local history texts and I have also written for numerous "article sites," including Pagewise in 2002. My "How to become a...real estate agent" is available as an online text from a Canadian publisher. *I taught writing courses at a branch campus of Indiana University. *I held a California real estate license and have remodeled four of my own homes and advised others on financing homes, repairing credit to qualify for loans, and managing construction (including meeting local, state, and federal regulations for restoration and development grants). *I served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer and wrote nearly $75,000 in small education grants (under $1,000). *My travels include frequent road trips in Canada, Mexico, U.S., and Europe. I attended school at Cambridge University and used this as a base to explore the UK and Europe.

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