Southwest Ohio activities and attractions


Here is a rundown of festivals and activities in Southwest Ohio this summer:

Taste of Cincinnati: May 25-27, one of the country’s longest-running food festivals is back for another Memorial Day weekend featuring food, live entertainment and more food; downtown Cincinnati (Hamilton County); free; 513-579-3197 or

Summerfair: May 31-June 2, a fine-arts fair with more than 300 artists and craftspeople, regional performers and more; Coney Island, Cincinnati (Hamilton County); $10, or free for children 12 and younger; 513-531-0050 or

Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival: June 15-16, the celebration marks the end of slavery in America and the beginning of African-American Independence. It serves as a historical milestone and this year, after two decades in Eden Park, returns to Daniel Drake Park for the festival’s 50th anniversary; free;

PaddleFest: June 20-22, Paddlefest is the largest canoe/kayak paddling event in the Midwest with more than 2,200 paddlers on the Ohio River. The event will begin on June 20 with a Kids Outdoor Adventure Expo, and the Ohio River Music and Outdoor Festival will take place on June 21, and the paddling will continue on June 22; free; 513-787-5755 or

Vectren Dayton Air Show: June 22-23, two days of aerobatic planes and skilled pilots who present amazing, thrilling demonstrations; Dayton International Airport (Montgomery County); $20, or $15 for senior citizens and children 6-11, free for age 5 and younger; 937-898-5901 or

Cityfolk Festival: June 28-30, featuring a variety of performers including Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Maad Soul Music, Son del Caribe; RiverScape MetroPark, downtown Dayton (Montgomery County);$7, or $3 for children 2-12, free for children 2 and younger 937-223-3655,

Bunbury Music Festival: July 12-14, three-day music festival, featuring headliners fun., MGMT and the National as well as 80 other bands; named one of 2012’s Essential Summer Festivals by Yahoo Music; $55-$295 ;

Ninth annual MidFirst Ohio Challenge: July 12-14, hot-air balloon races; professional skydivers; music; a classic car show; arts and crafts; food; balloon, airplane and helicopter rides; Smith Park, downtown Middletown (Butler County); free to $4;

Dayton Celtic Festival: July 26-28, 12th annual event with bands, dancing, food, merchandise from the British Isles, Celtic breakfast and Gaelic Mass; RiverScape MetroPark, Dayton (Montgomery County);





Description: On the banks of Lake Como, the theme park includes rides, a Sunlite Pool, water slides, live shows, an arcade and miniature golf.

Location: 6201 Kellogg Ave., 10 miles east of downtown Cincinnati (Hamilton County)

Open, Sunlite Pool: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 26 through Aug. 24 and Sept. 1-3; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 27-31 and Sept. 8

Admission, Sunlite Pool: $13.95 for those 5 and older, or $4.95 for children 2 to 4, free for children 1 and younger; classic rides: $11.95 for those 5 and older, or $6.95 for children 2 to 4, free for children 1 and younger; combination admission: $23.95 for those 5 and older, or $10.95 for children 2 to 4, free for children 1 and younger

Parking: $8

New attraction: Como Cruisers — miniature motorboats that guests operate on Lake Como.

Least-busy day: Tuesdays

Tickets/information: at the park and online; 513-232-8230,


Description: The indoor water park features water slides, a four-story treehouse with water sprays, climbing nets and bridges. 

Location: 2501 Great Wolf Dr., Mason (Warren County)

Open: year-round

Admission: must be an overnight guest; rooms and suites available

Parking: free

Least-busy days: midweek May and September

Information/reservations: 513-459-8885, 1-800-913-9653,


Description: The park offers more than 100 rides, including 14 roller coasters (and the Beast, the world’s longest wooden coaster), shows and attractions as well as Soak City, a 33-acre waterpark. 

Location: Kings Island Drive, Kings Island, Mason (Warren County)

Open, Kings Island: daily, operating hours vary through Aug. 25; select weekends through Oct. 27

Soak City (free with park admission): 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 25 through Aug. 18, Aug. 24-25 and Aug. 31 through Sept. 2, noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 19-23 (closing times subject to change)

Admission: $54.99 for those 48 inches and taller (good for two days), or $33.99 for senior citizens 62 and older and children less than 48 inches tall (for one day), free for children 2 and younger; online discounts available

Parking: $12, or $20 for preferred Mondays through Fridays, $15 and $22 for preferred Saturdays and Sundays

New attractions: A sauroposeidon will join the Dinosaurs Alive! area. Estimated to be between 112 to 118 feet long and 56 feet tall, sauroposeidons weighed 50 to 60 tons — eight times the size of an African elephant. Also new: British Invasion — a musical revue features the songs of the Beatles, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark and others; Charlie Brown’s Jungle Journey — an interactive family adventure; Rock ’N’ Roll Never Forgets — a musical revue featuring the songs of Elvis, Michael Jackson, Buddy Holly, Whitney Houston and many others

Least-busy day: Wednesdays

Tickets/information: available online, at the park and participating AAA and Kroger locations; 513-754-5700,


Description: The water-sports complex offers wakeboarding, water-skiing, knee-boarding and wake-skating without the use of a boat. Riders are pulled on a 10-acre lake at 18 to 20 mph by an overhead cable-pulley system.

Location: Joyce Park, 201 Joe Nuxhall Way, Fairfield (Butler County)

Open: operating hours vary through October (call for details)

Admission: $30 for two hours, $35 for four hours or $40 for an all-day pass; free for spectators; equipment rental available

Parking: free

Least-busy day: Tuesdays

Tickets/information: available on-site; 513-887-9253,



Description: This is the 41st season for the outdoor historical drama about the Shawnee leader.

Location: Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre, 5968 Marietta Rd., Chillicothe (Ross County)

Performances: 8 p.m. June 7 to Aug. 31, except Sundays

Admission: $24.95, $22.45 for senior citizens, $17.95 for children 10 and younger

Seating capacity: 1,689

Running time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Information: 1-866-775-0700,



Description: The outdoor amphitheater near Dayton offers 4,300 seats.

Location: 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering (Montgomery County)

Performances: June 8 (7:30 p.m.): David Sanborn, Bob James; June 15 (7:30 p.m.): Sheryl Crow; June 25 (7:30 p.m.): REO Speedwagon, Styx; June 26 (8 p.m.): the Temptations, the Four Tops; June 27 (8 p.m.): Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone; June 29 (7:30 p.m.): Hank Williams Jr., Gregg Allman; July 5 (7:30 p.m.): Night Ranger, Loverboy; July 11 (8 p.m.): the Guess Who; July 12 (8 p.m.): Men of Soul featuring Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo Bryson; July 19 (8 p.m.): John Waite; July 24 (7:30 p.m.): Steely Dan; July 25 (8 p.m.): Brian Wilson; July 26 (8 p.m.): Alabama; July 28 (7:30 p.m.): Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, Edie Brickell; Aug.7 (8 p.m.): Happy Together Tour 2013 featuring the Turtles, Chuck Negron, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap; Aug. 8 (8 p.m.): Sail Rock 2013 featuring Christopher Cross, Orleans, Gary Wright; Aug. 9 (7:30 p.m.): the Official Blues Brothers Revue; Aug. 10 (7 p.m.): BWB, Summer of Soul; Aug. 13 (8 p.m.): Josh Groban; Aug. 18 (7:30 p.m.): the Classic rock n’ Blues Show with the Edgar Winters Band, Canned Heat, Rick Derringer, Pat Travers; Aug. 21 (7:30 p.m.): Toto; Aug. 25 (7:30 p.m.): Tony Bennett; Aug. 30 (7:30 p.m.): KC & the Sunshine Band, Little River Band

Parking: free

Tickets/information: $5 to $125; 937-296-3300, 


Description: The 10,000-seat amphitheater is adjacent to the Kings Island theme park.

Location: 6300 Kings Island Dr., Mason (Warren County)

Performances: SpiritSong 2013, June 27: Skillet, Tenth Avenue North, Matthew West, Petra, We As Human; June 28: tobyMac, RED, Newsong, Building 429, the City Harmonic; June 29: Newsboys, Lecrae, Crowder, Thousand Foot Krutch, We Are Leo

Parking: $15 daily

Tickets/information: $49.99 to $89.99, available at; includes admission to the park and Boomerang Bay; 1-800-288-0808, 513-754-5700,


Description: The 20,500-seat outdoor amphitheater along the Ohio River boasts a 4,100-seat pavilion.

Location: 6295 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati (Hamilton County)

Performances: May 25 (7 p.m.): Tim McGraw, Brantley Gilbert; June 4 (8 p.m.): the Lumineers,Cold War Kids; June 6 (7 p.m.): Brad Paisley; June 8 (8 p.m.): Cincinnati Pops with Smokey Robinson; June 14 (7 p.m.): Toby Keith, Kip Moore; June 22 (8 p.m.): Cincinnati Pops presents Red, White and Boom; June 26 (7:30 p.m.): the Go-Go’s, the B-52s; June 27 (7 p.m.): LL Cool J, Public Enemy, De La Soul; June 28 (7 p.m.): Kenny Chesney; June 30 (7 p.m.): Matchbox Twenty, Goo Goo Dolls; July 2 (7:30 p.m.): Rush; July 5 (7:30 p.m.): 311, Cypress Hill; July 6: Bob Dylan, My Morning Jacket, Wilco; July 9 (7:30 p.m.): John Mayer, Phillip Phillips; July 12 (7 p.m.): Dave Matthews Band, O.A.R.; July 14 (7 p.m.): Jonas Brothers; July 16 (8 p.m.):Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band; July 18 (7 p.m.): Keith Urban; July 20 (8 p.m.):Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson; July 23 (7 p.m.): Daughtry, 3 Doors Down; July 24 (7 p.m.): Bad Company, Lynyrd Skynyrd; July 27 (7:30 p.m.): Heart; July 30 (noon): Vans Warped Tour; Aug. 4 (7 p.m.): Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson; Aug. 6 (7 p.m.): Lil’ Wayne, 2 Chainz; Aug. 14 (7 p.m.): Peter Frampton, BB King; Aug. 15 (7:30 p.m.): Jason Aldean, Jake Owen; Aug. 16 (8 p.m.): George Thorogood and the Destroyers; Aug. 20 (8 p.m.): the Goat Sessions featuring Yo-Yo Ma; Aug 28 (8 p.m.): Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker; Sept. 5 (7:30 p.m.): Rascal Flatts

Parking: included with the ticket

Tickets/information: $9 to $189, available at Ticketmaster outlets (1-800-745-3000) or (call 513-381-3300 or visit for Pops tickets); 513-232-6220,



Description: The natural history museum and science center has a planetarium, an observatory and a zoo.

Location: 2600 DeWeese Parkway, Dayton (Montgomery County)

Open: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays

Admission: $12, or $10 for senior citizens 60 and older, $9 children 3 to 16, free for 2 and younger; admission includes space theater shows

Parking: free, on-site

Special exhibits: “Animation” explores how art, math, science and technology are used in the making of animated characters (May 25 to Aug. 25); “Impact of WWII: Cultural Objects of the Pacific Islands,” photographs and artifacts draw comparisons between the lives of Pacific Islanders and soldiers during World War II (through Sept. 2).

Information: 937-275-7431,


Description: The museum features 75 galleries and more than 60,000 works.

Location: 953 Eden Park Dr., Cincinnati (Hamilton County)

Open: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays

Admission: free

Parking: $4; free for members

Special exhibits: “Eternal Summer: The Art of Edward Henry Potthast,” has more than 90 works, mainly of seasides, from the Cincinnati native and American Impressionist (June 8 to Sept. 8). 

Information: 513-639-2995,


Description: The center is home to the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Linder Family Omnimax theater and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library.

Location: Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati (Hamilton County)

Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays

Admission: $12.50, or $11.50 for senior citizens 60 and older, $8.50 for children 3 to 12, $4.50 for children 1 to 2, free for children younger than 1; special exhibits and Omnimax theater extra 

Parking: $6; $4 after 4:30 p.m. 

Special exhibits: “Colorful Beijing: Modern Photographs of an Ancient City,” captures the culture of Beijing (through June 16); “Treasures of the Natural World: Nature Art from the Collection of Cincinnati Museum Center,” explores an intersection of science and history (through Aug. 18); “Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants of Gondwana,” offers, in its first U.S. stop, a look at dinosaurs from South America, Africa and Madagascar (June 13 through fall).

Information: 513-287-7000,



Description: The center focuses on painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, performance art and new media.

Location: Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center, 44 E. 6th St., Cincinnati (Hamilton County)

Open: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays (free after 5 p.m.), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

Admission: $7.50, or $5.50 for senior citizens 60 and older, students and educators with a valid ID; free for children 5 and younger and military members and families with valid I.D.

Parking: nearby garages

Special exhibits: “ON! Handcrafted Digital Playgrounds,” interactive exhibits fueled by games, drawings and toys (through September); “The Living Room,” several room vignettes designed by local artists (through Sept. 2); “Patti Smith: The Coral Sea,” multi-installation show, including audio and projection (through November).

Information: 513-345-8400,


Description: The institute boasts 27,000 pieces in its permanent collection that spans more than 5,000 years.

Location: 456 Belmonte Park N., Dayton (Montgomery County)

Open: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays

Admission: $8, or $5 for senior citizens 60 and older, free for students and children; fee for some special exhibits

Parking: on-site and street parking

Special exhibits: “Andy Warhol: Athletes,” includes 10 silk-screen paintings of notable athletes from 1978 (June 22 to Sept. 1); “The Art of Sport: Highlights from the Collection of the Dayton Art Institute,” more than 80 sports-related works of art (June 22 to Sept. 1); “I See the Rhythm,” explores the overlap of art and music (through April 6).

Information: 937-223-5277,


Description: a five-unit park located in and around Dayton including the Wright Cycle Co. Complex.

Location: The Wright Cycle Co. building and Wright Dunbar Interpretive Center, 16 S. Williams St.; Dayton History at Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd.; Paul Laurence Dunbar House, 219 N. Paul Laurence Dunbar St.; Huffman Prairie Flying Field and Interpretive Center, 2380 Memorial Rd., Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Greene and Montgomery counties) and the Huffman Prairie Flying Field, Gate 16A off Rt. 444, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Open: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Admission: free, except for Dayton History at Carillon Park: $8, or $5 for ages 3 to 17, free for age 2 and younger, and the Paul Laurence Dunbar House: $6, or $3 for students 5 to 17, free for age 4 and younger

Parking: on-site

Exhibits: Highlighting the research of Orville and Wilbur Wright; and the home of Paul Laurence Dunbar, an African-American poet, novelist, and playwright of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Information: the Wright Cycle Co. Complex, 937-225-7705; Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center, 937-425-0008; Dayton History at Carillon Historical Park, 937-293-2841 (;


Description: The largest prehistoric hilltop enclosure in the United States, featuring a 9,000-square-foot museum and access to earthworks and hiking trails. 

Location: 6123 Rt. 350, Oregonia (Warren County)

Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays

Admission: $6, or $5 for senior citizens 60 and older and children 6 to 16, free for children 5 and younger

Parking: free, on-site

Information: 513-932-4421 or 1-800-283-8904,


Description: The military aviation-history museum boasts more than 360 aerospace vehicles — many rare and one-of-a-kind — along with thousands of historical items.

Location: 1100 Spaatz St., Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton (Greene and Montgomery counties)

Open: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Admission: free

Parking: free

Information: 937-255-3286,


Description: The center features exhibits that chronicle the route slaves took to freedom — as well as information about the people who helped them along the way. 

Location: 50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati (Hamilton County)

Open: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and Sundays from June 2 to Labor Day

Admission: $12, or $10 for senior citizens 60 and older, $8 for children 3 to 12, free for children 2 and younger

Parking: nearby garages

Special exhibits: “Stephen Marc: Passage on the Underground Railroad,” a decade’s-worth of Underground Railroad photos taken in 20 states and Canada (through Sept. 2).

Information: 1-877-648-4838, 513-333-7500,


Description: A 13th-century American Indian village along the Great Miami River offers a step back in time.

Location: 2301 W. River Rd., Dayton (Montgomery County)

Open: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays

Admission: $6, or $4 for senior citizens and children 6 to 16, free for children 5 and younger

Parking: free, on-site

Information: 937-268-8199,




Description: The oldest professional baseball franchise is showing renewed life.

Location: Great American Ball Park, 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati (Hamilton County)

Home games: May 24-26 vs. Cubs; May 27-28 vs. Indians; June 3-5 vs. Rockies; June 7-9 vs Cardinals; June 14-16 vs. Brewers; June 17-20 vs. Pirates; July 1-4 vs. Giants; July 5-7 vs. Mariners; July 19-21 vs. Pirates; Aug. 2-4 vs. Cardinals; Aug. 6-7 vs. Athletics; Aug. 9-11 vs. Padres; Aug. 19-22 vs. Diamondbacks; Aug. 23-25 vs. Brewers; Sept. 2-5 vs. Cardinals 

Admission: $5 to $255, free for children 3 and younger if sitting on an adult’s lap

Parking: nearby lots

Tickets/information: available through, 1-513-381-7337, 1-877-647-7337; at the park; or online; 513-765-7000, 


Description: The Cincinnati Reds’ Class A affiliate boasts a beautiful home with top-notch amenities.

Location: Fifth Third Field, 220 N. Patterson St., Dayton (Montgomery County)

Home games: May 22-24 vs. West Michigan; May 28-30 vs. South Bend; May 31-June 3 vs.Lake County; June 11-13 vs. Bowling Green; June 20-22 vs. Lake County; June 23-25 vs. Lansing; July 4-5 vs. Bowling Green; July 6-8 vs. South Bend; July 17-19 vs. Beloit; July 20-22 vs. Wisconsin; July 27-29 vs. Fort Wayne; July 30-31 Bowling Green; Aug. 7-9 vs. Lake County; Aug. 14-16 vs. Great Lakes; Aug. 17-20 vs. West Michigan; Aug. 31-Sept. 2 vs. South Bend

Admission: $7 to $15; 2 and younger free

Parking: nearby lots

Tickets/information: 937-228-2287;


Description: The summer-league team is a member of the Prospect League, whose college players use wood bats.

Location: V.A. Memorial Stadium, 17273 Rt. 104, Chillicothe (Ross County)

Home games: June 1-2 vs. Slippery Rock; June 4-5 vs. Lorain; June 11-12 vs. Butler; June 15-16 vs. Lorain; June 20-21 vs. Butler; June 22-23 vs. Richmond; June 27-28 vs. Lorain; June 29-30 vs. Slippery Rock; July 6-7 vs. West Virginia; July 10-11 vs. West Virginia; July 14-15 vs. Richmond; July 18-19 vs. West Virginia; July 25-26 vs. Slippery Rock; July 27-28 vs. Richmond; July 30-31 vs. Butler

Admission: $6, or $5 for senior citizens and children 12 and younger

Parking: on-site

Tickets/information: 740-773-8326; 740-773-7117,

Pro football


Description: Ohio’s junior NFL member was established by the legendary Paul Brown and began play in 1968.

Location: 1 Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati (Hamilton County)

Preseason home games: Aug. 17: vs. Tennessee Titans; Aug. 29: vs. Indianapolis Colts

Admission: starting at $44

Parking: nearby lots

Tickets/information: 1-866-621-8383; 513-621-TDTD (8383); 513-621-3550,



Description: Fans will see stars from both the WTA and the ATP tours playing on adjacent courts.

Location: Lindner Family Tennis Center, 5460 Courseview Dr., Mason (Warren County)

Dates: Aug. 10-18

Admission: $10 to $65 for single-session tickets, or $5 to $15 for children 12 and younger

Parking: free

Tickets/information: available through Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000, and online; 513-651-0303,



Description: The second-oldest zoo in the country has more than 500 animals and 3,000 plant species; it is internationally known for its research and conservation efforts

Location: 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati (Hamilton County)

Big attractions: Africa, opening June 29, will offer an open-air view of lions and cheetahs and the opportunity to enter a gazebo-style feeding treehouse that reaches out to the giraffe yard.

Open: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, until 6 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day

Admission: $15, or $10 for children 2 to 12 and senior citizens 62 and older, free for children younger than 2

Parking: $8

Information: 513-281-4700,