Top 9 things to do over Memorial Day weekend

Posted at 1:31 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 12:25:40-04

Taste of Cincinnati

So. Much. Food. It’s time for the 38th annual Taste of Cincinnati festival, featuring more than 50 eateries and food trucks serving all kinds of delicious treats. Download our guide to Taste here to see the entertainment schedule, food recommendations, Best of Taste winners, festival tips and more need-to-know information. Now start dreaming of all the yummy bites to come, from cream puffs to brats to mac ‘n’ cheese.  

11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday. Fifth Street, between Vine and Sentinel streets, Downtown. Free admission.

Coney Island Opens with a Splash

Coney Island will kick off its 130th year of operation on Saturday with a new attraction, Typhoon Tower. Its centerpiece? A 33-foot-tall “Hydro Storm” tower that will drench riders with more than 1,300 gallons of water. The new feature also includes two twisting, 130-foot-long waterslides. Get ready for one wet, wild ride. (Can’t wait to try it out? There’s a preview from 3-7 p.m. Friday that benefits the Ronald McDonald House, and entry is only $5.)

Officially opens 10 a.m. Saturday. Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave. For admission prices, visit

Art After Dark

Cincinnati’s Art Museum’s monthly “Art After Dark” event will bring the funk for this edition with live music by R&B/soul band Natural Progression. “Funky Friday” will feature guided tours of CAM’s “30 Americans” exhibit, food trucks and a cash bar, plus a chance to win two weekend passes to the Bunbury Music Festival.

5-9 p.m. Friday. Cincinnati’s Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive. Free admission.

Furry Friends Festival

To all my dog lovers out there, heads up: There’s a dog-friendly music festival at Washington Park this weekend. The Furry Friends Festival will showcase dog toys, treats, accessories and services to the backdrop of live bluegrass music from bands such as Honey & Houston, Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle and The Tillers. There also will be food from Eli’s BBQ and Mazunte and beer from Taft's Ale House, Rhinegeist, MadTree Brewing, Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. Pack up your pooch and head on down.

6-10 p.m. Friday; 3-10 p.m. Saturday. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St. Free admission. For details, visit the event’s Facebook page.

The Dream Is Real Weekend

The Dream is Real Weekend is back, and this year’s parties sound like the best yet. On Saturday, singer Mario will host the weekend’s annual White Party at OTR Live. Then on Sunday, state Rep. Alicia Reece will host the Adult ThrowBack Skate & Holiday Block Party at the Skatin’ Place, featuring a special tribute to Prince. 

  • White Party: Starts at 10 p.m. Saturday. OTR Live, 209 E. 12th St. Tickets available at Everybody's Records, Hard2Knock Exclusive Wear and Black Owned. For more details, visit the event’s Facebook page.  
  • Adult ThrowBack Skate: Starts at 11 p.m. Sunday. The Skatin’ Place, 3211 Lina Place. Tickets available at Everybody's Records, Kutt Factory or 513-616-3665. For more details, visit the event’s Facebook page. 

Over The Rhine

After 25 years of playing their music around the world as the band Over the Rhine, husband and wife Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler are hoping crowds will soon come to them instead. As part of that goal, the couple is hosting the Nowhere Else Festival on Memorial Day weekend at their Clinton County farm to raise money to convert a 140-year-old pole barn into a music venue. Bands such as the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Comet Bluegrass All-Stars and Joe Henry will play at the event, while visual artists such as Barry Moser, Kent Burgess and Clinton Reno will share their work.

Gates open 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. 190 Townsend Road, Martinsville. Daily pass $100; weekend pass $150. For tickets and more information, click here.

A Tribute to Prince

If you’re still mourning Prince (and who isn’t?), there’s a concert at Bogart’s that might offer some comfort. Bootsy and Patti Collins will host “Purple Reign,” a celebration of Prince’s life and music, on Saturday. The tribute show will feature the Rubber Band, “American Idol” contestant Jess Lamb and other artists, and proceeds will benefit the Bootsy Collins Foundation.

7 p.m. Saturday. Bogart’s, 2621 Vine St. $20. Ages 18 and up.

Game Time

Over-the-Rhine’s first board game parlor and bar opened Tuesday, and the long weekend is the perfect opportunity to check it out. Visitors will find nearly 1,000 games inside the Rook OTR, ranging from classics such as Battleship and trivia to nostalgic favorites like Pokemon to modern strategy board games like Catan. Guests can play games for free with the purchase of food and drinks. Take a look inside with this preview and photo gallery.

11 a.m.-1 a.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday. The Rook OTR, 1115 Vine St. Free admission.

The Main Event

Main Event Entertainment brought a new world of fun to Greater Cincinnati on Tuesday when it opened its venue inside the Streets of West Chester shopping center. The 49,000-square-foot facility features 22 bowling alleys, a gravity rope course, multi-level laser tag arena, interactive games, dining and a full bar.

11 a.m.-midnight Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Monday. Main Event Entertainment, 9477 Oxford Way, West Chester Township.

Holiday Weekend Bonus: Take the Plunge

This weekend, a new waterslide complex nearly seven stories high will open in Kings Island’s Soak City Waterpark this weekend. Tropical Plunge will include six different water slides, three of which will involve riders climbing inside a chamber where the floor will drop from under them, sending them into a nearly vertical free-fall through loops and S-curves. Another slide will send riders down an enclosed chute with four 360-degree loops. Hold on to your shorts.

Opens 11 a.m. Saturday. Included in park admission. 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason.