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Classic Cincinnati: It's summertime in the Queen City! Here are 50 fun things to do

Classic Cincinnati: It's summertime in the Queen City! Here are 50 fun things to do
Posted at 4:30 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 16:30:08-04

CINCINNATI -- School is out, and so is the sun well into the evening. Summer is the season to explore everything Greater Cincinnati has to offer.

To help in that endeavor, here's a list of summertime activities across the region. Some are new, and others are classics. However, all are worth checking off your bucket list.

1. Go to Kings Island. Ride the Beast, cool off on the log flume, splash in Soak City and eat a blue ice cream cone.

2. Soak up some sun at Sunlite Pool at Coney Island. The park is 130 years old this season.

3. Ride the waves at the Beach Waterpark.

4. Gawk at the 16th annual LaRosa's Balloon Glow (July 3).

5. Get cheap tickets for the lawn at Riverbend Music Center and see at least one concert there.

6. Tailgate with the Parrotheads at Jimmy Buffett's concert at Riverbend on June 21. Buffett has been a summer staple in Cincinnati for decades.

98 Degrees

7. Relive your youth at one of the throwback concerts headed to Cincinnati, such as 98 Degrees's My2K Tour with Dream, O-Town and Ryan Cabrera (Aug. 2) or the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour (Aug. 26).

8. Regardless of whatever name it's going by, the Cincinnati Music Festival is a funky good time. The annual R&B music fest takes place July 22-23, and New Edition is this year's headliner.

9. Party in the park -- oops, we mean at"5:13" -- on any given Wednesday evening at Yeatman's Cove.

10. Go to one of the many summer festivals happening throughout the season. (How about the Panegyri Greek Festival? It's June 24-26.)

11. Summers were made for street festivals. That's why Over-the-Rhine hosts Second Sundays on Main each month of the season.

12. Giddy up with the Buckle Up Country Music Festival Aug. 5-6 at Summit Park in Blue Ash.

Starlite Drive-in

13. See a movie at the Starlite in Amelia, one of the last drive-in theaters around.

14. Bring your own popcorn and watch a flick for free this summer. Here's a handy list of what's playing on screens around town.

15. Visit a neighborhood soft-serve ice cream parlor for a cool treat. (Or, try them all.)

16. Visit your nearest neighborhood farmers market and buy some fresh produce.

17. Attend one ofthe Kentucky Symphony Orchestra's Summer Series concerts at the bandshell inside Devou Park in Covington.

18. Dance to free music on Fountain Square during the PNC Summer Series.

19. Find someone with a boat and cruise the Ohio River.

20. Head back to the river for Paddlefest(Aug. 6).

21. Canoe the Little Miami or Whitewater rivers. Check out rental places like Little Miami Canoe Rentals or Morgan's and make sure to pack "drinks" and snacks.

The City Flea

22. Bargain shop at the City Flea, held on the third Saturday each month in Washington Park.

23. Cool down in Washington Park's fountains, sip a drink on the deck, get fit on the green or take your dog to a Yappy Hour at the park this summer.

24. Ride Carol Ann's Carousel at Smale Riverfront Park.

25. Hop on a bicycle and take a ride along the riverfront. There are connected paths and dedicated bicycle lanes from Smale Riverfront Park out to Lunken Airport for the ambitious.

26. Shop local: Support local farmers and merchants at Findlay Market. Check out the OTR biergarten while you're there.

27. Find and flag down a Kona Ice truck.

28. Show your patriotism at a community Fourth of July celebration. Red, White and Blue Ash is rocking it with music and fireworks on the actual date this year. In Northern Kentucky, the city of Independence hosts its own festival July 1-2.

29. Take in the view from a rooftop patio bar. There are plenty to enjoy.

Reds’ Fioptics District patio

30. Go to a "businessman special" day game at Great American Ball Park.

31. Alternately, watch a Florence Freedom game. It's cheap, entertaining family fun.

32. Buy a bunch of pull tabs at a neighborhood Catholic church festival.

33. Get sweaty with strangers during outdoor "hot" yoga at Alms Park every Tuesday through Aug. 30.

34. Head for the Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club. (I'd recommend Monday's "steak night.")

35. Eat and drink at Pirate's Cove off of Kellogg Avenue. (Eye patches are optional.)

Eli’s BBQ

36. Eli's BBQ on Riverside Drive + outdoor seating + BYOB = Love. (Eli's also now accepts credit cards. SQUEE.)

37. Visit Rabbit Hash. Even if the store is gone, the hamlet's eclectic nature and the beautiful country drive to the place remain.

38. Bargain shop at the Burlington Antique Show in Boone County, Kentucky.

39. Plan a road trip. Spend a weekend checking out Gatlinburg, Tennessee, camping in Red River Gorge or exploring Mammoth Cave. They're all road trips that start south on Interstates 71 and 75. If you grew up in the area, you know it's just what WE do.

40. Lounge around a little closer to home: Head for any city park with a blanket, book and picnic. (Ault Park is my favorite.)

41. Also visit one of the Great Parks of Hamilton County. (I'll make it easy: Miami Whitewater Forest offers walking paths, a nature preserve, children's splash park -- and beer.)

42. Take a blanket to East Fork State Park and enjoy the lake's "beach."

43. Take a hike (no, really). The Cincinnati Nature Preserve, Mount Airy Forest and Ault Park all have great trails. Mitchell Memorial Forest in Hamilton County and East Fork State Park in Clermont County are great, too.

44. Skip a day of work to watch the Cincinnati Bengals training camp; it usually starts the first week in August.

45. Take in Lumenocity (Aug. 5-7) one last time.

Western & Southern Open

46. Feel the "love" during the Western & Southern Open Aug. 13-21 in Mason.

47. Yuck it up Aug. 25-27 at Cincy Brew Ha-Ha, which mixes beer and comedy at Sawyer Point.

48. Plant your blanket along the Serpentine Wall to enjoy Riverfest and the WEBN fireworks on Sept. 4.

49. Celebrate your neighborhood. Host a block party, cook-out or front-porch gathering.

50. (Insert your own tradition here! What's your favorite Cincinnati thing to do during the summer?)