Parky’s Wetland Adventure

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Looking for an affordable, kid-friendly outing on a hot summer day in Cincinnati?  Consider a trip to Parky’s Wetland Adventure on the Eastside.  It’s in Woodland Mound Park which is part of the Hamilton County parks system.  It’s $3.50 each for kids ages 2-12.  Isabella was six years old when we went and she loved it.  Ivy was too old to play here.  She and I had time to chat while Isabella played with kids her age.  The view of the river from the benches at the back was amazing!

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STARLITE DRIVE-IN

Do you want to feel like you have stepped into a family night from the past?  You can do just that at the Starlite Drive-in!  We enjoyed an old-fashioned night out recently with our kids.  I was trying to find a place for a family night that the girls would enjoy but that would be a good option for a newborn.  Octavia was only a month old at the time.

I stumbled upon this while searching options in the greater Cincinnati area. The Starlite Drive-in is located in Amelia, OH.  This is an extremely affordable option for taking a family to the movies. They do a double feature.  Prices are currently: 12 and up is $8.75 and kids 4-11 are $5.25. Three and under is free. You can buy a food permit for $5 and bring in outside food.  I stopped at the grocery earlier in the day and picked up some favorite snack food.  We brought a cooler for juice and water bottles. The entire outing cost me under $50.

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We took the minivan for this trip. We turned the backseat around and laid out blankets in the back.  The kids had a blast.  I didn’t have to worry about where to feed the baby.  Best of all we got to spend some time together snuggling and it gave us a great memory.  Your kids only stay little for a short time.  Make as many amazing memories as you can!

Freddy’s Steakburgers

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We recently took the kids to dinner at Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers in Amelia, Ohio. The food is made fresh to order. The steakburger patties are thin so they cook very fast. I went with the classic. The beef was well seasoned. The shoestring fries are thin and crispy! They were very good. However, the star of the show is the fry sauce. This creamy sauce is the perfect complement to the crispy fries. Bottomless drink refills and unlimited fry sauce are at a self-service area near the food pick-up window.

The place is perfect for a fun, family dinner. It’s not the healthiest stop but sometimes it’s alright to indulge a little. The kid’s meal is basically slightly smaller portions of the same food. The whole family enjoyed themselves. I cannot comment on the custard they serve for dessert. We were too full from the large meals to want dessert. It is an affordable dining option with meals coming in under $10 per person.

Cincinnati OMNIMAX – Journey to Space

Journey to Space is the new film at the Cincinnati OMNIMAX.  It begins with early achievements of the space program and covers 30 years of the discoveries and history made including Hubble and the international space station.  It goes through things currently being worked on to make long-term space travel possible and ends with plans to send astronauts to live on Mars.

I enjoyed seeing the new suit designs and hearing about the issues with the old ones. My husband loves any film about space so he was very happy.  He said “It was well done. It awed which is what space is all about.” Ivy, our 14-year-old, was on the fence.  She said the beginning was good but she found the parts about planning for Mars kind-of boring. Isabella, our 5-year-old, was polite but bored stiff.  She did much better at the beginning when there were videos of shuttles taking off and things collected by Hubble. When they began the prep work for Mars she was over it.  We also took my sister this time. She found it relaxing. Perhaps too relaxing…When the credits began we realized she was asleep.

All in all, this was not one of our favorites.  If your children are covering space exploration for school or if you would like to touch on it for homeschooling, this film is for you. If you have a child that is interested in astronauts or space, has a decent attention span, and is old enough to understand the importance of a trip to Mars, they may enjoy this. This film is definitely more directed at adults and teens.

Details

  • 45 minutes long
  • Adults $7.50
  • Children $5.50
  • $25 per person to join the OMNIMAX club for unlimited films for 1 year
  • www.cincymuseum.org

D-Day Normandy 1944 at the Omnimax

 

We recently watched D-Day Normandy 1944 at the Cincinnati Omnimax. It is a look at what took place on that historical day. Our family had mixed reviews on this film.  My husband and Ivy, 14 years old, really enjoyed it. Isabella, 5 years old, fell asleep about 10 minutes in. I liked the storyline but the film included a lot of overhead panoramic views. This actually made me a little nauseous. I had to close my eyes for a moment a few times throughout. Overall, it was a decent educational film and worth watching.

Harrison Tomb and Congress Green Cemetery – North Bend, Ohio

This is the burial site of President Harrison. You park in a small lot by an information center. There is a map and tons of information in this small area. The Harrison tomb is a tall tower on top of a set of stairs. At the top of the stairs is a landing with a decent view of the river. There is a book that you can sign to show you visited. As you leave the tomb area you will see a small path through the woods. I highly suggest this little detour. It leads right back to the information area but it is more fun then walking through the parking lot. There is a grated bridge over a tiny stream that my kids enjoyed.

Right by the information area is the mill stone in the photo. It’s neat to see. They used these huge stones to grind grains in old mills, hence the name, mill stone. Across the street is the Congress Green Cemetery. There is running buffalo clover growing over the whole cemetery. It is an endangered plant. The close up photo of leaves below is this plant. I enjoyed seeing something that was endangered growing so well. It is a pretty plant. You can walk around the cemetery and look at the stones. This is a short outing. It took us roughly an hour. It is easy to find, educational and free. It’s totally worth the trip.

The Details:

Harrison Tomb and Congress Green Cemetery

North Bend, Ohio

Price: Free

Mitchell Memorial Park – Cleves, OH

Old Dam that you can barely see through the trees.
This is one of those trails that invites you in!

 We came across Mitchell Memorial Forest on the Hamilton County Park site and decided to go check it out. This place is a small hidden gem of a park. We walked down Wood Duck Nature Trail. The shot at the top is of an old dam. The pond area that it traps is full of lilies! We unfortunately missed them blooming but I think we may try to return to see them in bloom. You can barely see this dam from the family friendly trail. You will have to do a little walking off trail to get this close. It was only a small detour and my husband kept the kids on the trail.

Lilies

Wood Duck Nature Trail
Small Creek that was mostly dry and perfect to walk in. Ivy looked for fossils.
She found a few bugs. She loves bugs!

We enjoyed the trail which is only about a mile. Ivy played in a small almost dry creek. She found bugs and flowers to check out. After we were done with the trail we went to play at their playground. It was small but cute. The issue we had with this playground was that there was no shade. It was very hot and sunny on this day. It did not take long and the kids were ready to run for the shade of the neighboring trees. There is a small, short shaded path right by the playground. There is a decent bathroom right by the playground. You also pass a lake as soon as you enter the park. They only allow catch and release fishing here. Fishing for fun, not dinner. There is a shaded picnic area not far from the playground. This is a nice place to have lunch if it is not in use.

 
Off to Find Another Adventure

The Info:

Website: http://greatparks.org/

Location of Mitchell Memorial Forest: 5401 Zion Rd. Cleves, OH 45002

Features park offers: 3.9 mile mountain bike trail, hiking, picnic areas, playground, and catch and release fishing only.

Cost: Free because we purchased a park pass on a previous visit. If not it is $3 for the day or the year pass is only $10!

Time: To slowly walk the trail, taking in the sights, and taking photographs you will need 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Another 10 minutes to do the small playground trail. You could easily spend half the day here: Fishing, Walking the trail, Biking the long trail, playing on the playground and having a picnic lunch.