Alpha Dates with Kids

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Places to take kids for every letter of the alphabet! Make memorable dates with them that will last forever.

Five years ago, after my son was born, my husband and I realized that every date night we had we went to the SAME two places. They were both great places, but before we left the house we could tell you exactly what we would order. We decided it was time to mix things up. That’s when we decided to start doing Alphabet Dates. We would work our way through the alphabet finding places that started with the letter we were on. It forced us to be creative and encouraged us to check out new places. It was a blast!

When we moved to Cincinnati, we decided it would be a great way for our family to get to know the area. We visited places like Graeter’s, Trammel Fossil Park, and EnterTRAINment Junction. We enjoyed the challenge of finding places to visit that would allow us to “cross off” letters of the alphabet. Recently, I reached out to some fabulous local moms on Facebook to help come up with some new Alphabet Date ideas for summer fun with kids. They helped create a fantastic list of places that offers fun for all ages.

A: AMC Movie Theaters

AMC West Chester 18 (amctheatres.com/movie-theatres/cincinnati/amc-west-chester-18) and AMC Newport on the Levee 20 (amctheatres.com/movie-theatres/cincinnati/amc-newport-on-the-levee-20) offer four sensory friendly movie showings each month! A perfect opportunity to take little ones or kids with special needs to a movie.

B: Bowling

Check out Kids Bowl Free (kidsbowlfree.com). Register eligible children for two free games a day, all summer long, at a bowling alley near you!

C: Carol Ann’s Carousel AND Cincinnati Nature Center

Head on over to the Cincinnati Nature Center (cincynature.org). There’s more than 1,600 acres to explore, plus a really cool Nature PlayScape that gets kids back in touch with nature. Then hop over to Carol Ann’s Carousel (mysmaleriverfrontpark.org/carousel.htm) for a spin on the beautiful Cincinnati themed characters.

D: Duke Energy Children’s Museum in Cincinnati Museum Center

Splash water at the giant water table, climb through the woods, toss balls into targets, give a stuffed animal an x-ray, go shopping at Kroger and more. There are hours of fun to be had at Duke Energy Children’s Museum (cincymuseum.org).

E: Eden Park

Explore the Cincinnati Art Museum with an interactive scavenger hunt that is fun for all ages. Don’t forget to turn it in for a small prize when completed! Then head over to the Krohn Conservatory where you can see Butterflies of the Caribbean through June 19.  Finally, enjoy lunch at one of the picnic areas before heading over to the playground. Visit cincinnatiparks.com/central/eden-park.

F: FC Cincinnati

Calling all soccer fans! Head to University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium (fccincinnati.com) to watch the team play! Check out their website to learn more about the team’s schedule, Kid Zone, Ball Kid of the Game, Family of the Match and more.

G: Get Air West Chester

Trampolines, slack lines, fidget ladders, foam pits, basketball, and dodge ball … kids, teens, and adults can all have fun at Get Air (getairwestchester.com).

H: Happen’s Toy Lab

For $10, you can pick recycled toy parts to create your own one of a kind toy at Happen’s Toy Lab (toy-lab.com).

I: Ice cream

You can’t have summer without sky high ice cream and there are so many fabulous places like Graeter’s (graeters.com), Aglamesis (aglamesis.com) and The Cone in West Chester (thecone.com) to choose from!

J: Jump & Jacks

Crawl, swing, and slide through Jump & Jacks’ (jumpandjacks.com) playground, visit the toddler zone, and on Friday nights, jump on the inflatables, too.

K: Kings Island

Visit your favorite rides at Kings Island (visitkingsisland.com) and then check out Tropical Plunge. The seven-story, six slide addition to Soak City opened Memorial Day weekend.

L: Loveland Bike Trail

Load up your bikes or rent some from Loveland Bike Rental and take a ride on the Loveland Bike Trail (lovelandbiketrail.com).

M: Mad Potter

Enjoy painting a pottery piece at Mad Potter (madpottercincinnati.com and madpottermason.com) that you and your children can cherish for years to come.

N: Newport Aquarium

Sharks, otters and penguins! You can touch sea creatures, sharks, turtles, and watch a penguin show. There is something for everyone at Newport Aquarium (newportaquarium.com). Take note! Up to two kids get in for $5 after 4 p.m. during the month of June!

O: Observatory

The Cincinnati Observatory (cincinnatiobservatory.org) offers a family friendly Astronomy Thursday event. You can tour the observatory, ask questions, hear a short presentation, and when the sun goes down observe the moon, planets, and more through a telescope. Call 513-321-5186 for reservations.

P: Plenty to Choose

Parky’s Farm, Putz’s Ice cream, Pump it Up, Pinot’s Palette, Paxton’s Grille, Pirate’s Cove — There are so many fun places to check out for the letter P … why not roll the dice to decide?

Q: Quatman’s Café

You can’t have summer without the burgers from Quatman’s Café.

R: Red Balloon

Take your little one to play at the custom designed space that is Red Balloon where kids can explore and discover through play. Red Balloon is geared toward kids ages 6 and under.

S: Summit Park and Smale Riverfront Park

Both parks offer unique play experiences for kids. Surprise your kids by flipping a coin to decide: heads for Summit Park and tails for Smale Riverfront Park.

T: Taft Museum of Art 3rd Sunday Fundays!

Head over to Taft Museum of Art for free afternoon programs that offer great art, kid-sized art info, hands-on fun and family-friendly performances.

U: Union Terminal’s Tower A

Get a great view of the Queensgate Freight Yard. Tower A at Union Terminal is free and open to the public on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. *Access does require the use of stairs.

V: Voice of America Metropark

Pack a lunch, hit the playground, walk the trail, go fishing, and bring your fur babies for a trip to Wiggly Field — all at Voice of America.

W: Web Extreme

Take your pick or play them all … laser tag, go-carts, miniature golf, bowling and arcades at Web Extreme!

X: Xavier University

Take a trip to Top This Donut Bar. Specialize your own cake donut with the toppings of your choice … we might have to move X to earlier in the alphabet!

Y: Yeatman’s Cove and Sawyer Point

Stop by Wheel Fun Rentals (located under the Purple People Bridge on Sawyer Point) and rent one of their many unique bikes. Ride along the riverfront before stopping by the playground and sprayground.

Z: Zip Lines

For little ones ages 3 and older and heavier than 35 pounds check out Zip City. For older kids, try Camp Kern’s Ozone Zipline Adventures (10 and older and 80 – 260 pounds) or the zip lines at the Creation Museum (8 and older), but make sure to call ahead to make reservations. No registration is required for Zip City.

Tina Pratt is the mom of two littles. She is a former PreK- 5 special education teacher that now works as a behavior coach. She enjoys being a tourist in her own town and finding ways to embed lessons into everyday fun!

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