Nifty Nature Spots

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Have a ball with the kids as you get into nature together. Check out these top spots and events in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

The butterflies float by your window as the sun spends its energy trying to dissolve the clouds in the bright, blue sky.  It’s time head outside and explore what the area has to offer.

OUTDOOR NEWS

 

Happy Birthday, Carol Ann’s Carousel!

Carol Ann’s Carousel is turning 2 this month, and families are invited to celebrate the occasion. Enjoy free rides from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., special treats, Circus acts like stilt walkers and magicians, face painting, games, prizes and nature programming, all from the Cincinnati Parks Foundation. Head to 8 East Mehring Way from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on May 13 and join in the fun. Visit cincinnatiparks.com for more details.

Summer Music

It’s time to enjoy the sounds of summer with outdoor music concert series, many of which kick off this month!

  • Groovin’ on the Green from the City of Fairfield offers weekly concerts at Village Green Park (301 Wessel Drive) beginning May 11 range from pop and folk to classic, rock and the blues. Get a schedule of performing acts at Fairfield-city.org.
  • In West Chester, musicians are invited to head to the amphitheatre in Keehner Park (7211 Barret Road) on the first Sunday of each month, May – October, for an outdoor jam session. Learn more at westchesteroh.org.
  • Perk up the work-week with a Hump Day Concert from MetroParks of Butler County – head to Voice of America MetroPark (7850 VOA Park Dr.) every Wednesday from May 31 – Aug. 23 for a free summer concert. Learn more at yourmetroparks.net.
  • The City of Blue Ash offers free summer concerts galore! On Tuesdays beginning in June, head to Blue Ash Nature Park (4337 Cooper Road) from 7 – 9 p.m., and on Fridays at 8 p.m., visit the Towne Square (Cooper and Hunt Roads) for free tunes. Get a schedule of acts at blueash.com.

Volunteer Ops for Teens

Is your teen looking to do more this summer?  RSVP in advance for these opportunities with Great Parks of Hamilton County (greatparks.org):

  • Great Parks’ Greenup takes place May 13 at Fernbank Park (50 Thornton Ave.). Teens 14 and older can help plant seeds and removed invasive plant species from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Teens can learn about summer volunteer opportunities at the golf, fishing and nature centers at 5 p.m. on May 10 at Lake Isabella (10174 Loveland Maderia Road).
  • Teens will tour the riding center and Parky’s Farm while learning about summer volunteer opportunities at 5:30 p.m. on May 25 at Winton Woods (10245 Winton Road).

PARKS,  CENTERS, FARMS & MORE

Armco Park in Warren County

1223 N. State Rt. 741, Lebanon
warren.oh.us/parks/parks_list/armco.htm
In addition to the PlayScape for kids to re-connect with nature, Armco Park offers FootGolf! What is FootGolf? It’s a combo of soccer and golf — athletes will use soccer balls on a traditional golf course, all while following the basic rules of golf (book a tee time at the Pro Shop at 513-695-3986). Head to the web site for details.

Blooms & Berries Farm Market

9669 OH-48, Loveland
513-697-9173 | bloomsandberriesfarmmarket.com
Spring at Blooms & Berries offers a bevy of fun for kids, including pick-your-own strawberries (and eat them right on the farm on top of some frozen yogurt!) in late May and early June, and more!

Boone County Parks

boonecountyky.org
Boone County Parks is home to 2,000 acres spread across 18 parks, with shelters, summer camps, family programs, sports and more. This coming summer, families can look forward to free story times in the park, Kite Fest, outdoor concerts, free movie nights, and Family Fun Nights, featuring live performances from the likes of Madcap Puppets.

Cincinnati Nature Center at Rowe Woods

4949 Tealtown Road, Milford
513-831-1711 | cincynature.org
Featuring the Marge & Charles Schott Nature PlayScape, the CNC offers a host of activities for all ages — everyone from preschoolers through grown-ups.

Great Parks of Hamilton County

513-521-7275 | greatparks.com
Great Parks of Hamilton County has loads to do every month, whether you want to take a naturalist-guided hike, learn more about plants and animals native to the area, or improve your golf skills at the Winton Woods Golf Course.  Visit the web site for a complete schedule of activities. 

fea_JanesSaddlebag

Jane’s Saddlebag has many animals to pet and places to explore.

Jane’s Saddlebag

13989 Ryle Road, Union
859-384-6617 | janessaddlebag.com
There’s plenty on tap this year for the 35-acre complex that invites families to enjoy a general store, a themed restaurant, loads of events all season long, as well as a Kids’ Village, Petting Zoo, hay rides, Kids’ Playland and more.

Kenton County Parks

859-525-PLAY (7529) | kentoncounty.org
With nearly 500 acres of green space spread across seven parks, Kenton County Parks has plenty offer. This year, families can look forward to a return of Wild Wednesdays, where kids discover the fascinating world of wildlife, and (Almost) Every Other Thursday Science, full of fun scientific adventures.

Krohn Conservatory

1501 Eden Park Drive
513-421-5707 | cincinnatiparks.com/krohn
The Krohn offers wonderful exhibits year-round, but right now is a great time to visit in order to check out the annual butterfly show.  Be sure to head to the web site for special events for both families and parents’ nights out.

MetroParks of Butler County

513-867-5835 | yourmetroparks.net
Get out your binoculars! This spring, take advantage of the park system’s Big Week of Birding in Butler County to enjoy multiple parks. All ages are welcome to this free week of birding instruction and activities.  Registration is required for most activities, head to the website for a complete schedule of when and where to spot local birds!

MORE LOCAL FUN SPOTS

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
3400 Vine St.
513-281-4700 | cincinnatizoo.org
Educational programs, events and more.

Clermont County Parks
513-732-2977 | clermontparks.org
Naturalist programs featuring hikes and hands-on activities on plants and animals.

Civic Garden Center
2715 Reading Road
513-221-0981 | civicgardencenter.org
Classes, a horticultural library, several gardens for visitors to enjoy free of charge and more.

Gorman Heritage Farm
10052 Reading Road
513-563-6663 | gormanfarm.org
This 122-acre farm and outdoor education center shows the history, methods and values of a working family farm in a natural setting.

Grandma's Fairy Garden

Grandma’s Gardens holds fairy garden workshops.

Grandma’s Garden
8107 OH-48, Waynesville, OH 45068
937-885-2740 | grandmasgardencenter.com
The design and retail garden center offers lots of special events.

Hidden Valley Fruit Farm
5474 North State Route 48, Lebanon
513-921-1869 | hiddenvalleyfruitfarm.com
Country store, parties, educational opportunities and more.

Imago Earth Center
700 Enright Ave.
513-921-5124 | imagoearth.org
Hands-on programs, summer camps and more on this 16-acre nature preserve.

Niederman Family Farm
5110 Lesourdsville West Chester Road
513-779-6184 | niedermanfamilyfarm.com
Farm tours, paintball, parties and more.

Shaw Farms
1731 Ohio 131, Milford
513-575-2022 | shawfarms.com
Enjoy farm tours that teach kids how crops grow.

Sunrock Farm
103 Gibson Lane, Wilder
859-781-5502 | sunrockfarm.org
Hands-on animal and nature activities on the farm.

Turner Farm
7400 Given road
513-561-7400 | turnerfarm.org
Classes, events and summer camps offered on gardening and more.

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