Oooh, baby! It’s a hot summer out there; thankfully, the Tri-State is flooded with tons of options to have fun and stay cool. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a splash park, slip down a waterslide, or take a dip in the pool, our fun in the sun guide has your whole family covered for the entire season – including Baby!
Cincinnati Recreation Commission (cincyrec.org)
There are six free CRC spraygrounds spread across Cincinnati, why not visit them all? Each park has a different layout with unique elements that sprinkle, and spray water. There are three additional spray grounds attached to CRC pools, where daily passes or memberships are required.
Caldwell, College Hill, North Fairmount, Dyer, Oyler, and South Fairmount Spraygrounds are all free!
McKie, Oakley, and Pleasant Ridge spraygrounds are attached to a pool, and require either a daily pass or a membership: $1 ages 0 – 8; $2 ages 9 – 17; $3 ages 18 and older.
Great Parks of Hamilton County (greatparks.org)
Make discoveries with your wee ones as you investigate three wonderful themed wet playgrounds in the Great Parks of Hamilton County system. Kids will love sliding, and getting soaked with geysers; plus, there’s a section of sprayers designated just for toddlers at each playground. Pack a lunch, or pick up a tasty treat at the concession stands to make your trip complete:
Parky’s Pirate Cove at Miami Whitewater Forest, 9001 Mt. Hope Road
Parky’s Ark at Winton Woods, 10245 Winton Road
Parky’s Wetland Adventure at Woodland Mound, 8250 Old Kellogg Road
Children ages 2 – 12 are $3.50 each or $8 for three children. A motor vehicle permit is required upon entrance to each park ($3 daily, $10 annual).
The Sharon Woods Harbor (4631 E. Kemper Road) has boat rental, fishing, and also a sweet sprayground! Gather the whole family for baby’s first boat ride; and after your lovely day at the lake, cool off in the wet playground’s jets.
Admission is free for the Sprayground; motorboat rental for one hour, $26.64.
Cincinnati Parks (cincinnatiparks.com)
Our local parks offer plenty of ways to keep cool this summer, including some fun splash pads!
100 W Mehring Way
This 45-acre park includes not just one, but two water playgrounds! The River Play area has fountains and natural looking stones to explore, and the Pichler Family Fountain and Spray Park has rain curtains, interactive jets and nozzles, as well as reflecting pools. Either way you go, your family will have fun, get wet and stay cool.
Sawyer Point & Yeatman’s Cove
705 E. Pete Rose Way
The Otto Armleder Memorial Aquatic Fountain will definitely cool you down on a hot day. Kids love running through the fountain’s geysers while a blast of water rains down from above. Afterwards, stroll down the paths along the river.
1230 Elm Street
This beautiful park nestled in the heart of downtown is home to a very unique fountain. Over 130 interactive jets and geysers pop up, set to music and lights! There are steps with water cascading over them, and a large sphere boulder with water flowing over it that even the youngest water lovers can enjoy.
Home of the Brave Memorial Park
11605 Lebanon Road, Symmes Township
This local sprayground is adorable and best of all, free! After drying off, make sure to check out the tree-themed dry playground. There are tons of shade trees to relax under while the youngsters play.
Anderson Township Parks (andersonparks.com)
Beech Acres Park
6915 Beechmont Ave. or 6910 Salem Road
An all-children’s playground offers kids of all abilities a chance to unleash their imaginations with water play, all for free! Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. through Labor Day weekend.
8249 Clough Pike or 8200 Patton Ave.
Swing, slide and splash in this park whose water features were completed just last fall! Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. through Labor Day weekend; free admission.
Cincinnati Recreation Commission Pools (cincyrec.org)
Looking to take a dip in a pool with your kids? There are 24 CRC pools to check out, including 1one with large slides (the Dunham Otto Armleder Pool)! Many CRC pool locations offer swim lessons for little guppies as well. With a CRC pool membership, hop from pool to pool and keep cool all summer long.
Pools are located at Bond Hill, Bush, Camp Washington, Dempsey, Dickman, Evanston, Filson, Hanna, Hartwell, Hirsch, LeBlond, Lincoln, Madisonville, Millvale, Mt. Adams, Mt. Auburn, Mt. Washington, Oakley, Pleasant Ridge, Ryan, Spring Grove Village, and Winton Hills. Daily Use Fee is $1 for ages 0 – 8; $2 ages 9 – 17; and $3 ages 18 and older; $80 for a family membership for three to six people. Daily use fee for the Dunham Otto Armleder Pool is $2 ages 0 – 8; $6 ages 9 and older; $150 for a family membership for three to six people.
Florence Family Aquatic Center (Florence-ky.gov)
8200 Ewing Blvd., Florence, KY
Big fun for a little price! The Florence Family Aquatic Center has two spraygrounds equipped with jets galore for your littles, slides ranging from fun and easy to big and bold, diving boards, and a lazy river!
Admission is free ages 0 – 2, $7 ages 3 – 15, $10 adults (discounts for Florence residents)
Union Pool (boonecountyky.org)
10165 Old Union Road, Union, KY
Enjoy a one-meter diving board, picnic shelter, concession stand and more at the 25 meter “L” shaped outdoor pool! Swimming lessons for ages 3 and older are also available. Hours are 12 – 8 p.m. Mon – Sun, and 12 – 6 p.m. on holidays. Season passes are $250 for a family, while daily passes are $5 ages 13 and older, and $3 for ages 12 and younger and seniors.
Fairifled Aquatic Center (Fairfield-city.org)
2605 August Blvd., Fairfield
With special events like movie nights and family swim time, along with swimming lessons and birthday parties, the Aquatic Center is a great spot to while away some summer hours. Admission is $8 adults, $6 ages 3 – 17, free for infants 2 and younger, $5 seniors, and $4 military. Or pick up a 12-visit Splash Pass for $80!
The Beach Waterpark (thebeachwaterpark.com)
2590 Waterpark Drive, Mason
Dip your toes in the sand at the beach without a 10-hour drive. The Beach Waterpark has real sand to play in, the Lil’ Kahuna’s waterworks which is equipped with slides, geysers and sprayers, a lazy river, and two separate pools. For adventure seekers 45 inches and taller, there are skyscraper high slides! Whether you want chill or thrill, The Beach Waterpark has something for everyone in your family.
Admission is free ages 3 and younger; $23.99 for children 48 inches and under; $28.99 adults (buy online for savings!)
Coney Island (coneyislandpark.com)
6201 Kellogg Avenue
Swim and splash in over 90 acres of Sunlite Pool at Coney Island. The shallow edges are great for little swimmers to play in, so don’t forget your cups and buckets for your youngsters to enjoy. Typhoon Tower’s 72 interactive stations will keep toddlers and kids entertained for hours — look out for the Hydro Storm or you’ll get caught under 1,300 gallons of dumping water! Guests 36 inches and taller can twist and turn through the Twister Waterslide, and guests 48 inches and taller can enjoy The Cyclone and Pipeline Plunge. Looking to cannonball or belly flop? Dive in, literally, because Coney has it — three diving boards! All restrooms are equipped with diaper changing stations, and there are family restrooms located throughout the park. Nursing moms needing to pump are welcome to use one of the First Aid stations.
Admission is $8.50 ages 2 – 7; $15.95 ages 13 and older.
Soak City at Kings Island (visitkingsisland.com/play/soak-city)
6300 Kings Island Drive
Looking for variety? There are more than 50 water attractions at Soak City! There are activities for every height, whether you have little minnows splashing at Castaway Cove, medium fishies playing with sprayers and blasters at Splash Landing, or big fish taking the plunge on slides like the Aruba Tuba (36 inches and taller), Rendezvous Run, Thunder Falls, and the Zoom Flume (40 inches and taller). The taller your little one is, the more adventurous slides they can partake in … but if you need to relax, enjoy a slow inner tube down Splash River.
Admission is $42 children under 48 inches; $67 adults and children 48 inches and taller (buy online for savings!)
Beat the Heat With Baby!
Baby’s first summer is sure to be an adventure! Make sure you are keeping baby (and the whole family) happy, AND healthy with these fun-in-the-sun tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (aap.org):
- Babies have extra sensitive skin, infants 6 months and under should preferably avoid sunscreen. Instead, seek shade and opt for lightweight pants and shirts, with a wide brimmed UV protectant hat.
- Purchase UPF protective swimwear to ensure your little one’s skin is covered while swimming. Hats and sunglasses are cool, safe fashion statements.
- Use a high SPF sunscreen, and make sure to reapply every two hours.
- Avoid the sun and heat during peak hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Hydrate! If mom is nursing, be sure to drink extra water when you spend time in the heat. Baby will also need to refuel more, so offer an additional feeding session or bottle if you’re spending a day outside. Water or other drinks are not recommended for infants 6 months and younger, breast milk and formula are the best option unless your pediatrician says otherwise. For everyone 6 months and older — water is the way to go. Drink up and stay hydrated!