The ride is smooth, the interior sleek, and it’s easy and inexpensive to use. Cincinnati’s street car, The Cincinnati Bell Connector, has exceeded anticipated ridership by more than 500 percent for weekends, and the holiday season will drive even more people to take advantage of its fast and efficient service to some of downtown’s most popular attractions. The route includes stops at Smale Park, the Banks, Jack’s Casino, the Freedom Center, Paul Brown Stadium and Washington Park, but the following stops offer family-friendly activities throughout November.
Fountain Square’s Ice Rink
The ice rink provides family entertainment all winter long … if the weather cooperates. After-school specials, Monday through Thursday, give students and children 18 and younger half off on skate rentals (rink admission is $6, skate rental is $4; children 55 inches and shorter must be accompanied by an adult while on the ice). On Saturdays from 12 – 3 p.m., skate and take in a show, as the Fifth Third Bank LED Video Board shows family-friendly movies. Tuesday, Nov. 22, marks the return of the popular Turkey Bowl. For $5, or two non-perishable items, participants get a chance to knock down pins with a frozen turkey. (No waste here — any turkey bowled is past its expiration date.) Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and all proceeds benefit the St. Vincent DePaul society. But of course, the biggest event on Fountain Square this month happens Friday, Nov. 25. Macy’s Light Up the Square begins at 5 p.m. and features live music, food, fireworks and a special appearance from Santa Claus.
The Contemporary Arts Center
Temporary, ever-changing exhibits from world class artists can be found here. Additionally, on the sixth floor, is the Un-Museum (pictured top), a hands-on family-friendly gallery of interactive art. And, admission is free!
The Cincinnati Public Library
One of the busiest in the country, the main library branch includes the Children’s Learning Center and the popular MakerSpace. In addition to a collection of picture books, beginning readers, juvenile fiction, audiobooks, music, and titles for parents, the Children’s Learning Center offers many programs for kids. Weekly offerings include Baby Jam, Preschool Story Time, Family Story Time, Tales for Tails as well as S.T.E.A.M. TEAM for the exploration of science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Then there’s Simply Saturday, a program where kids can relax and enjoy a simple craft, story or game with a Children’s Librarian. And kids and their parents can create more crafts, use professional photography equipment, learn about robotics and use a 3D printer in the MakerSpace.
Aronoff Center for the Arts
In addition to the Broadway Series presentation of Phantom of the Opera, the Aronoff Center for the Arts has three upcoming events especially for kids. On Wednesday, Nov. 2, kids can enjoy The Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure. A month later, on Friday, Dec. 2 the Christmas season kicks off with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. However, perhaps the most unique event happens Saturday, Nov. 5. The All City Boy Choir Festival invites every boy in the region to the Aronoff for singing, music theory games and cookies. And it’s free!
And of course, November is all about Thanksgiving, a holiday that celebrates family and tradition by giving thanks over a shared meal. What better place to shop for the meal’s ingredients than at Findlay Market? Findlay Market is Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market and sells a rich variety of ethnically diverse fresh foods and goods. Many of the specialty shops and booths are family owned and operated, a tradition that has continued for generations.
Cincinnati Bell Connector
Purchase tickets at Vending Machines located at each streetcar station or download the free app Cincy EZRide
Adults: $1 for two hours or $2 for a day pass
Children 35 – 45 inches tall: 50 cents for two hours
Children shorter than 35 inches: free