Hey, Cincinnati families! Get out in nature with the kids during these all-free outdoor events!
By Susan Day
Published September 2023
Updated September 28, 2023
Join Great Parks and Green Umbrella for the Great Outdoor Weekend Sept. 23 and 24. The Great Outdoor Weekend presents ALL-FREE opportunities for kids and adults to experience the best outdoor recreation and nature programs available across 10 counties in the Greater Cincinnati region. Just show up!
Great Outdoor Weekend Events
FRIDAY, SEPT. 22 – SUNDAY, SEPT. 24
• Union, KY – Great Outdoor Weekend at Big Bone Lick State Park
Join in for outdoor exploration and education. Available programs include a birding walk, guided hike, tobacco hiking stick craft, creek exploring, tree ID walk, and more.
Volunteers will work with community leaders to remove honeysuckle and other non-native plants.
• Cincinnati – Run the Riffles at Salway Park, Mill Creek Greenway Trail
Join in for an Urban Stream Adventure on the Mill Creek with the expert guides of the Mill Creek Yacht Club (MCYC) or one of many other outdoor activities. MCYC supplies all necessary equipment for the paddle trip with opportunities for paddlers of every level.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, SEPT. 23 – 24:
• Milford – Free Admission at Cincinnati Nature Center
Connect with nature by visiting the peaceful trails and native flower fields at Long Branch Farm or the children’s Playscape at Rowe Woods.
• Hamilton – Monarch Butterfly Tagging at Fernald Preserve Nature Center
Migrating monarch butterflies are here for a limited time as they pass through on their way to ancestral roosts in Michoacán, Mexico. Learn about the monarch’s fascinating life cycle, habitat, and migration and place a tiny identification tag on each Monarch butterfly we catch.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 24:
• Loveland – Paddle the Little Miami with the Roaming Naturalist at Loveland Canoe & Kayak
Escape land for a bit and discover the natural history and wonders of the Little Miami River during a 2.5 hour guided nature paddle with experienced Naturalists from The Roaming Naturalist LLC. and Little Miami Conservancy. Kayaks will be supplied by Loveland Canoe and Kayak for the river adventure.
• Hamilton – Pollinator Palooza Family FUNestival
Enjoy live animal encounters, talk with local experts on pollinators, take a pollinator meadow tour, practice your fishing and archery skills, and more. A free meal is provided for attendees along with a swag bag filled with wildflower seed packets and other items to help you make your backyard pollinator friendly.
• Harrison – Open House at White Water Shaker Village
White Water, established in 1823, is one of the 24 Shaker communal villages founded in the United States. Learn about the daily life of a Shaker, explore the property’s historic outbuildings, and celebrate the 200th anniversary of the village’s founding.