As a stay-at-home mom and a one-income family, I am continuously searching for free or budget-friendly things to do. I don’t know about you, but my son and I get cabin fever when we stay in the house for too long. Here’s a list of activities we plan to do in the upcoming months and maybe your family will as well!
Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Kentucky
Milk and Beans (574 Buttermilk Pike, Crescent Springs) is a favorite amongst moms in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati area. It is a place to sit, eat and enjoy a cup of coffee while kids play in the playroom. The playroom is designated for children 6 and younger, and board games are available for older kiddos. A play-pass costs $6.50 and is good for the entire day. A play-pass after 4:30 p.m. is discounted to $5. Masks are required for those 5 years and older. Visit milkandbeans.net/home for more information.
Jane’s Saddlebag (13989 Ryle Road, Union) is a hidden gem in Northern Kentucky. Grab a bite to eat at the restaurant; take pictures at the “Kids Village;” check out the infamous replica Flatboat; and let the kids play in the “Kids Playland.” Visit their Facebook page or call 859-384-6617 for more information.
Take the Scenic Route – A beautiful scenic day trip to the historic Rabbit Hash General Store (10021 Lower River Road, Rabbit Hash) is worth the drive. You can find antiques, pottery, soap, brooms and so much more. Grab a drink and learn about the history of the store or catch a ferry ride at the Rabbit Hash dock to Rising Sun, Indiana. Ferry Rides are $8 round-trip per car. Visit rabbithash.com for more information.
Catch a Cheap Flick – Check your local movie theater for discount days! My local theater in Florence (Cinemark) has discount days on Tuesday. Tickets cost $6 and the theater is typically empty during these times. I take my son once a month on a cold, rainy or snowy day.
Head to the Local Library – Libraries are my favorite free activity! Each month, I check my local library’s event page on their website. There are so many fun, budget-friendly things to do – story time, music, classes for all ages, teen community hangout, crafts and more. Check out your local library and see what they have to offer! Some events may require registration.
Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Ohio
The American Sign Museum (1330 Monmouth Avenue, Cincinnati) is on my to-do list. They have the largest public museum in the United States that displays the history of American signs! Timed entry tickets are encouraged and masks are required. Admission, $15; youth 13-18, seniors 65+, students with identification, military/first responders, members, $10; ages 12 and younger are free. Visit americansignmuseum.org/ for more information.
Learn Some History – History is all around us. I recently learned about the Harriet Beecher Stowe House located in Walnut Hills (2950 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati). Harriet Beecher Stowe was an author and activist for the anti-slavery movement. Reserve a time for a guided house tour and visit the children’s educational center. Children can play with 19th-century toys, write with a quill and ink and slate and chalk. That sounds like fun for adults, too! Admission, $6; students/seniors, $5; youth 6-17, $3; children 5 and younger are free. Visit stowehousecincy.org for more information.
The Krohn Conservatory (950 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati) is magical. It is like having nature right at your fingertips. My personal favorite is the Orchid House and the waterfall. I am always in awe of the beautiful, vibrant colors and the rushing sound of the waterfall. There is always something to learn about the different species of plants. After visiting, take a drive through Eden Park and enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the Ohio River valley. Admission, $7; youth 5 – 17, $5; children 4 and younger are free. Visit cincinnatiparks.com/krohn/ for more information.
The Loveland Castle (12075 Shore Drive, Loveland) is one of my favorite places to visit. I was a teenager when I first visited and I have loved it since. Now, I get to take my son! Explore the castle inside and outside- the architecture is breathtaking! Take a stroll outside in the gardens or play a game of chess or checkers. Admission, $5; children 5 and younger are free. Visit lovelandcastle.com for more information.
Take a look at the sky at Stonelick State Park (3489 Observatory Place, Cincinnati) as there are different telescopes set up for viewing on clear nights. Ask the amateur astronomers questions that are on location to learn more about astronomy. Visit Stonelick Star Gazers for dates and more information. Though the daytime and nighttime tours at the Cincinnati Observatory are temporarily closed due to COVID-19; a self-guided tour of the Observatory Historic District is also available. Observe and learn about the historic homes by downloading the brochure at cincinnatiobservatory.org/home. Admission is free for both activities.
FIND MORE BUDGET-FRIENDLY THINGS TO DO HERE!