Cincinnati Family Magazine

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March 25, 2023

Mom Report: Tour of Boone County

At least once a summer, my best friend and I take my boys on a tour of Boone County. Growing up, my mom would lead a similar scrimmage on lazy Sunday mornings. Now I am the one packing a picnic snack, hitting the road and leading “I Spy” to pass the time and curb the “are we there yet’s”.

The first stop, always, is Big Bone Lick. Time ticks a little slower as we enjoy the simple things in life. Walking along the short bison trail, we stop to look at dewdrops that have collected on a leaf “it looks like glass, mom!”. Then we spot a tree with a hollowed out trunk, and we wonder what critters could possibly be enjoying the shaded area. We take the time to say hello to a daddy long legger spider who happens to cross our paths. There are currently 6 adorable, fluffy baby bison to coo at, along with their majestic looking parents. If that wasn’t enough of a draw for you, Big Bone Lick also has a museum with many fossil specimens (Big Bone Lick is the birthplace of vertebrate paleontology after all!), and a gift store with affordable goodies. If you are looking to spend all day (and night) at Big Bone, there are camp grounds, a fishing pond and a putt putt course, too. So whether you stay for just a little while, or a long while, Big Bone Lick is a great place to be.


Our second stop is Janes Saddlebag. Jane’s offers you a step back in time. Visit the kids town and snap silly photos in the jail, chapel, garage, and more. Meet barnyard critters, including an adorable 3-legged goat. Get a burger at the cafe. Or, like us, enjoy the playground. My kids affectionately call Jane’s Saddlebag “the corn pit place we go with Aunt Amanda”, because as soon as we purchase our playground passes they jet straight to the corn pit. Imagine a sand pit, but instead of sand, it is filled to the brim with dried corn! My boys love playing with the dump trucks, sliding into the corn, making “corn Angels”, and something new they did this time was fill their shirts completely with corn, then they stood up and had pounds of corn fall out. There are also slides, swings, a teeter totter and play tractors to ride around in. And a pro-trip from a btdt mom, flip your kid upside down and let gravity rid their pockets of dried corn, but don’t be surprised if you find some corn in your washer- there’s always a few stowaways hidden.


Last but not least on our Boone County tour, is a stop at the Rabbit Hash General Store. The original general store, that opened in 1831, burnt down on Valentine’s Day this year. I woke my husband up, drenched in tears, and told him “Rabbit Hash is gone!”. I was wrong though. While the physical original building is no more, the spirit is alive and well. Owner Terrie Markesbery set up shop in a barn near the original store. This particular trip was the first time my boys had been to the new location, and as soon as my older son walked in, he asked “do they still have my candy cigarettes?!” They did. They also still had my majeskas (marshmallows covered in super soft, yummy caramel), fresh popped pop corn, and my favorite bottled soda. Terrie told D she liked his motorcycle shirt, and that yes, they could pet the lazy black lab who was lounging in the corner. The ambiance is still there. Rabbit Hash is still there. And you should be there, too! (If you too would like to donate to rebuild on the site of the original store, you can do so here: )


If you are looking for a day trip to forget the stress of the world, take a little tour of Boone County. Roll your windows down and fill your lungs with sweet country air. Say hello to the bison at Big Bone Lick, fill your pockets with corn at Jane’s Saddlebag, and refuel your mind and body at Rabbit Hash General Store. This is a little trip that I am certain I will be taking for years to come. I come home feeling tired, but rejuvenated at the same time.

Big Bone Lick:

Jane’s Saddlebag:

Rabbit Hash General Store:



About the Author

Amanda Ciani

Amanda Ciani lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband and their three terrific sons. She enjoys writing haiku parenting poems for her Instagram account (@cinciciani), and Twitter account (@haikuciani).