Looking for something free (or cheap) to do this summer in Cincinnati? We’ve got you covered with this list of 50 free and cheap things to do in Cincinnati for the summer of 2020.
PLEASE NOTE: A significant number of our 2020 summer events will start late, have been rescheduled, or will be canceled this year. Be sure to double check with your event before heading out the door – links are provided for each listing below.
Get Movin’ with these active events:
Head to beautiful Summit Park (City of Blue Ash) for some action packed activities: H.I.I.T. (high intensity interval training) on Mondays (5:30pm), Crossfit on Tuesdays (5:30pm), Yoga on Wednesdays (5:30pm), Kickboxing on Thursdays (5:30pm), Yoga on Sundays (9am), and Zumba on Sundays (10:15am). Classes scheduled to begin in June, 2020.
Move it with Workout on the Green at Washington Park: Sessions are happening on Tuesdays (yoga and pilates), Wednesdays (rotating classes and Barre) this year.
Kids Bowl Free at Batavia Bowl, Eastgate Lanes, S&S Western Bowl, Heid Bowling Lanes, Stones Lanes, Madison Bowl, Crossgate, and Colerain Bowl; must register online; full details at Kids Bowl Free
Put your dancin’ shoes on and head out to Ault Park in August and September for their Summer Music Festival (live music too)
Info for free fitness with Great Parks of Hamilton County has not been announced for 2020.
Grab your dancing shoes and head to Fountain Square on Thursday evenings for “Salsa on the Square” featuring live local and regional Latin bands specializing in Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia and Latin Jazz. In addition to the live music, local dance instructors host large dance classes teaching basic and intermediate Latin dancing. Happens from 7-10pm and event is scheduled to start in July, 2020. Looks like this one is canceled for 2020 🙁
Movies, movies, movies! Catch these free flicks:
Deerfield Township offers “Movies in the Park” is scheduled to begin on June 12, 2020. Movies include Secret Life of Pets 2 (6-12-2020), Jumanji: The Next Level (7-24-2020), Sonic the Hedgehog (8-28-2020), and Mulan, live action (9-25-2020).
Washington Park is hosting Summer Cinema – a series of Wednesday night movies in the park. The movies are scheduled to begin in July, 2020. Looks like this one is canceled for 2020 🙁 Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum is hosting a Date Night Movie Night on July 10, 2020 (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood). Registration is required. Looks like this one is canceled for 2020 🙁
Summer classic movies are featured as part of “Cinema in the City” at Seasongood Pavilion; live music too! The 2020 schedule has not been released yet.
Liberty Center does not have any info out yet about their plans for 2020.
Anderson Township Park District usually hosts “Movies in the Park” . 2020 details have not been announced.
Colerain Township usually offers free movies as part of their Movies in the Park Series. The 2020 line-up has not been announced yet.
Enjoy free kids’ movies on several mornings at the Kenwood, Mariemont, and Esquire Theatres. 2020 dates and titles have not been announced.
Cinemark Cinemas in Western Hills and Milford are still closed at this time. We will continue to watch for their free kids movies this summer.
Bring the family:
Carol Ann’s Carousel at Smale Riverfront Park is currently closed (last updated 5-20-2020). When they are open, you can buy a token for a ride for just a few bucks; stick around Smale Riverfront Park for all kinds of free family fun including huge swings, playgrounds, walking paths, water playgrounds and more.
The $1 admission at The Cincinnati Zoo for “Macy’s Kids, Cultures, Critters and Crafts Festival” is not likely to happen this year (last updated 7-28-2020).
Sharon Woods has an indoor playground – Adventure Station; park sticker required* and admission is charged. NOTE: the indoor playground is currently closed (last updated 5-20-2020).
Parky’s Playbarn, located at Parky’s Farm in Winton Woods, is a former dairy barn has been converted into an indoor, farm-themed, accessible playground; park sticker required* and admission is charged. NOTE: Parky’s Farm is open for registered horseback riding lessons, walking and barnyard viewing only. (last updated 7-2-2020).
File these under “You’ve got to see it to believe it!”:
Head to “America’s Cardboard Boat Racing Capital” for the Cardboard Boat Regatta, New Richmond; this is part of River Days: 2020 date is TBD (last updated 5-20-2020).
Watch the hot air balloons light up the sky at Coney Island’s “Balloon Glow” followed by Rozzi fireworks over Lake Como; July 3; admission to the park is free, parking fees do apply. Looks like this one is canceled for 2020 🙁
There’s no shortage of free tunes:
Newport on the Levee has its new Newport Nights at Bridgeview Box Park featuring local live music. Scheduled to happen every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 6 to 8pm.
The City of Blue Ash has free concerts . The Blue Ash Events team is making decisions on cancellations in two-week increments, in hopes that some of the Summer Concert Series will proceed as scheduled if new directives are released by the Ohio Department of Health and the Governor’s Office. Updates on the further upcoming concerts will be provided as they become available, (last updated 7-2-2020).
Enjoy Roots Revival, an evening of free Bluegrass, Roots, and Americana music over at Washington Park’s bandstand. Thursdays, 7-9pm starting June 4, 2020. Looks like this one is canceled for 2020 Head to Washington Park for Friday Flow, a free R&B series , 7-10pm starting in July, 2020. Looks like this one is canceled for 2020 Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum will host The Belairs Show Band on July 8, 2020. Looks like this one is canceled for 2020 Enjoy “The Takeover” on the Square at Union Centre, 6-9pm on Thursday evenings. June concerts are canceled. Dates begin in July but there’s a message to say they are going to re-evaluate on a month by month basis (last updated 7-2-2020). West Chester has made the difficult decision to cancel its July concerts on The Square @ Union Centre (Thursdays) and at Keehner Park (Saturdays). Wednesdays in the Woods features free concerts at the Burnet Woods Bandstand; Wednesdays beginning in July, 2020. Looks like they have gone to live streaming – watch them live from home. The West Chester Concert Series happens at Keehner Park, 7-9 p.m. on select Saturdays from July to Labor Day at the amphitheater. Guests are welcome to pack a picnic for the evening. Dates begin in July but there’s a message to say they are going to re-evaluate on a month by month basis (last updated 7-2-2020). West Chester has made the difficult decision to cancel its July concerts on The Square @ Union Centre (Thursdays) and at Keehner Park (Saturdays).
Concerts on The Square at Liberty Center on Wednesday nights – dates for 2020 TBD.
SummitFest the premier country music festival, has been canceled for 2020.
Butler County wants to help you out on Wednesdays with their “Hump Day Concert Series”. 2020 information is not available (last updated 5-20-2020).
Sawyer Point Summer Concert Series gives us another riverfront option. Their 2020 plans have not been announced
Rockin’ The Roebling Summer Concert Series has not released any details for 2020. Last year’s events happened on the Schmidlapp Lawn (next to Moerlein Lager House).
Anderson Township Parks hosts free concerts in the parks at the Beech Acres Park Amphitheater; their 2020 plans have not been posted as of 5-20-2020
Enjoy the arts:
Enjoy the sounds of the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra with their Summer Series at Devou Park – scheduled to begin July 11, 2020.
Shakespeare in the Park is still TBD for 2020 (last updated 5-20-2020).
The City Flea blankets Washington Park with indie crafters, great food, and more (no admission). They are hoping to return on August 15, 2020 but that’s TBD as of 7-28-2020.
Cincinnati Opera in the Park has been canceled for 2020.
Can you hit up all of these water playgrounds this summer?
Washington Park (free) – the park is open but they may have attendance restrictions in place, last updated 7-2-2020
Smale Riverfront Park (free) – the park is open but the water is not on (as July, 2020); they may have attendance restrictions in place, last updated 7-2-2020
Armeleder Memorial Sprayground, Sawyer Point – pictured above (free) – the water features are on but they do have attendance restrictions in place and hours are limited, last updated 7-2-2020
The water is on (July, 2020) at Home of the Brave Park!
Parky’s Ark at Winton Woods*, admission charged – info on openings and closings to come soon; currently closed Parky’s Wetland Adventure at Woodland Mound*, admission charged – info on openings and closings to come soon currently closed
Cincinnati area parks got it goin’ on!
Find LOADS of free Great Parks of Hamilton County Park District* events on their Event Calendar (park sticker required for admission to park)
The City of Cincinnati Park District offers many free and low cost events
Many parks have Disc Golf courses
Grab a disk and play! There are lots of Disc Golf Courses all over town.
Other activities and events:
Learn to Geocache and you’ll have something to do all summer – Geocaching for Beginners
“Red, White, and Blue Ash” has been canceled for 2020.
Discounts and freebies for major attractions:
The Cincinnati Museum of Art offers free general admission everyday and parking is free. The museum is currently open but you do need to register before you visit – get your free tickets online (last updated 7-2-2020).
The Contemporary Arts Center offers free admission to the galleries. The museum is open but they do require registration to maintain limits on visitor capacity. Masks are required. (last updated 7-2-2020).
* Great Parks of Hamilton County requires a park sticker to enter the park. Park stickers are available at a manned station as you pull into each park. Get the prices and details here.
All events were accurate at the time of this posting but things do happen and events do occasionally get canceled or postponed. You should always double check with the event source before you head out the door. Links for each event are provided so that you can be sure the date is still accurate before you head out.