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 2018.
Get Movin’ with these active events:
Skip the gym and exercise outdoors this summer at a Great Park! Free classes, fresh air and expert instructors from YMCA of Greater Cincinnati make it easy to start a new routine for a better you. Happening at Winton Woods on Tuesday evenings (no class on July 3), 7-8pm.
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 and Thursdays (5:30pm), Yoga on Wednesdays (5:30pm) and Sundays (9am), Zumba on Sundays (10am), and Salsa on select Fridays (7:00pm)
Grab your dancing shoes and head to Fountain Square on Thursday evenings for “Salsa on the Square“
Move it with Workout on the Green at Washington Park: Tuesdays with HIRT (High Intensity Resistance Training) Bootcamp (6pm) and Hip Hop Yoga (7pm) and continue on Wednesdays with Strength Bootcamp (6 pm) and Turbokick (7pm)
Weekends Workouts at Washington Park features rotating fitness classes led by licensed YMCA instructors, Saturdays 9-10am.
Kids Bowl Free at S&S Western Bowl, Heid Bowling Lanes, and Colerain Bowl; must register online; full details at Kids Bowl Free
Put your dancin’ shoes on and head out to Ault Park for their Summer Music Festival (live music too)
Movies, movies, movies! Catch these free flicks:
Enjoy free kids’ movies on Monday and Wednesday mornings at the Kenwood, Mariemont, Eastgate, and Esquire Theatres starting on June 4, 2018.
Washington Park is hosting Summer Cinema – a series of Wednesday night movies in the park. Titles include: Mulan, The Land Before Time, National Lampoons Vacation, Pride Week Movie- TBA, Love and Basketball, Independence Day, The Lion King, A League of Their Own, Jumanji, The Big Short, Star Wars the Last Jedi, Black Panther, Grease, Dead Poets Society.
Deerfield Township offers “Movies in the Park” on select Fridays during the summer.
Colerain Township is offering free movies as part of their Movies in the Park Series
Anderson Township Park District hosts “Movies in the Park” at Beech Acres on June 1 (“Despicable Me 3”) and August 24 (“Wonder”), starts at dusk.
Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum offers some free outdoor movies – It’s a Date Night Movie Night on July 13 (title TBD – Spring Grove Cemetery) and a second outdoor movie on August 2 (title TBD – Oak Hill Cemetery).
Summer classic movies will be featured as part of “Cinema in the City” at Seasongood Pavilion; live music too! June 8 – “The Sandlot” with music by Comet Bluegrass Allstars; July 13 – “Elf” with music by Sound Body Jazz Orchestra; August 10 – “Labyrinth” with music by Jake Speed and the Freddies.
Liberty Center offers Movies Under Moonlight on Tuesdays starting at dusk (June 5 – August 28, 2018)
Cinemark Cinemas in Western Hills has a Summer Movie Clubhouse deal – $1 per person per show. All movies are on Wednesdays at 10am (June 6 – Aug. 8). See the line-up here.
Bring the family:
Take a spin on Carol Ann’s Carousel at Smale Riverfront Park this summer; buy a token for a ride for just $2; stick around Smale Riverfront Park for all kinds of free family fun including huge swings, playgrounds, walking paths, water playgrounds and more.
Enjoy $1 admission at The Cincinnati Zoo for “Macy’s Kids, Cultures, Critters and Crafts Festival” on July 18, 2018 (10am-6pm); parking is $10
Sharon Woods has an indoor playground – Adventure Station; park sticker required* and admission is charged (2018 = $4 per child ages 2-12, kids under the age of 2 are free)
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 (2018 = $4/child , free for adults and kids under 2)
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: August 17-19, 2018
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
There’s no shortage of free tunes:
Anderson Township Parks hosts free concerts in the parks on Mondays starting June 7, 2018; Beech Acres Park Ampitheater; free, 7-9pm
Enjoy Roots Revival, an evening of free Bluegrass, Roots, and Americana music over at Washington Park’s bandstand. Thursdays, 6-10pm starting May 31, 2018.
Head to Washington Park for Friday Flow, a free R&B series , 7-10pm starting June 1, 2018.
The City of Blue Ash has free concerts on Tuesday nights at 7pm (Blue Ash Nature Park) and Friday nights at 8pm (Blue Ash Towne Square).
Newport on the Levee has its Summer Concert Series featuring live music on the large patio every Thursday evening (7-10pm)
Enjoy “The Takeover” on the Square at Union Centre, 6-9pm on Thursday evenings, June 7 – August 30 2018
Wednesdays in the Woods features free concerts at the Burnet Woods Bandstand; Wednesdays (May 31 til August 9) at 7 pm at CCAC.
The West Chester Concert Series happens at Keehner Park, 7-9 p.m. on select Saturdays from June 2 to Labor Day at the amphitheatre. Guests are welcome to pack a picnic for the evening.
Enjoy the arts:
Shakespeare in the Park kicks off with free community performances on June 24, 2018. This year’s selections include Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo and Juliet.
The Cincinnati Opera offers free community events throughout the summer
The City Flea blankets Washington Park with indie crafters, great food, and more (no admission) – May 19, June 16, July 21, August 18, and more
Enjoy the sounds of the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra with their Summer Series at Devou Park – first Saturday of the month
Can you hit up all of these water playgrounds this summer?
Washington Park (free)
Smale Riverfront Park (free)
Armeleder Memorial Sprayground, Sawyer Point – pictured above (free)
Parky’s Ark at Winton Woods*, admission charged
Parky’s Wetland Adventure at Woodland Mound*, admission charged
Parky’s Pirate Cove at Miami Whitewater Forest*, admission charged
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
Other activities and events:
Learn to Geocache and you’ll have something to do all summer – Geocaching for Beginners
Enjoy live performances (Pat Benatar and John Waite) plus Rozzi fireworks at “Red, White, and Blue Ash” . 4-10:30pm on July 4, 2018. Free admission.
Tour Spring Grove Cemetery under the full moon with their ‘lanterned’ guides for a unique view of the Historic sections of the grounds IN THE DARK. July 28, 2018. Advanced registration required.
Discounts and freebies for major attractions:
The Cincinnati Museum of Art offers free admission
The Contemporary Arts Center offers free admission
* 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.