One great thing about living in Cincinnati, Ohio, is that the area has so much to see and do. Whether you want to enjoy something in the heart of the city or take a quick day trip to a new destination that's just a short drive away, you'll always find something fun to do when you check out these top staycation ideas around Cincinnati.

Smale Riverfront Park

where to staycation outdoors Cincinnati

Image via Flickr by redlegsfan21

The 45-acre Smale Riverfront Park is a fantastic urban park because it offers so many things to do outside in Cincinnati. Located along the riverfront between Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park, this park has something for everyone to enjoy.

You can grab a seat on the two- or three-person Rosenberg Swings and take in the view of the river. Enjoying a ride on Carol Ann's Carousel is another fun activity you don't want to miss. The paintings on the carousel showcase notable places and various historic happenings from around Cincinnati, and the animals you can ride on range from a Bengal tiger to a ladybug.

Do your kids have some extra energy they need to burn? Then head over to the Heekin Family/PNC Grow Up Great Adventure Playground. This interactive playground has everything from slides and a rope bridge to hiding places and climbing walls. Everyone in the family can also explore their creative side by trying to play a song on the giant foot piano and whisper pipes. Other outdoor activities in Cincinnati include a scenic cruise on the lovely Ohio River with BB Riverboats or a ride with Bella Balloons Hot Air Balloon Company, both of which are perfect for a truly one-of-a-kind view of the state's beautiful landscape.

Kings Island

Located about 30 minutes north of the city, Kings Island is one of the best Cincinnati day trips because it offers so much for everyone in the family to enjoy. Kings Island is the largest amusement park and water park in the Midwest, so it's easy to see why you have endless opportunities for fun here. If you're looking for a little excitement, head over to the amusement park side. Here you'll find nine miles of roller coaster track that will get your heart pounding.

Some of the popular roller coasters include Mystic Timbers, which is a wooden coaster that reaches speeds up to 53 miles per hour, as well as Banshee, which currently holds the record as the world's longest steel inverted roller coaster. Once you're done on the roller coasters, you can have some fun on popular thrill rides that include the Drop Tower and Slingshot. Even the youngest members of the family can have a good time when they head to Planet Snoopy, which features Peanuts-themed rides and attractions specifically designed for children.

When the heat of summer starts to get to you, make plans to head over to Soak City. This premier water park has more than 50 water activities. For some heart-pounding thrills, make the seven-story climb up to Tropical Plunge. Here you'll step inside the Aqua-Launch chamber and wait for the floor to drop out from underneath you. Young kids who haven't learned how to swim yet will enjoy the kid-friendly water slides and interactive splash stations. The water park also offers the Tidal Wave Bay wave pool and Splash River lazy river.

Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge is another top staycation destination that's situated about 30 minutes north of the city in Mason. Some of the popular slides and attractions at the indoor water park include the four-story Alberta Falls tube slide, Slap Tail Pond wave pool, Big Foot Pass water challenge course, and four-story Coyote Cannon vortex slide. You can then head outside to splash around at Raccoon Lagoon. Other attractions available at the lodge include the Ten Paw Alley bowling alley, Northern Lights Arcade, and Howl at the Moon Glow Golf mini golf course.

Even though Great Wolf Lodge caters to families, it's still great for romantic getaways near Cincinnati. If you want to spend the night, book the Whirlpool Fireplace Suite, which features a gas fireplace, a king bed, a full-size sleeper sofa, and a private in-room whirlpool. You can also load up the car and take a drive to the Loveland Castle and Museum, which is a replica of a historical European castle perched on the banks of the Little Miami River.

Miami Whitewater Forest

If you're interested in one of the best weekend trips from Cincinnati, head approximately 30 minutes northwest of the city to Miami Whitewater Forest. At 4,348 acres, this is the largest park in Hamilton County, and it offers an incredible variety of outdoor activities to enjoy. You can go for a bike ride on the paved 7.8-mile Shaker Trace trail, or you can head into the shaded forest to hike the 1.4-mile Timberlakes Trail, 0.80-mile Oakleaf Trail, or 1.7-mile Badlands Trail.

If you want to work on that golf swing, bring along your clubs and head to the 18-hole golf course. This course offers championship conditions while surrounding you with natural beauty. When your game is over, treat yourself to a drink and a sandwich on the spacious outdoor patio at the full-service snack bar. The park also has an 85-acre lake where you can enjoy numerous recreational activities. You can stop by the boathouse to rent a rowboat, pedal boat, kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. Or purchase some fishing gear so you can cast a line and see what's biting.

To make the most of your staycation, go to the 46-site Miami Whitewater Forest Campground and find a scenic, quiet spot to set up camp. Every site comes with electric hookups, a picnic table, and a fire ring. The campground also has a playground and a newly renovated shower building.

These are some of our favorite staycation destinations for outdoor activities in Cincinnati. Did we miss one of your favorites? Then please contact Kings Toyota and let us know what you like to do for fun around the city.

Categories: Social