Staycation for the Outdoorsy Family


Staycations are amazing for several reasons. Sometimes you just can’t afford the big fancy vacation, sometimes you just don’t want that added stress, and sometimes, it is just downright more relaxing to take some time off without leaving home.

Lucky for us, Cincinnati is an incredible city for staycation planning.

This series is designed to give you some excellent suggestions to help you plan your staycation. Feel free to follow the themes or mix and match between them!

Summer is meant for the outdoors… and we have an amazing one to explore in Cincinnati.

Staycation for the Cincinnati Outdoorsy Family

Day One

Explore Nature

Start the week off right by immersing yourself in the outdoors!

The Cincinnati Nature Center

  • At the nature center in Milford, you can tackle some amazing trails for just about every skill age and skill level (there is even a wheelchair/stroller friendly trail).
  • While there, you can also check out the naturescape and enjoy a nature scavenger hunt to see if you can spot turtles, frogs, fish, butterflies and more.
  • Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in one of their beautiful picnic spaces and make a full day of it.
  • We also suggest bringing extra clothing if you plan to let the kids get muddy or wet… which why wouldn’t you?

Gorman Heritage Farm.

  • This is a working farm that provides its visitors with the chance to get their hands dirty.
  • There are gardens, trails, and animals included in the experience and the landscape is simply beautiful.
  • They have a sunflower festival every fall that is worth checking out as well.

Highfield Discovery Garden

  • This is a great option for those of you who love being outside, but have younger kids.
  • Go early for the educational programming and then stay to enjoy the whimsical play area.
  • There are also trails surrounding the smaller garden which are great for hunting down fairy houses.

Day Two

Get Physical

Do something different.

These are activities that we don’t always think of when planning family outings, which makes them perfect options for a staycation.

Go on a Peddal Wagon Tour

  • The Cincinnati art mural tour is our favorite pick for families. What a great way to get outside and see this amazing city of ours from a different point of view!


  • Definitely not something you get the chance to do every day
  • This exciting adventure is the perfect way to take in the outdoors and make family memories too

Raptor’s Nest Ropes Course

  • There are zip lines here too, but the obstacle courses are a great way to challenge yourselves as individuals and to build teamwork as a family

Day Three

Take to the Water

A mid-week break to cool off sounds like a great break in the action to us!

  • Go Canoeing  – An entire day floating and swimming on the Little Miami is the stuff summers are made of.
  • Paddleboats – Sharon Woods and Winton Woods are great options in the Cincinnati area.
  • Visit a splash pad or community pool

Day Four

Keep it Simple

Even the best vacations need some built-in downtime

Picnic at a Park – Some of our favorite parks for picnics and play are:

  • Juilf’s Park on the East Side
  • Fernbank on the West Side
  • Summit Park up North
  • Washington Park in the city
  • Tower Park in NKY

Take a Family Walk or Bike Ride

  • You can head to a local bike path
    • Five Mile Trail
    • Lunken Airport
    • Winton Woods… to name a few
  • Or you can keep it really simple and scout out a path through your own neighborhood
  • If you can find a way to end up at an ice cream shop, that would be even better

Day Five

Enjoy the Evening

These suggestions are a great way to bring a week of fun outside activity to a relaxing close.

Backyard Camping

  • Set up a tent in the backyard and camp out close to home
  • Add a fire in the fire pit and the making of s’mores for a simply fun night as a family

Catch Fireflies 

  • Head out to a local park or even just in your own backyard to catch some of the flickering bugs that remind us all of childhood.
  • Basic bug catchers can be found at the dollar store or in the dollar spot at Target or make your own by poking holes in some Tupperware

Star Gaze

  • Hit up the library in the morning to check out some books on stars
  • Read them before heading outside and talk about how the stars form pictures
  • Spread out a blanket and put on some music and lay together as a family, seeing what shapes you can find in the sky – real or made up


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