12 Unusual Things to See and Do in the Cincinnati Area

There are plenty of fun things to do in and around Cincinnati, including the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Cincinnati Zoo. But there are some more unusual sites to see for residents and visitors to the home of Senior Lifestyle’s The Seasons community.

>> Read “15 Things to Do for Friends and Family in Cincinnati

From fun tours to unusual museums to unexpected sights in downtown, there are a number of unique things to do in Cincinnati and the surrounding area.

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1. 1919: The Year That Changed Baseball Tour

In partnership with the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum, American Legacy Tours offers a walking tour called 1919: The Year That Changed Baseball Tour.

This tour for baseball and history buffs presents sites and sounds of Cincinnati and its connection to baseball, in particular the events and activities surrounding the controversial 1919 World Series. In that series, the Cincinnati Reds met the Chicago White Sox in what is now called the Black Sox Scandal due to ties to gambling and mobsters.

2. American Sign Museum

This museum features the history of American signage from 1870 through 1970. From hand-carved wooden signs to bright neon and light bulbs, more than 500 signs are presented. The American Sign Museum’s goal is to preserve and protect American history and to pay homage to the artistry and craftsmanship of signmakers and their signs. 

The museum offers self-guided tours, lectures and special events, such as weddings and parties, during certain dates. 

3. Cincinnati Aviation Heritage Society Museum

This museum’s goal is to collect, restore and display general aviation artifacts relating to Ohio and Cincinnati. The museum’s aircraft collection includes a 1939 Stinson SR-10C Reliant that was used for mail service by American Airlines, a full-scale replica 1903 Wright Flyer and others. 

Aviation enthusiasts and those just curious about the history of flight are invited to the Cincinnati Aviation Heritage Society Museum, in the historic Lunken Airport terminal.

4. Cincinnati Murals

ArtWorks offers self-guided tours of the public murals of Cincinnati and the surrounding region.

These colorful works of art have been put up by youth apprentices and professional artists associated with ArtWorks, a nonprofit that creates community-based public art to provide career opportunities for artists of all ages. To date, ArtWorks has created hundreds of murals throughout Greater Cincinnati and the Northern Kentucky region.

5. Cincinnati Mushroom House

This neighborhood house was turned into a fairytale home starting in 1992. Architecture professor Terry Brown added warped shingles and unusual staircases to his one bedroom home on the corner of Erie and Tarpis Ave.

The coverings at the Cincinnati Mushroom House are meant to evoke the delicate sheets on the underside of a mushroom. Brown passed away in 2008, but the house is still available to gawk at, but no tours of the inside are available.

6. Grand Antique Mall

Antiques and collectibles of all sorts fill the 27,000 square feet of space at the Grand Antique Mall. The mall features furniture from all periods, as well as art glass, china, clothing, glassware, jewelry, paintings, silverware and more.

Located in nearby Reading, Ohio, the mall also offers repair services for clocks, Victrolas, music boxes, lamps and other vintage items.

7. Greater Cincinnati Police Museum

The Greater Cincinnati Police Museum hosts more than 10,000 law enforcement artifacts and archives of not only the Cincinnati Police but also more than 160 local, township, county, state and federal law enforcement bureaus. The museum also pays tribute to the officers from the area who have lost their lives during the call of duty. 

The museum opened in 2006 and now features guided and self-guided tours of the exhibits featuring stories of fallen heroes. Visit the gift shop for some unusual souvenirs.

8. Lucky Cat Museum

A Lucky Cat is a statue of a feline with a raised paw, a Japanese lucky charm said to bring prosperity. Maybe you’ve seen one in a Japanese or Chinese restaurant. This pop culture icon is now celebrated at the Lucky Cat Museum in Cincinnati.

The museum of the lucky cat, called maneki neko, opened in 2012 during an Art Walk and has since grown. More than 2,000 of these lucky cats are featured in the museum, along with information about their history.

9. Newport Gangster Tour

Across the river in Newport, Kentucky, gangsters operated with impunity for years. Visit their world with American Legacy Tours’ Newport Gangster Tour.

Newport was known as the “Sin City of the South,” home to bootleggers, criminal rings, illegal casinos and scandals galore. In this walking tour, find out about the historical significance of Newport and how it gave birth to the modern-day gaming industry.

10. Ultimate Queen City is Haunted Tour

If you’re looking for a good fright, try The Ultimate Queen City is Haunted Tour, a ghost fest that introduces you to the haunted history of Cincinnati.

American Legacy Tours will take you to visit several haunted landmarks, such as Cincinnati Music Hall and Washington Park, where you’ll be told the surprisingly spooky histories of these sites.

11. Ultimate Queen City Underground Tour

If being spooked isn’t for you, try this unusual walking tour that introduces you to the history of Cincinnati, from historic buildings to the saloons and theaters that built the city.

Then, you’ll descend into catacombs beneath the city to visit a hidden crypt and underground tunnels that play a part in Cincinnati’s brewery heritage. Then, you’ll visit tunnels below the Cincinnati city streets.

The Ultimate Queen City Underground Tour is also operated by American Legacy Tours.

12. Vent Haven Museum

Vent Haven bills itself as the only museum in the world dedicated to ventriloquism. 

More than 1,000 ventriloquist’s dummies are preserved in the Vent Haven Museum, which opened in the 1970s. The collection was accumulated by the founder, W.S. Berger, who also collected memorabilia, photos, playbills, posters, recordings, scripts and more associated with the art of ventriloquism.

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Find Your Own Fun While Living in Cincinnati

Besides being home to these fun sites, Cincinnati can also be home to you, too. You can enjoy your senior years at The Seasons in Cincinnati by being as active as you wish to live, while we take care of the necessities of daily living.

Find out more about Senior Lifestyle communities or schedule a visit today.

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