Summer Vacation For Everyone—Yes, Everyone!

The lawn at Washington Park

Some graduate students call the warmer months summer break. Others call them summer semester. Either way, everyone deserves a vacation from the stress of the regular school year. And no, zoning out to a marathon of your favorite Netflix series doesn't count as a vacation—however tempting that may be.

We usually define vacation as a trip to somewhere far away, but you can find a mini-getaway in your own backyard (and save some money, too!). Whether it's an adrenaline-spiking rollercoaster or a Sunday morning trip to the farmer's market, getting out in the sun can make you more productive when it's time to get back to work. Forget about the semantics of summer break vs. summer semester—let's all take a summer vacation.

A Sporty Vacation

FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium (Image source:

Of the many things to love about the Queen City, sports top the list. We might not always win, but we sure know how to have fun trying.

The gem in our crown of sports is the Cincinnati Reds, famous for being the nation's first professional baseball team. Cheering them on at the Great American Ball Park will make you feel like a true Cincinnatian.

If you're looking to scratch the baseball itch without overpaying for food and beer, minor-league Florence Freedom is just across the river. The budget- and family-friendly stadium also hosts special events and post-game concerts—all with free parking!

Just in their second year of play, FC Cincinnati is the Queen City's brand-new professional soccer team, and one of the most heavily supported in the league. Join thousands of enthusiastic fans in UC's own Nippert Stadium, where the wildest meet in the north-side "Bailey" section to get extra loud.

As the summer comes to an end, take a trip to the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason for the Western & Southern Open on August 12-20. Taking place in Cincinnati for more than a century, this tournament sees an impressive number of tennis greats, with over 100 International Tennis Hall of Famers having participated over the years.

A Thrilling Vacation

Ozone Zipline Adventures (Image source: A person is pictured zip-lining in the forest.

For some, vacation means kicking back and relaxing. For others, scream-inducing adrenaline rushes are more therapeutic.

If you've lived in Cincinnati for an extended period of time, you already know that Kings Island is a rollercoaster lover's dream. Joining the classics that keep you coming back is the new Mystic Timbers, a massive wooden coaster following the legacy of The Beast.

For those that get queasy from drops and twists, Coney Island is a more laid-back theme park option. Wandering amongst classic rides like The Scrambler and Tilt-a-Whirl will make you feel like you've stepped back in time, while the newly updated Sunlite Pool area offers a chance for relaxation.

White sand and palm trees in Cincinnati? Believe it or not, we have 'em at The Beach Waterpark. After you've raced down the intimidating waterslides, chill on the lazy river or kick back for some live reggae music.

See the Little Miami River Valley from a higher perspective with Ozone Zipline Adventures. As the Midwest's largest zipline canopy tour, it's a unique way to experience Cincinnati's natural beauty, with river-crossing lines and night tours.

A Loud Vacation

For most of the year, you’re expected to keep your voice to a respectable level. These concerts will make you forget about the rules.

Vans Warped Tour comes to Cincinnati on July 19 to meet your rock, hardcore and metal needs. See a huge range of bands, from Anti-Flag to GWAR to Ohio’s own Hawthorne Heights.

Taking over Paul Brown Stadium from July 27-29, Cincinnati Music Festival is a solid choice for fans of hip-hop and R&B. Artists include Mary J. Blige, Usher and Doug E. Fresh.

Concertgoers flood Fountain Square every Friday night through September 1 for Indie Vol. 2017, a free show featuring a different lineup each week. You’ll hear an eclectic variety of national, regional and local acts in the heart of downtown.

If you’re looking to cut loose—but not too loose—Bandstand Bluegrass at Washington Park is just the ticket. Bring your folding chair or picnic blanket to spread out over the lawn as you enjoy a new artist every Thursday night through August 31, free of charge! 

A Crafty Vacation

You might want to spend the summer learning a new hobby. You might also want to enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor, instead.

Findlay Market has been a Cincinnati institution since 1855, but the vibrant environment you'll find there feels anything but old. Whether you're looking to find fresh vegetables and meats, delicious culinary creations or handmade gifts, this market has it all.

Southwest Ohio artists gather together for the Village Green Fine Art Fair on June 11. Head over to the Fairfield park to scope out some of the region's best paintings, photography, sculptures, jewelry, and textiles up for sale.

What began as a class project has now developed into Art on Vine, a seasonal pop-up market on Fountain Square July 2 and August 6. Over 60 local artists are on-site to offer their fine art and handmade goods.

City Flea is a great way to spend a mid-month Saturday, collecting Cincinnati-based vendors for an open-air market experience in Washington Park. This summer, the market is open June 17, July 15, and August 19, offering everything from vintage clothing to artisan pizza to woodwork furniture.

A Tasty Vacation

Even if you can't physically travel to distant lands, your taste buds can transport you anywhere. The local flavors of Cincinnati also make for a great staycation.

Incline Public House is a laid-back spot in Price Hill famous for its panoramic river views. Enjoy made-from-scratch sandwiches, pizzas and salads while hanging out on the 1400 square foot deck.

Dine amongst 150 years of history at Arnold's Bar & Grill, Cincinnati's oldest tavern. With art-plastered walls, vibrant live music and one of the area's best outdoor patios, the elevated comfort food won't be the only thing keeping you coming back—plus, it's vegan-friendly!

Summer hasn't started until you've hung out in a biergarten. Hofbrauhaus Newport offers a sprawling space with house-brewed beer and hearty German fare to make you feel like you've landed in Munich.

You don't have to fly to Italy to experience a working winery—Hamilton County's own Vinoklet Winery & Restaurant is just a short drive away. Thirty acres of rolling hills and ponds set a beautiful backdrop for thoughtful food and wine pairings.

Written by Dakota Wright, Graduate Assistant to the Graduate School Office