Parking-Lot Parks and Perks in Covington, Kentucky

There are five brand new parks in Covington, Kentucky. Where do you fit FIVE new parks? Well, in parking spaces, of course. The five new parklets are the result of the Curb’d design competition that began in November 2015. Winning designs were selected that December and the finished parklets revealed earlier this summer.

So where did this parklet idea come from? According to the Curb’d website:

“Many credit the group Rebar in San Francisco as the first to explore parklet construction back in 2010.Since then, many cities worldwide have followed suit as pedestrians and business-owners begin to reinvent what the sidewalk and curbside means to them. Many of the goals established by those early pioneers, such as promoting connectivity and community interaction, exist today in projects like Curb’d.”

As if mini-parks scattered throughout one of Greater Cincinnati’s coolest neighborhoods isn’t reason enough to walk around and visit each one, there is also an incentive program that encourages you to check it out. Visit all five and receive a discount at participating businesses.

Curb’d is a project supported by the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation, Renaissance Covington, and the MainStrasse Village Association.

 

Hopscotch Garden – 27 W. 7th Street – Braxton Brewing Company
Tue-Wed: 8a-10p; Thur: 8a-12a; Fri: 8a-1a; Sat: 12p-1a; Sun: 12p-8p
Mountain/Tunnel/Xylophone – 323 W. 6th Street – Stoney’s Village Toy Shoppe
Wed: 12p-6p; Thur-Fri: 12p-7p; Sat: 12p-5p
Ride – 715 Madison Avenue – Inspirado
Mon-Fri: 11:30a-2p; Mon-Thur: 5p-9:30p; Fri-Sat: 5p-10:30p
The Boxing Ring – 5 W. Pike Street – Cutman Barbershop
Tue-Sat: 10a-7p
Wish-Igloo – 701 Greenup Street – Left Bank Coffeehouse
Mon-Fri: 7a-2p; Sat-Sun: 9a-1p

Bouncin’ Around Town on a Budget

Pink Piggy Bank

Whether you’re taking a stay-cation or just looking for some entertainment without breaking the bank, there are plenty of inexpensive options in the Greater Cincinnati region.

$5 and Under

Carew Tower Observation Deck
$4 ages 12 and up | $2 ages 6-11 | Free ages 5 and under
Hours: M-Th 9-5:30; F 9-6; Sat, Sun 10-7 | (513) 579-9735

At the top of Cincinnati’s tallest building, visitors to the 49th floor Observation Deck can enjoy one of the city’s most spectacular views plus pick up a Cincinnati souvenier in the gift shop.

CarouselBestCarol Ann’s Carousel – Smale Riverfront Park
$2 for one ride, all ages
Summer Hours: Through Labor Day; Tues-Sun 11-7, closed Mon | (513) 381-3756

Enjoy riverfront views while riding on a carousel featuring original artwork by Jonathan Queen with panels depicting whimsical animal characters and many historic landmarks of Cincinnati.

Gorman Heritage Farm – Evendale, OH
$5 ages 18-59 | $3 ages 3-17 and 60+ | Free ages 3 and under
Hours: M-F, 9-5; Sat 9-3; closed Sun | (513) 563-6663

Explore a 122-acre working farm and outdoor education center. Learn the history and methods of a working family farm in a natural setting consititng of a farmyard with a variety of animals, a garden, 40 acres of wooded hillside and a natural pond. On the National Register of Historic Places.

The Historical Loveland Castle & Museum Chateau Laroche 
$5 ages 13 and up | $3 ages 12 and under
Summer Hours: April – September; Mon-Sun 11-5 | (513) 683-4686

Built as an expression of when Knighthood was at its peak, the castle features three distinctive styles of architecture, four types of towers, a domed ceiling, dry-moat, a collection of period weaponry and lots more!

Krohn Conservatory – Eden Park
$4 ages 13 and up | $2 ages 5-12 | Hours: Tues-Sun 10-5 | (513) 352-4080

You don’t have to leave Cincinnnati to visit a rainforest or a desert. Built in 1933 at the height of the Art Deco era, Krohn Conservatory is a nationally recognized showcase with more than 3,500 plant species from around the world.

Jungle Jim’s International Market Tours
$5 per person, includes a $2 Jungle Jim’s gift certificate
Hours: Mon-Fri, reservations required
Fairfield Store: (513) 674-6023 | Eastgate Store: (513) 674-6000, Option 1, 7756

Take an hour-long tour of the store and enjoy food samples from around the world! Learn the history of Jungle Jim’s, explore each department and discover incredible edibles from around the world!

Contemporary Art Center
Free admission | Sat-Mon 10–4 | Tues Closed (Store open from 10-4) | Wed-Fri 10–9
(513) 345-8400

Cincinnati Art Museum
General Admission is always FREE. Special Exhibition pricing may vary.
Parking: $4 per vehicle | Hours: Tues-Sun 11–5 | (513) 639-2995

Wolff Planetarium-Burnet Woods Trailside Nature Center
Programs begin in the fall. Every third Friday, 7-8pm
$5/seat (cash), reservations required (513) 751-3679

Thomas Moore Observatory-Thomas Moore College
Free open houses, lectures and viewings. (859) 344-3367

Shakespeare in the Park
Free | Various locations | 7/29-9/3

Kentucky Symphony Orchestra – Summer Series at Devou Park
Free | 7/9; 8/6; 9/3 | All performances begin at 7:30p

Spring Grove Cemetery
Free | Various dates & times | Guided and themed tours

Over $5

Neusole Glassworks
For just $8 per person you get a tour of the studio and an artist demonstration.
Mon-Sat 9–5 | Sun 10-4 | (513) 751-3292

The Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati
Adults: $8 | Seniors (65+): $6 | *Children (7–17): $6 | Hours: Tue-Sat 10–4
*Children (6 and younger): FREE with admission of an adult or senior. | (513) 621-5553

CityBike2.jpgRed Bike
$8/Day (unlimited 60-minute rides)

What are your favorite budget-friendly things to do around town?

FREE Shakespeare in the Park in Cincinnati

 

CincyShakes

Used with permission from Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Macbeth (All performances begin at 7:0o pm)
7/29 – Eden Park Seasongood Pavilion, 950 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH
7/30 – McDonald Commons Park, 7440 Dawson Road, Madeira, OH
8/2 – St. Lawrence Square, 3650 Warsaw Avenue, Cincinnati, OH
8/3 – Evendale Recreation, 10500 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH
8/5 – Cottell Park, 5847 Irwin Simpson Road, Mason, OH
8/6 – Glenwood Gardens Park, 10397 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, OH
8/7 – Community Park Pavilion, 5951 Buckwheat Road, Milford, OH
8/9 – Linden Grove Cemetery, 1421 Holman Avenue, Covington, KY
8/10 – Clifton Cultural Arts Center – Great Lawn, 3711 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH
8/11 – Boone Woods Park, 6000 Veterans Way, Burlington, KY
8/12 – Vinoklet Vineyard Stage, 11069 Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati, OH
8/14 – Harry Whiting Brown Lawn, 30 Village Square, Glendale, OH
8/17 – River’s Edge Ampitheatre, 116 Dayton Street, Hamilton, OH
8/21 – Shawnee State University Green, 614 3rd Street, Portsmouth, OH
8/23 – Presidents Park, 385 Dudley Road, Edgewood, KY
8/25 – Library Amiptheatre, 218 East 3rd Street, Maysville, KY
8/27 – Mt. Healthy City Park, 1541 Hill Avenue, Mt. Healthy, OH
8/31 – Monroe Community Park, 500 South Main Street, Monroe, OH

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (All performances begin at 7:00 pm – *8/24-6:00 pm)
7/31 – Washington Park, 1410 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH
8/4 – Liberty Park 132 S. Main Street, Batesville, IN
8/16 – Keehner Park, 7211 Barrett Road, West Chester, OH
8/19 – Third Place, 734 Main Street, Brookville, IN
8/20 – Miami Whitewater Forest – Harbour Point, 8801 Mt. Hope Road, Harrison, OH
*8/24 – Kennedy Heights Park, 6037 Kennedy Avenue, Cincinnati, OH
8/26 – Vinoklet Vineyard Stage, 11069 Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati, OH
8/28 – Washington Park, 1410 Race Street, Cincinnati, OH
8/30 – Uptown Park, 14 W Park Place, Suite C, Oxford, OH
9/1 – Flagship Park, Corner of Lakemont & Deerchase Drive, Erlanger, KY

Romeo & Juliet (All performances begin at 7:00 pm – *8/13 – 2:00 pm)
*8/13 – Arts Center at Dunham (INDOOR) 1945 Dunham Way, Cincinnati, OH
8/13 – Eden Park Seasongood Pavilion 950 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH
8/18 – Smale Riverfront Park-Schmidlapp Event Lawn, 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH

For more information on Shakespeare in the Park and the rest of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 2016-17 season, visit CincyShakes.com.

Best BBQ Spots in Cincinnati

Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwich

Memphis, Tennessee – North Carolina – Kansas City – Texas… and Cincinnati.

While Cincinnati might not have national recognition as a “barbeque town”, there is no shortage of quality barbeque in Porkopolis.

Barbeque, or barbecue (as spell check keeps insisting) is a term with varied meanings, but understood by many to mean the “low and slow” cooking of meats. It is also widely known as a vinegar- or tomato-based sauce the meat is cooked, slathered or dipped in.

Personally, I’m very particular about my barbeque and our local establishments don’t disappoint. Here are some of the top local spots for barbeque in the area. Are there any local BBQ places you would add to the list?

Alabama Que
2733 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH

Open since 2008, Alabama Que is owned and operated by former firefighter and UC graduate, Dwan Ward. Ward launched a food truck in May of 2014 to keep up with the growing demand for his food around the Cincinnati area.

Big Art’s BBQ
2798 Struble Rd, Cincinnati, OH

No website. No Facebook page. When word-of-mouth keeps you open you must be doing something right. Big Art’s has a reputation as one of the best BBQ places in the area.

Eli’s BBQ
3313 Riverside Dr, Cincinnati, OH | 133 West Elder Street, Cincinnati, OH

Named the #5 best BBQ joint in America by The List, Eli’s BBQ has become a Cincinnati staple. CityBeat readers voted Eli’s as the #2 overall restaurant in the city for 2016.

Goodies Barbeque
7440 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati, OH

Goodies has been in Cincinnati for over 20 years. Their menu offers a full array of Southern-style sides and desserts.

Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ
2343 E Sharon Rd, Sharonville, OH

Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ has been slow cooking never-frozen pork, chicken and beef for over 30 years. They are happy to announce their new upcoming restaurant in Monroe, Ohio.

Just Q’in
6901 Valley Ave, Newtown, OH | 975 E. McMillan Street, Cincinnati, OH

The folks at Just Q’in began as a competition team in and around Greenville, South Carolina. They moved back to Cincinnati, Ohio and started a catering service that evolved into one of the city’s premiere food trucks. They just opened their second location June 17, 2016.

Montgomery Inn
The Original | The BoathouseFt. Mitchell, KY | Dublin, OH

Montgomery Inn is well known for their delicious barbeque sauce that they’ve been making since 1951. Montgomery Inn sauce and other products are available at local stores and by mail through CincyFavorites.com.

Pit To Plate BBQ
8021 Hamilton Ave., Mt. Healthy, Ohio

They have a restaurant. They have a food truck. They cater. They also do a smoked turkey drop off/pick up for Thanksgiving. They do it all… deliciously.

Pontiac
1403 Vine St, Cincinnati, Ohio

One of the newest BBQ-centric restaurants in Cincinnati (they opened in January 2015). Their wings, specifically, have received great reviews and they have a great bourbon selection.

Ron D’s BBQ of Madisonville
6105 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio (near Mathis St.)

The outdoor grill is set up outside for ribs, chicken and pulled pork and southern cooking! No website – the above link is to a rating’s website. Here’s the phone number: 513-390-8270. Yum. Yum.

SmoQ
275 Pictoria Dr, Cincinnati, OH

From their website: “SmoQ was designed with an emphasis on the smoker because the smoker was designed with an emphasis on slow cooking. Coupling that, is a desire to create southern food with a flair while holding true to the values that make southern cuisine special.”

Velvet Smoke BBQ
10515 New Haven Road; Harrison, OH

Velvet Smoke BBQ is a four-time Grand Champion competitive cooking team founded in 2009. You can taste their award-winning pork, brisket and chicken at their Harrison, OH restaurant or at a variety of area events, festivals and competitions.

Webb’s BBQ
115 East 9th Street, Newport, KY

On the menu is pull pork, ribs, brisket and smoked turkey! There are plenty of delicious sides.  The restaurants is open every Friday from 11:30am – 8pm.

2015-2016 Cincinnati Theatre Season Underway

red stage curtain

Greater Cincinnati is an area passionate about the arts. As we roll into the fall season, many of the area’s theaters are beginning a new slate of shows. Below is just a small sampling of the variety of shows you can look forward to between this September and summer of 2016.

Broadway in Cincinnati at The Arnoff Center

Event: Cincy Brew Ha-Ha

BrewHaHa

Cincinnati will be roaring with laughter this weekend as Thursday, August 20th marks the first of three days of the 9th Annual Cincy Brew Ha-Ha. The popular comedy and beer festival will take place on the Cincinnati riverfront at Sawyer Point. Over 50 comedians will appear and ALL the comedy is FREE!

There will 32 beer booths offering over 100 different types of beer from around the country. Local favorites such as MadTree, Ei8ht Ball, Christian Morelein, Weidemann, Rivertown, Braxton, Blank Slate, Tap and Screw and Mt. Carmel will be available. Beer bracelets are $5 and beer tickets are $1 each (1 beer ticket = tasting; 5 beer tickets = full beer). Food trucks, Eli’s Barbecue, pizza, pasta and German fare from Wertheim’s will offer plenty of food options to pair with your beer.

There’s also the MVP package available for $75. The package includes 25 beer tickets, beer wristband, private area with unique beers, snacks, meet and greet opportunities, a t-shirt and beer mug. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

Laughs begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 4:30 on Saturday. Headliners go on just after 9:00 each night. View the full 3-Day lineup here.

Grazing Goebel Goats

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Some people say goats will eat anything. While that may not be exactly true, they are well equipped to consume a wide variety of roughage. Their propensity to munch on a plethora of plants has led to a growth in goat grazing as a solution for overgrown brush and wooded areas. The city of Covington has “hired” a herd of goats to tame some of the overgrown wooded areas in Goebel Park.

A recent article in Northern Kentucky Magazine, “Got Your Goat”,  details the process of putting the goats to work inside city limits. A $5,000 grant is paying for the goats. City officials will monitor the progress of the goats at Goebel, and determine if goats are a cost effective solution for other areas of the city.

The goats themselves, corralled by an electric fence, have become a bit of an attraction as well. While the goats are not there for entertainment purposes (they are “on the clock” after  all), I’m sure it’s an interesting sight for park visitors and local residents.

So what do you think? Should goats be considered in other cities as natural solutions to weeds and overgrowth in parks and public spaces?