Tonight’s family adventure was to the somewhat recently refurbished Washington Park in the Over the Rhine neighborhood of downtown Cincinnati. The city has been putting some effort into revitalization of this historic, but gone to crap over the years, area of town and it is really starting to show. The neighborhood itself is beautiful at it’s core… old architecture and history that includes underground beer brewing tunnels and a lot of interesting stories. The people and the activity of this area have not been so beautiful in recent years, with a lot of crime and run down buildings. But, the neighborhood has never been devoid of potential. Anyway, long story short, there is now a thriving business and social undertaking that is making OTR a destination once again. Washington Park is part of that.
We parked on the street at a meter (a brick paved street at that – love those!), but there is garage underneath as well for $1 an hour if you feel safer parking there. Washington Park really has it all. It has a sectioned off dog park, open green space, organized events (tonight’s was a free yoga class and there had to be about 60 people there for it), a water fountain play space and a more traditional play space. The girls loved the sand area, the castle with the slides and the musical instruments.
My favorite part was watching the girls play in the fountains and on the waterfall steps.
It is important to note that the neighborhood is still rough around the edges. A friend and her son witnessed a fist fight one night while they were there and you can count on likely hearing some colorful language at some point. However, I still feel strongly that this park is one that everyone in this area should visit at least once. As a born and raised Cincinnatian, it is nice to see the promise of how amazing this city can be. And the park is truly beautiful… and fun. We will go back.