Top 5 Things to Do in Cincinnati This Weekend: July 2-4

1. The children’s museum reopens

The long-awaited reopening of the Children’s Museum at the Cincinnati Museum Center is finally here. Favorite exhibits like Woods, Waterworks, Inside the Grin and more will return with the long-awaited reopening, which comes after what will be a 16-month closure due to the highly tactile nature of the museum and an abundance of caution for the museum guests. A recent consultation with medical professionals and CDC advice paved the way for a safe reopening. All guests aged 2 and over should always wear masks for the continued protection of those who are not vaccinated, including children and those with underlying health conditions.

After:Cincinnati Children’s Museum reopens Thursday

In addition to the Children’s Museum, the Ice Age Gallery also reopens after 5 years of inactivity. The gallery has been completely overhauled and is sure to thrill science and natural history fans with new screenings and soundscapes, as well as the debut of a 70% fully edited Mammut sp. mastodon fossil exhibited for the first time. The Cincinnati Museum Center is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Thursday-Monday. Scheduled admission tickets must be purchased in advance online or by calling 513-287-7001. Admission is $ 14.50 for adults, $ 10.50 for ages 3 to 12, free for ages 2 and under. The Cincinnati Museum Center is located at 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate. cincymuseum.org.

Aqua Adventures at Land of Illusion includes Wibit inflatables for children and adults.

2. Aquatic adventures

If you think the floating obstacle course on the TV show “Wipeout” sounds like fun, then Aqua Adventures is a sure bet to have a good time. This unique water park, located on a lake inside Land of Illusion (8762 Thomas Road, Middletown), features a huge, one-of-a-kind inflatable obstacle course that children and adults alike will find fun and challenging. While there is plenty to test your strength and agility on this wet playground, there is also a course designed especially for toddlers.

The park also has a sandy beach where you can grab a lounge chair – or bring your own – and relax while the kids swim and play in the water. You’ll also find a fun collection of garden games like the cornhole and horseshoes, as well as several ping-pong tables and three full-size volleyball courts. For a small fee, paddleboards can be rented by the hour or by the half hour. Food and drinks outside are not allowed, but you can purchase both (including adult drinks) on site. The depth of the lake ranges from 2 to 10 feet, so life jackets are provided and mandatory in the water, and all park visitors must sign a waiver. Aqua Adventures is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. $ 29, $ 24 for children, free up to 3 years old. landofillusion.com.

"Cracked Justice" by Carolyn Crump is one of the quilts on display at the We Are the Story: A Visual Response to Racism exhibit which opens July 2 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

3. We are history: a visual response to racism

This new exhibition, which opens Friday at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, presents 53 quilts highlighting the history of civil rights, police brutality and racism in America. Created in response to the murder of George Floyd, the exhibit is part of Story Quilts, a program initiative created by Kathy Wade that invites participants to share their truths from the patchwork of their lives, weaving stories and creating a tapestry of reconciliation and resilience.

The exhibit is located in the Skirball Gallery on the third floor of the museum and costs an additional $ 5 for adults, $ 3 for children with general admission. There is no additional charge for the exhibition on Wednesdays and Sundays. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is located at 50 E. Freedom Way, Downtown. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. We Are History: A Visual Response to Racism runs from July 2 to September 2. 24. centreliberté.org.

Grottofest, a comedy festival in The Grotto at The Comet in Northside, takes place on Saturday.

4. Cave Festival

After the last 16 months, we could all have a good laugh, right? During the pandemic, Bombs Away! Comedy and the Comet have teamed up to produce outdoor and socially distant comedy shows under the back deck of the popular Northside Bar. As the year progressed, lights were added, fireplaces were built, and a large, beautiful stage was built, turning what had once been a gravel driveway into a beloved cave. Now is the time to celebrate.

This all-day comedy festival features two stages – the Indoor Comet Stage and the Outdoor Cave Stage – with three showcases featuring more than 30 local comedians, cave favorites and a popular showcase from the cave. ‘Atlanta called Underwear Comedy, where six comedians show it all on stage. Joe Pettis is making headlines. Grottofest takes place from 1 p.m. to midnight Saturday at Comet, 4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside. Day passes are $ 80, while single show tickets are $ 20. bombsawaycomedy.com/grottofest.

This House of Fabergé and Mikhail Perkhin notebook from 1932 is one of the selected items from the new exhibition In a New Light: Treasures from the Taft, which opens July 3 at the Taft Museum of Art.

5. In a new light: the treasures of Taft

The Taft Museum of Art opened to the public in 1932, consisting of the personal art collection of Anna Sinton Taft and Charles Phelps Taft and exhibited in the former Taft house. Now, as the 1820 monument prepares for rehabilitation work, more than 80 masterpieces from the collection will be temporarily moved to the Fifth Third Gallery for this special exhibition, which shows old favorites in a new light. Through these selected works, the exhibition reveals secular social concerns such as the distribution of wealth, the destruction of the environment and gender and racial inequalities,

As part of the museum’s bicentennial celebrations, entry to this exhibit is free, but advance and timed tickets are required. The exhibition opens Saturday at the Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown. taftmuseum.org.

Discover the treasures of yesteryear at the Tri-State Antiques Market this Sunday at the Lawrenceburg Fairgrounds.

Honorable mention: Shopping

Yes, there are a lot of parades, picnics and fireworks around town this weekend, but in between you can go shopping outdoors as well. Here are some of our favorites:

The WestSide Market (3719 Harrison Ave., Cheviot) opens at 10 a.m. Saturday. This is a small pop-up market in downtown Cheviot that features over 100 local vendors, food trucks, and family-friendly activities. westsidemarketcincy.com.

At Sunday, you can head to the Tri-State Antiques Market at the Lawrenceburg Fairgrounds (351 E. Eads Parkway) for over five acres of antique, antique and retro shops. With over 200 vendors from different time periods, you are sure to find something you like. This market is both indoor and outdoor and is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (early birds can enter at 6 a.m.). The next market dates are August 1, September 5 and October 3. $ 4. lawrenceburgantiqueshow.com.

Open at noon on Sunday, Art on Vine runs until 6 p.m. on Fountain Square (525 Vine St., Downtown), where you can purchase local art directly from the artists. artonvinecincy.com.

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