If one of your resolutions for the new year is to visit Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky - 2024 is the perfect year to do it! Here are just some of the exciting and new things coming to the region.
First things first: Blink Cincinnati will return for the fourth time from October 17-20, 2024! This city-wide light-mapping art installation is something you won't want to miss.
In October 2022 more than 2 million people came over the 4-day experience. This interactive and unique festival brought in $126 million in economic activity and spanned more than 30 blocks from Over-the-Rhine to Covington. Expect exciting expansions and new installations from artists across the country.
Bourbon and Belonging
Inspired by "Gay Wine Weekend" in Sonoma and "QueerBeer Fest" in Washington, DC., Queer Kentucky is proud to introduce "Bourbon & Belonging: Kentucky's Queer Bourbon Week". The Nation's first LGBTQ+ inclusive festival will take place October 2-6 across 8 different cities and regions in Kentucky, including Northern Kentucky.
Bourbon and Belonging will be the premiere event for LGBTQ+ bourbon fans from across the country. It will feature a mix of large scale and local events. There will be a range of activities, events, tastings, and gatherings designed to foster safety, belonging, and togetherness. In addition, Bourbon & Belonging will help to raise funds for Queer Kentucky, which is a Louisville nonprofit focused on uplifting LGBTQ+ lives through storytelling, culture, and action. Save the date and keep an eye out for more details later this year!
Family-friendly events in 2024
Kings Island Updating the Kids Zone and Adding New Roller Coaster
Kings Island is making some big changes to its award-winning kids zone, including the addition of a new family roller coaster. When the Cincinnati amusement park opens for the season in 2024, the decade-old Planet Snoopy will be expanded with a brand new Camp Snoopy area.
- Snoopy’s Soap Box Racers will be a coaster that will race both forward and backward, along a 672-foot track. The ride will not be a toddler ride but rather will add a more family-oriented coaster option to Camp Snoopy - sending riders down a launch hill and hitting speeds of up to 36 m.p.h.
- Beagle Scout Acres is a new area where kids can run, crawl, play, or relax with their families in a shaded, comfortable space.
- There will also be a new campsite area filled with equipment that makes noise, tents to climb through or over, and footprint paths made by Woodstock and his friends. Learn more about Camp Snoopy directly from Kings Island, and also check out our guide to making the most of your day at the park.
Cincinnati Zoo Opens New Elephant Trek Habitat
This new 5-acre habitat will be the home to a multi-generational herd of 8-10 Asian elephants and will be the biggest construction project in Zoo history. Set to open in the summer of 2024.
Kentucky Faith Trail
The brand new Kentucky Faith Trail features 11 faith-based experiences across the Bluegrass State. Four of these, including Mother of God Catholic Church, Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter are all located within the Cincy Region.
2024 Solar Eclipse
On Monday, April 8, 2024, visitors can experience a rare celestial event: a total solar eclipse! Its path will be in Hamilton County, specifically on Cincinnati's Westside. Some great places to view the eclipse are Miami Whitewater Forest and Crosby Township Park.
Check out some of the best places to camp in the area and extend your eclipse adventure.
A total solar eclipse is a rare event, only happening somewhere on Earth every 1-2 years with only 21 total solar eclipses having crossed the lower 48 states in the entire existence of the United States. The last total solar eclipse was visible in Ohio in 1806 and the next one won’t be until 2099! Check out some of the solar eclipse events happing in Cincy here.
2024 Cincy Art Exhibits
The American Manifest Coming to Banks of Ohio River
A new exhibit coming this summer is The American Manifest by renowned conceptual artist Charles Gaines. Moving Chains is one of the exhibit’s three works. Moving Chains comprises a long wooden hull that supports ten large, revolving mooring chains connected to pulley systems operating at two different speeds: one mimicking the river’s current, and the other mimicking the pace of barges that sail along it. Passers-by can enter the sculpture’s structure from the riverside to experience the sights and sounds of its rumbling metal. Mound engages histories of trade and commerce, specifically referring to trade between settlers and Native Americans whose ceremonial mounds dotted the landscape.
The sculpture will sit on the banks of the Ohio River, highlighting the importance of the exchange between North and South that contributed to the slave trade. The public art project is by Charles Gaines and is set to debut in the Spring of 2024. It was previously displayed on Governors Island in New York Harbor before moving to Cincinnati. Learn more about the exhibit.
Cincinnati Museum Center New Exhibits in 2024
Cincinnati Museum Center will be known for its commitment to understanding the richness of our past, present, and future by providing world-class learning experiences for children and adults.
- Pompeii: The Exhibition – February 16 – late July 2024: This exhibition examines the lives of the residents of Pompeii before and after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, 79 A.D. Rediscover the ancient city of Pompeii through 200 artifacts including jewelry, tile mosaics, weapons, and even casts of human bodies.
- Volcanoes: Fires of Creation – February 16 – late July 2024: Travel around the globe in this OMNIMAX adventure to the ghost town of Pompeii and Hawaii, Indonesia, and more to witness the destructive power of volcanoes alongside lush islands and vibrant mountain range ecosystems that volcanoes can create.
- Biomedical Technology gallery (working title) – Summer 2024: Discover how the body works, the steps we take to keep it healthy, and the breakthroughs that help us back to health. Through interactive media simulations, and objects a new gallery dedicated to human biology, medicine, health care, and innovation investigates the ways our bodies function.
- Layers event – November 8, 2024 (tentative): Cincinnati Museum Center’s adults-only night at the museum, a boozy field trip through every museum with custom cocktails, culinary creations from local restaurants, and hair-raising programming throughout. Proceeds from the event support Cincinnati Museum Center’s annual fundraising efforts.
- Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains – November 8, 2024 – January 6, 2025 (tentative): The historic Duke Energy Holiday Trains are the centerpiece of Cincinnati Museum Center’s Holiday Junction, a whimsical winter wonderland filled with toy trains from 1904 to the 1980s, a themed scavenger hunt, and a custom-built LEGO metropolis, and a visit with Santa. Discover more holiday train displays in Cincy.
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal (photo: @nikkilioso)
The Taft Museum of Art Opening Two New Exhibits
The Taft Museum of Art is one of the most unique art museums in America and holds National Historic Landmark status for both its historic house and its incredible landscape murals in the home’s entryway. The museum’s remarkable collection spans the Middle Ages through the 19th century with European and American paintings, 18th-century watches, Chinese porcelains, and French Renaissance enamels. The collection features iconic artists including Rembrandt, Goya, Whistler, and Sargent to name a few, as well as Federal-period American furniture and Duncanson murals, the most significant pre-Civil War domestic murals in the United States.
- The African Modernism in America is the first major traveling exhibition to examine the complex connections between modern African artists and American patrons, artists, and cultural organizations amid the interlocking histories of civil rights, decolonization, and the Cold War. It will be on exhibit from February 10-May 19th. Discover more ways to celebrate black history in Cincinnati.
- The Moment in Time: A Legacy of Photographs Works from the Bank of America Collection features 117 works by international photographers dating from the invention of the medium in the 1830s through the mid-twentieth century. Photographers include William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron, Timothy O’Sullivan, Paul Strand, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, Helen Levitt, and Walker Evans. The exhibit will open in Summer 2024.
Taft Museum of Art
2024 Concerts and live music in Cincinnati
- Cincinnati Opera to premiere Paul McCartney’s “Liverpool Oratorio”! Catch this truly unique performance during the Opera's 2024 Summer Festival at Music Hall on July 18, 20, 21 & 27.
- Country Music Star Luke Combs will perform for two nights (August 2 & 3, 2024) at Paycor Stadium as part of his Grown’ Up and Getting’ Old Tour.
- Taking Back Sunday will perform at MegaCorp Pavilion July 30th with guest Citizen
- The Foo Fighters: The Foo Fighters will be coming to Great American Ball Park on July 25, 2024, with special guests The Pretenders and Mammoth WVH.
- Country Music superstar Kenny Chesney will bring his "Sun Goes Down" tour to TQL Stadium on June 29, 2024, with special guests The Zac Brown Band, Megan Moroney, and Uncle Kracker.
- 50 Years of HipHop will feature Bone Thugs n Harmony, Diamond, and Vader at MegaCorp Pavilion on February 16th.
- Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette will perform Riverbend Music Center on July 24, 2024, as part of her "Triple Moon Tour". She will be joined by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Joan Jett and country artist Morgan Wade.
- Catch the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "The Unlimited Love Tour" at Riverbend Music Center on July 5, 2024.
- Australian group King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard will bring their genre-bending act to MegaCorp Pavilion on August 25th with guest Geese.
- Cincinnati Music Festival will take place from July 26 - 27 at Paycor Stadium, featuring Maxwell, Ne-Yo, Fantasia, New Edition and more! Start the weekend off on Thursday at the Andrew J. Brady Center at "A Celebration of Hip Hop", with headliners MC-Lyte and KRS-One.
- Attend the annual ceremony for the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame's 2024 inductees at the Andrew J. Brady Center. Date and time TBD.
Returning and new food and beverage festivals/events in 2024
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati @shaemphoto
- Bockfest: Celebrate spring, Cincinnati beer heritage, and bock beer at one of the most fun block parties in Over-the-Rhine!
- Bonded Spirit Bluegrass Festival® honors the Bottled-in-Bond act of 1897 that guarantees the authenticity of a bourbon. Held the first Saturday in March.
- Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week (April 14-21): Indulge and celebrate Cincy's fantastic food scene with unique specials all week long!
- Asian Food Fest (April 27-28): Enjoy Asian and Asian inspired food, craft beer, live music and more!
- Wenzel Whiskey Distillery Opening (Summer 2024): Covington Kentucky's first and only distillery since Prohibition opens this June 2024, but you don't have to wait until summer to enjoy their bourbon! Check out their spot in a former pickle factory and blend your own special bottle of bourbon.
- Goettafest: Two weekends to celebrate goetta, a regional, sausage-like favorite made with ground pork and oats, invented by German immigrants. Live music, a wide range of goetta dishes, and the world's only goetta vending machine. July 25-28 and August 1-4
- Oktoberfest: Oktoberfest is a season in Cincinnati. Raise a stein to great beer, food, and Cincinnati. Don't miss Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, the largest Oktoberfest in America. In Northern Kentucky you can join in two more Oktoberfest celebrations, Covington Oktoberfest and Newport Oktoberfest. Wunderbar!
- Dark Charge Day: The ultimate winter block party that celebrates Kentucky's bourbon heritage with Cincinnati's brewing history. Enjoy decadent barrel-aged beer, food, live music, and fun the first weekend every December. The Friday night culinary event STAVE will return this year!