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East Coast Road Trip: Exploring Cincinnati

Welcome to my 14-day series on our East Coast Road Trip where I share our adventures along the way, how we’re doing this on a budget, honest reviews of attractions & restaurants we visit, and money-saving tips and ideas. If you missed it, read Day 1 here, Day 2 hereDay 3 hereDay 4 hereDay 5 here, Day 6 hereDay 7 hereDay 8 hereDay 9 hereDay 10 here, Day 11 here, and Day 12 here.

We had an amazing day in Cincinnati for day 13 of our trip… and by some sheer miracle, there was almost zero arguing or people who were annoyed at each other!!

Instead, the day was filled with lots of laughter, fun, joking, experiencing new things together, and just generally really liking being together. Which, ahem, wasn’t necessarily the case the previous few days.

(We’ve decided that the 10 day mark is where we all kind of hit a wall and were ready to be home and feeling grouchy and tired of sleeping in one room, spending so much time in the car, and being off our usual routine and rhythms. I was wondering if we were even going to like each other by the time we got home. So the turnaround in attitudes was such a gift!)


We started off our time in Cincy with lunch at Skyline Chili. I got a Greek salad… yes, I know that flies in the face of all that is good and true. But y’all, I just didn’t know how my stomach would take the chili!

My family (mostly) really loved the chili, though some of them weren’t so sure that they liked it the next day. Yeah, it does a number on your stomach if you’re a Skyline Chili newbie.

(I tried a few bites and I’m not sure what to think of it. It was different, that’s for sure! ;))


Then, we went to the Creation Museum and got to spend an hour with their cartoonist (who is a friend of a good friend). Not only did he get us passes so we could get in for free (!) and go to the planetarium show for free, but he also gave us a behind-the-scenes tour, and showed us how he creates his cartoon strips using Adobe Photoshop. It was fascinating!!



The grounds at the Creation Museum were so beautiful. We loved walking around the grounds/visit the petting zoo!


We waited to go to the special effects theater & main exhibits until 5:30 pm and it wasn’t crowded at all — unlike earlier in the day when we heard it’s usually packed!

We then headed to Jungle Jim’s and had a blast there! What a fun and unique store! We let the kids pick a few treats there and they were SO excited about getting some candy from other countries!

I was super stoked about the South African food, the entire aisle of tea, and the hilarious bathrooms (you just have to see them… people had told us not to miss them and they were so right!).

Just one more day in Cincy and then we head home.

To be continued…

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27 Comments

  • Pam says:

    Love Jungle Jim’s – we go to Cincinnati regularly for soccer tournaments (or on our way to FL) and almost always stop. Cincy is a great city for sure!

  • Deb says:

    Gosh Darnit!!! I would have loved to have met you and your family and I live in Cincinnati! But then again, if announced it, you would have had quite a following!!!
    Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip!!

  • Patti Smith says:

    Love seeing all your adventures…looks like such a fun trip! Thanks for sharing all the photos…you have a beautiful family:)

  • Jessica says:

    In Cincinnati, I recommend the art museum. It is free. The botanical garden and conservatory is small but nice. It’s a challenging walk between the two places if you’re up for it. You can walk on a few of the bridges that cross the Ohio River. In one of the University of Cincinnati buildings, there is a fun, huge sculpture. The Newport Aquarium (in Kentucky, across the Ohio River) is nice. Very nice view from its grounds. I found a few nice knitting shops there last year, too. I live 1.5 hours away in Columbus.

  • I have never been to Cincy! The Creation Museum looks awesome tho!! Also, I’m glad everyone had a great time after the past couple of days! 🙂

  • Looking forward to Part 2! We just trekked to Cincinnati to see a specialist for our daughter in April (it’s a 13 hour drive!) and will be back for followup appointments in the future. Thank you for sharing your favorite spots. 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Haha we love skyline chili, but it probably takes a few years off your life every time you eat it just in the gross amounts of salt lol! Maybe a copycat recipe would be better??

    Oh my, the museum grounds are GORGEOUS! I didn’t realize it was THAT cool! So excited to go there someday.

  • Karen M says:

    Crystal,

    Though there is no one there monitoring, the grounds and petting zoo at the Creation Museum are not free. They are included in the ticket price and don’t encourage visiting without buying a ticket.

  • Savannah says:

    I am so excited that you got to hit up Jungle Jim’s! I used to live right up the road when I was interning down there and it is such an experience!!

  • Victoria says:

    My husband and I LOVE Cincinnati. It is our favorite date day getaway city -a short 3-hour drive from us. I have been to Jungle Jims several times and never checked out the bathrooms! Now I am curious as to what I am missing.

  • Jennifer says:

    I’ve lived 30 min away from Cincy my whole life and always think it’s funny when people actually “visit” as a tourist spot. Most people I know dread having to go “downtown” . I guess we are just use to everything living here. There is alot to do, I just figured it was your typical city that everyone has near…

  • Do you get many people recognizing you when you’re out and about? I just keep wondering that since I know you have a large platform. It’s been fun following your road trip experiences!

  • Terri says:

    This was an awesome post! I about fell out of my chair when I saw you had visited The Creation Museum and Jungle Jims! We travel 3 hours to Jungle Jims a couple of times of year just to stock up on interesting foods from around the world. It is quite an educational experience for our family and they have the best produce. I highly recommend the Cincinnati Art Museum if you ever find yourself in Cincinnati again. 🙂 The Cincinnati Art Museum is extraordinary and completely free to visit. They also have a great children’s area with free activities and a yummy café. It is located in Eden Park which is a very pretty park with areas to walk around.

  • Sonya says:

    Our family recently enjoyed the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter also and highly recommend them. I wanted to point out that they will soon be charging for parking at the Creation Museum, so strolling the grounds will no longer be free. The Creation Museum website said $5 parking begins Aug. 1. We were not charged for parking on August 2, but they were definitely working on it.

  • Carla Sorensen says:

    My husband and I are hopefully going to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter in September or October. We love it there. We have not been to the Ark Encounter yet.

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