Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is loaded with gorgeous old architecture and some of the city's best dining and drinking, and at the center of it all is Washington Park. The gorgeously-landscaped green space stands directly across from the iconic Music Hall building and is a stellar community hub. There's something going on most weekends or evenings, and in the summer, the splash pad, dog park, and lawn (which features cornhole and local craft beers) are buzzing with activity.
“Over 150 years as the heart of Cincinnati”
Washington Park is an important civic space in the heart of downtown Cincinnati that has evolved over the last 150 years to accommodate the needs and aspirations of the community. The latest improvements came as a result of a unique partnership between the Cincinnati Park Board and the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC). Working together, the two organizations engaged in a community-based master planning process to create a new plan for the park in 2007. The vision which emerged not only preserved what is unique and special about the park, but also added new amenities to support the revitalization of the neighborhood. The new park is a balance of old and new. Existing trees and the pastoral character of the southern half of the park have been preserved, and existing historic columns and walls were salvaged and reused. New columns will match the historic ones and have new Rookwood tile insets. The iconic bandstand in the heart of the park has been restored and the space around it transformed with stone pavers and a canopy of lights. A fenced “dog park” was created and historic artifacts restored. A unique playground features a boardwalk and stage, a sandbox, a canal boat in a water channel, and climbing walls based on Cincinnati’s historic architecture. Other elements include groupings of water jets and interactive fountains, a restroom building, and a concession building. The park also includes several sustainability/green design features, including the civic green roof on top of the garage, green roofs on all of the new park buildings, and dry wells that direct storm water away from the combined sewer system and into the natural gravel and sand layers 25’-30’ below the surface. All of the new amenities have been designed to be respectful of the neighborhood’s historic character. The expansion and renovation of the park was completed in the summer of 2012.
There are always events going on over the summer in Washington Park. Every Saturday night, they'll have a public showing of a different (G or PG) movie and it's completely free. Last year in August was the first "Taste of OTR" where food trucks and local restaurants set up shop and served samples of their food to the community. In August, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra performs an event called "Lumenocity", which is an amazing light show, coordinated with their music. Aside from the events, there's a small area where kids can run through sprinklers, the park is pet friendly, and there's parking in a garage directly below the park. This is a great place to spend a weekend afternoon.
I wish I lived in the city just to take advantage of this park more often. A great kid playground area. People are constantly walking their dogs around this park and the water features are great for kids on hot summer days. Oh and there is a parking garage under the park that is really cheap, safe and well maintained for those of us that need to drive into the area.
Sitting on the park on a saturday, walking through on a weekday evening after work--it just makes you happy!! Kids are always playing in the fountains and there is often live music. There always seem to be new, family-friendly activities going on. I can't wait for Cincy Flea!
If you remember Washington Park from prior to 2012, prepare to be amazed. No longer is the park dark and frightening; it has been cleaned up and totally reimagined. Everything about the park is now beautiful.
Everything in the other reviews is true, but it is difficult to capture the contrast between now and the old Washington Park. Even during the day, Washington Park was a place most people avoided; at night, it was dangerous. It was a clear detriment to enjoying an evening at Music Hall.
While the renovations were controversial, the end result has and will continue to improve the experience of living, working, and playing in Over-the-Rhine. There is now convenient and well-lit parking to Music Hall, and a bright, beautiful park to visit before or after your event.
Whether you come for the park itself or as a stop during another event you will not be disappointed.
It's one of my favorite places in OTR and always has tons of stuff going on during the weekends. If you're just looking for a great place to relax grab some friends, some food, and a picnic blanket and spend an afternoon enjoying the nice weather.
This park is a GREAT addition to the OTR area, with a dog park, playground for kids, open fields that house kickball/etc. leagues, walking paths, etc. It is in a very convenient location, too, very close to a bunch of great restaurants on Vine Street and has parking located underneath the park for a small fee, or all kinds of street parking around the park.
When the weather's nice, the place to be is Washington Park. Always stuff going on, and right by tons of restaurants and Music Hall.
Not only is Washington Park one of the nicest places in the city, you can bet there's something fun going on there just about all the time. In the summer, the fountains make a great place to take the kids to cool off, and if the adults need cooling off, there's generally beer available too. Live music is a regular thing, and you can find some of Cincinnati's best food trucks lined up the street. Regardless of what you get up to, Washington Park is the perfect place to kill some time while you're waiting for a table at one of the great nearby restaurants.
Washington Park is an awesome community centerpiece! In a city historically divided, it's brings together people from all walks of life in a beautiful place full of activities, nature, kids, and when the weather's nice, lots of outdoor activities. Definitely a place to visit and spend time.
Always lots of fun stuff going on. Frequent festivals, music events, sporting leagues, and the jamming dog park. A must see on a visit. I recommend grabbing a beer and hanging in the summer sun!
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- Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 11:00 pm
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Good for picnicking, running, and walking.
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