Top 12 things to do this Memorial Day weekend in Cincinnati

1. Taste of Cincinnati

A record 85 vendors will be serving up their signature dishes at this popular food festival – the longest-running culinary arts festival in the U.S. – which showcases our city's restaurants, food trucks and new businesses getting a start via the Findlay Kitchen Incubator. Along with standout dishes from Cincinnati's diverse food scene, you can also enjoy continuous live entertainment from local artists on multiple stages throughout the fest.

Taste of Cincinnati takes place Saturday-Monday Downtown. Pictured: Lines gather at the Mazunte food stand at the Taste of Cincinnati in 2023.
Taste of Cincinnati takes place Saturday-Monday Downtown. Pictured: Lines gather at the Mazunte food stand at the Taste of Cincinnati in 2023.

Details: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday, Fifth Street, Downtown. Runs May 25-27. Tasteofcincinnati.com.

Memorial Day 2024: Parades, ceremonies and concerts in the Cincinnati area

North by Northside takes place this weekend. Leggy (pictured) headlines Northside Tavern on Saturday.
North by Northside takes place this weekend. Leggy (pictured) headlines Northside Tavern on Saturday.

2. North by Northside 2024

More than 60 bands, comedians and artists will be showcasing their talent this weekend at NXNS, a neighborhood-wide festival with multiple venues, including Northside Tavern, The Loon, The Comet, Chameleon, Downbound Books, Dsgn Cllctv, Par Projects, Junker's Tavern, Shake It Records, Boswell's and Tillie's. The festival also includes Summer Sideshows at Hoffner Park, sponsored by Cincinnati Parks and featuring a discussion series from UC's Institute for Research and Sensing, followed by live tuneage with Devin Burgess, Big Fat Head and Tweens on Saturday, and Kay Savage, Lemon Sky and Vacation on Sunday.

Details: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Northside. Free. Facebook.com/NorthByNorthsideFest.

Kings Island's Camp Snoopy-themed area of the park (pictured), and Soak City water park open for the season this weekend.
Kings Island's Camp Snoopy-themed area of the park (pictured), and Soak City water park open for the season this weekend.

3. Amusements open for the season

Kings Island's brand new kids' area, Camp Snoopy, opens Friday, including the park's newest coaster, Snoopy's Soap Box Racers. On Saturday, Soak City opens for the season. The water park features thrilling water slides, raft rides, a massive wave pool and kids' play area with interactive water attractions.

  • Details: Kings Island: 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Soak City: 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Kings Island, 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason. Both are open daily through Aug. 18. Visitkingsisland.com.

Aqua Adventures – a Caribbean-style water park showcasing a colossal inflatable floating obstacle course with launch pads, cliffhangers, halfpipes and towering action stations – opens for the season on Saturday. The park also boasts private inner tubes, sandy beaches, paddleboards, a new nine-hole mini-golf course, and a kids' zone with a splash pad and 10 slides.

  • Details: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, Land of Illusion, 8762 Thomas Road, Middletown. The park is open May 25-Aug. 11 (closed May 28-31), then weekends through Labor Day. Landofillusion.com.

4. USO Swing Dance

Coney Island may have closed, but Moonlight Pavilion lives on with a big band/swing dance show honoring veterans and commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Dress up and dance the night away to the Tom Daugherty Orchestra. There are prizes for best period dress and authentic costumes. Cash bar and refreshments.

Details: 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Moonlight Pavilion at Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave., Anderson Township. $20. cincinnatiwarbirds.org.

The cockpit of the B-29 Doc, a model which inspired George Lucas's design of the Millennium Falcon in "Star Wars," is available for tours this weekend at Lunken Airport.
The cockpit of the B-29 Doc, a model which inspired George Lucas's design of the Millennium Falcon in "Star Wars," is available for tours this weekend at Lunken Airport.

5. Cockpit Tours of B-29 Doc and B-25 Berlin Express

Just in time for Memorial Day, here's your chance to see two iconic WWII warbirds up close. You can tour the cockpits of the B-29 Doc and B-25 Berlin Express, as well as book rides in the aircraft Friday-Sunday. Cockpit tours are $20 per family or $10 single. Rides start at $475 for the B-25 and $600 for the B-29.

Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, Lunken Airport, 262 Wilmer Ave., East End. Admission and parking are free. Book rides: b29doc.com/rides or eaa.org.

Mermaids visit Newport Aquarium May 25-June 23.
Mermaids visit Newport Aquarium May 25-June 23.

6. Mermaid Cove

Explore the enchanted Mermaid Cove, where mermaids frolic six days a week. See them dive underwater, interact with other sea life, and even swim right up to meet you. It's Newport Aquarium's 25th anniversary this year, and along with mermaids, you can visit the Ring of Fire: World of the Octopus, with seven different displays of the most seismically active place on Earth. See the Giant Pacific Octopus, the new Peacock Mantis Shrimp, a giant display of mesmerizing jellyfish, and more.

Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, Newport Aquarium, 1 Levee Way, Newport. Mermaids visit May 25-June 23. Note: There are no mermaids Tuesdays. $22.99-up. newportaquarium.com.

Candice Handy in “The Play That Goes Wrong,” playing May 24-June 16 at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.
Candice Handy in “The Play That Goes Wrong,” playing May 24-June 16 at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

7. 'The Play That Goes Wrong'

In this off-Broadway and West End comedic hit, it's opening night for a new production, but the theater is filled with accident-prone actors, a corpse that can't play dead, and a knocked-out leading lady.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Cincinnati Shakespeare Co., 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. Runs May 24-June 16. $14-up. Cincyshakes.com.

8. Spark in the Dark

Light up the lake as you float on glowing boats, take a nighttime hike, meet educational animals, tell stories around a campfire and glow wild. From moths and moons to bats and bugs, you can explore them all once the sun has set. Great Parks hosts this monthly event at Miami Whitewater Forest all summer long.

Details: 8-11 p.m. Saturday, Miami Whitewater Forest, 9001 Mount Hope Road, Harrison. Free admission; some activities and refreshments require a small fee. Glow boat rentals per hour: $18.54 4-seat pedal boat, $23.18 5-seat dragon pedal boat. Greatparks.org.

AfroSwag Hair and Fashion Show pays homage to Black culture and it's historical influence on fashion and hair in the past, present and future. It takes place Saturday at Contemporary Arts Center, Downtown.
AfroSwag Hair and Fashion Show pays homage to Black culture and it's historical influence on fashion and hair in the past, present and future. It takes place Saturday at Contemporary Arts Center, Downtown.

9. AfroSwag Hair & Fashion Show

Sweet Sistah Splash presents this annual show, where hair and fashion tell a powerful story of art and culture. It's your chance to see the Midwest's top natural hair stylists and fashion designers showcase the latest trends in Black hair, as well as fashion designers from Africa showcasing original AfroCentric fashion and accessories on the runway. There's a 6 p.m. preshow, Afroljo: A Dance Story, in the CAC's upstairs galleries, and an afterparty from 9-11 p.m. hosted by Nigerian artist DJ TiizieB in the Black Box Theater.

Details: 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown. $50. Eventbrite.com.

10. Wiedemann Mile

What better way to kick off the holiday weekend than by getting a little exercise and enjoying a cold brew? With the Wiedemann Mile, you get to traverse a one-mile course that begins and ends in a beer garden, and it includes a drink of your choice and a Wiedewurst at the end. Or hey, bring a few friends and take part in the Chug-a-Lug 4-person relay, which involves chugging a beer and running to a designated point to pass a baton to your teammate, who does the same. Proceeds benefit the St. Bernard-Ludlow Grove Historical Society.

Details: noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Wiedemann Brewery, 4811 Vine St., St. Bernard. $10 relay only, $25 1-mile, $25 both races. runsignup.com.

11. White Water Shaker Village Open House

Established in 1823, this is one of the 24 Shaker communal villages founded in the U.S. Learn about the Shakers and see goods, properties and outbuildings in this well-preserved historic village.

Details: 2-5 p.m. Sunday, White Water Shaker Village, 11813 Oxford Road, Harrison. whitewatervillage.org.

Find new-to-you threads and accessories Sunday at the Super Fun Outdoor Thrift Clothing Event in Vevay.
Find new-to-you threads and accessories Sunday at the Super Fun Outdoor Thrift Clothing Event in Vevay.

12. Super Fun Outdoor Thrift Clothing Event

This family- and budget-friendly vintage clothing and accessory thrift event is the place to find affordable vintage fashion. Shop, or clean out your closet and set up a table to join in the fun. Items should be clean – no stained, torn or dirty items allowed. If you plan to participate, reserve your space for $10 with Vevay Vintage: 812-493-9572 or by emailing vevayvintage@gmail.com.

Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Opera House Park, 324 Ferry St., Vevay. Free. facebook.com.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Top 12 events in Cincinnati this weekend: May 24-27