I was given admission to Coney Island Amusement Park for purpose of review.
I had two days off and thought about where I could go with the kids for a quick getaway from Louisville and not break the bank. We headed right up I71 to Cincinnati to explore. I found a deal on Priceline.com for $67 at the Radisson on the Riverfront. It is a cool circular hotel and I knew the kids would love it - indoor pool too...BONUS!
The Radisson was so easy to get to, right off of the highway. We checked in easily at 3pm and they even accommodated a room change since I wanted two beds and Priceline assigned me 1 king. They have parking under the hotel with access right to the elevators. It was really hot that day so it was nice to be able to park in a covered area. The kids LOVED that they hotel was round and the view from the balcony. The room was clean and had a little fridge and microwave - perfect for our instant oatmeal that I brought for breakfast the next day to save some money and be able to hang out in bed instead of running off to a restaurant. Before the trip, I referenced a post by Family Friendly Cincinnati for ideas, see it by clicking here!
We quickly changed and used my phone's GPS to find Sawyer Point Park. It took less than 10 minutes from the hotel. We parked on the street for no cost not far from the tennis courts on the eastern side of the park. Sawyer Point Park runs a long distance along the Ohio River on the Cincinnati side. We brought just a few items for the splash area so we could walk around with out the burden of too much stuff. It is a very nice park. There were many people out exercising, playing and sight seeing. We stumbled upon an outdoor theater, a few playgrounds, a sand volleyball court and a place to rent surrey carts or bicycles - just like we have in Louisville. We spent most of the our time playing at the super cool playground under the bridge. It was faux wood, like a big boat and totally in the shade. Fantastic playground. We kept walking west to find the spray area on the western side of the park. It was such a fun urban sprayground and a relief from the heat. After we played, we walked back to our car along the river. All in all - we spent about 2 hours at the park and could have easily spent more time there. This was all free!
For dinner, we went back across the river to Newport on the Levee because someone told me that I had to have Dewey's Pizza. You know, there's a pedestrian bridge that you can walk if you didn't want to drive! Anyway, we parked in the garage (under $5) and walked around a bit and made our way to the top floor inside to the restaurant. There was a modest wait but the kids didn't mind because they have windows to the kitchen and they kids watched the staff make pizza close up. We were seated and chose outside seating. The service was prompt and polite. We all shared a pizza and I had a wonderful seasonal salad. With beverages and tip, it was all just over $30. The pizza was really good but the kids did notice that the sauce was a tad spicier than we were used to - but I actually really like that about it. I gladly took a few pieces back to the hotel for pizza for breakfast the next morning (naughty me). After dinner, we explored Newport on the Levee and got a few sweets for back at the hotel spending under $5.
The next morning, we got up and out to get to Coney Island Amusement Park by 10am when the pool opened. It was so easy to find with GPS and took just about 15 minutes from the Radisson. Parking ($8) was close and there were virtually no lines to get in. We went to the pool and found chairs and a shady spot to call our own for the day. There are lockers for valuables that you can rent for the day ( $7) and a large locker room for changing or showers. For food, you can bring a cooler and leave it in the picnic area, lots of people do this. That saves a lot of money. Since I was coming from a hotel - we purchased food to compliment some of the snacks I brought with me, spending about $30 for the day. Pool + rides are $19.95 per person 5 and up and $9.95 for kids 2-4. We swam, played ping pong, went on slides, floated around, dove off the diving boards, went to see shows in the amusement park area, ate, swam more, went on rides and had an all around great time. You can bring floats and pool toys - there are spot to inflate them! I think the pool is definitely the highlight and you can make a day of it just at the pool without the rides (you can still see shows at no cost) and the pool admission is $11.95 for 5 and up, $4.50 for kids 2-4. Great price! We stayed at the pool until almost 7pm and drove back to Louisville. My kids are dying to go back - the pool is HUGE, one of a kind fun.
We had a great 1.5 day trip on less than 1 tank of gas and I think if done savvy, you can have a little getaway on a really tight budget that is busting with awesome memories.
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