If you plan to take a trip to Cincinnati Ohio, you need to pay a visit to Fountain Square. This public plaza is a hub of food, art, community events, and entertainment.
On any day of the week, you’ll find the square buzzing with activity and special events of all kinds. Read on to learn all about Fountain Square Cincinnati and the great things to see, do, and experience there!
About Fountain Square Cincinnati
Fountain Square has been an important part of Cincinnati Ohio since the 1870s. When it was first developed, it was, quite literally, a square with a fountain — the Tyler Davidson Fountain, which still stands there today (although it has since been moved).
“The Tyler Davidson Fountain was dedicated on Fountain Square on Oct. 6, 1871. And 150 years and a couple of makeovers later, the square is as busy as ever.”cincinnati.com
Renovations & The Fountain
It wasn’t until a century later, in 1970, that the square was renovated, moving the fountain. Two more renovations followed in 2000 and 2006. The last one redesigned the square for a new mission — to be a center for events, community, and arts and culture in Cincinnati.
The original fountain still stands in the square, although it has been moved from its original spot. It depicts a 9-foot figure releasing streams of water from her hands. “The Lady,” as she is known, is modeled after the style of similar figures on fountains throughout Europe.
Events & More
Today, Fountain Square is a community gathering space. On any day of the week, you’ll find people enjoying their lunches beside the fountain. There are regular community events, from holiday celebrations to concerts and open-air markets. During the winter, the square has a public ice rink for outdoor skating.
Also, Fountain Square Cincinnati is home to many of the city’s best restaurants, retail outlets, and museums. You’ll often find public art displays outside for everyone to enjoy.
Things to Do at Fountain Square
Attend a Public Event
You’ll find countless events going on at Fountain Square Cincinnati all year long — from live music to holiday celebrations, trivia nights, and much more.
There’s always something new going on, including kids’ events and weekday lunchtime entertainment. Whether you like browsing open-air markets or listening to reggae, there’s something for everyone.
Go Ice Skating
Every winter, Fountain Square gets transformed into a public ice skating rink. During this time, you can rent skates and hit the ice for only $10 per person. There are even nights when the rink is divided in half for skating and ice bumper cars so that you can ride right on the ice!
Sing Some Karaoke
Located right in Fountain Square is Tokyo Kitty, a private karaoke bar. You can rent the whole place for private parties of up to 13 people, with rental rates for an hour at a time. If you’ve ever wanted to put on the musical performance of your dreams, this is your chance!
Admire the Artwork
21C is a contemporary art museum in Fountain Square. Here, you’ll find a variety of art on display, many from local artists. The subject and medium vary, and some of it is even displayed in the square. There’s always something new to see, whether it’s a sculpture, painting, or something else!
Go on a Food Tour
There’s no denying that Cincinnati is a foodie’s paradise. Fountain Square is a great place to kick off a food tour, but if you prefer, you can even join a professional group tour! This will let you hit up all the best eateries in Cincinnati, including ones that are off the beaten path!
Dining at Fountain Square Cincinnati
Crown Republic Gastropub is a pub-style eatery serving American fare with global influences. The menu here is rustic with an emphasis on fresh ingredients, with many components made right in the kitchen. You’ll find interesting dishes here like octopus tabbouleh, duck fat hummus, and prime steak.
Maplewood Kitchen and Bar is the place to go if you’re looking for farm-fresh, breakfast-style food in Cincinnati. This isn’t your average breakfast diner.
Maplewood Kitchen emphasizes upscale, locally sourced, classic breakfast and brunch items with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. Menu favorites include lemon ricotta pancakes, avocado toast, and fresh-pressed juices.
Mita’s is a farm-inspired restaurant serving a combination of Spanish and Latin American cuisines. You’ll find delicious food of both European and Colombian influences here, with menu options such as tapas, ceviche, and an extensive wine list.
The restaurant gets its name from chef Jose Salazar’s Colombian grandmother, who passed on her cooking knowledge.
Sotto is Cincinnati’s best place to find rustic Italian fare in an elegant, upscale setting. This cozy restaurant is all about the most authentic woodland Italian cuisine — smoked meat, fresh vegetables, and old-world cooking methods. If you’re looking for a hidden gem in Cincinnati, Sotto is the place to go.
Boca has been a part of the city since 2001 but has only been at its present location in Fountain Square Cincinnati since 2013. This refined French-style eatery features plates both large and small and is known throughout the city for its signature seared scallops, roasted Brussels sprouts, and foie gras.
Boca was named on Travel and Leisure’s list of Best 100 French Restaurants in the country.
More Things to Do Near Fountain Square
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a museum all about the history of slavery, the Underground Railroad, and the people who helped black Americans fight for their freedom.
The museum stands alongside the Ohio River, which was once the border between the Union and the Confederacy and a major port on the journey to freedom.
Tour the Cincinnati Art Museum
The Cincinnati Art Museum has been in operation since 1881, making it one of the oldest museums in the country. The exhibitions here feature artists of all kinds, both contemporary and classic.
You can find everything here from sculptures to paintings, ceramics, and even jewelry, including some from famous artists like Cezanne, Pissarro, and Mary Cassatt.
Catch a Game at the Great American Ball Park
Cincinnati is home to the Cincinnati Reds, and there’s no better place to enjoy a game than at the Great American Ball Park. This stadium is located just a short distance from Cincinnati. Ohio natives and baseball enthusiasts might consider it a bucket list item to catch a game at this stadium!
Lodging Near Fountain Square Cincinnati
The Symphony Hotel and Restaurant is a historic building located in Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine district. Once a private mansion, the hotel got its name from its nine rooms, each named after a classical composer. The accompanying restaurant is the perfect place to relax and enjoy live jazz performances.
Though Cincinnati has plenty of hotels, there are many great places to camp close by too. One of the best is Winton Woods Campground to the north. Located right on Winton Lake for a waterfront view and outdoor activities, this campground offers cabins and tent pitches for up to six people.
The Clifton House is a historical mansion turned into a luxury bed and breakfast. This personal house, built in 1900, offers the charm and decor of the early 20th century with all the modern amenities that guests expect.
Relax on the wraparound porch, play a game in the billiards room, or enjoy the unique charm of your own room.
Golden Lamb is a stunning historic hotel and restaurant that has been in operation for more than 215 years. This stunning hotel boasts 17 rooms with antique furnishings. Each one is named after a famous historical person who stayed there, including Charles Dickens and Mark Twain.
If you prefer to find a vacation rental, this city condo could be the perfect choice! Guests have access to the entire space, which includes two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Best of all, it’s located close to some of Cincinnati’s most exciting attractions, including Fountain Square and many restaurants.
Exploring in Fountain Square Cincinnati
Whether you’re interested in shopping, fine dining, live music, or something else entirely, you can find it all in Fountain Square.
This Cincinnati Ohio hub always has something new and interesting to offer. You might find yourself wanting to go back again and again to find the next fun event.
You can find even more to do in Cincinnati and Southwest Ohio throughout the year too — spring, summer, fall, and winter. And, you can always tour the best Cincinnati breweries and explore nearby Dayton Ohio activities and sites.