Day Trippin’ With Uncle Mike: Cinci Pt. 1

“Day Trippin with Uncle Mike” is a Pickerington Online series featuring fun trips within a few hours of Violet Township, Ohio. Michael Nicodemus is a biology professor, birder, travel enthusiast & uncle.

July 19, 2021 by Pickerington Online Contributor Dr. Michael Nicodemus

Only two hours from Pickerington, Cincinnati has a lot to offer. This trip, rain chased us off the riverfront, but both sides of the river are quite lovely and host a number of festivals, concerts, celebrations, and markets. On Labor Day, 500,000 people attend a day long celebration punctuated by fireworks. There is too much to do in Cinci for one day, so I hope to talk more about the riverfront on the next trip.

Taste of Belgium

We chose Taste of Belgium because it sounded fun and my very picky niece likes waffles. The place has a “hip” kind of vibe, with an exposed ceiling and ample outdoor seating. The coffee is the best I have had in a while. It is very smooth.
One of our party ordered a whisky chai, which was an odd take on chai, but very good. The whiskey flavor mixes well with the cardamom of the chai. The Brussels sprouts were loaded with flavor.
I had a burger on a waffle with syrup. It was an odd mix of flavors, but they worked together well.
We found out later that Taste of Belgium had been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. They have multiple Cincinnati locations and now even have a stall at the Columbus North Market.
My nieces tried smores and “Speculoos” waffles (cookie butter, whipped cream, shortbread cookie crumbles). They are sometimes hard to please, but they loved their waffles.

Krohn Conservatory

Krohn Conservatory is smaller than Franklin Park. It is set in a beautiful park, along with the Cincinnati Museum of Art.
They have beautiful jungle and desert rooms and a great butterfly exhibit.
There were so many beautiful butterflies including many blue morphos.

Jungle Jim’s International Market

Jungle Jim’s International Market is a gigantic grocery with food from all over the world, a very large wine selection, cheeses, toys, and a room just for hot sauces. Longing for a taste of the something strange or exotic, chances are good you will find it here. It is decorated with antique trucks, murals, quirky bathrooms, and a train.
Tasty insects

Trammel Fossil Park

At Trammel Fossil Park, there is no fee to search for your own fossils. In just a few minutes, we found some coral and shells dating back to 450 million years ago when Cincinnati was covered by a shallow sea (250 million years before the dinosaurs).

The Root Beer Stand

Down the street from the fossil park is a fifties-style snack shop. At The Root Beer Stand, you can get root beer brewed on site that is very good, as well as chili dogs, burgers, and floats.

Elsinore Arch

We happened by Elsinore Arch randomly as we navigated our way around Cincinnati. It is a valve house for the Cincinnati Water Works, built in 1883. It was inspired by “Elsinore Castle” from the Shakespeare play “Hamlet”.

Check out Uncle Mike’s previous adventures: Day Trippin’ – Amish Country