My Ten Year Old Tour Guide

In an attempt to explore the city of Cincinnati through the eyes of a child, I enlisted the help of my ten year old brother Carson Baker.

An outsider to Cincinnati-who was born, raised and continues to live in the northern country-side of Ohio- Carson never says no to an adventure, especially one in Cincinnati. For this reason, I knew he would be extremely helpful in my pint-sized adventure through the Queen City, so I enlisted him to be my ten-year old tour guide of Cincinnati.

After quickly marking off the list the trip down to Paul Brown Stadium to retrieve Carson Palmer's autograph, we moved on to a more manageable list of activities for the day. If you ever wish to roam around the town and find the inner child inside, here is an adventure filled list of activities:

First, you would need to make a trip to the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

With plenty of green spaces, newly renovated architecture which gives the campus a great aesthetic appeal and a little bit of imagination, the campus offers plenty of places for any great adventurer.

Even if you aren't Tony Pike or Zak Collaros, according to my little tour guide, the best place to be on campus is Nippert Stadium - home to Bearcat football.

"It’s really cool to run up and down the field to see how long it takes to get across the whole thing," Carson explained.

Another favorite spot on campus: the water fountains. To the side of the McMillan College of Arts and Sciences and right in front of the University Pavilion a granite water fountain sits and with the water sectioned off into several lanes of water, which eventual fall into the fountain at the end, the water just awaits paper boat races.

"Paper boat races are the best," Carson said. "They are so much fun and it's awesome because I always win."

Win or lose, boat races in the fountain are extremely simple. With just a single sheet of paper, each individual racer can construct his or her own boat. Then, standing back at the very beginning of the fountain-which servers at the starting line-each participant lets go of his or her boat and the race begins. The paper vessel which falls over the waterfall first is deemed the winner.

Eventually after all of the campus fun, you are going to work up an appetite, and where would be a better place to treat yourself than Dewey's Pizza. The best part about Dewey's pizza isn’t necessarily the taste or even the reasonable price, but the fact that you get to watch your pizza being made. If you pull up a seat in front of the big picture window which leads into the kitchen, you can stand in awe as you watch the pros flip down into the air. The snowstorm of flour and dough would inspire anyone to become a pizza maker.

"I don’t think I can throw the pizza in the air like that," Carson said. "It would probably land on my head!"

With a belly full of pizza it will soon be time to head on out to the big city.

"My favorite part about Cincinnati is the big buildings and the busy streets," Carson said. "I like to just explore and see what we can find."

One of the places Carson was most happy to find was the hidden museum within a museum - the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center's UnMuseum. Self-described as a "groundbreaking new concept in museum education for children, schools and families," the UnMuseum strives to rise above the normal standards of a museum and bring a more hands on approach to art. Everything at the UnMuseum is aimed toward targeting the young mind - the walls and displays are adorned with works created to inspire and evoke the imagination of artistic students of all ages.

"I really like this place," Carson said. "It’s pretty cool."

'Cool' seems to be the best way to describe what the art center has done to help inspire the creative community among the youngest of Cincinnatians. During the week, the CAC comes to life with art classes to help the youngest of artists strive to become the next Picasso. Using trained guides as the teachers, the students learn many different methods of art and how to create what they see in the museum.

Fortunately, downtown has much to see outside of the UnMusuem as well. With only just a little exploration through the city, it is easy to find some wilderness within the concrete jungle. Garfield Park and the newly renovated walkways which run on Central Parkway offer a great place to see all of the buildings of Cincinnati as well as feeling as if you are on a jaunt through the park at the same time.

Moving even further downtown toward the river, the explorations can continue. Even in the off season, walking around the outside of the Great American Ballpark can make any get excited for baseball season. For kids of all ages, the statues and décor outside of the stadium seem to offer a profound amount of entertainment. Right next door, of course, is another sort of museum which holds many memories of the Cincinnati Reds.

Being so close to the river, a walk across the Purple People Bridge is in need.

"I like walking across the bridge because you can see all sorts of stuff in the city,”"Carson explained looking over the railing down toward the water.

Although it's not always apparent, Cincinnati has a lot to offer residents of all ages, so if you ever wish to get the taste of Cincinnati through the eyes of a child, all you need to do is find your own ten-year old tour guide.

Photography by Scott Beseler
Carson Palmer, at Paul Brown Stadium
University of Cincinnnati grounds
UC fountain
UnMuseum at CAC
Great American Ballpark

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