Smale Riverfront Park

Smale Riverfront Park
West Mehring Way,
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Whoooosh! That’s the sound of nostalgia sweeping over me when I stepped into this park. While I may live out in Suburbia now – I was born and raised in the city. Not quite downtown – but within a 10 minute drive to the riverfront. My childhood was composed of many, many trips downtown on the Metro with my mom to go to the “big library” and then we’d eat our PB&J sandwiches with the pigeons at a city park before bussing home.

This park is HUGE but beautiful. Definitely reminds me of Millennium Park (the bean park!) in Chicago with a bit less wind. With the river to the front and our gorgeous skyline to the back – it is picturesque to say the least. And it is unique.


Many parking lots border this park along Mehring way. The one I parked in was about 3 dollars per hour and was about a five minute walk from the park.


If you have little ones – you will want a stroller. This is a very long park and the attractions are spread throughout the park. I only had my one year old with me – and I used the carrier – but I would have been 💀 if I had to cart my toddler around once his legs got tired. This park is beautiful to walk though, plenty of history scattered throughout as well as beautiful flowers. Nice paved path some decent shaded provided by bridges and trees.


I would honestly be a bit nervous to be one adult to two kids at the splash pad. It is located along Mehring Way – which is a pretty busy thru-road along the banks.

Play Activities

Too many to describe but some of them are pictured below. There is a set of metal slide down a hill, a bridge, logs to climb through. But again – visibility and accessibility is a bit poor here. I’d worry about my little explorer running off rather than making the trek back around to go down the slide again. And with a river and a busy street both relatively nearby…I’ll pass. There are drums, a very unique flying pig structure, the splash pad and so much more!

Potty Training

Middle of the park – near the play structure with the slide. It’s a decent walk from the splash pad to the restrooms if you are pulling wet kids behind you.


Some very cute shaded metal porch swings adorn one of the main paths through this park and overlook the river, plenty of grassy spaces and benches.

If you are downtown for an event or live nearby – this park is worth a trip. I wouldn’t even mind going to this one – kid-free – after a nice downtown dinner for a stroller along the river.