If you’ve been following the journey of Fiona, Cincinnati Zoo’s adorable baby hippo, you know how she’s happily stolen the hearts of practically everyone that knows her name. But where to go in the Queen City to get your Fiona fill? Happily, there are plenty of places to visit. From craft brews named after the cutie to creamy delights, here’s how to Fiona the Hippo-fy you next visit to Cincinnati, Ohio!
- Grater’s Ice Cream
- Cincinnati Reds
- Listermann Brewery
- Cincinnati Zoo
- ArtWorks Mural
Baby animals have, and will continue to have, a spot in my heart – and Fiona the Hippo is no exception. The cutie has pulled on my heart strings from the moment Cincinnati Zoo began posting videos of her progress and growth. And visiting Cincinnati, Ohio to check out all-things Fiona has been on my bucket list for a while. So, Mr. Locke and I hopped in the car, headed to the other side of the state, and found the best places that adore her as much as we do.
1. Graeter’s Ice Cream
I took some serious heat on an article featuring the best ice cream in Ohio last year because it didn’t have Graeter’s on the list. Why? Because I’d never been to a location – until last month. Trust me when I say that ice cream is my favorite food – and I have a new favorite brand.
Graeter’s in Fountain Square has a special edition ice cream dedicated to Fiona the Hippo. Chunky Chunky Hippo has a toffee ice cream base, salted roasted peanuts and milk chocolate caramel truffles. The truth? It’s absolutely delicious, not to mention that part of its proceeds benefit the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. It’s fun to head to a Graeter’s location and grab a scoop or two, but if you really want to ooh and aah, you can always grab a pint to take home – her adorable likeness is right on the package.
2. Cincinnati Reds
I know what you must be thinking. How in the world do the Cincinnati Reds and Fiona the Hippo correlate? Even Cincinnati’s sports teams are bananas over Fiona – and that included a special Fiona bobblehead figure when we took in a game.
On Fiona night at Great American Ball Park, attendees could purchase a special package that included a Fiona bobblehead and the response was overwhelming. In my opinion, the figure is adorable and was totally worth it, though – not to mention we had the pleasure of witnessing a grand slam! And you seriously don’t need to sit in your seat to have fun – its outdoor spaces were made with families in mind.
3. Listermann Brewery
If you thought Fiona fun was for kids only – nope. Listermann Brewery, maybe a five-minute drive from Cincy Zoo, released a Team Fiona craft beer. A New England style IPA, the hazy brew is not only tasty (ask Mr. Locke. He liked it so much we took a small crowler home), 25% of its proceeds are donated to the Zoo and Team Fiona, the gang that happily accepted the responsibility of caring for her.
During our visit, we had a chance to go behind the scenes of Listermann Brewery and learn about the passion behind the pints. In a nutshell, the company began in 1991 when Dan & Sue Listermann started selling items for home brewers. Fast forward to present day where the craft brew store still exists but a gorgeous space and taproom is attached.
I’m not kidding, when we visited we were treated like old friends. It was a hoot to sit at the bar and talk to the locals as well as Dan and his son. Its brews range in both style and alcohol content and the best way to test drive them is with a beer flight.
4. Cincinnati Zoo
Of course, there’s no way to not mention Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on this list. Born six weeks premature, the knowledgeable team that takes care of her hit the ground running. The smallest hippo ever to survive, they’ve taught her everything from basic life skills, bottle fed her, and even encouraged her strength by helping her walk, the ever-smiling cutie has become an international star. These days, Fiona is now a healthy one-year old and spends her time with her mama in a cool water heaven. During our visit, the temperatures were sky high so it was no wonder that our trip to the Zoo found Fiona and her mother happily getting some sleep in the water.
If you want to stock up on Fiona merchandise, head to the Zoo’s gift shops. On our visit day a brand-new book was just released telling the story of the portly cutie. There are also shirts, magnets – you name it – to buy as well.
5. Fiona Mural with ArtWorks
This one’s still in the works, but I had to share. Expected to be completed by July 25, 2018, its permanent location will be at 910 Race St. Mr. Locke and I took a quick tour of a few other ArtWorks murals during our visit. I highly suggest that you do the same on your next trip to Cincinnati.
Where We Stayed in Cincinnati
Our visit to Cincinnati, Ohio, was made even better with a stay at AC Hotel Cincinnati at The Banks. Literally across the street from The Great American Ball Park, its hip vibe & gracious staff made our visit lovely.
AC Hotel Cincinnati has plenty of additional reasons to stay, too. We really loved the large gym room and outdoor patio filled with free games. The breakfast area (an additional daily charge) and valet parking were really good additions, too.
Disclosure: We were kindly hosted by the folks at Cincinnati USA. All opinions are my own!