ArtsWave’s Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekends Return – Free Arts Activities Across Cincinnati

It’s no secret that we here at Family Friendly Cincinnati are obsessed with the arts – we write about and feature arts activities all the time. Lucky for us, we can feed our obsession because we live in Cincinnati where the arts are abundant – and not just experiences for adults, but for families and children – and they are affordable too!

Make Cincinnati Amazing

One of our favorite ways to experience the arts each year is during ArtsWave’s Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekends.  We love the weekends not only because we can “pack” a lot of arts experiences in, but because the Sampler Weekend arts events are always FREE and the encourage folks to discover new arts organizations and activities.

This year ArtsWave’s Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekends will cover three Saturdays  – February 9, March 2 and April 13. In total we’ll have access to 130 FREE performances and, new this year, a major collaborative concert at Music Hall with four of Cincinnati’s largest performing arts organizations. Again — all of the Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekend events are free (thank you Macy’s!!).

Highlights from each weekend

Saturday, February 9 Highlights:

Baker Hunt Origami

Children enjoy arts activities at Baker Hunt (Covington)

61 free performances and/or activities will be offered in the following neighborhoods: Clermont County, Columbia Tusculum, College Hill, Covington, Eden Park, Fairfield, Mason, West Chester and Wyoming

  • Cincinnati Art Museum: three live performances from Madcap Puppets (noon, 2 p.m., 3:45 p.m.), Ron Esposito’s Tibetan Brass, Lagniappe’s Cajun Jazz sounds and Young Jazz Messengers, beginning at 11 a.m.
  • Playhouse in the Park: “Home-Fried Tales” by fourth-generation story teller Lyn Ford at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., plus backstage tours and a Creative Dramatics class beginning at 9 a.m.
  • Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati: Fairy Tales and Leprechaun Stories Entire Family, Irish Arts Sampler: Music, Art Exhibition, Entire Family and Tea Room,  Hooping Show with Mystic Rose Grade School, Teenager & Adult and lots more!
  • University of Cincinnati’s Clermont College: Rock Cincy Opera Group, 10 a.m. with live performances by Jonathan Heart (origami), 11:15 a.m. and Roberta Schultz (recreational drumming), noon

Saturday, March 2 Highlights

*29 free performances and/or activities will be offered in the following neighborhoods: Clifton, Kennedy Heights, Over-the-Rhine, Oxford and Spring Grove

  • Music Hall: A community performance with the combined forces of Music Hall’s resident companies – Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and May Festival – in an exciting program of “heroic” proportions, 1 p.m.
  • School for Creative & Performing Arts: Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s “Make Your Own Stage Blood,” 2 p.m., ArtWorks’ “Hero Design Company Mask Making,” 2 p.m., CCM Fight Department’s “The Art of Stage Choreography,” 3 p.m.
  • Memorial Hall: A sampling of choral music throughout the day including Southern Gateway Chorus, 10 a.m., Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, 10:35 a.m.; Young Professionals Choral Collective, 11:15 a.m., Cincinnati Boy Choir, 11:45 a.m.

Saturday, April 13 Highlights

La'Shelle Allen as Maria in Porgy and Bess Redux*31 free performances and/or activities will be offered in the following neighborhoods: Covedale, downtown Cincinnati, Erlanger, Ft. Thomas, Hamilton, Newport, Over-the-Rhine and Sharonville

  • Fitton Center for Creative Arts: Family Fun Day activities, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Cincinnati Ballet: Cincinnati Ballet’s CB II, 1 p.m.; Blue Ash Shaolin Do, 2 p.m.; Anaya Gypsy Dance, 2:30 p.m.; Cultural Centre of India, 3 p.m.
  • Contemporary Arts Center: Open ArtLab, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; MamLuft&Co. Dance, 12 & 2 p.m.; Constella Festival, 1 p.m.; Exhibition  and Building Tour, 2 & 3 p.m.;  Wabi Sabi Jazz, 3 p.m.


Macys Arts Sampler App iPhone Free Download

Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekend “Must Haves”

**Create Your Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekend “To-Do” List

**Upload the Free Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekend smartphone application for iPhone and Android. Find Sampler events that match your interests, map the routes and create schedules.


PHEW! And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the activities going on during Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekends. It’s a lot to take in so keep watching the FFC website and Facebook/Twitter accounts where we’ll be sharing information about various events and activities taking place over the course of the Sampler Weekends. We’ll be spotlighting organizations as well as putting some of our top arts picks into our Weekend Update Posts the weekends of Feb 9, Mar 2 and April 13. You can also follow along on ArtsWave’s Facebook page and the ArtsWave Twitter account.

PS. If you are an arts organization hosting an event during ArtsWave’s Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekends, please feel free to email us details (FamilyFriendlyCincinnati @ or @famfriendlycin on Twitter so we can share your events with our readers.

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  1. Susan says

    I just downloaded the mobile app. Amazing! I love that I can select my neighborhood and see all the shows scheduled near us.