Situated along the banks of the Ohio River, the Northern Kentucky Convention Center is unique in that it is located in the midst of not one but two major cities. While it is technically located in Covington, Kentucky, the Northern Kentucky Convention Center is also just minutes away from downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. While you’re there, you’ll be able to experience the best that both of these cities have to offer.
Since the convention center serves Covington as well as Cincinnati, it only makes sense that it is more accommodating and well-equipped than most other event facilities. At 204,000 total square feet, the Northern Kentucky Convention Center boasts an impressive 110,000 square feet of meeting, exhibition, and social function space. This 110,000 square feet of space is comprised of the expansive Brereton C. Jones Exhibition Center; the building’s main lobby; and the conference level, which features 10 flexible meeting rooms and a 22,800-square-foot ballroom.
Whenever your team isn’t competing, they’ll definitely want to be out exploring. A visit to the Northern Kentucky Convention Center is a great opportunity to familiarize your group with all that there is to do and see in Covington as well as its neighbor to the north, Cincinnati.
Things to Do
Great American Ball Park, Paul Brown Stadium Tour
Whether your team enjoys baseball, football, or both, you can all enjoy a one of a kind tour experience just under a 20-minute walk from the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Tours are offered for both Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds, and Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals. A tour of Great American Ball Park or Paul Brown Stadium will give you and your team a behind-the-scenes look at these world-class sports venues.
Highlights of the Great American Ball Park tour include the chance to sit in a Major League dugout, walk on the warning track directly behind home plate, and visit the expansive Great American Ball Park Press Box. Along the way, your tour guide will share a wealth of information about the ballpark and the Cincinnati Reds. Each Great American Ball Park tour ticket also includes admission to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, the largest team hall of fame in all of baseball. 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202; One Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum
The baseball fans in your group will want to spend hours gazing at all the memorabilia and more that can be found at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. This popular Cincinnati attraction is housed in a 16,000-square-foot facility located adjacent to Great American Ball Park, home field of the Cincinnati Reds. It features two floors of exhibits.
The exhibits at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum pay homage to the team’s past through displays, photographs, multimedia, and more. These exhibits also serve to showcase unique artifacts relevant to Cincinnati Reds history. Some of these artifacts include World Series trophies; the scorebook from baseball’s first professional team, the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings; and the MVP trophies of Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan. 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Perched on the north bank of the Ohio River, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center celebrates freedom’s heroes, from the era of the Underground Railroad to contemporary times. The center is dedicated to illuminating the true meaning of freedom through permanent and special exhibits, provocative public programming, and other educational resources.
Some of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s most prominent features include Suite for Freedom, a brief orientation that consists of three animated shorts; ESCAPE! Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad, a family-friendly, interactive display that uses storytelling, roleplaying, and hands-on activities to present accounts of the brave and clever actions taken by men and women who resisted slavery; and the center’s principal artifact: a two-story log slave pen constructed in 1830. 50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Smale Riverfront Park
Smale Riverfront Park, located along Cincinnati’s downtown riverfront between Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium, is the perfect place for you and your team to spend an hour or two outdoors during your stay.
This well-maintained, 45-acre park offers endless opportunities for kid-friendly fun. Some of Smale Riverfront Park’s most popular features include an innovative, fully accessible playground; several water fountains; a carousel; picnic tables; and much more. W Mehring Way, Cincinnati, OH 45201
Newport on the Levee
If you and your team are looking to kick back and relax after a long day at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, head to Newport on the Levee. Located just across the river from Cincinnati’s picturesque skyline, Newport on the Levee is one of the area’s most popular places to enjoy world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment.
While there, you and your team can enjoy a movie at AMC Newport on the Levee 20; brush up on your bowling technique at Axis Alley; find the newest addition to your wardrobe; or satisfy your taste buds at one of many delicious restaurants and quick-service eateries. Newport on the Levee also features a year-round schedule of festivals, special events, live entertainment, and more. 1 Levee Way, Newport, KY 41071
You and your team can embark on a journey through the oceans of the world just over a mile away from the Northern Kentucky Convention Center at the Newport Aquarium. Since opening in 1999, the Newport Aquarium has showcased thousands of animals from all corners of the globe, including a giant Pacific octopus, seahorses, stingrays, alligators, penguins, and more.
The Newport Aquarium is also home to the first shark ray breeding program, which began in 2007. You can meet their three shark rays, Sweet Pea, Scooter, and Sunshine, in the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.
A visit to the Newport Aquarium wouldn’t be complete without traversing its most unique attraction: Shark Bridge. Perfect for the thrill-seekers on your team, Shark Bridge is a suspended rope bridge where brave souls can walk just inches above sharks and other ocean creatures. 1 Levee Way, Newport, KY 41071
Places to Eat
A local staple since 1949, Skyline Chili serves up an authentic taste of Cincinnati cuisine. The menu at Skyline Chili features team-friendly fare like salads, burritos, and wraps, but their true claim to fame are their signature coneys and ways. Both are topped with Skyline Chili’s unmistakable chili, which is not chili con carne but rather a sauce that contains a unique spice blend.
The more recognizable of Skyline Chili’s two signature dishes, coneys are simply a hot dog topped with chili, mustard, onions, and cheese. As unconventional as it is delicious, ways is a dish made with spaghetti topped with chili and cheese. Additional toppings like beans and onions turn the standard chili and cheese 3-ways into a 4-way and 5-way. 333 Scott St, Covington, KY 41011
When it comes to places to dine at with a team, nothing can top a great local sports bar. Smoke Justis is Covington’s newest sports bar and it has quickly become one of the area’s most popular places to hang out while enjoying a delicious meal.
The menu at Smoke Justis consists of crowd-pleasing appetizers like fried or smoked chicken wings, hummus, and soft pretzel loaves; as well as sandwiches, sliders, flatbreads, salads, plenty of sides, and more. They also have a kids’ menu for children 12 and under featuring affordable options like sliders, hot dogs, and chicken tenders. 126 Park Pl, Covington, KY 41011
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub & Restaurant is an authentic Irish watering hole located at the foot of the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge just over five minutes away from the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. They are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, and also serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Along with traditional Irish fare like shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and bacon and cabbage, the menu at Molly’s also offers a wide selection of other favorites as well. These include everything from burgers and tacos to salads and their ever-popular pizzas. 112 E 4th St, Covington, KY 41011
Maplewood Kitchen and Bar
Although it’s a bit of a ways away from the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, Maplewood Kitchen and Bar is a unique eatery that’s certainly worth the mile-long walk. Housed in a welcoming, 150-seat restaurant with expansive windows that offer plenty of natural light, Maplewood serves up West Coast-style cuisine that features local and seasonal ingredients. They offer brunch, lunch, and dinner daily, making a visit to Maplewood easy to fit into your group’s buys schedule.
Signature dishes at Maplewood include Avocado Benedict, a playful take on the brunch staple Eggs Benedict; spicy chicken tinga served with a crispy tostada, charred tomatillo salsa, a black bean puree, and two cage-free over easy eggs; and quinoa cakes with poached eggs and a sauce made with tomato and red pepper. 525 Race St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
A visit to the Northern Kentucky Convention Center is sure to be one of the most unique travel experiences that you share with your team. Not only will you all get the opportunity to explore the charming city of Covington where the convention center is located, you’ll also be just minutes away from Cincinnati and all of the unique experiences that it has to offer as well. With two cities worth of fun attractions and great restaurants to enjoy, there definitely won’t be a dull moment during your team’s stay in Covington.