Traveler: Blink Cincinnati

Roebling Suspension Bridge rendering

Courtesy Source Cincinnati

The Queen City

is about to get lit. When Blink Cincinnati debuted in 2017, the digital-light festival lured more than 1 million curious visitors downtown and to the Over-the-Rhine district to take a gander at 20 blocks’ worth of outdoor projection-mapped displays—the biggest event of its kind in the country, and the biggest gathering on record to ever assemble in the city.

Returning October 10 to 13, this year’s gig has expanded to cover 30 city blocks, stretching from OTR’s Findlay Market through downtown, across the Roebling Suspension Bridge, and into Covington, Kentucky. Attendees can expect to walk around and see local buildings, structures, and public spaces bathed in more than 100 interactive or shape-shifting light installations. If you’ve happened to catch Art on the Mart during a recent trip to Chicago, it’s like that—multiplied by 100.

A Blink Building Projection

You’ll come across an oversized version of Lite Brite that you can play with, and you can dance beneath the World’s Largest Mobile Disco Ball. Architects of Air, a group that has installed walk-though “luminariums” on five continents, will debut a new design at Blink. The lights come on at dusk, and the entire festival is open to the public for free viewing. Keep the creative vibe going by staying at the 21c Museum Hotel ($279 per night). The art-focused boutique property showcases locally produced Rookwood Pottery body-part tiles in the shower, the recently unveiled Dress Up, Speak Up: Regalia and Resistance traveling exhibition, and the eye-catching portrait Morpheus by Kehinde Wiley hanging above the registration desk. You might blink, but you can’t miss it.


Chef-owner Ryan Santos’s wildly popular pop-up dinner concept Please has found a permanent home in Over-the-Rhine, serving prix fixe menus of innovative New American cuisine for up to 30 customers each night.


Get a bird’s-eye view of the downtown riverfront from 15 stories up on the SkyStar Observation Wheel, a ride with six-person gondolas.