As the saying goes: “What goes around comes around.” Well, with the comeback of acid-wash jeans, high-waisted shorts and even the rebirth of the original Nintendo, you might be feeling a bit nostalgic for the magical decade that was the 1980s. If you were lucky enough to grow up in Cincinnati during this era, it’s safe to say that this list will bring a big old smile to your face and have you rushing to your basement to dig for memorabilia from the “good old days” in the Queen City.
1. Tall Stacks - 1988
In 1988, Cincinnati turned 200 years old. To celebrate, the first Tall Stacks festival took place on the riverfront and it was a BIG deal. This photo may not be from that first year, but it shows the beauty and majesty of the classic riverboats, lining the shores of this historic stretch of the Ohio River.
2. Riverfront Stadium
This much-loved Cincinnati icon is still missed by many who fondly remember it from the 80s and other decades. This circular gem was renamed Cinergy Field in 1996 and was demolished in 2002 to make way for a new stadium.
3. The Cincinnati Reds
In the 1980s, the Reds were all about rebuilding. If you grew up loving the team in the 80s, then names like Eric Davis, Chris Sabo and Paul O'Neill probably take you back to a time when the uniforms were classically awesome and this surprising team started the next decade with a World Series win in 1990.
4. The Bengals were good... sort of.
As Bengals fans, we've had our fair share of heartbreak. We are excited with the hope of a new season and shake our heads when the bottom falls out. The 80s were especially tough with Super Bowl losses after both the 1981 and 1988 seasons. If you grew up in Cincinnati in the 80s, you were probably at a Super Bowl party, witnessing many grown men crying their eyes out.
5. Johnny's Toys Birthday Castle
Was there anything more exciting than receiving this little card and key in the mail?! Forget the birthday parties and cake, it was a big deal to take one of these keys into the toy store and enter the huge (didn't it seem huge?!) castle to pick out a present. And if you haven't heard, this tradition is alive again at Tech Castle in Covington!
6. King Cobra: the stand-up roller coaster
In 1984, Kings Island opened its first stand-up roller coaster. King Cobra was short and sweet, but the uniqueness of standing - while going upside down - made it thrilling. Like all of the best rides, King Cobra disappeared in 2002.
7. Lazzie Bears
Cincinnati department store, Lazarus, put these bears out each year and they probably made it onto your Christmas list. Each one had the year stitched on it and other stores had their own versions, including JCPenney and Kmart.
This little amusement park in Middletown was where it was at in the 1980s. This classic park had all of the best rides, including the epic Raging Thunder Log Flume that opened in 1984. The park experienced a fire in early 1990, which eventually led to its downfall and closing in 1999.
9. Surf Cincinnati
You knew it was summer in Cincinnati when you drove down 275 and saw visitors riding the slides at Surf Cincinnati. The wave pool, the slides, the lazy river - it was the best spot in Cincy for relaxation and people-watching.
10. Forest Fair Mall
Forest Fair Mall opened in the late 1980s and was THE place to be. Time Out on the Court was filled with 80s fun for kids and it seemed larger than life. It was loud, bright, a little obnoxious, and very 80s.
11. Eating at Rax
Do you remember Rax? Maybe Uncle Alligator rings a bell? Or their delicious roast beef sandwiches and salad bar with the best pudding ever? Rax is no longer in Cincinnati, but you might not know that there is one not too far away in Georgetown, Ohio! Road trip, anyone?
12. Cincy turned 200
Cincinnati's Bicentennial was celebrated in 1988 in a big way. Bicentennial Commons officially opened and everyone spent time at Sawyer Point and Serpentine Wall. Basically, it was today's Smale Park.
And just for fun...
This is downtown Cincinnati in November of 1983. Looks a little different, doesn't it? One thing remains the same from the 80s - Cincinnati is still filled with fabulous people who love their hometown.
Did you grow up in Cincinnati during the 80s? How many of these do you remember? What other fond memories do you have? Share with us in the comments! And now to leave you with one more memory from the 80s in Cincinnati (they don’t make them like this anymore!)…