The National Park Service invites its visitors to “explore your America.” And what better way to do that than by spending the Fourth of July at Cincinnati’s William Howard Taft National Historic Site?

Each year, the William Howard Taft Historic Site hosts a free Ice Cream Social for members of the community interested in soaking up some afternoon sun on Independence Day. Running from 1-4 p.m., the event also includes a free tour of President Taft’s boyhood home and live patriotic music. In years past, the Historic Site has hosted local favorites like Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers and popular wedding group Pete Wagner Band. 

“This is just a way for us to celebrate the Fourth of July,” says Park Ranger Kerry Wood. “We invite people to come out and support the only National Park Service site in Cincinnati.”

The Ice Cream Social, which typically hosts 50 to 75 people, is just one of the William Howard Taft National Historic Site’s many annual programs. It also hosts an Easter egg hunt, Junior Ranger Day and a Constitution Day event among others. 

The Historic Site, which is located in Mt. Auburn, celebrates 27th President and 10th Justice of the Supreme Court William Howard Taft. The Cincinnati native’s childhood home has been refurbished to accurately depict what it looked like in the 19th century. The upstairs of the home serves as a museum that educates visitors on Taft’s life and legacy. 

Staffed by just eight permanent rangers, the Historic Site relies on volunteer help year-round. “We have a very dedicated volunteer staff,” says Wood. “Typically two to three will help at the ice cream social.”

Wood makes sure there’s something for everybody, providing plenty of flavors including orange sherbet, chocolate, vanilla and an assortment of popsicles. 

For this year, according to Wood, the Ice Cream Social is still in the planning stages. “We’re working on finding our band,” he says. “It’s different every year.” 

No matter the band, the Ice Cream Social is sure to be a blast for visitors of all ages. The social takes place on the lawn at the William Howard Taft National Historic Site, located at 2038 Auburn Ave. The Historic Site offers 90-minute tours daily and is always free of charge. 

William Howard Taft National Historic Site, 2038 Auburn Ave., Mt. Auburn. Open daily 8 a.m.-4 p.m. 513-684-3262 or