Challenges Archive

Day 32: Keep the Experiment Going!

Surprise! We have one more challenge for you. We know we’re a day past the deadline but thought we would offer one last idea to keep the experience running.

Our last challenge is around building community in your immediate neighborhood. These are the people you’ll see the most often and who will have the most impact on your home.

Host an informal block party in November to bring everyone together, either at your house or a neighborhood spot. Enjoy the lasting effects of your community coming together to share fellowship and fun.

Day 31: Let’s Reflect On All We’ve Accomplished

Congratulations, Experimenters!  Today is the final day in October.  It’s been an inspiring and fun month, and to celebrate Halloween and the conclusion of our Grand Experiment, let’s reflect on all we’ve accomplished.  Use #TheGrandCity and thank someone who was welcoming; or share an inspiring story; or post about your favorite GCE memory; or take a selfie with a new friend you made this month. 

Thanks for experimenting with us over the past month. We hope this has been as special for you as it has been for our city. Happy Halloween and stay tuned for more exciting news from The Grand City Experiment. 

Day 30: Visit a Hidden Gem

We all have them. Sometimes we keep them to ourselves. Sometimes we share them.

We are talking about those beloved gems of Cincinnati. Whether it’s the Krohn Conservatory or the Cincinnati Zoo, we all have a favorite place that makes our city so incredible.

It’s time to share those places with others. Find someone who isn’t familiar with one of your favorite Cincinnati gems and offer to show them around.

Day 29: Friends of Friends

Have you heard of the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” theory? It’s six degrees of separation but with…you know…Kevin Bacon. Anyway, the point is that we’re all more closely connected than we think.

Today, you get to be the connector. Invite two or three friends who don’t know each other to dinner, to drinks, or to watch this weekend’s game. They’ll meet new people but still have a common connection—you. If you want to expand on this idea, ask each friend to bring along someone else, too. 

Let’s give Mr. Bacon a run for his money.

Day 28: Adopt a Hobby

As we are winding down, let’s keep the good vibes going past the end of the month.

Engage with someone who you don’t spend much time with and see if they have an interesting hobby. Maybe it’s yoga, salsa dancing or a rec league sport. Maybe it’s antiquing or wine tasting. Regardless, make time to do that activity together at some point in the next few weeks. You’ll be surprised at what you might learn and enjoy!

Day 27: Make Someone’s Monday

This is it! The final week is here! This has been an awesome opportunity to work alongside you to make Cincinnati more welcoming.

To kick off our final week, let’s lighten the Monday load for someone and offer to do a chore or task on their list. It could be taking out the garbage or writing that end-of-the-month report or proposal. Whatever it is, do it with a smile and with excellence.

Days 25-26: Exploration via Bike

Yay for the weekend! Not sure if you’ve heard, but Cincinnati just got a cool new bike sharing program called the Red Bike. Here it is in a nutshell:

So, here is your task this weekend: Grab a friend and head toward one of the many bike locations. Give those new wheels a spin. While you are at it, ask someone else to join the ride with you. To help you out, use code 102514 to get a 50% discount on a day pass. The code is only good Saturday and Sunday and only while supplies last. Can’t make it to one of the hubs?  A trip with a friend on your own two-wheelers around your neighborhood or local bike trail will do the trick.  Start pedaling!

This is a weekend challenge, so you have Saturday and Sunday to share stories about your experience. #TheGrandCity

Day 24: Start a Convo in Line

Have some grocery shopping to do this weekend? Get your shopping done today, and while you’re at it, let’s make it more interesting.

While you’re roaming the aisles or standing in the checkout line, ask another shopper how they plan on using the ingredient they pick up from the shelf or place on the checkout counter. See if there are any new menu items to add to your dinner next week.

If you find a good recommendation, share the recipe with the rest of the group on our Facebook page.

Day 23: Visit a Local Business

We humans are creatures of habit. 40% of our actions throughout the day are not really decisions, but unconscious habits we repeat. What are we, robots?!

Today, we’re breaking the routine. Check out a local business you don’t usually visit. Talk to the owner, an employee or other patrons while you’re there. On your way home, take a route you normally don’t travel, and take in the new scenery and people around you.

Congratulations! You’ve reprogrammed the robot.

Day 22: Recurring Lunch Date

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about what happens after October 31. What’s next? Will this continue? Will everyone just be grouchy after this is over?

While we don’t have a crystal ball, we do want the values and heart of the experiment to live on beyond this month. So let’s get started today!

Schedule a recurring lunch/drinks/coffee/dinner date with some of the new people you’ve met in the past few weeks. It can be monthly, weekly or just every once in a while. Whatever frequency you arrive on, keep the experience going.

Bonus: Help change the perception that Cincinnati is hard to break into for newcomers, and make the Queen City Commit. to continue the movement beyond October!

Day 21: Twofer Tuesday

If today were a game show, we would call it “TWOFER TUESDAY”!

Here’s the game:

Ask 2 people their 2 favorite things about Cincinnati by 2 o’clock.

We’ll be keeping track of the top favorites on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #222 and #TheGrandCity, so be sure to share them with us.

Day 20: Quirky Souvenir Convo

Welcome back! We’re in the home stretch with only two more weeks of challenges. How are you feeling about the progress so far? Meet anyone new?

It’s Monday, and we know you are busy, so we’ll keep this one short: Look around your place of work or even your neighbor’s home (if you’re invited, of course). Notice anything unique about their cubicle, desk, yard or even their living room? Take a few minutes to ask them about it. Maybe it’s a photo, a trophy or a souvenir from a recent trip. Chances are it has a pretty cool story behind it. See if you can find out what that story is about. 

Find out something interesting? Share it with us on our Facebook page.

Day 19: UC Tickets for Experimenters!

Good morning! We have something a little different for you today. It’s not a challenge—more like a reward and an invitation.

You’ve worked hard this month, and it’s time for some fun. Invite someone you may or may not know to the nationally televised UC/South Florida game on October 24…with complimentary tickets!

The University of Cincinnati loves to experiment, and the entire 202 section will be for The Grand City Experiment, so you’ll be surrounded by other Experimenters. There are even post-game fireworks!

If you go, be sure to share your game-time photos with us on social media! #TheGrandCity #bearcats

Click to get your two complimentary tickets: Quantities in The Grand City Experiment section are limited, so act fast!

You can pick up your tickets on game day (October 24) from a special Grand City Experiment Will Call at the UC pre-game pep rally located at The Holy Grail. Tickets are available for pickup from 4-6pm. If you are running late, Will Call will open back up at 6:30pm at Paul Brown Stadium.


Day 18: Visit a Cincinnati Park

Have you noticed? The leaves are starting to turn. Footballs are flying through the air, and more people are wearing plaid. (Like, WAY too much plaid).

Before it gets too cold, take some time this weekend to enjoy one more day outside this year. Grab a friend and someone new to town, and show them your favorite Cincinnati Park.

Here are a few options that will treat you kindly:

  •  Eden Park
  •  Ault Park
  •  Washington Park
  •  Smale Riverfront Park
  •  Mt. Echo

This is a weekend challenge, so you have Saturday and Sunday to share stories about your experience. #TheGrandCity

Day 17: Digital Detox Day

Today, we’re going to engage in a Digital Detox. We often miss opportunities to connect with one another because we’re staring at our phones or sucked into our Facebook feed. For the rest of the day, keep your phone in your pocket, log out of social media, and become aware of all the human media around you.

For some, this will be easy; for others, it will require chopping off your hands. We know you can do it though, and it will probably be a nice break for you.

No need to share anything today on social media. Just focus on the people in front of you. Enjoy the break!

Day 16: #TBT: Reconnect

#TBT #ThrowbackThursday

It’s time to get our ducks in a row. Let’s revisit some relationships we may have overlooked.

Have you missed a text or call in the last few weeks? Take a minute to respond. If that feels too simple, reach out to an old friend who you haven’t talked to in a year. Life gets busy. Take a moment to reconnect with a simple call or text.

Go ahead and dial. I don’t know about you, but we have a really good feeling about this one.

As always, we’d love for you to share your stories with us. Email them to us at or post them on our Facebook page at:

Day 15: Tag Your Neighbor

Ok, Experimenters: it’s time to bring the challenge home.

Do you have a new neighbor on the street or in your building? Or maybe just a neighbor you haven’t talked to before? Write them a short note with your name and email address, and post it to their front door. Bonus points for leaving a bag of cookies.

Feeling ambitious? Tag your whole block!

Day 14: Share Treats with Others

Remember your birthday in grade school? When you got to bring in cupcakes and ice cream for the rest of the class? It’s time to relive that all over again!

Bring a bag of candy or chocolates to work/school/church/mom’s group today, and pass them out to those around you. Use this as an opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone you haven’t spent much time with.

Come on…you’ve been good so far. You deserve a sweet reward.

Day 13: High Five a Stranger

Ditch that case of the Mondays by playing a game with us! Here’s how it works:

1 point – for every stranger you make smile

2 points – for every stranger you high five

4 points – for every stranger you make laugh

Keep a tally of your score, and post it on our Facebook wall. The person with the highest score will be crowned the champion! 

Think you’ve got what it takes? Ready? Set. Go!

Days 11-12: Time with Someone Different

Good morning to you, too!

Before you scroll down to the challenge, take a minute to pat yourself on the back for stepping outside your comfort zone and living life differently this month. You are doing an incredible job. People are noticing.

One thing to notice on the calendar is that today is National Coming Out Day, when people publicly celebrate their individuality.

Today, challenge yourself to commit an hour of your weekend to spending time with someone who might be a little different from you. They might have a tattoo or 19 cats, but you probably have more in common than you realize.

This is a weekend challenge, so you have Saturday and Sunday to share stories about your experience. #TheGrandCity

Day 10: Take a Staycation

You’ve worked hard this week! Trust us: you deserve a stay-cation! This weekend, put away the “to-do” list, and explore the city like a tourist.

Grab a friend or head out on your own, and strike up a conversation with someone new. Make a plan to visit some of Cincinnati’s timeless gems along your tour.

Not sure where to start? Any of these four icons are great places to begin your tour:

  •  Union Terminal
  •  Krohn Conservatory
  •  Spring Grove Cemetery
  •  Fountain Square

Tip: Museum Center offers free weekend tours of Union Terminal, impressive exhibits throughout the historic train station and even a “Free Friday” on Oct. 24th. Check it out and share your stay-cation with everyone by tagging your Instagram photos along the way. #TheGrandCity

Day 9: Appreciation Day

Good morning, Experimenters! Today, we’re going to get a little deep on you. Channel your inner Oprah.

Sukkot, a harvest holiday in the Jewish faith, started last night. The holiday is all about shedding material “shackles” and focusing on the important things in life, so we thought we’d try a challenge with this in mind.

Today, let’s refocus our priorities. Put aside your material preoccupations and distractions, and tell someone how much you appreciate them. Compliment them or tell them how helpful they’ve been recently. Spend some quality time with someone important to you.  

Bonus Points:  Consider checking out the free exhibit “Sukkah Art: What is a hero?” at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center.  Details at

Day 8: An Invitation

It’s only Wednesday, but if you’re like us, you are already planning for the weekend. It’s ok: we won’t tell your boss.

As you plan your next social gathering, take the time to invite someone new to join. It will put a different spin on your usual plans and make for a fun evening.

Have some good ideas for things to do? Share them with everyone else on our Facebook page. Maybe you’ll run into other Experimenters there!

Bonus: If you or someone you know is new to Cincinnati, check out the HYPE Ambassadors program. It’s like having a personal “insider” to all things Cincinnati. Or, if you’re a Cincinnati native and would like to take a newbie under your wing, you can sign up to be an ambassador. More info here:

Day 7: Coffee with Someone New

Okay, okay: we know what you are thinking: “These challenges have been pretty easy so far.”

Well, today we’re turning up the heat. Instead of just introducing yourself, invite someone in your office, class or neighborhood to coffee or drinks today.

Sure, this isn’t the hardest challenge in the world, but it is going to take at least 30 minutes of your time. Let’s see what you’ve got!


Day 6: Elevator Talk

Some say our city is on the rise. Well, today you are, too!

We challenge you to make one of America’s most awkward situations a little more inviting by meeting someone on the office elevator today. 

Wait, wait! You don’t work in an office with an elevator? You aren’t off the hook. Hold the door for someone as you enter a building today.

Good luck today! Now get out there!

Days 4-5: Volunteer Together

The Grand City Experiment is all about taking time to give back to others through making them feel welcome. Today, ask someone about their favorite way to give back. If possible, make a date to volunteer together.

Let’s see what happens when non-profits get an influx of volunteers this month.

This is a weekend challenge, so you have Saturday and Sunday to share stories about your experience. #TheGrandCity

Day 3: Selfie with a Stranger

Brush your teeth an extra 30 seconds this morning. It’s time to show ‘em off with a SELFIE!

When you step outside the door this morning, you are the casting director for this one-day photo shoot. Take a photo with someone you just met. This can be a coworker, neighbor or someone at the crosswalk. Be sure to share your photographic work of art with us by tagging #TheGrandCity.

Feeling extra photogenic? Bonus points for multiple photos! Get snapping!

Day 2: Compliment a Stranger

You’re back! We’re glad we didn’t run you off on day one. How’d yesterday go? Are you warmed up and ready for more?

Today, instead of focusing on being a good listener, let’s use our words to meet new people. Find a stranger and give them a compliment. Maybe it’s their smile or the way they do their hair. They won’t see it coming, and it’s a great opportunity to change someone’s day.

Idea: Consider applying this challenge while participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Yeatman’s Cove this Sunday, October 5.

Day 1: Listen to Someone’s Story

WELCOME! We are pumped you are spending the next 31 days participating in an experiment that will change the trajectory of Cincinnati by making others feel welcome. But enough of the sappy stuff: let’s get started!

The Grand City Experiment is going to rely on you getting to know others, sharing experiences with them and building community together. Notice we used the words “others,” “them” and “community,” not “I,” “me” or “my.” And that brings us to our first challenge:

Throughout your day, take the time to ask someone about THEIR story. Instead of talking about yourself, be a good listener. This sounds easy, but it’s a great warm-up for the rest of the month. Be sure to share your experiences! #TheGrandCity

Bonus Invitation: If you want to kick off the month with a great event to meet others who also want to make Cincinnati more welcoming, check out the Pep Cincy event tomorrow night: We’d love to see you there!