In 1973, a fire decimated many of the lanes at Eastgate Pro-Bowl, erasing nearly 30 years of history at an alley that had hosted such professional bowlers as the great Earl Anthony. But just as pins grow back after every cataclysmic strike, Pro-Bowl's owners managed to convert the disaster into opportunity, renovating and reopening the facility as Eastgate Lanes. Today, the alley hosts open-bowling hours and leagues throughout the week, rounding out its automatic scoring with a game room and banquet hall. Each weekend, the staff dims the lights for Rock-N-Bowl sessions and karaoke parties, and at the full bar, six flat-panel HD television screens mask players' discussions as they share strategies for sneaking bites of opponents' nachos between frames.
Commissioned by local industrialist John Henry Hower and designed by renowned Akron architect Jacob Snyder, the Hower House fills its 28 rooms with mementos from a storied past. The National Historic Landmark?built in 1871?is well preserved, from the 2.5-acre lawn to the mansard roof. Eleven months out of the year, the Victorian mansion hosts tours and programs, wherein visitors can examine treasures from the Howers' world travels.
Dustin Oliver has served as the choir and drama director at Akron North High School and the fine-arts director at Celebration Church, so he knows a thing or two about putting on a performance. Add to that nearly 15 years practicing the guitar, nearly 20 years honing his piano and voice skills, and at least a few minutes humming the theme to M.A.S.H., and it becomes obvious that this artist is a multi-talented whiz. An accomplished musician and composer with a Bachelor’s degree in music from Southeastern University, Dustin is earning his Master’s in theatre from the University of Akron, making him a veritable double threat and a valuable resource for aspiring musicians and actors. When not adding to his own skill set, he leads private and group music lessons in guitar, piano, bass, and voice for students ages 5 and older—as well as private and group acting lessions—following well-established curricula.
In 1880, the final fasteners and sleepers on the Valley Railway were tightened into place. It wouldn’t be long before a billowing cloud of steam announced the arrival of the first train running through the Cuyahoga Valley, a territory that had served as a passageway for foot traffic for thousands of years. Over the next century, the railway contributed to the growth of commerce between Akron and Cleveland, changing ownership multiple times, and transforming from a freight train, into a passenger train, back to a freight train, and finally into a UFO.
Now celebrating its 41st year of passenger-rail service, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad transports sightseers over the historic rails through 33,000 acres of land owned by the National Park Service. With a year-round roster of trips, including wine- and beer-tasting excursions, passengers can set forth on morning, afternoon, and evening journeys that sweep past meadowlands, pinery, and rivers and give glimpses of native wildlife, such as fox, deer, bobcat mascots, and owls.
People who have played golf now that it's a notoriously challenging game, but for many living with disabilities, even getting to the first tee is a challenge and accomplishment. Edwin Shaw Challenge Golf Course was built in 1999 as part of the Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute to provide golf programs for people with disabilities, so it's designed with ease-of-access in mind. Features such as wheelchair-accessible paths and handrails on the tees make it accessible for everyone, including those recovering from strokes, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and amputations. While there are only three holes, each has three sets of tees so a full nine-hole round can be played. The facility is designed both disabled and able-bodied golfers of all ages with a 12-acre driving range, a practice green, and indoor hitting range.
Throughout the 1,500-square-foot indoor playground of Inflatable Insanity, kids surmount air-filled fortresses, only to slide down their slopes or jump on their bouncy interiors. Children under 39 inches retreat to the Tot Lot, and supervisory adults receive free admission to keep an eye on their tykes and make sure they share with their imaginary friends. Party rooms hold groups of up to 20, and hosts can parse out party favors such as self-stuffed teddy bears for an extra fee.