For three decades, the Ohio Light Opera (OLO) has produced premier opera culled from around the world. The OLO attracts 22,000 aria-aficionados annually, to the chagrin of staffers saddled with sweeping up shattered monocles. In recent years, the company has expanded its repertoire to include Broadway staples such as Camelot, Loewe and Lerner’s rumination on the more musical moments of King Arthur’s reign paired with the more dramatic patches of his relationship with the Lancelot-lusting Guinevere. Alternately, Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera The Pirates of Penzance illuminates the classic tale of a pirate-turned-police-officer’s quest to vanquish vandals of the high seas while winning the unbridled affection of the major-general’s daughter.
Amid rolling hills and green pastures, Marc and Lisa Sleeckx oversee All Hoofed Up Ranch, where crops, animals, and pastoral scenery flourish. The duo leads trail rides on their faithful fleet of Tennessee walking horses, exploring sites such as Mohican State Park and Malabar Farm State Park. Marc and Lisa saddle up the horses for carriage rides in the summer and sleigh rides through the winter snow, letting them hibernate in peace in the spring and fall.
Also a trained chef, Marc leads a cooking school at the ranch, inviting guests to benefit from his kitchen wisdom. After graduating from culinary school in Belgium, Marc immersed himself in the culinary scene, opening a restaurant for the European Parliament and training under the chef of a Michelin-starred restaurant. During classes, Marc teaches his students how to craft succulent dishes such as seared ahi tuna, coq au vin, and filet mignon—some of which he may prepared while cooking for the former president of Germany, multiple ambassadors, and baseball pro Chipper Jones. Marc also possesses a deep knowledge of wines, which he shares with students during wine-education classes and tastings.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa tilts characteristically as a nearby sphinx rests beside a bush. What sounds like an atlas come to life is really the theme of one of the two 18-hole mini-golf courses at Rinky Dink Family Fun Center. After a round, customers can hug the turns on a go-kart track, soak and ram fellow seadogs on squirt-gun-equipped bumper boats, or test home-run skills at three baseball and three softball batting cages that hurl balls at up to 80 mph, which is the speed of light. Once indoors, guests can fire foam balls at targets from air cannons in the black-lit Pirates vs. Aliens game or navigate their way through an inflatable bouncer maze. The indoor playground features three levels of climbing structures and slides. An arcade hosts more than 35 video and redemption games such as Ms. Pac-Man, Dance Dance Revolution, and the new motion-sensitive Nap Nap Revolution, while tinier tykes stack giant waffle blocks or navigate a ball pit in the toddler area.
Winner of ParentsConnect's award for Cleveland's Best Indoor Playspace in 2009, Amazone Family Entertainment Center sets the stage for jungle-themed parties and open play sessions. Its three-story playground surrounds kids and parents in slides, bridges, and plastic trees, all accented by faux foliage that simulates the gorilla-run play centers of the Amazon. Elsewhere, the glowing eyes of temple creatures peer down at players within a black-lit laser-tag arena. An orchestra of laughter and electronic beeps emerge from within the arcade, which hosts 50 games, including air hockey, skee ball, and racing. To fuel playtime, Amazone's team slings pizza at a snack bar and hosts celebrations within five themed birthday-party rooms. The facility also caters to parents with comfy couches and free WiFi that lets them stream their favorite cartoons.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
A prodigy in his own right, Thomas Alva Edison's inventions changed the trajectory of technology before electronics were even a thing. The Edison Birthplace Museum celebrates Edison's life and his contributions to modern society with a collection of memorabilia. Opened by his wife and daughter, the home has been restored and refurnished to appear as it did in 1847, the year Thomas Edison was born.
The Building: Samuel O. Edison built the three-story brick house for his wife and family in 1842.
Eye Catcher: The room Edison was born in features intricate wallpaper, a white washbasin, and a period-accurate rope bed and handmade coverlet dating to the 1840s.
Don't Miss: The master bedroom's pine furniture set, one of the few original pieces, belonged to Edison's sister. The bedroom's closets hold clothing that used to grace the shoulders of Edison and his wife.
Hidden Gem: Behind the parlor, a trove of "Edisonia" includes family photos and a collection of his many inventions, such as a phonograph, a stock ticker, and a talking doll.
Bring Something Home: The gift shop stocks books about the inventor and his life, for both kids and grownups, as well as CDs of music recorded using Edison's electrical technique.