At White Horse Equestrian, riders earn their spurs during lessons, classes, and outings run by the ranch’s corral of coaches. Students learn horsemanship and riding techniques according to their existing skillset, whether acquiring advanced communication skills or fundamentals, such as where in the saddle to store a pony's sunglasses on cloudy days. Casual visitors can board rented steeds for trail rides, attend themed summer camps, or use the idyllic grounds to host a birthday party featuring games, crafts, and instructional trots.
Ribbon the carriage horse tows her charges with surprisingly good cheer for somebody wearing metal shoes. Ribbon, along with Otis, a gentle belgian, work for Ladybug Ranch LLC's owner Diana von Loewe whose goal is to share a love of horses with Ohioans young and old. She does this by offering carriage rides that can be used to celebrate a variety of occasions from birthdays and weddings to the anniversary of the first Mister Ed broadcast.
For more than 35 years, skaters of all ages and experience levels have strapped on wheels and traversed Chagrin Valley Roller Rink. Private and group skating lessons prevent mobile 10-person pileups, and nights designated for teens, tots, or families feature music tailored to each audience. When the school bell rings, the center opens its doors to after-school skaters, blasting song requests entered on the rink's online song-request module. Skating experts at the pro shop sell and rent in-line and roller-skating equipment, and match feet with compatible wheels. A snack bar refuels participants and furnishes eats for private parties, and the arcade's pinball machines and vintage games slurp up quarters and exercise thumbs.
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.
Lasers flash across a 4,000-square-foot arena. Bumper boats splash against each other in a 135,000-gallon lake. An elastic EuroBungy harness flings bouncers skyward for death-defying flips. These are just a few of the attractions and activities at Fun 'n' Stuff, where families can also fill their days by racing go-karts, climbing a rock wall, or gliding around a rink on rented roller skates. Guests who want to breathe in fresh air can putt through two 18-hole mini golf courses, whack balls in five hardball and four softball cages, and slide down a 24-foot inflatable slide. The littlest visitors play in a ball pit, whereas the Extreme Looping Bikes send older ones soaring through the air, just like the majestic eagle they rode to their middle-school graduation.
After 25 years as a loyal employee at North Woods Lanes, Mike Trachsel joined forces with his wife, Sandy, to buy the lanes he’d come to love. Together, they work hard to ensure that the place maintains the timeless charm it has cultivated over its 50-year-plus history. The years have not been without modern upgrades, however; these include automatic scoring, flat-screen TVs, and cosmic bowling. The alley also features a snack bar and a pro shop where players can purchase a new ball or a bowling bag.