No matter which sport you choose at Whirlyball Cleveland, you’ll get a side order of adrenaline free of charge. If you’re in the mood for action, laser tag pits teams of players against each other in a friendly war set in an arena complete with dark hiding places and a balcony that’s perfect for sniper shots. Or, if bumper cars are more you’re thing, try whirlyball. During this sport, players race across the floor, attempting to dodge other cars and pass a whiffle ball between them until they can score on a target suspended 10 feet in the air. For a more laid back pursuit, grab your friends and take in a bowling game on the center’s private lanes that have automatic scoring, bumpers, and cosmic bowling available.
In 1961, Peter Scimone and his wife Rosalie converted a humble patch of farmland into an epicenter for recreation, starting small with only 16 bowling lanes. Over the years, Roseland Lanes—which was named after Rosalie—was enhanced with a café and grill, pizza parlor, and pub all named for Pete. Today their daughter carries on the family tradition, warmly welcoming guests into a modern, 50-lane alley that features a game room, automatic scoring, 36-inch LCD TVs above every lane, and behemoth 47-inch screens scattered intermittently throughout the space. Roseland Lanes acts as home base for leagues and summer camps, and really flares to life during cosmic bowling on weekend and Wednesday evenings, when a DJ from Rock the House Entertainment steals the spotlight playing requested tunes through a 10,000-watt sound system.
When bowlers have exhausted themselves out on the lanes, they invade Papa Pete's Pizza for slices and wings or Pete's Cafe for burgers and ice cream. At Pete's Pub, liquor, beer, and wine quench thirsts and patrons compete for glory or the final seat on city council at the pool table, dartboards, or karaoke mike. Nearby, the Rose Room hosts up to 70 partygoers and the adjacent La Casa Bella Party Center sets the stage for fancy affairs.
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.
At each of its Cleveland-area locations, Freeway Lanes allows bowlers to hone gutter-hugging curves. In addition to traditional, tenpin lanes, the alleys host indoor bocce ball courts and pool tables for players tired of breaking cues on 16-pound balls. Their expansive facilities also feature modern bowling amenities along with HD television screens and full-service restaurants. League opportunities are available for children, adults, and seniors and live bands frequent the alleys, filling the air with original melodies and providing just enough bass to knock down wobbling pins.