Founded in 1963 at a local YMCA, the Cincinnati Ballet grew into a major regional company by adhering to its mission to express the human experience through dance. Today, it continues upholding that vision by housing resident artists who entertain audiences with dance performances of both classic and original work. Beyond supporting local audiences and their right to clap, the Cincinnati Ballet also seeks to nurture artists through the Otto M. Budig Academy. There, a professional faculty trains aspiring performers at all skill levels. These training opportunities are supplemented by outreach programs such as CincyDance!, which provides free training and dance attire to children.
The three-night Big Game package catapults fans into a football frenzy with pregame events, overnight sleeping quarters, and game-day views of every crucial play, crushing hit, and halftime high note. Guests can tackle pregame jitters and pillows at the Clarion Hotel or Comfort Inn, both of which boast access to indoor pools, hot breakfasts, high-speed Internet, and long, carpeted hallways fit for agility-based combine training. Also before kickoff, an immersive fan event whets gridiron appetites with autograph sessions, kids' football clinics, interactive displays, and one of the largest known football memorabilia shows on earth.
A short walk from Lucas Oil Stadium, Conseco Fieldhouse, the Indianapolis Convention Center, and several world-class restaurants, the Hampton Inn Downtown is a welcoming home base for both businessy and pleasurable excursions. The Hampton Inn’s classily comfy guest rooms have 32-inch LCD televisions, complimentary high-speed WiFi, and plush new beds with feather and foam pillows. In the morning, tickle your taste buds with the free continental breakfast, a spread of more than 45 delectable delights. And, if hotel guests need to relieve the stress of a rough flight or to clear their minds before the tic-tac-toe national championships, they can head to the 24-hour fitness facility and work out on the elliptical machines and stationary bikes.
A boer goat stares at you. A donkey stares at the goat. And a baby tennessee walking horse reads its first Dr. Seuss book. No matter where you point your eyes, you’ll be treated to sights of charming animals at Jane’s Saddlebag’s petting zoo. It’s one of many delightful fixtures at the rural getaway—a hands-on historical education experience at a restored saddlebag home, which sprawls across more than 35 acres near Big Bone Lick State Park. A historic smokehouse adjacent to the home offers insight to the days before refrigeration, when Kentucky farmers would preserve their cured meat by hanging it above a smoldering fire. And behind the saddlebag home lies a replica of a 1700s flatboat, a low-cost form of transportation used by settlers to take one-way trips down the Ohio River and achieve ankle tans.
From April to October, these rustic outposts bathe in the sound waves of live music, and the cook-in-residence slakes the hunger built up from exploring both the refreshing nature of the grounds and the historical splendor it offers. When it’s in season, the cook uses freshly grown vegetables and puts flames to a new york strip steak until it’s almost as tender as the mashed potatoes with which it’s served. There’s even a wine and gift shop, where regional wines—some from Kentucky—vie with antiques and gift baskets for the attention of gift givers.
The spooky apparitions lurking inside Rt. 22 Nightmare Haunted Hayride and House send shivers up the spines of riders of all ages. Every Friday and Saturday from October 7 to October 29, emerging specters invite more goose bumps than Transylvania's ice-skating scene along little-seen hayride trails around Route 22. After exiting the fright-wagon, guests tiptoe through a haunted house before a fire pit chases away the evening's chills with beams of concentrated coziness.
The Benton Family Farm has come a long way from its 1941 founding, when its only assets were two mules. Four generations of Bentons have flourished along with the farm, which, at its height, sustained more than 100 head apiece of cattle and sheep. Now the plot hosts students and families, the rumble of an austere John Deere tractor hearkening to the golden age of farming. Hay-filled wagons full of visitors trundle around the land year-round, dropping them off to learn how to shear a sheep, milk a cow, or belittle a pig. In the fall, the farm comes alive with brisk-weather activities, including pumpkin picking and tours through a circa-1901 haunted house.