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.
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.
Pearl, Joanna, Robert. These are some of the folks you might meet at the nightclub and honky-tonk known as Bobby Mackey's. There's just one thing: they're dead. These three are just some of the ghosts that fans say occupy the venue, a former slaughterhouse?and current gateway to hell, according to urban legends?whose eventful history includes episodes of murder, suicide, and betrayal. Many clubs and Las Vegas-style casinos have called the site home since the early 19th century, but it's Bobby Mackey's name that has popularized the facility's eerie nature with viewers of Syfy, Travel Channel, and National Geographic Channel. Of course, the honky-tonk has plenty of attractions for fans of the un-undead. An esteemed country singer, Bobby often performs with his band on Fridays and Saturdays, and other musicians regularly stop at the stage, too.
Between the open mic nights, art shows, and caffeine-fueled student study sessions, you might say there's a bit of a buzz at Blend Coffee. But that's nothing compared to what goes on in the cafe's kitchen. There, chefs spend hours perfecting dishes that are made entirely from scratch and with local ingredients. Morning see the staff whipping up breakfast popovers, maple wraps, and muffins while lunch brings their focus to the crafting of paninis, barbecue pork tacos, and bacon-encrusted fried zucchini sandwiches. A few specialty items even take all day, such as the raspberry chipotle wings, which staff brine, smoke, and sauce in-house. Of course, between all this, the baristas never stop brewing up premium cups of coffee, which helps ensure that the shop's chefs, patrons, and espresso machines stay productive.
Plenty people are afraid of the dark, but the macabre minds behind Scream Acres CT push this fear one step further. Inside the aptly named Blackout––one of four frightful themes that make up one colossal haunt––intrepid visitors must navigate their way through a pitch black haunted house as forces unseen conspire to hinder their progress. But not all the frights at the 20,000-square-foot Scream Acres lurk in the shadows. Victims of a deranged doctor terrorize those who enter the Castle Hill Funeral Home, while clowns and other ghouls pop out at unsuspecting guests inside the 3D funhouse. If it's all too much to bear, seek refuge in one of Scream Acres' real wood coffins—but only if you're willing to be buried alive.
Tucked away near the banks of the Ohio River stands the other Sin City. Or at least it used to be, during the days when bootlegging formed a powerful underground economy. When a group of teachers and history buffs needed money for school service projects in Central America, they decided to raise funds by starting tours that explored this seamy history, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. A few years and many local accolades later, knowledgeable guides continue expounding upon the town’s rich history of mobsters, gamblers, and ladies of the night.
Tours stroll down Newport blocks littered with buildings once occupied by speakeasies, brothels, and the site of Al Capone’s failed early restaurant career, Al Calzone. Along the way, guides tie the rich past to the rise of the modern-day gaming industry and Newport’s connections to famous crime figures.