Scallywag Tag's arena dazzles eyes with a black-lit, neon-tinged pirate ship and 18th-century Caribbean village, which provides a labyrinth of fluorescent walls for marauding swashbucklers. After being split into two competing crews, participants receive a vest, a phaser, and instructions to tally as many points as possible by tagging opponents, swarming the enemy's home base, or holding a referee hostage until he or she doctors the score. The score itself is broadcast on wide-screen LCD scoreboards, but those who are too busy taking out the adversary to look at them can take heart knowing that at the end of the game, the referees announce the winning team.
Outside the fast-paced laser-tag arena, Scallywag Tag encourages visitors to recharge with a drink or a slice of pizza from the snack bar. The arcade sections also distract patrons by featuring perennial classics such as air hockey as well as new favorites, including Time Crisis 3 and Find That W2 Form.
The West-side location additionally lures younger passersby with a pirate-themed jump house and a 35-foot-long slide in the family entertainment center. The West-side’s black-light miniature golf tests hand-eye coordination skills, leading guests through a gauntlet of 18 holes that similarly embrace the pirate theme.
Armed with an army of innovative and certified shutterbugs, Olan Mills Portrait Studio provides families with high-quality portraits, continuing a mission that was established more than 75 years ago by founder Olan Mills Sr. Skilled in the art of capturing infants, children, families, and bunny-ears-giving ghost orbs on film, Olan Mills’s experienced smile snappers will take a series of poses amid a variety of backgrounds and lighting options. The studio is equipped with a selection of props—including numbers for birthdays, toys, and boxes—and patrons may bring their own photo-enlivening items from home. The resulting photos find their way to prints in natural color, black and white, or sepia tones; they can also be immortalized in the studio's signature Old Masters style, a canvas brushed with highlights to recreate look of an oil painting. Like the gentlemanly mariners of ages past with their full schedule of sea-battles, the photographers welcome appointments, but do not require them.
Though it celebrates athleticism of all stripes, Sports of All Sorts Batting Cages specializes in training amateurs in America's pastime. Along with batting cages equipped for baseball and slow- or fast-pitch softball, the facility improves each player's game with a hitting and pitching tunnel and pitching mounds with L-screens. Seasoned players and area college coaches demonstrate batting skills at off-season baseball camps, which can be customized for groups of six or more.
The facility's multipurpose court hosts a range of activities such as basketball scrimmages, cheerleading practice, and royal curling tournaments while the king's ice rink gets remodeled. After practice, the arcade hosts rounds of air hockey, billiards, or video games, and Sports of All Sorts' bounce house and three-tiered indoor soft playground hosts the hopping of younger visitors.
Donning their whitest T-shirts, The Cincinnati Color Palooza participants gather for a 3-mile fun run through downtown Cincinnati, during which they’ll be doused in a rainbow of nontoxic powdered hues cast into the air by enthusiastic volunteers. At the end of the run, competitors are granted their own colored powders to lob at friends, race organizers, and black-and-white television sets sitting in their attics. Runners are encouraged to keep the celebration going at the nearby Cincinnati Pride festival in Sawyer Point Park, where there will be beer, live music, and family activities. Those looking to run for a good cause can create a fundraising page for Color Palooza’s charity partner, Susan G. Komen Greater Cincinnati Association for the Cure, which helps in the fight against breast cancer. The The Cincinnati Color Palooza is free for children 7 and younger.
Sometimes lessons in the classroom don’t fully sink in. That’s where the certified instructors of Nia Educational Services come in. Through both private and small-group tutoring sessions, they adopt an approach that combines research, regular evaluation meetings with school teachers, and instructional strategies that help students overcome difficulties in grammar, algebra, or reading. In addition to offering literacy consulting to local schools, the instructors also aid their pupils in finally catching the neighborhood dog that ate their homework.
Whether a child wants burgers and crunchy onion rings packaged in true fast-food-style boxes; a Mario Bros.–themed spread with white-dotted green balloons and a painted backdrop of brick walls, pipes, and live-giving mushrooms; or a feminine table setting of pink and white flowers with linens to match beneath a flowery chandelier, Special Events by Sowonie can bring it to life. The party planner custom designs any kind of fairytale scene the host desires.