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.
Beneath glimmering disco balls and colorful graffiti murals, roller skaters of all ages and experience levels careen across the hardwood floors of Fun Factory Roller Skating's indoor rink. The kid-friendly melodies of Radio Disney serenade pint-size skaters each Saturday morning, and top pop ballads resound across the rink on Saturday and Sunday nights. Gearing up patrons for wheeled motion, the onsite shop equips patrons with skates for rent or purchase, though customers are responsible for feeding and watering them.
Beyond the rink, the facility's sizeable arcade engages thumbs, and a bounce house ricochets lively lads and lasses off colorful, cushioned walls. After an action-packed day of exertion, guests can refuel at the concession stand with pizza and snacks. The center opens its facilities for private parties, field trips, and fundraisers while frequently inviting costumed characters to interact with kids and talk Wall Street with adults.
Three community-centric Cincinnati theaters ? all locally owned and managed, serving local and national beer, premium wines, and a mix of the best indie and commercial films. These efforts led to the Esquire receiving recognition from USA Today and CityBeat, which named it Cincinnati's "Best Movie Theatre" for the past seven years. At the Esquire, guests stop by for a diverse lineup of independent features, occasional live musical performances, and special events, including Q & A sessions. During films, guests top off their acclaimed popcorn with real butter.
The Mariemont Theatre is historic in its own right, dating back more than 75 years, also showing today's indie gems. The Kenwood Theatre, on the other hand, changes up the movie-going experience by serving sushi during mainstream flicks. Movie-goers can also dine on Frieda's Desserts and Graeter's Ice Cream as they kick back in the digital state-of-the-art contemporary theater.
Whether riding slowly through the splashes of shade in the forest, or flying across a field in preparation for competition, being on horseback lets you forget everything else. The trainers at Muddy Water Equestrian Park give that soothing sense of leaving everything else behind to riders of all levels, whether they're experienced arena equestrians or kids meeting a horse for the first time. That takes place in single lessons, trail rides, or extended programs and camps.
The bowling alleys at Crossgate Lanes, Stone Lanes, and Eastgate Lanes invite gamers to send balls down gleaming runways in expansive, family-friendly facilities. Those weary of drawing straws to count the pins after each ball can take comfort in automatic scoring at all three locations. Each alley also hosts regular glow bowling, with lighting more luminescent than the water-wheel-powered disco balls of the 1970s. Patrons of Stone Lanes can also relax after their games in an onsite lounge, which is outfitted with three televisions.
When skaters of all ages aren't perfecting figure eights on its NHL-size rink during public-skating hours, Northland Ice Center plays host to the Cincinnati Cyclones' practice squad, uniting amateurs and pros on its flat, frozen playground. Open year-round since 1973, the frosty arena also sets the stage for skating and hockey lessons, during which instructors impart their skills according to a curriculum formulated by U.S. Figure Skating. Athletes slap pucks and hot potatoes to teammates in youth and adult hockey leagues, and friends and families feast on pizza and cake in private party rooms before taking to the ice.
With a snack bar refueling legs and a pro shop sharpening blades to razor edges next to the ice, outings can stretch on into the evening or until a triple axle gone awry slices the zamboni's power cord.