With 10 national championships to their name and another 76 conference titles to boot, the Cincinnati Bearcats boast more than century of athletic tradition. Though the student athletes thrive in many different sports, the basketball program?which won back-to-back NCAA Championships in 1961 and 1962?is the school's crown jewel. Before embarking on a professional career that earned him a spot among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, The Big O cut his hard-court skills for the Bearcats, averaging a staggering 33.8 points per game in his three years at UC. In more recent years, the Bearcats football team has enjoyed its own run as a true contender, earning bowl berths in 2009, 2011, and 2012. In both 2011 and 2012, the squad pounced on their postseason opponents, taking home glittering trophies to use as tackling dummies in training camp.
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.
Initially designed as a temporary tour and fundraiser for student travel, American Legacy Tours began humbly as the Newport Gangster Tour in 2008. When met with overwhelming success, the friends who had embarked on what they thought was a temporary project decided to take root and expand, creating American Legacy Tours in 2010.
Their first order of business as an official company was to introduce the Queen City Underground Tour, an exploration of the city's underground tunnels and history as a rabbit village. Today, a cadre of educated guides leads 10 different area walking tours, including seasonal Spirit of Christmas Tours and Newport is Haunted Tours held around Halloween.
The 1970s were a transformative time for the Cincinnati Reds. Over that decade, the Reds cast off the lingering shadows of controversy—the team's first NL Pennant and World Series title were overshadowed by the notorious "Black Sox" scandal—to become a dominant force in Major League Baseball. The Reds appeared in four Fall Classics during that stretch and won back-to-back titles in 1975 and 1976—the latter of which forever etched "The Big Red Machine" into baseball lore. Today, the Reds continue to build on their rich history at Great American Ball Park. There, fans can gaze the outfield walls and soak in views of the Ohio River and the hills of Northern Kentucky where Mr. Redlegs buys all of his mustache wax.
When horticulturalist Brian F. Jorg isn't cultivating native plants at The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, he treks up to 20,000 miles a year on globe-trotting photographic excursions. As he leads guests through the Great Smoky Mountains or the Peruvian Amazon, he captures nature's grandeur with his digital camera, sharing his ever-increasing portfolio with the world through field guides, educational displays, and mass text messages addressed to “world.” Brian's passion for nature overflows not only into his photography, but into community activities. He can often be seen sharing his horticultural wisdom at area flower shows, teaching classes to the general public, or snapping dynamic images at sporting events.
The Drake Planetarium & Science Center captivates young minds with educational shows as well as after-school programs that teach creative problem solving and teamwork. Planetarium shows cover a wide range of topics and teach audiences to recognize seasonally changing constellations, planets, and lunar foliage. Starry Nights at the Cincinnati Astronomical Society invite stargazers to peep into the universe through the facility's powerful telescopes or highly magnified monocles, and laser light shows also grace the planetarium dome with 2D, 3D, and abstract animations choreographed to classic rock and holiday-theme recordings.