Nestled along the historic Old National Road, J&J Winery immerses visitors in the charming ambiance of a bucolic countryside estate, plying them with feasts of tasty Italian fare and mouth-watering homemade wines. Inside or on the deck, guests sample the winery's own crisp chardonnays or fruity cabernets over cheese plates, pulled-pork sandwiches, and portobello-and-gouda pizzas plucked from under the nose of a fire-breathing brick oven. Big Dawg Brew Haus, located on J&J's property, joins the winery in sharing the fruits of its labor, which include such brews as Saxy Blonde pale ale and Grandma's imperial oatmeal stout. In addition to regaling guests with tasty pours of beer and vino and delectable Italian feasts, J&J Winery hosts weddings and serenades crowds with live blues, folk, jazz, and whale sounds.
Families and friends glide down Valley’s Edge’s snowy hills atop provided tubes during wind-whipped adventures. During each two-hour tubing outing, groups of two or four take as many tube runs as they like, getting back to the top of the hill via the snow lift or a single superhuman leap. Families of two adults and two children, or one adult and three children, can use the family pass for two hours of tubing fun. Although only one person is allowed per tube, guests can link up to three tubes together so parents or friends caught in chinese finger traps can cling to each other during the descent. Valley’s Edge is open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, enabling outdoor fun to last long after the sun closes its eye for the evening.
For three generations, the Morgan family has equipped adventurers with the accouterments they need to conquer the great outdoors. The outfitters supply canoes, kayaks, and rafts for excursions at both their Fort Ancient location on the Little Miami River and Brookville location on the Whitewater River. Adventurers choose from a range of downstream floats, with river jaunts stretching from 3 miles up to 18 miles. The company also operates campgrounds with cabins and tent space on the banks of both rivers, allowing guests to stop overnight to rest their muscles or practice non-native birdcalls while everyone else sleeps.
Since purchasing the 73-acre Piney Acres Farm in 1999, Rex Zenor and his family have put in countless hours of hard work to make it a holiday destination for families, including planting more than 50 acres of Christmas trees. Every November and December, a wagon ride whisks guests to a field full of Scotch and white pines, Frasier and Douglas firs, and Colorado blue spruces, some standing up to 16-feet tall without heels. While parents select the right tree, a visiting Santa Claus listens to youngsters' gift requests and a gift shop stocked with seasonal gifts and treats inspires return trips to Old Saint Nick as kids amend their wish lists.
Families don't have to wait for the first snowfall to plan a trip to the farm, however. September and October usher in autumn with a potpourri of family-friendly activities, including a gem-mining sluice, a pumpkin patch, and a kids area complete with a two-acre mini corn maze. Rex even designed, laid out, and cut the farm's grown-up eight-acre maze himself, and personally conjured each of the spirits that haunt it after dusk.
Players have to find peace and serenity while they're on a golf course. The gentle babbling of the Blue River as it cuts through the Bear Chase Golf Club's par 72 Championship course helps golfers uncloud their minds when setting up for booming drives and precise approaches. But Bear Chase Golf Club is more than a place to play a round of golf. A 1,600-square-foot banquet room with attached outdoor patio overlooks the club's 127 acres of swaying trees from alongside the course's 18th hole, where hosts can invite guests to enjoy the fresh air and try to catch passing tee shots during wedding receptions or other celebrations. An onsite pro shop also helps players prepare for future games by pairing them with gear and apparel from trusted brands.
Course at a Glance: