The Beach Boys pick up sterling vibrations and mass excitations as Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks share the stage for the first time in more than two decades on their highly anticipated 50th-anniversary tour. One of the most celebrated and influential bands in pop-music history, The Beach Boys entrance fans and baffle meteorologists as their chipper instrumentation and multilayered vocal harmonies evoke endless summers. To commemorate an upcoming album and the half century since their debut LP, Surfin’ Safari, changed the musical climate, the SoCal brotherhood hops in their woody to treat the nation's ears to a timeless and diverse catalog of hits. Expect to hear the band’s signature odes to surfing ("Surfin' U.S.A.”), girls ("California Girls"), and girls who surf ("Surfer Girl"), along with more introspective tracks from the baroque-pop masterpieces Pet Sounds and last year's long-awaited Smile. Though The Boys will brandish their own instruments, their wall of euphony will be further bolstered by actor, multi-instrumentalist, and adoptive band uncle John Stamos, as well as members of Brian Wilson's crack backing group, The Wondermints.
A railroad-themed eatery in a refurbished train depot where canoes and stagecoaches hang from the ceiling, The Pufferbelly Ltd. serves hearty American fare such as smoked St. Louis–style ribs and reubens made of corned beef or sautéed grouper. For Sunday brunch, cooks build a sprawling buffet from housemade muffins, eggs benedict, and crispy, made-to-order waffles. As festive as a piñata stuffed with birthday cakes, friendly staffers throw seasonal parties galore, from breezy autumn clam bakes to vibrant Mardi Gras fetes.
The Kent Stage, which is housed in a building constructed in 1927 for the Flannigan and Steele Theater, is the only remaining vintage downtown theater in Portage County. The venue is operated by the Western Reserve Folk Arts Association, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to supporting traditional music and arts through education, concerts, festivals, outreach programs, and workshops. This staff of friendly music enthusiasts is committed to providing a place for music lovers to mingle, appreciate the auditory arts, and get funky.
Domenic's Pub is a classic sports bar featuring a menu of pub fare that's served until late (11 p.m. Sunday–Thursday, midnight on Fridays and Saturdays). Chow down on pizza, sandwiches, and wings capable of filling stomachs with that warm, fuzzy feeling normally only achieved by hunkering down in a Japanese kitten pit. The sliced prime-rib panini slathered with horseradish mayo and provolone comes au jus to allow for the delightful juice-to-bread exchange ($5). Specialty pizzas such as the Mediterranean (olive oil, shrimp, roasted red pepper, basil, and fresh mozzarella, $6) provide pre-sliced pabulum for bicker-free dining among the mixed company of friends, acquaintances, and old-timey industrial tycoons. Prove your mettle by downing a basket of hot wings, which can be lovingly chased by a pint of Labatt Blue, Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat, Guinness, or Miller Lite, all on draught.
Beach volleyball and bowling lanes seldom come in the same package—unless you happen to be at Kent Lanes. The indoor and outdoor facility pairs two regulation-size silica-sand beach-volleyball courts with an expansive arena of polished lanes, letting competitors hammer spikes and orchestrate strikes like 19th century railroad workers.
A full-service tiki bar stands beside the sandy courts, setting the tone with cold drinks and tropical tunes as spectators kick back at picnic tables and enjoy the live action of a game on a 50-inch flatscreen TV. Inside, guests can unwind at the 11th Frame, which serves pizza, traditional grill fare, and daily drink specials. Kent Lanes also hosts volleyball and bowling leagues for those looking for team camaraderie without having to endure a series of trust falls.