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.
The three-night Big Game package catapults fans into a football frenzy with pregame events, overnight sleeping quarters, and game-day views of every crucial play, crushing hit, and halftime high note. Guests can tackle pregame jitters and pillows at the Clarion Hotel or Comfort Inn, both of which boast access to indoor pools, hot breakfasts, high-speed Internet, and long, carpeted hallways fit for agility-based combine training. Also before kickoff, an immersive fan event whets gridiron appetites with autograph sessions, kids' football clinics, interactive displays, and one of the largest known football memorabilia shows on earth.
The spooky apparitions lurking inside Rt. 22 Nightmare Haunted Hayride and House send shivers up the spines of riders of all ages. Every Friday and Saturday from October 7 to October 29, emerging specters invite more goose bumps than Transylvania's ice-skating scene along little-seen hayride trails around Route 22. After exiting the fright-wagon, guests tiptoe through a haunted house before a fire pit chases away the evening's chills with beams of concentrated coziness.
Plenty people are afraid of the dark, but the macabre minds behind Scream Acres CT push this fear one step further. Inside the aptly named Blackout––one of four frightful themes that make up one colossal haunt––intrepid visitors must navigate their way through a pitch black haunted house as forces unseen conspire to hinder their progress. But not all the frights at the 20,000-square-foot Scream Acres lurk in the shadows. Victims of a deranged doctor terrorize those who enter the Castle Hill Funeral Home, while clowns and other ghouls pop out at unsuspecting guests inside the 3D funhouse. If it's all too much to bear, seek refuge in one of Scream Acres' real wood coffins—but only if you're willing to be buried alive.
BB Riverboats began with a deceptive motto and a fleet of zero. In 1977, Ben Bernstein opened a restaurant in a converted steamboat, whose motto was “The Romance of Riverboat Dining.” Intended as tongue-in-cheek, the motto instead confused customers, who arrived hoping for a scenic cruise down the Ohio River. To placate his clientele, Ben Bernstein went into business with riverboat industry veteran Betty Blake, and BB Riverboats—named for their shared initials—was born.
Now run by Bernstein’s son, BB Riverboats has increased its fleet to three vessels, including the Belle of Cincinnati, a riverboat outfitted with Victorian details and two climate-controlled decks. On daily cruises down the Ohio, historical narration complements the scenery, while passengers play swashbuckling games and learn to read treasure maps on family-friendly pirate cruises. On the company’s dining cruises, visitors drink in the scenery while noshing on a Hawaiian buffet spread or sampling award-winning wines from StoneBrook Winery. Additionally, holiday cruises honor occasions from Valentine’s Day to Thanksgiving.
Tucked away near the banks of the Ohio River stands the other Sin City. Or at least it used to be, during the days when bootlegging formed a powerful underground economy. When a group of teachers and history buffs needed money for school service projects in Central America, they decided to raise funds by starting tours that explored this seamy history, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. A few years and many local accolades later, knowledgeable guides continue expounding upon the town’s rich history of mobsters, gamblers, and ladies of the night.
Tours stroll down Newport blocks littered with buildings once occupied by speakeasies, brothels, and the site of Al Capone’s failed early restaurant career, Al Calzone. Along the way, guides tie the rich past to the rise of the modern-day gaming industry and Newport’s connections to famous crime figures.