In 2005, the racehorse known as St. Croix was crowned Ohio's Horse of the Year, completing the season with one third-place, one second-place, and five first-place finishes. None of this would be possible without the tireless efforts of Saddle Creek Stables' trainers, who saved St. Croix from his early vacation plans to horse heaven. After the equine instructors retrained and bonded with him, St. Croix returned the favor with an awe-inspiring racing career. Now enjoying his retirement, St. Croix carries guests on leisurely trail rides across 160 acres of forest trails, outcroppings, cliffs, and flowing streams.
Saddle Creek Stables is a premier racehorse facility operated by trainers dedicated to making their thoroughbreds happy and healthy. The team leads trail rides for all ages and organizes parties with hayrides and bonfires for children. Their forested ranch also provides an excellent venue for hikers, campers, anglers, and deprived houseplants looking to reconnect with their natural habitat.
Kansas City Carriages' smartly suited drivers usher passengers through the picturesque Country Club Plaza. The approximately 20-minute jaunt leisurely trots past the plaza's myriad gurgling fountains, bustling tulip beds, and mustachioed clock towers. Equinophiles or the horse-curious can spend time before the ride meeting the docile beasts, petting their manes, or posing for photos.
Inside the Extreme Grand Prix Indoor Family Fun Center, drivers strap themselves into European-style electric go-karts and zoom around the quarter-mile indoor track at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. A preliminary safety briefing ensures that every racer is familiar with the rules of the track. The venue also has a large arcade, snack bar, bounce houses, kiddie karts, free wifi and 25 big screen televisions to meet the needs of both kids and kids at heart.
At Bing Boing Bounce, children aged 12 and younger ricochet like excited electrons through the seven colorful bounce houses situated within Bing Boing Bounce’s high-ceilinged, brightly colored facility. In addition to houses, barefoot tykes gambol through a 40-foot obstacle course, soar down slides, or don a padded helmet and joust in the bounce arena. Once kids have burned off excess energy or perfected Buzz Aldrin impersonations, they can lounge in Bing Boing Bounce’s seating area and sip juice boxes from the concession stand.
At Screenland, campy and classic are rarely mutually exclusive terms. The movie theater serves as a cinematic time machine, transporting spectators through the history of Hitchcock's mysteries and straight into the heyday of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Though it also shows current titles, its schedule is often beholden to audience whims—the Crossroads location hosts new independent films that are uniquely screened at this sole location. This dual devotion to cherished and modern flicks helped Screenland earn the 2012 Readers' Choice award for Best Movie Theater from the Pitch.
Even outside the projection room, nostalgia rules. More than 40 games, from Donkey Kong to Missile Command, test dexterity at the Crossroads location's retro arcade, where guests can purchase passes to play indefinitely or until Frogger finally flags down a cab. Photographs taken by former Kansas City mayor Dick Berkley accompany historical trivia in the adjacent gallery, and celebrity handprints mark the outdoor patio. Greeting cinephiles out front is a marquee salvaged from the Isis Theatre, just as it once greeted a young Walt Disney when he shared his early animations there.
Wedding receptions and corporate meetings alike have taken advantage of the theater's capacity for private functions. At both exclusive and public events, however, a full-service bar supplies guests with libations, cracking open bottles of Boulevard Pale Ale and Tallgrass Velvet Rooster.
This duo of history-rich houses showcase antebellum architectural styles, while providing insight into the mores of the era. With four tour tickets total, the historically inclined can visit each house twice or bring a friend along for each visit, while family memberships net unlimited entries for the nuclear unit, along with advance invites to special society-only events. A Greek revival-style home from 1858, the John Wornall House beckons history lovers in to watch costumed reenactors living in the past, where they play period-specific video games while drinking period-specific Mountain Dew. Regular special events at the house include paranormal investigations by local ghost hunters and recreations of the house’s past as a Civil War hospital. Dogs can sprint across the lush grounds while their two-legged companions waft in luscious scents from the herb garden, which contains a variety of delicate plants used in medicines and recipes.