Crooked River Adventures’ river adventures are leisurely, no-experience-required pleasure cruises that challenge the muscles while massaging the mind’s shimmering-blue waterscape dreams. Glide past verdant foliage, through glittering reflections of aged bridges, and into great blue herons’ great blue neighborhoods while the sun warms your skin, the wind blows through your hair, and your hair blows through your hat. All the while, you’ll be learning the proper strokes that propel floatmobiles to ultrafun, and you’ll begin to gain functional understanding of the strength of a body in fluid, powerful motion. Crooked River Adventures operates in conjunction with Kent State University Recreational Services’ Adventure Center, which has received statewide recognition for its boating program and outstanding handshakes from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft.
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.
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.
For a quarter of a century, Fun Makers' licensed, FAA-certified pilots have guided thousands of passengers skyward during hot-air-balloon tours of Ohio's lakes, valleys, forests, and rolling plains. Pilots update their training annually to stay informed on ballooning guidelines, and each sendoff begins with a passenger orientation that briefs guests on flight basics, personal safety, and how to deflect dive-bombing ostriches. After touching back down, passengers commemorate their voyage with a champagne toast and a first-flight certificate. In addition to hot-air-balloon rides, Fun Makers' staff travels to large and small events at colleges, festivals, and churches bearing a variety of portable entertainment including rock-climbing walls, bungee trampolines, and mechanical rodeo bulls.
When you look around the 150'x80' rink at Kent State University Ice Arena, you can’t help but be amazed at the variety of things going on. Throughout the week, the rink plays host to skating lessons, hockey leagues, and public skating sessions in which families and couples can spend a day zooming around. Sports players learn the intricacies of being the best hockey player around or learn a new sport in the rink’s broomball league. After hands and feet start to chill, guests can grab a snack and a hot beverage at the concessions stand, with the fireplace always crackling so guests can warm back up.
The defending Mid-American Conference champion Kent State Golden Flashes men’s basketball squadron looks to continue their run of success during 2010–2011’s challenging slate of home games. Two upper reserved seats at an upcoming home game afford views of the whole court as head coach Geno Ford—last year’s MAC coach of the year—leads a team with NCAA tournament ambitions. High-flying forward Justin Greene and speedy guard Rod Sherman will lead the Golden Flashes as they take on teams such as the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, the South Florida Bulls and their deadly 3-point shooting centaur directed by former coach Stan Heath, and the Youngstown State Penguins. Don a poodle skirt and Cold War fears for the Dec. 2 game’s ’50s theme night, or simply immerse yourself in the school songs, boisterous student section, and monster jams of Kent State basketball.