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.
A short walk from Lucas Oil Stadium, Conseco Fieldhouse, the Indianapolis Convention Center, and several world-class restaurants, the Hampton Inn Downtown is a welcoming home base for both businessy and pleasurable excursions. The Hampton Inn’s classily comfy guest rooms have 32-inch LCD televisions, complimentary high-speed WiFi, and plush new beds with feather and foam pillows. In the morning, tickle your taste buds with the free continental breakfast, a spread of more than 45 delectable delights. And, if hotel guests need to relieve the stress of a rough flight or to clear their minds before the tic-tac-toe national championships, they can head to the 24-hour fitness facility and work out on the elliptical machines and stationary bikes.
Michael and Jeff Morris, Miamitown Ghost Tours' seasoned guides and the authors of Haunted Cincinnati and Southwest Ohio, lead groups on a ghastly walking tour of outdoor sites rife with frightful history. The 90-minute excursion departs from the old Miamitown Methodist Church, leading brave patrons across the Harrison Bridge, where name-claiming debates between presidents William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison have been heard to echo. Along the way, guides halt at known haunt-spots to regale their eerie narratives, most of which stem from eyewitness accounts by locals who have donated their tales to the tour. All of the legends are appropriate for children, and guests are encouraged to bring cameras to nab hair-raising evidence. The half-mile journey concludes at the church's ghoul-patrolled cemetery, where guests can tremble at unidentifiable shadows or chase down celebrity ghosts for autographs.
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.