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.
Voted No. 3 on the 2011 Beacon’s Best for top movie theaters, Lake Cinemas 8 advertises a rotating octet of first-run films on a nostalgic marquee that heralds the refurbished theater's entryway. Viewers settle into comfy seats as they share puffed kernels of corn, sip sodas, and, as the lights dim, recall fond memories of tunneling into bank vaults. Visitors can choose from a selection of popular new releases or anxiously anticipate a bevy of coming attractions.
Splat Paintball provides a fun and exciting outdoor environment where brave paintslingers of all skill levels can practice their marksmanship, relieve the stresses of everyday life, and alleviate the guilt of midnight refrigerator raids. With your mask securely in place, your eyes will be safe from blindness and your secret superhero identity protected from inquisitive minds. Sneak stealthily through purple mountain majesties, amber waves of grain, and blue-bespeckled tree trunks as you attempt to capture the enemy’s flag. As you crawl on your belly over rocks and dash between bunkers with the whiz of small paint-filled capsules humming past your ears, open fire while tucking, rolling, and shouting in slow-motion until your enemies, best friends, or coworkers have all been decimated in a splatter of color. The game ends when a flag has been captured, despoiling opponents of the bragging rights guaranteed them by an early, paint-flecked draft of the U.S. Constitution.
A Class III dealer of firearms and accessories, Midwest Gun Club equips its clients with more than just firearms. The company also offers classes, which range from concealed-weapon-permit courses to safe handgun practices and home-defense seminars. All class instructors have a background in the military or law enforcement or have experience in national competition. Along with classes, they help their pupils and visitors practice their aim and perk their ears like a hunting hound at an in-house shooting range.
Tickets in these sections are first-come, first-serve, so book early for the best seats. Ticket-holders who arrive at 6:30 p.m. will also get to enjoy an informative hour-long discussion of the concert’s lineup of pieces and the fascinating stories behind them.
Neon streaks fly over and, occasionally, into the four nets at Green Tennis Club, a sign of players taking vigorous whacks with their tennis rackets during casual play and lessons. Certified USPTA professionals lead the lessons, imparting advice for smashing powerful ground strokes and developing a serve in both private and group settings. The teachers also organize weekly group drills, which invite players of similar skill level to practice different aspects of the game.
An accredited world-conservation zoo, Akron Zoo houses more than 700 animals across 50 acres of exhibits. Visitors can gaze upon african lions, chilean flamingos, and other creatures from across the globe or shake hands with local flora in a garden dedicated to native Ohio plants. The zoo also participates in breeding programs for endangered species, such as jaguars, lemurs, snow leopards, and humboldt penguins, all of which welcome visitors to their zoo homes, as long as you wipe your feet first. Guests who choose the second option can stop and snack on a pepperoni or cheese pizza for added fuel to explore exhibits.