As the oldest historic tour on the national register, the German Village Society's Annual Haus und Garten Tour sends feet pattering across 233 acres of historic landmarks, enchanting gardens, and award-winning restorations. A year ago, the daylong celebration drew a total of more than 6,000 visitors, and this year, an even larger crowd is expected to be on hand to ogle and coax autographs from the 13 homes and gardens scheduled for display.
Tour-takers can meander along the route at their own pace, stopping to explore the shops and eateries in the marketplatz or to peek into classic abodes, which homeowners have transformed into chic, opulent spaces ideal for modern living or showcasing the latest trends in wool socks for coffee tables. In addition to the lineup of architectural stars, the tour will also be stocked with various live performances, including a rendition of The Scarlet Pimpernel in Schiller Park at 2 p.m.
Staff Size: 1 person
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Recommended Age Group: All ages
Pro Tip: Bring a water bottle and comfortable running shoes and clothes
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Downtown Bridges tour, Cincinnati tour
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
I first heard of running tours last year. They have become very popular in European cities, and now the U.S.A. Because I have been running many years, and leading tours for the Cincinnati Museum Center for more than four years, it was only natural for me to start Cincinnati Running Tours.
I'm a first-timer. How do you get me ready for the experience?
As a first-timer, you will need comfortable shoes?preferably running shoes?as well as comfortable clothing, a water bottle, and a desire to explore.
What is the one feature of your business that you're most proud of?
This is a healthy and green activity. Whether walking, fast-walking, or running, participants get a good workout, which makes them feel better about themselves. Also, the activity leaves no carbon footprint.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
I really want Cincinnatians to re-explore the downtown area. In the last five years or so, much has improved in terms of housing, restaurants, and parks. Locals need to re-visit the area, and our tours help them do that. While we run, we also discuss the changes within an historical context.
The century-old pig barn on the historical Anna Dean Farm has seen a lot of life, and a lot of death. It might be that slightly sinister influence that inspired the barn's current creepy dwellers to take up residence there, creating a nightmarish scene. Strewn with bloody specters, creepy clowns, and dismembered body parts, the barn provides such an intense scare that any guest who can make it through in one try is granted another free entry to see the ghoulish sights again.
Every summer, the double-decker Good Time I forges connections between mainland Ohioans and their island-dwelling neighbors to the north. En route to Put-in-Bay and Kelleys Island, captains divulge each island’s history and point out popular attractions such as Marblehead Lighthouse and their reflections in the water. To further prime passengers for island revelry, the Good Time I’s weekend tours regale guests with live DJs and mixed drinks.
Entry into the Riverside Jaycees Haunted Castle of Carnage should elicit both fear and feel-good vibes. The fear stems from more than 18 spine-tingling scenes livened by real actors and animatronics, and ripe with fake blood and gore. These screams extend from the haunted castle all the way to an outdoor trail, which has nearly doubled in size since last year, yielding twice as many run-ins with evil clowns, chainsaw-toting ghosts, and clipper-toting tree trimmers who parked at the wrong house. Fueling the feel-good leg of the tour is the knowledge that the haunted castle is a not-for-profit entertainment venue staffed entirely by volunteers, as it has been for the past 25 years. Profits from the castle fund the service projects that the Riverside Jaycees complete each year, which in past years have included making food baskets for needy families and organizing community events for kids.
For more than 146 years, The Haunt's two-story farmhouse has been collecting spirits as it sits tucked away on a forested road in the small town of Somerset. The Bowen family owns and operates this nexus of supernatural activities, guiding willing patrons through a terrifying journey available for only five nights. As guests approach the seemingly placid home, shrieks, growls, and flickering lights dance behind the building's pane-glass windows. A frightful flight through the home gives way to a journey through a 5-acre outdoor maze and 4,000-foot haunted trail. Caretakers return patrons to the entrance via a leisurely hay-wagon ride, giving guests time to calm their racing hearts and climb back into their skin.