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 Big Zipper's three ziplines stretch over ravines, valleys, and treetops, and together measure more than 2,300 feet. On tours, visitors glide along the zipline cables while strapped into secure full-body harnesses, enjoying a bird's-eye view of the rugged scenery below.
Today’s side deal offers cottage fever as an antidote for cabin fever. Escape to the pastoral paradise of The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, flanked by the natural bounty of Hocking Hills State Park. For $190, this Groupon gets you a night’s stay in one of the Inn’s cozy cottages ($179–$249 value), where unwinding is the only action item. Turn up the romance dial with that special somebody or something as you enjoy a $25 gift certificate towards any spa service, goodies including chocolates and other tasty treats ($45 value), and a complimentary full country breakfast, a combined value of $319. The warm, freshly baked cookies that greet you upon arrival are a delicious signifier of the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls' dedication to hospitality and personalized customer care.
The zipline course at Valley Zipline Tours speeds danglers over the scenic Northern Hocking Hills in spectacular fashion, whisking them along a series of lines that extend to more than 1 mile in total length. First, a friendly guide drives the zippers up to the top of the valley, where they don their safety equipment and then zoom down the first five lines as a warm-up to the following three, known collectively as the Valley Super Lines. Starting at line 6, the journey whips riders across the valley and lake for distances of nearly 1,000 feet each and at more than 100 feet off the ground, reaching speeds of 55 miles per hour. To cap off the high-speed trip, a valley swing awaits at the end of the tour attached to the edge of a tower, inviting participants to jump and swing over the valley while suspended at more than 50 feet.
The Hocking Hills Adventure Trek team is as diverse as the wilderness they explore. Guides include living history performers who educate visitors through songs and stories and naturalists who lead outdoor adventures through the wilderness. While the performers showcase their talents at an outdoor amphitheater, guides lead visitors on year-round nature hikes through little-seen areas of the Hocking State Forest and state nature preserves. The company also leads guided rock-climbing and rappelling trips and guided fishing trips at AEP Recreation lands.
When the sun sets on the Baker-Bird Winery, and its proprietors depart, the sturdy stone walls come to life, whispering stories across the expansive space. They rehash the 150-year history of the estate winery, which sheltered women and children during a key Civil War battle. Their tales outline the German immigration, which brought those wishing to cultivate a new life to the region to work the rich Kentucky soil. Then the sun rises, and the walls close their stony eyes, allowing the winery's history to speak for itself through guided tours.
In the warm afternoon, groups wander amid framed historical photographs, documents, and wooden cabinets lined with wines, artisanal cheeses from Kentucky, and exotic chocolates. Because all proceeds from the sale of the wine goes to restoring the historic estate and supporting Kentucky farm families, visitors can feel that they?ve done a good deed without rescuing a cat from a tree and taking it to see the ocean for the first time.