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.
For nigh a calendar year, Fortress of Fear quarantines a frightened public from a sinister pair of properties until the autumnal twilight, when its staff bravely shepherds precious, non-small-child souls into the terrible cargo these lands behold. Though VIP tickets let visitors avoid long waits with front-of-the-line privileges, guests will be unable to escape the notice of up to 40 ghoulish apparitions whispering along the narrow corridors of Fortress of Fear. Inside the fortress, the walls seemingly collapse, as ceiling and floor melt into a claustrophobe's waking nightmare where escape comes through desperate drags, frenzied crawls, and incessant pleas for a do-over. At Fearanoia, an acid pit lures curious cohorts to its ledges, prodding the less eager by way of chainsaw incentive. To escape this realm's clutches, the bold few must navigate a cage maze—a labyrinth solved only with one's wits or one's pocket-size Minotaur.
The aptly named Fitness Anytime offers a plethora of equipment 24 hours a day to accommodate all fitness styles and schedules. Classes are included with a membership and are conducted weekday evenings before the instructors set off for nocturnal ninja duties. Body Boot Camp combines cardio with calisthenics for a high-intensity workout that burns more than 650 calories in an hour, the equivalent of running five to seven miles or doing the running man to an entire MC Hammer album. The 15 Minute Abs for Beginners and Intermediates cuts to the core and transforms muffin tops into muscle in record-setting time. Achieve Gumby-esque flexibility, posture, and muscle tone with Pilates sessions, and banish boredom with a bevy of body-blasting routines in the Bands, Balls, and Weights class, for which mats and weights are provided.
For four generations, the same family has tilled the soil beneath the grape vines that thrive at Barrel Run Crossing Winery and Vineyard. Originally used to grow grain, hay, soybeans, and wheat, the land saw its first vines in 2006, and grapes have been planted each subsequent year. Now totaling 10 acres, up to eight grape varietals flourish on the land. The result of these planting efforts is a host of handcrafted wines and ciders, including 2012 Ohio Wine Competition award winners Tipsy Conductor and Engine Number 5. All of Barrel Run Crossing’s wines are available for sampling in the spacious tasting room and for purchase by the thimble, glass, or bottle.