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.
Outside of saddling a flying squirrel or constructing a eagle-drawn chariot, there’s nothing quite like zipping from tree to tree through a blur of branches and leaves, hearing the fresh forest air whiz by. To bring the experience to central Ohioans, Jerrod and Lori Pingle built a network of ziplining platforms in the forest canopy of Camp Mary Orton and began leading ZipZone canopy tours. During the company’s signature two-hour tour, professionally trained guides lead guests through the sky-brush and over ravines and streams, just out of reach of leaping sasquatches. To protect the natural scenery that surrounds the 20-acre tour, ZipZone implements a number of eco-friendly measures, such as building hiking trails in lieu of roads, limiting tree intrusions, and reducing soil compaction.
The nearly 50 brewery buildings that make up Cincinnati's Brewery District range from Romanesque works of art to impressive brick industrial spaces. Many have stood on the same spots since long before Prohibition, outlasting neighboring structures that fell to the wrecking ball. If those buildings had faces, they'd use them to thank the Brewery District's redevelopment group. The band of residents, business owners, and developers helps protect and promote the rich history of this former German cultural hub and epicenter of the Cincinnati brewing industry.
As part of a long-term plan to redevelop the area, the organization welcomes visitors into diverse events such as seasonal beer festivals and a pop-up beer garden at the Findlay Market. But the most popular gatherings are the brewery tours that stop at pre-Prohibition breweries and explore the historic, secret barrel-transportation tunnels that run 40 feet below street level and directly into local refrigerators.
Founded by a group of friends who created the acclaimed Newport Gangster Tour as a fundraiser in 2008, American Legacy Tours blossomed into a full-fledged tour company two years later. Participants choose from seven distinct tours that traverse cities as guides share fascinating and sometimes seedy history. The Queen City Underground Tour ventures beneath the city’s streets into a hidden burial vault and long-forgotten tunnels, and the Newport Gangster Tour delves into a scandalous past by visiting the sites of former brothels and speakeasies. Elsewhere, on the Haunted Covington Tour, guests feed their thirst for fright and their hunger for candy handouts from amiable apparitions.
Most cities take pride in their past, preserving their historic triumphs and unusual claims to fame. The more macabre facets of municipal history, however, can take some digging to uncover. American Legacy Tours' Queen City is Haunted walking tours take the work out of supernatural explorations of Cincinnati. During each walk, expert guides expound on the murders and deaths of yesteryear, taking their charges through haunted buildings, spooky burial grounds, and the spot where they finally buried their dream of dancing. Historical episodes of interest include Cincinnati's Murder College, the phantoms that infest Music Hall, and the tale of the Tri-State area's most prolific killer.
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.