Red steel plates that seem to be taking flight, a warped obelisk, and a dome made of metal dragonflies—these are just a few of the 64 statues nestled among the gardens and meadows at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park. In addition to delighting visitors with massive objets d’art, the 335-acre outdoor museum exhibits the naturally occurring beauty of wooded thickets, and seven lakes. After wandering along the hiking trails, driving along paved roads, and peering into the remains of a stone house built by pioneers, guests can visit the 10,000-square-foot Ancient Sculpture Museum. The museum showcases Roman, Egyptian, Greek, and Etruscan statuary, which was chiseled before mankind invented the frames that forced all art to become flat.
In addition to curating sculptures, the park hosts a slew of activities relating to art and the environment. Its Summer Series for Kids organizes programming such as puppet shows for little ones.
Scallywag Tag's arena dazzles eyes with a black-lit, neon-tinged pirate ship and 18th-century Caribbean village, which provides a labyrinth of fluorescent walls for marauding swashbucklers. After being split into two competing crews, participants receive a vest, a phaser, and instructions to tally as many points as possible by tagging opponents, swarming the enemy's home base, or holding a referee hostage until he or she doctors the score. The score itself is broadcast on wide-screen LCD scoreboards, but those who are too busy taking out the adversary to look at them can take heart knowing that at the end of the game, the referees announce the winning team.
Outside the fast-paced laser-tag arena, Scallywag Tag encourages visitors to recharge with a drink or a slice of pizza from the snack bar. The arcade sections also distract patrons by featuring perennial classics such as air hockey as well as new favorites, including Time Crisis 3 and Find That W2 Form.
The West-side location additionally lures younger passersby with a pirate-themed jump house and a 35-foot-long slide in the family entertainment center. The West-side’s black-light miniature golf tests hand-eye coordination skills, leading guests through a gauntlet of 18 holes that similarly embrace the pirate theme.
The firefighters of Engine Company #45 Firehouse extinguished their last blaze in 1962 after 56 years of fearless public service. Although the team dissipated, the elegant, 1906 firehouse—with Renaissance Revival details and three doors wide enough to accommodate horse-drawn fire engines—remained, languishing as a city storehouse until 1980, when the Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati moved in. The building was recognized on the National Register of Historic Places and filled with special exhibits. It was also filled with antique firefighting gear that is in excellent condition in spite of years of smoke inhalation.
The collection reveals early 19th-century firefighting tactics with an alarm drum that once warned of fire from the roof of a carpenter shop and was later used to provide rhythm during disco infernos. In the Safe House exhibit, families diagram their homes and create personalized emergency plans while learning tips about fire prevention.
Beneath glimmering disco balls and colorful graffiti murals, roller skaters of all ages and experience levels careen across the hardwood floors of Fun Factory Roller Skating's indoor rink. The kid-friendly melodies of Radio Disney serenade pint-size skaters each Saturday morning, and top pop ballads resound across the rink on Saturday and Sunday nights. Gearing up patrons for wheeled motion, the onsite shop equips patrons with skates for rent or purchase, though customers are responsible for feeding and watering them.
Beyond the rink, the facility's sizeable arcade engages thumbs, and a bounce house ricochets lively lads and lasses off colorful, cushioned walls. After an action-packed day of exertion, guests can refuel at the concession stand with pizza and snacks. The center opens its facilities for private parties, field trips, and fundraisers while frequently inviting costumed characters to interact with kids and talk Wall Street with adults.
More than 80 years ago, the Taft family bequeathed their stately home to the people of Cincinnati–and they also gave them plenty to hang on the walls. Home to the Taft's collection of 690 works of art, the Taft Museum welcomes visitors to view paintings by European and American masters, Chinese porcelains, European decorative arts, and captivating rotating exhibitions throughout the year. As they wander the museum, patrons view Rembrandt van Rijn's Portrait of a Man Rising from His Chair, Whistler's At The Piano, and John Singer Sargent's portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson, among other notable works.
The house itself is equally impressive. William Howard Taft accepted his nomination for President of the United States beneath the portico, and the structure, first built in 1820, is considered one of the country's finest examples of Federal architecture in the Palladian style.
Cherry Grove Lanes embraces the changing of the seasons with both indoor and outdoor areas dedicated to group recreation. During the warmer months, the alley raises the nets on seven sand volleyball courts. Primed for nighttime play, the well-lit courts rest beside an open-air lounge that accommodates groups with colorful parasols, shaded tables, and ample room for airborne chest bumps.
Indoors, Cherry Grove Lanes provides solace from summertime sweats and wintertime gusts with 34 synthetic bowling lanes and a pub equipped with dartboards and pool tables. The lanes host fall and summer leagues for adults, seniors, and children, as well as bowling instruction from four-time PBA national titlist Brian Himmler. The staff also fires up sandwiches, appetizers, and pizza to prevent guests from cracking open bowling balls in hopes of reaching the tasty nougat cores.