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.
Sto-Kent has been wearing the CityVoter Best Bowling Facility badge of honor in Akron-Canton for the last three years. Strap on a pair of freshly sanitized bowling stilettos, find your favorite three-fingered pin-seeker, and shuffle to the greased-up lane for 20+ frames of bowling shenanigans. Once the pins have been pinsploded, head outside for a round of mini golf Sto-Kent style. Use the game to practice putting, challenge coworkers for microwave rights, or test AstroTurf's resistance to hot, steamy tears.
Fitworks is home to a dedicated cadre of certified muscle architects who guide eager physiques through intense, small group workouts. Peruse the schedule before sampling a tension-undoing yoga class or a weekend-morning muscle-pump session, ideal for prepping for an underwater bench-press that will determine the office's next round of promotions. One-hour Zumba classes harness the rhythmic power of merengue, conga, belly dancing, and more to kill calories while resuscitating sleepy toes. After classes, students can freshen up or flex unused singing muscles in Fitworks' shower facilities.
Crowned the Best Irish Pub of 2010 by CityVoters, Brubaker's serves up an extensive menu of pub edibles alongside a lively atmosphere and TVs sporting the latest in athletic endeavors. Quiet nagging hunger mufflers with appetizers such as barbecue-chicken potato skins ($5.75) and the super pretzel with mustard, salsa, or nacho cheese ($2), or tongue-dive into a specialty dish, such as the chicken cordon "bru" ($6.75), the buffalo-chicken wrap ($5.50), or the mega dog ($4). Brubaker's burritos wrap various fillings in the fresh-baked arms of nine-inch tortillas and come in varietals such as the Popeye ($5.50), a hulkifying combination of spinach-artichoke dip, tomatoes, onions, shredded cheddar, and ranch dressing. Brubaker's also offers a wide-ranging beer selection to indulge the fermented fantasies of Prohibition-era taste buds.
As both a performer and a teacher, Coach Diane has seen three generations of gymnasts practice their poise. The first was her own: she began tumbling at age 4, and her dedication persisted well into her teens when she won the state championship for baton twirling. Years later, she accessed her former passion to help guide her daughter's gymnastics team. The experience awakened a desire to coach competitively, and today, she trains students from toddlerhood to high-school age at Stow Gymnastics Center. Her protégés from decades prior now enroll their children in her curriculum, completing the generational cycle.
Alongside Coach Danielle—who also holds multiple regional and national awards from 11 years of competing—Diane leads her pupils in floor routines, tumbling workouts, and cheerleading choreography. Her classes are separated by topic and age group, covering lessons on motor development for younger children as well as advanced acrobatics, for those who can do jumping jacks without a safety net. Gymnasts jump and somersault on the rainbow floor of the main arena, whereas younger children play with model trains, slides, and puzzles in a separate learning center.