Customers at West River Kayak & Canoe take their pick from a fleet of kayaks, canoes, and standup paddleboards to cruise down the 27-mile Vermilion-Lorain Water Trail, a Class I–II waterway. Turtles, beavers, and deer make their homes along the banks and occasionally dart out to greet travelers as shale cliffs rear up in the distance. The shop's staff ensures that even boating newbies can wend their way through the picturesque scenery by offering introductory tutorials before each rental to impart the basics of paddling, from how to turn to how to rub two paddles together to make a fire for roasting hot dogs.
• For $9, you get one mezzanine ticket to The Fairy Forest on Saturday, August 20 at 2 p.m. (up to an $18 value). • For $11, you get one orchestra ticket to the "Season Encore Performance" on Saturday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m. (up to a $22 value).
Stepka Photography is the brainbaby of professional photographer Pam Stepka, who specializes in creating memorable images of people in all stages of life, from pregnancy to senior citizenry. Using the top-secret face-copying technology kept safely hidden within her camera, Pam travels around in constant search of new specimens to capture. With a photo session (a $200 value) from Pam, you can plaster your fridge with sexy shots of those beautiful eyes in the back of your tribal headdress or decorate the bare floors and ceilings of your house with artistic photos of your whole family wearing artificial baby tummies underneath spandex body suits. Sessions last up to two hours, or however long it takes Pam to collect enough material for a properly constructed gallery.
In business since 1946, Rebman Recreation thunders with the sound of ball-on-pin warfare as bowlers compete on the facility’s 48-lane, wax-bedecked battleground. This all-inclusive atmosphere is ideal for introducing up to eight friends from different social circles and getting them all into coordinating footwear. A fair match is ensured by the Qubica scoring system, which dutifully tracks each strike, spare, and unintended foray into the gutter. Between frames, pinseekers can satiate victory-cry induced thirsts with sips from a party-sized pitcher of soft drinks.
A 34-foot King Cat twin-hull catamaran sets sail on the waters of Lake Erie, its 900-horsepower engine churning up a frothy wake as it leaves port and enters the aqueous abyss. At Sara-J Sportfishing Charters, guests spend a sunny afternoon on the open water casting and reeling in the lake's bounty of fish. With more than 20 years of experience, captain Gary Carpenter is confident enough in his abilities that he promises that charters will either reel in fish by the end of their trip or passengers receive their money back. Tours set out in the morning or afternoon as captains pilot vessels towards schools of walleye, steelhead, or perch swimming beneath the surface. Passengers soak up the sun, nibble on snacks, and regale stories of reeling in their first bluegill or misplaced water-skier.
Line drives sizzle and skid across the facilities at Staton Sports, where ballplayers polish their skills and veteran coaches prep athletes to compete in a variety of sports. Backed by stints with three MLB organizations, the center's president and CEO, T.J. Staton, heads a staff of coaches who bring a combined 20-plus years of professional playing experience to each practice, game, and training session. The center's field also plays host to traveling teams, and inside two party rooms, visitors gather to celebrate birthdays or exalt an adolescent bat's aversion to the peer pressures of cork.