For three decades, the Ohio Light Opera (OLO) has produced premier opera culled from around the world. The OLO attracts 22,000 aria-aficionados annually, to the chagrin of staffers saddled with sweeping up shattered monocles. In recent years, the company has expanded its repertoire to include Broadway staples such as Camelot, Loewe and Lerner’s rumination on the more musical moments of King Arthur’s reign paired with the more dramatic patches of his relationship with the Lancelot-lusting Guinevere. Alternately, Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera The Pirates of Penzance illuminates the classic tale of a pirate-turned-police-officer’s quest to vanquish vandals of the high seas while winning the unbridled affection of the major-general’s daughter.
Voted No. 3 on the 2011 Beacon’s Best for top movie theaters, Lake Cinemas 8 advertises a rotating octet of first-run films on a nostalgic marquee that heralds the refurbished theater's entryway. Viewers settle into comfy seats as they share puffed kernels of corn, sip sodas, and, as the lights dim, recall fond memories of tunneling into bank vaults. Visitors can choose from a selection of popular new releases or anxiously anticipate a bevy of coming attractions.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
Winner of ParentsConnect's award for Cleveland's Best Indoor Playspace in 2009, Amazone Family Entertainment Center sets the stage for jungle-themed parties and open play sessions. Its three-story playground surrounds kids and parents in slides, bridges, and plastic trees, all accented by faux foliage that simulates the gorilla-run play centers of the Amazon. Elsewhere, the glowing eyes of temple creatures peer down at players within a black-lit laser-tag arena. An orchestra of laughter and electronic beeps emerge from within the arcade, which hosts 50 games, including air hockey, skee ball, and racing. To fuel playtime, Amazone's team slings pizza at a snack bar and hosts celebrations within five themed birthday-party rooms. The facility also caters to parents with comfy couches and free WiFi that lets them stream their favorite cartoons.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa tilts characteristically as a nearby sphinx rests beside a bush. What sounds like an atlas come to life is really the theme of one of the two 18-hole mini-golf courses at Rinky Dink Family Fun Center. After a round, customers can hug the turns on a go-kart track, soak and ram fellow seadogs on squirt-gun-equipped bumper boats, or test home-run skills at three baseball and three softball batting cages that hurl balls at up to 80 mph, which is the speed of light. Once indoors, guests can fire foam balls at targets from air cannons in the black-lit Pirates vs. Aliens game or navigate their way through an inflatable bouncer maze. The indoor playground features three levels of climbing structures and slides. An arcade hosts more than 35 video and redemption games such as Ms. Pac-Man, Dance Dance Revolution, and the new motion-sensitive Nap Nap Revolution, while tinier tykes stack giant waffle blocks or navigate a ball pit in the toddler area.
MAPS Air Museum’s historical exhibits and collection of military aircraft educate visitors on military aviation history and Northwest Ohio’s role in it. Restored aircraft such as the F-86 SabreDog and B-26 Marauder (one of only seven on display in the world) give guests an up-close look at actual mechanical birds, rather than having to imagine real birds being piloted by humans. Permanent displays on Pearl Harbor, the Tuskegee Airmen, and Rosie the Riveter delve into iconic moments of World War II, and artifacts and memorabilia from veteran Reamer E. “Buzz” Sewell trace one soldier’s journey. For more information on tours or special events, visit the museum online.