Ohio

MidAmerica (Destination)

July 2017

Southern Ohio blends indoor and outdoor amusement

by Carolyn Blackburn

  • Taj Ma Garaj, Dayton

    Taj Ma Garaj, Dayton

    /Portals/0/images/Magazine/2017/0717/Ohio1.jpg

    Taj Ma Garaj, Dayton

    Taj Ma Garaj, Dayton
  • Curio, Columbus

    Curio, Columbus

    /Portals/0/images/Magazine/2017/0717/Ohio2.jpg

    Curio, Columbus

    Curio, Columbus
  • BB Riverboats Cruise

    BB Riverboats Cruise

    /Portals/0/images/Magazine/2017/0717/Ohio3.jpg

    BB Riverboats Cruise, Cincinnati

    BB Riverboats Cruise

From a moonlight cruise in Cincinnati and friendly competition at one of the game bars in Columbus, to an evening soiree amid classic Porsches in Dayton and riding roller coasters with fellow attendees at the region’s largest amusement park in Warren County, Southern Ohio offers endless entertaining activities for groups.

Cincinnati

At the end of the day in Cincinnati, groups are encouraged to kick back and mingle as they enjoy the riverfront and city skyline.

“A dinner or moonlight cruise with BB Riverboats is the perfect way for groups to unwind,” said Barrie Perks, vice president of sales and services at the Cincinnati USA CVB. “A breath of fresh air with the Ohio River as a backdrop could be just what attendees need to wind down.”

Another option for groups that prefer being outdoors is to take advantage of the free programming in Cincinnati’s public spaces, including at Washington Park, which during the warmer months hosts concerts, movies on the lawn and more.

“At Fountain Square, located in the heart of downtown, groups can let loose at Salsa on the Square, where hot salsa bands, skilled dancers, expert instructors and crowds of hundreds make for a fun night outing,” Perks said.

Another fun, and informative, activity that planners can book after-hours is a sightseeing tour of the recently discovered lager tunnels that Perks said were once vital to Cincinnati’s brewery heritage.

“American Legacy Tours provides an experience like no other,” she said. “Start with a tour of the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, descend 30 feet below Cincinnati’s streets into a network of tunnels, and finish the tour with drinks at the Christian Moerlein tap room.”

Cincinnati is also home to several unique venues that groups can book for private parties.

“Whether it’s a walk down memory lane at the neon-filled American Sign Museum, an underwater experience at Newport Aquarium or a trendy get-together at the Contemporary Arts Center, attendees can mix and mingle at several distinctive spots,” Perks said.

Columbus

A wide variety of entertaining nightlife options awaits groups meeting in Columbus.

“All offer a great opportunity to unwind after a long day, and encourage better bonding between members of the group in a casual, social setting,” said Lexi Sweet, public relations coordinator for Experience Columbus.

For groups that would appreciate an entertaining retro experience, the city has several game bars, including 16-Bit Bar+Arcade, where attendees can play more than 50 classic arcade games like Pac-Man, Centipede and Frogger.

“The drinks themselves are also sure to amuse,” said Sweet, who cited cocktails named after Ice-T, Carrie Fisher and Burt Reynolds.

Brewcadia, another gamers’ paradise, recently opened above downtown’s Barley’s Brewing Company directly across from the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Here, groups will find 40 beers on tap and classic arcade games like Asteroids.

And at Kingmakers, a board game parlor, there are board game sommeliers on staff to help choose which of the more than 500 titles to play.

“Whether the goal be teambuilding or relaxation, let the sommelier know and he or she will pick out the perfect game to fit the needs of the group,” Sweet said. “Games can be enjoyed alongside a selection of fine wines, craft beers and specialty sodas, along with favorite local snacks like Rogue Bakery cookies, Krema nuts and Darista Dips, and OH! Chips.”


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