Date Archives: August 2017

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August
25

50 Things That Must Be on Every Cincinnati Resident's Bucket List

Residents of Cincinnati know there's no better place to call home. From the friendly people and great food to the deep-seated character that unveils itself in our historic neighborhoods, there is just so much to love about this town. There are a number of things every Queen City resident should try at least once in his or her lifetime. We rounded up the ultimate bucket list for you, which includes activities for foodies, art lovers and adventurers alike. How many can you check off? Jump Ahead:

For the Explorer | For the Foodie | For the Adventurer | For the Thrill Seeker | For the Sports Enthusiast | For Those Hungry for Knowledge | For the Child at Heart | For the Lover of the Arts

FOR THE EXPLORER

Loveland Castle

Photo courtesy of Loveland Castle

Conquer a Nearby Castle Interestingly enough, Ohio is home to a large number of castles. Some are haunted and some are just enchanting! Read up on our state's coolest castles and the fascinating stories behind them. Ride the Elevator Up 49 Floors to the Carew Tower Observation Deck Completed in 1930, Carew Tower stands tall in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. Head up to the top to witness one of the city's best views! Visit the Cincinnati Union Terminal Undoubtedly, the architecture of the Union Terminal is a sight in itself  — you might have to pick your jaw up off of the floor after witnessing the largest half-dome structure in the western hemisphere — but don't miss out on the special exhibits and the OMNIMAX Theater held within. Stay a Night at The Golden Lamb in Lebanon Located in the heart of downtown Lebanon, The Golden Lamb has stood as a community gathering place since 1803, making it the oldest continuously operating business in Ohio. Dine like royalty at the restaurant, and stay a night in the historic rooms. Go Camping S'mores and a night under the stars — it doesn't get better than that! There are plenty of incredible camping destinations within easy reach of Cincinnati. Explore all of Cincinnati's Coolest Neighborhoods From Over the Rhine to the Incline District, our town is filled to the brim with up-and-coming neighborhoods — all of which are perfect for spending the afternoon. Challenge yourself to visit them all! See the Butterfly Show at the Krohn Conservatory Open year round, the Krohn Conservatory is a nationally recognized collection of more than 3,500 plant species from all over the world, but it also boasts a vibrant butterfly show every year! Drive Across the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge This iconic bridge spans the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Covington, and was the longest in the world when it opened in 1867. Party on the Purple People Bridge Don't worry — the bridge is not guarded by a purple people eater. This stunning piece of architecture is actually named for its unique hue. Every Wednesday night during the summer, enjoy a weekly "Party on the Purple" with the residents of the Queen City, which will feature live music and refreshments.

FOR THE FOODIE

Indulge in a Heaping Plate of Cincinnati-Style Chili Our city's signature dish is a flavorful Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce dolloped over the top of hot dogs or spaghetti, or simply enjoyed straight from the bowl. True chili heads know that you can enjoy the dish one of five "ways." Learn more about the dish, as well as where to find it, in this complete guide to Cincinnati-style chili. Grab a Mug of Root Beer at the Root Beer Stand This old-school spot is famous for the gigantic mugs of refreshing, ice cold root beer that the staff makes in house. Enjoy a glass alongside a foot-long hot dog, and soak in the classic drive-in atmosphere. Sample the Queen City's Best Cuisine at Taste of Cincinnati Taste of Cincinnati is the longest running culinary arts festival in the United States, and takes over the streets annually on Memorial Day Weekend. Sample the fare from more than 40 restaurants and dance along to live music! Urbana Cafe

Photos courtesy of Urbana Cafe

Find the World's Best Cup of Coffee Cincinnati is home to some of the best coffee shops in the Midwest! Start your day off right and grab a cup of java from one of these nine hot spots. They are all worth a visit. Soak in the Atmosphere at Sotto The atmosphere, just as much as the food, has made Sotto a Cincinnati staple. Stop in to witness the understated romance, rustic charm and unparalleled authentic Italian cuisine. Taste the Difference at Graeter's Ice Cream With more than 145 years of experience under its belt, we believe Graeter's Ice Cream is the ultimate authority on handcrafted French pot ice cream. Enjoy a Pint at Mt. Carmel Brewing Company Set in the cellar of a 1924 farmhouse, Mt. Carmel Brewing Company pioneered the craft beer scene in Cincinnati. Stop by for a pint or growler fill with loved ones, and be sure to ask about the history! Indulge in an Authentic German Brew from the Hofbrauhaus in Newport This spectacular beer hall is modeled to be almost identical to its sister location in Munich! A beer here is about as close to the authentic German experience as you can get. Split a Bottle at Moyer's Winery Stop in at this local favorite beside the Ohio River for upscale American fare and locally produced wines. Grab a Bite at the Findlay Market This market, which has graced Cincinnati since the mid-1800s, is filled to the brim with energetic merchants, artisanal cheeses, fresh produce, warm baked goods and more!

Photo courtesy of Queen City Radio

Sit on the Patio at Queen City Radio Located in the historic Over The Rhine neighborhood, Queen City Radio offers up craft cocktails, beer on draft and tasty burgers — all served with a side of Cincinnati culture. Take a Riverside Food Tour Taste the city's best bites (including some hidden gems) and learn all about the history of Cincinnati! That's what we call food for thought.

FOR THE ADVENTURER

Try a New Workout Class Cincinnati is full of fun fitness opportunities — and you won't even need to dole out the big bucks to participate. Here are nine workouts around town that are completely free. Kayak on the Little Miami River In Cincinnati, we are lucky to have access to the Little Miami River, which provides a haven for river rats and adventure seekers. There are a plethora of local rental companies that can outfit you with gear and point you in the right direction if you're looking to test your skills on the river, or simply enjoy a leisurely excursion. Our favorites include Little Miami Canoe, Scenic River Canoe Excursions, Morgan's Outdoor Adventures and Whitewater Canoe Rental. Go Swimming at Caesar Creek State Park Caesar Creek is one of Cincinnati's most beloved hidden gems! Hike, bike, boat or ride around the park before hitting the beach — such an oasis so close to home. Go Fishing There's nothing quite as satisfying as a calm morning on the water. The Great Miami River offers so many awesome fishing holes perfect for catching bluegills, bass, carp and channel catfish via fly fishing or lures, and the Mad River is one of the best trout streams in the state. Gear up at On the Way Bait & Tackle.

Photo courtesy of Alex Perfect via Perfect North Slopes

Ski at Perfect North Slopes We aren't known for our powder days here in Ohio, but you can catch a little bit of wintery paradise at the nearby Perfect North Slopes, just half an hour away. And Complete the Mud Stash When Perfect North isn't covered in snow, it's the perfect destination for summer activities! Each year in early September, the venue hosts a muddy, obstacle-filled race to the finish called the Mud Stash. It's known to be one of the most entertaining competitions in the region! Compete in the Flying Pig Marathon The Flying Pig Marathon celebrated its 20th anniversary in May 2017, and remains one of the biggest party weekends in the city! Register for next year's race here.  

FOR THE THRILL SEEKER

Conquer the Coasters at Kings Island Located just a short jaunt away in Mason, Kings Island offers 364 acres of pure fun for thrill seekers. This park has received widespread recognition for its record-breaking attractions, large water park and innovative roller coasters.

Photo courtesy of SkyDive Cincinnati

Leap from the Skies at SkyDive Cincinnati Skydiving is perhaps the ultimate bucket list item, so you might as well check it off now. SkyDive Cincinnati offers tandem jumps with an instructor, as well as full courses to help you earn your skydiving certification. Sure, you think you're tough now. Just wait until the plane door opens at 16,000 feet! Take a Dip at Sunlite Pool in Coney Island Sunlite Pool is the largest, flat-surface swimming pool in North America — perfect for cooling off after exploring the park's many attractions! Tour the Spring Grove Cemetery Craving a spooky encounter? The Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum is the fourth largest cemetery in the United States, and boasts gorgeous scenery, iconic Gothic-style architecture, and lots of history.

FOR THE SPORTS ENTHUSIAST

Photo courtesy of the The Cincinnati Reds

See the Reds Win at the Great American Ball Park The Great American Ball Park is a sight at any time of day, but when the stadium is filled from end to end with that signature scarlet hue and thousands of cheering fans, there is no place we would rather be. Root, root, root for the home team — and make sure you enjoy a coney in the stands! Engage in a Years-Long Rivalry in the Crosstown Shootout   When the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Xavier Musketeers face off in their annual showdown, which side will you be on? Camp on the Infield at the Kentucky Speedway Yes, there is a way to be closer to the action! Get into the thick of it by camping on the infield at the Kentucky Speedway. Witness a Cincinnati Cyclones Victory at the Kelly Cup This could be their year! Whether you're a hockey fan or not, you had best be cheering for the correct team when the season starts.

FOR THOSE HUNGRY FOR KNOWLEDGE

Check out the Latest Bestseller at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County As the 12th largest public library in the country, this is a haven for book-lovers. Take an Underground Tour of the Cincinnati Subway Most people don't even realize that the underground system exists. Take a tour to learn about the forgotten tunnels and how they have influenced the city today. Star Gaze at the Cincinnati Observatory Located in Hyde Park, this iconic Cincinnati landmark is dedicated to giving its visitors an introduction to the universe. Visit the American Sign Museum This quirky museum celebrates the sign in all its forms, and covers more than 100 years of American history with its colorful displays.   Enlighten Yourself at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Cincinnati played a large role in the Underground Railroad and the Civil War. Learn all about it at this museum.

FOR THE CHILD AT HEART

Monkey Around at the Cincinnati Zoo Feeding a giraffe, riding the safari train and taking a spin on the Conservation Carousel are just a few of the activities that await you at the Cincinnati Zoo!

Photo courtesy of 16-Bit

Play at 16-Bit This arcade-style bar redefined the Cincinnati nightlife experience! Enjoy more than 50 classic arcade games alongside bar bites and adult bevvies.

Photo courtesy of Brian Douglas via Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

Join in the Giant Chicken Dance at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati You don't want to be a chicken, you don't want to be a duck, but you definitely want to be at this fun-filled event, which is the second largest Oktoberfest celebration worldwide (upstaged only by the original in Munich). Visit Washington Park in Over the Rhine Let your children splash through the fountains, or bring a picnic and simply soak in the beautiful Ohio sunshine. A visit to Washington Park is the perfect way to spend any leisurely afternoon.  

FOR THE LOVER OF THE ARTS

Visit the Taft Museum of Art Cincinnati's fine art collection is actually housed in a gorgeous historic mansion downtown — a structure which is considered to be one of the finest examples of Palladian-style architecture in the country. Of course, the distinguished collections inside are the main event here. See a Show at the Aronoff Center for the Arts There's no better place to see a Broadway show, ballet performance, stand-up comedy show or musical than at Cincinnati's signature performing arts center. View the schedule and buy your tickets here.

Photo courtesy of Funky Sunshine

Take a Turn Around Funky Sunshine This quirky shop has a serious passion for color, good vibes and laughter. Poke around the shop, and maybe take a piece of tie-dye artwork or apparel home with you! Peruse the Cincinnati Art Museum The Cincinnati Art Museum houses a collection of more than 65,000 works spanning six centuries. Come marvel at the works of Picasso, Botticelli, Monet and more. Shop Around at Black Plastic Records Black Plastic Records houses one of the most impressive music collections in the state! Even if you don't have a record player, you will enjoy perusing the shelves.  
August
25

9 Pumpkin Patches to Visit Near Columbus This Fall [Interactive Map]

This post was updated September 19, 2019 to include current information and recommendations.

It's hard to believe that fall is already upon us. Though we had a tough time bidding summer farewell, we are thrilled at the prospect of a new season filled with vibrant colors, warm apple cider and plenty of pumpkins. Visiting the pumpkin patch is a beloved tradition here in Ohio, as it allows families to spend time together soaking up the autumn sunshine. Whether you plan to carve your selection into a jack-o'-lantern, paint it with fun colors, or bake it into a pie, choosing your own pumpkin at a local farm is so much more fun than picking one up from the store. Most even offer hayrides, corn mazes and games for the little ones, so you can make a full day out of it! We rounded up our favorites below, all within easy reach of Columbus. Enjoy! The Best Pumpkin Patches Near Columbus Include: 

Pigeon Roost Farm | Lehner's Pumpkin Farm | Leeds Farm | Hidden Creek Farms | Lynd Fruit Farm | Lohstroh Family Farms | Jacquemin Farms | Schacht Farm Market | Branstool Orchards

Pigeon Roost Farm

4413 National Rd. SW, Hebron

Photo courtesy of Pigeon Roost Farm

2018 will mark 38 years of family fun at Pigeon Roost Farm, and it's no surprise this local pumpkin haven has been successful since the very beginning. The farm is open Tuesday through Sunday from September 15 through Halloween and boasts tractor-pulled wagon rides out to the pumpkin patch, flavorful refreshments, face painting, multiple mazes, farm animals, a fort, giant slides, impressive pumpkin displays and much more. 

Lehner's Pumpkin Farm

2920 State Route 203, Radnor

Photo courtesy of Lehner's Pumpkin Farm

Lehner's Pumpkin Farm is one of the most popular destinations for pumpkin picking in the state, boasting more than 50 acres of pumpkin patch and a full gauntlet of activities to keep the little ones entertained. Get lost in the eight-acre maze, cuddle a baby bunny, and challenge yourself to hit a new record with the giant slingshot (which flings little pumpkins across the field).

Leeds Farm

8738 Marysville Rd., Ostrander

Photo courtesy of Leeds Farm

Leeds Farm is the epitome of autumn family fun. Spend the day soaking up the Ohio sunshine with your loved ones as you marvel over pumpkins big and small. Don't miss out on the family-friendly activities, which include paintball, zip lining, hayrides and animal feeding.

Hidden Creek Farms

581 South Galena Rd., Sunbury The Fall Festival at Hidden Creek Farms is one of Sunbury's most anticipated events. On weekends from September 22 through October 28, step onto the farm for a day filled with fun and games which include pumpkin decorating, pony rides, a great pumpkin slide, a straw maze, farm animals, and hayrides out to the pumpkin patch. You will leave with memories worth treasuring, and the perfect pumpkin to decorate at home!

Lynd Fruit Farm

9090 Morse Rd. SW, Pataskala

Photo courtesy of Lynd Fruit Farm

Lynd Fruit Farm is a local favorite—not just because of the bountiful and fresh produce, but also because of the warm and welcoming staff that treats customers like family. Enjoy hayrides, a giant corn maze and an unbeatable selection of giant pumpkins. This is one pumpkin patch you will return to year after year.

Lohstroh Family Farms

15632 SR 56 SE, Mt. Sterling   Lohstroh Family Farms is the place to be on October weekends and even well into November. Here, you'll find a wide variety of activities to engage kids from sunup to sundown, including a corn maze, a caterpillar crawl, the graffiti barn wall and plenty of animals to visit. But the main event, of course, is the hayride to the pumpkin patch. $6 will cover the ride as well as the pumpkin!

Jacquemin Farms

7427 Hyland Croy Rd., Plain City

Photo courtesy of Jacquemin Farms

Jacquemin Farms is open on weekdays if you're just stopping by to pick something up, but the real fun happens on Saturdays and Sundays. During the weekend, you have the option to hop on a hayride to pick your own pumpkin from more than 15 acres of fields. After you've chosen the best one, come back to the farm to enjoy family-friendly activities, including a straw maze, giant air toys and grain boxes for the little ones. And don't forget to pick up a seasonal donut, too! 

Schacht Farm Market

5950 Shannon Rd., Canal Winchester The 60 acres of Schacht Farms become a child's paradise during the fall months when the fields are opened for pick-your-own pumpkin season. Wander into the fields with your loved ones and choose from the cream of the crop. Afterward, reward yourself with a cup of cider from the market.

Branstool Orchards

5895 Johnstown Utica Rd., Utica

Photo courtesy of Branstool Orchards

Located just 45 minutes outside of Columbus, Branstool Orchards sits on a gorgeous piece of countryside in Utica, Ohio. The farm is best known for its peaches, but don't miss out on the pumpkins during autumn. Rumor has it that since the fields are slightly less crowded than those near Columbus, you will have your pick of the biggest and best varieties. The farm is open seven days a week for pumpkin picking, so stop by whenever you like—and make sure to grab some fresh apples while you're here!   

Happy fall!

August
25

7 Ultra-Chic Condos for Sale in Columbus, Ohio

In our opinion, Columbus is one of the best places in the world to call home — and we think the other 900,000 people who have chosen to live here would agree with us. Our city boasts scenic parks, top-notch restaurants, a vibrant music scene, buzzing nightlife and the friendliest people this side of the Ohio River. If you're looking for a home in the area, but would like to avoid some of the maintenance that comes with it, a condominium might be just the ticket. Here are seven ultra-chic condos for sale in Columbus, each boasting easy access to the best attractions our town has to offer, and stunning views you can only find several stories up.

Luxury Amenities and Modern Architecture

This home is for sale at 50 W Broad Street, Unit 3501 (other units also available) | Listed by Meyer & Dial

The LeVeque Tower offers high-end living in the heart of downtown Columbus. Marble countertops, luxurious finishes, striking structural balance and abundant natural light set the standard for each unit, but that's not to say you won't enjoy cozy comforts. The unit will also come equipped with an in-unit laundry, heated floors, on-site fitness center, full spa services and an on-site restaurant and bar.  

A Little Piece of Paradise Near the Scioto Mile

This home is for sale at 110 N 3rd Street, Unit 403 | Listed by Meyer & Dial

This fourth-floor unit is a little piece of paradise, boasting plenty of natural light through the southern windows and a gauntlet of great restaurants and bars just outside the front door. After strolling down the Scioto Mile or visiting Short North, head back to your home-sweet-home, fully equipped with everything you need to relax (think: a rooftop deck, wooden floors, a spacious kitchen and a cozy master bedroom).  

An Oasis on the 20th Floor

This home is for sale at 1 Miranova Place, Unit 2015 | Listed by Jody McCague

This stunning residence sits on the 20th floor and offers endless, remarkable views of the Scioto Mile and the Columbus skyline. When you're not soaking in the sights from the balcony, enjoy relaxing in the whirlpool tub, cooking in the spacious kitchen, or exploring the fitness center and shared pool!

The Perfect Mix of Luxury and Charm

This home is for sale at 221 N Front Street, Unit 308 | Listed by Clinton Jones

Boasting the perfect mix of modern luxury and charm, this corner unit is a dream home from every angle. Its location on the corner allows for an abundance of natural light, which illuminates the hardwood floors, spacious kitchen and open floor plan. The details, such as the interesting light fixtures and marble tiling in the bathroom, make the property that much more covetable.  

A Dream Home in a Perfect Location

This home is for sale at 54 W Lincoln Street | Listed by Meyer & Dial

Location is the name of the game at this chic residence! Nestled on the third floor, this unit offers picturesque views of Goodale Park and easy access to Short North, one of Columbus's hottest neighborhoods. Residents will also have access to a 24-hour fitness center and a private parking lot.  

Authentic Loft Living in the Arena District

This home is for sale at 448 W Nationwide Boulevard, Unit 218 | Listed by Kim Mills

Enjoy authentic loft living (with upscale amenities) at this residence in the Arena District. The one-bedroom space boasts exposed brick, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and an open layout, but the building also features a fitness room and rooftop deck perfect for entertaining.  

Lakeside Living at Its Finest

This home is for sale at 1235 Lake Shore Drive, Unit 273 | Listed by Meyer & Dial

Experience lakeside, resort-style living at its finest without even leaving the city limits! This stunning, three-story townhome includes a lower walk-out that sits right on the water, but you will be able to enjoy views of the lake from every level. Other amenities include hardwood floors, two fireplaces, and a stunning kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
August
17

The Best Apple Orchards to Visit Near Cleveland This Fall

This post was updated on August 28, 2019, to reflect current information

The leaves are starting to change, pumpkin is taking over every menu in town, and that familiar chill has returned to the air. Fall is upon us again! We look forward to this season every year for the fun traditions it provides, such as picking your own apples. A day in the orchards gathering a fresh harvest with loved ones is the perfect way to ring in the new season — and there's no denying that apples straight from the tree just taste better. Thankfully, the gorgeous Ohio countryside is filled with orchards and farms filled to the brim with juicy, crisp apples ripe for picking. Below, we rounded up some of our absolute favorites. Enjoy!

Patterson Fruit Farm

8675 Mulberry Road, Chesterland At Patterson Fruit Farm, producing fresh fruit is a way of life. The team here enjoys providing food for their local community and sharing the farming experience with families who stop by for a day of adventuring. During apple season (August through early winter), the farm invites you to take a wagon ride and pick your own apples from more than 30 varieties grown on-site. Fun Fest runs from September 14th through October 27th, and boasts a full gauntlet of family-friendly activities, including horse-drawn wagon rides, giant haystacks, a corn maze, pumpkin painting and more!

 

Hillcrest Orchards

50336 Telegraph Road, Amherst Hillcrest Orchards is responsible for the growth of quality apples, pumpkins, peaches and happy family memories. On weekends during the fall, you will be treated to a fun wagon ride out to the orchard, as well as sage picking advice to help you harvest the cream of the crop. Pick four bags and the fifth is free!

Bauman Orchards

161 Rittman Avenue, Rittman

Photo courtesy of Bauman Orchards

If you make the hour-long journey to Bauman Orchards in Rittman, you will be treated to more than 40,000 apple trees and 18 different varieties (10 available to pick yourself). Guests are invited to pick their own apples from September 2 through October 14. After a long day in the orchard, reward yourself with some fresh-pressed apple cider (and maybe a few baked goods) in the market. Looking for a pumpkin, gourd or squash for eating or decorating? You can find those in the market as well.   

Geig's Orchard

8468 Wooster Pike, Seville Geig's might be a perfect locale for a fun-filled day of apple picking, but it's also a top-notch place to grab a fresh-pressed apple cider, pie fillings, jams and more. Locals wait all year for the market to open so they can ring in the fall season properly!  

Miller's Apple Hill, Ltd.

50549 State Route 113, Amherst This family-owned market is a favorite year-round, but especially during the fall months. Starting in September, bring the family and pick your own apples in the scenic orchards. After your arms are full, peruse the market for fresh pastries, baking supplies and more! You're going to need some apple pie materials, after all.  

Pick 'n' Save Orchard

1222 Ledge Road, Medina Most of the customers at Pick 'n' Save Orchard are regulars that return year after year. This is likely due to the unparalleled hospitality and family-friendly environment that has become tradition here. The farm is a wonderful destination for fruit picking year-round (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, oh my), but the apples are the main event. Stop by between 10am and 4pm Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to see for yourself!

 

Monroe's Orchard and Farm Market

6313 Pioneer Trail, Hiram

Photo courtesy of Monroe's Orchard

Monroe's Orchard is a must-visit location for families looking for a fun day out in the sun. You'll find fresh fruits year-round, but it would be a shame to miss the sight of the bountiful apple orchards during the fall months. Stop in for a pick-your-own experience you won't soon forget.  

Stotler's Orchard LLC

4597 Laubert Road, Atwater This charming farm in the heart of Randolph, Ohio is home to more than 113 varieties of apples. A selection that large is sure to please even the pickiest of apple pickers! After you've grabbed a few crisp ones off the tree, take them back to the main lodge, where they will split it and drizzle it with caramel for you to enjoy on site. Make sure to accompany your treat with some house-made apple cider!  

Rittman Orchards & Farm Market

13548 Mt. Eaton Road, Doylestown

Photo courtesy of Rittman Orchards

Rittman Orchards is known far and wide as one of the most gorgeous settings to spend an afternoon with loved ones. The market is open year-round and offers a wide variety of baked goods and fresh produce, but fruit-picking is the real draw of this location. Strawberries, peaches, apples and more are all available for you to grab straight from the source!  

Sage's Apples

11355 Chardon Road, Chardon

Photo courtesy of Sage's Apples

This local favorite is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and it's no wonder it has been so successful for so long! The farm grows more than 50 varieties of apples and sells a wide range of fresh produce in its market year-round. While you aren't actually able to pick your own apples at this location, the market offers several delicious varieties that you won't be able to find anywhere else. It's certainly worth a visit.  
August
11

A Complete Guide to Tailgating for Ohio State

It seems like just last week we were cheering on the Buckeyes and singing the chorus of Carmen Ohio, but it's once again time to dig out your gray and scarlet for football season! The Buckeyes never fail to impress, and their on-field success draws hordes of fans to support them at home and on the road. Of course, this means the pre-game tailgating festivities are some of the rowdiest in the country. Here is everything you need to know about tailgating for a Buckeyes game, but in short, the goal is to arrive early, cheer loudly (for the correct team, mind you), and have a blast. Go Buckeyes! Where to Go

Photo courtesy of the Varsity Club

Snagging an invite to a friend's tent or tailgating party is one of the most common ways to celebrate, but if you aren't sure where to start, here are some of our favorite venues in the stadium vicinity.

The Varsity Club

Hineygate was a popular pre-game party and a Buckeyes tradition since 1984, but was unfortunately shut down in 2009 after Ohio State purchased the Holiday Inn, where it was held. Buckeyes fans won't be silenced that easily, however, and the venue has since moved to the Varsity Club. The tailgating extravaganza, now dubbed the "Crank it Up Party," still draws more than 10,000 party-goers over the course of game day, and remains the world's largest (and in our opinion, best) tailgating party in the country. It is something every Bucks fan should experience at least once.

The Bier Stube

The Bier Stube has served Columbus since 1966, and despite the drastic change in the surrounding area, maintains its historic charm. Here, you'll find an impressive array of beer on draft at low prices, and plenty of locals celebrating before, during and after the game.

Lucky's Stout House

This Irish-inspired bar is located just across from South Campus Gateway, and serves more than 125 different beers. Make your choice and join your fellow Ohio State fans in the bar area or on the large outdoor patio.

Little Bar

The Little Bar has a big reputation for its rowdy game day shenanigans. Enjoy free-flowing beer and well drinks all day long as you get ready for the big game. When it comes time for kickoff, head outside to watch from the big screen!

Hendoc's

This dive bar has been a favorite among locals for years — and for good reason. It remains one of the absolute best sports to watch the game (or any sporting event, for that matter), in an upbeat, friendly environment. Cheer along with the crowd, and enjoy a top-notch selection of drinks and bites. What to Wear

Photo courtesy of Buckeye Corner

Supporters of the opposing team are bound to get a little bit of flack — so you best be wearing gray and scarlet to avoid any confusion. Here are the best shops to stock up on your apparel for game day (and every day).

The Ohio State University Gift Shop

You are bound to find the best Ohio State products right at the source, which is why we always recommend The Ohio State University football stadium gift shop. You might pay a little more, but you can ensure your gear is authentic. Plus, shopping around for tee shirts, hats, tees and even stamped toilet paper in the campus gift shop is an experience in its own right.

Buckeye Corner

Find officially licensed gear for The Ohio State University all year round at Buckeye Corner, located on Polaris Parkway. This store carries the standard tee shirts, hats, sweatshirts and more, but you will also find rare memorabilia, collector's items and more.

Conrad's College Gifts

Conrad's College Gifts never fails to impress with its wide selection of shirts, mugs, pet accessories, party supplies and more. Plus, the prices will likely be a bit lower here than at the campus gift shop. Stop by for all of your tailgating needs, including football bead necklaces, mini footballs, koozies, seat cushions, foam fingers and more! Where to Stock up for the Party If you're partying at a friend's house or hosting a tailgating extravaganza by the stadium, you will definitely need some grilling supplies, some seven-layer dip, some peanut butter and chocolate buckeyes, and plenty of beverages. Here are some nearby shops to keep in mind.

Giant Eagle Supermarket

2801 N. High St. For chips, dip, and other necessary groceries, Giant Eagle is your best bet. Conveniently located near campus, this supermarket offers frequent sales and rewards programs, which will help you save money on your weekly tailgates.

Lucky's Market

2770 N. High St. This smaller, neighborhood market is known for its broad selection of healthy and organic foods, but also gives Columbus locals the resources they need for easy weeknight meals and game day treats to please, including coupons and recipes. It's the perfect place to stock up on a few locally sourced brats and burgers for game day.

Lineage Brewing

2971 N. High St. What's a tailgate without good beer, anyway? Lineage is one of our favorite spots to grab a pint with friends before the game, or get a growler filled on the way to our chosen venue. Lineage serves up flavorful and innovative beers on tap, and earned a spot on our list of the best breweries in Columbus. Note, you probably won't be allowed to bring glass into the stadium area, but a full growler from a local brewery is a great option for a laid back party at a friend's house.

Campus State Liquor Store

2465 N. High St. You won't find a better beverage selection within miles of campus, and the service is tough to beat. The staff is happy to provide you with recommendations, be it for yourself or for a large crowd. How to Behave Wearing the school colors might not be enough for your fellow fans. You will also have to hoot, holler, and act the part if you want to be truly accepted into the fray. Here are some rules of thumb to follow while you're rooting for the home team.

Follow the Rules

Nothing ruins the party quite like getting kicked out of it. If you're celebrating in or near the stadium, you will want to read up on the official list of school policies here.

Sing Carmen Ohio (and Sing it Loudly)

This catchy tune wasn't created as the official Ohio State song. In fact, it was written by freshman Fred Cornell in 1902. Still, it remains the only school song still in existence, and truly represents the spirit of Ohio State students. Expect a chorus (or a few) to break out at football games. Study the lyrics here so you are well prepared.

Know the Buckeye Battle Cry

You may not realize it, but you have a big job as a fan. Your responsibility is to terrify the other team with your thunderous cheering and perfectly executed Buckeye Battle Cry.

Show up to the Game

Tailgating is fun and all, but remember the reason you're doing it! Make sure to support your team properly by cheering them on at the stadium, or with fellow fans in a local sports bar. If you did actually snag tickets, try to get there early! The crowds getting into the stadium will be thick, and you will want plenty of time to find your seat (and grab a snack) before the game starts.
August
11

The 10 Best Happy Hours in Cincinnati

After a long day at the office, nothing tastes sweeter than a half-priced cocktail and deeply discounted appetizer. Luckily, Cincinnati's hip bars, casual hangouts and upscale eateries cater to that need with unbeatable happy hour specials late in the day. Whether you're a foodie, a tourist, a professional, or just someone in need of a cheap glass of wine, we rounded up the 10 happiest hours around town for your enjoyment. So what are you waiting for? Ditch the desk and head over to one of these Cincinnati hot spots pronto.

The Righteous Room

Monday through Saturday 4-8 pm

Photo courtesy of The Righteous Room

The vibrant and chic atmosphere at the Righteous Room is enough to draw anyone in after a long day at the office. The walls are decorated with the work of local artists, the booths are made of studded red leather, and classic rock music sets the vibe. During happy hour, grab a craft cocktail, microbrew on tap, or wine by the glass for half the price.

The Anchor

Weeknights 5-7 pm This chic yet casual seafood joint serves up one whale of a deal during happy hour! Enjoy the shucker's selection of oysters for just $1.50 each, as well as $1 off all beer and select glasses of wine. Afterward, move on to a beautifully displayed entrée made with local ingredients and the freshest fish available.

Kaze OTR

Tuesday through Friday 4-7 pm, Saturday 4-6 pm, Sunday 4 pm-close

Photo courtesy of Leah Zipperstein via Kaze

Kaze combines a contemporary dining room, a hip bar and lounge, and landscaped beer garden to create the ultimate Japanese Gastropub experience in Over the Rhine. The happy hour specials are unbeatable, featuring specialty cocktails for $5, hot sake for $4, ramen for $4.50, sliders for $2.50, a discounted sushi menu, and much more.

Embers

Daily 4-6 pm Embers offers inventive bites from both land and sea in a chic, polished setting. While every hour here is happy, try to stop by between 4 and 6 pm for the best deals, where you'll find discounted drinks and bar bites, select sushi rolls for just $5, and mini cheeseburgers for $2.

Palomino

Daily 3 pm-close This vibrant Italian hot spot is conveniently nestled in the heart of downtown, which makes it an easy target for post-work cocktails. Happy hour starts at 3 pm (in case you've kicked off work a bit early), and features a wide variety of bites and bevvies to satisfy any craving. Standouts include Brussels sprouts with pancetta, gluten-free wild mushroom ravioli, and several choices of artisan pizza. But don't make us pick a favorite cocktail — there are too many to choose from!

Via Vite

Weeknights 3-6 pm Leave work a bit early to fully embrace the happy hour deals at Via Vite, where all cocktails, beers and wines by the glass are half-priced. Enjoy your choice al fresco on the covered terrace or open-air courtyard, and be sure to accompany it with a fresh pasta dish or inventive entrée from the kitchen.

Unwind Wine Bar

Weeknights 4-7 pm

Photo courtesy of Unwind

Step into Hyde Park's Unwind to find a cozy wine bar complete with artisanal cheese boards, flights, and creative bites from the kitchen. During happy hour, enjoy half off select bottles, $5 off all other bottles, and $2 off glasses and appetizers. Enjoy your selection on the lush patio on warm-weather days, and feel free to bring your dog along with you!

The Cricket Lounge

Daily 4-7 pm Your dollar goes a long way during happy hour at Cricket Lounge. Daily drink specials include a $5 featured cocktail, $5 wines by the glass and $3-4 beers, but the deals get even sweeter depending on the day. On Sundays and Mondays for instance, you can fill up on a burger, fries, and a beer or glass of wine for just $8, and any other day of the week you can enjoy the featured chef's bite with your bevvie of choice for $5.

Quan Hapa

Weeknights 4-7 pm

Photo courtesy of Quan Hapa

This hip Asian fusion hotspot on Vine Street boasts some of the best ramen in the city, but you'll also be delighted to find shareable bites, vegetarian options, and a large selection of okonomiyaki (savory Japanese pancakes). Happy hour features $2 and $4 drinks and discounted bar bites, and specials are even sweeter early in the week! Stop in Monday to grab any okonomiyaki for $8, or Tuesday for half-priced wings.

The Northside Tavern

Monday through Saturday 5-8 pm This Cincinnati staple serves up draught beers, well drinks, classic cocktails and wine in a no-frills, community atmosphere. Over the years, it has become a favorite for locals looking to catch up with friends and dance along to a live local band! During happy hour, most drinks on the menu are $5 or less, so come a bit early and find a spot for the show. The entertainment usually starts at 8 or 9 pm.

Cheers! And may all of your hours be happy hours.

August
11

Meet the Woman Behind Local Westerville Treasure, Edwin Loy Home

Vintage furniture is a classic way to liven up your space. Antiques typically come with an interesting history (which is fun to share at dinner parties), but they also offer the chance to make them your own. Amy Cabilovski, a native of Westerville, Ohio, has a passion for bringing vintage furniture to life. With a background in graphic design and roots in the furniture business, it just seemed natural to combine her passions — and thus, Edwin Loy Home was born. Her shop, which specializes in home decor and artisan furniture, is celebrating its five-year anniversary this year, and has expanded to a second location in Delaware. We spoke to Cabilovski about her journey with this local treasure so far, and what she plans to do next.

Cutler: How did you get your start in this business? Where did you get the idea for Edwin Loy Home?

Amy: During the summer before my senior year at Otterbein, I worked for my aunt and uncle's small furniture business, Saltbox Interiors in Delaware, Ohio. It was there that I fell in love with the small business lifestyle, and I dreamed of owning my own shop someday. In 2012, after walking by a "For Lease" sign in Uptown Westerville on West College Avenue, I came up with an idea to open a store. With my background in art and experience in small business, I came up with Edwin Loy Home. I love antique furniture and decor and I knew I wanted that to be the focus of the shop. When I opened my original storefront, it was just 400 square feet! Within nine months I knew I needed a much larger space to expand on the furniture and our new product, Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan, and we moved to State Street.

Cutler: What does a typical day look like for you?

Amy: At Edwin Loy Home my role involves every aspect of running a business. I wear the hat of accounts payable and receivable to working as a sales associate and everywhere in between. I would say that I don't have just one role but many roles! My typical day goes as follows: I wake up, make a pot of French press (if I'm lucky, my husband Tony makes me a cappuccino), I answer emails and plan my day. I drive into one of the two shops and on the way stop to make errands. I pick up an iced latte and once I get to the shop I review messages and respond accordingly. Then it varies from there. Some days I work the sales floor working with our wonderful customers, or I am working on custom paint services. I usually work a full day at the shops and then head home.

Cutler: Have you always had a passion for furniture and interior design?

Amy: When I was young I used to want to be an architect. I studied architectural books and I even took a youth architectural course at Ohio State. I would spend hours sketching out spaces and building models. I have also always loved the quality of antique and/or vintage furniture and decor. I started collecting vintage costume jewelry in high school but it wasn't until I started working for my aunt's small business that I really fell in love with collecting furniture pieces. I acquired my great aunt's bedroom furniture from the 1930s and '40s, and from there I started picking up furniture — from vintage chairs to books and artwork. I love to mix old pieces with new for an organic and natural aesthetic.

Cutler: It looks like Edwin Loy Home is celebrating its five-year anniversary. How have things changed over the years?

Amy: A lot has changed over the years — from the size of our shop to staffing employees to having a second location. When I opened my first shop five years ago, I was the sole employee. Now, between the two shops, there are eight. We have expanded our services, and now offer custom paint services as well as workshops. In an ever-changing market we are now planning events to create fun and hands on experiences for our customers.

Cutler: How has the community helped shape your business?

Amy: Our community is amazing and extremely supportive of Edwin Loy Home. One of the main reasons I opened my shop in Westerville was because I knew how wonderful it is here. My grandparents live right outside of town, my parents live in Westerville and I attended College in Westerville. The community is a huge support base, and we have a large following that have been clients of ours since our original 400-square-foot space on West College Avenue.

Cutler: How do you go about finding vintage items?

Amy: The hunt for our vintage and antique finds is a huge thrill! Although I don't have as much free time now to go out and search for vintage items, I have been fortunate to work with our amazing picker for four years now. He sources items all over central Ohio and is extremely knowledgeable on all things old.

Cutler: What is the process for restoring them?

Amy: The process of restoring furniture to me is simple — to maintain a piece of furniture's character while bringing it back to life. Most of the pieces that come to me have worn out finishes, dents, missing veneer, etc. I first determine what repairs are needed, we then clean the piece, make the necessary repairs and then we paint! I often let a piece evolve while we are working on it.

Cutler: Edwin Loy Home also offers workshops to the public! What do people typically learn in these workshops? What do you like about them?

Amy: In our workshops, customers can learn basics on using Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan, from basic techniques to painting cabinets. All workshops are hands-on, and our customers leave with the knowledge and understanding of Chalk Paint® to create beautiful finishes on their own furniture and projects. We are excited to be offering new workshops this fall that will include more group oriented classes as well as "Make and Take" type workshops. Stay tuned! I love these workshops because I think they are a great way for people to understand the paint and the process and just how easy it is to use! Anyone can use Chalk Paint® and once they take a workshop they see just how fun and easy it is!

Cutler: What do you love about living in Westerville?

Amy: Westerville is an amazing community that supports and embraces small businesses like Edwin Loy Home. I love to say hello every morning to my fellow merchants and customers and to know them by name. Our city takes great pride in maintaining the historic charm and due to us small business owners that have invested in Historic Uptown Westerville, we have a wonderful, successful and revitalized Uptown that is loved and supported by our community. Get to know Amy yourself by stopping by one of her two locations. You will likely enjoy great conversation, and leave with a unique, vintage piece of furniture to spruce up your home.
August
6

A Dog-Owner's Guide to Cincinnati

Most dog owners will proudly tell you that their pup is like a member of their family, and that there's nothing better than a big, fur-filled snuggle session after a long day of work. Dogs really are the best and we like treat them well and take them along on all our adventures. Luckily, Cincinnati is a very dog-friendly city and makes that easy! Get your furry friend acquainted with the area (and stocked up with plenty of toys) by taking them to any of these shops, pet-friendly restaurants, groomers, walkers, boarding facilities, parks and more!

Dog-Friendly Restaurants, Cafes and Bars

Wurst Bar in the Square Don't let the name fool you — because in our opinion, this is actually one of the best bars in the square! Enjoy a full menu of Bavarian-inspired bites and beer on tap. Pups are welcome as long as you sit on the patio. Hang Over Easy One of Cincinnati's favorite places to cure a hangover (complete with French toast, burgers and morning cocktails) is also one of the most dog-friendly locales in town! The patio out back houses a large grass area where pups are encouraged to roam freely while their owners eat, and there is plenty of water to keep them hydrated. Coffee Emporium There are so many reasons to love the Coffee Emporium, from the whiskey barrel-aged cold brew and welcoming atmosphere to the delicious bites. You're welcome to bring your pup along, which is just another reason that this shop made our list of the 9 best coffee shops in Cincinnati. Fifty West Brewing Co. The Fifty West experience encompasses a love for the outdoors, family and a great craft brew — not to mention puppy love! Come grab a seat on the patio to enjoy a brewski with Fido in tow.

Pet Shops

Photo courtesy of Pet Wants

Pet Wants When it comes to finding the best food for your dog, Pet Wants stands apart from the rest. This locally founded company delivers fresh pet food in a variety of flavors straight to your door! Sign up for the monthly subscription to make feeding Fido as easy as possible, or stop in at their storefront. You'll find wholesome treats, fun accessories and adorable toys for your pup. Curious to know more about the shop? Awhile back we interviewed the owner, Michelle, so read more about Pet Wants here! Petey's Pet Stop This charming, family-owned pet shop is named after a friendly rescue pitbull mix named Petey, who you'll find roaming around the shop or sleeping in a patch of sunshine. The owners love everything having to do with dogs, and have stocked a large selection of USA-made grooming supplies, fun toys, wholesome treats and pet food to make your experience enjoyable. They have even designed their own cat and dog beds to sell in the shop! Stop in to say hi — and bring your dog with you! Petey's also offers boarding and grooming services, as well as DIY bath stations, making it a true one-stop-shop for everything you and your dog may need. Growing Trade Pet & Plant This local shop prides itself in selling only healthy, natural and wholesome foods for your beloved fur babies. Each brand is analyzed thoroughly by the staff so that they can provide the best recommendations for your pup, without bias or marketing gimmicks. You will also find a large selection of toys, treats, and fun accessories.

Dog Parks

Wagspark Let your pup loose in three fenced acres of fun at Wagspark, where he or she can run, play with other dogs on the puppy playset, and/or splash in the spring-fed lakes. As Cincinnati's biggest private dog park, there are plenty of activities for pup and owner alike, including Yappy Hour, Movie and a Hot Diggity Dog, open swim, theme days and more. Otto Armleder Dog Park Located on the east side of town, this hot spot for dog owners spans 10 acres and includes a canine shower, dog drinking fountains, separate play areas for different sized dogs, and plenty of shade trees. Let your pup run wild at the Armleder Dog Park as you enjoy the gorgeous scenery! Kellogg Park Kellogg Park has it all, including a playground for the kids, a picnic area, clean restrooms, soccer fields, and most importantly, a large dog park! It is the perfect destination for a family day out on the town. While the kids are playing, unleash your pup into the wide, grassy expanses that the dog play area provides, then sit back and watch the fun unfold. Fido Field Fido Field is a fenced, off-leash and volunteer-managed dog play area. Your pup can play with other dogs their size in the small and large playing areas, and can enjoy the friendly, community atmosphere that the public park provides.  

Dog Boarding, Walking and Daycare

Puppywood Pet Resort Check your little monster in to Puppywood Pet Resort for a stay filled with fun, fluff and plenty of socialization with other dogs. There are a number of packages available for day care, including just a half day and up to a 25-visit punch card, or an unlimited monthly pass. While there, your dog will engage with others, get some exercise, and even pick up some good habits from the onsite trainers. Professional Pet Nanny Whether it's in-home pet care, a quick walk around the block, or an overnight slumber party, Professional Pet Nanny Inc. is on the case. Just like a regular nanny, you can schedule an interview to meet your pet nanny before your departure and introduce him or her to the pets in your home! Your pets will enjoy the comforts of home with all the care that you would normally provide, and a few extra snuggles to boot. Best Friends Pet Care Best Friends Pet Care is just like summer camp — but for your dog. Your fluffster can play all day and stay all night, all the while being treated to plenty of playtime, snuggles, and grooming treatments. Just looking for a bit of a refresh? Book a grooming appointment separately! Red Dog Pet Resort and Spa While you're relaxing on a beach somewhere, why not book a vacation for your dog, too? Red Dog Pet Resort & Spa provides a luxe boarding experience for your pets, including a swimming pool, a dog park, and some training and grooming sessions. Your pup might never want to come home (but they will, because they love you).

Groomers

Photo courtesy of Kayla's Posh Pets Grooming & Boutique

Kayla's Posh Pets Grooming & Boutique Kayla's Posh Pets Grooming & Boutique is just as fun for the pet as it is for the owner! The team strives to create a relaxing and comforting experience, and keeps up to date with the latest trends and styles to keep your pup as fashionable as can be. Paw's Palace   This award-winning groomer makes excellent service a priority. Since 1989, the team has been clipping, preening and fluffing to style their customers' pets to perfection, and caters to all breeds of canines and felines. Laundromutt Save a bit of cash and do the washing yourself, but without the mess and the cleanup. At Laundromutt, the pup-loving staff will do all of the prep and cleanup for you, and be on standby while you do all of the fun parts of dog grooming. Add a puppy pedicure for just $7, and shop the dog boutique afterward for accessories that will leave your dog feeling fresh and stylish.

It's a Dog's Life!

We hope you enjoyed these recommendations! Have fun out there with your pup, and make sure to tag your adorable puppy pictures on Instagram with @cutlerhomes — we might share the puppy love! Save
August
4

11 Date Night Ideas in Cleveland that are More Fun than Dinner and A Movie

Whether you've just met or you have been together for 20 years, date night is one of our favorite excuses to get out on the town and explore a new hotspot. And while we would never turn down a classic dinner and a movie combination, sometimes it's fun to switch it up a bit. If you're looking in the right places, you'll find that Cleveland is an incredibly romantic city. The streets are filled with cozy wine bars, cafes, art galleries and the like — all perfect for a night out. We've gathered some of our favorite date night destinations around town that break the dinner and a movie mold (and might just get you out of your date night comfort zone!).

Hang Out at Wade Oval

Photo courtesy of universitycircle.org

This Cleveland landmark is the perfect place for an outdoorsy date night during any season. The area is filled to the brim with museums and cultural landmarks, which you could explore after a relaxing stroll or a picnic in the park. In the summer, lay down a blanket and dance along to reggae, jazz and rock during the free Wednesday night concerts. And in the winter, grab a hot chocolate from a nearby shop and twirl around the whimsical outdoor ice skating rink.

Enjoy Old-School Bites and Bowling at Mahall's

We've all heard of bowling as a laid-back date night option, but Mahall's steps it up a notch. The old-school alley ditches the TVs and gimmicks that most modern bowling alleys rely on, and instead boasts theme nights and live music — just like the good ol' days. Hungry? Grab a burger or a basket of fried chicken from the kitchen, and chase it down with a classic cocktail.

The Tabletop Board Game Cafe

Photo courtesy of the Tabletop Board Game Cafe

Sometimes, a chill night of board games is just what the doctor ordered — especially after a long week. While mixing up a cocktail and breaking out SORRY at home is always a good option, we love spending time at the Tabletop Board Game Cafe. Here, you and your loved one can enjoy the perks of a full-service bar and restaurant alongside a selection of more than 1000 classic board games. There's bound to be one on the shelves you haven't yet tried!

Switch it Up with a Drive-In Movie

We love a dark and cozy movie theater as much as the next person, but Aut-O-Rama provides a charming alternative to the typical movie-going experience. This classic, drive-in theater has been serving the Cleveland area since the 60s, and shows new blockbusters alongside classic films. Drive up with your sweetheart and enjoy the theater experience from the comfort of your own car, and don't forget the popcorn!

Try a New Winery

Photo courtesy of Vino Veritas Cellars

In Cleveland, we are lucky to be located right near the heart of Ohio's wine country, so naturally, there are so many great options to choose from when it comes to sharing a bottle. However, Brooklyn's newest occupant, Vino Veritas Cellars, is one of our absolute favorites for date night. The winery is surrounded by residential streets, but the 2.3 acre paradise feels like it's worlds away from the city. Chat with the owner, Anthony Nunes Insana, while you sip from a bottle of Chardonnay, Cabernet, or Cougar Juice (a Michigan cherry wine), or walk down the path to a private seating area, where a bocce court awaits. Need another reason to love this Vino Veritas? A portion of the proceeds from the winery benefits Awakening Angels, a non-profit that helps individuals with developmental challenges.

Get Some Belly Laughs at a Comedy Show

Nothing livens up a date night quite like some full-bellied laughs! Nearly every night in Cleveland bars and clubs will light up with comedy acts including improv, workshops, stand-up and more. A few of our favorites include Crooked River Comedy, Cleveland Improv, and Pickwick & Frolic.

Shop Through West Side Market

The West Side Market is one of Cleveland's most recognizable landmarks — and is an absolute must for any out-of-town guests that are visiting. The market is open until 6 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, which allows a bit of time to stroll through the lively market on an early date night, admiring the freshly baked breads, fresh produce and seafood. This is an excellent place to grab a snack and enjoy people watching, or else stock up on some groceries to make a gourmet dinner at home.

Watch the Sunset from the Lakewood Solstice Steps

The Solstice Steps curve around the edge of Lake Erie, and make for the perfect warm-weather destination to watch the sunset and enjoy a picnic. After the color is wiped from the sky, enjoy a nighttime stroll on the nearby trails and along the beach.

Grab Drinks at Griffin Cider House & Gin Bar

Photo courtesy of Brian McCracken via Griffin Cider House

As long as you're in the Lakewood neighborhood, make it a point to stop by Griffin Cider House (although, the pub is reason enough to make the trip). The charming house-like exterior opens into a cozy English-style pub with modern touches, and a cozy backroom dubbed "The Gin Palace." Expect a wide range of ciders from dry to sweet, as well as a few specialty cocktails!

Play Games at 16-Bit

Photo courtesy of 16-Bit

This arcade-meets-bar is the place to go for a bit of friendly competition. Grab a cocktail from the bar (our favorites are the cleverly named "Hulk Hogan" and "David Hasselhoff"), and then take your pick of more than 40 classic video games. Loser has to buy the next round.

Enjoy a Storytelling Show

Storytelling clubs, such as the Story Club and Keep Talking CLE, have recently been popping up in bars and breweries across town. The nights feature real people telling real stories, the themes of which range from funny to tear jerking. After the show, rehash your favorites over a drink with your sweetheart.   Save

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