CANOE RENTAL: LOVELAND CANOE & KAYAKOwners Mark and Robyn Bersani minimize the frat-party atmosphere and maximize the enjoyment of paddlers on this lovely end of the Little Miami. lovelandcanoe.com
ZIP LINE: CREATION MUSEUMAnd on the eighth day, the Lord invented zip lining, and it was good. The Creation Museum’s Zip Line and Canopy Adventure Tours in Hebron offer an elevated spiritual experience, with more than two-and-a-half miles of zip lines and sky bridges. Test your speed on the dueling 1,700-foot racing lines—winner gets to cast the first stone. creationmuseum.org
ALTERNATIVE RUNNING TRAIL: SPRING GROVE CEMETERYThe setting is beautiful: 433 park-like acres and 44 miles of paved road, with more than 1,200 species of trees and plants throughout. Download maps to two U.S.A. Track & Field Certified 5K courses (fair warning: we had a little trouble following route one), or follow one of the three Walk for Health trails—1, 2, or 3.5 miles—that are marked with small signs. Disrespectful? Hardly. As Adolph Strauch, Spring Grove’s landscape gardener and superintendent wrote in 1856, “a rural cemetery should form the most interesting of all places for contemplative recreation.” Sounds like a long run to us. springgrove.org
APPLE PICKING: HIDDEN VALLEY FRUIT FARMEvery day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during September and October, visit Hidden Valley Fruit Farm’s orchards for pick-your-own apples. The old fashioned roadside farm sells some 20 varieties (Honey Crisp!) and will tell you their ideal application (pies, applesauce, or snacking in the car on the way home). Plus, there’s a fully stocked store and a bakery that justifies the drive out to rural Lebanon: The smell of baking apples will hit you before the car door shuts, and you’ll know you’ve come to the right place. hiddenvalleyfruitfarm.com
INDOOR RACING: FULL THROTTLE INDOOR KARTINGAfter signing a waiver and watching a mandatory safety video, you’re released upon a professionally designed and monitored track in Springdale that’s just as difficult to handle as the high-speed karts. For $20, you get eight minutes of race time, more than enough to leave you completely drained. cincykarting.com
FUN RUN: RUN OM CINCYRunners are a competitive lot, but for run OM cincy, held on September 28, participants put all rivalries aside to focus on fun—and their downward dog. Runners and walkers trekked, untimed, from Hyde Park, Newport, and Over-the-Rhine to Great American Ball Park for yoga on the field with Rosie Red herself. It didn’t cost a thing, as Lululemon Athletica footed the bill. And while the international retailer had organized ballpark yoga in other cities, Cincinnati’s was the first to include a run. lululemon.com
SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT: THE METROFor more than five decades this tournament has found bankers and stockboys, Camp Dennison and Cleves, competing toe-to-toe. There are 200-plus teams, and all brackets lead to Rumpke Ballpark in late July and early August, where the champion is crowned. rumpke.com/rumpkepark/events
MINIATURE GOLF: MONSTER MINI GOLFYou won’t find any waterfalls or willow trees at Monster Mini Golf. There are no uphill walks, either. The unique glow-in-the-dark course serves up 18 challenging neon holes of family friendly, Cincinnati-themed monster madness. Beware of the challenges that lurk before every hole—shoot behind the back with your left hand on the 10th hole—they’ll make your score far more frightening than the monsters. monsterminigolf.com
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