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Elizabeth Miller Wood

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Top 5 Tastings

A little of this, a little of that. Tasting events are an indecisive person’s reprieve from the oh-so-challenging decisions of everyday life. Get a little of everything at these scrumptious samplings.

1. Feb 23: Cincinnati Cyclones Pucks & Pinot
Finally. A date with something for both him and her. Sip and sample Constellation Wines and ritzy Cabot Cheese appetizers while peering down at the Cyclones’ warm-ups from your cushy suite (that’s for her), then head down to the game for high-speed, up-close hockey action (that’s for him). Tickets: $33. Wed 6–7:30 pm. 100 Broadway, downtown, (513) 412-PUCK.

2. Feb 23: David & David Culinary at The Art of Entertaining
Chef David Cook of Daveed’s at 934 concocts culinary creations while a wine representative pairs Cook’s creations (which, at his restaurant, include such delights as Sautéed Veal Sweetbreads and Pan Seared Maple Leaf Farm Duck Breast) with Michael David’s California wines (which include saucily named selections like the 2007 Rapture Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2008 Lust Zinfandel). Two Davids: one delicious night. Admission: $68. Tues 6:30–9 pm. 2019 Madison Rd., O’Bryonville, (513) 871-5170.

3. Feb 24: Cigar Tasting at Jungle Jim’s International Market
While cigars are often saved for celebratory occasions—bachelor parties, baby births, graduations—we think that “Thursday” is reason enough to strike up a stogie. Tap into your inner Robert De Niro for this sophisticated sampling. This week’s theme: Cuban-style Padrón Cigars. Admission: free. $15 to sample three cigars. Thurs 5-8 pm. 5440 Dixie Hwy., Fairfield, (513) 674-6000.

4. Feb 25: Tennessee Whiskey Tasting at The Party Source
According to an Irish Proverb,  “What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for.” So come and cure your woes (or, at least, make them fuzzier) while sipping slowly on the pride of Tennessee’s distilleries, including tastes from Jack Daniels, George Dickel, and two novel distilleries. Admission: $20. Fri 6:30–8:30 pm. 95 Riviera Dr., Bellevue, (859) 291-4007.

5. Feb 26 & 27: Maple Syrup Tasting at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve
Step aside, Aunt Jemima, this sweet treat is Ohio’s real deal. From tree to table, experience the life of maple syrup during Maple Sugar Days. Guided hikes show visitors how maple trees are tapped, and sample foods prepared with maple syrup will be available—including sundaes, maple cotton candy, and maple syrup on waffles—for a small fee. Admission: free. A valid Hamilton County Park District Motor Vehicle Permit ($10.00 annual; $3.00 daily) is required to enter the park. Sat & Sun noon–5 pm. 3455 Poole Rd., Colerain, (513) 521-7275.

Top 5 Black History Month Events

African Americans have played an integral role in shaping the nation we know and appreciate today.  Here are just a few ways you can join in the celebration of February Black History Month.

1. Thru Feb 26: Walk-in Tours of Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial
Born in Dayton in 1872 to former slaves, Dunbar is famed as the first African-American poet to earn national acclaim. Though he only lived to age 33, his prolific legacy includes dialect poems, essays, a

Top 5 Places to Sing Along

When you get the urge to flex your pipes somewhere other than the shower, check out these sing along-friendly establishments.

1. The Penguin Dueling Piano Bar
Piano bars are more than just pianists tickling the ivories for tips. While two musicians “duel” between interfacing baby grand pianos, there’s humor, there’s intrigue, and, yes, they’ll gladly tolerate your off-key sing-a-long contributions. Brush up on the lyrics from Bon Jovi

Top 5 Places to Huddle Around a Fire

Baby, it’s cold outside! But these fireside stops will keep you toasty warm.

1. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub
With seat-yourself service, we won’t judge you for throwing an elbow or two when vying for the tables near the central, built-in fireplace. The friendly flame within a stone hearth is a cozy perk to an already-warm and lively Celtic ambiance. It’s the perfect pairing to a creamy Guinness.
6111 Montgomery Rd., Pleasant Ridge, (513

Top 5 Winter Hiking Events This Week

Kick the cabin fever and break free from hibernation with these refreshing, organized winter hikes.  

1. Jan 19: Full Moon Walk
Mother Nature’s grand night-light illuminates paths during this two-mile, moderate terrain stroll while you learn about nature and history from your guides. Though January’s full moon is the dubbed the “Wolf Moon,” we suggest you try to resist howling.
Registration required: members free, nonmembers $5

Top 5 Museums

Top 5 Museums You Haven’t Been to Since Your Last School Field Trip

Chances are, when you last visited these museums, you were more excited about missing a day of school than learning about their educational significance. And that’s OK. But now you can appreciate these unique museums with “mature” eyes. The weather is just right for these indoor activities.

1. Betts House
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