Viewings begin after dusk and only on nights that are clear, so be sure to check the webpage for their daily “Clear Sky Chart” on the Observatory’s website before you go. Free. Sept. 8, 15, Oct. 13 and 20. Stonelick State Park. 2895 Lake Drive, Pleasant Plain. 513-321-5186, cincinnatiobservatory.org.
4: Pyramid Hill 10th Annual Art Fair
It’s always a good plan to slip into the air-conditioned galleries of a local museum when you need a break from the dog days of summer, but with the morbidly hot weather ending it’s time to get outside and enjoy the crisp (albeit brief) fall weather this part of the region has to offer. A perfect outdoor destination for your art viewing pleasure is Pyramid Hill, a 265-acre outdoor museum with monumental sculptures strategically placed among gardens, forests and meadows. For the price of a $5 parking fee on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 30 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Pyramid Hill hosts their 10th Annual Art Fair. More than 70 artists of both 3-D and 2-D artwork will display and sell their work, and there will be musical entertainment and hands-on activities for children. Pyramid Hill. 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton. 513-868-1234, pyramidhill.org.
5: Costumes and candy
Want to be the coolest dad/aunt/older sibling on the block this Halloween? Take your favorite youngster on a day jaunt to Cappel’s Costume Annex on Race Street (or if you’re feeling more crafty, their Party Store a block away on Elm) sometime before Halloween for every spooky accoutrement your favorite ghost or goblin could want. Conveniently enough, situated on Court Street right between both Cappel’s stores downtown is Cincinnati’s oldest candy store: Peter Minges & Son Wholesale Candy & Confections. The wooden plank-floored store with barrels of hard-to-find candy sells mostly in bulk, but also a few things individually, and it is a trip down memory lane for those of us old enough to remember Necco SkyBars, Candy Cigarettes and “Uncle Al” marshmallow cones. Both Cappel’s and Minges are long-standing Cincinnati businesses, so your holiday pennies are well spent and stay local. Cappel’s, 917 Race St., Downtown. 513-621-9499, cappelsinc.com; Peter Minges & Son, 138 W. Court St., Downtown. 513-241-7376.
6: Faculty Office at Art Academy of Cincinnati
If you’re a fine arts educator, a common challenge is having an excuse to dedicate time to your own artistic practice. Every Final Friday this fall, the Art Academy of Cincinnati’s Faculty Office exhibition space hosts openings of contemporary art by artists who teach — giving everyone from high school teachers to community education instructors a reason to focus on their own work. Situated on the lower level of the Jackson Street AAC building and run by AAC Sculpture Professor Keith Benjamin, past exhibitions have showcased the work of UC’s Matt Lynch, University of Dayton’s Jeffrey Cortland Jones and the AAC’s own Ken Henson. In October they’ll have an exhibition to coincide with FOTOFOCUS called “low road,” presenting artists who make photographs but do not consider themselves photographers. Art Academy of Cincinnati, 1212 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-562-6262, artacademy.edu.
7: Hauntings of Greater Cincinnati Tour
Cincinnati Museum Center’s “Heritage Programs” are an ongoing series of visually stimulating tours that focus on historic, cultural and architectural local sites. And if you want to find out more about ghostly area haunts (like Bobby Mackey’s nightclub, where the headless Pearl Bryant and her lover still occupy the one-time slaughterhouse and rumored occultist hangout, or other historic homes on both sides of the Ohio River, where long-dead occupants continue to inhabit their old surroundings), you would do well to take part in the upcoming “Hauntings of Greater Cincinnati” tour, which takes place Friday, Sept. 28. An all-day tour that requires walking and standing for long periods of time, this is not a trip for the weak of heart — it will raise some hairs on the back of your neck, so dress comfortably and wear comfortable shoes. $75 for museum members, $85 for non-members. Registration deadline is Sept. 21. Cincinnati Museum Center. 513-287-7031, cincymuseum.org/programs/heritage.
8: SONTAG: REBORN
One of our country’s premiere visual arts institutions is a mere two-hour drive from Cincinnati. The Wexner Center for the Arts routinely showcases multidisciplinary programs that encompass performing arts, exhibitions, and film/video media that are on the cutting-edge of current practice. One such upcoming program is SONTAG: REBORN, a touring “stage portrait” created by performance and media company (helmed by Artistic Director, Marianne Weems) The Builders Association. A tender look at the world-renowned author and activist’s early years as a student and aspiring writer, SONTAG: REBORN delves into her internal struggles with self-discovery and sexual identity. There are three nighttime screenings of the New York Times-professed “touching and exquisitely rendered portrait,” at 8 p.m. Nov. 15 –17 and one daytime performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov 18. $10-$20. Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University, 1871 N. High St., Columbus. 614-292-0330, wexarts.org.
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