Before you make dinner plans, you have to check out Anne Mitchell's guide to local Mardi Gras eats, our cover story for the week. From Otto's to Washington Platform to Half Day Cafe, she describes all the local restaurants celebrating with NOLA-inspired bites, traditional baked goods and gut-busting buffets (you are supposed to pig out today, right?).
Countless other area eateries and drinkeries promise a night of crawfish and hurricanes, including Allyn's, Stanley's Pub, Righteous Room, Mecklenburg Gardens, The Stand, J. Gumbo's, Blue Wisp, Keystone Bar & Grill (Covington and Hyde Park), AliveOne, The Lackman and The Pub (Rookwood Mews and Crestview Hills).
And since the whole point of Fat Tuesday is to get all your vices out of the way before the Christian season of Lent, a time for sacrifice and prayer leading up to Easter, why not support a charity? At Mardi Gras for Homeless Children, guests can enjoy food and drink, authentic Zydeco and Jazz music, auctions and more. The event runs from 6:30-10 p.m. at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Tickets are $55, available here. Proceeds benefit homeless children shelters.In non-Fat news, tonight's live music lineup ranges from Dubstep (Rusko) to Christian Metalcore (August Burns Red). Check out Mike Breen's music blog for details.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Cincinnati Museum Center’s History Museum will host its annual 1940’s Weekend, where a menagerie of dance, history and antique cars await. Elizabeth Pierce, the vice president of marketing and communications shared, some information on what to look forward to at the event.
“Cincinnati History Museum staff were inspired to present 1940’s Weekend and help visitors understand history of Union Terminal and Cincinnati in that era,” Pierce said. “There are fascinating stories of Cincinnati area businesses and leaders that made a difference in the war effort and the impact the war had on our community.”
During the ‘40s, Union Terminal was teeming with life — commuters going to and from military bases, families awaiting their loved ones return and people headed off to work. These moments and more will be captured at the 1940s Weekend with photo galleries set up to give guests a taste of what the location was like in that time.
“The photos we have of Union Terminal at that time are bursting at the seams with people. Literally, tens of thousands of people, passed through Union Terminal on a daily basis,” Pierce said. “The Rookwood Parlor (currently our ice cream shop) was converted into the USO lounge. It is thought to be one of the first racially integrated USO lounges in the country. The Cincinnati USO was also unique in that it was led by broad group of women from Christian, Catholic and Jewish faiths.”
The Terminal itself had, at one point, a “make-shift nursery” to help soldiers traveling through the area on their way to or from training. To accommodate the people coming through as well, the Terminal had areas where soldiers could see their families during layovers.
There are free events that will be in the Rotunda and surrounding areas of the museum, like the exhibit Cincinnati Goes to War. This exhibit will show how Cincinnati did its part during World War II through interactive media displays, set pieces and photographs. There will be plenty of other activities ranging from live bands like The Jump n’ Jive Show Band and the P&G Big Band, to old radio broadcasts and food tasting from the legendary era. The museum will be hosting two survivors of the Holocaust to talk about their experiences. Holocaust survivors Werner Coppel and Henry Fenichel will be speaking Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m., respectively.
Cars from the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s will await guests at the museum’s entrance. This impressive display of history began with a search inquiry placed in winter of last year.
“Starting in February, CHM began to reach out to local vintage car owners through the Show and Shine Calendar — an event calendar that publishes all the great car events in six different states,” Pierce said. “The area has so many great automobile groups and car events that we were able to further spread the word about the weekend by attending shows such as the Rollin’ On The River Car Show and the Milford Cruise-In.”
The 1940s Weekend runs will during regular museum hours, 10 a.m -5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets (required for the Cincinnati History Museum) are $12.50 for adults and $8.50 for children.
“There are fun ways to take people back in time through music, fashion and design.” Pierce said. “Union Terminal was a vital part of transporting troops across the nation and is a place where family members went off to war, some reunited, some never to return.”
For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org
Bree from Hot Wheels Entertainment hosts karaoke at The Drinkery every Tuesday. Whether you're a karaoke god or just a spectator, swing by the OTR bar between 9 p.m.-2 a.m. for tunes and booze. Find details here.
Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative (CPI) continues its New Voices Season of Staged Readings with Edge Walking. Written by Barbara Harkness and directed by Patrick Downey, Edge Walking follows two parents who are faced with a child claiming he is the reincarnation of their oldest son who died as a POW in Vietnam. The encounter brings up feelings of anger, loss and grief as each character must deal with the death. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. performance are just $8 and can be purchased before the show at the Aronoff Center. For more information, call CPI's Kalman Kivkovich at 513-861-0004.
Want to enjoy after-work drinks while learning about an important local cause? GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) Greater Cincinnati presents a happy hour at Know Theatre from 5:30-7:30 p.m. tonight. Learn about GLSEN's mission to make schools safe for all students regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Enjoy a cash bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres while the organization will gives a brief presentation at 6:45 p.m. Learn more about GLSEN and how to become on ally here.
An initiative of Green Umbrella, the Great Outdoor Weekend is this Saturday and Sunday. Hundreds of Cincinnati parks celebrate nature with more than 120 free events that are open to the public. Whether you are taking your dog out for a stroll around the neighborhood, planning a hiking trip to a local park you don't often frequent, or taking a camping trip, there's no better time than this weekend to take an outdoor adventure.
The first day at the Cincinnati Nature Center inspired our outdoor adventure and our next stop confirmed it. Devou Park is most famous for it's picture-perfect view of Cincinnati. On any given day, you might see a professional and his camera atop the hill taking a photo of the skyline, a couple picnicking or perhaps a duo that was just wed. The park is definitely known for it's view, but did you know it has several miles of hiking and mountain biking trails too? It wasn't hard for me to get lost underneath the canopy of trees and forget that I was less than five miles from downtown Cincinnati.
Does all of this outdoorsy talk have you searching for your old hiking boots yet? You're not the only one. Hundreds of people, rookies and seasoned outdoorsmen alike, are marking their calendars for the Great Outdoor Weekend. Before you set off into the wilderness, you could attend a seminar that will make you trail ready. Learn where to set camp, how to pack, and what to eat on your next trip by attending a Great Outdoors seminar and overnight with Roads Rivers and Trails.
As always, there will be dinner-by-the-bite from your favorite restaurants like Adriatico's, Izzy's and A Tavola; coffee and dessert from Coffee Emporium and BonBonerie; and the city's best cocktails including martinis, Bloody Marys and margaritas. As you're eating your way through the beautiful Memorial Hall, enjoy music from a DJ and a live performance from Exhale Dance Tribe performers.
Other events tonight include a Make and Bake glass jewelry class at Brazee Studios from 5-7 p.m., a Homegrown Tomatoes workshop at the Civic Garden Center from 6-8 p.m. and free concert at CCM featuring the U.S. Navy Band from Washington, D.C. at 8 p.m.
Pop culture icon and Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner is in town for one night only this evening. Touring with his one-man show, Shatner's World: We Just Live in It, The Shat will perform at the Aronoff Center tonight at 8 p.m. Fans will get to hear about his life and career on television, film and stage, with plenty of music and video clips. Fun fact: the famous phrase "Beam me up, Scotty" was never actually said in Star Trek's original run. Get last-minute tickets here.
The International Quilt Festival takes over Duke Energy Convention Center Friday-Sunday. The event features textile exhibits, hundreds of vendors selling books, patterns and fabrics, lectures and tons of classes for all levels of quilters. Single-day tickets are $10 ($8 for students and seniors); most classes cost extra.
The Cincinnati Museum Center's Passport to the World series continues this month with Asian Culture Fest Saturday and Sunday. "Visit" India, Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries without leaving Cincinnati! There will be taekwondo, karate and dance demonstrations, movie screenings, craft projects and plenty of kids activities. The event is free with museum admission. While you're there, check out A Day in Pompeii.
Get dolled up and party like it’s 1933 with performances by Rose Room and Cin City Burlesque and a DJ Havination dance party. Hot bites will be cooking up all night long; use the speakeasy password “George Remus” for cocktail specials featuring Canadian Club. It’ll be just like a scene in Boardwalk Empire — minus all that murder and stuff.
Want to get involved in local television and radio? Media Bridges hosts a holiday open house at their Central Parkway facility from 6-9 p.m. Friday. Learn about Media Bridges, WVQC and how to create your own media for TV and radio. Go here for more information.
If your office holiday party is a drag, skip that shit and head to Newport for Powerhouse Factories’ annual shin dig Friday. Enjoy drinks, music and great deals on Powerhouse’s rockin’ posters — perfect gifts for the music lovers on your shopping list. The first 50 partiers to arrive will get a freebie holiday print.
It’s Northside Second Saturday time, and this month features NVISION’s newly expanded space with the opening reception for artist Nancy Gamon; craft beer tasting contest at Mayday; Chicken Lays an Egg three-year anniversary; Hopnosis small batch specialty beer bash at The Comet and much more.
Did reading this month’s drink column make you want to learn more about the art of brewing and cupping coffee? Rob Hoos of Nossa Coffee, Adam Shaw of Deeper Roots Coffee, Alex Stahler of Tazza Mia host a “Coffee Nerdom” class this Sunday at 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab in OTR. Learn about specialty coffee, the cupping process and single-brewing methods — and get your caffeine buzz on. Go here to register.
Halloween may technically be over, but that doesn’t mean the spooky fun has to end. Exhale Dance Tribe’s annual Halloween performance Dead Can Dance takes over Memorial Hall Friday night. An eerie, engaging show in a historically haunted building? Check. Snacks and drinks included? Check. A chance to get another wear out of your costume? Check. (Attendees are encouraged to come “dressed as your worst nightmare.”) Read our full feature here.
A new gallery/boutique in Covington hosts its grand opening this weekend. Shrewdness of Apes (32 W. Seventh St.) opens its first art show, On Wood, with a reception 6-10 p.m. Friday. Guests can also purchase local artwork, home décor, jewelry and accessories and other handmade goods.
Apple-picking season comes to an end this time of year, and if you didn’t get a chance to head to an area farm, Saturday’s City Apple Festival is your ticket for local, seasonal produce. Washington Park’s first-ever apple fest runs 11 a.m.-6 p.m. featuring live music and local vendors in addition to apples and other fresh fruits and veggies for sale. Find a full list of participating bands and vendors here.
Velocity Bike & Bean is a full-service bicycle retail/repair shop and coffee house located in Florence. This Saturday, the joint hosts a home sale and swap from 1-3 p.m. Bring at least six home interior items (pictures, rugs, end tables, frames, lamps, etc.) to the shop to sell or swap with others. Be sure to only bring decor others would actually want to have — no tacky “Goodwill rejects,” so leave that porch goose with the seasonal bonnets and aprons in your garage. Go here for more details.
Do you just wanna dance? Mayday hosts All Twerk and No Play, a weekly dance party, every Saturday starting this weekend. LOOKUP mans the ship this Saturday, presenting a nautical-themed party. The fun starts at 10 p.m. and, with daylight savings ending Sunday and clocks “falling back” at 2 a.m. Sunday, attendees will get an extra hour of dancing!
Yoga in unconventional spaces is always fun. Every Sunday this month, Modo Yoga will bring its urban yoga series to Rhinegeist brewery. The free yoga class begins at 10:30 a.m. starting this Sunday, followed by beers and brunch.
For more art openings, parties and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings. And for those riding the Halloween wave until it crashes, peep ScaryBeat for some final spooky and fun events of the season.
The ArtsWave creates and supports art programs and opportunities in the city year-round, but three Saturdays each year, the organization kicks its mission into high gear with the Macy’s Arts Sampler. The free event brings visual art, theater, dance, music, crafts and more to venues across Greater Cincinnati. This Saturday’s sampler includes shows and backstage tours at Playhouse in the Park, Madcap Puppets at Cincinnati Art Museum and tons of other fun, creative opportunities for the whole family from Kings High School to Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington, all day long. Find a full schedule of events here.
Cincy Blues Society celebrates 23 years this weekend with Winter Blues Fest. The fest takes place at The Phoenix, CityBeat’s across-the-street neighbors, Friday and Saturday with more than 25 local acts. Sonny Moorman and the Stacy Mitchhart Band headline; tickets are $20 per night; $35 for the weekend.
Not able to make it to the Big Easy this Fat Tuesday? Celebrate Mardi Gras in MainStrasse Friday and Saturday. Get your fill of beads with parades each night, plus live music and Cajun grub in the entertainment tent open 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Stop by your favorite MainStrasse bar, restaurant or business to keep the party going. Tickets are $10 per night or $15 for the weekend; find more info here.
With Valentine’s Day next week, lots of folks are buying up chocolates, flowers, special undies and other goodies for their significant others. You know who could really use some love? The hundreds of adoptable animals that have been abused, neglected or left behind by owners. This weekend, My Furry Valentine brings these lovable critters from dozens of rescues together in West Chester for Greater Cincinnati’s largest animal adoption event. Skip pet stores and breeders and find a pet that needs a home 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at flexi USA, Inc. (8494 Firebird Dr., West Chester). If you can’t make it out to the ‘burbs, check out one of more than 20 participating locations. Each adopted cat, dog, rabbit or other pet will go home with a gift bag of treats, toys, coupons and more supplies.
The Mayerson JCC’s Jewish and Israeli Film Festival kicks off Saturday with a screening of Hava Nagila, a comedic documentary that tells the story of this Jewish celebration staple song. This opening night celebration takes place 8-10 p.m. Saturday at the Cincinnati Museum Center and includes dessert, a photo booth and private admission to the museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. The fest continues through Feb. 28 with films shown at the Museum Center, Esquire Theatre, Kenwood Theatre, Mariemont Theatre and the Mayerson JCC. Go here for ticket information and a full schedule.
Whether the word “craft” conjures up thoughts of glitter and glue or bottles and brew, Mt. Caramel Brewing Company’s Art. Craft. Beer. show has something for everyone. The brewery’s gallery will be full of works from area artists with plenty of fresh craft beer to go around, Saturday and Sunday. The event is just one of many happenings coinciding with Cincinnati Beer Week (which continues through Thursday). Get a full schedule and find participating bars and venues here.
Covington's Carnegie Center presents its sixth annual Art of Food show, opening tonight. As you might've guessed, this art exhibit is centered around all things edible. The reception features beautiful culinary creations (that you can actually eat) by everyone from BonBonnerie to La Poste, Queen City Cookies to Taste of Belgium. Admission is a little steep ($60 at the door for non-members), but you'll leave with your left brain and stomach both very satisfied. Admission after the reception is free. Get details here.
The opening reception kicks off at 8 p.m. In addition to checking out the artwork, electronic musician/wizard Dan Deacon will perform 8-9 p.m. If you haven't heard of him, here's a preview:
If you didn't score tickets to tonight's sold out Black Keys show, there are plenty of other music options. Eli's BBQ on Riverside Drive hosts Downtown Country Band tonight at 10 p.m. Tickets are $12. And really, any concert that also features barbecue is probably a sure bet. The Harlequins hosts an album release show Saturday at Mayday in Northside. Peep our interview with the crew. There are tons of other live music shows this weekend. Find them all on our music blog.