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by Stefanie Kremer 09.19.2012
Posted In: Events, Animals at 01:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Explore the Great Outdoors this Weekend

It's no coincidence that Sept. 22 marks both the beginning of fall and the first day of the ninth annual Great Outdoor Weekend in Cincinnati. The best time to enjoy the outdoors is autumn — when there's crunching leaves beneath your feet and a cool gust of wind at your back.

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.

It was in the car ride home from the Cincinnati Nature Center in Milford on a crisp morning that my mini autumn adventure hit me. My mom and I were discussing the 20+ miles of trails that the nature center offers, the deer and changing leaves we saw while hiking, and how good we felt after getting some exercise in the fresh air. Somewhere in between our excitement about what we just did, and dreaming about what we could do if we didn't have real life responsibilities, we decided we would explore a different park in Cincinnati each day for three days.

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.

On the third day, a wander in the woods even led me to brush up on some history. Unexpected, but true. We visited the Johnson Nature Preserve which was built just outside downtown Montgomery after the 1999 tornado. In an attempt to preserve an urban forest after the destruction, the nature preserve is now a short nature trail, a place of biology study, and also a tribute to the tornado. This hike was the shortest one, but after getting so involved with the stories about the history of the area and the plans for the future, we ended up hiking it twice because we didn't want to miss anything.

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.

With great weather in the forecast, there's no reason not to dust off those boots, find a hiking stick, and go get wanderlust in some of Cincinnati's beautiful parks.  For more information on the Great Outdoor Weekend, go here. The parks I explored are only a few of the many places to see in the area. So, go on, take a break from your normal routine and plan a day or two to get a little dirty in the woods this weekend.

by Jac Kern 09.14.2012
Posted In: Events, Music, Performances at 02:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Weekend To Do List: 9/14-9/16

The thought of an “underground” party might conjure up images of a chic 1920s speakeasy or perhaps a creepy warehouse rave. Neither is true of Saturday’s Scion Exposed tunnel party, which is literally underground, at 220 Central Ave. beneath the Second Street overpass. Part car show, part concert, Scion Exposed features a pop-up skate park, food trucks, drinks and more, all free from 2 p.m.-midnight. RJD2 headlines the music stage with support from Chairlift, DAAP Girls and more performing throughout the day. RSVP here for free admission; Scion owners get advanced entrance at noon.

Celebrate Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day during the Cincinnati Celtic Festival Saturday and Sunday. The free fest moves from Fountain Square to Washington Park this year, but continues to celebrate all things Celtic with plenty of music, food and entertainment. Knock back some Guinness, cheer on Irish dancers and get jig-y to the sounds of bagpipes between noon and 10:30 p.m. both days.

With local Celts taking over the park, this month’s City Flea moves up the street to the lot at Twelfth and Vine. Vendors will be hawking everything from clothing and accessories to home goods and fine art from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The City Flea is a fun one-stop spot to support local artisans and sellers all under one roof. Sans roof.

Downtown isn’t hogging all the fun this weekend — Milford’s Longstone Street Festival brings more than 15 area bands to the ‘burbs Saturday. Area musicians will perform on two stages along Main Street where kid-friendly activities await (we’re talking a Velcro wall, bungee joust, rock climbing and more). Saunter through historic downtown Milford, stop in a few shops and restaurants and enjoy the music from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

The fun continues west at the Westwood Art Show, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. More than 70 artists, crafters and DIY-ers will be selling goods including photography, re-purposed jewelry and accessories, woodwork, sculptures, pottery, edibles and more.

This weekend’s theater offerings include Ensemble Theatre’s Good People, The Three Musketeers at Playhouse in the Park, To Kill a Mockingbird at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and Covedale’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Peep the links for our reviews of each.

Browse our calendar for other events, art exhibits, volunteer opportunities and more to do this weekend.

by Jac Kern 09.27.2012
Posted In: Events, Music, Movies, Performances at 11:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your (MPMF) Weekend To Do List: 9/27-9/30

Odds are if you’re reading this, you already know all about the 11th annual music festival descending upon OTR and Downtown Cincinnati this weekend. MidPoint Music Festival runs tonight through Saturday, bringing more than 100 local, regional and national musicians to the city. If you still haven’t gotten tickets, planned your schedule and read interviews with artists, find all that good stuff here.

There’s more to MPMF than hopping from venue to venue and discovering your new favorite band (though that is an awesome aspect). The MidPoint Midway, which takes over Twelfth Street between Vine and Walnut, is not only the box office location (where you can still purchase three- or one-day tickets) but also features the returning Box Truck Carnival, poster expo, photo booth, food court and more. Here, MPMFers can enjoy box truck gallery exhibits, improv shows, an arcade and more interactive activities between concerts each day.

Just down the street at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, the Midland Film Institute presents the first MidPoint Film Festival, featuring local, independent and cult films (ahem, Human Centipede double feature). It’s a great sign that MPMF has expanded beyond music to incorporate art, film, theater and more entertainment — there’s quite literally something for everyone, from children to hip kids to old timers. Read more about the carnival and film fest here.

When you’re all MPMF-ed out, there’s even more happening around town.

Amid the MidPoint action, Night Owl Market returns to the parking lot at Main Street and Central Parkway. Grub out on goodies from local food trucks like SugarSnap!, New Orleans To Go and C’est Cheese from 8 p.m.-3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Vendors will also be on hand hawking goods each night.

Remember our cover story on the area steampunk trend? The antiqued-futuristic creatives who brought the Steampunk Symposium to Cincinnati present Pandoracon Friday-Sunday. Whether you’re into comics, sci-fi, anime, cosplay or anything in between, there’s a nerd in all of us that wants to come out and play at Pandoracon. Meet fantasy artists and authors, geek out in the game room, dress in costume, watch sideshow circus acts and stop by what are sure to be some of the craziest hotel parties — all at Blue Ash’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. There are tons of events all weekend long, so go here for more info and tickets.

This weekend is locals’ last chance to celebrate Oktoberfest this year with Newport on the Levee’s festival running Friday-Sunday. Enjoy live music, traditional dancers and all the beer and schnitzel you can stomach. Find a full rundown of events and menus here.

From UC students and grads to retired hippies to skater kids, Clifton has been home to many of us at one point or another, and the neighborhood holds special memories for most who have visited. Make more during A Weekend in Clifton, a celebration of Ludlow Avenue and its surroundings. The street will be closed from 6 p.m. Friday-Sunday to accommodate Cliftonfest — featuring vendors, live music and artists — and the 10th annual StreetScapes street-painting bash.

by Jac Kern 04.19.2012

Your Thursday To Do List

Tonight marks O'Bryonville's first Third Thursday Benefit Wine Walk of the year. Support the neighborhood's independent businesses like Hemptations, Phyllis Weston Gallery, Ten Thousand Villages, The Bonbonerie, indigenous and many more as you hop from spot to spot, enjoying complimentary wine and bites at each participating venue. This month's walk benefits Pets in Need (a UCAN affiliate) and Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry. The event runs from 5-8 p.m. tonight.

Enjoy a romantic night in Paris...without needing a passport. Art Design Consultants presents en evening with their Design Star, Grace Jones of Dwellings on Madison. Jones will transform the ADC loft space (310 Culvert St., Downtown) into a French apartment. Stop by at 6 for cocktails and stick around for the 7 p.m. unveiling of Jones' designs. Holly Golightly attire is encouraged! RSVP here.

Comedian Jim Norton kicks off his three-night gig at Funny Bone on the Levee tonight. Specializing in dark comedy and self-deprecation, the comic has also acted in television and film and has written two humorous nonfiction books. Many will recognize Norton from the Opie & Anthony radio show, Louie, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and several small, odd film roles (two words: Furry Vengeance). Norton goes on tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22.

Cincinnati Zoo's Tunes and Blooms series continues tonight with Shiny and the Spoon and The Tillers. The free concert features local favorite musicians performing in the beautiful setting of the zoo's gardens. The concert runs 6-8:30 p.m.; admission to the zoo is free after 5 p.m. (parking is $8). Tunes and Blooms continues every Thursday this month.

Jungle Jim's hosts a mystery mix cigar tasting tonight from 5-8 p.m. The tasting will be held at the Oscar Event Center's Monorail Terrace. Guests can enjoy three different cigars with $15 admission. There will be a cash bar, raffle and plenty of cigars and accessories for sale. Each Thursday, Jungle Jim's presents a different variety of cigars to try. No word yet on whether "mystery mix" is an early 4-20 reference.

Follow our music blog for nightly shows and check our To Do page for more art exhibits, theater productions and events.

by Jac Kern 07.12.2013
Posted In: Events, Fun, Food, Music at 10:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Weekend To Do List: 7/12-7/14

It’s Bunbury Weekend! The second annual three-day music fest takes over Sawyer Point Friday-Sunday with acts including fun., Walk the Moon, MGMT, Cake, Tegan and Sara, Yo La Tengo, Belle & Sebastian and tons more. Check out our interview with Matt Berninger of The National — Bunbury’s Sunday headliner — here.

In addition to great music, there will be tons of food and drink vendors with lots of local options, a craft beer village, free Rockstar energy drink and water samples and a Trojan vibrator giveaway from 4-8 p.m. Saturday (for real!). Official after-parties take place at Igby’s Friday, aliveOne Saturday and The Righteous Room Sunday. Ready to go? Don't leave home without peeping our cheat sheet, complete with lineup, map, dos and don’ts and more vital info.

One- and three-day tickets to Bunbury are still available here.

Second Sunday on Main returns to Over-the-Rhine this week with a lineup of special Pride events in addition to the art, shopping, demos, kids activities, food and music that the free street festival serves up every month. Be sure to check out the annual Drag Race and Dykes on Trykes — a race you’ll have to see to believe! — as well as the new mobile boutique Truckshop. Read more about the unique, locally owned shop-on-wheels here. Second Sunday on Main runs noon-5 p.m.

The Gambling Rose Tattoo Convention brings some of the best tattoo artists across the globe to town for the weekend. Swing by Duke Energy Center Friday-Sunday for tattoo competitions, seminars, vendors and a roller derby showdown between the Cincinnati Rollergirls and the Black-N-Bluegrass Rollergirls. Tattoo artists and piercers from around the country and world will be under one roof, available for appointments. Featured artists include Jerod Ray and Tylor Schwarz (contestants on Oxygen’s Best Ink Season Two); Sarah Miller (runner-up, Spike’s Ink Master Season Two); Tatu Baby (contestant on Spike’s Ink Master Season Two, voted by fans to return to Season Three — premieres Tuesday); and Chris Torres (NY Ink bad boy). Tickets are $20 for a single-day pass/$30 for two days/$40 for the whole weekend.

Newport on the Levee is going to be a real sausage fest this weekend — literally! The Queen City Sausage Festival  unites all the loves of a true Cincinnatian: pork, beer and river views. Eat your way through more than two-dozen sausage specimens including the grilled gyro cheddar met, the zest Italian sausage hoagie and, of course, Queen City goetta. There will also be foods that didn’t once say “oink,” plus live music, eating contests and lots of rides and games for the kids. The fest runs Friday-Sunday at the Levee and admission is free.

For more art openings, theater shows, summer festivals and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks and full calendar.

by Jac Kern 09.16.2011
Posted In: Events, Fashion, Fun, TV/Celebrity, Music, Life, Culture, Concerts at 11:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Weekend To Do List: 9/16-9/18

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is taking over downtown this weekend, bringing around 500,000 guests! Once you've had your fill of schnitzel, Spaten and sauerkraut, stop by the CityBeat booth for the official Oktoberfest guide and register for a VIP MPMF Package and other prizes.

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by Jac Kern 03.23.2012

Your Weekend To Do List: 3/23-3/25

Nothside Tavern's birthday, LEGO Fest, Robert Moses' Kin performance and more

Stop by the hipster haven that is Northside Tavern this weekend as it celebrates 10 years as a neighborhood bar and live music staple. NST's 10th Birthday Bash runs 6:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday with treats from Take the Cake both nights. Tonight, there's music from You, You're Awesome, Ohio Knife and Lydia Burrell. Saturday features music from Wussy and The Tigerlilies, the first band to rock the Tavern's stage a decade ago. As always, no cover. HB, NST!

Independent Spirit Award-nominated film In The Family opens at The Esquire tonight. Writer, director and star Patrick Wang will be in town for the premiere weekend, and will host a Q&A after this weekend's screenings. Check out the 8 p.m. screenings Friday and Saturday and the 1 p.m. show Sunday to meet and chat with the star. Read our review here.

San Francisco dance company Robert Moses' Kin performs in town this week with Contemporary Dance Theater's Guest Artist Series. Faith and Fable was inspired by choreographer/artistic director Robert Moses' children – fairy tales, in particular. Moses reexamined moral tales and translated them into a multi-genre dance piece for all ages. Performances are tonight at Saturday at the Aronoff Center. Go here to read our interview with Moses.

LEGOs are one of those iconic toys that kids still think are cool and adults still secretly want to play with. This weekend's LEGO's KidsFest may be marketed toward youngsters, but LEGO fans of any age can be entertained for hours at this construction block convention. At the fest, you'll find a LEGO model museum (clearly not built by kids), a master builder academy, activity area, challenge zone and much more. Saturday's sessions have sold out, but there's still tickets available for tonight (4-8:30 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 3-7:30 p.m.) All sessions feature the same fun exhibits and activities. Find ticket information and event details here.

Saturday morning, Park + Vine hosts a Grow Your Own Garden Class. Greensleeves Farm's Gretchen Vaughn will dish the dirt on growing vegetables and herbs at home with a hands-on demonstration on sowing and transplanting seeds. After the class, you'll take home a starter kit with seeds, soil and a plant. The class limited to 15 people, so RSVP at info@parkandvine.com. The workshop is $15 and runs from 10 a.m.-noon.

The Newport Aquarium welcomes Mighty Mike, a 14-foot, 800-pound American Alligator this Saturday. Mike is the largest gator in the U.S. outside of Florida. The new Gator Alley exhibit will feature many species of alligators and crocodiles from around the globe. The aquarium is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Find admission and other details here. Purchase your tickets in advance to save time at the door.

For more theater, visual arts and music events this weekend, check out our To Do, Music and Arts coverage.

by Jac Kern 02.08.2013
Posted In: Events, Eats, Drinking at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Weekend To Do List: 2/8-2/10

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.

by Jac Kern 09.21.2012
Posted In: Events, Eats, Drinking, Music, Performances at 01:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Weekend To Do List: 9/21-9/23

German weekend is upon us. Cincinnati hosts the largest Oktoberfest in North America, bringing 500,000 people downtown to enjoy beer and bratwurst, music and dancing. Oktoberfest takes over Fifth Street between Broadway and Vine from noon-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. Between filling up on Dunkel and sauerkraut, stop by the CityBeat booth to pickup the official Oktoberfest guide, register for prizes and buy tickets to next week’s MidPoint Music Festival. We’ll be accepting credit cards only because staff members can’t be trusted with cash it’s 2012, so come see your favorite staffers and get a wristband while they last!

If the food, booze, polka dancers and giant crowds don’t interest you, The Wahl Mobile Barbershop will be on hand Saturday and Sunday offering free shaves and facial hair trims to area gents. They’ll also be scouting for the Wahl Man of Cincinnati, so if you think you’ve got the best beard or mustache in town, show off your scruff! The winner will receive $500 and go on to compete for a national title. Whisker Wars much?

What contemporary pop art lover hasn’t dreamed of going back in time and hanging out at Andy Warhol’s Factory? Imagine: artists and socialites gathering to see and be seen, creative producing interesting works, music and drinks abound. Warhol may have come and gone, but on Friday night we can get a taste of what it was like as the Contemporary Arts Center hosts Machine: Andy Warhol and Photography. Coinciding with the Warhol exhibit is Green Acres: Artists Farming Fields, Greenhouses and Abandoned Lots, which looks at farming as activism and an art form. Friday’s dual opening reception is will be a feast for the senses with a DJ set by VHS or Beta and a photo booth projecting Factory-style screen tests across the museum. The party beings at 8 p.m. and is $10, free for members

Buff your bowling ball and mix up a White Russian, because Esquire Theatre hosts The Big Lebowski Quote-a-thon  Saturday. Don your bed Dude ensemble for a costume contests, test your Lebowski trivia knowledge and participate throughout the screening by quoting your favorite lines. The movie begins at 10:30 p.m.

Nerds unite! The Cincinnati Comic Expo runs through Sunday at Duke Energy Convention Center, kicking off with a Geek Prom Friday. The expo will also feature arcades, panels, cosplay and even something called sci-fi speed dating! Of course, many attend to meet stars involved in comics, television and movies – guests include Star Wars’ fight and light saber choreographer Nick Gillard, Green Power Ranger Jason David Frank and Chandler Riggs, better known as Carl "Get out of here!" Grimes from The Walking Dead. Go here for ticket pricing, a full event lineup and more information

Back-to-school ads and fall fashion spreads can often lead to budget woes. A change in seasons inspires finding fresh duds, but if you’ve got a full closet and empty bank account, you’re kinda stuck with what you’ve got. Enter Swappy Seconds, Casablanca Vintage and Chicken Lays an Egg’s clothing swap. Here’s how it works: Pick at least five items from your wardrobe that are clean and in great condition, drop ‘em off at Mayday in Northside starting at 2 p.m Sunday. The ladies of Chicken and Casablanca will sort and arrange all these clothes, shoes and accessories, then open the doors at 3:30 pm. For $3 you can return and pick through the goods while enjoying Mayday drinks and dogs. And guys: this isn’t just for the ladies! The more who participate, the more treasures for the pickin’. You’ll clean out your closet and supplement your wardrobe for (300) pennies!

Check out our To Do picks and full calendar for more arts, theater and events to check out this weekend.

by Jac Kern 07.28.2011
Posted In: Northside, Concerts, Life, Events, Music at 03:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Your Weekend To Do List

It's Final Friday! The best day of the month for sauntering through Over-the-Rhine, perusing local art and sipping on some vino. One of many gallery openings takes place at the Art Academy of Cincinnati from 5-8 p.m. In Context is a thesis exhibition for art teachers working towards their Masters of Arts in Art Education.

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