|The Beach Waterpark|
Following are just some of the new experiences awaiting Ohio visitors this year. Check DiscoverOhio.com today for more great Ohio travel ideas, discounts, festivals and events and the 2014 Ohio Travel Guide. Additional information, photos and videos can be accessed with the free "Official Ohio Travel Guide by TourismOhio" iPad app available in the Apple App Store.
Arts and Culture
Playhouse Square, Cleveland
Cleveland's Playhouse Square, the largest theater district in the nation outside of New York City, is undergoing a $16 million makeover. The centerpiece of the makeover is the 20-foot-tall "GE Chandelier," the world's largest permanent outdoor chandelier. Adorned with more than 4,200 crystals, the fixture will be suspended 44 feet above the intersection of E. 14th Street and Euclid Avenue. The chandelier, retro 1920s-style gateway signage, marquees and more will be unveiled May 2.
Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati
The iconic Diana, A Celebration exhibit opened at the Cincinnati Museum Center in February and will run through August 17, marking its final U.S. stop on a more-than-10-year world tour. Nine galleries contain 150 treasures including the princess's royal wedding gown, designer dresses, home movies and family keepsakes on loan from the Spencer family.
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo
Through May 11, the Toledo Museum of Art is hosting The Art of the Louvre's Tuileries Garden, a collection of more than 100 works of sculpture, paintings, photographs and drawings exploring the design and evolution of Paris' famed Tuileries Garden. A majority of the works have never been seen outside of Paris and are on loan from the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, the Musee Carnavalet and other collections.
The Pizzuti Collection, Columbus
The Pizzuti Collection art gallery opened recently in a historic building located in Columbus' Short North Arts District. It presents temporary exhibits from the collection of Ron and Ann Pizzuti, who have amassed a private art collection ranked in the top 200 in the world. In addition to a beautiful array of modern art, visitors can enjoy outdoor sculptures, lectures and educational projects.
Thrills and Chills
Kings Island, Mason
Kings Island amusement park will unveil Banshee, the world's longest inverted roller coaster, April 18. Banshee will send riders screaming through more than 4,000 feet of track and seven inversions at speeds up to 68 mph!
Cedar Point will unveil two new family rides when it opens May 10. The 302-foot-long Pipe Scream is billed as the best of a roller coaster and a flat ride in one. Lake Erie Eagles, a modern version of the classic "swing" ride, will give riders the option to control their flight experience while suspended 28 feet in the air. Later in the summer, Cedar Point will open its new Sling Shot ride, which will launch riders in two-person capsules nearly 360 feet in the air at speeds up to 62 mph for a brief feeling of weightlessness before descending back toward the ground.
The Beach Waterpark, Mason
Visitors looking for a bit of relief from summer's warmth will enjoy two new experiences opening this year at The Beach Waterpark - a two-person zipline over the wave pool and a more than 400-foot-long, four-lane mat racer ride. The park opens for its 25th season on May 17 and will celebrate its milestone anniversary with 80s-themed activities in mid-July. For the first time, visitors will also be able to head back to The Beach after the snow starts to fall to enjoy an 8- to 10-lane snow tubing hill opening in November 2014.
Foodie (and Beer Lover) Haven
The Palace of Fermentation, Cleveland
Cleveland will welcome The Palace of Fermentation, a 43,000-square-foot space making/selling everything from beer and distilled spirits to cheeses, cured meats and pickles. All products will be made with locally sourced ingredients, including produce grown at Northeast Ohio farms and meats from heirloom breeds of animals pastured traditionally. (2014 opening date to be announced.)
Windows on Pairings, Geneva
Indulge your vintner's spirit at Windows on Pairings, a new wine and food experience opening in late June. Built on the site of the former Geneva Elementary School, Pairings features a tasting room, demonstration vineyards and gardens, an educational area, a concierge for regional wine tours and a hands-on kitchen for culinary classes.
National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force recently opened its new, one-of-a-kind Space Shuttle exhibit. Since its arrival at the museum, the NASA Space Shuttle Crew Compartment Trainer has been under construction to create a full-scale mock-up of the payload bay, engine and tail sections of a space shuttle orbiter. The finished exhibit enables visitors to look into the cockpit and mid-deck areas of a shuttle and learn how astronauts train for missions. In September, the Dawn Patrol Rendezvous will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI with original and reproduction WWI aircraft, radio-controlled models, period re-enactors and more at the museum.
Ohio Holocaust and Liberators Memorial, Columbus
An 18-foot-tall, bronze, lighted Ohio Holocaust and Liberators Memorial will open in April on the Statehouse grounds. Designed by Daniel Libeskind - the Polish-born designer of the new World Trade Center master plan, the Jewish Museum in Berlin and many other high-profile projects - the monument is designed to remember the victims, survivors and liberators of the Holocaust.
Lions, Tigers and Penguins
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Columbus
Jungle Jack Hanna's home base, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, will open its 43-acre Heart of Africa exhibit in May. Visitors will be immersed in a safari adventure including opportunities to feed giraffe, board a grounded 1956 airplane in the African lion area, ride a camel, observe wildebeests at the watering hole, marvel at cheetahs reaching top land speeds, spy on monkeys rifling through Jack's camp and more. A village marketplace, the sounds of African drums and a restaurant overlooking the savannah complete the Heart of Africa experience.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden will open the next phase of its Africa exhibit featuring African wild dogs, meerkats and an open vista for several antelope species including gazelles, lesser kudu and large African birds. Visitors will be able to duck into a meerkat tunnel to get an up-close, ground-eye view of the always social and lively meerkats. Wild dogs and the savannah exhibits are scheduled to open June 28 with additional animal exhibits opening throughout the summer.
Toledo Zoo, Toledo
Penguin Beach, an all new penguin playground, will open in late spring to early summer adjacent to the Toledo Zoo's Aquarium. The new digs will provide a more active environment for the penguins with moving water mimicking the ocean, a waterfall and shallow stream for splashing. Visitors get enhanced viewing from three different levels - from above, at ground level and with an entire wall of underwater viewing. Penguins will begin moving from their current location in late March.
The Silver Screen
Castle Noel, Medina
Film fanatics can get their fill of both movie memorabilia and holiday tidings at Castle Noel, a recent addition to Medina. Exhibits feature props like the 10-foot-tall snowglobe that appeared in "The Santa Clause" movies and Will Ferrell's "Buddy the Elf" suit, as well as more than $2 million worth of stunning window displays from New York City stores like Saks Fifth Avenue. Fans of the classic "A Christmas Story" movie will also enjoy Santa Claus Mountain, a two-story structure that is an exact replica of the film's Santa summit and slide.
Westin Cleveland Downtown, Cleveland
The Westin Cleveland Downtown will open this spring after the completion of a $64 million renovation. Located in Cleveland's downtown financial district, the property is receiving updates to all of its public areas, event spaces and all 484 guest rooms, as well as its exterior façade. Hotel designers are working to commission more than 1,000 pieces by local artists to hang throughout the hotel, along with a major sculpture above the main entrance.
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