Bring the Fun and Wow Your Attendees at These 10 Spots
From taking a ride at one of the nation’s most famous amusement parks to playing classic games at a vibrant arcade, these experiences and attractions are sure to make your meeting lively.
Fun is around every corner in this expansive, 135,000-square-foot building that has vintage video games, duckpin bowling, indoor yard games and go-karts at the on-site High Voltage Karting all presented in an industrial-chic space. Choose from three different meeting areas. The Three Seasons Room seats up to 30, the 2 Girders Room has space for 40 and the 4 Girders Room has an 80-person capacity. Larger groups of 120 to 150 can combine the Girders rooms into one space. All areas include a TV for presentations, a choice of multiple seating setups and access to Wi-Fi. Choose a catering package for groups exceeding 13. Available catering-package offerings include foods from local business partners like Dominic’s Italian Restaurant. 333 Foundry St., Medina 44256, 330/333-9000, thefoundrysocial.com
Great American Ball Park
Home to the Cincinnati Reds, this riverfront stadium offers more than a dozen venues for luncheons, conferences, meetings, parties and more. One indoor space can accommodate up to 300 guests, while the average capacity is around 50 to 60. The ballpark’s outdoor spaces can hold upwards of 2,000. The Executive Super Suite provides a bird’s-eye view of the diamond in an intimate meeting setting, while the First Star Fan Zone provides a large outdoor space for casual gatherings. Every event space comes with basic AV access, including Wi-Fi, microphones and HDMI hookups. Activities such as indoor batting cages and behind-the-scenes tours as well as yard games like oversize Connect 4 and cornhole can be booked as add-ons. On-site catering is available and offers options for boxed lunches, plated dinners or a self-serve buffet. 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati 45202, 513/381-7337, mlb.com/reds
Pins Mechanical Co.
Known for its duckpin bowling, oversize lawn games and retro arcade machines, Pins Mechanical Co. has locations in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati. Though it is not quite the place to host a group meeting with presentations and speakers, it is a perfect fit for team bonding and holiday gatherings. Parties can be planned for groups of 15 to around 1,000, and the larger parties can rent out the whole space for themselves. Hosts can choose to bring in food from an outside catering source (Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus locations only) or use the services of the on-site caterer (Easton and Dublin locations only) that serves specialty hot dogs, tater tots, mac and cheese and more from Weenie Wonder, which is owned by Pins Mechanical Co.’s parent company, Rise Brands. Various Ohio locations, pinsbar.com
This high-tech driving range promises fun even if you’re new to golf. Its three locations across Ohio can host small groups up to those of more than 1,000. Although each location varies slightly, the Columbus Topgolf has two different event spaces: one on the second floor that can be split into two and a first-floor space near the restaurant. There are also two third-floor rooms for meetings. For groups in the hundreds, the entire venue can be rented out. Topgolf locations have on-site kitchens that prepare buffet-style meals. After the meeting — or as a team bonding activity — each golf bay allows groups of up to six to play a variety of games. Columbus: 2000 Ikea Way, Columbus 43240, 614/317-1003. For information about other Ohio locations, visit topgolf.com.
Toledo Zoo & Aquarium
Walk among the wildlife at this attraction with eight different spaces that provide a unique backdrop for a company gathering. During the day, groups of up to 20 or 60 can enjoy the Captain’s Room and Relic Room, respectively. Groups of 150 to 180 can reserve the Great Hall, while the Malawi Event Center can be booked for gatherings of up to 700. Each space has tables and chairs that can be arranged to your liking as well as projectors, microphones and TVs. After hours, companies can host team-building events or parties within the Africa! Overlook, Arctic Encounter and Aquarium exhibits. On-site catering offers plated or buffet-style meals, and the day can include animal-encounter activities such as giraffe feeding. 2 Hippo Way, Toledo 43609, 419/385-5721, toledozoo.org
Add a side of thrills to your meeting by booking it at an amusement park packed with roller coasters. This Sandusky attraction has been drawing visitors since 1870, and today that includes corporate groups of sizes ranging from 25 to upwards of 2,000. The most popular meeting space is the Lakeside Pavilion, a casual outdoor group dining area with shoreline views. Cedar Point also has the indoor Lakeside Dining Room, where meals from the catering menu can be served, and an on-site conference center with meeting rooms. The latter come with amenities such as Wi-Fi, projectors and screens. Add to the meeting experience with park tickets, meal vouchers or a stay at Hotel Breakers. 1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky 44879, 419/627-2350, cedarpoint.com
Strap on some goggles and head into the arena to slay zombies, travel to the future or hang out on a pirate ship. Sandbox VR operates virtual-reality arenas across Ohio, with locations in Westlake, Dublin and Liberty Township in Butler County. With seven different games available, up to 16 people at a time can play across three different arenas. Groups of up to 30 can also rent out the party room, which works as a space for smaller company events and has a television with HDMI hookups. Outside catering can be brought in to enjoy after your group takes a dip in alternate reality, and the Sandbox VR staff can help clients set up meals when given two weeks’ notice. Various Ohio locations, sandboxvr.com
Valley Gem Sternwheeler
Climb aboard this Marietta-based sternwheeler that traverses the Muskingum and Ohio rivers for excursions with your group while the boat’s captain provides optional commentary about the history of this corner of Ohio. On board, a meeting space with presentation materials including a screen, speaker and microphones is located on the lower deck. The boat, which can accommodate up to 165 people for a sit-down dinner, offers catered meals served on board. The options can be as high-end as prime rib or as simple as hot dogs and burgers that are perfect for a company picnic. The boat’s upper deck provides the opportunity to take in picturesque views of the surrounding Appalachian foothills as you float down the river. 601 Front St., Marietta 45750, 740/373-7862, valleygemsternwheeler.com
Columbus’ Center of Science and Industry is not just for kids. The 320,000-square-foot destination hosts groups as small as 20 or as large as 4,000. For a traditional meeting atmosphere, choose from five different spaces that offer classroom or round-table setups, and choose from banquet halls that can seat 340 and 500. (Both halls are not always available.) Team-building experiences can include a scavenger hunt, live animal encounter or fun demonstrations hosted by COSI staff. After hours, there is the option to rent out an entire exhibit space, and COSI offers on-site catering for meetings, with options ranging from morning coffee and all-day beverage service to a lunch buffet or full plated dinner. 333 W. Broad St., Columbus 43215, 614/228-2674, cosi.org
Located across the Ohio River in Newport, Kentucky, this aquarium just minutes from downtown Cincinnati offers a place to host a group meeting among wondrous sea creatures. Groups can rent out all or half of the aquarium during evening hours for gatherings of up to 1,200 or reserve the Riverside Room for a more traditional presentation and luncheon meeting. Dining options are available through an on-site catering team that can provide buffet or plated options. The Riverside Room offers views of the Ohio River and Cincinnati skyline and can seat up to 250 people (300 to 350 cocktail style). Audio and video equipment is available, and the event-planning team can help provide activity suggestions, be it a scavenger hunt or an up-close encounter with penguins. 1 Levee Way, Newport, Kentucky 41071, 800/406-3474, newportaquarium.com