Ah, winter — a beautiful time of year, with so much to look forward to. Christmas cheer, winter break, and time with family. However, after the fun is over and it is still bitterly cold in February, it’s often hard to find something to do indoors.
As the temperature outside drops, Cedarville students are going to have to find creative ways to spend those long weekends. To prevent mid-winter boredom, Cedars has found six locations within driving distance that are low-cost and unique.
Most of these locations are designed for a group of friends to get together and spend a Saturday. Instead of scrolling through Facebook or doing yet another puzzle trapped in your dorm, try one of these fun indoor activities this winter.
If you like to solve mysteries in your spare time, or often find yourself glued to shows like BBC’s “Sherlock,” Breakout is a perfect day-off activity for you and a group of friends. Located just a half an hour away in Dayton, Breakout is a thrilling escape game. Your group is sealed in a room, and your task is to break out using only the clues in your environment. The catch? You only have an hour to solve the mystery before time runs out. Don’t worry, though — there are people monitoring your game who will feed you clues if you get stuck. There are several themes to choose from, including a kidnapping, a heist, an island, and for the holidays, The Christmas Caper — a seasonal quest for Santa’s hat. If you have fewer than eight people, your group will be paired with another group. A reservation is necessary, so call ahead. The cost is $24 a person, but make sure to check out Groupon before you go: It sometimes has discount offers.
Dayton Art Institute
If you’re looking to engage your inner art critic, there’s a world-class art museum located a short 30-minute drive away. The Dayton Art Institute is a fine arts museum with a collection spanning about 5,000 years of art history. Highlights include outdoor sculpture, glasswork, and artwork from almost every continent, including Ancient Grecian sculpture and Monet’s classic Water Lilies. In addition to its impressive collection, the museum has special exhibitions, classes, and events. Some examples of community events include jazz concerts and Yoga at the Museum. Current exhibits run through the end of January. Ravaged Sublime, an exhibit comprised of photographic landscapes from the 21st century, runs through January 8. It includes infrared pictures and other unique twists on traditional landscape photography. Water In Japanese Art is an exhibit of masterworks from Japan that highlight the importance of water in Japanese culture. It runs through January 29. The Institute also frequently offers lectures by experts and collectors on diverse topics — check out their website to see what’s upcoming. Admission is free for students.
If you’re nostalgic about your childhood, Scene75 is the perfect day-off activity for you and a group of friends. Scene75 Dayton is the United States’ largest indoor entertainment center, and far beyond what you ever could have imagined as a kid. The attractions include electric go-karts, two-story laser tag, hundreds of arcade games, virtual reality headsets, sand volleyball, black-light mini golf, bowling, bumper cars, a 4-D theater and the largest inflatable bounce arena in Ohio. If you’re hungry after all that exercise, they have a full restaurant inside. There is no cost for admission. Instead, guests load a game card with however much they want. Activities range from 25 cents to $8.50 a person, and you can spend at your discretion by reloading your card. There is also a Scene75 location in Cincinnati, but the bounce arena is only for ages 12 and under in Cincinnati while it is for all ages in the Dayton location. If you’re planning a trip, be aware that the center is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
National Museum of the United States Air Force
If you’re looking to check out some of our nation’s military history, the National Museum of the United States Air Force is a top-rated museum. Located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, it’s the oldest military aviation museum in the world. This is fitting, as Ohio is named the “birthplace of aviation” after the Wright Brothers, who lived in Dayton. It houses over 360 aircraft and exhibits from almost every era in wartime aviation, including World War II and the Cold War. If you are interested in Holocaust studies, they have a moving exhibit called Prejudice & Memory comprised of the artifacts and photographs of people in the Dayton area. They also have a large theater where they show historical films in 3D. If you’re looking for something more interactive, the museum has simulators which offer virtual reality, 360-degree experiences. One simulator mimics the path of an Air Force craft to the International Space Station. Another called “Wings: Flights of Courage” puts riders in the cockpits of famous planes from the Wright Brothers’ aircraft to modern-day jets. The museum is about a half an hour away in Dayton, and admission is free.
Eat Purr Love Cat Cafe
Every college student knows the hardest thing about leaving home is leaving our pets. At Eat Purr Love you can get a much-needed cuddle from a feline friend while enjoying coffee and baked goods. Eat Purr Love hosts cats from The Capital Area Humane Society. Their mission is to connect homeless cats with people willing to adopt. Last year, the Capital Area Humane Society placed over 2,000 cats in loving homes, many of whom were rescue animals. The cafe is a new business hoping to contribute to that number. You don’t have to adopt a cat to visit the cafe, and can just go to play with them. The cafe recommends that you book an appointment in advance through their website to ensure that you will be able to attend. They don’t want to overcrowd the cafe for the sake of the cats. It is located in Columbus and costs $10 per hour, a portion of which goes to help The Capital Area Humane Society. However, they run specials and discounts on weekdays. On Tuesdays, admission is $10 for two guests rather than one. On Wednesdays, it costs $10 for two hours rather than one with the cats. On Thursdays, you receive a complimentary beverage and baked good with the admission price. You should also ask about discounts for college students when you make a reservation. The cost is well worth it to meet some new furry friends.
The bitter Ohio cold can have you nostalgic for those days in a swimsuit by the pool. Luckily, there’s a solution to the winter blues. Grab your friends and head to the only water park open in the winter. Splash Cincinnati is a 55,000-square foot indoor waterpark in the city. The park has pools, lazy rivers, slides, an arcade, and real palm trees. A highlight ride is White Water Falls, a 300-foot long tube slide that goes both indoors and outdoors. If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, they have a giant indoor hot tub. They also have an indoor arcade to check out while you dry off. The arcade is also a fun place to host a birthday party. It’s open most weekends — check the website’s calendar before you go. A day pass is $20, and there’s a discount rate for 15 or more guests. There’s no need to wait for summer to arrive — break out your swimsuit in the dead of winter. (Make sure you wear a coat over top, of course.)
With these six locations on your radar, you have no excuse for sitting around inside during the cold months. Solve a mystery, pet some kittens, look at some art, or check out some waterslides — whatever you decide, make sure to stay warm.
Alexandria Hentschel is a freshman International Studies major and an off-campus news writer for Cedars. She enjoys old books, strong coffee, and honest debate.