October 23, 2013

BREWzilla: A Monster of a Beer Tasting

The fifth annual Cleveland Beer Week kicked off on Oct. 18 and is currently in full swing. The annual event celebrates the art of creating craft beers and features more than 350 craft beer tastings, dinners and demonstrations, plus specials at bars and restaurants throughout Cuyahoga County.

Sadly, Cleveland Beer Week comes to a close this Saturday, but it's going out with a bang! The week-long celebration will conclude with a giant celebration called BREWzilla on Oct. 26. The event will include beers from 70 different breweries, a Belgian beer garden, appetizers and a special Ohio Brewery area with select beers from local breweries. The Thor Platter Band will provide live entertainment for the evening.

General admission tickets cost $50 and include a 3 oz. tasting glass, 25 tasting tickets and complimentary food. Brewer's Circle tickets cost $75 and include expedited VIP entrance, a 3 oz. tasting glass, 25 tasting tickets, a commemorative t-shirt, complimentary food and access to the Brewer's Circle Lounge, showcasing rare and exclusive brews and food pairings.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Malone Scholarship Fund, which helps top-level students attain scholarships at a number of top independent secondary schools throughout the U.S.

BREWzilla: A Monster of a Beer Tasting hours:
Saturday, Oct. 26 from 6-10 p.m. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Cleveland Beer Week.

October 15, 2013

Northeast Ohio Haunted House Guide 2013

Halloween is hands down my favorite holiday. It's the time of year where anything goes and everyone is in for a good scare. It's also the time when haunted houses start popping up.

There are a number of haunted houses across Northeast Ohio waiting to frighten you and make you rethink whether or not you want to venture inside. To help you navigate your way through these spooky attractions, I've complied a list of some of the best haunted houses in the area to check out this Halloween season.

1. Bloodview Haunted House
I mentioned my love of Bloodview last year and it still holds true. Bloodview, located in Broadview Heights, is made up of actors who are all volunteers from The Legion of Terror, the world's oldest improvisational horror acting and special FX production company. No masks are used here -- each actor designs his or her own character with the help of makeup. Bloodview is home to two indoor houses and an outdoor graveyard attraction. But the scares don't start inside the houses. Actors lurk throughout the grounds and weave in and out of the lines, creeping up on unsuspecting visitors and making them scream before they even step foot inside the first house. A trip to Bloodview is an annual tradition for my family and it should be for yours too!

Bloodview runs through Nov. 1.

2. Nightmare in the Wilderness
This haunted house is like a horror movie come to life. After a half-mile hayride into the wilderness, guests are dropped off in the middle of the forsaken woods to start a 45-minute journey into the darkness. Talk about scary! Rumor has is that the Smith family used to own a house on the property near the Lodi forest in Medina. The family was shot to death and can still be seen haunting the grounds of the forest. Generations of elders have warned children not to cross the apple orchard into the haunted forest for fear that they will disappear forever. Now in its 21st year, the haunted house continues to terrify guests as they journey along the Psycho Path. If you make it out of the woods alive, you'll be taken back to the Apple Cabin for some refreshments.

Nightmare in the Wilderness runs through Oct. 26.

3. The Fear Experience
The Fear Experience in Parma isn't for the faint of heart. The actors at this haunted house will touch you, grab you -- or even drag you -- throughout the different attractions. The Fear Experience is made up for indoor haunted houses: Braxton Estate, Centralia Mental Facility, District 13 and Centralia County Fair. Each of the houses are packed with bloody and terrifying clowns, mental patients, axe murderers, and more. After suriving the four haunts, climb inside the Buried Alive Coffin Ride or watch actors perform dazzling fire shows on select nights.

The Fear Experience runs through Oct. 27.

4. Cedar Point's HalloWeekends
HalloWeekends starts the scares as soon as you step foot inside the theme park. The haunt features not only four mazes to disorient and spook you, but six outdoor scare zones complete with demented clowns, menacing medieval knights and cutthroat pirates. The scare zones are shrouded in fog with bursts of strobe lights, so you never know when an actor may creep up behind you, or in front of you. Besidew the haunts, HalloWeekends has a number of shows throughout the weekend, including "A Carnival of Magic" sideshow and gypsy fortune tellers. If that isn't enough for you, 14 of Cedar Point's top roller coasters are open to keep you shrieking throughout the night.

HalloWeekends runs through Oct. 27.

5.  Carnival of Horrors
The Carnival of Horrors at Blossom Music Center is frightening just because of its subject matter -- clowns. More than 100 clowns to be exact. The carnival features four haunted houses: The Fun House, The Freakshow in 3D Terrorvision, Insane Asylum -- Cage Maze and The Wicked Woods. As if the haunts weren't scary enough, guests are given only a flashlight to use to navigate their way through the winding woods. Just be glad that the actors aren't allowed to touch you!

Carnival of Horrors runs through Nov. 2.

October 4, 2013

Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival

As the leaves start to change colors, a weekend getaway is much needed to take in all of nature's beautiful scenes. If you're looking to get out of the city this weekend and enjoy all fall has to offer, plan a trip to Huntsburg for the 44th annual Pumpkin Festival.

About an hour drive from downtown Cleveland, Huntsburg is located in the heart of Geauga County at the intersections of State Routes 322 and 528. The festival combines all the great tastes and sights of fall, including a Pumpkin Run, a pumpkin pie eating contest, craft shows, decorated and carved pumpkin displays, a fall-themed parade and some of the largest pumpkins in the state. Like all fairs, there will also be plenty of live music and food throughout the weekend.

A highlight of the festival each year is the pancake breakfast. Hosted from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, the breakfast features all-you-can eat buttermilk and pumpkin pancakes, Belgium waffles, sausage, orange juice, hot beverages and real maple syrup. The breakfast costs just $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 5 to 12.

If that isn't enough, the entire festival is open to the community for free! All of the games, entertainment attractions -- and even parking -- are free to visitors. So hop in your car, take a trip to Huntsburg and enjoy all that the Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival has to offer!

Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival hours:
Saturday, Oct. 5 from 10 a.m.-6:15 p.m.
Sunday, Oct.6 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

For more information visit Tour Geauga.