COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- From Playhouse Square to African lions, Ohio offers dozens of new travel experiences in 2014. Following are some of the new experiences awaiting Ohio visitors. Check DiscoverOhio.com for more Ohio travel ideas or to order the free 2014 Ohio Travel Guide and Ohio Calendar of Events. 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
Playhouse Square, the largest U.S. theater district outside of New York City, is undergoing a $16 million makeover that includes the installation of the 20-foot-tall "GE Chandelier," the world's largest permanent outdoor chandelier. The fixture, 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 wedding gown and family keepsakes on loan from the Spencer family.
The Pizzuti Collection, Columbus
The Pizzuti Collection art gallery opened recently in Columbus' Short North Arts District. It presents temporary exhibits from the private collection of Ron and Ann Pizzuti, whose collection ranks in the top 200 in the world. Visitors can also enjoy lectures, educational projects and outdoor sculptures.
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, Sandusky
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 "swing" ride, will allow riders to control their flight experience while suspended 28 feet in the air. Later this summer, Cedar Point will open its new Sling Shot ride, launching riders in two-person capsules nearly 360 feet in the air at speeds up to 62 mph.
The Beach Waterpark, Mason
Visitors 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 May 17 and will celebrate its milestone anniversary with 80s-themed activities in mid-July. Visitors will also be able to head back to The Beach this winter to enjoy an 8- to 10-lane snow tubing hill opening 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. (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. 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 with a full-scale mock-up of the payload bay, engine and tail sections of a space shuttle orbiter. Also at the museum, 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 in September.
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
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 and more. A village marketplace, the sounds of African drums and a restaurant overlooking the savannah complete the Heart of Africa experience.
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, and visitors get enhanced viewing from three different levels – from above, at ground level and with an entire wall of underwater viewing.
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 guest rooms, as well as its exterior facade. 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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About the Office of TourismOhio
The Office of TourismOhio is the premier source of information for travelers and media about Ohio's vibrant tourism experiences, attractions and economy. Tourism marketing programs helped generate more than 188 million visits to Ohio in 2012. A part of the Ohio Development Services Agency, TourismOhio markets Ohio's distinctive travel opportunities and promotes the State's outstanding quality of life.
SOURCE Office of TourismOhio