Nordonia Hills, in the northern portion of Summit County, offers a lot of entertaining things to do, ranging from nightlife and concerts, to scenic natural getaways. Here are 10 of the most entertaining things to do in Nordonia Hills.
Hard Rock Rocksino
Having opened in December 2013, the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park in Northfield Village offers something for everyone. said the "We are Northeast Ohio's destination for gaming, dining and entertainment," says Scott Frost, Rocksino vice president of marketing.
Open 24/7 the Rocksino has more than 2,200 video lottery terminals for gamers to try their luck at. Three in-house venues tout entertainment at Club Velvet, the Hard Rock Caf and the Hard Rock Live concert venue. Club Velvet entertains guests with comedy acts, and themed music nights such as Rockin' Country Nights, and Beach Party Sundays. The Hard Rock Caf features local bands weekly to entertain guests while they grab a drink at the bar or have dinner at the caf.
The largest of the three venues, Hard Rock Live, puts one more than 70 concerts per year in various music genres including groups like Foreigner and Meatloaf, country artists such as Vince Gill and Jennifer Nettles, Motown acts like the Temptations and pop acts like Englebert Humperdink and Cyndi Lauper.
Four restaurants are open with a variety of dining experiences. The Constant Grind offers gamers a quick-bite option from breakfast items to deli sandwiches, while the Fresh Harvest Buffet offers lunch and dinner items such as salads, grilled items, pizza, and a variety of meats and sides. The iconic Hard Rock Caf offers diners the typical HRC fare including burgers, sandwiches, salads and signature drinks. For guests who are looking for finer fare, Kosar's Wood Fire Grill offers diners a variety of steaks, seafood, and more in an elegant atmosphere with piano entertainment. Kosar's also offers a private dining room and outdoor dining. A new Italian restaurant scheduled to open in late May or Early June.
The Rocksino is located at 10777 Northfield Road in Northfield Village. For more information visit www.hrrocksinonorthfieldpark.com or call 330-908-7625.
Harness racing has been in Northfield Village since the 1950s and Northfield Park is the only remaining commercial harness track in Northeast Ohio. The track hosts live racing more than 200 days per year. Racing starts at 6 p.m. and is generally finished by 11:30 p.m. said Northfield Park's director of racing communications Ayers Ratliff.
"Northfield Park has a world-wide following and we are simulcast all over the United States and many countries around the world," Ratliff said. "We are of the largest tracks out there as a worldwide brand as far as harness racing goes."
The half-mile track has nine starting gates.
Ratliff said spectators can see some of the nations best harness drivers competing throughout the year.
"For the last several years we have had the No. 1 drivers competing in some of the biggest events," he said referring to Aaron Merriman and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. who have traded the top spot in recent years.
He added Northfield Park patrons get to see some truly national talent in Nordonia residents' own backyard in events like the Battle of Lake Erie on May 21, the Cleveland Trot Classic, July 2, and the largest race of the year -- the Carl Milstein Memorial Race, Aug. 13. The Carl Milstein race has a purse of $350,000 and features the very best pacers in North America, Ratliff said.
In addition to live racing, the track opens at noon for simulcasting 364 days per year only closing on Christmas Day. Horse racing enthusiasts can view races from all over the world.
Wagering can be done at a window or via a self service terminal with several betting options available.
Ratliff said the park also has a $14.99 buffet in the clubhouse that is not to be missed.
Northfield Park is located at 10705 Northfield Road in Northfield Village next to the Hard Rock Rocksino. For more information visit www.northfieldpark.com or call 330-467-4101.
Fun 'N' Stuff
Located at 661 East Highland Road, the amusement park offers year-round indoor attractions such as a 4,000-square-foot laser tag arena, roller skating, cannon ball blasters which shoot foam balls at targets or each other, bumper cars, eurobungy, bowling, rock climbing, and arcade games. Fun 'N' Stuff also has a laser chamber where guests can try to get through the room without touching the laser beams. For smaller kids there is a superhero themed play area with a ball pit, tunnels and more.
General Manager Bob Switalski said there are 18 attractions at Fun 'N' Stuff. He added guests can come and spend time doing one activity or get a wristband and do them all.
"Our one location has many attractions," Switalski said.
He said the most popular attractions are the arcade, laser tag and the go-karts. In addition, outdoor attractions include bumper boats, looping bikes, batting cages, inflatable bouncers and two miniature golf courses. Guests who aren't afraid of heights can climb to a 13-foot or 21-foot platform and free fall onto a giant air bag in the Zombie Stunt Jump. If a guest isn't claustrophobic, they can climb into a Human Hamster Ball and roll their way around or race someone down a track.
Switalski said the amusement center is planning to add space for more attractions as well.
The amusement center is a great location for group outings such as birthday parties, corporate outings, sports teams or any group. Fun 'N' Stuff is open Friday from noon to 11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. For more information, visit fun-n-stuff.com or call 330-467-0820.
North woods Lanes
Since 1957, Northwoods Lanes bowling has been a staple in the Nordonia Hills area. Owner Mike Trachsel bought the business in 2012 from Carol North, who owned the business for 41 years with her late mother Marge North. The North ladies had purchased the bowling alley in 1971 from original owner Charlie Paul. In 1986 Trachsel began working at the bowling alley part time while he attended college and worked his way up through the ranks until became the owner.
Trachsel said he has worked hard to make the bowling alley a family friendly environment. The facility has become a staple for fundraisers for area churches and animal rescues including a fundraiser for senior dogs. Trachsel said one thing he loves about North Woods is the relationship he and his staff have with clients.
"I always say we are the 'Cheers' of bowling," he said. "It's not just about the money here, it's about the people too. I am pretty proud of everything my staff and I have accomplished."
North Woods is bustling from early fall to spring with league bowling and open bowling. Trachsel said business slows in the summer months so he closes down and works on equipment maintenance etc.
A kids' league is also available on Saturday mornings. North Woods also houses a pro-shop owned by Jason Waters, who offers shoes, bowling balls, bags, accessories, lessons and repairs.
With leagues taking up the prime hours from 4:30 to 9 p.m., open bowling is available in the afternoons and after 9:30 p.m. on weekends. On Friday nights from 9:30 p.m. to midnight the bowling alley has cosmic bowling, where the lights are turned down and the black lights are turned up.
The bowling alley is open Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesdays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from noon to midnight and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Northwoods is at 10435 Valley View Road in Macedonia. For more information visit www.northwoodsblowlingcenter.com or call 330-467-7925.
Windmill Golf Center offers a 40-acre practice facility that includes a 25-bay driving range available year-round and three nine-hole courses for short game practice ranging from easy to difficult. Assistant Golf Professional Randy Dietz said the facility also has two fitting bays for lessons and fitting to accommodate serious golfers.
With Professional Golf Association members at the helm, the facility offers a variety of training options including three- and five-day boot camps, individual instruction, youth and adult clinics. Groups can be accommodated too. Dietz said there are five Class A PGA members either teaching or on staff at Windmill.
Dietz said the golf center's "niche" is custom fitting.
"People come from all over Ohio and Pennsylvania for our custom fitting," he said.
Custom fitting is important because it is easier to tailor clubs to a golfer's swing than for a golfer to relearn his or her swing to match their clubs.
The on-site pro shop offers golfers equipment from every major golf manufacturer including Titleist, Callaway Golf, Bridgestone, Ping and many more.
The facility is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. until dark from April 1 through Sept. 30. Windmill is open from 10 a.m. until dark Oct. 1 to March 31.
"It's a great place to come work on all aspects of your game," Dietz said. "We have the driving range for your long game and the courses for your short game and putting."
Windmill Golf is located at 1511 East Aurora Road in Macedonia. For more information on visit windmillgolfcenter.com or call 330-467-6452.
Macedonia Family Recreation Center
The Macedonia Family Recreation Center offers something for everyone. The facility is open to non-residents as well as residents. Programs are open to members and non-members, but the rec center also has day passes available for people who may not want to buy a year-long membership.
Aside from the fitness center and pool, the rec center runs programs for youth and adults. Soccer programs, dodgeball, football camp, cheerleading camp and t-ball programs are offered for patrons up to adult age. Swimming lessons are also available.
Macedonia Recreation Director Angela Manley said the rec center also has hands-on educational programs for all ages.
For the fitness-minded, there are ab classes, pilates, yoga, zumba, toning, kickboxing, cycling and other classes. Silver Sneakers and Silver and Fit classes are popular among area seniors. Personal training is offered in 30-minute or one-hour increments. After attending a fitness class, or working out on the rec center's plethora of machines, guests can sign up for massage services including deep tissue massage, swedish massage, athletic massage, and more. Chair massages are available for those on the go.
In addition to sports and fitness, the rec center offers semi-annual day trips to various casinos and is looking into destination bus trips. Craft shows are also held at the facility semi-annually as well as monthly painting parties. Other non-sporting events available through the rec center include lifeguard certification classes, an annual boater's safety class, health fairs and CPR classes. Manley said in addition to the CPR class there are other American Red Cross programs available such as a Pet First Aid Course and Babysitter's Training Course.
The rec center also has an annual community flea market on Father's Day weekend.
The rec center is located at 1494 East Aurora Road in Macedonia. For more information visit macrec.com or call 330-468-8370.
As part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Brandwine Falls is one of Nordonia's most beautiful attractions. Water cascades down a 65-foot drop over layers of Berea Sandstone, Bedford Shale and Cleveland Shale into Brandywine Creek, creating the beautiful waterfall that attracts people from all over. The shaded boardwalk leads down several levels of stairs to an overlook in the waterfall's gorge. Hikers can go as low as creek level by following the 1.5 mile Brandywine Gorge Trail. According to the national park's website, hikers can see vernal pools and enjoy views of the creek during their walk.
The hiking trail starts near the Inn at Brandywine Falls, a bed and breakfast run by Katie and George Hoy. The Inn was a Greek Revival home built in 1848 by James Wallace and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The bed and breakfast has six rooms for guests and was renovated by the Hoys 27 years ago. George said the Inn and property belong to the people of the United States but they have a 50-year-lease on the property, which used to house a saw mill at the top of the falls and grist and woolen mills as well.
"The mill wheel and buildings are long gone, but part of the foundation is still there," Hoy said.
He said the Inn hosts more than 10,000 visitors each year, half of which are repeat visitors.
The Inn at Brandywine Falls is located at 8230 Brandywine Road in Sagamore Hills.
For more information on the area, see the Cuyahoga Valley National Park website at www.nps.gov. For more information about the Inn visit www.innatbrandywinefalls.com or call 330-467-1812.
Bike and Hike Trail
The Summit County Metroparks Bike and Hike trail runs through the Nordonia Hills community of Sagamore Hills with access points at 685 Aurora Road and 8176 Brandywine Road. The 34-mile paved trail was converted from the former Lake Erie and Pittsburgh Railroad, although a smaller portion was converted from the old Akron, Bedford and Cleveland Railroad. The AB and C railroad known also as the "alphabet railroad," was an electric railway for interurban passengers to get around from the late 1800s through the 1930s. In Sagamore Hills, the trail travels along Brandywine Road, but also crosses Highland Road, Route 82 and Valley View Road. A parking area adjacent to the bridge over I-271 offers rest and a view of Brandywine Falls.
The trail is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit www.summitmetroparks.org.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is one of the oldest tourist excursion railways in the country, according to their website. CVSR runs from Independence to Akron with stops at smaller stations along the way including Peninsula, Indigo Lake and Brecksville. The three-hour train ride runs through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and offers riders beautiful views of the park and the wildlife within. Riders can purchase an all-day pass, hop off the train and take a picnic in the park, hike through Brecksville reservation or bring a bicycle along to take a nice ride through the CVNP.
In Akron, riders can enjoy dining at downtown restaurants like Crave, Luigi's and Bricco or visit the Akron Zoo or Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. Riders who exit the train at Rockside Road can visit Cleveland attractions such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Zoo, and or take in an Indians game at Progressive Field.
The railroad also features special events such as Ale on the Rails, the Grape Escape, a Murder Mystery Train, Evening Dining on the Rails, Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch on the Cuyahoga (Saturdays and Sundays only) and more. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad also features A Day out with Thomas, a 30-minute train ride with the Thomas the Tank Engine. During the event kids can enjoy face painting, magicians, balloon artists and more. The popular Polar Express is a train ride at Christmas time where Santa Claus makes an appearance and kids can enjoy hot cocoa on board the train while traveling to The North Pole.
For more information on the railroad, visit www.cvsr.com or call 330-439-5708.
Brandywine Ski Resort
Ohio is known for long winters and skiing is a popular pastime during the cold months. Boston Mills, on Riverview Road in Boston Township, and Brandywine, off Highland Road in Sagamore Hills, are owned by Peak Resorts, which also owns Alpine Valley in Chesterland off Route 322. The ski resorts tend to see around 250,000 visits -- each visit being one person on the slopes for one day, whether it is a single-visit newcomer or a regular pass holder who makes dozens of visits each season.
Lessons are available for groups and individuals. The resort accommodates school groups as well.
Ski area spokesman Ricky McMullen, product manager for the Boston Mills and Brandywine ski areas, says the resort draws from a market that adds up to 7.1 million people within a 100-mile radius.
Brandywine, the larger of the two resorts in the area, features 11 ski trails ranging from easy to difficult. Brandywine also features Polar Blast snow tubing, which is just like sledding but in special inner tubes made for the fun winter activity. While the ski slopes have chair lifts to take skiers to the top of the hill, Polar Blasters can ride a conveyer belt to the top and slide back down the hill.