Find fun things to doin the Dayton, OH area

Updated: 11:21 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 | Posted: 12:53 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011

Bachelor, bachelorette parties that go the distance



By Katie Wedell

Staff Writer

While the bride and groom spend the months before their nuptials planning every detail of their big day, the task falls to the best man, maid of honor and assorted friends to plan the ultimate bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Increasingly, that means more than just a night of debauchery at the local strip club or bar district.

Just as destination weddings have risen in popularity, so have destination stag/hen nights, with brides and grooms choosing a weekend of bonding over a night they can’t remember.

There are numerous men’s magazines and web sites with suggestions for the top bachelor party spots, most with the same assortment of big cities — New York and Chicago are top choices — plus beach destinations and a handful of Canadian cities.

AskMen.com’s “Top Ten Bachelor Party destinations” includes Whistler, Vancouver and Montreal. Other popular suggestions include Colorado or Yellowstone National Park for camping and outdoor pursuits like whitewater rafting, Scotsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. for golf, and, of course, New Orleans or Las Vegas for, well, a bachelor party.

But there are definitely more specialty attractions aimed at bachelorettes since strip clubs have a monopoly on the bachelor market.

“The Awesome ’80s Prom” an off-Broadway interactive party in the style of “Tony ’n’ Tina’s Wedding” bills itself as New York’s number one bachelorette party destination.

“Girls Night: The Musical” promises a high energy show with tons of girl anthems to sing along to. It’s showing in a handful of cities nationwide.

There are dozens of companies willing to host “fun” toy parties, and for the ladies who’d rather be strippers than watch them, exotic dancing and pole dancing classes are available at dance studios far and wide or close to home — try Femme Fatale Fitness in Centerville.

The top 10 lists for female destinations are pretty similar to the men’s, including South Beach, New York and Atlantic City.

Other top destinations for women include Charleston, S.C., for beaching, dining and shopping, Napa Valley wine tasting excursions, Orlando, Fla., and of course, Vegas.

But for many maids of honor and best men, planning a destination party that fits everyone’s schedule and budget can be an impossible challenge.

As an alternative, the following “destinations” are all within a three hour drive of Dayton, don’t require passports, and can be planned for a couple hundred dollars or less per person.

Save the money for the wedding gift... or bail.

Side note: ThePlunge.com, a great resource for guys on everything from popping the question to bachelor party dos and don’ts, has a downloadable spreadsheet that can help you budget for your stag trip. It works for females, too.

Just change “golf” to shopping, “hunting” to shopping, “in-room strippers” to in-room full body massages, and “cigars” to stilettos.

FOR THE GUYS:

Baseball and boozing in “Cin”-city

Even if the groom isn’t a die-hard Reds fan, a warm afternoon lounging with beers at the ballpark is hard to beat. After the game, pick a district — Mount Adams, Fountain Square/downtown, Newport, Covington, Over the Rhine, Clifton — and bar hop until you can hop no more.

Tickets: $5-$230 per person, www.cincinnati.reds.mlb.com

Some bar suggestions from dudes: Orchids at Palm Court in the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, 35 W. Fifth St. Charlie Gibson at CityBeat says, “This art deco establishment will make you feel like Donald Draper minus the cool suit and good looks.”

The now defunct www.TheCin cinnatiMan.com voted the Mainstrasse Village Pub, 619 Main St., Covington, as the best bar in Cincy. www.mainstrassevillagepub.com

Where to stay: The Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, 151 W. 5th St., has an in-house sports bar, a fitness center with a pool, and is right in the heart of downtown. (513) 579-1234.

Hit the links

An afternoon of golf followed by a night of dining and drinking may be just the cure for the wedding planning blues your buddy needs. Jack Nicklaus was born and raised just down the road in Columbus and he co-designed Muirfield Village golf course in Dublin. It’s consistently ranked in the Top 100 golf courses in the country by Golf Digest. (614) 889-6740.

There’s a wealth of other great courses in the area, many public and very affordable. The experts at Golf.com have said that Granville Golf Course, “may be the best course in the country for less than $40.” (740) 587-4653.

Some bar suggestions from Columbus Alive!: Winking Lizard Saloon (winkinglizard.com), Bodega (columbusbodega.com) and Surly Girl Saloon (surlygirl saloon.com) all got nods in the “Best Beer Selection.” Set up a tasting for your group at Barrel 44 in Short North, home to the ultimate selection of whiskeys. (614) 294-2277.

Where to eat: Thurman Cafe (thethurmancafe.com) in German Village for gigantic burgers, Haiku (haikupoeticfoodandart.com) in Short North for sushi, and Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse (hydeparkrestaurants.com) for steak, duh.

Where to stay: The Lofts Hotel, 55 E.Nationwide Blvd., a circa 1882 building with bare brick walls and floor-to-ceiling windows that will make you feel like you really are staying in a chic loft apartment rather than a hotel. (614) 461-2663.

FOR THE LADIES:

The spa experience

Commune with nature while being pampered head to toe at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls in Logan. The Hocking Hills region is home to beautiful rock formations and water falls.

Stay in the 1840s log cabins packed with antiques and enjoy spa services that range in price from $45 to $180 each. innatcedarfalls.com

Sex and the nearby city

If you can’t make it to NYC for a girls weekend of shopping and cocktail sipping, then go west instead — to Indianapolis.

Hit up Circle Centre, the main shopping, dining and entertainment hub, or branch out to one of the city’s cultural districts. Broad Ripple Village (discoverbroadripplevillage.com) is the place for shopping with its mix of boutiques, art galleries, vintage finds and music stores.

After you’ve maxed out the credit cards, hit the dance floor and toast to good friends on Massachusetts Avenue (discovermassave.com), home to trendy restaurants and bars like Forty Five Degrees and Bu Da Lounge. Hit up the gay-friendly Metro where you can dance the night away and peruse the in-house “sex shop”.

Where to stay: The Conrad Indianapolis, (317) 713-5000, high-rise, luxury hotel is definitely the pinnacle in Indy, but you may wish to forgo the five-star for its “overflow accommodations” at the Fountainview Inn in the Fountain Square Theater building (fountainsquareindy.com).

The building boasts rooftop dining, two 1950s style bowling alleys, a cafe and diner among other businesses.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2124 or kwedell@coxohio.com.


Pros, cons of taking show on the road

Pros

You’re less likely to run into anyone you know who might kill the party mood — i.e. a co-worker, boss, soon to be in-law or the dreaded ex.

Going somewhere you’ve never been before adds to the specialness of the occasion.

Staying in a hotel and being chauffeured — even if it’s just by the free airport shuttle — makes the bride or groom-to-be and guests feel pampered and luxurious.

Anything that happens in [insert out-of-town destination here] can stay there.

Cons

Traveling isn’t cheap, and the bigger the city you head to, the more those drinks and dinners are going to add up.

Your guests may have to take off more time from work to accommodate a trip, rather than just a one-night party plus morning hangover.

Group dynamics can be tricky on an extended getaway. Make sure to put the earlier risers in a different room from the night owls.

It may be more difficult for someone to bail you out if you’re out of state or out of the country.

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