A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Shop Local Spotlight: Indoor adventures aplenty – gift these fun-not-frightful winter experiences

An occasional series

Video games. Go karts. Interactive activities that are entertaining and educational? That can only mean one thing: You’re ready to gift some of the best fun the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky has to offer!

Join the NKY Chamber in encouraging others to shop local by considering gifting these area activities to your friends and family this holiday season.

(Note: Availability of certain services may change in accordance with state mandates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The NKY Chamber encourages you to stay up-to-date with the latest mandates from the office of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear by clicking here.)


It’s one of Newport on the Levee’s entertainment staples – and this holiday season, it may be the perfect place to gift someone some fun with the latest in video and redemption games while enjoying food and fun with friends.

With 22,000 square feet to be explored, GameWorks Newport (1 Levee Way, Suite 2130, Newport, KY 41017) boasts an eSports lounge featuring 100+ game titles and The Works Kitchen to deliver food and fun alongside its classic machines. Then again, with GameWorks’ Quick Hits online experience, a gift card might just be the perfect way to log on and play the day away in the tournament of their choosing. Get ready player one indeed!

For more information, visit the website or call (859) 581-7529.


Know someone that could use a good adrenaline rush? If so, there’s only one place to turn to: Go Full Throttle.

Just minutes near I-75 and I-275, Full Throttle Adrenaline Park
(24 Spiral Drive, Florence, KY 41042) offers more than just go-kart racing. For with axe throwing, paintball, a Virtual Reality experience awaiting in the Omni Arena and the rage room (where all those age 18+ can literally smash things to their heart’s delight for 10 minutes) all under one roof, Full Throttle promises to be anything but boring. Pick up a gift card to go and give someone plenty of excitement sure to fill their need for safe yet scintillating speed.

For more information, visit the website or call (859) 371-5278.


Looking for a little bit of Las Vegas at home? Look no further than Newport Racing & Gaming!

With 500+ slot machines and other ways to try and strike it big, Newport Racing & Gaming (1723 Monmouth St., Newport, KY 41071) offers casino-style action without leaving the comfort of Northern Kentucky. Horse racing fans will also want to head to venue at least 30 minutes prior to the first race of the day beginning Wednesday, Dec. 2, which is when racing from Turfway Park in Florence goes live. Be sure to sign up your gift recipient for the Players Club card to be eligible for Hot Seat drawings when the time arrives!

For more information at the website or call (859) 647-4700.


Have someone on your list for whom life needs to be full of food and fun, sports and perhaps a couple hundred games, give or take a few? If the answer is “yes,” Dave & Buster’s in Florence might just have the perfect gift to mark off your list!

With a mixture of classic arcade and video games, Dave & Buster’s (781 Heights Blvd., Florence, KY 41042) is well-known for all the ways one can play away the day. But with a new food menu and plenty of TVs to watch your favorite sporting events, it might just be a perfect place to take in some safe sporting action this holiday season, too. Best yet, Dave & Buster’s is donating 20% of all online gift card sales to its Helping Employees at Rough Times (H.E.A.R.T.) Fund to help provide financial assistance to team members facing economic hardships. So, not only can you have some good, clean fun, but you can help out a good cause in the process.

For more information, visit https://www.daveandbusters.com/locations/florence or call (859) 692-9800.


Let’s see … Three museums exploring local and natural history as well as a place full of wonderment for children in addition to a theater unlike any other in the region? If it’s education and entertainment you seek, the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal (CMC) might just have something for the entire family to enjoy.

Featuring the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum and the Museum of Natural History & Science along there is a literal day of fun awaiting all visitors to the Cincinnati Museum Center – and that’s just the beginning. Add in the immersive experience of the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater coupled with the historical significance of the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust Humanity Center and Cincinnati History Library and Archives and your visit can unearth decades’ worth of knowledge. Since there are always plenty of programs and events going on inside CMC’s historic rotunda, be sure to tell the recipient of your gift to check the schedule before they visit as to not miss any of the fun.

For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org or call (513) 456-2674.


For those that celebrate Christmas, many often hear to remember the reason for the season. If you have someone that you know would enjoy doing so in a fully interactive experience, a future trip to the Creation Museum in Petersburg and the Ark Encounter in Williamstown might just be the perfect way to do so.

A state-of-the-art facility comprised of 75,000 square feet of space, the Creation Museum (2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd, Petersburg, KY 41080) has welcomed scores of visitors to take in a journey of biblical history complete with a planetarium, zoo and zip line among other attractions. The Ark Encounter offers a similar experience with a 510 foot-long, 85 foot-wide and 51-foot high marvel of modern engineering built based on specifications based in the Bible itself. Both attractions offer visitors a chance to be fully immersed in Answers in Genesis’ (the parent company of both) interpretation of the book that for many is the reason to celebrate the season in a way unlike any other in the world.

For more information, visit www.creationmuseum.org or call (888) 582-4253.

The NKY Chamber

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