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Adventures for Parrot Heads in Training!

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Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band return to Riverbend Music Center on Monday, July 21st -much to the delight of grown-up parrot heads throughout the Tri-State.

Generations of Cincinnatians now converge for this annual concert event and fun is had by all! But what of the upcoming generation? How do we prepare the future parrot heads in our community? Here are some G-Rated ways of bringing out your child’s “inner parrot head”.

First things first, they’re going to need a Hawaiian shirt. Head to your neighborhood thrift shop and dive into the racks, Goodwill Industries and St. Vincent de Paul have great prices and help others in need. Throw on some flip flops and shorts and you’re ready to hit the road!

Visit the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens and see an actual parrot head and a cockatoo (or two). The Zoo is one of Cincinnati’s treasures and is home to the Thick-Billed Parrot. Brilliant in green and seemingly wearing a red hat, this is the only living parrot that once ranged in the United States. Dependent on highland pine-oak forests for nesting and food, its range has been drastically reduced to only a few areas in Mexico. This at-risk species, and many of his fine feathered friends, can be found in the Wings of the World exhibit. www.cincinnatizoo.com

Fins to the left, fins to the right greet you at the Newport Aquarium. Imagine yourself in the ocean as you walk through clear tunnels containing : Sand Tiger Sharks, Sandbar Sharks, Whitetip Reef Sharks, Blacktip Reef Sharks and Zebra Sharks to name a few. The Aquarium has many exhibits and an amazing collection of aquatic creatures including penguins and the new Turtle Canyon-featuring 14 species, including a touch area. www.newportaquarium.com

More than one Son of a Son of a Sailor can be found working hard on a B&B Riverboat Cruise. Also in Newport, B&B offers up a variety of cruising options including lunch, sightseeing and special events like their Pirates of the Ohio River Cruises (Fridays through Labor Day) take you on an adventure full of fun and games. Behaving is recommended, or you might have to ‘walk the plank’. www.bbriverboats.com

Jr. Cheeseburgers in Paradise can be found at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Restaurant at the Horseshoe Casino. This family friendly restaurant has a tropical, relaxing atmosphere and there is outdoor dining as well. Kids under 12 can order off the Kid’s Menu with options like the Jr. Cheeseburger In Paradise or Fish & Chips. www.margaritavillecincinnati.com

Frozen Margaritas? Not quite, but the under 21 (and the over 21) crowd loves the ice balls from Schneider’s Sweet Shop in Bellevue. Located on Fairfield Avenue, in the heart of the hopping business district, you can indulge in one of these treats, vanilla ice cream wrapped in shaved ice and topped with a delightful assortment of fruity flavors. www.schneidercandies.com

You may have come down from Cincinnati, but it won’t take you three days on a train to come to the ocean, well, okay, not the ocean, but it’s a big pool anyway. Coney Island Amusement Park is a classic, with many rides-including the new topsy turvy excitement of the Wipe Out, games, places to eat and Sunlite Pool. Sunlite Pool was originally built in 1925, and is still the world's largest flat-surfaced, recirculating pool. Features include the 45 foot high Pipeline Plunge and the equally tall Twister with both body and innertube slides. Rent a cabana and have a beach adventure, because come Monday, the grown-ups have to go back to work! www.coneyislandpark.com

With thanks to Sean P. Mette, Parrot Head.

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