Clinical counselor Cindy Becknell was worried that kids weren't socializing enough anymore. She wondered how to encourage them to interact, short of simply telling them to or setting up blind playdates. Then she realized that there was already a designated social space for kids: the playground. There weren't as many "old fashioned" playgrounds anymore, much less ones that were concerned with child safety, but Cindy was undeterred. She founded her own playground and called it KidZoo.
KidZoo kids zoom down slides, swing atop tires, and ascend ladders made from rope or wood, just like those in a classic playground. They can also skip across artificial turf to the simulated blacktop, where staff members lead throwback games such as whiffle ball, dodge ball, and keep away. This playground, though, is all indoors, impervious to the whims of the weather and its tendency to tie everyone's shoelaces together.
Though it celebrates athleticism of all stripes, Sports of All Sorts Batting Cages specializes in training amateurs in America's pastime. Along with batting cages equipped for baseball and slow- or fast-pitch softball, the facility improves each player's game with a hitting and pitching tunnel and pitching mounds with L-screens. Seasoned players and area college coaches demonstrate batting skills at off-season baseball camps, which can be customized for groups of six or more.
The facility's multipurpose court hosts a range of activities such as basketball scrimmages, cheerleading practice, and royal curling tournaments while the king's ice rink gets remodeled. After practice, the arcade hosts rounds of air hockey, billiards, or video games, and Sports of All Sorts' bounce house and three-tiered indoor soft playground hosts the hopping of younger visitors.
Conceivably, you could visit Sports Plus for a week straight and partake in a different activity each day?you just might have to change your shoes. At 250,000 square feet, Sports Plus truly comes through on the plus part of its name as one of the largest sports facilities in greater Cincinnati. Inside, games unfold atop multiple basketball and volleyball courts and hockey rinks. Guests can also climb an on-site rock wall, bounce across inflatable structures, and join games of broomball. Sports Plus also features a bar and grill, meaning competitors can re-fuel on the spot instead of hoping for a semi-truck full of protein powder to overturn nearby.
A lot of Cincinnati history lies within the brick walls of Cincinnati Gardens. Its construction alone was a major feat for the city; when it opened in 1949, only six arenas in the country were larger, and its first hockey game drew the largest ever crowd in the city under one roof. Richard Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge set another attendance record there on a campaign stop in 1960, and daredevil Delilah Wallenda performed a netless high-wire walk there twice, 70 feet above sheer ice. Gardens visitors can explore many of the arena's past thrills in the Legends Museum, a huge collection of sports and entertainment memorabilia that's free to the public before and during events.
Geeter’s Bar & Grill inspires glum appetites with a delicious smorgasbord of bar-style burgers, sandwiches, and wings. Cheer up your food-craver with a serving of loaded potato skins stuffed with cheddar jack cheese, bacon bits, and a generous dollop of sour cream ($7.25) as you view the game of your preference on one of the bar’s 25 large-screen televisions. Then, sample a half-dozen hawg wings crafted from the tenderest cuts of bone-in pork, deep-fried, grilled, and drowned in Jamaican jerk barbecue sauce ($5.95). A battered Atlantic cod sandwich, consisting of crispy-fried, panko-breaded cod hidden within a kaiser roll’s tartar-sauced inner sanctum ($7.95), silences stomach growls, as does The Big Patterson, a smallness-challenged burger loaded with a half-pound patty of Angus beef ($7.25), or veggie supreme pizza ($14.95). Conclude a whirlwind eating excursion with a hefty helping of the day’s dessert choices.
The Tennis Club at Springhurst places top-notch instructors at the helm of both of its professional-level facilities, where programs, camps, and classes help players of all ages develop their skills. Opened in 1998, the multifaceted Springhurst location combines 10 indoor tennis courts with areas for golf, field hockey, volleyball, and basketball to form a one-stop training haven. The academy?s other location, Top Gun Academy, has grown to include 13 outdoor tennis courts and a 18,000-square-foot indoor turf field. Dually dedicated to excellence in sports, both facilities offer programs that have helped produce college-level players and championship teams.