"Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you make the whole trip that way." This quote, from author E.L. Doctorow, is one of the many phrases, excerpts, and anecdotes Roebling Point Bookstore scrawls across its chalkboard, embedded snugly in the building's brick exterior. After absorbing the daily dose of chalk wisdom outside, the shop's visitors venture inside, where they find themselves surrounded by shelf upon shelf of equally perceptive words. Snacks, coffee, and tea keep fingers busy between page turns, and a community meeting space hosts groups that gather to discuss parts of their favorite books or tactics for turning their least-favorite books into fibrous breakfast shakes. Back outside, amid the historical ambiance of the Licking Riverside district, bike racks are available to those who prefer two-wheeled transport, which the bookstore awards with discounts.
On the shelves and display racks at Tala's, handbags from Brazil stand a few feet from mandala earrings and ornate hookahs. Around the shop, curated selections of handmade products stand ready to be inspected and taken home. Tala's also follows fair-trade practices, aiming to benefit the far-flung makers of its clothing and accessories.
The family is the basic unit of society—yet, statistically, family members are the very people most likely to steal the last soda from the fridge. Solidify family alliances and suss out enemies with today's Groupon: for $20, you get an all-day video-game play pass at GameWorks, located in Newport, KY. Each pass purchased can only be used by one person; buy up to five and bring the entire family or a school of bipedal fish.
GameWorks, a gigantic entertainment destination constructed with flashy Vegas panache, ensures both children and adults have a delightful time fighting pixelated zombies. Choose from a windmill-factory’s worth (more than 200) of video games, including crowd favorites such as Guitar Hero, Razing Storm, and Midnight Max Tune 3. Race a raucous motion car game while imagining your head is bald with The Fast and the Furious, or pay a nostalgic visit to the old school with games such as Pac-Man, Mario Kart, and Space Wonder. Your card is also valid for virtual dance stations and shooting games. Although today’s Groupon does not cover the cost of food or drinks, you won’t have far to wander for sustenance thanks to an on-site restaurant and two bars with potent potables for the adults.
Five Yelpers give GameWorks an average of three stars, and four Insider Pagers give it an average rating of four stars:
- Arcades with amazing games and an amusement park, too. – Anna D., Insider Pages
- It's got all sorts of DDR, which is one of the more popular games as well as arcarde [sic] types, and classics. Great fun. – Tian J., Insider Pages
- awesome arcade. great selection from skeeball to driving simulators, they've got it all. – Rich H., Yelp
The knowledgeable staff at Bob Roncker’s Running Spot helps clients dash to the finish line with high-quality, brand-name running shoes and everyday footwear, as well as athletic and lifestyle apparel, earning it the title of Running Store of the Year in 2008 by Formula 4 Media. The first Groupon option sheathes shoppers' bodies in stylish and functional high-performance apparel. Zensah sports bras keep runners comfortable with moisture-wicking fabric and thermal control ($35), and men's and women's Patagonia jackets repel condensation during inclement weather ($118.99). The understated elegance of a double-layered cowl-neck dress ($79.99) suits a formal fun run or black-tie marathon.
Once the crowning holiday jewel of Shillito's Department store, the Santa's Workshop displays featured dozens of scenes with hundreds of animatronic elves going ceaselessly about their Christmas tasks. The exhibit drew as many as 100,000 visitors at its peak of popularity, only to be packed away in 1982 when the store went through a merger. They saw the light of day – and Christmas lights – once again in 2005, when Bill Spinnenweber acquired the collection at auction, with an eye toward fully restoring the machines to the pristine glory they enjoyed when created 50 years earlier. He got the community behind him, and they raised more than $22,000 to dust off cobwebs and restore motors. Now, the classic Christmas scenes of Shillito's Elves come to Newport on the Levee for new generations to enjoy.
Jones the Florist first bloomed back in 1865, under a different pseudonym, and has been flourishing in the Cincinnati area ever since. Green thumb your way through the botany business's online catalogue to find thoughtful bouquets for just about every occasion, whether you're celebrating a birth, birthday, or just want to announce an imminent military invasion with the traditional bouquet of roses. Otherwise, dress your digs appropriately for the warm months with a vibrant bouquet featuring summer sunflowers ($34.95–$54.95), or send off a bundle of the season's best ($44.95–$64.95) blooms to your best buddy, significant other, or allergy-ridden enemy.