Led by Golf Range’s Top 50 Golf Instructor Ralph Landrum, World of Golf’s staff of game-improvement gurus help players lower their golf scores with an array of golf-related activities. Private lessons conducted inside a climate-controlled swing room allow students to launch golf balls out onto the range while four cameras capture bad habits such as flat takeaways or saying “um” too much during their follow-through. Afterward, players can use their instructor’s pointers to build muscle memory on the rest of the complex’s practice facilities, which include an outdoor range with 24 mat tees and two sets of grass tees, indoor hitting nets with eight stalls, and an indoor putting and chipping green.
As soon as golfers feel they’ve practiced enough, they put their newfound knowledge to the test on the executive 18-hole golf course, with 14 par 3s and four par 4s, or the miniature golf course. When weather renders either course unplayable, thwackers move indoors to the golf simulator, which recreates the look and feel of more than 50 courses or a hodgepodge of 18 famous holes but without the extremely long between-hole travel times. World of Golf keeps a busy schedule of lessons, classes, and leagues, all of which can be found on the calendar.
Step inside the unassuming Victorian walls of Creativities' hands-on studio, where artists of all age levels and skill levels hone their crafting skills across a wide range of mediums. Give yourself or your youngsters some tactile stimulus through projects utilizing beads, clay ($3–$10), metal, wood ($3–$10), paper, textiles, and more. Once you cover the modest studio fee for each artist in your party ($8 per person for two hours), make yourself cozy anywhere in Creativities' comfortable reaches and become an insta-engineer by assembling a wooden train kit ($5), a ribbon expert with a ribbon headband ($10), or another type of expert craftsperson via the crafty items available for purchase in the store. Let your mind relax, and simply see where your hands, brains, and optional monocle take you. If you experience a creative block, or any other block-sensation, the friendly, artistic staffers will be happy to assist. If the muse strikes most at home, pick up a few supplies and relocate to your home kitchen, family room, or crafting dungeon.
While most people know how to breathe, very few can do so underwater without the proper equipment and training. In Too Deep Scuba’s open-water PADI certification courses provide just that, pairing classroom instruction with swimming-pool practice dives in which participants don full scuba gear. Students can plunge deeper into the world of aquatic exploration by pursuing other certifications, earning a new status as a rescue diver, master scuba diver, or ship’s mermaid figurehead. In Too Deep Scuba’s team also schedules trips where divers can hone their skills in exotic waters, such as Florida’s Crystal River and Bonne Terre Mine. Before excursions, divers can stock up on an array of gear from Pinnacle Aquatics, Cressi-sub, Ocean Reef, and other outfitters.
The six-week Baseline tennis program at Five Seasons Family Sports Club infuses beginners ages 18 and older with a passion for the game through energetic weekly lessons. Racket rockers learn from a team of experienced pros at both the Northbrook and Burr Ridge locations, each boasting climate-controlled indoor courts and adventurous outdoor courts completely at the mercy of the climate. Students harness basic footwork, forehand, backhand, and behind-the-back no-look slam dunks in a group setting. Social events let fellow net apprentices compare notes throughout the course, including a welcome reception, a member-appreciation party, and a graduation mixer. Any student not born with rackets for arms—or who simply doesn't own one—can borrow one from the club. Classes are generally held Monday through Thursday and on Saturday, with morning, afternoon, and evening sessions available; students should call the club of their choice for complete scheduling information and sweatband fashion tips.
BB Riverboats began with a deceptive motto and a fleet of zero. In 1977, Ben Bernstein opened a restaurant in a converted steamboat, whose motto was “The Romance of Riverboat Dining.” Intended as tongue-in-cheek, the motto instead confused customers, who arrived hoping for a scenic cruise down the Ohio River. To placate his clientele, Ben Bernstein went into business with riverboat industry veteran Betty Blake, and BB Riverboats—named for their shared initials—was born.
Now run by Bernstein’s son, BB Riverboats has increased its fleet to three vessels, including the Belle of Cincinnati, a riverboat outfitted with Victorian details and two climate-controlled decks. On daily cruises down the Ohio, historical narration complements the scenery, while passengers play swashbuckling games and learn to read treasure maps on family-friendly pirate cruises. On the company’s dining cruises, visitors drink in the scenery while noshing on a Hawaiian buffet spread or sampling award-winning wines from StoneBrook Winery. Additionally, holiday cruises honor occasions from Valentine’s Day to Thanksgiving.
With 10 national championships to their name and another 76 conference titles to boot, the Cincinnati Bearcats boast more than century of athletic tradition. Though the student athletes thrive in many different sports, the basketball program—which won back-to-back NCAA Championships in 1961 and 1962—is the school's crown jewel. Before embarking on a professional career that earned him a spot among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, The Big O cut his hard-court skills for the Bearcats, averaging a staggering 33.8 points per game in his three years at UC. In more recent years, the Bearcats football team has enjoyed its own run as a true contender, earning bowl berths in 2009, 2011, and 2012. In both 2011 and 2012, the squad pounced on their postseason opponents, taking home glittering trophies to use as tackling dummies in training camp.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.