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.
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.
"That camp changed how I felt about basketball and my future. It was the turning point in my life." That's how Michael Jordan summed up his experience at Five-Star Basketball, the premier hoops camp founded by Howard Garfinkel and Will Klein in 1966. In addition to Jordan, the alumni list is studded with stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and coaches such as Chuck Daly. In total, more than 500 NBA players have come to Five-Star to refine their basketball talent.
Today, Five-Star continues its tradition of elite basketball training for future college and professional basketball players. Open to boys and girls aged 10?18, the camp's coaches teach young players the importance of possessing basketball fundamentals, being in shape, and having a strong head on their shoulders. Players have many opportunities to show off their skills, such as demonstrating a finely tuned crossover dribble during Five-Star's highly competitive pickup games or eating the most orange slices at lunchtime.