When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.
The Groneck Photographix story began in 2006, when seasoned graphic design artist Michael Groneck started performing digital preservation services out of his home. Today, Michael is joined by a staff of fellow graphic artists at his own shop—a cheerful little store, where photographs of local sports teams and landmarks speckle the walls. Michael and his staff provide a variety of photo-restoration and digital transfer services, while extending their design expertise to create a variety of professional brochures, signs, and business cards. A seasoned shutterbug, Michael also snaps photos at local events, sports games, and Elvis sightings.
The first Funny Bone location opened in 1982 and has spread infectious laughter ever since. Established stars such as Drew Carey and Jerry Seinfeld have graced the stage, as well as up-and-coming talents with fresh faces, fresh routines, and that fresh pine scent. The venue also plays host to a full-service bar, where patrons may steep their sorrows in calming brews, then ingest them triumphantly.
Cincinnati is positioned in the southwest corner of the state near the Kentucky border and on the banks of the Ohio River. Cincinnati grew rapidly as a port city in the early 19th century, when it was crowded with steamboats and riverboats; today, it's still possible to ride an old-fashioned riverboat to scope out the city's skyline. Though it's back on land, it can feel like you're walking underwater in certain parts of Newport Aquarium. Many of its exhibits have transparent floors and underground tunnels, which let you get an up-close view of tropical fish and sea creatures. Further downtown, Fountain Square sits in the nucleus of Cincinnati's cultural attractions. Walk one direction and you'll find Cincinnati Museum Center, which is housed in a historical train station and features a popular exhibit on Pompeii, the ancient Italian city where many residents were preserved in volcanic ash. It's also worthwhile to visit one of many nearby chili parlors to try out the city's famous recipe, a sauce-like version that typically includes seasonings such as cinnamon and cloves. Take a five-minute drive or cab ride north of downtown and you'll find Over-the-Rhine, a quiet enclave reminiscent of a charming European village. It's lined with Italianate buildings and several historical breweries, as well as Findlay Market, a public bazaar open year-round. Vendors here set up shop both outside and inside to sell fresh flowers and international foods. Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.
Carbonation makes a cold soda refreshing, but it can also make a carpet clean. At Queen City Bluegrass Chemdry, technicians lift stains and odors from carpet with a carbonation-powered cleaning system combined with a nontoxic cleaning solution called The Natural. The quick-drying, eco-friendly process employs water efficiently, unlike typical carpet-cleaning procedures that involve spraying your living room with a garden hose. Though the company’s technicians are best known for wall-to-wall carpeting treatments, they also can wield their stain savvy to cleanse area rugs and upholstery.
Kim Rice's love of photography stretches all the way back to high school. From there, she went on to get a photography degree, and in 1988 she founded Keepsake Photography Studio. Her passion for the art stays strong to this day, as she continues to capture snapshots of families, high-school seniors, pets, and loving couples within her studio's homey confines. Ms. Rice isn't the only friendly face visitors find at Keepsake Photography Studio, however. Pet sidekicks Oscar the parrot and Houdini the cat also greet clients, and they both know the secrets to striking a compelling pose.