Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
Patty first discovered rock climbing in college. “I got sucked in right away,” she says. Before long, she found herself marrying a fellow climber—a man she met at Climb Time back when it was still managed by the original owners who also blended their relationship with climbing. “They got married at the gym,” Patty says, describing how the first owners scaled the roof to say their "I dos." Though Patty and her husband didn’t exchange rings at the top of a wall, they did decide to buy the gym.
The expansive arena challenges climbers with a 24-foot climbing wall, where novice and expert mountaineers alike grasp handholds with chalked palms or coax a gorilla to carry them up piggyback style. Along the other side of the facility, Patty and crew dare climbers to test their strength on a wide array of 15- to 60-degree bouldering inclines that sit above moveable pads to cushion jumps or falls.
Throughout the 11 courts lined up inside and outside of Court Yard Sportsplex, tennis balls thwack against rackets swung by players in private lessons, instructional clinics, and competitive interclub matches. Elsewhere, cardio and weightlifting machines whir with the effort of exercisers, and the squeak of tennis shoes echoes upon basketball and racquetball courts. In the heated outdoor pool—open Memorial Day through Labor Day—younger kids splash in the 3- to 5-foot waters during beginners' swim lessons, while older kids sluice through the water with instruction on a variety of strokes. Music emanates from classrooms, where a Joffrey Ballet–trained instructor orchestrates youth ballet classes and adults embrace personalized instruction with ballroom-dancing lessons. After any activity, members can soothe exerted muscles with the onsite massage therapist, who calms muscles with one of nine modalities and essential oils infused with lullabies.
At Gentle Breeze Hot Air Balloon Co., a team of commercially rated, FAA-certified pilots whisk passengers skyward on journeys over southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. One-hour flights take off from Warren County Airport and travel as high as to 2,000 feet, where visitors can take in panoramic views and snap pictures. Retrieval crews track each trek from the ground and transport guests back to their meeting location.
Along with standard flights, Gentle Breeze’s team hosts specialties such as private couples flights followed by champagne toasts, Hummer or Escalade limo rides to launch sites, and voyages over Cincinnati and Dayton’s metro areas. The captains also lead balloon rides over passengers’ houses and the homes of their enemies, and enliven soirees with brief sightseeing rides that reach 100 feet.
It began with a simple camping trip in 1910. Carl B. Kern led a group of 12 young men on a hike from Lebanon, Ohio, to a small camping area along the Little Miami River. Naming the area Camp Ozone, since there were no signs of civilization, Kern continued to bring campers back there each summer until he died unexpectedly in 1917. Camp Kern – YMCA is now located on the original spot where the first group of campers stayed. It has grown from a boys-only summer camp into a 485-acre, coed, year-round facility that offers everything from summer camps to zipline canopy tours.
Some things at the camp haven't changed, though. As part of the YMCA of Greater Dayton, the camp's staff members continue their mission to strengthen kids, families, and communities by teaching core values. They lead outdoor education sessions where students explore Native American mounds built 2,000 years ago and gather 500-million-year-old fossils to learn about nature and what hats were popular in prehistoric times. Ranch camps teach equestrians how to care for horses, whereas family and adult programs revolve around archery, canoeing, and climbing.
The crew also hosts literary-themed summer camps, including one that immerses kids in the world of the Ranger's Apprentice book series by John Flanagan. The author visited the camp in November 2012 and told WDTN 2 News, "I had no idea that you were actually recreating and enacting so many parts of the Ranger legend…I think it's fabulous, I wish I was a kid and I wish I could do it."
Alley's obliging staff enhances the art-collecting experience, whether you frequent fine-art auctions or fancy half-finished needlepoint work. With this deal, you’ll get expert custom framing on anything from your personal artwork to cherished sports memorabilia (most framing costs $75–$250). Alley’s framing services include needlepoint-art stretching, creative matting, and shadowboxes. Alley stocks hundreds of frames and mat samples to accommodate personal tastes, and will work with you throughout the design process to create a framed tour de force. All of Alley’s materials are created in-house and are of archival quality to ensure heirlooms enter the future unscathed.
Fitness 19's founders launched their first family-oriented gyms in 2003, hoping to splash the exercising experience with local flavor and familiarity. Life Fitness cardio machines—including treadmills and ellipticals—unite with strength-training machines and free weights to help members to build leaner physiques as certified personal trainers patrol the deep-red-carpeted workout area. The expert staff can also guide clients through yoga, martial arts, and weight-loss-centric personal-training sessions. Every location also hosts a kids' room, where youngsters can craft macaroni kettlebells under the supervision of a full-time staff member.