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.
Skydive Warren County is a labor of love for the Stewart family with roots as far back as 1945, when the patriarch purchased 40 acres of land and lived in a house attached to a hangar at Waynesville Airport. Such proximity caused the Stewarts to grow up with an appreciation for aviation that eventually brought them to skydiving. Since 1969, the business has been imbued with their enthusiasm, teaching novices and experts alike how to hone their skills in airborne sports with the help of licensed professionals.
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.
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.
Sushi Bears rolls fully cooked seafood and traditional sushi rolls under the direction of Chef Dan, whose passion for healthful eats led him to hold weekly sushi-making classes at Findlay Market. Sushi Bears’ menu includes smoked-salmon philly rolls and tempura-fried sushi. Chef Dan also hosts sushi-rolling parties in private homes.
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.
Train hobbyist Don Oeters founded EnterTrainment Junction in 2008 to showcase railroading in an educational and amusing way. Two years later, his 80,000-square-foot facility was voted Ohio's Best Family Entertainment Center of 2010.
At the centerpiece, a 25,000-square-foot indoor model train display dazzles visitors with 90 G-scale trains and 2 miles of track winding through handcrafted landscapes, including an 11-foot waterfall, thousands of trees, and scenes documenting railroad's early, middle, and modern periods. Each train car is the size of a loaf of bread, making it easier for groups to see it or break it into communal pieces, and Oeters and his staff continually tweak the locomotive's surroundings by adding seasonal touches and installing minor or major updates. Historical train artifacts, educational videos, and interactive exhibits await amblers in the railroad museum, and the Imagination Junction kids' area entertains youngsters with train-themed play structures, hand-cranked and electronic locomotive rides, and a section dedicated to Thomas the Tank Engine, the first train to successfully learn sign language.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.