“There’s something for everybody here and if there isn’t, we’ll make it.”
With Lisa Little's approach to DIY art, as she tells Middletown Journal, no one gets left out at one of her pottery-painting parties. Visitors to The Splattered Platter are treated to Lisa's diverse ceramic collection, which includes more than 500 decorative and functional pieces—including bowls, plates, and figurines—with each matte-white porcelain surface awaiting decoration.
The decorating tools are all-inclusive as well. Crayons accommodate younger hands, and paintbrushes on canvases suit the finer motor skills of older artists. These seasoned crafters can also drop in for Lisa's in-depth project classes, which tackle trickier subjects, such as topping a wrought-iron table in mosaic or knitting leg warmers for a millipede.
The crack of a bat signals another powerful hit inside Extra Innings' spacious, 70-foot-long batting tunnels. Each cage's Iron Mike pitching machine emulates the power and speed of a cantaloupe tossed by Popeye, sending a feast of fastballs screeching toward homerun-hungry hitters. Extra Innings' 12,000-square-foot facility also divvies its plethora of space for private pitching, fielding, and batting lessons hosted by seasoned instructors, as well as a circuit training area furnished with soft-toss machines, tees, and stride boards that further perfect techniques. The onsite pro shop also equips players with all of the baseball essentials.:m]]
For three generations, the Morgan family has equipped adventurers with the accouterments they need to conquer the great outdoors. The outfitters supply canoes, kayaks, and rafts for excursions at both their Fort Ancient location on the Little Miami River and Brookville location on the Whitewater River. Adventurers choose from a range of downstream floats, with river jaunts stretching from 3 miles up to 18 miles. The company also operates campgrounds with cabins and tent space on the banks of both rivers, allowing guests to stop overnight to rest their muscles or practice non-native birdcalls while everyone else sleeps.
BlastZone Paintball's 20 acres of outdoor playfields incorporate the area's dense trees and open fields. Across six wooded courses, fallen branches, trails, and leaves set the stage for stealthy play, and a speedball field fosters quicker games. As colorful barrages fly, BlastZone's safety equipment absorbs the shots and protects the body from welts or hail damage. Away from the paint-covered battlefield, certified techs man an on-site gear shop. A free-to-use grill cooks up visitors' brought-from-home eats, which they can nibble at a covered picnic area.
Running shoes designed by New Balance, Mizuno, and other brands line the walls at Buckeye Running Company, a boutique dedicated to those who jog, race, or participate in marathons. Patrons can also peruse racks of athletic apparel designed by companies such as Saucony and Moving Comfort. The shop also holds events at which visitors can meet celebrated runners or learn techniques to avoid injuries.
G&G Fitness caters to both bodybuilding buffs and amateurs wishing to enhance their earthly edifices at home with a range of premium equipment, including such notable brands as Life Fitness, Octane Fitness, and Precor. As trained physique formers, G&G's friendly staff members easily hunt and lasso the ideal muscle-molding or heart-strengthening apparatus for each individual customer's specific needs. Avoid outdoor biking's headaches of potholes and projectile burritos by staying indoors on an immobile Vision Fitness E1500 ($499), an upright exercise bike that offers a comfort arc seat, contact heart-rate sensors, and easy-to-adjust pedal straps. Elliptical machines ($799+) and treadmills ($1,495+), offer great ways to calibrate cardiovascular chronometers any time of the day or night. For muscle-sculpting, home-gym systems (starting at $1,299)—which combine benches, pulley systems, and weight stacks in one space-saving package—give exercisers a way to bolster biceps and strengthen solar plexuses without having to traverse crowded gym floors.