Fun and Games

Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park

Photograph by Anna Knott and Nathan Kirkman

Dodgeball Game: Sky Zone
The new five Ds of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive, and don’t underestimate the physical demands of a trampoline. That last addendum is important to remember at Sky Zone in Springdale, where jumpers can literally bounce off the walls in pick-up ultimate dodgeball games on one of the two regulation-sized trampoline courts. Weekends can get crowded, so make sure to book in advance. (Prices start at $10 for 30 minutes.) And if you’re looking for more competition, the site will also hold qualifiers for the 2015 Ultimate Dodgeball Championship. 11745 Commons Dr., Springdale, (513) 671-1333,

Urban Hike: Smale Park to Washington Park
Your best on-foot exploration of the city leads from Smale Riverfront Park to Washington Park. Park at The Banks and start with a spin through the gardens, river views, and water features that make Smale a city gem. Take Rosa Parks Street by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, then hike up Vine Street past Fountain Square and through OTR, then head left on 12th to Washington Park. Do it as a loop, and the 2.5-mile hike will offset any stops for nibbles or drinks you make along the way.

Wake Sports: Wake Nation
You no longer have an excuse not to try wakeboarding. Wake Nation Cincinnati offers wakeboarding, water skiing, and kneeboarding without a boat. Using a cable system that pulls riders around the 10-acre lake, up to six riders at a time can glide atop the water and get gnarly on the various rails and ramps. Or let the youngsters hang loose while you watch from the observation deck, free of charge. 201 Joe Nuxhall Way, Fairfield, (513) 887-9253,

Mountain Bike Trail: Devou Park Backcountry Trails
For a thrill ride close to downtown, mountain bikers swear by the nearly 12 miles of intermediate singletrack (wide enough for just one bike) snaking through Covington’s 704-acre Devou Park. A grueling mile-long climb means an exhilarating descent, and one hell of a workout. The trails are part of the Cincinnati Off Road Alliance, a network of volunteers who maintain 60 miles of singletrack in the tri-state for not just mountain bikers, but also trail runners and hikers. 450 Deverill St., Covington,

Lazy Day Fishing: Lake Isabella
If what you like best about fishing is an excuse to drift quietly in a rowboat—or drift mentally lakeside or dockside—and wait for a catfish, big mouth, or perch to make things happen, Lake Isabella awaits you. Part of Hamilton County’s park system, the 28-acre lake is a reclaimed quarry set in woods and stocked weekly. With no Ohio fishing license required and plenty of poles and boats for rent, it’s a kid friendly way to burn an afternoon. In summer, there’s live music as well as live bait. Open March to October. 10174 Loveland-Madeira Rd., Symmes Twp.,

Intro To Bird Watching: Rowe Woods Bird Walks
Get over your aversion to early weekend mornings and get to the monthly guided bird walks at Rowe Woods in the Cincinnati Nature Center. You’ll see rarer migratory birds (like warblers and scarlet tanagers) in spring and fall, but year-round you can count on the expert guide and the seasoned, friendly regulars to fill you in on where to look and what you’re seeing. Just bring your own binoculars—and a field guide, if you want to start marking what you find. It’s like collecting Pokémon cards for Walden lovers. Gotta watch ’em all! 4949 Tealtown Rd., Milford, (513) 831-1711,

Non-Traditional Yoga Spot: The Yoga Bar’s Off-Site Classes
Same old downward dog need some new tricks? The Yoga Bar is ready to help you branch out your practice—literally, with “yoga botanica” in the midst of Krohn Conservatory’s vegetation—and with summer sessions on Washington Park’s civic lawn. Classes, which range from free to $17 a session, vary seasonally and include special events: Last September, they offered family yoga under the Cincinnati Museum Center’s main dome. (859) 415-1322,

Waterside Trail: Friendship Park
Minutes from downtown Cincinnati, Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park (Friendship Park for short) is a haven for those seeking a peaceful workout. Down by the river, the intertwining trail passes gardens representing five continents, plus sculptures—including the stainless-steel Castle of Air pavilion and Seven Vessels / Ascending, Descending, with its giant English oak vessels. With free parking nearby and free Wi-Fi to surf the web (if you must), stretch those quads, cue your playlist, and enjoy the scenery as you get your heart rate up.

Bike Trail Pit Stop: Julian’s Deli and Spirits
Mere steps from the Little Miami Bike Trail in Loveland, Julian’s Deli and Spirits is a haven for asphalt-weary cyclists. Seeking sustenance in the middle of a long ride? Try the Caprese panini or spinach salad. Need more fuel? The Reubens or sauerkraut balls will fill you up. The atmosphere is friendly, and there is plenty of outdoor seating on their trail-side patio. Should you visit on Saturday or Sunday, take advantage of their Bloody Mary Bar. But don’t pedal home after. 200 W. Loveland Ave., Loveland, (513) 583-1725,

Tree Climbing: Earth Joy
Call it the middle dimension, the one that floats gently above our heads—the tree canopy of this forested region. It may seem out of reach for most of us, but the tree-climbing adventure/fulfillment outfit EarthJOY offers guided climbs and instruction for backyard climbers; future tree-climbing instructors; tree-trimmers; and, we’ll go out on a limb and say it, gluttons for pleasure. (859) 635-0320,

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