Nestled in a strip mall on Cin-Day Road just north of the Interstate 75 exit, the Stan the Donut Man shop has been hand-cutting and handcrafting donuts for the community since the 1960s. The same process continues today in the West Chester location the shop has been serving up donuts in for the past 17 years.

Stan the Donut Man shop is a quintessential mom-and-pop, old-fashioned donut shop, making all of their 50 varieties from scratch. The store is open seven days a week at 6 a.m., and closes at 5 p.m. or when the donuts sell out, with a one-hour close at lunchtime. The donut makers begin preparing their tasty treats in the late evening, taking more than six hours to make the 130 dozen donuts sold on an average day. The favorite donut you ask? The old-fashioned glazed round. 7967 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, West Chester. 513-443-6047 or stanthedonutman.com.


Explosive Results

With locations in Fairfield and Mason, Explosion Fitness Solutions is always ready to help their clients move faster, stronger and more effectively. Owned by local trainer Matt Wheeler, Explosion offers speed and agility training classes for student athletes, personal fitness training and adult boot camps. The staff trains athletes with a competitive edge and injury prevention in mind with movement adjustments and retraining movement patterns.

The trainers coach students by working on developing movements and preventing overuse or repetitive injuries. They also offer sleep and nutrition programs. Their boot camps are functional training that maximizes burning calories. 530 Quality Blvd., Fairfield, 513-870-0203 and 3143 Western Row Road, Maineville, 513-234-0787. explosionfitnesssolutions.com.


Storming the Castle

Hidden near the Little Miami River at the bottom of a steep, one-lane road lies the Loveland Castle. Otherwise known as the Chateau Laroche, the castle is the brainchild of Harry Andrews, a former scoutmaster who wished to create a castle to represent the old-fashioned values he wanted his charges to possess. Andrews took inspiration from German, French and English architecture when he built the four towers, domed ceiling and dry moat. He made every brick by hand, crating them individually with milk quart containers. Each of the many rooms contains period artifacts and relics of the castle’s history. Although Andrews passed away in 1981, the castle is still run by the Andrews-founded Knights of the Golden Trail.

For more magic, visit the castle for its Harry Potter Weekend. The entire castle is transformed into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Guests can take classes, meet the professors, see magical performances and even try Butter Beer. This special event is held Oct. 12-13, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 12025 Shore Rd., Loveland. 513-683-4686 or lovelandcastle.com.


Every Day is a Holiday

Harness your holiday spirit and get your shopping done early at the King’s Mills General Store & Christmas Shop. In the shadow of Great Wolf Lodge and Kings Island, the store sells decorations for every occasion all year.

The first room is filled with ornaments, nutcrackers and lights along with Halloween items. The real delights, however, are just down the stairs. The stairway is lined with shiny glass ornaments, including those from the innovative Patricia Breen Designs. The ornaments are hand-blown and painted, making the ornate Santas and snowmen into unique pieces of art. After the stairway there are four more rooms for shoppers to discover. Each room is organized by theme, so everything from R2-D2 lights to dog ornaments in an array of breeds are available to make any holiday even more special. 5687 Columbia Rd., Kings Mills. 513-398-1677 or kingschristmas.com.