Hundreds of unadorned pottery pieces line the shelves and wooden worktables at Mad Potter, a whimsical studio where walk-in artists can select the preferred vessels for their creativity and set to work crafting custom masterpieces. The studio’s panoply of provided art supplies includes patterns, stencils, and colorful paints with which to decorate vases in floral designs and pasta bowls with step-by-step instructions for wielding silverware. Professional potters emerge from the earthenware scenery to answer questions throughout the process and to fire finished artworks until each is hardened and safe for food, dishwashers, and microwaves. Large groups can rent out the studio to fashion brittle cakes for birthday parties, and resident artists often travel to businesses and homes to allow kids to paint in their natural habitats.
Tucked away near the banks of the Ohio River stands the other Sin City. Or at least it used to be, during the days when bootlegging formed a powerful underground economy. When a group of teachers and history buffs needed money for school service projects in Central America, they decided to raise funds by starting tours that explored this seamy history, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. A few years and many local accolades later, knowledgeable guides continue expounding upon the town’s rich history of mobsters, gamblers, and ladies of the night.
Tours stroll down Newport blocks littered with buildings once occupied by speakeasies, brothels, and the site of Al Capone’s failed early restaurant career, Al Calzone. Along the way, guides tie the rich past to the rise of the modern-day gaming industry and Newport’s connections to famous crime figures.
Totter's Otterville emulates a friendly village filled with vast exhibits dedicated to educational entertainment. Children can frolic within the train room, which hosts two Thomas the Tank Engine tables and a road-map carpet, or waddle to a live-performance area where staff members present daily shows involving puppets, story time, and tales of the tooth fairy's unhealthy obsession with small-size teeth. Do-it-yourself face painting encourages creative portraiture, and a construction zone encourages playing with giant trucks and a remodeled ball pit and climber area soaks up excess energy and teaches valuable lessons to children with loose car keys. Additionally, a café serves pizzas, wraps, salads, and a variety of healthful snacks.
4314 Boron Dr., (main intersection of Howard Litzler Dr. & Boron Dr.)