In addition to the Lights Under Louisville show, the expert tour guides at Louisville Mega Cavern can propel guests through a 4-million-square-foot subterranean expanse, slinking in and out of more than 100 acres of manmade passageways. Originally a limestone mine, the Mega Cavern was mined for 42 years, beginning in the 1930s, and is now the largest building in the state of Kentucky. The cavernous facility utilizes its 90-foot-high thoroughfares to unite guests with an exhilaration previously known only to highly caffeinated miners—ziplining. During Mega Zips tours of up to two hours, amateur spelunkers will stream across the subterrain’s six underground ziplines and dual racing lines under the sage supervision of the cavern's ACCT-certified experts. Along the way, guides will entertain guests with tales of the cavern’s rich history and uncanny impressions of stalagmites. Their newest attraction, Mega Quest, just opened in November 2013 and claims to be the only underground ropes challenge course in the world.
Since 1815, Louisville Stoneware's artisans have been transforming natural stoneware clay—harvested from deposits in Kentucky and Indiana—into elaborate table fixtures through an awe-inspiring series of crafting techniques. 20 pairs of skilled hands conspire to mix, form, and paint each functional art piece before professional fire tamers arrange finished items in the factory kiln, which reaches 2,350 degrees, to melt glazes into a glassy, durable surface. Hundreds of stoneware masterpieces emerge from this artistic inferno, filling the firm's shelves with serveware and home decor. Personalized mugs commemorate special occasions, and birdhouses work to fill yards with the melodies of avian pop stars.
Alternatively, visitors can decorate their own stoneware using vibrant paints and included supplies. After customers finish their work, staff members glaze, fire, and verbally quiz creations to ready them for lifetimes spent atop fireplace mantels.
A maker of quality billiard tables since 1910, Steepleton's wide range of entertainment furniture keeps a lively rec room from curdling into a dreary fun dungeon, or fungeon. A dartboard ($80–$199) and a couple bar stools ($25–$700) create a cozy habitat for pet Irishmen, and corn-hole bags ($40) provide twice the backyard fun of beanbag tosses, mostly from the game's name. Homebody hustlers, meanwhile, can take home a pool table ($999–$7,000) and pair it with high-quality pool cues ($22–$500). Otherwise, soothe sore muscles or reheat leftovers in a hot tub ($3,000–$13,000) on brisk Kentucky nights. Steepleton's showroom also shows off a variety of basketball hoops, air-hockey and foosball tables, safe outdoor playsets ($1,400–$12,000), and even safer Springfree trampolines—whose hidden frame and soft edges protect rugrats from spring gouges, broken bones, and double-bounces that send them crashing into passing cell-phone satellites.