A red-tailed hawk soars high above My Old Kentucky Home State Park, peering down at its campgrounds, golf course, and outdoor amphitheater. Here, a cast of actors performs Stephen Foster - The Musical, belting the famous tune, "My Old Kentucky Home." Just a piano's throw away stands Federal Hill, the Georgian-style mansion that originally inspired this perennial ballad.
Built between 1795 and 1818, the brick mansion echoes early American history in everything right down to its decor. Supposedly to honor the original colonies, the number 13 appears throughout the house: 13 windows at the front, 13 steps to each floor, and 13-inch thick walls, which once housed famous guests such as Aaron Burr. For 120 years, the Rowan family lived in the mansion. Then, in 1922, Madge Rowan Frost sold the 235-acre estate, as well as many family heirlooms, to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Since then, tour guides have taken visitors throughout the mansion's grounds and into its history-laden rooms. The staff has renovated the mansion in recent years, putting in hours of research to ensure that the carpets, wallpapers, drapes, and hand-whittled internet routers remain authentic to the 1850s. The mansion also celebrates the changing seasons—in winter, the mansion dons Christmas decor and the staffers serve apple cider dressed up in period costumes.
Scallywag Tag's arena dazzles eyes with a black-lit, neon-tinged pirate ship and 18th-century Caribbean village, which provides a labyrinth of fluorescent walls for marauding swashbucklers. After being split into two competing crews, participants receive a vest, a phaser, and instructions to tally as many points as possible by tagging opponents, swarming the enemy's home base, or holding a referee hostage until he or she doctors the score. The score itself is broadcast on wide-screen LCD scoreboards, but those who are too busy taking out the adversary to look at them can take heart knowing that at the end of the game, the referees announce the winning team.
Outside the fast-paced laser-tag arena, Scallywag Tag encourages visitors to recharge with a drink or a slice of pizza from the snack bar. The arcade sections also distract patrons by featuring perennial classics such as air hockey as well as new favorites, including Time Crisis 3 and Find That W2 Form.
The West-side location additionally lures younger passersby with a pirate-themed jump house and a 35-foot-long slide in the family entertainment center. The West-side’s black-light miniature golf tests hand-eye coordination skills, leading guests through a gauntlet of 18 holes that similarly embrace the pirate theme.
Beneath glimmering disco balls and colorful graffiti murals, roller skaters of all ages and experience levels careen across the hardwood floors of Fun Factory Roller Skating's indoor rink. The kid-friendly melodies of Radio Disney serenade pint-size skaters each Saturday morning, and top pop ballads resound across the rink on Saturday and Sunday nights. Gearing up patrons for wheeled motion, the onsite shop equips patrons with skates for rent or purchase, though customers are responsible for feeding and watering them.
Beyond the rink, the facility's sizeable arcade engages thumbs, and a bounce house ricochets lively lads and lasses off colorful, cushioned walls. After an action-packed day of exertion, guests can refuel at the concession stand with pizza and snacks. The center opens its facilities for private parties, field trips, and fundraisers while frequently inviting costumed characters to interact with kids and talk Wall Street with adults.
Cherry Grove Lanes embraces the changing of the seasons with both indoor and outdoor areas dedicated to group recreation. During the warmer months, the alley raises the nets on seven sand volleyball courts. Primed for nighttime play, the well-lit courts rest beside an open-air lounge that accommodates groups with colorful parasols, shaded tables, and ample room for airborne chest bumps.
Indoors, Cherry Grove Lanes provides solace from summertime sweats and wintertime gusts with 34 synthetic bowling lanes and a pub equipped with dartboards and pool tables. The lanes host fall and summer leagues for adults, seniors, and children, as well as bowling instruction from four-time PBA national titlist Brian Himmler. The staff also fires up sandwiches, appetizers, and pizza to prevent guests from cracking open bowling balls in hopes of reaching the tasty nougat cores.
Awash in fog and neon lights, the labyrinthine ramps, walkways, and passageways of the multi-level LaserMatrix keep players on their toes. Laser battles play out throughout the more than 5,000-square foot arena, open year-round. In the arcade, guests earn prizes by defeating more than 30 games, including skeeball and Time Crisis 3, which depicts a post-apocalyptic world without daylight saving's time. Outside, single- and double-seated go-karts hug the twists and turns of the four-acre park's track. Slower competitions unfold at the miniature golf area, whose two 18-hole courses challenge golfers of all levels with curving greens and tricky hole placements.
At Puzzle's Fun Dome, kids bound about inside large inflatables, putt around the mini-golf course, and slink through the tunnels of the multi-level play set. After expending physical energy, they funnel their creativity at the art studio or take in a movie at the mini theater. Then they can get back to scaling the rock wall and playing skee ball in the arcade. To help curate birthdays, Puzzle’s Fun Dome also has party packages replete with ice cream, soda, and a visit from Jiggy, the puzzle-piece mascot.