Things to do:

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend around Louisville: January 30, 31, February 1

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Download our App - click here - the events calendar and Kids Eat Free list right at your fingertips!

Friday
Shop the KidStuff Sale - it going to be a full one, lots of great finds. And, in the morning, you will be able to skip the line if you donate $5 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana! Sale details here.

Saturday
One of the best deals around is at Whet Your Palette and it's drop-in, no reservations required.  Want to know the deal?  Saturday nights from 6-8pm, half off all paintings.  They give some guidance but you paint mostly on your own.  It think it's a great evening out with a tween!  Maybe they'll even have the fireplace going?!

Sunday
How about bundling up and heading to the Louisville Zoo? Bring one canned good for Dare to Care Food Bank and receive one 50% discount admission per person, per can.

be fabuLOUs,
Stephanie

PS - Consider giving a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana.  We are trying to raise $2,500 and giving away prizes - even MATCHING donations!  See details here.

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Want to win something?
We have 4 tickets to the Kentucky Science Center (note:they expire end of February). Great winter fun!

To enter: Email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net and put KY SCIENCE NOW in the subject.  One entry per email address.

You must be 18 or older to enter and by entering, you agree to these terms.
Winners will be selected at random

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2015 Bucket List of Best Things to Do in and around Louisville and Kentuckiana

For the past two years, I have come up with a Bucket List of some of the best, fun, sometimes free things to do in and around Louisville. For 2015, I've updated it with the top 12 things to do, one for each month.

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January - Since this month is practically over, I will just highlight our awesome Winter Fun Links. There are tons of ideas here and plenty of things to choose from to do with your family.

Don't forget that the inaugural season of our city's first professional soccer team, Louisville City Football Club starts in 2015. Their schedule has not been released yet, so keep checking their website for more info.

February - Head to the Louisville Nature Center this winter and spring. They have tons of fun programming, most indoors but they also have a neat family event called StoryWalk. It's completely FREE! Upcoming dates are: February 7 and 21; March 14 and 28; April 4 and 18; May 2.

Also, Mega Underground Bike Park opens at Louisville Mega Cavern! According to their Facebook page: "Join us in early February 2015 to experience a one of a kind Underground Bike Park. Over 320,000 square feet including over 45 trails, Jump Lines, Pump Tracks, Dual Slalom, BMX, Cross Country and Single Track all in a former limestone cavern 100 feet sub-surface. Enjoy the comfort of our 60 degree temperature year round. Come experience what the buzz is all about. You simply won’t believe what you see."This new attraction is sure to bring loads of entertainment for those active families and those with older kids.

March - Family fun is all over the place at the University of Louisville baseball games! The entire season is FREE (with the exception of the UK game) and the stadium is a great place to hang out! They also have family promo days throughout the season. See their upcoming schedule here. The season starts on February 18 at Jim Patterson Stadium.

April - Thunder Over Louisville with the return of the Blue Angels in 2015! The entire month of April is great with all the events leading up to Derby time in Louisville!

May - The Early childhood exhibit, Science in Play, is set to open later this summer and it's been totally redone! Head to Kentucky Science Center for some science in play fun and rediscover one of Louisville families' longtime favorite downtown spots. It's set to reopen in its permanent space in July 2015, with the entire first floor of the Science Center being dedicated to this exhibit.

June - Twilight hours and movie nights at the Louisville Zoo, plus all the fun with school ending and summer reading starting. Last year the city put on a Cultural Pass program-hopefully it returns as it was widely popular with families last year!

July - Summer concerts in Louisville, especially along Louisville Waterfront, are especially fun for families and people of all ages. Check out WorldFest later in the fall, St. James Art Festival, Cherokee Triangle Art Festival (these are the highly recommended ones from readers) and more. Our outdoor summer concerts post will be coming in early summer.

August - I love to highlight spending time in the bustling Southern Indiana cities of Jeffersonville and New Albany. With the completion of the Big 4 Bridge and access to cross into Indiana, the possibilities are endless for exploring sites, eateries, and parks you haven't explored yet with your family on the sunny side of Louisville, such as Big Four Station at the end of the ramp in Downtown Jeffersonville.

September - The Parklands of Floyds Fork is set to finish all of the building and constructing of its entire parks system in 2015. By fall of this year, all of the parks will hopefully be open! My kids and I recently discovered the redesign of Pope Lick Park and it is definitely worth checking out. Turkey Run Park and Broad Run Park (with waterfalls and a playground/sprayground!) are both set to open some time in 2015.

October - ColorFest at Bernheim Forest is a must see according to several, plus check out the Halloween parades such as Caufield's Baxter Avenue and the Hillcrest Avenue decorations.

November - Lights Under Louisville at Louisville Mega Cavern has become one of our family's favorite things to do around the holidays. They usually post a Groupon that saves you quite a bit so be on the lookout for that.

December - Look for our comprehensive and huge list of Holiday Events right after Halloween! I honestly can't really pinpoint one thing (because we love to do so many things), but I do have to say that after all the years of living in Louisville with kids, we still have not made it to the famous peppermint candy making viewing at Schimpff's Confectionery, so I highly recommend that. Don't wait until after Christmas either; we made that mistake and came to find out that they close up shop early on Christmas Eve and don't reopen until after the new year. My daughter and I also attended a fantastic candy cane making event at Buckhead's Mountain Grill in Jeffersonville that was fabulous-look for that to come back to the area.

See last year's list (2013 and 2014 combined) as well. What would you include, leave us a comment and tell us!


~Erin

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ideas for Things To Do With Tweens and/or Teens in and around Louisville, KY

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Artsy:
Paint -n- Party
Spot 5 Art Center
Paint Spot
The Blended Canvas in Jeffersontown-just opened, review to come!
Get involved with Louisville Visual Arts Association
Take some art classes at Preston Arts Center
Whet Your Palette
Uptown Art
Shakespeare festivals
Walden Theatre
Louisville Leopard Percussionists

Active:
Renaissance Fun Park
Bluegrass Indoor Karting
SkyZone Louisville
Lazer Blaze
Girls on the Run
Kart Kountry
Roller skating at Champ's, Robbens Roost, Skate World 
Ice skating at Alpine Ice Arena
Bowling: Kingpin Lanes, Ken-Bowl Lanes, Executive Strike and Spare, Fern Bowl, Fern Valley Strike and Spare, Ten Pin Strike and Spare
Hiking at Jefferson Memorial Forest
Holiday World
Kentucky Kingdom

Books, movies, shopping, etc.
Louisville Free Public Library teen programs and more:
4-H programs at library
Teen book groups
Teen advisory boards
Teen events at area libraries: Jeffersonville, New Albany/Floyd County, Oldham County, Bullitt County, Shelby County, Spencer County
Check out the new tween boutique, FRESH at Westport Village. Grab some food at Wild Eggs and ice cream at Comfy Cow.
Movie options: Stonybrook, Tinseltown, Village 8, Cinemark Theaters on Preston Hwy
Head to the malls for indoor shopping and fun

Writing:
PBS 2015 Kids Writing Contest
Scholastic 2015 Kids are Authors Contest

What are we missing, leave a comment and let us know!

By guest contributor: Erin

Monday, January 26, 2015

Her Louisville: Eight Bourbon Terms You Need to Know

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Here in Louisville, we talk a lot about bourbon. It’s the locally-produced spirit, of course, and the cornerstone of many of the city’s hottest new tourist destinations. It’s in the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby and frequently even finds its way into every course of a meal. If you live in Louisville, you know how to talk about bourbon, right? Well, of course you do. With the HerLouisville Guide to 8 Bourbon Terms You Need to Know, you can talk bourbon like a pro.

Bourbon: Bourbon is a type of whiskey, produced in America, which falls under strict production standards. Federal law requires that bourbon made for U.S. consumption must be produced in the United States, made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, distilled to no more than 160 proof (80% alcohol by volume), entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume), and bottled at 80 proof or more (40% alcohol by volume).

Kentucky Bourbon: Although we all know that the best bourbon is bottled here in the Bluegrass State where it was invented, bourbon does not have to be produced in Kentucky. Unlike French wines such as champagne or burgundy, bourbon does not carry a requirement for provenance. Kentucky distillers believe that the high limestone content in Bluegrass region water leads to a superior product. Here at HerLouisville, we tend to agree.

Barrel: Federal law requires that bourbon be aged in a new charred oak barrel. This means that the barrel is actually lit on fire in preparation. (Watch it here!) This process removes sulphur from the wood and allows the natural wood sugars, vanillin, and color of the wood to be absorbed into the whiskey, resulting in a delicious finished product.

Mash Bill: The mash bill is, basically, the recipe for a particular bourbon. Federal regulations require that the mash bill be at least 51% percent corn; many are 60-70% corn. Most mash bills contain varying percentages of corn, barley, and rye. The secondary grain mixture is an important factor in determining the bourbon's flavor.

Wheated: A bourbon which uses wheat as a secondary grain in its mash profile is often referred to as "wheated." These whiskeys are known for a soft, sweet flavor with notes of caramel or vanilla. Popular wheated bourbons include Pappy Van Winkle, Maker's Mark, and Old Fitzgerald.

Rye: A bourbon containing a notable amount of rye in its mash bill will have a bold, spicy flavor. Basil Hayden's, Bulleit, and Old Grand Dad are well-known rye bourbons.

Angels' Share: The "angels' share" is a distilling term referring to the amount of alcohol lost to evaporation during the aging process.

Proof: Proof refers to the strength of, or, put simply, amount of alcohol in, bourbon. In the United States, proof means twice the alcohol percentage. So, for example, 90 proof bourbon is 45% alcohol.

 photo 1939790_611200858928983_859384619_n_zpsaef5b505.jpegNow that you’re a pro, you’ve earned the right to wear the t-shirt! Pick up this adorable Kentucky Bourbon t-shirt in a variety of colors at The Prickly Pear Boutique in Middletown.
 
Heather
Learn about Heather and see a growing compilation of HerLouisville  features on our new page dedicated to the topic. We'll focus on entertaining, style and dining with moms in mind!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend: January 23, 24, 25

This post is proudly sponsored by:
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Download our App - click here - the events calendar and Kids Eat Free list right at your fingertips!

Friday:
Come on out to Fuzziwig's Candy Factory in Prospect.  WLKY's Matt Milosevich is scooping ice cream for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana.  A portion of sales with go to this cause - there will be fun inflatable bowling, a birthday party will be given away as well.  7-9pm.  Details here.

Saturday
It's the Llama Llama Pajama Party at the Southwest Regional Library at 10am and the first 500 families receive a free book! Llama will even be there....sweet.  Details here.

Or, head to Nulu for free family art at Local Speed. Drop in from 11:30am-3:30pm and grab a bite of trendy food (c'mon, it's Nulu) while you're being all hipster.    I transcend into complete hispter-parent when I step foot on E. Market Street.

Sunday:
Sundays in January are pretty bleh - I am not going to sugar coat that.  Why don't you take a little time to explore this post about 101 Free Things to Do in KY with kids and pick 4-6 to do this year?!


Have a fabuLOUs weekend,
Stephanie

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Parents Like Us: Heather Howell

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So, several years back, I met this little dynamo named Shane. She's a big mouth - ask her, she'll concur, proudly.  Said big mouth handles social media for many local businesses and does a darn good job with it.  She does such a good job that she made me crave a caffeine-free beverage with her tantalizing tweets.  Yes, caffeine-free and I like it.   Rooibee Red Tea. It's GOOD, little miss LouFamFun likes it too.  For years now, I have watched this local company grow and grow with the leadership of a CTeaO.  She is the focus of this month's "Parent's Like Us" feature because it's really darn impressive what she has done with Rooibee Red Tea (RRT) while juggling family life.

We asked Heather Howell some questions and luckily, she gave us some answers:


 photo rrt_zpsdad4508f.jpgTell us a little bit about your family and how long you have called the Louisville area your home:
 My husband and I have no family in Louisville. We relocated in 2007 because we fell in love with the city. We have two children who attend Sacred Heart Model School. Later, my cousin relocated with her family from PA. We love to travel, but appreciate Louisville's scenic beauty, culinary scene and the people.

What is your family's favorite park and why?
21st-century Park in Middletown (The Parklands of Floyds Fork). We love to spend the day splashing in the water park, hiking on the trails, and admiring the bluegrass of our old Kentucky home. Thanks to all the Kentuckians who have made this park possible.

We know your favorite beverage, what's your favorite restaurant for..........breakfast? 
We like Super Chefs for breakfast! We love the heart shaped red velvet pancakes.

If we gave your family $25 to spend doing something together out and about in Louisville, what would you do? 
My daughter - The Science Center
My son - the Kentucky Derby Museum
Me - Watch a sporting event at Yum! Arena - Go Cardinals!
My husband - Go to view art at KMAC (Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft) or Green Building

Share with us your favorite RRT recipe:
Rooibee Red Tea Sangria - Add fresh fruit to any flavor and place in a pitcher. My favorite is Unsweetened with strawberries. We also have fans who cook with our tea and marinate with tea. My uncle cooks ribs after soaking them in Watermelon Mint - it puts an amazing glaze on the meat and makes the spare ribs super moist and delish!

Thanks Heather for sharing a little with us, Louisville sure is full of "Parents Like Us!"
Stephanie

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review of Travel to the Mouse Travel Agency in Louisville, KY

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   A couple months ago, I started thinking about a last vacation for our family of 3. Having a baby due in April and a 3 year old, I wanted to make it special, and quick! A contacted Kris Billiter at Travel to the Mouse about possibilities for a Disney World trip, knowing it would have to be soon if I was going to be able to walk through all those parks! He quickly came up with many different options for us. After a few days of discussion, many asked and answered questions from Kris, and a little research on our part, we decided to go!

    Over the next few weeks, Kris helped us plan the rest of our trip. His services are completely free and I totally took advantage of his expertise! Having not gone to Disney world in 15 years and with him going multiple times a year, I knew he would be able to help us out. He answered all of our questions quickly and thoroughly.

     As I started looking through rides and options, I became completely overwhelmed. I had no idea what rides were good or appropriate for a 3 year old, how long lines would be, or how to plan our time. Kris spent many hours planning our trip, even down to the hour where needed! He gave us an itinerary with a plan for each day we were at the parks, including where to go, tips as we traveled through the park, and even places to get food. He had some amazing suggestions on snacks!

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    I don’t know how you can do wrong booking a Disney trip through Travel to the Mouse. It saves you money because he can find special deals and all of his amazing services to help plan your trip cost you nothing extra! He was a life saver for us! Check him out on Facebook at Travel to the Mouse by Kris Billiter or online at http://traveltothemouse.net/. You won’t regret it!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Her Louisville: 12 Ways to Make 2015 Your Best Year Yet

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12 Ways to Make 2015 Your Best Year Yet!

Happy New Year, y’all! Instead of making a bunch of generic resolutions, why not live the entire year with intention? Here are twelve great ways to make 2015 your best year yet! (Click to download Printable List of 2015 Goals)

1.Adopt a “One In, One Out” policy. This is the best way to keep clutter to a minimum, save money, and provide regular donations to those who need them. When something new comes in your house, something old must go out. If you get a new cell phone, sell the old one on eBay or donate it to a local charity. Clean your closet out every season, sorting things that no longer fit or flatter you into “donate” and “consign” piles. This keeps down the piles of unused stuff, teaches your entire family to use resources a little more wisely, and gives a new home to the things you no longer want.

2.Send a handwritten note every month. Remember the pre-Internet days when you’d go to the mailbox and expect to see something other than bills or junk mail? Everyone loves getting actual mail! Why not rekindle a friendship, touch base with a relative, or encourage someone by sending a handwritten note? Your recipient will be delighted!

3.Learn a new skill. Don’t you just love the feeling that comes with being good at something? Spend some time learning a new skill in 2015. Whether it’s knitting, basic home repair, or golf lessons, your hard work will pay off!

4.Be honest with your time. How often do you budget fifteen minutes for a task, only to find that it actually takes an hour? In 2015, commit to an honest assessment of how you spend your time You may just find that the day’s last hour of television is better spent reading, meditating, or even sleeping!

5.Learn to accept a compliment graciously. When someone compliments you, don’t offer an excuse. When you say “oh, this outfit is old” or “it wasn’t that hard”, you’re discounting yourself and the person who’s complimenting you. Instead, smile graciously, say “thank you”, and look for a way to pay the compliment forward.

6.Be intentional in your interactions. Whether you’re dealing with your boss, your kids, or your dog, think about the meanings that your words and actions convey. Do you want to come across as hurtful, dismissive, and sarcastic or do you want to be honest, gracious, and supportive? When you treat others with respect, you’ll be amazed how much you receive in return!

7.Develop a style signature. We all have days when we just don’t want to think about what we’re going to wear. It’s easy to transform those days into a “style moment” by developing a style signature — a defining look that you wear time and again. If folks remember your sassy red lipstick or perfectly tied scarf, they won’t notice your hastily-fixed ponytail!

8.Cook for others. Everyone loves a homemade treat. The next time you make a pot of chili, make enough extra for your neighbors who are settling in to life with a new baby. Stir a spoonful (or two!) of bourbon into brownie mix to surprise your co-workers with a Kentucky-themed treat. You’re guaranteed to make someone smile.

9.Do a little bit every day. Whether it’s a major work project or keeping the floors clean at home, don’t wait until things reach epic proportions. Carve out a few minutes every day, and you’ll see results.

10.Take time for your friends. Everyone has so many commitments with work, family, and life in general. Don’t forget to spend some time recharging your batteries with your friends! A regularly scheduled girls’ night out is a necessity!

11.Go for more walks. The Louisville area is full of gorgeous parks and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. Lower your blood pressure, reduce and gain some muscle tone with regular walks.

 photo 10670087_730472530335148_3689517811250076295_n_zps3bd1d925.jpeg12.Surprise people you love with little presents. An inexpensive and unexpected present is a great way to let someone know that you care. I love these sentiment necklaces from The Prickly Pear Boutique in Middletown: Who wouldn’t want to proclaim Love, Faith, or Blessings? At $16.99 each, they’re a great way to let someone know you care.

Here’s to making 2015 your best year yet!

Heather
Learn about Heather and see a growing compilation of HerLouisville  features on our new page dedicated to the topic. We'll focus on entertaining, style and dining with moms in mind!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Girl Scouts is a Family Affair

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 Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana serves more than 12,000 girls throughout the western half of Kentucky and Southern Indiana. The critical link in securing their future is you. Girl Scouts is a volunteer delivered program. We can only fulfill our mission if people like you are involved as leaders, role models and financial supporters. I invite you to be a part of our girls’ stories. One of the greatest opportunities in our country today is the untapped talent among the girls in our communities. Girl Scouts has a proven track record of influencing the lives of many successful women. In fact, eight out of 10 Girl Scout alumnae attribute their personal and professional success to Girl Scouting.

So, why not make the Girl Scout experience a family affair? At Girl Scouts, girls and their families have the potential to enjoy more than they ever thought possible! Whether it is attending camp, going on field trips, or giving back to the community, it’s all possible at Girl Scouts! The Kentucky Science Center facilitates our on-site MakerPlace in Louisville, and the program is based on the popular Maker Movement popping up in communities across the country. The MakerPlace brings science, technology, engineering and mathematics to life through designing, building, tinkering and inventing using ordinary, everyday items, gizmos, and gadgets. Girl Scouts offers fun adventure and outdoor opportunities for family camps at one of our seven beautiful camp properties in Kentucky and Indiana.

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Girl Scouts of the USA is the largest organization for girls in the world. Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. For more than 100 years, we have opened doors of opportunity to all girls. No other organization provides more quality opportunities for girls to learn and lead than Girl Scouts. Three key experiences comprise the foundation of our formula for leadership development: we help girls discover themselves, connect with others and take action to create positive change in their communities. We provide unmatched opportunities to develop career skills in fields that have gaps in female talent, such as science, technology, finance and the environment.

How can you help?

Whether you engage individually or engage your family, there are many ways that girls need you to share your time, talents and resources.

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  • You can serve as a volunteer working directly with girls as leaders, program facilitators, mentors, role models or speakers. You can help in areas of program strategy and planning, aligning the expertise of your organization with related Girl Scout programs, such as technology, health and wellness and the environment.
  • Opportunities also exist to support Girl Scouts financially as an individual or corporate donor, event or program sponsor, or a partner in funding strategic initiatives.

Consider the possibilities when we invest in our future — when we invest in our girls. The opportunities are limitless. Together, we grow leaders and we change lives. For more information, go to www.gskentuckiana.org.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend around Louisville: January 16, 17, 18

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Download our App - click here - the events calendar and Kids Eat Free list right at your fingertips!

Friday:
Have you been to Sisters Tea Parlor? It's really fun and nice for indoor fun.  There's a deal on our Daily Deals page through Groupon.  The weekday deal is better so why not check it out!

Saturday
I checked the weather and said...WAIT? WHAT?!?!?!  It's going to be sunny and in the 50s!!!!  EEEEEK!  Oh my gosh, PEOPLE!!!! Go outside on Saturday. I don't care what you do just go outside ALL DAY.  Walk across the Big Four Bridge, find a new park, hike at Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve, explore downtown or Nulu or Jeffersonville or or or.........  I am giddy just thinking about it.

Sunday:
I apologize for scream-typing at you just now but I just got so worked up over the nice weather.  I have no picks for Sunday. All of my energy was absorbed into Saturday's excitement.

Monday:
Who doesn't love Squirrels?  (Maybe families that have had them stuck in attics? Nevermind) The Parklands is having an entire day dedicated to squirrels, yes....squirrels. It's FREE.  Click here for details.  


Have a fabuLOUs weekend,
Stephanie