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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend around Lousiville: April 29,30 & May 1


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This post is sponsored by:

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Friday:

It's the Kentucky Derby Festival Great Balloon Glow at KY Expo Center - it starts at 9pm. Remeber, it's $8 parking/car to park there. Gates open at 6pm.  GLOW ON!

Saturday: Please, I am doing an anti-rain dance in the morning. 9am. 
Mighty Titan will be at at River Valley Christian Church for a festival starting at 3pm. The festival activities are free but there's a fee for the Mighty Titan Course. 

All About Kids is having a FREE "Try Trampoline & Tumbling" day from 5-6pm!  Click here for more information and to register.
Sunday:  
Fan Fest Day at the Kentucky Derby Museum is going to be awesome!  They have extended hours from 8am to 7pm and a bunch of special opportunities. They even have brunch, I <3 brunch. They'll have a Kids' Zone from 10:30am to 5pm, walking tours, meet & greets and more.  And, did you know that admission is free for kids ages 5 and under? 


Have a fabuLOUs weekend!
~Stephanie

7 Things You Can Only Do at LEGO KidsFest

This a sponsored post but written from experience at the event
I know there are a lot of LEGO lovers out there and parents think about taking a trip to LEGOLAND but the cost of that can be tough on the wallet.  It's awesome when a traveling show like LEGO KidsFest comes into town and takes the travel costs away and families can experience it close by!
Once again, LEGO KidsFest is coming to Kentucky in June.   

Here are some things we love about LEGO KidsFest and we are sure you will do - and there's more! 


1) Climb on a gigantic pile of LEGO bricks and make whatever you want!
 
2) Design your own power shield in the world of Nexo Knights or work of art to display for everyone to see.
 
3) Be a part of building a HUGE LEGO United States.
 
4) Challenge other families in fun races to build thematic creations.
No photo! Last time I was there, I was too busy having fun building things to take a photo!

5) Meet Master Builders and learn from their amazing building skills.
 
6) Pose with larger-than-life LEGO statues and structures.
 
7) Build your own vehicles and race against other LEGO speed lovers.
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8) Kids 2 years old and younger don't need a ticket and they have a fun LEGO Duplo area for little ones!
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Have fun building! 
Stephanie

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Weekend Getaway to St. Louis

St. Louis is about 4 hours from Louisville, and an EXCELLENT weekend or week getaway with a TON to do. It is in the Central Time Zone, so you gain an hour driving there. Here is my weekend trip, and at the bottom I've included a list of other attractions that I have visited or heard great things about.

Attractions:

City Museum
 photo city museum2_zpscywpykju.jpgNot for the faint of heart. This place is seriously crazy, busy, hard core playing, climbing, sliding, and easy to lose your kids. Prepare to spend a FULL day there if your kids like climbing. Park early in the parking garage for $5, or across the street for $5 without shade. Wear sneakers, knee pads, elbow pads, and sunblock if you pay for the roof access. Give ground rules at each area (don't leave cave area without Mom, don't leave the skate park area without your Dad, etc).



This is the layout: 4 separate floors, the roof, the Monstro Cityoutside that goes up 5 floors high, and the 10 story slide that comes out in the cave area. The roof is worth the $5 each on a nice day, but it gets hot out, so go there first. It's very easy to lose your kids in any given area. Tunnels go everywhere and come out everywhere. There are some tunnels, caves, and rebar curves that are just too tight to fit an average size adult. You WILL lose your child at multiple times throughout the day. Have a meeting spot.
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There are places to buy food on every level, but sometimes they are hidden away. Average lunch under $10 including side and drink. I noticed many people brought food and drink with them, or went out and came back for meals. There is a very small "6 and under" section on the 4th floor is much more tame for little ones. The gift store is on the smaller side, not too overpriced, and not forced on you like other attractions where you must enter or exit through it. There are a lot of $5 and under trinkets. My tip: don't bring a purse, don't put your phone where it will fall out and break.

World Aquarium (inside City Museum)
It's $8 to enter ($6 after 5pm). Some things look old, it's not huge, but my kids LOVED it. There are fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Lots to touch (mostly turtles and fish), lots to climb on and under (see if you can find the hidden tunnel behind Stingray City!). Lots of animals taken out by staff to be pet. Check times for feedings when you get there - you can go in and out as many times as you want if you have the stamp on your hand. If you buy a tour you not only get more information, you can also pick up a turtle, feed the sharks, and other perks. Check before you go. Drury Hotels has a coupon for a free sharks tooth.

The St Louis Zoo
 photo IMG_3935_zpsnnoxewpl.jpgA wonderful zoo, and it's FREE to enter! Parking is $15, but if you get there early, there are a ton of free parking spaces that line the road to the zoo. Once you get in the zoo, I recommend buying the Safari Pass for $12 (discounted with Lou Zoo membership!). It allows your child to go to a bunch of attractions, that individually, will cost much more (Children's Zoo, carousel, train, stingrays, and more).




Turtle Playground
Just across the street from the zoo. It's a bunch of over-sized concrete animals for kids to climb on if you need a break from the zoo, or decide to come out for a picnic lunch.


Eateries:

Courtesy Diner
Less than a mile from the zoo, and had delicious, low priced diner food. My kids enjoyed sitting at the counter and listening to the jukebox. They have the usual kids menu, free refills, and are a nice alternative to the pricey zoo food. However, you will lose your parking spot if you plan to return to the zoo, so it may be a nice post - zoo meal. The only downside is that they only take cash (like a classic diner), but they do have an ATM in the diner.

Fitz's Bootling Company
This is an excellent place to grab lunch or diner. The food is delicious, the soda is awesome, and there is vintage bottling equipment inside the restaurant actually bottling soda that your kids will be entertained throughout the meal.

Gus's Pretzel Shop
Watch them hand-twist soft, salty pretzels if you get there before noon. Try the bratwurst and hot dogs wrapped in pretzel dough. Down the street from Anheuser-Busch brewery.


Hotels:
 There are quite a few hotels with indoor pools from about $120 to $200 in the St. Louis area. We went to a Drury Hotel where we enjoyed the indoor pool, free happy hour (the kids ate nachos, pretzels, and chips while mom and dad got up to 3 complimentary alcoholic drinks and unlimited sodas), and free, full, hot breakfast the next morning. Our room was basic, but with Wifi, cable, microwave, and frige in the room which are always handy to have. They had a coupon book in the room for all of the area attractions, but they are also on the website link posted earlier which anyone can access.

Other excellent attractions:

Gateway Arch
Prepare to wait in line, even when you buy tickets in advance which I highly recommend. Don't worry if you're late for your tour time, they'll let you go when you get to the head of the line. Not for claustrophobics.

The Magic House
Better for younger kids, but teens won't be bored out of their minds. Check the Drury site for discounts.

Grant's Farm
You can watch various animals on a tram tour of the park, and Clydesdales are found in their nearby barn and pastures. FREE admission to Grant's Farm, tram rides and all shows. A few attractions require a small fee to participate, and parking is $12.

Purina Farms (free admission)

St. Louis Science Center (free admission)

Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tours
Free admission, parking, and 2 free beers each adult! But my kids weren't thrilled to go, and the wait for tours gets longer as the day goes on.

By Guest Contributor: Caryn

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

LEGO KidsFest Ticket Contest

LEGO KidsFest is coming to Kentucky in June and we want to hook you up with some free tickets!  We love our readers and are so excited to extend this opportunity to everyone - GOOD LUCK!

We are giving away FOUR VIK 4-packs that include a preview event on Friday June 3rd plus admission to the general session!

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Event dates are June 3–5.  The sell out in other cities, so act fast to get your tickets.....if you don't win our contest :)  Location: Kentucky Exposition Center 937 Phillips Lane Louisville, KY 40209

LEGO KidsFest brings all of the creative hands-on, minds-on fun of LEGO building and experiences together in one activity- and entertainment-packed family event for children of all ages and builders of all skills and interests

Tickets are available for all sessions!
(Note: Each session offers the same exhibits and activities)
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Friday, June 3, 2016
4 pm - 8:30 pm

Saturday, June 4, 2016
Session I: 9 am – 1:30 pm
Session II: 3 pm – 7:30 pm

Sunday, June 5, 2016
Session I: 9 am – 1:30 pm
Session II: 3 pm – 7:30 pm


Review of Jack Jouett House Historic Site in Versailles, KY

 photo jouett20house20Collage_zpsgdibjyv8.jpgDid you know the “Paul Revere of the South” settled in Kentucky after the Revolutionary War? I sure didn’t. Captain Jack Jouett was asleep one night outside the Coocoo Tavern when he heard the hoof beats of Banastre Tarleton’s British Troops coming down the road. He knew they were after Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia Legislature, so he took off on his horse through the back country to warn them. He rode 40 miles, sustaining multiple serious injuries along the way that would disfigure him for life. He arrived at Montecello at 4:30 in the morning, warning Thomas Jefferson and the Legislature and saving most of them from capture. Only 7 members of the Legislature, including Daniel Boone, were captured that day but they were all released because they were not the high-profile folks Tarleton was after.



Jouett migrated to Kentucky after the war. He lived in present-day Woodford County for 13 years with his wife and their 12 children. He was a horse breeder, farmer, and livestock importer whose knowledge was often sought out on many farming matters. According to Janice Clark, Executive Director of the Jack Jouett House Historic Site, Jouett was on the Separation Committee to separate Kentucky from Virginia and was active in many other aspects of early Kentucky life and politics.


 photo Jack20Jouett20House_zps2ffh0v1u.jpgHe built a brick home at a time when most frontier folks in Kentucky were living in one-room log cabins, and his home still stands well-preserved on the grounds today. In addition to breeding horses, Jouett also had a working distillery and mill on this site which has recently been uncovered by volunteer archaeologists.

The home and historic site are open to visitors April-October, Mon. 10am-noon, Fri. noon-5pm, Sat. 10am-5pm, and Sunday 1-5pm. It is also open by appointment year round. There are also volunteer opportunities for everything from archaeology to special events help.
See the website for details.

By guest contributor: Maggie

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week in Preview April 25th-28th

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Derby fever is in the air!

Here are my picks for the week!


Live it:Fest-a-Ville opens on April 28th! Pick up a Pegasus Pin and take your family down to have some fun! This is the ULTIMATE ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE featuring the Waterfront Jam Concert Series with national talent, family fun, food, kids’ inflatable playground, midway rides and more. Happy Hour Weekdays 4-6 PM, $2 Beers. Check it out here for times and location!

Eat it: Can you say FREE doughnuts! Head over to Krispy Kreme for Superhero day and buy a Dozen Original Glazed, Get A Dozen Free On 4/28 in the US & CAN. Pow! Find more information here and get the email you will need!


Move it: Check out All About Kids Summer VIK Program! Join them for UNLIMITED FUN June, July and August! Includes: One class per week! UNLIMITED Fun Zone AND Open Gym times! UNLIMITED Makeup Classes! 20% off additional classes! 10% off birthday party packages! Must register by May 9th! Check their website for more information!

Learn it: April is National Card and Letter writing month celebrated by the U.S. Postal Service!
Celebrate with the family by setting up an evening of letter or card-writing fun!Check out some ideas here to get you started!



By Guest Contributor: 
Kelly 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend around Louisville: April 22,23,24


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Check out our Spring Fun Page & Deals Page !

Friday:
Our friends at Whet Your Palette told us they are having a special this Friday, Dads paint free!  So, why not have a Daddy/Daughter, Daddy/Son or Daddy/Everyone date on Friday and paint together.  Their prices are already so affordable. And, the Village Anchor is just across the street, perfect place to grab something to eat....Anchorage Trail is there as well.  Perfect outing.

Saturday: 
So, there's this Thunder event people keep talking about. You can do that if you are up for crowds - the fireworks are indeed epic.  The port-a-potties are epic too. Did you know that Locust Grove has a Thunder event?  It's to commemorate the arrival of troops to this area during the Revolutionary War under the command of George Rogers Clark.  Their "thunder" is a 21-gun salute. Dare to be different - Locust Grove sounds cool. Details here. $6 for adults, free for children 12 and under and....BATHROOMS :)
Sunday:  
Louisville Leopards have their BIG GIG this Sunday at 2pm at the Brown Theatre - this group is so fun to watch. And, Teddy Abrams is joining them. Sweet!  Get the details here.


Have a fabuLOUs weekend!
~Stephanie

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Review of Main Event - new entertainment center in Louisville

Main Event hosted our staff and guests for a fun night of bowling, games and food so we could report back to you on our experience.  We had some mock birthday parties that involved bowling, pizza, video games, laser tag and the ropes course.


Main Event is a Texas-based company that recently opened a venue off of I64 at Blankenbaker Parkway in Louisville.  It is a one-stop place for not only families, but anyone looking for a variety of fun options.  They have an extensive menu, full bar, tabletop game area, meeting area capacity and all of the fun entertainment mentioned above for the parties.  You can plan a special event there or you can pop in for a few hours of activities.  They have LOTs of televisions so it's also a good place to eat and catch a sports game.

Here's what our writers had to say about the parties:

Overview: Each party consisted of 10 children and we had two party hosts staffing the events. The party hosts take care of whatever you need. The kids bowled for about 45 minutes, then ate and then went on to do another activity decided on by the parent throwing the party - either arcade games, laser tag or ropes course. The birthday child goes home with a bowling pin that is passed around for everyone to sign!

Maggie:
 photo IMG_0461_zpshjcuwxbk.jpgThe staff were very friendly and attentive. We loved the kids' blacklight bowling- it was much faster paced than an adult game so the kids never got bored. This would be a great place for families with any age of kids for any occasion. There's so much to do! We can't wait to go back.

Caryn:
Loved how attentive the hostesses were for our party! I felt very taken care of enjoyed the delicious food! They were so attentive to our every need! The kids and adults had a blast!

Kelly:
The kids really liked the bowling and being able to make monsters/shoot arrows when they bowled using their score. As parents, we enjoyed being able to watch a basketball game on the big screens at the end of the bowling lanes. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the food was yummy! We all enjoyed the arcade and the big variety that was offered there.

Lauren:
Loved how will the hostesses took care of us. They were always asking if we needed anything and checking on the adults as well as the kids. The Rollercoaster in the arcade was a HUGE hit! If I had any suggestions, it would be to have shoes for kids smaller than a size 9. My daughter struggled to walk in her shoes and she's 5 years old.

Brandy:
The kids were entranced by the animation that coordinated with the bowling. I liked that the bowing seating area included tables. Very handy for drinks or snacks! The kids enjoyed the pizza and I appreciated that the party tables had sturdy chairs instead of bench seating. It's more comfortable and safer for young children. The arcade is huge and really fun too! We had fun in the laser tag area, however, I would suggest that the employees explain how to operate the laser guns before players enter. There was some confusion about how they work.

Nicolle:
The black light bowling is very kid and family friendly! There's enough space for everyone, the score graphics were interactive and the game is fast-paced! Each hostess was attentive to the children and adults. The bowling hostess helped keep the kids bowling in order and the other helped with drinks.

Kimberly:
My family loved the arcade. The huge variety allowed each of us to find something fun to enjoy.

We loved how kid friendly the bowling way...faster paced with one bowl per person each turn, great score visuals for the little ones, the giant dinosaur to help them bowl, and more! The hosts were super friendly and very attentive. They even helped the kids bowl! The arcade was very fun as well. Loved this place, and can't wait to go back!

Erin:
The hostesses for the party were so attentive! I like how they got the dinosaur ramp ready for my four year old every time he was ready to bowl. Loved the range of appropriate things to do for all ages. With a preschooler and two tweens in tow, it was the number one thing I noticed. Will definitely be back! Tip for non-party visits: People to sign up for their spot for bowling, laser tag and ropes course as you arrive. Especially on their really busy deal days or a school break week!

 photo IMG_0459_zpsh8uqoshl.jpgStephanie:
We had the opportunity to sample items from the menu and this is not your typical entertainment center food, it was very good.  The HUGE pretzel with dipping sauces was my favorite - they make them from homemade fresh dough daily.  The pizza was also tasty and there was a hummus appetizer that was another hit item.  For the parties, I liked that they let you bring in the dessert.  With such a big menu, I didn't know if they would do that so it's a nice option.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Review of The New Interpretive Center at the Falls of the Ohio State Park in Southern Indiana

 photo IMG_9851_zpsgktysvfj.jpgThe new Interpretive Center at the Falls of the Ohio State Park recently reopened and it is spectacular! The center is renovated with engaging exhibits, offering visitors an opportunity to experience the history of the Falls of the Ohio like they haven’t been able to in the past. There are four new themes: An Ancient Sea, A Changing Land, Converging Cultures and The Falls Today.

 photo IMG_9863_zpszizswhju.jpgBegin your visit in the now handicap accessible auditorium where you will watch a short film about the Falls. Around the corner from the auditorium is the new, brightly colored and oh-so-cool Devonian Sea Creature station. There is a large screen with an underwater scene playing, levers, doors and drawers to pull and open, a huge Dunkleosteus fish overhead, touch screen, fossil tracing station, an underwater tunnel to crawl through and rocks to climb on. There is so much to see, touch and read in this area!

The next area is devoted to paleontology, archeology and the early people that settled near the Falls. The area again was very hands-on with such things as a wall puzzle for children, drawers that opened to display arrowheads, a Shawnee wegiwa visitors can walk through and furs to touch.

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There is a new Lewis & Clark Theater where you can learn about the explorers and a small exhibit of Clark’s cabin. My children liked touching and learning about the tools and supplies that would have been used by Clark.

 photo IMG_9860_zpsvkecarzy.jpgThere is an area with more information and historical facts about the Falls today along with a virtual aquarium. Visitors can touch small kiosks with different Ohio River creatures and items to learn more about them on the giant screen in front of them. In this area is also a cool 3D sculpture, created by a local artist, of different garbage items found floating in the Ohio River.

Your family will love the new Interpretive Center! The center has been transformed from glass cases of artifacts with lots of reading, to interactive, hands-on, sensory-stimulating exhibits! The center is open year round (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas) and admission is $9 (12 and older), $7 (5-12), under 5 are free. More information is available on Facebook.

By guest contributor: Nicolle

Monday, April 18, 2016

Drama by George Offers Summer Theatre Camps for Ages 8-16

This is a sponsored post 
Got a Drama Queen or Drama King at your house? This summer, educational theatre company Drama by George is giving young actors ages 8-16 the chance to act in a play, make a movie, or learn comedy improv. Students can build self-confidence and creativity in any of our awesome summer day camps.

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  • Moviemakers Filmmaking Camp. Are you ready for your closeup? Here’s a unique opportunity to act in a short digital film (and peek behind the scenes, too)! For ages 8-12, tuition $165. Held at St. James Catholic School in the Highlands, June 20-24, 9:00 am-12:00 pm daily.
  • Center Stage Drama Camp. Want to be in the spotlight? Learn basic acting skills and perform a short play in just one week! For ages 8-12, tuition $149. Held at Bellarmine University in the Highlands, June 27-July 1, 9:00 am-12:00 pm daily.
  • Advanced Center Stage Camp. Take your skills to the next level in this camp for experienced young actors! You’ll learn more about theatre and perform a one-act play. For ages 11-14, tuition $349. Held at Bellarmine University in the Highlands, July 11-22, 9:00 am-3:30 pm Monday-Friday.
  • Comedy Improv Camp. Learn the basics of comedic acting without a script. We’ll show you the funny at Comedy Improv Camp! For ages 13-16, tuition $149. Held at Bellarmine University in the Highlands, July 25-29, 1:00-4:00 pm daily.
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Drama by George has provided character-building theatre programs for over 25,000 Kentuckiana students since 2007. All of the photos accompanying this article are real Louisville kids from our past drama programs. The accompanying video is one of the student films that we produced during our 2015 Moviemakers camp.

For more information or to register for any Drama by George camp, please visit www.dramabygeorge.com/camps or call (502) 718-5090.