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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend

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I'm hoping for a gorgeous fall weekend!

There are many fall festivals this weekend.  Pick on for Friday night!  Maybe Harvest Homecoming, Belknap Festival or Garvin Gates Blues Festival.  Pick one to do with the kids or take them to a Parent's Night Out option (like My Gym or All About Kids Slumber Party) and have a night out with friends.

Start the day at the Awesome Outdoor Products free open house starting at 10am.  Finish the day at the Louisville Zoo World's Largest Halloween Party!  The day looks perfect for an evening of trick-or-treating at the zoo!

Farmington's Harvest Fest - 10am to 5pm.  Historic property, fall fun - sounds like a win win!

It's the Teal Pumpkin Playdate at 3pm - Seneca Park.  Have a child with food allergies or want to support those who do?  Bring a pumpkin and painting supplies and get together to make a teal pumpkin for the Teal Pumpkin Project for Halloween.  Click here to learn more.

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review of ColorFest at Bernheim Forest

The ColorFest at Bernheim Forest is one event you don’t want to miss! The festival is October 17th (10-5) and 18th (10-5) and trust me, you can spend the entire day at the festival! Let me try my best to pack in the details in this review for you!

 photo Eli tight rope_zpstwhuioms.jpgTo say this festival is family-friendly is a complete understatement. First of all, the festival is FREE! There is a small $5 environmental fee per car for non-members, but still, $5 allows you to experience an array of free activities geared toward children and adults.

Let’s start with the hay maze because once your children see it, they will be drawn to it! Children are allowed to run and play by this volunteer monitored hay maze while parents snap perfect fall candid pictures of them. Surrounding the hay maze are antique tractors for more exploring and imaginative play, free crafts from community vendors, a “Discovery Station” area that includes Kentucky Science Center and Bernheim Forest hands-on activities.

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Also near the hay maze is the hayride. One pointer I will give you is to make sure you sign up for your preferred hayride time because it sells out fast! The hayride is $2 per person and lasts about thirty minutes. We did not get to do the hayride because we didn’t know it sold out so quickly, but I think it’s safe to assume that the fall colors were a beautiful sight!

But wait, there’s more! Make your way toward the Research Center and you will find a Boy Scout rope bridge ($1 donation fee), an entertainment stage used for musical performances and demonstrations by the Kentucky Science Center and a Nature Arts area that includes making your own mud pie, coloring, nature jewelry making and mural painting.

Keep walking because you’re not finished! Free face painting is available and then a fun pumpkin launch and roll will entertain the children for a long time! You can pay $2 per pumpkin or 3/$5 at the catapult launch. The pumpkin roll is free for all ages. My children had a blast at this center and had to be pulled away!

 photo Pumpkin launch_zpso7udyaac.jpgAre you hungry from all of the different activities yet? There is an assortment of food trucks at the ColorFest, too! A few of the foods we saw included: burgoo, lobster, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, crepes and ice cream. There is also a cafĂ© inside the visitor’s center and of course, families can pack their own snacks and meals. There are plenty of seating areas and indoor restrooms are available.

For the arts and craft enthusiasts, the ColorFest offers festival goers an opportunity to shop one of a kind items and view demonstrations from the Friendship Spinners inside the Visitor Center. There was also a cooking demonstration using some items from Bernheim’s edible garden.

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For the brave individuals, one can see and touch creatures found at Bernheim Forest. My children were drawn to the corn snake, slimy critters and bee exhibit. There was also a table set up with different animal skins and tracks for the kids to touch. Raptor Rehab happened to be at the ColorFest on the day we were there, so there were even more cool creatures to view.

If you want to take a short break from the festival, there is an I Spy Trail off of the Visitor’s Center. It will take you to Cedar Pond where families can relax and, once again, get great fall foliage photographs!

Phew! Did you catch all of that? Like I said before, the ColorFest is a full day’s worth of entertainment at beautiful Bernheim Forest. Bernheim Forest is located twenty minutes south of Louisville. Mark your calendars now, because this is one festival you will return to each year!

By Guest Contributor: Nicolle

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review of Junie B. Jones The Musical at Derby Dinner Playhouse

Our writer was granted free admission for the purpose of this review. 

 photo IMG_8819_zps67ze96cv.jpgOn Saturday, my daughter and I had the opportunity to attend the opening lunch showing of Junie B. Jones The Musical at Derby Dinner Playhouse. If you have a young child-- especially a girl, you are probably familiar with Barbara Parks' beloved book series Junie B. Jones. The books star Junie B. (of course!) and focus on the typical ups and downs of life in the early elementary years. The musical is definitely on par with the books. The story chronicles the beginning of Junie B's 1st grade year, as she struggles to find her place in an atmosphere that isn't quite as familiar as she expected.

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Derby Dinner had a full house for the opening lunch performance. We arrived about 10 minutes after the doors opened and had to wait for about 10 minutes to get into the theater. We still had plenty of time to chat and enjoy our lunch before the lights dimmed for the show.

Because the show is a musical, there are several songs. However, there is still plenty narration and the story flowed well and was easy to follow. My 6 yr old daughter and I found ourselves laughing several times throughout the performance. There are some really fun characters, quick costume changes and talented singers. My favorite song of all featured Gladys Gutzman, the cafeteria lady. It was hilarious!

Junie B. Jones The Musical will be at Derby Dinner Playhouse Oct. 17, 24, 26, 31 and Nov. 7. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

 photo IMG_8828_zpsn6dzsjpq.jpgWe noticed some other wonderful children's theater shows coming Derby Dinner Playhouse. November and December will feature Jack Frost Saves Christmas, and Santa will be at every performance. The feature for February 27 - April 2 will be Charlotte's Web. We can't wait to see that beloved classic! Finally, in early summer, everyone's favorite pink cupcake-eating gal, Pinkalicious, will take the stage. Check the website for more information, tickets and season pass information. There are even birthday party packages available. We saw several kids celebrating their birthday on Saturday!

By Guest Contributor: Brandy

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Week in Preview October 5th-8th

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Fall break is upon us, here are some fun ideas to keep the kids busy!

Here are my picks for the week!

Live it: Cross the river for a trip to Green Tree Mall for their Kid's Club. The Nutty Scientists Visit and kids will love this really NUTTY but NOT SO SCARY Workshop, on Tuesday, October 6th, from 11:00am – noon, held in Center Court. For more information, go here!

Eat it: On Monday or Tuesday, head over to Bearno's Pizza for kids eat FREE! Dine in only. Check it out here!
Move it: Visit the Falls of the Ohio State Park and fish, hike, walk, fossil view, bird watch or have a picnic. Or do all of the above! Find more information here!

Learn it: To help kick off Art & Music Month at the Library in October, they have partnered with Kentucky Opera to offer some exciting programs. Opera for Preschoolers: Monday, October 5 - Jeffersontown @ 10:30 a.m.; St. Matthews @ 1 p.m.Tuesday, October 6 - Iroquois @ 10:15 a.m.; Highlands-Shelby Park @ 1:30 p.m. or Wednesday, October 7 - Middletown @ 2 p.m.

By Guest Contributor: 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend around Louisville: October 2,3,4

This post is sponsored by:
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Yes, there are Halloween this weekend-see those HERE.

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Use BBBS2015 for a discounted ticket!
Free canoeing!  Head to Shawnee Park 10am-4:30pm for the Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventure.  They are hosting free canoe trips on a 24-foot canoe that fits 9 people.
First come, first served - must be 3 years of age or older.  See details HERE.


It's playoff time for LouFamFun's favorite team.  Get your tickets for the excitement - use code BBBS2015 to save - game starts at 7:30pm at Slugger Field. We recommend arriving by 7pm to watch warm-ups.  If you stand behind home plate, you/your kids can get some high-fives when the players head back to the locker room before the game.  My son loves that!  

Close out the weekend with a fall festival in Prospect.  Admission is free with a donated item for the Louisville Rescue Mission.  It's at Gingerwoods from 5-8pm.  See details about activities and what kinds of donated items they are collecting by clicking HERE.

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Weekend Getaway to Nashville, TN - Fall break idea!

 photo photo2_zpsdaaa538e.jpg photo photo1_zpsfa9c9245.jpgWe have lived in Louisville for almost five years and love taking trips to places just a few hours from town. Nashville has been on our list since we got here and this past Fall Break we finally loaded up the family and headed south to spend three days of our break exploring the Music City. My only regret is that we did not do it sooner. Nashville was packed with family friendly activities and attractions!

We arrived around lunch time on Thursday and headed straight to our hotel for early check-in. My oldest daughter has severe food allergies so we always stay at a hotel that offers a kitchen or kitchenette, as eating out can be challenging for us. On this trip we stayed at the Residence Inn in Brentwood, TN. We were fifteen minutes from downtown Nashville and the surrounding area offered lots of great restaurants and a Target, which we did stop in to grab some snacks for the hotel. The hotel was clean, offered a daily hot breakfast, and the staff was very customer focused.

After dropping our bags, we were off to the Nashville Zoo- which was only about 10 minutes from our hotel. We were able to tour the entire zoo in about 2.5 hours. The crowds were non-existent on the day we went so that aided in our quick tour through the venue. Some of the coolest features our family enjoyed were the kangaroo exhibit (you actually get to go in the area and they are hopping all around you), the red panda exhibit, and the historic mansion that is on the Zoo property (my girls loved seeing the old appliances, furniture and carts that were on display). After our zoo adventure we headed back to the hotel to cook dinner and rest up for our next day of Nashville fun.

 photo photo3_zpsa2a08940.jpgOn Friday, our first stop was the Nashville Public Library Downtown. Not only is the building itself cool, but the children’s library was amazing! We attended a variety show put on by Wishing Chair Productions that included puppets, juggling, and great music. It was held in a permanent theater located in the children’s library. The best part- it was totally free! You can check the children’s library website for a schedule of all of their free shows and story times. After the show, we hung out in the children’s library to read books and play on the computers. We had packed our lunch and were planning to eat at a park, but there was a beautiful courtyard adjacent to the children’s library so we ended up having our picnic right there (as did many other show attendees). Nourished and ready for more we headed to Fannie Mae Dees Park, referred to by those we talked to at the library as “dragon park”. Located near the Vanderbilt medical center, it has a huge dragon sculpture that kids can climb and jump on. My girls had a blast walking on the scales and watching older kids climb up the dragons back. The park also offered a great play structure and many features were wheelchair accessible. We were there for hours. The only downside to this park, there were no public restrooms we could find. We then made way to the Demonbreun Hill neighborhood for a late day drink and snack. We were able to sit at an outside table at South, one of the many restaurants in the area, and the girls enjoyed people watching and some goldfish, while we enjoyed an adult beverage. We had planned to hit the Opryland Hotel that night, but realized after dinner that our fun morning and afternoon had wiped the girls out so we opted to stay at the hotel and watch a movie.

Saturday brought another gorgeous day so we headed to Cheekwood Botanical Garden. We were there during the Harvest Fall Festival. Admission seemed steep to me, over $40 for the whole family, but I was pleasantly surprised at all of the cool things the price of admission got us! We were able to take in free concerts throughout the park, an arts and crafts session that was very well run by staff members, a cool train exhibit (that even my princess-loving girls raved about), beautifully landscaped grounds that made a perfect picnic spot for us, and a very cool tree house that we got to play in. The highlight, however, was the free performance by the Nashville Ballet. My girls were in awe to be sitting so close to the performance and after the show was over they invited all of the kids to the stage area and taught them a few moves from the show. My girls are still talking about dancing with real ballerinas.

Since we nixed the Opryland Hotel from the agenda the night before we decided to stop there on our way out of town. You can visit the hotel for free, but apparently if you pull up to the main hotel entrance you will have to pay for parking. I read online that you can enter through the Opry Mills Mall parking lot and drive through to the hotel event center. There you can park for free and enter into one of back entrances of the hotel. It was a bit of a walk from the parking lot to the hotel, but totally worth it for free parking! Once inside, we were all amazed at the grandeur of the hotel. We opted to take the boat ride through the hotel (the Delta area) which was about $30 for the whole family, but you could easily save that cash and just walk through the four main areas of the hotel (Delta, Magnolia, Cascades and Garden Conservatory).

Although, my girls did get a huge kick out of riding a boat inside a hotel and the guided tour during the 15 minute ride revealed a lot of interesting facts about the hotel. Another cool feature we enjoyed was walking behind a waterfall in the Cascades area. In addition to cool sites, the hotel offers a number a specialty stores, restaurants and bars. We packed in so much in three days and still feel like we left so much to explore on our next trip. Nashville is definitely on our list of great places to visit close to Louisville. Check out Nashville Fun for Families!

By guest contributor: Tami

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Review of Happy Halloween Weekends at Holiday World

Most people plan their Holiday World trips for the summer when they can visit Splashin' Safari as well as hit all of the rides for thrills.  Don't forget, they are open on the weekends throughout the fall.  We tried it out last year and found that we actually preferred the smaller crowds and less pressure on us parents to try to get to the water park + all of the rides in a day.  The fall entertainment and not being covered in sunscreen and sweat all day.......that was better!

Besides the always-fun rides, there are special seasonal activities for Happy Halloween Weekends.

There was a huge corn maze, this was a family favorite. We were in there for a while and no one minded.  There are also hay rides, free little pumpkins and while we were there, a man was carving the most interesting sculptures in wood with a chainsaw- the kids were mesmerized.   I also noticed a huge corn pit (imagine sandbox, but with dried corn kernels) for the little ones.

Inside some of the theaters, they have "scares" that were just enough to get the kids a little scared but not enough that it wasn't fun. There was a 3-D adventure and a spooky cage maze.  The shows are all Halloween themed as well.

Note - it's less expensive during Happy Halloween Weekends. Tickets start at $22.99.
Children ages 2 and younger are always free

Weekends September 26 – October 31
Remember - it's central time there!

Saturday hours: 11am to 8pm CDT

Sunday hours: 11am to 5pm CDT


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Week in Preview Sept. 28th-October 1st.

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Fall is in the air and there is so much to do!

Here are my picks for the week!

Live it: Thursday, October 1st is Give Local Louisville! Head over to Big Brothers Big Sisters from 7:30-9:00am for an Open House. If you can't make it at that time, no worries, you can donate all day! Find out more here.

Eat it: Tuesday, September 29th is National Coffee and Donut Day. Head over to Krispy Kreme and get your fill for FREE! Check it out here!

Move it: Go explore Blackacre Conservancy for a hike, to see the animals, or just explore. Find more information here!

Learn it:  Join the Kentucky Science Center this week on Tuesday, September 29th for their FREE play date. For ages 0-4, from 8:30am-9:30am. Find out more here!

By Guest Contributor: 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend: September 25, 26, 27

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Boys and Girls Haven is hosting an evening of outdoor fun for all ages! They will have games, face painting, concessions, an outdoor showing of The Sandlot, and an appearance by Buddy the Bat! It starts at 7pm, movie begins at 8.  Admission is $20 per car and includes all activities. All for a great cause -see details here.

NuluFest is taking over Market Street in Nulu from 11am to 11pm on 9/26.  Guess who is sponsoring the kids area?  WE ARE!  The kids area is open 11am-6pm and will have lots of free activities and some kids' stage entertainment from kids' bands to story time!   Get some yummy Valley Dairy Freeze food and treats to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Neon Nite 5K walk, run, stroller roll is the place to be for evening fun - it starts at 8:45pm with a pre-event GLOW party and DJ.  It's at the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass. Register here with code FRIENDS to save $9 on individual registrations since you're a friend of LFF -we get the group rate!  And, it's all for charity.
It's the first fall Family Adventure Day at Churchill Downs.  Tickets are just $8 if you buy them in advance.  A portion of the proceeds goes toward Kosair Children's Hospital.  There's tons of activities, family-friendly food/pricing and a special area for watching the races. We love it!

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Top 10 Free Things to Do this Fall in and around Louisville, KY

These are the top ten picks of things to do this fall for FREE. This means that there is no cost to enter the festival or event, but there might be activities within the event that have a ticketed cost and also does not include things like paying for food or drinks, etc. Have fun this fall y'all!

1.  Colorfest at Bernheim Forest This event is a wonderful immersion into the fall season and admission to the event is free; there is a $5 per car environmental fee for non-members. There will be a pumpkin launch, hayrides, and a haymaze plus lots of other activities. It's Saturday, October 17 from 10am-5pm and Sunday, October 18 from 10am-5pm.

2. Go to Blackacre State Nature Preserve - There are tons of photo opps with breathtaking backdrops for your fall favorite photo times with your family. Just walking along the grounds, seeing the animals up close, and even going to the feedings on Saturday mornings is fun in the cool crisp air of autumn. There's no better time to take a hike than in the fall in Louisville and Blackacre has some great trails with beautiful views of tree lines and waterfalls. It's a must this time of year.

3. Roadside Farm Markets - One of my favorite things to do in the fall is hitting up the local roadside markets for special autumnal season goodies. Check out this list of certified roadside markets in Jefferson County and Oldham County. We love to go pumpkin picking, but not always at the hugely crowded pumpkin patches all over the area. My favorite roadside market near our home in Jeffersontown is Tower View Farm and Nursery. They have tons of pumpkins, gourds, apples, mums, hay barrels, and more for your fall decorating needs. I bring my kids there every year to take advantage of the gorgeous set ups and colors for fall pictures. And I only have to drive a mile or two from my house! They have wagons set up for the kids to pull around the property while you pick out some neat pumpkins. They also usually offer quick hayrides back to the back of their property where you can "pick" a pumpkin from their backyard. It's fabulous!

4. St. James Court Art Fair - No top 10 fall list is complete without including St. James Court Art Fair. It's a must-do and is always a great chance to take in the historic sites and walkways through Old Louisville. Stop by Dizzy Whiz when you're done for a great dive experience!

5. The Parklands of Floyds Fork Turkey Run Park - I must say the more time I spend in the Parklands the more I love it. The Parklands already has a great parks system with Beckley Creek Park and Pope Lick Park, and is gearing up to open Turkey Run Park on October 16! Another oasis of nature trails and walking paths, this park will be a sure thing to see this autumn. Don't miss it!

6. NuLu Fest - This festival in the NuLu neighborhood along East Market Street has grown a lot too over the past couple of years. It's a huge block party with lots of food, vendors, live music, fun and more. LouFamFun will be there at the children's area! It's September 26 from 11am-11pm (children's area closes at 6pm)

7. Portland Heritage Art Fair - Go support the Portland area of town and see what's new and exciting in this revitalized neighborhood. There will be a trolley tour, art show, live music, children's activities at the Portland Family Health Center, tours of the Portland locks and historic Marine Hospital, events at the Portland Museum and more. It's on September 26 from 10am-6pm.

8. Once Upon a Time: A Storybook Halloween at the Main Library is a free after hours event for children and families! There will be lots of stories, games, and activities along with a special performance by StageOne Storytellers. It is on Friday, October 16 from 6pm-8pm.

9. Madison, Indiana - Take a day trip to Madison, IN. We love heading there each fall season and taking the scenic drive along U.S. 42 through Oldham, Henry and Trimble counties. This pick is also on our Fall Getaways for Families. Stop in Bedford, KY and explore the roadside market, Bray Orchards, as well. The Madison Chautauqua festival is September 26-27. You can spend a little bit of money and pay the entry fee ($9 for out-of-state license plates) for Clifty Falls State Park and explore this gem; it's beautiful in the fall!

 photo IMG_7152_zps5ab40586.jpg10. Take a hike! Seriously, there are so many wonderful places to hike and walk among nature trails around the city and outlying areas. These places come to mind immediately: Bernheim Forest, Jefferson Memorial Forest, The Parklands, Louisville Loop, Falls of the Ohio and the Ohio River Greenway, Big 4 Bridge, Yew Dell Gardens, and Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve. Did you know if you venture over to southern Indiana you can find the Legendary Shoe Tree? Take this list from Roadside America and venture into something you've never found before in Kentucky! I think you must go explore and discover it and more!

Get your calendars out and mark them - here's a link to our HUGE fall festivals and events list around Kentuckiana.

By guest contributor: Erin