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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Review of Idlewild Butterfly Farm in Louisville, KY

 photo 20160227_114355_zpsdmhv517q.jpgIdlewild Butterfly Farm is a butterfly farm and insectarium. It is located in the Smoketown area, full of residences and business...no farmland in sight. Initially, we thought we must have arrived at the wrong place. There was a small sign on the side of the building, but it looked more like a residence than a butterfly farm. But once inside, you forget where you are. There are 2 large rooms at the front of the building. One is more of a gift shop (where you can buy gifts and supplies), while the other is full of tanks and aquariums of all sorts of insects - some of which you are allowed to hold!

 photo 20160227_110649_zpsjabalsvs.jpgWe were there for Butterfly Bonanza. During the colder months, when they don't have their greenhouse full of butterflies or spiders, they host educational events. Butterfly Bonanza was $15 for adults, but free for kids under 12. I felt like the $15 was well worth it for not only what was provided, but also to help support these ladies' business. To sum it up, they are saving the planet one garden at a time.



 photo 20160227_110225_zpsno1tjc6f.jpg Butterfly Bonanza was an event to educate and inspire others to help support butterflies. It was very casual. There were different tables set up with speakers on butterflies, insects, gardening, and crafts. It had something for all of us. My son loved holding and learning about the insects, while my daughter spent most of her time making several crafts and coloring sheets. I enjoyed hearing the different speakers. We all loved the refreshments.



 photo 20160227_101244_zpsomxjvpzc.jpg I was unaware of the major decline in the Monarch population, and the current effort to build it back up. The Monarch travels from Canada to Mexico and back, and they need waystations in Kentucky to help them make it there. It doesn't take a large farm to help. Even 1 pot of milkweed and nectar plants will help! I was also unaware that nurseries and stores often treat their plants with pesticides that can kill the butterflies. I had no idea that all milkweed was not safe milkweed. And did you know you can have your backyard certified as an official butterfly waystation?! Really neat idea for the whole family to get involved in!

I highly recommend visiting Idlewild, and I look forward to visiting again in the spring to see the butterflies! Idlewild Butterfly Farm is at 1100 Logan Sreet, Louisville, and regular hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, through Saturday.

By Guest Contributor: Caryn

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cooking At the Cottage in Louisville, KY: Review of Date Night

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Date nights for us usually consist of dinner and drinks out- and there is certainly no shortage of great places for dinner dates in Louisville!  For my birthday though, we wanted to amp up our date night routine and do something a little more interactive and fun.  I am an avid cook, partly because I love to do it and partly because  my daughter has several life-threatening food allergies. So, I cook a lot! We found the perfect place to feed my love for cooking and way to add new skills and menu items- Date Night at Cooking at the Cottage!


Cooking at the Cottage is located in St. Matthews and is part kitchen store part cooking school.  They offer a huge variety of cooking classes each month lead by area chefs.  One fun and highly interactive option is Date Night.  

 photo IMG_3204_zps3eiprjd2.jpgDate Night is a completely hands-on class where you and your date make your meal under the direction of a local chef.  Whether you are an experienced cook or a complete novice you will be able to create a gourmet meal you get to enjoy that night.

Date night is offered almost every weekend on both Friday and Saturday nights- but take note- these are very popular classes and fill up quickly!  

The night we attended we made spiced lamb empanadas, roasted salmon with wild mushroom ragout, and spiced nut bourbon bread pudding (is your mouth watering?).  Each couple has their own cooking station and you receive a handout with all of the recipes for the creations you are cooking up.

Chef David Moeller, from Sullivan University, was our instructor and he was wonderful.  He was laid back and funny and extremely knowledgeable about cooking.  He walked us through step-by-step how to make each component of our meal and also offered great tips and tricks that I will be able to incorporate in my home kitchen. For example, he suggests sautéing in an oil that has a high smoke point like vegetable oil. 

 photo image2_zpsjx56dtxb.jpgThe class, which lasts for two hours, includes time for cooking, eating and shopping in the kitchen store (with a special discount for class attendees).  The store contains so many cool things from chef recommended pans and knives to cool gadgets for the kitchen and stylish aprons.

We cooked and ate and drank (did I mention you could bring your own bottle of wine to class!) – it was a perfect birthday date night for this girl.  It was a yummy and educational evening and one we will do again!  Bon Appétit!

By Guest Contributor: Tami



Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week in Preview July 25th-28th

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School is sneaking up on us, make sure to get out and have some fun!

Here are my picks for the week!

Live it: On Thursday, July 28th, take a trip to the Frazier History Museum. From 5:30pm-9:00pm, they are presenting Hip History Night at the Museum celebrating Homeboys and Homegirls from the Bluegrass State! Step into an evening of live music, arts, crafts, and culture featuring sights, sounds, and flavors from the Bluegrass State. Check it out here for more information!

Eat it: It's time to head to Dairy Queen for Miracle Treat Day! On Thursday, July 28th, $1 or more from every Blizzard Treat sold at participating DQ® locations will be donated to local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Find out more here!

Move it:Go jump this week at House of Boom! Every Mon-Sat 9am-10am is special pricing per hour for jump times for ages 6 & under. One accompanying adult jumps free per child paid! (This excludes the 2 and under jump for free.)Find out more on their website!

Learn it: At the Cresent Hill Library on Monday at 3pm, they are presenting Kitchen Chemistry! A hands-on workshop exploring how we prepare, analyze, and digest our food. Ages 5-12. Registration required. Learn more here!

By Guest Contributor:

Kelly


 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

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


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Be sure to check out our SUMMER FUN page - Your GUIDE to Louisville area fun for May-August!

 photo fortyish logo_zpscqmwi6cc.pngAnd, tune into the latest episode of 40ish, the podcast.  When life throws you a curve-ball, what do you do?



Let's get to the weekend! OMG - SO HOT!!!!  Here are some indoor fun ideas

Friday
Head to Whet Your Palette - a cozy, quirky painting spot in Louisville. On Fridays they have specials for you!!!!  This Friday (7/22) canvases size 12x12 are $10 instead of $20. And, you can go on your own schedule since it's drop-in and not all classes.

Saturday
How about roller skating?  Champ's is a popular destination for retro-roller skating fun and they have AC!  Check out their public skating hours and pricing by clicking here.

Sunday
Take your child to the Frazier History Museum with their Cultural Pass.  Great low-cost way to visit, learn and explore the museum and beat the heat at the same time!  Grab some ice cream on the way home at Valley Dairy Freeze, Comfy Cow or your local fave.

Stephanie


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Family Weekend Getaway to Columbus, Ohio

 photo 20150907_092421_zps4ooibsxp.jpgColumbus Ohio is a great place for a weekend getaway, especially a long weekend. There are several family things to do in the area.

The Columbus Zoo is about half an hour from Columbus, in Powell, Ohio. A Louisville Zoo membership gets 50% off admission and parking. We bought our kids an All Day Wrist Band for $10 which gave unlimited rides (camels rides, and animal feedings extra). There are a lot of rides which made it worth it for the wrist bands.

Before going to the zoo, I got a brochure map from the hotel and marked animal encounter times, show times, and Keeper Talk times on it, circled good food spots to eat lunch (vs snack spots) and planned which direction to go once we got in the gate (we walked from Asia, North America, and Africa first, broke for lunch, then did Shores and Aquarium, Pirate Island, Australia & Islands, and lastly, Jungle Jacks Landing with the majority of the rides). There is a nice mix of animals, inside and out.

There are water fountains, so bring in water bottles to refill for free. You can also buy a souvenir soda cup for $10 and get free refills all day. The food is your typical, overpriced zoo food, but you can bring food and coolers into the zoo if you'd rather save some money. There is no splash pad at the Columbus Zoo - the only thing that will get you wet is the log flume ride. No need to bring swim suits.

Next door to the zoo is a water park called Zoombezi Bay which is a separate park with separate fee, but can be entered from the zoo. Although it is a smaller waterpark, I feel like the zoo and water park each take a full day. We did not do the water park which appeared to be very crowded. We warned our kids ahead of time that we would not be going so they would be ready when they saw it.


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Our other big day was at COSI - Center of Science and Industry. This is a great children's science museum that is very close to German Village. Check the website for extras - temporary exhibits, 3D films, planetarium, or Do-It-All tickets are all extra from the basic admission fee, but may be worth it. Parking is $5 - bring your parking ticket in where you purchase COSI tickets for the $5 price. I feel like my kids could have enjoyed the whole day without extras, but I also felt the current temporary exhibits were too old for my kids. We did opt to take 1 kid to the planetarium show, and 1 kid to a 3D movie which they loved.

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Some parts of exhibit open before 10am, so get there no later than 10 to beat the crowds. Wear sneakers for the unicycle tightrope and get there early (it opens at 10:30). Go to the Ocean area submarine first - it gets a long line. There is only one (overpriced) cafeteria with a good selection of fresh food. Bring lunch to save a lot of money. We ate outdoors in the courtyard next to the cafeteria so my kids could be loud and run around a little.

 photo 20150907_100314_zpsvam5eltu.jpgWe stayed at the Comfort Inn in German Village because of the quaint neighborhood to walk around. It is also pet friendly, has a heated, seasonal pool, a free hot breakfast, as well as a microwave and refrigerator in the room. German Village has lots of neat architecture, places to eat, and shops (Helen Winnemore's Contemporary Crafts and the Book Loft were my favorites!).

 photo 20150907_110409_zpsppi5ddah.jpgWe ate at Schmidt's Sausage Haus and Restaurant (which can get VERY crowded but is delicious, authentic, German food - get there early!), Harvest Pizzeria, Max and Ermas (the original location!), Olde Mohawk Restaurant, had dessert at Pistacia Vera, and coffee at Stauf's Coffee. It was all delicious, and I'd recommend all of them!

We walked to Schiller Park from our hotel a couple times, which has a playground, basketball court, tennis courts, walking paths with flowers, ponds, fountains, and gardens.

It was a great trip, and my kids have already asked to go back! I'd recommend this trip to any family with any age children.

By Guest Contributor: Caryn

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Review of Vietnam Kitchen in Louisville, KY

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Many people have heard of Vietnam Kitchen and I am one of the lucky few who live close enough to go whenever I want.  We tend to get carry-out from them often but recently we decided to stop and dine in for dinner. We were not disappointed. 

 photo IMG_2581_zpssifu7k59.jpgSince we were actually staying to eat I decided to try their avocado milkshake along with my meal. It’s green (so it must be healthy right?!?) but tastes like a super creamy milkshake and was delicious. My husband ordered the Pineapple Chicken Curry (which is one of the hottest items on the menu) and I played it safe with Chicken and Lemon Grass Stir-Fry. We also ordered 2 chicken egg rolls as an appetizer.

Our food was served fresh and hot with just enough spice and the wait wasn’t long even though the restaurant was packed. We were kid-free on this particular trip but when they do join us they tend to get the chicken fried rice or sweet and sour chicken as they aren’t very adventurous. 

 photo IMG_2577_zps4di9qzjv.jpgVietnam Kitchen offers Lunch Specials Monday-Friday from 11:00am-2:30pm and are open Sunday-Thursday from 11:00am-10:00pm and Friday and Saturday from 11:00am-11:00pm. They are closed every Wednesday and for about a month each summer they close their doors to go on vacation! VK is located at 5339 Mitscher Avenue, in the back of the Iroquois Manor Shopping Center. Visit them at www.vietnamkitchen.net for more information.

By Guest Contributor: Kelly

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week in Preview July 18th-21st

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Lots of fun this week, get out and enjoy!

Here are my picks for the week!

Live it: Watch Shaun the Sheep Movie at the Iroquois Amphitheater on Monday, July 18th. Doors open at 7:30pm with the movie starting at 8:30pm. Find out more here!

Bonus Idea!
Take a drive to Cincinnati Zoo on Wednesday, July 20th for $1 Admission! Parking is still $10 if you park in a Zoo Parking Lot. Find out more here!

Eat it:Have a meal at Gustavo's Mexican Grill (Crestwood and LaGrange) on Monday for $2.99 Kid's Meal. Check it out here for more information!

Move it: Take a trip to Frankfort this week for fun at Juniper Hill Park Aquatic Center. Check out our review here or their website here!

Learn it: In celebration of July as National Park and Recreation Month, Metro Parks and Recreation is asking the public to celebrate their favorite public parks in Louisville by participating in a “Selfie” Challenge. Participants are being asked to visit five parks of their choosing, snap a selfie at their favorite spot and tag their photos to the Metro Parks and Recreation Instagram account (@loumetroparks). Please use #louparksselfie on your photos so we can identify them as being a part of the selfie challenge. Contest ends on July 29th at 5pm. Find more information here!


By Guest Contributor:

Kelly

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend around Louisville: July 15,16,17


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Be sure to check out our SUMMER FUN page - Your GUIDE to Louisville area fun for May-August!

 photo fortyish logo_zpscqmwi6cc.pngAnd, tune into the latest episode of 40ish, the podcast.  We're talking with a real, live millennial about what it's like to be........young these days :/


 photo CMNP Family Fun Day ad 2016 300x200_zpszgwwicll.png Here's our one & only pick for the weekend!!!

July 17th - Come out to Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve in Goshen for Family Fun Day!
Created just for children and families-enjoy activities at every booth, races, raffles, Papa Johns pizza, ice cream contest with Valley Freeze Dairy, face painting, Raptor Rehabilitation and a hose down from North Oldham Fire District! 11am-3pm. $3/child, $12 maximum per family.  Admission for parents and children 2 and under are FREE!  SHARE ON FACEBOOK!

  • Door prizes for the first 100 kids!
  • Foot races - prizes courtesy of Main Event
  • Ice Cream eating contest with Valley Dairy Freeze
  • Papa John's truck serving lunch
  • Water Slide
  • Raptor Rehab with live birds - great educational fun
  • North Oldham Fire Dept. SPLASH DOWN 
  • Many many booths with fun games and activities like water squirting, prize wheels and Mighty Titan adventure course and more


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review of Cliffside Playground and Sprayground at Broad Run Park (The Parklands of Floyds Fork) in Louisville, KY

This post is sponsored by:

 Family Fun Day

 photo 13320520_10210123806311075_4518124108799633719_o_zpsvnf2xyvk.jpgBroad Run Park is the newest and last of the parks opening in the vast and beautiful parks system that is The Parklands of Floyds Fork. Along with another beautiful park to explore, hiking trails, and playground and picnic facilities, there is also a very large, fantastic splash park for kids and families to enjoy. My kids and I visited right after it opened and the water was turned on for summer. We thoroughly enjoyed the brand new Cliffside Playground and Sprayground!

It is a large space (actually 1/3 larger than the Marshall Playground and Sprayground at Beckley Creek) with several water sprayers that come from both the ground and from tall water spouts. There are water cannons, elevated water sprayers, large buckets, geysers, water tunnels, and shaded areas near the splash area. The part I loved the most (as did my 4 year old) was the smaller play area built into the ground. It is really built with little ones in mind with many water ways, apparatuses to stop water flow and then make it go again, spinning water wheels and more.

There is also a very nice playground area with large structures to climb on, swings, adaptable swings, and a covered area in the shade for younger ones which I really appreciated. The playground is divided into sections: Toddler recommended for ages 2 to 5 and a big kids section recommended for ages 6 to 12.


 photo 13322068_10210123810791187_647675188365284914_n_zpswjcaaboj.jpg photo 13307399_10210123806791087_584089127113299535_n_zpsy2zeo9ue.jpgThere are many events happening all summer at Broad Run Park, as well as the other parks of the Parklands. Here is a full list of all of the events. Be sure to check out all of the parks because the opportunity for family fun is endless!

Beckley Creek Park
Broad Run Park
Pope Lick Park
The Strand
Turkey Run Park



Broad Run Park features the slash park, playground, two large covered pavilions for picnicking, and miles and miles of trails for exploration. It's located at 10700 Broad Run Parkway (physical address, better use 10899 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40291 if you want to find it via GPS!). Get out and find an adventure this summer!

By guest contributor: Erin

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review of Bake My Day Mommy and Me Cake Decorating Class in Louisville, KY

This post is sponsored by:


 Family Fun Day 
 
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 photo 2_zps2qolqn8f.jpgThe Sunday following Mother's Day, my (6-yr old) daughter and I participated in a Mommy and Me Decorating Class at Bake My Day. Upon entering the front door, my daughter was immediately drawn to the cute decor, which I have to admit, I thought was rather fashionable myself.

Once everyone was seated (*the classes sellout, so all spaces are used, although we were not cramped at all), the owner herself, Jennifer, began instructing us on the first step to decorating. Starting out with just a large piece of cardboard and 7 cupcakes, we were excited to see how ours would turn out. Although the class is instructional, Jennifer did let us know a few times that we were certainly able to put our own personal touches on things, or change colors, layout, etc. We had a great time, and my daughter must have said 5 times throughout the 1.5-hr class, how she wanted to sign up for another one, and she wants to have her birthday party there!



 photo 6_zps35qndumq.jpg Which brings me to my next point of interest - Bake My Day offers many classes such as these, including a "Monster and Me" which attracts mothers and sons, and "Cake and Cocktails" which is an adult only class similar to the wine and paint themed parties, only this time you're decorating a yummy cake to enjoy with your wine! Class prices range from $30-45. In addition to instructional classes, Bake My Day hosts birthday parties in which the child and his/her guests decorate individual cakes and also play games and make crafts. They are also offering two different, week-long, Summer Camp options. One camp, Junior University, is for ages 7-11, and campers will participate in baking, cooking, and crafting. Supplies, snacks and lunch is included each day. The other camp, Teen University, for ages 12-17, will have campers preparing five delicious dinners, creating a recipe book, crafting a cake pop, designing, baking & decorating a two-tier cake, and also learning proper table etiquette manners and setting. All supplies, snacks and lunch are also included for this camp. The cost of both camps is $150 for the week.
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Although this review is based on Bake My Day's instructional classes, they actually specialize in event planning, offering full-service catering, and a custom bake shop for your wedding and shower cake needs, as well as cakes or cupcake displays for any type of celebration.

At the start of class, the owner, Jennifer, said that she "loves to play around with sugar". Well, by the end of class, myself, my daughter, and by the looks of it, a room full of women and young girls, all realized they too love to play around with sugar!

Bake my Day is located at 4113 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40291
For more information 
or to schedule meetings to discuss cakes or other event needs call 502-742-9539 or check their website. Upcoming events are listed on Facebook

By Guest Contributor: Karen