Things to do:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review of Jefferson Memorial Forest in Fairdale, KY

 photo 20140928_123521_resized_zps80edf256.jpgDid you know the largest municipal owned park in the nation is right here in Kentucky? Jefferson Memorial Forest is over 6,000 acres owned by the city of Louisville. The forest was established as a tribute to Kentucky's veterans, and if you look closely, the symbol is a half leaf, half star to reflect it's history and purpose.

There are several things to do at Jefferson Memorial Forest. There are many trails to wander from wheelchair accessible trails to trails for hiking, running, mountain biking, and horseback riding. There are picnic shelters, a lake, a conference center, and camp sites. There is also a Welcome Center and gift shop where you can use flushable toilets, buy a snack or souvenir, or play in the kids area out back. They also have summer camp, scout programs, and frequent educational programs.

 photo 20140928_123539_resized_zps62e88961.jpg photo 20140927_155151_resized_1_zpsaecaaac3.jpgWe decided to go camping with some friends over the weekend. We rented a group site rather than each renting a family site, which was cheaper and more fun to share our groceries, firepit, and we had plenty of room for our tents. Most of the campsites are close to the road through the park, but still private. They all have firepits and picnic tables, and access to a water pump and vault toilets (aka glorified portajohns). There are no flushing toilets or showers at the campsites, so one overnight camping trip was enough for me. We enjoyed hiking the trails, playing in the woods at the campsite, cooking over an open fire, and sleeping under the stars. If you don't enjoy roughing it overnight, they have lots of programs, day hikes, a playground, lake for fishing, as well as the children's learning area behind the Welcome Center.

Jefferson Memorial Forest is a great place to visit or camp overnight that's not far away. It felt far removed from the city of Louisville, but it's only 15 minutess south of downtown. It's definitely a great place to check out with many options from spending an hour to spending days there enjoying nature. I'm looking forward to going back.

By guest contributor: Caryn

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review of Feed the Party in Louisville, KY

Lauren was given a Feed the Party package for purpose of review.
Recently, the writers at Louisville Family Fun were given the opportunity to get a Feed the Party box and review it. I was the lucky writer who got to do it and I was so excited! We planned a night where we could have friends and family over. I knew ahead of time, based on their website, that we would have 2 pork chops, 2 New York Strip steaks, 2 filet mignons, 8 hamburgers, 6 bratwursts, and the buns needed for that meat. We also were going to receive a bottle of Henry Bain’s sauce. We planned the sides, drinks, and desserts to go along with it and set a date!

 photo feedthepartypic1_zps7beedc71.jpgThe day before the party, we received our box. It is shipped Fed Ex and comes frozen in a box, then a Styrofoam cooler, packed with dry ice (a fun extra experience for children too!). Since it comes frozen, I would recommend getting it a couple days early so you make sure you have enough time to thaw it all. Although it had never happened before, they did forget one of our pork chops, so it might be nice to get it ahead of time to double check your order. Luckily, they were very gracious, apologetic, helpful when I notified them of the mistake. The owner was very nice and sent a bonus box the next business day, which I very much appreciated! When we got our box, we put all of the meat in the refrigerator. It was perfectly thawed by our party the next day and looked fantastic! They threw in some extra bourbon smoked salt and pepper (which comes in many of their packages), so we put some of that on the burgers and steaks, and turned on the grill! The food was an absolute hit!

We had a group of people ranging in age from 1 to 88. We decided to get some hot dogs for the kids because we weren’t sure what they would eat from the meat we already had. The first thing gone were the burgers. The oldest person there said that it was the best burger she’d ever had in her life! I’d say that’s a pretty big complement! One burger complaint was that the bun to meat ratio wasn’t quite right. The buns were nice, big, deli buns, but I guess they didn’t feel that the burger was thick enough to need that much bread. I had the steak and it was absolutely delicious! Definitely high quality and really yummy!
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Interestingly, our one pork chop did not even get touched. And only one bratwurst of the six was eaten. It was clear what the favorites were at the party. I thought it was interesting when I saw their packages came with set things in them, ranging from expensive steaks to less expensive bratwursts (although they were clearly high quality ones). I wondered ahead of time how you decide who gets what food. I think a good suggestion for them in the future would be to have set prices for individual or groups of different options (2 steaks, 5 burgers, etc.) so that people could choose all steaks, or all burgers if they wanted to.

Overall, the meat was delicious and for people who are tailgaiting, going to a family picnic or reunion, or just having a cookout at home, I would highly recommend it. I think with a few tweaks, this new business will be thriving! You can’t beat good food!

By guest contributor: Lauren

Monday, October 20, 2014

Parents Like Us: Judge Erica Lee Williams

This post is sponsored by
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It's the time of year when yard signs pop up all over, the airways are full of campaign ads and people expressed their mixed opinions about this candidate or that candidate and elections in general. Whatever you opinion is, I think it's important to recognize that running in a public election is not easy but quite time consuming for the candidate, their team and their family.  This type of dedication is not something to take lightly.  So, when I met Erica Lee Williams and learned that she has a young child and a husband that also has a demanding job, I was instantly impressed by her energy and passion since I knew what she's taking on is not easy for anyone, let alone a mother! Still, she and her supporters (daughter Jacqueline is surely the #1 supporter) sport their bright green shirts in local parades and family events.  Erica is classy, committed and a Parent......Like Us!

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Tell us a little bit about your family and how long you have called the Louisville area your home:
I am married to Louisville native, Jason C. Williams and we have one beautiful and spunky three year old daughter, Jacqueline Chase. My husband was born and raised here. In fact, most of his family lives here. I, however, am a military transplant. Jason and I met at UK Law School- I was his mentor. After graduation, we moved to Louisville and the rest is history - as they say. Most recently I convinced my sister and her family to move to Louisville from D.C. so we can raise our toddler daughters together. My next project is to convince my Mother to follow suit!

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What's one thing every parent in our area should know about?
Louisville offers many affordable and free activities for children of all ages. Since I have an active and curious toddler we spend a lot of time at the parks around the county, which happen to be free. The Parklands has a brilliantly developed park that will keep everyone in your family engaged, active and enlightened. Every parent should also know that many facilities offer "Parents Night Out". That creates a win-win situation, parents and kids are having a great time. Take advantage of those for date night!!

What's on your DVR?
Last I checked my DVR is 74% full. Currently, Elmo's Christmas, Scandal, Sesame Street, and many shows from the DIY channel. One day, I will find the time to watch the 8 DIY shows I have recorded. Until then, I am thankful for the 26% that hangs on by a thread.

 photo parentslikeuserica2_zpsdf4896b3.jpgTell us about your favorite Kentucky day trip
One of my favorite day trips occurred this past Summer. We went to Waterfront Park and had a fantastic time. Walked across the Big 4 bridge and back, rode a Surrey bike up to the Lincoln Memorial, had lunch on the Great Lawn and of course played at the kids park. Jacqueline fell asleep in her car seat almost as soon as we got into the car.

What's one non-kid-related thing that you wish you had more time to do?
Date nights with my husband. Dinner and a movie would be a rare and delightful treat. I cannot think of the last movie that we saw in the theatre. However, there is no better entertainment than listening to Jacqueline sing on her karaoke machine!

My mommy-vice is a hot sugar-free carmella from Heine Brothers, what's yours?
White hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate covered graham crackers.

Stephanie

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend: October 17,18,19

 photo Untitleddesign1_zps6a8af730.pngThis post is proudly sponsored by:    

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Check our Fall Fun Links page  and Halloween post !
Download our App - click here - be sure to press refresh on top right to see the current contest.

Click play and tune into our podcast about Stage One Family Theatre - they have a new family pass deal!

Let's get to the picks for the weekend:

Friday:
Head to the waterfront to celebrate our gal's 100th birthday - The Belle of Louisville - Festival of Riverboats is going on right now. There's a daily calendar of activities that includes races, calliope contests and more. Details here.

We will be at the YMCA Norton Commons Fall Festival & Trunk or Treat handing out goodies and spreading our love of LouFamFun and Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Join us - it's free and open to anyone! Click here.

Saturday:
Aren't the fall colors just gorgeous?  Why not take in the scenery at Bernheim ColorFest.  It's this weekend.  The schedule of events looks wonderful. Here are some other ideas for taking in the Autumn beauty - click here.

Sunday:
It's family day for the Steamboat Days festivities in Jeffersonville. This is tied in with the Festival of the Riverboats. Like that festival, there's a lot going into Steamboat Days so check out this guide to see all of the options - click here.

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,
Stephanie 

 photo Games-Afoot-Color-Logo1_zpsa691daf0.jpgContest is over - winner's have been emailed. 
CONTEST! Parent's Night Out at Derby Dinner Playhouse.

THE GAME'S AFOOT
A Broadway star admired for his leading role playing Sherlock Holmes has invited fellow cast members to his castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death the festivities in this house of tricks and mirrors quickly turns dangerous. A comedy/thriller full of hilarity! Written by Ken Ludwig. 

2 tickets for 2 winners - you choose your night!

You must be 18 or older to enter and by entering, you agree to these terms.

To enter: Email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net and put "DDP PNO" in the subject line! One entry per email address. Contest ends 11:59pm 10/18 and winners will be selected at random and emailed by end of day 10/19.

Review of Derby Dinner Playhouse Children's Theater in Clarksville, Indiana: "Dinosaurs Before Dark"

Allison was given two free tickets to Derby Dinner Playhouse for purpose of review

 photo 20141011_125730_zpsa9e5f284.jpgMy kindergartener and I were treated to a show at Derby Dinner Playhouse and we had a blast! We were fortunate enough to be invited to come see the opening day of the newest play for kids, Magic Tree House Series: Dinosaurs Before Dark. 

Each ticket purchased includes a meal, and a drink (water, tea, coffee, or milk). There are soft drinks available for purchase as well as a dessert option which is also an additional charge. As a side note I was a bit disappointed in the dessert that my son picked, he ordered a strawberry sundae and it was obviously made up in large quantities before hand and then stuck back into the freezer. As a result the sundae was frozen solid and he couldn't eat it while the lights were still on and then he forgot about it once the play started.

This was the first play that I had taken him to, and to be completely honest I was a bit nervous that he wouldn't like the experience. Boy, I was completely wrong! Several times while he was eating he kept saying that he felt really grown up. He even did well with the hour time allowed for eating, I was afraid that he would get antsy.

Stephanie had mentioned in one of her last reviews that the blinking lights were a distraction, I believe that they have this problem solved! They had everyone stand up and turn on their lights and showed them, and then asked them to turn them off during the show.

 photo 20141011_124121_zpsfc96437c.jpgThe show itself was great, it lasted right at an hour and is an adaptation of one of the books from the Magic Tree House series. The songs were engaging and the characters were so energetic. The best part? My son walked away wanting to start the book series. I was very impressed with our whole experience and my son wants to go back to see the Rudolph play in December!

By guest contributor: Allison

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Teal Pumpkin Project and Food Allergy Awareness in Louisville, KY

What's the Deal with Teal this Halloween? Decorative pumpkins can be found everywhere this time of year.  If you walk onto someone’s porch this Fall and see a teal pumpkin take note, this pumpkin is not just a fashion statement , it is part of new initiative this Halloween called the Teal Pumpkin Project to support those with food allergies.  The project, which was started by a Tennessee-based food allergy group and now being promoted by FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education), encourages families to offer non-food treats for food allergic trick-or-treaters.  Displaying a teal pumpkin indicates that the house offers non-food treats and is supporting an allergy-friendly Halloween. 

It is estimated that 1 in 13 children has a food allergy, with many of those children at-risk for a life-threatening reaction.  Many Halloween candies contain allergens that could trigger a reaction.  The Teal Pumpkin Project aims to keep children safe and suggests offering non-food treats to your allergic trick-or-treaters so they too can have a fun and safe evening.  Good non-food options include stickers, pencils, tattoos, rubber balls or other small novelty items you can find in bulk at dollar stores, party stores or even online at sites like Oriental Trading Company.

Our daughter has a life-threatening allergy to all nuts so we will be proudly displaying our teal pumpkin and offering safe treats for those who have food allergies.  We know first hand how stressful Halloween can be and the Teal Pumpkin Project is a great way to support families who are dealing with food allergies on a very treat-filled holiday.  To learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project or to download a sign to display with your teal pumpkin that shows you are participating in the project this Halloween click here.

Louisville is also offering another great Halloween option for those with Food Allergies.  Annie May’s Sweet Café a nut, soy and gluten free bakery on Frankfort Ave. will be hosting an Allergen Free Halloween Party on Friday, October 24th from 4:00-8:00pm.  Attendees can come in costume and enjoy vegan and allergen free funnel cakes, desserts, soft pretzels, and candy. They will also have allergen free corn dogs.  To get more details on this event or this great allergy-friendly café click here.

By guest contributor: Tami



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review of Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular in Louisville, KY

 photo jack_zpsc212315f.jpgOur writer was granted admission for the purpose of review

If you see some strange orange glow from Iroquois the next few weeks, it is the animals, historical figures, mythical figures, and 4,990 more carved pumpkins at the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular held at Iroquois Amphitheater.

My family and I had the opportunity to check it out opening night. We arrived at Iroquois Amphitheater about 7:10pm. The parking attendants kept the cars moving and we were able to park without any issues. As we were walking towards the event, there were port-a-pots and a funnel cake vendor. Also several event staff were around to point us in the right direction. Even though we had tickets, we still had to go near the ticket office because that is where the line to get in started. The amphitheater has bathrooms as well we saw as we waited in line. The line wait was about 45 minutes for us. Along the way are a few more vendors selling hotdogs and hamburgers ($4), beer ($5-6), apple cider ($2) and kettle corn ($5-8). There was also a green screen photo shoot you could do with your family for $10.

 photo pumpkin_zps0970c78e.jpgUpon entering, an event staff reminds everyone there is no smoking or flash photography during the stroll. There were plenty of event staff with flashlights in the event reminding people and answer questions as well. As we walked in and started seeing all the carved pumpkins, we realized why the line was going so slow - there were so many to see!

Without giving too much away, here are a few of our favorites: my husband and oldest son loved dragons and Dracula and my youngest son thought the dinosaurs were best. Personally, I loved the ambiance of the whole thing (Christmas section was my favorite!). Walking outside at night, seeing stars, and seeing the glowing orange pumpkins everywhere! Another thing I really enjoyed was how the different themes brought up great conversations with the kids. Between the historical figures to Titantic to Elvis, there was plenty to talk about with the kids. However, there was still plenty our kids got excited seeing such as Darth Vader.

 photo FullSizeRender_zpsdf2204ec.jpgOnce in the event, you could go as fast or slow as you wanted. It took us about 25 minutes to walk the 1/4mile path which is stroller friendly. My husband and I could have easily spent 40 minutes walking through, but we moved at our kids’ pace (6, 4, and 2 year olds).

The tickets can be bought online for $9-15 depending which day you go. Proceeds from the event go to Louisville Metro Park Foundation.

By guest contributor: Jeanette

Monday, October 13, 2014

The 5 Best Girls' Nights Out in Louisville

This post is sponsored by 
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Every woman knows that sometimes you just need a night out with the girls! There’s nothing better than a night with your besties to recharge your batteries and give you a must-needed break from the never-ending to-do lists at work and at home. Sometimes, though, the same old Girls’ Night Out gets stuck in a bit of a rut. After all, even the best margarita gets old if you order it every week. Here are a few suggestions to help you plan a fun, low-key, and budget-friendly Girls Night with your friends!

1. Try a spot that suits everybody’s taste. Some folks like a glass of wine to relax, others prefer desserts, and some of us swear by an extra-foamy cappuccino to help us unwind. Why not pick a spot that does all of these things well? The Heine Brothers’ locations in Clifton, Middletown, and Northfield offer wine by the glass as well as their famous coffee drinks. More options for the participants can mean a more relaxed get-together.

2. Learn something! Louisville is full of things to learn! Many local wine stores offer free or inexpensive tastings and talks that help you learn a little more about regions and grape varieties. The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience offers an amazing lesson in Kentucky bourbon history complete with assorted tastes — for just $12. Chef Maria’s Greek Deli offers Greek cooking classes with dinner included for $25. Your group of friends can have a great time learning together!

 photo vino_zpseaf8b3ef.jpg3. Host a girls night in. Sometimes, a night in with your closest girlfriends is exactly what you need! It’s more economical than a night on the town, there are no lines, and you can actually hear what your friends have to say. Leave the kids at home and assign an easy task to each attendee: appetizers, desserts, movies, or a bottle of wine can be simple and cheap. These Govino stemless wine glasses from The Prickly Pear Boutique in Middletown are shatterproof, reusable, and recyclable and, for $14.95 for a four-pack, make a fantastic hostess gift or a very practical way to stock your own cabinet with decidedly non-formal drinkware.

4. Try a new cuisine. One of my very favorite things about Louisville is the availability of a variety of exotic and inexpensive cuisine. I can easily walk to Korean, Greek, Vietnamese, and Thai restaurants from my St. Matthews home! Why not plan a monthly “Taste the World” supper club that lets you expand your palate while catching up on the latest with your nearest and dearest?

5. Enjoy a charity event. Why not take in an event that helps your community? If your group of friends is comprised of runners or walkers, form a training group for one of the many 5K races benefitting local charities, or volunteer to help man the event. Or, take in an evening event hosted by one of Louisville’s fantastic local charities — there’s usually a bourbon tasting, dessert reception, or other low-key event that lets you have fun with your friends while helping our community. The Younger Woman’s Club’s 2014 Fashion Show  (Wednesday October 15 at The Pointe Butchertown at 7 p.m.) benefits area charities for women and children and features real Louisville women — YWC members of various ages and backgrounds — as the models! Pick a cause, grab your best girls, and have fun for a purpose!  Or, get your masks ready and get tickets for a night our at The Big Masquerade November 15th to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana.


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, October 12, 2014

Review of Stage One Children's Theater in Downtown Louisville, KY

 photo photo2_zpsbf62bc15.jpgOn Friday, I got to chaperone my second grader’s trip to Stage One Children's Theater to see a performance called Petite Rouge – A Cajun Red Riding Hood based on the book by Mike Artell. We, along with several other elementary school classes, had the honor of being the first to see the show, which will run matinees at 2:00 on Saturdays starting the October 18 through November 1. Public performances are available.

 photo photo3_zps00fa23e7.jpgThe performance begins by drawing the audience in with a sung narrative then introduces Petite Rouge, who is tired of doing nothing and going nowhere and just wants some excitement – much to the dismay of her mama and scaredy cat TeJean but the great joy of the bayou alligator Claude. The dialog is a mix of silly and witty humor, dripping with Cajun flavor. The musical numbers throughout are toe tapping and I heard the kids singing well after the show had ended. Lasting about an hour, the nonstop action and quick minimal costume changes were enough to keep an entire of audience of kids at full attention with minimal squirminess. My favorite second grader’s favorite parts were the hilarious chases that had the entire room roaring with laughter.

I had a great time and so did all the kiddos there. Tickets are $20 for ages over 13 and $15 for ages 1-12, and Stage One recommends ages 4 and up. There's also the new family pass that makes for such a great deal.  If prices are cost prohibitive for the whole family, the show would be perfect for a special a parent/kiddo “date” downtown. The venue is so open, there’s not a bad seat in the house.

By guest contributor:
Dana 

 Here's the Louisville Family Fun podcast interview with Stage One - tune in!
 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend: October 10,11,12

 photo Untitleddesign1_zps6a8af730.pngThis post is proudly sponsored by:    

 photo LMQ_zpsb9e8f632.jpg










Check our Fall Fun Links page  and Halloween post !
Download our App - click here - be sure to refresh often, you never know when we pop a contest on there!

Tune into our podcast with the Kentucky Science Center - a great options for fun on a chilly day:

Let's get to the picks for the weekend:


This weekend is all about festivals. But the rain is....mean! Here are rain day ideas from Kentucky Family Fun

Friday:
Check out Harvest Homecoming in Southern Indiana.  You need to prep by looking at their website - it's a big deal which means there's a ton to do.  Here's a post we have about it - click here.

Saturday:
Southwest Community Festival  at Sun Valley Community Center - pancake breakfast, car show, kids area, music, food, crafts and more. It's everything you want in a festival.

Tom Sawyer Park Fall Festival from 3-7pm. Check out their website for all that they are offering - so much and it's all to support the park.  It's just a $5 per car parking fee.

Looking at the forecast and not liking the rain?  Derby Dinner Playhouse opens a new children's show this weekend. Click here to learn more.

Sunday:
Head to the Highlands for the Farmington Harvest Festival.  Reenactments, food, music and more at the Farmington Historic Plantation from 10am-6pm.  It's $5 per family/vehicle.

Have a fabuLOUs weekend!
Stephanie