Things to do:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Things to do this weekend around Louisville: April 25,26,27

This post is sponsored by:    
 photo LMQ_zpsb9e8f632.jpg Don't forget Derby Festival fun!

Save the date for May 17th. It's our next Louisville Family Fun Experience Series Event. TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
Limited number!


 Friday- Come on out to Sweet Frog (Prospect).  I'll be there with activities for the kids and prizes to help raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana. Click here for the Facebook event page.
 photo SweetFrogimageforFacebook4_25_zps1d0b482f.png 

Saturday- Spend the day in Oldham County for a Children's Earth Day Celebration with the Oldham County Historical Society. Details here.

Or, perhaps you want to take a hike?  Check out The Parklands of Floyds Fork (9-11am, free for members/$5 for others) and Jefferson Memorial Forest (9am)- they have hiking events on Saturday.

Indoor fun your thing?  Hwang's Martial Arts hosts the Health Kick Festival from 11-4pm benefiting Kosair Children's Hospital. Details here.

Sunday - It's YMCA Healthy Kids Day at Slugger Field from 1-5pm rain or shine. It's free and will feature activities for kids 5-14.  The first 500 kids get free t-shirts!

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,
Stephanie

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Top 10 Tips for the Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville, KY

 photo derby_zps3b011044.jpg1) Download the KDF App: You can find out all kinds of information on this app such as maps, start times, event dates, and you can buy tickets to events. I have used this app several time already this year. You can click the links below to download.
 Apple:
 Android:

2) Have a plan: Phones might not work. With some events having 100,000+ people cell towers get overloaded. You might not be able to call or text out or receive calls or texts. Have a meeting spot picked out and have a lost child plan. Many of the bigger events will have a “lost child” area where kids can go, be safe, and wait for mom and/or dad to come get them.

3) Label your child:  Have some sort of identification on your child with your contact information on it as well as someone's info (whom you trust) who is not attending the event (remember: your phone might not be working). If you are looking for a good option that is great for kids and can be reused I would go with a slim band from Road I.D. They are affordable, colorful and kids like them.

4) Pick the events you want to do: With over 30 free (with Pegasus pin for adults and 6 and over, kid under 6 are free, no pin needed) it can get overwhelming. Look at the app and see what is offered each day of the week. Ask your kids what they think sounds fun and go from there. For a list of events you can go to click here.

5) Pegasus Pins are a must: Make sure you have your Pegasus Pin on and visible, or $5 cash per person 6 and over to get one at the event. All the “free” event require that you have a pin. The good news is that your pin is good for all the free events, you do not need a new one each time. You can also register each pin for a prize by going to http://pegasuspins.com. They are giving away prizes each week of the Derby Festival and they are all pretty nice. If you get a Golf Pin you can register to win a 2014 Honda CRV, how fun!

6) Do something NEW:  Pick an event that your family has not done before. A few years ago I went the Bed Races and had a blast. It was an event that I would have never gone to before but a friend wanted to check it out. It turned out to be so much fun.

7) Plan for all kinds of weather:  We are talking spring in Kentucky where it can be 85 and sunny at noon and 40 and raining by 8pm. Dress in layers, take a few rain ponchos and have jackets. Remember if you are going to an event on the river it might be a few degrees different than home and it is almost always windy.

8) Take cash:  Unless you want to pay high ATM fees. At most events it is cash only. Taking cash will also help you stay on a budget. Decide on how much you want to spend and only take that much cash. It is easy to get caught up buying trinkets, souvenirs and other stuff when you don’t have a budget in mind.

9) Splurge on an event:  I know I just talked budgets BUT it is worth picking one event that you can buy tickets to and get good seats. You can get Pegasus Parade bleacher seat tickets, go to The Great Boat Race party at the Water Tower, and a whole lot of other things. I would not do this for all events, but pick one or two that you can afford and really enjoy a Derby Festival event.

10) Enjoy it! Put your phone away and have fun. Enjoy being with your family, taking in the most wonderful time of the year in Louisville, see the kids’ faces as a balloon lights up, a bed flies by, or a Derby Princess waves to them. I promise it will all be worth the smile on their face to miss that email.

By guest contributor: Christine

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review of Mellow Mushroom - Middletown location in Louisville, KY

 photo IMG_4689_zpse9aae1e5.jpgMy family and I frequent the Mellow Mushroom location in Middletown quite often. We have probably dined there about 4-5 times now since it opened. We really enjoy the atmosphere, the dining experience, and the pizza!

Every time we have dined here, we have had our kids with us (ages 10 and 2). A lot of people think of Mellow Mushroom as a spot to hit up during football or basketball season and have a beer or glass of wine. And although there are plenty of opportunities for doing that, there are also just as many opportunities to dine here and have a family-friendly experience. I love the decor on the walls, the bizarre lighting fixtures hanging from the ceiling, and the open window/air feeling of the kitchen where the pizzas are baked. You can grab a great seat right in front and watch the cooks/pizza bakers throw the dough in the air to make the pizza pies! It's really entertaining.

We have always been to eat there in the evening. It does get pretty crowded on weekend nights, so expect a bit of a wait. We just absolutely love their pizza. It is to die for! They do offer other items on the menu, including salads, appetizers, calzones, and hoagies. Read over the menu here. We usually order a large build-your-own pizza (topped with a combo of andouille sausage, ground beef, mushrooms, or meatballs) for the adults in our party and a small plain cheese pizza for our two children. They also offer specialty pizzas, and one of these days I'll order the Gourmet White. We've been to eat there with just us four and the grandparents have also tagged along before. They do have a kids menu. Usually, our bill comes to about $40.00 with tax, and then tip added on. So, it's a not a cheap pizza place but it's delicious! - with very good, quality ingredients. They also have offerings like gluten-free and vegan, and for those with food allergies, they have an allergens tool on their menu bar where you can click on ingredients you want to avoid, etc.

My husband and I got a gift card for Christmas that we are going to use exclusively on ourselves for a date night coming soon! There is also a Mellow Mushroom location in St. Matthews. Follow them on Facebook; they are always announcing special deals. If you haven't eaten at Mellow Mushroom, try it, go be mellow and enjoy!

By guest contributor: Erin

Monday, April 21, 2014

Top 10 Unconventional Dining Options with Families in and around Louisville, KY

10. The Old Spaghetti Factory is always a favorite among kids, especially if you get to sit inside the trolley car in the middle of the restaurant. (See LFF’s review here)

9. Derby Dinner Playhouse is a great place to catch dinner and a show.  They also offer children’s shows earlier in the day. (See LFF’s review here)

8. Ollie’s Trolley is a great place to stop by and grab a quick burger in the summertime when you’re hanging out downtown.  My kids love the trolley building and they don’t seem to mind eating in the car since the food is so good.

7. Belle of Louisville offers sightseeing cruises in the summer time, and you can either choose the southern-style buffet with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and other Southern staples, or you can buy hot dogs and chips from the snack bar and sit in the open air on the top deck.  (Read more about the Belle here)

 photo IMG_8969_zps7fc32bcb.jpg6. Kingfish on River Road is a great place for a casual Sunday lunch with family or a low-key summertime dinner on the river with the kids.  They have a playground and a mini golf course, so you can take your time savoring those hush puppies while the kids wear themselves out.

5. Louisville Food Trucks are always there when you need them, and you can even book them for your own event.  There’s something novel about buying your lunch from the window of a food truck, and my kids can’t seem to get enough.

4. My Old Kentucky Dinner Train is a fun option for kids who are really into trains, because you actually get to go on a train ride while you’re dining.  I wouldn’t recommend this for kids who are too fidgety or young to sit still that long.  (See LFF’s review here)

3. W.W. Cousins is a Louisville institution.  My grandfather has been taking me there since I was a little girl, and we still have lunch there at least once a year.  My kids love it because they get to choose as many toppings as they want, which usually ends up being all the different types of pickles and some ketchup.  It’s a great way to give them choices in a controlled environment.  And now they have a new location in the south end, as well. (See more info from LFF here)

 photo 1e5b05f8-b978-40f0-a9da-f235d44727d7_zps35c6027a.jpg2. Japanese Steakhouses are something we only recently discovered.  Our kids were so impressed by all the activity going on around them; it was no problem at all to keep them entertained.  Once our chef started cooking, my kids kept exclaiming, “More fire!”  Here’s a list of Japanese Steak Houses in Louisville:
                -Mikato
                -Shogun 
                -Sapporo (Not all locations have a hibachi table)
                -Kansai
                - Fuji 
                -SakuraBlue 
                -Mr.Lee’s Ichiban

1. Pizza King in New Albany is a place you need to check out if you haven’t already been there.  A train brings your drinks to your table.  How cool is that?  (Check out LFF’s review here)

 By guest contributor: Maggie

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Family Book Review - Zoe's Sidewalk

I've been a little bit behind on sharing great books with you! This post is about a book written by a Louisville local author. It is Zoe's Sidewalk written by Tiffany Robinson, illustrated by Yoko Matsuoka.

Young Zoe's grandmother has had to be hospitalized for a little while, and of course as all children would be, Zoe is worried about her. Her parents assure her she will be fine, but when she comes home she will need help and therapy to continue to improve. After she arrives home, Zoe finds that Gram's spirits are just as they always were, and she is relieved to have her back home safe and close to her. She wants to help with Gram's therapy, and wants to start taking evening walks with her grandmother to help keep her company while she exercises. Her mother warns her that the streets are not safe for children and for her recovering grandmother to be out walking, as they have no sidewalks in their neighborhood.

Zoe's school asks for students to participate in a project to help their neighborhoods, and Zoe sees this as a great opportunity to help her Gram and fix the problem they have in their community. The story is a chapter book set to teach a lesson about determination toward achieving what you set yourself to do. It's a great story as well as a teaching tool for children reading the book.

The story is simply written but with a powerful message pushing the reader through each chapter. It's a great intermediate reader chapter book, probably suited best for reading levels 3rd grade+. I recommend this book to elementary students and because it is a local author, that makes it all the better. I also appreciate the African American characters, the family-oriented togetherness, and the kindness, love, and respect the characters have for one another throughout the story.

In the next few weeks, we hope to have a contest to give away two of our recent locally authored books, so be on the look out for that announcement!

You can follow the author of Zoe's Sidewalk on Facebook, Twitter @zoessidewalk, or Instagram: clickzoe; check out her website at www.zoessidewalk.com. She loves to chat with other aspiring authors, especially kids!

By guest contributor: Erin

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Things to do this weekend around Louisville: April 18,19,20

This post is sponsored by:    
 photo LMQ_zpsb9e8f632.jpgIs it REALLY spring???  Maybe.....finally?

Check out our posts about the Kentucky Derby Festival and Easter!

Save the date for May 17th. It's our next Louisville Family Fun Experience Series Event. Tickets will go on sale SOON. Limited quantity!

Would you like to win a prize worth over $400 that's PACKED with BIG family fun?  Click HERE and see how.

Friday
It's not always about heading out to an event. How about finding a new restaurant to try and dining outside? We have a great post for family friendly outdoor dining, of course we do.  Click HERE.

If you really want some hoopla, head to the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic. Hoopla, get it.  Ha!

Saturday
 photo wildflower_zps4679b8e9.pngSpring Wildflower Walks with Tavia Saturday, April 19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. At Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve FREE, Donations encouraged
Join Executive Director, Tavia Cathcart Brown, co-author of Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley and Southern Appalachians and the award-winning Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest book, as she reveals the fascinating stories of wildflowers. She will share stories about their medicinal uses, folklore, edibility, and how they get their names. There will be free crafts for kids.
Indoor Wildflower Presentation - 10:00 a.m. Woodland Garden Walk (easy) - 11:00 a.m. Wildflower Trail Walk (moderate) - 12:15 p.m.

Also, the Easter Parade along Frankfort Ave is on Saturday! The parade begins at 11:45am in front of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2822 Frankfort Avenue, and will travel to Haldeman Avenue. Bring Easter baskets to be filled with free candy.

Sunday
Happy Easter! Enjoy an Easter brunch with your family or hang out and enjoy time together!  Here's our Easter post.

Check out our latest Louisville.am podcast sponsored by Learning Rx (use code PODCAST to save $100 - it's about the WaterWorks Museum

Have a fabuLOUs weekend!
Stephanie

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Donate for a chance to WIN BIG! Help Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana

Did you know it takes $1,200 to secure a mentoring match for a year through 

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And, according to a recent study, 90% reported their “Big” helped them make better choices.

Let's MAKE A MATCH together!

Louisville Family Fun is a proud supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana through fundraisers like these and the Louisville Family Fun Experience Series.

Donate by the end of the day April 22nd for a chance to win BIG

 photo DonatetowinKKBats_zpsf585a53e.png


Family Fun Packs: Five (5) will be given away in a random drawing. The Prize Pack includes four (4) general admission single day passes to the new Kentucky Kingdom and four (4) Louisville Bats reserved any day seat vouchers. The Prize Pack is valued over $200!

The GRAND Prize Pack!!!  One (1) will be given away in a random drawing. The GRAND Prize Pack includes all of the above, plus two (2) Louisville Zoo one day passes, five (5) Lazer Blaze attraction passes, four (4) Frazier History Museum admission passes, four (4) SweetFrog Premium Yogurt 4oz. free vouchers and one (1) year-long family membership to Bernheim Forest. The GRAND Prize Pack is valued at $400!

Here's how the giveaway works: The more you give, the better your chances are of winning! For every $10 you donate you’ll receive 1 entry into the Family Fun Prize Pack Giveaway. For every $25 you donate you’ll receive 1 entry into the GRAND Prize Pack Giveaway.

So for example: donate $100 and receive 10 chances for the Prize Pack Giveaway and 4 chances for the GRAND Prize Pack Giveaway.

Winners will be randomly drawn on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 so donations must be made by 11:59pm on April 22nd.


Good luck and thanks for helping local children through this fantastic organization!

Mighty Momz Training with Mighty Titan Adventures in Louisville, KY

Do you find yourself running around all the time, but yet cannot count it as getting your workout in? As moms, it is difficult to find time for everything that we would like to do. Fortunately, Coach Nicole (also a mom!) of the Mighty Titans, can help! She has developed an express fitness program for moms.

I recently had a chance to chat with Nicole about her Mighty Momz class and go through a Success session. This session is the first thing you need to do to get started in the Mighty Momz class. This 30 minute assessment will go over things like your health - (including past injuries), calculate your percent body fat, posture evaluation, and work together to come up with attainable health and fitness goals. She is very thorough and takes her time explaining everything of what she is doing and why. This assessment will help her develop an exercise prescription for you. For example, for me she noticed my left side was slightly higher than the other and my upper body caved in a little - all this was news to me. With these in mind and having my percent body fat in an acceptable range, she recommended (aka prescribed) I gain more muscle mass to help improve my core which in turn would help my posture. Also, she encouraged using a foam roller for recovery training.

The next step would be to meet with her in one of the group session 1-3x/week. This is a 45 minute workout that includes warm-up, workout, cool-down, and a question and answer session - including some nutritional tips. During the week, you will do the exercises as prescribed from your success session on your own. This program is setup to continue to boost your metabolism for 36 hours post workout and build muscle tissues. Nicole is constantly evolving your workouts to keep you getting stronger and fitter.

 photo untitled_zpsaf939bf5.pngWhat makes this unique is that Coach Nicole is offering personal training in a group setting. She has over 20 years of personal training experience, certified in pre- and post-natal, and a master's degree in exercise physiologist. She holds you accountability - if she does not see you at the workout, she will contact you. If you have questions when you are home - she is available via e-mail or phone. The personal training is with the group price of $20-25/session. The only equipment you would need is a foam roller and some resistance bands which means her training you can do anywhere and anytime!

Another good thing about the Mighty Moms class is that you can enroll anytime and the success session and the first week is FREE! If you are unhappy, you can stop anytime, risk-free. The classes are being offered at 10am at Mockingbird and 8:30am in Crestwood. Mockingbird offers soccer classes for 18months up to 3 years at 10am with open enrollment for those kids whose moms is enrolled in the Mighty Momz class. 

Nicole posts little fitness nuggets on her Mighty Titans Facebook page too. She posts exercises, nutritional tips and more to keep you going on your fitness journey. She also provided nutritional coaching apart from these classes if you need more help.

If you want some accountability, need one-on-one to start working out, you definitely should send Nicole an e-mail! As a coach, she wants you to be successful. She meets you right where your fitness level is at today and will work alongside with you, encouraging you to attain your goals.

By guest contributor: Jeanette

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Paintn' Party Upcoming Derby Parties!

This is a sponsored post


 photo paintnparty_zps517f0bee.jpgPaintn' Party has some unique parties planned for you this week and next! I met owner Tiffany Whelan a couple of months ago and I really love her spirit for what she is doing, she love bringing art into people's lives. She's a working art teacher by day and party artist by night. Check out these awesome upcoming classes.




 photo jockey_zpsa29a867a.jpgSweet Sprinkles Bakery - Derby Painting Party
Sweet Sprinkles Bakery
435 N. Bardstown Road - Mt. Washington KY
Thursday, April 17th - 7pm
$35 for painting, beverages and treats!
RSVP required - Click here



 photo spires_zpse8c147fb.jpgMartinis and Masterpieces
The Chocolate Bar at Wesport Village
Twin Spires!
Thursday, April 24th - 6:30 pm
$35 for painting and any one choice of Martinis!
RSVP is required - Click here

Monday, April 14, 2014

Birthday Freebies in and around Louisville, KY

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The only thing better than celebrating your kiddo’s birthday in a big way, is doing it as inexpensively as possible! As a mom businesses really earn brownie points with me for treating my children well, and giving them free or highly discounted stuff makes me happier and honestly more likely to return. Here is a list of some area businesses that offer special treats for your little ones:

1. The Disney Store: Gives buttons to kids that have a space for writing their name and they sang happy birthday while we were there. 426-7922

2. Toys R Us: Has Geoffrey’s birthday club, if you sign up online they will send your child a card in the mail and an invitation to come into the store for a special birthday experience. 896-1243

3. Burger King: If you enroll your child in Club BK, they will receive a coupon for a free kids meal on their birthday as well as one when you sign up.

4. Baskin Robbins: If you sign your child up for the Baskin Robbins Birthday Club they will receive a coupon for a free scoop of ice cream on their birthday. (PS. There isn’t an age limit on this one)

5. Cold Stone Creamery: Free Ice Cream Creation

6. Moe’s Southwest Grill: Free Birthday Burrito

7. California Pizza Kitchen: Free Kids Meal for kids 10 and under. 425-5125

8. IHOP: Free Meal on your birthday and a Free Meal for Signing up. (Also a Free Meal 1 year after signing up)

9. Red Robin: Free Burger on your Birthday, this can be used with in a 2 week span. 899-9001

10. Chuck E Cheese: Kids get a coupon for 20 Free Tokens

11. Old Spaghetti Factory: Free kid’s meal on their birthday. 581-1070

12. Hometown Pizza: Free personal size pizza on your kid’s birthday. (12 and under)

13. Zaxby’s: Join their text club and get a free nibbler on your birthday.

14. Applebees: Free Entrée on your birthday

15. Bob Evans: Free Kids Meal

16. Buca di Beppo: Free Birthday Brownie Sundae 493-2426

17. Culvers: Free One Scoop Sundae

18. Denny’s: Free Build your own Grand Slam Breakfast.

19. Firehouse Subs: A Free Medium Birthday Sub

20. Krispy Kreme: Free Donut and small coffee or soda.

By guest contributor: Allison