Things to do:

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Week in Preview July 6th-9th

This post is sponsored by:
Shop Bop Island Hop

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Summer is in full swing. Gather your family and go have some fun!

Here are my picks for the week:

Live it: Join The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass for Shop, Bop, and Island Hop. Tuesdays in July (starting July 7th) they will have radio broadcasts, live music, bouncy fun for the kids – oh – AND YOUR CHANCE TO WIN THAT CARIBBEAN GET-AWAY! Click here for more information!

Eat it: Go eat at Adrienne and Co. Bakery Cafe on Wednesday. Kids eat free with an adult purchase, 2 kids meals per one adult at full price! Find them on Facebook here!

Move it: Go Ape's first treetop adventure course (zip lines, obstacles and more!) in Kentucky is just minutes from downtown Louisville in Jefferson Memorial Forest. Head over and have some fabLOUous fun! Check here for more information on age, weight, and height requirements. 


Learn it: Go visit the Kentucky Science Center and check out their new Science in Play that just opened. Rich in loose parts and open-ended play, kids and adults are empowered to learn together and for life. Head over to their website for more information.

By Guest Contributor: 
Kelly

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Picks for Things to do this Weekend - July 4,5,6

This post is sponsored by:
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Download our App - click here - KIDS EAT FREE list right at your fingertips on the go!
Always keep tabs on our Summer Fun Links page!

Happy Independence Day! Celebrate with a BOOM and a WOW!

Things to do:
Here is our list of 4th of July events - make it memorable. 

Also to note, Science in Play is opening July 4th at the Kentucky Science Center. A major, exciting renovation! See up-to-date info on their Facebook page - grand opening info here (members only preview July 3).

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,
Stephanie

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review of Little Scholar Learning Tablet available at Meijer

We received this item for purpose of review. 


I have been looking for an affordable tablet for my youngest child that would provide some educational entertainment while satisfying her love of technology but that would keep her away from them temptation of YouTube.  I mean, even I get sucked into watching funny YouTube videos.  Plus, I wanted something slightly smaller than our iPad that would be really good for our summer trips and long days at the soccer field watching her brother.  So, given the opportunity, I definitely wanted to check out the Little Scholar Learning Tablet. It's available at your local Meijer. It retails at $169.99 which I feel is quite reasonable considering the value of each game AND the tablet.

The tablet came with a case, charger and a rubber protective cover.  My daughter (6) was immediately drawn to it and quickly got the hang of it.

There's a dog character (Charlie) that appears thematically throughout the games on the tablet and since she loves animals, she loves him.  This character makes the tablet and its games different from our iPad because the games aren't all independent - there's some connectivity between the games.  Here's Charlie's YouTube playlist so you can see a sample of the videos.

Another feature that I really like is that there's no WiFi needed.  My daughter can play anything on the tablet, anywhere.  Unlike other devices and games that require WiFi for some activities, this tablet is set and ready to go.   She hasn't begged to download more games or complained that there's no WiFi in the car!  It is loaded with 150+ games, songs, videos, books - she hasn't even begun to tap into them all.

However, there are parental controls that you can access to switch things up IF YOU WANT to! There's a password-protected parent section - you can change the device setting for accessing WiFi, and there's a custom app store, if you want additional downloads.  My daughter doesn't event know this exists!  You can also customize which apps, music, and e-books are active on the tablet to fit your child's needs to focus on specific skills or their age-appropriate activities.

In terms of use, it is a really nice size - not too small that they are squinting (like on a smartphone) but not bulky that it's awkward to carry around.  With the carrying case, she can be responsible for it with ease. Also, it maintains a charge for a long time and smudges clean off nicely.  All around, it's a great little device for under $200.  We've had this tablet for about a month so there's even more we need to explore on it.  If you are looking to get your child something of their own, this is a great option.  Head into Meijer (not available online via Meijer) and get your hands on it so you can see what I am talking about!

Stephanie

Review of Simpsonville 4th of July - Independence Day Festival

The Simpsonville Red,White and Boom 4th of July event is a wonderful small town, big fun festival. We went last year and had a memorable day. I was there for work (Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana) so my family spent most of the day there. My recommendation is that you arrive after 4pm and stay for the fireworks.   They have new things planned for 2015 so our experience will be a little different from what will take place this year - they keep changing it, for the better!

The festival was in Simpsonville Park which is conveniently located right off of the main street (US60) in Simpsonville - very easy to access taking Shelbyville Rd east into Shelby County.  The parking was free and close - no problems coming or going at all.
The festival was free and they accepted donations at the door.  There were bouncies for the kids (3) that were also free and a playground at the park. They take these down closer to dusk.  There were a few booths with freebies, food, treats etc.  During the entire festival, there was live music or a DJ playing songs. It made for a really great place to spend the day. There were food vendors, ice cream and beverages for sale.  With a small town festival, there weren't many to select from but even when the lines were longer- they moved quickly.  Everything was priced really well at $2-$3 and drinks were $1.  Port-a-potties for bathrooms.

At dusk, they prepared for fireworks by clearing more area for people to sit and the crowd game in for the show.  It was a great size crowd - enough for the buzz and excitement but not enough to cause traffic or any other issues.  The show was set to music and the fireworks were shot off from the baseball field directly next to the park - it was so close and the best experience we have had as a family watching fireworks.  They were so impressive and we will be back every year because of the grand display and ease of parking,  friendliness of everyone there and affordable pricing on all of the food.

Stephanie

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review of Claire's Ear Piercing in The Mall St. Matthews

 photo IMG_7148_zpsauuvrqjp.jpgOn the first day of Spring Break, we took a trip to The Mall St. Matthews. While shopping inside Claire's, my 6 yr old daughter noticed a girl near her age who was getting her ears pierced. After seeing that the girl did not cry, my daughter decided she would like have her ears pierced as well. This is something we had talked about before, but she had previously been too nervous.

Claire's offers a wide variety of earrings and my daughter was excited about all of the cute choices she would have after 6 weeks with her starter set. For piercing, there is no need for an appointment. We simply went to the counter and a Piercing Specialist was called over to assist us. There are a large variety of "piercing earrings" ranging in price from $18.50 to $64.50. The Piercing Specialist recommended 14K Gold over the cheaper stainless steel options to minimize the risk of an allergic reaction. My daughter selected her birthstone in 14K white gold ($54.50). The Specialist then requested my driver's license and gave me some forms to read over, complete and sign. The forms asked for basic things such as our contact info and my daughter's date of birth. There was a basic waiver that one would expect to sign for something such as this.

 photo IMG_7150_zpsge07ppf7.jpgWhile I was completing the paperwork, the Specialist cleaned the piercing instruments and earrings and put on gloves. She prepped two instruments because we opted to have both ears pierced simultaneously. She used a marker to indicate where the piercing would be on each earlobe and I was asked to approve the location. Then the other Specialist came over and donned her gloves. My daughter sat in her aunt's lap during the piercing, while I watched and videoed. It was over in a flash, and there were no tears!

Ear piercing at Claire's is free with the purchase of a Starter kit, which includes the Piercing Earrings and Cleaning Solution. There was no additional charge for the cleaning solution, so it was just the cost of the earrings mentioned above.

 photo IMG_7160_zpsgxsqfv1g.jpgIf you have concerns about having your child's ears pierced, it's a good idea to talk to her/his pediatrician. Some pediatricians will pierce ears in their office. Another option for piercing is a reputable tattoo parlor. It may sound funny, taking your child into a tattoo parlor, but they use a different technique there that some people prefer and they certainly have a lot of experience with piercing. As for Claire's, we were very pleased with the procedure and professionalism of the Piercing Specialists who pierced my daughter's ears. They obviously have a lot of experience, as we witnessed 3 other piercings in the short time we were in the store. More information about ear piercing at Claire's is available HERE on their website.

By Guest Contributor: Brandy 




Sunday, June 28, 2015

Week in Preview June 29th-July 2nd

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Get ready for the 4th of July with music, food, and more!

Here are my picks for the week:

Live it: Ready for some music? Head over to Iroquois Amphitheater on Thursday, July 2nd to listen to FAITHFULLY: A Symphonic Tribute to the music of JOURNEY. "Faithfully" is the best tribute band to ever play the music of Journey. They perform with the Louisville Orchestra in a glorious evening of hits including "Open Arms," "Faithfully," "Don't Stop Believin'" and more. For more information or to purchase tickets go here.

Eat it: Spend a night in and have the kids help cook. Check out Pinterest for some kid food ideas and make it a fun family night. 4th of July firecracker dogs might be a cool option. Find the recipe here!

Move it: Head over to Putt-Putt Fun Center on Bardstown Rd for some family fun. Play all the Putt-Putt golf you desire from 10am until 5pm every Monday for $8. Check here for more information.


Learn it: Go to the Little Loomhouse and check out their Weaving Wednesdays. Starting July 1 – August 12 from 12-3pm. This class is for ages 6 and over and costs $25 which includes supplies. Come spend an afternoon at the Loomhouse this summer weaving and sewing a small project to take home! Please call 502-367-4792 in advance to register. Check out their website for more information.

By Guest Contributor: 
Kelly

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend around Louisville: June 26,27,28

This post is sponsored by:
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Project Play!
   

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Download our App - click here - KIDS EAT FREE list right at your fingertips on the go!
Always keep tabs on our Summer Fun Links page!

Make this weekend all about helping the community!

Friday
Stay home in the evening - order Papa John's using code BBBSKY to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana.  Gather around the TV to cheer for the US Women's Soccer team as they face China in the World Cup at 7:30pm.  Make flags and signs, paint your faces red, white and blue - get into it!  (Papa John's has a deal through 6/28 - if you have a rewards account and spend at least $15 - you'll get a free pizza on your next order!  The BBBSKY code is $16 - WINNING!)

Saturday
Head to Good Garbage (2216 Frankfort Ave.) for "Compassionate Creations" - making sleeping mats for the homeless. See details here. It's from 10am-Noon.

Sunday 
Project Play is here!  We are sponsoring a great event for Big Brothers Big Sisters at Simpsonville Park from 2-4pm - celebrating the FUN in mentoring. It's a free community event, donations welcome.  There will be a variety of field games, goodies and prizes.  We'll be there with ShelbyFamilyFun.net putting temporary tattoos on kiddos and helping to sell snacks and beverages to benefit BBBS.  Come if you want to play or if you want to learn about becoming a mentor - or both!

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,
Stephanie

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review of Clarksville Family Aquatic Center

The Family Aquatic Center in Clarksville is a great destination during the summer for Louisville area families that have kids of all ages.  Just over the Ohio River in Southern Indiana (super easy to find), it's clean, affordable and has enough variety to keep everyone entertained!

It is open daily June 3 – July 28 and weekends: August 1-2, August 8-9 from 12:00pm - 6:00pm.  Admission is just $5 per person and season passes are available.  They have days for special events - so be sure to check their website to see what's coming up.
We headed to the center on a Sunday afternoon for about 3 hours.  It was moderately crowded but we were still able to find chairs.  Many folks leave after the 3pm pool break - something to note!  The pool is separated by depth with a zero entry pool that's popular for the little ones (and relaxing parents) with a spray area and a deeper pool for the big kids.  No diving is allowed but the kids love jumping in feet first and that is allowed.  There's also two slides - one with tubes/one body slide.  Kids must be 42" tall to go on these and there are life guards at the top and bottom.  My kids LOVED these (I did as well).

During our visit, we used the lockers for our wallets and keys.  Bring quarters - it's $0.50 to use a locker.  Also, there are changing areas and showers and everything was nice and clean.  The kids HAD to get a treat at the snack shop and we found everything to be very economically priced - the kids picked ice cream bars that were just $1.50 each.  We also noticed that there was a tent for Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt and a nice picnic area. Although you cannot bring in coolers with outside food, there is a nice picnic area just outside the entry where you could take a break for a meal.  They do let you in and out with a hand stamp.   And, yes there's more, there is a sand volleyball court and a small playground inside the pool area.
Guess what?  You can even have a birthday party there for just $100!!!!!   Truly, it made for a wonderful afternoon and it all barely cost $25. 

Stephanie

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

French Lick Springs Hotel and Resort: Weekend Getaway from Louisville, KY

Erin was given a complimentary two night stay for purpose of review

 photo front of hotel_zpsiogoe89x.jpgMy family and I stayed at French Lick Resort for two days over our JCPS Spring Break week. We enjoyed the Spring Break activities that the resort put together with families in mind. It was a ton of fun and we filled our days up pretty quickly with all they had to offer!

We arrived on a Friday in the early afternoon and check-in was as smooth as possible. My family and I have never been to French Lick so it was exciting to be there as first time guests. We stayed at the French Lick Springs Hotel; the property also has another hotel called West Baden Springs Hotel. Both hotels are listed on the National Historic Register and carry a lot of history with their stories. Guests of either hotel can visit both properties and take advantage of amenities at both.

Some of the options available for spring break guests included the following:
Kids Pass: unlimited bowling and shoes, unlimited project/play time at KidsFest for ages 6-12, one small ice cream French Lick Mercantile Co, one slice of pizza and one drink from Pluto's Pizzeria, one youth admission to French Lick Museum, one hayride, youth duathlon participation, one s'more every Fri/Sat evening, and one painting class.

Suggested activities for the special Spring Break itinerary: guided family-friendly hikes through the resort's trail system, pick up basketball, duathlon, piano entertainment, 80s dance party, s'mores, movie nights, DJ at the pools, obstacle course, capture the flag, acrylic painting class, bowling and arcade games, swimming, footgolf, horseback riding, and historical walking tours. Throughout the past month, the resort had put together an activities guide that included the above mentioned activities plus events such as Mommy & Me tea, renegade bowling, game nights, karaoke, tricky golf, dodgeball, magic shows, Cookies & Canvas, and many arts and crafts projects and workshops. At the KidsFest Lodge, children and families could participate in what was called Family Springfest and many scheduled activities such as toymakers workshops, craft projects, and airplane olympics. For children ages 6-12, a supervised drop off time was set up as well in which parents could utilize this time to have some parent's night out time for 4 hours while their children played and were involved in organized activities and were given dinner as well. All of the spring break activities that the resort puts on are a yearly offering, and with the summer season getting rolling, the resort also has summer time activities lined up for families staying at French Lick Resort.

My family and I took advantage of many of the spring break activities, including playing and crafting at KidsFest Lodge, renting and riding the surrey bikes from the Lodge, playing a round of Footgolf at the Valley Links & Golf Learning Center, attending the 80s Dance Party, and using the Kids Pass for free bowling and the acrylic painting class. We took the free trolley ride from French Lick Springs Hotel to West Baden Springs Hotel twice and that was really enjoyable. We played arcades and bowled at Pluto's Alley and used the indoor swimming pool several times. We loved listening to the DJ play poolside both days we were there and enjoyed roasting our s'mores over the fire pit by the outdoor pool.

One of the other special things we got to do was have a Mom and Me manicure together. My daughter and I were treated at the spa at West Baden Springs Hotel. It was really a special time for us and my 11 year old daughter thought it was all so neat to be treated so formally! We got to have our manis side by side and chatted while we got pampered and it made for a great memory for us.

There are many dining options available at French Lick Resort. We ate at Spring #8 Deli for lunch the first day, and bought some convenience items to go from the French Lick Mercantile Co one morning for breakfast, which we ate in our room. The options are kind of pricey at the resort, so keep that in mind for family dining. There is a breakfast buffet and brunch available at the resort at The Grande Colonnade. It is $14 for adults who are staying at the resort and children under 12 eat for free. We ate at Pluto's Pizzeria (where the kids used their pass for a free slice of pizza each and a free drink) and the prices there were pretty affordable. There are other places to eat if you leave the property and drive down the state road, and you can walk across the street from the hotel and find a couple of places (including a Denny's where we ate one day as well).

We also spent some time just roaming through the lobbies and halls of both French Lick and West Baden. It was fun to explore the gardens and the shoppes and event center. Riding the free trolley between both hotels was really one of the highlights for us! The gardens and grounds surrounding West Baden are worth exploring, and seeing the huge dome shaped ceiling at West Baden is impressive too. We absolutely enjoyed our stay and all the fun activities we did; we used up every hour of each day we were there and filled our days to the brim! Along with all of these family-friendly activities, the resort also hosts a concert series, live music at the restaurants, golfing, spa treatments including massages and facials, and of course the casino entertainment is available as well. I highly recommend checking into French Lick for a weekend getaway. Even adding another day would help because you could add in visiting historic Paoli and the rest of French Lick, as well as check out the golf course and nearby Patoka Lake. At such an easy and accessible one hour drive from Louisville, it's totally worth it. Take 64 West toward Greenville and take 150 directly to French Lick. Follow French Lick Resort on Facebook and Twitter as well.
LouFamFun's French Lick Spring Break 2015 album on Photobucket


By guest contributor: Erin

Monday, June 22, 2015

Review of Disney Pixar's "Inside Out"

We had the opportunity to "sneak preview" the new movie Inside Out.   See the trailer here.

This movies is an adorable depiction of people's emotions and how in life's ups and downs, emotions are all important.  Riley is a "tween" that's going through a major life change and she has a hard time dealing with it.  Her emotions inside her head don't want her to ever be sad but thing go a muck and she loses her ability to be happy or sad - she's just, emotionless.   Her emotions are so obsessed with keeping her happy that they don't realize that it's ok to be sad and that they can balance each other out to get their Riley back!

The movie was quite funny - with some laugh-out loud moments just for parents (like flashing back to the time when we had to actually remember phone numbers) so it's great for the entire family.

My kids agreed that the anger emotion character was the funniest - guess you can't beat a character who bursts into flames.  After the movies, they went back and forth talking about their favorite parts of the movie and one-upping each other with quotes they could remember. I'd say that's a good sign!  We saw the movie in 3-D and it was subtle, nothing crazy with the 3-D so I think this would be a good first 3-D movie if anyone in your family hasn't seen one!

Stephanie