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Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: The Irish Rover Louisville

Many years have passed since my husband and I first visited The Irish Rover on Frankfort Avenue. Back then, it was a favorite date spot for us, but now we return often with our 3 kids in tow. The cozy cottage atmosphere and authentic Irish food appeal to all ages, and we love the budget-friendly prices for our family!

The Irish Rover is a genuine Irish pub and restaurant owned by native Irishman Michael Reidy and his wife, Siobhan. Here you’ll find traditional Irish fare such as bangers n’ mash (Irish sausages and potatoes) and cottage pie (Irish stew in a hollow bread loaf, piled high with mashed potatoes and topped with cheese). The menu mainly features hearty, rustic dishes, although meal-sized salads and a variety of sandwiches are available, too. You can order up good Irish beer or a local brew on tap, and feel right at home in the pub room, with its green-painted booths and long bar. The main dining room is bright and cheerful in a 150-year-old building, walls hung with quaint photographs and images of Irish landmarks. At peak dining hours, lively conversation creates a jovial atmosphere, so that we never have to worry about the kids being too noisy! We like to request a table by the cozy fireplace or, in mild weather, eat outside on the patio overlooking Frankfort Avenue.
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The appetizer menu could furnish a main meal by itself. From the many authentic, tempting choices, Scotch eggs (hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage and deep fried) and creamy potato-leek soup are some of our favorite starters, not to be missed.

On a recent visit, my husband enjoyed his usual entrée of fish-and-chips - the lightest and crispiest you can find anywhere in the city.  It’s a favorite of our 3-year-old too, and all the kids enjoy the “fat fries” (Irish “chips”) that come with many of the kids’ meals. Perennial kids’ favorites like mac and cheese and chicken fingers are always on the menu, too. Kids’ meals are $2.95.

I had the salmon and potato gratin, a comforting, cheesy casserole, served with a side of fresh steamed vegetables. Entrees are always accompanied by a delicious assortment of breads, from brown soda bread to sourdough. Prices for traditional pub entrees are generally below $10, while more sophisticated beef, chicken and fish offerings can range up to $15.

We couldn’t end our meal without a dessert of authentic trifle: layers of cake, custard and raspberry jam, portioned large enough to be shared by our family of 5. Accompanied by hot Irish tea, it was a fitting finish to a celebration of Ireland’s best, right here in Louisville. We can always count on prompt, friendly service, and have never left The Irish Rover unsatisfied in any way!

The Irish Rover is located at 2319 Frankfort Avenue in  Louisville. Visit their website or call (502) 899-3544 for more information.

The Irish Rover also has a second location in LaGrange at 117 E. Main St
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By guest contributor: Lynne

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Events and Things to do in November in Kentuckiana


Halloween will be a memory and it's on to the colder months and the next Holiday, Thanksgiving. And, of course, my daughter's 3rd birthday!!!!  What's going on around Louisville in November 2011 you ask?  Well, let's see:

The Festival of Trees & Lights is November 11-13th and benefits Kosair Children's Hospital.  Events include a Dicken's Family Night, a Snow Ball Gala, Children's activities, breakfast with Santa and More!  Check out their website for a full list of events. It takes place at Louisville Slugger Field.

How about making a kite to fly on a breezy fall day? 
On November 12 from 11:00am – 12:30pm the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft has a kite making workshop. It's $6 per person and is a drop-in workshop to create your a kite! It is open to all ages and skill levels.

PhotobucketCome on our to Vint Coffee Northfield on Sunday, November 13th at 1pm for a FREE Heartland Music Together Class sponsored by us, Louisville Family Fun and Vint Coffee.  Mochas and Music sounds fabuLOUs. 



Also on November 13th from 1:30-3:30 (and Tuesday November 15th from 9:30-11:30) is one of the montly Baby Talk events at the Louisville Science Center. These are free!  I am moderating these specific sessions that are all about mental and physical exercises and activities to stimulate your child. 

 
Lights Under Louisville opens on November 18th and runs through January 1st.  It's at the Louisville Mega Cavern and is an elaborate lights display set to music that you drive through in the Mega Cavern.  It's $25 per car but you can usually get coupons at the nearby Wendy's on Poplar Level Rd.  Full details are on their website

It's the start of the holiday season, why not Light Up Okolona on November 18th from 5:45-7pm. It's at the corner of Preston and Outer Loop. Or, you can Light Up Lyndon on November 23rd from 5-7pm at Lyndon City Hall.  Or, even more lights.....Light Up the Summit on November 18th.    And there's the big on, Light up Louisville event and parade downtown on November 25th. 

On November 19th, you can take the kids to the welcome center at Jefferson Memorial Forest for a FREE craft.  The activity runs from 10 to noon, donation accepted.

On Sunday November 20th, in the evening from 6-9pm, take the family to the Louisville Nature center for the Owl Prowl.   It's $5 per person or $15 for a family or less if you are a member.  There is an indoor presentation and then a guided hike to look for owls and a snack to follow.

Or also on Sunday November 20th 11:30-2pm (or stay after 2pm free and watch the UofL women's basketball game) , learn about getting fit at Get Fit 2011.  It's at the KFC Yum Center. There's games, meet and greet for U of  L players and coaches and it's FREE! Register online.

As always, there's even more to choose from on the calendar!

Have a wonderful month and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Stephanie

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review of Shiraz Mediterranean Grill

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My family and I love food with flavor. While this has been great for my husband and me, finding a restaurant that can appeal to all of the palates in my family has been difficult. We feel like we finally reached success with Shiraz Mediterranean Grill. We decided to go on a Sunday afternoon after church. The restaurant was full, but not overcrowded. There were many families, as well as groups of people, and couples too. Upon walking in the store, we were greeted with a smile and quickly made our choices from their menu. The menu itself is as varied as the food they serve. They offer many traditional dishes, as well as daily specials and combo meals too. For kids, they offer a handful of healthy, but delicious choices. Because of my son’s allergies to dairy and nuts, we always are limited with the same old choices when we eat out…but here, he can have yummy grilled chicken, flatbread, and rice which are right up his alley. While they offer some great ethnic dishes, it is not “too ethnic” for the picky eaters in your group. They offer fountain drinks, but also water and 100% juice boxes for the kids’ meals. 
So, toddler in tow, we placed our orders, took our number with us got our drinks and silverware and pile o’ napkins and headed to a table. What I love about this restaurant is that it is hip enough to go to with single or “non parent” friends, but is totally comfortable with my family. They brought out the kid’s food first. How great is that! Not so early that Wes was finished by the time we got our food, but soon enough to get him started. My favorite food there is the Chicken Kabob with the Greek salad. If I am really feeling adventurous, the Lamb is awesome too. My husband loves the Chicken as well, but he always sticks with the Rice and Hummus. If you have room for dessert, they have cookies, but I totally recommend splurging on the Baklava.
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The overall price of our meal is pretty comparable to a nicer “Fast food” restaurant. The food is good quality. Real chicken, real meat and veggies, and it is seasoned well and prepared carefully. The hummus is made in the kitchen from scratch, and the Baklava is made by a local baker.  I feel good feeding it to my family! For our whole family (2 adults and 1 kid) it runs in the area of around $20-$25 (including drinks).
When we finished our yummy food (This Yummy food is healthy?!) and were quite full, we stacked up our dishes and put them in the trays.  This is an odd part of the restaurant. It seems like it is totally up to the customer whether or not you want to just leave the table as is, or clean up after yourself. I’m one to clean, so that’s what we do, but to each his or her own. Oh… and remember the toddler? The pile of rice on the floor is okay! How awesome is that? I offered to sweep after my eager two year old, but they wouldn’t hear of it. Thanks Shiraz!
So, long story short, if you are looking for a restaurant where you get good yummy food, something healthy for you and your family, and don’t want to get the “I can’t BELIEVE you brought your child here” look, head on over to Shiraz….and if it’s past nap time and that doesn’t work, there’s always carry out.
Shiraz Mediterranean Grill has several area locations. Find them and an online menu at their website: http://www.shirazmg.net/menu.htm.

By guest contributor: Jackie

Friday, October 28, 2011

WINNER! 4 Tickets to Dinosaur World from LouisvilleBestDeals.com

The winner of the family pack of tickets to Dinosaur World in Cave City is EMILY G!  Thank you LouisvilleBestDeals.com for this wonderful prize!

Please email us at info@louisvillefamilyfun.net to claim your prize

Our next contest is really exciting! Stay tuned!

Things to do this weekend in and around Louisville October 28,29,30

This weekend is all about Halloween, there's not getting around it. Here are my picks for the best things to do in Kentuckiana with your family. There are many other things listed for event to do with your kids all in our Hallween post.

Also, I am annoucning the winners of the BOONANZA tickets, the event at the Science Center on this post in order to consolidate all of the posts I have to make today!  It's mrstprice(Tina P) and Rebecca M.  Please email us ASAP at info@louisvillefamilyfun.net to claim your prize!

Friday

Jack O’Lantern Stroll: October 28, 2011,  Louisville Slugger Field
A community event that features over 1,200 carved pumpkins, carved by community members and those supported by Dreams With Wings.

Halloween Harvest Party at the Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve.    There's even a coupon for admission!  Friday, October 28th 4:00-10:00 p.m. &  Saturday, October 29th 3:00-10:00 p.m. 2011  Some activities are free and others are pay-as-you-do etc.  Options include kids halloween trail, haunted house and more!


Saturday:
14th Annual Halloween Festival in Brown Park  The City of St. Matthews and the
St. Matthews Area Business Association present the 14th Annual Halloween Festival in Brown Park
(corner of Kresge Way and Browns Lane)
Date: Sat. October 29th, 2011  Time: 11am- 2pm  Trick or Treating: 11:30am – 1:30pm
Cost: Free


Boo Dell at Yell Dell gardens is just $5 for parking with free admission. It is on October 29th from 11-3 featuring trick or treating, a pumpkin carving contest, Magic show (2pm) and more.


Sunday:
BOONANZA at the Louisville Science Center: Free with admission
October 29-30, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Zapped back to life by popular demand is BOONANZA, full of science tricks and treats. Activities include making wearable scabs and blisters, slime making, mummifying apples, giant spider webs, touchable organs and more!


Have a spooky weekend!
Stephanie

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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The BOONANZA at the Louisville Science Center is this weekend!  They have graciously given us 2 family 4 packs of tickets to give away, that's 8 tickets!  WOW!  You can go for the entire day or just part of the day, there's activities at different times. 

It looks really great, here's the list of all of the activities:

They even electrify a pickle:
Before
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After
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WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, October 29-30, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Ongoing, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Scabs and Blisters, Slime Making, Dry Ice Bubbles Mummify an Apple! Candy Blood Bags Fish printing with real fish! Wheel of Dare Vomit cookies
12 to 4 p.m. Giant spider webs Touchable organs
12 and 3 p.m. See the combustive properties of carbide and water in our Exploding Pumpkins and Carbide Cannon demonstrations.
1 and 4 p.m. Watch us electrify a pickle!
3 to 4 p.m. Frog mummification in the BioLab
12-4 p.m., Messy Afternoons with Pumpkins Designed for kids 7 and younger and their caregivers, enjoy messy science fun! Carved pumpkins will be filled with a variety of squishy, slimy textures for young children to explore!
Every hour on the half hour "Thriller" dancing with Science Center staff!
WHERE: Louisville Science Center, 727 W. Main St.

To enter:
Write a comment on this blog post telling us what your children will be dressing up as for Halloween.  Please post under an account or write in your name and last initial.

Note: Comments will remain hidden until moderated. The contest ends on Thursday at midnight, October 27th and the winner will be announced before the 9am on Friday Oct. 28th on this site. YOU CAN ENTER ONCE PER DAY.  The winner will be selected at random from the comments posted with any eligible bonus entries added. The winner must email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net by 3pm Friday. Oct 28th or a new winner will be chosen. Your comment will not appear immediately and will not be posted if you do not follow the guidelines or if you miss the deadline (even by minutes).

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. As a participant in this giveaway, you are providing information to Louisville Family Fun and not to Facebook. Liking the page does not automatically enter you in the contest and the winner will not be announced via Facebook

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Restaurant Review- The Cottage Café

PhotobucketThe unsuspecting little yellow house on Main Street in old Middletown is one I had driven by plenty of times. After asking a local shop owner where to head for a good lunch with my family, she told me all about the ‘Cottage Café’ and I was surprised that I hadn’t noticed it before.  Nestled between some wonderful antique shops and galleries, sits an old house with a great story and great food. Although very ‘shabby chic’ both inside and out, the cafe provides a homey, relaxing environment to have a quick bite for lunch, or a long chat with good friends.

PhotobucketOffering lunch; Monday through Saturday, the Cottage Café provides a wonderful selection of sandwiches, soups and salads for even the pickiest of palates.  Each day provides extremely affordable lunch specials and although I visited during the week, I heard wonderful things about ‘Hot Brown Saturday’, and will have to try that out soon.  As a lifelong eater and food connoisseur- I must admit I don’t think I’ve ever asked for a take home box at lunch before! I brought home half of my chicken salad plate and left plenty full and ready for an afternoon nap.

It’s impossible to resist the beautiful desserts calling from the display case as you’re entering through the back door parking lot. However, with the huge portion sizes, I ended up not having a bit of room for dessert.  That’s no problem though!  The Cottage Café has plenty of take out boxes and they also sell whole cakes and desserts for your special event, made fresh daily.  I couldn’t help but bring home a piece of the very popular ‘Ebony and Ivory’ chocolate cake for my chocolate loving husband, who stood at the counter and gobbled down the whole piece. He’ll never let me go near Middletown again without stopping in and grabbing a treat for him. He won’t have to remind me, I’ll be back at the Cottage Café very soon!

By guest writer:
Kara

Monday, October 24, 2011

WINNERS! Vint Coffee Gift Card & KY Railways Museum Tickets

Thanks to all of you who stopped by my trunk at the Louisville Mommies Trunk or Treat on Sunday the 23rd.  I had so much fun giving pirate treasures to the cute kids and I hope those that got the craft really have fun with it!

Who won the Kentucky Railways Museum/Excursion Tickets?  It's 5 tickets from Louisville Best Deals !  It's the person whose email starts with:  C. Stickler

Who won the Vint Coffee gift card?  This was a contest for Louisville Family Fun Pass holders! It's the person whose email starts with:  mdspencer1

Please email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net by Thursday to claim your prize! Please include you full name and mailing address.

THANKS and CONGRATS!

Farm Rick "Snack Shack" Tour Kicks off this weekend in Louisville

Farm Rich, the frozen snacks and appetizer brand, is bringing its popular “Snack Shack” food truck to Louisville and giving grocery shoppers throughout the city the chance to sample a variety of Farm Rich signature items, receive prizes and coupons, and even meet local radio personalities.

The Snack Shack tour begins in Louisville Oct. 28, with visits to Kroger and Walmart stores through Nov. 5. At each stop, the Farm Rich team will be cooking up a variety of snacks including Farm Rich Cheese Sticks, Marinara Stuffed Cheese Sticks, Mini Pizza Slices, Mozzarella Bites and Stuffed Jalapeño Peppers. They’ll also be giving out coupons for shoppers to try the products, as well as offering giveaways and registering people for a chance to win a $250 gift card. And, at several stops, personalities from local radio stations will be broadcasting from the Snack Shack and giving away gift cards and station prizes.

Below is the schedule for the Snack Shack in Louisville. For more information, visit the Farm Rich Facebook page, follow the truck on Twitter (@farmrichsnacks) or visit their website .

Friday, October 28th
11:00am – 1:00pm
Kroger Store 276
2956 Hwy 62 & Allison, Jeffersonville, IN


5:00-6:30 pm
Jeffersonville Boys & Girls Club
1423 Pennsylvania Ave, Jeffersonville, IN


Saturday, October 29th
11:00am – 1:00pm
Kroger Store 360
6900 Bardstown Rd., Louisville, KY


3:00 – 5:00pm
Walmart Store 3294
7101 Cedar Springs Blvd., Louisville, KY


Sunday, October 30th
11:00am – 1:00pm
Kroger Store 707
9440 Brownsboro Rd., Louisville, KY


3:00 – 5:00pm
Kroger Store 389
5929 Timber Ridge Dr., Prospect, KY


Monday, October 31st
11:00am – 1:00pm
Kroger Store 346
3039 Breckenridge Lane, Louisville, KY


4:00 – 6:00pm
Kroger Store 379
9080 Taylorsville Rd., Louisville, KY

Tuesday, November 1st
11:00am – 1:00pm
Kroger Store 376
4501 Outer Loop, Louisville, KY


4:00 – 6:00pm
Kroger Store 366
5001 Mud Lane, Louisville, KY


Wednesday, November 2nd
11:00am – 1:00pm
Kroger Store 396
200 State Street, New Albany, IN


4:00 – 6:00pm
Kroger Store 327
2710 W. Broadway, Louisville, KY


Thursday, November 3rd
11:00am – 1:00pm
Kroger Store 350
5533 New Cut Rd., Louisville, KY


4:00 – 6:00pm
Kroger Store 385
5244 Dixie HWY., Louisville, KY


Friday, November 4th
11:00am – 1:00pm
Kroger Store 356
12501 Shelbyville Rd., Louisville, KY


3:00 – 5:00pm
Walmart Store 4450
12981 Shelbyville Rd., Middletown, KY


Saturday, November 5th
11:00am – 1:00pm
Kroger Store 387
291 Hubbard Ln., Louisville, KY


3:00 – 5:00pm
Kroger Store 753
1265 Goss Ave., Louisville, KY

CONTEST! Family 4 Pack of Tickets to Dinosaur World


You want to take a trip to dinosaur world where that are big dinos lingering in the woods????? Don't worry, it's not all that scary.  I wrote a review about it this summer, click HERE to read it.

Would you like to win a family 4 pack of tickets and head to Dinosaur World before the weather gets cold?   Or, you can save them for the Spring, they don't expire.  These tickets are courtesy of http://www.louisvillebestdeals.com/  Check out their site and sign up for their email list to get an occasional email when they add a new deal (you will NOT get frequent emails, I promise!)

To enter:  

1)Write a comment on this blog post telling us why you think dinosaurs interest your kids so much.  Be sure to post under an account or type in your name and last initial!

For a bonus entry:  you can post a review on Louisville Family Fun's Facebook page by clicking "reviews" on the left under the profile logo.  Tell everyone what you favorite thing is about our site!

Louisville Family Fun Pass holders can get 4 bonus entries by emailing a photo of their pass once to bonus@louisvillefamilyfun.net 

Note: Comments will remain hidden until moderated. The contest ends on Thursday at midnight, October 27th and the winner will be announced before the end of the day Friday Oct. 28th on this site. YOU CAN ENTER ONCE PER DAY.  The winner will be selected at random from the comments posted with any eligible bonus entries added. The winner must email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net by the end of the day Nov. 1st. or a new winner will be chosen. Your comment will not appear immediately and will not be posted if you do not follow the guidelines or if you miss the deadline (even by minutes).


This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. As a participant in this giveaway, you are providing information to Louisville Family Fun and not to Facebook. Liking the page does not automatically enter you in the contest and the winner will not be announced via Facebook

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Review of the new AdoraPet Books

PhotobucketPhotobucketRecently, I received a sample of two cute books called Adora Pets.  They are kid-sized but packed with colorful illustrations and themes.  We received a copy of the mermaid book and the farm book.  For children's book, it was packed with a lot of substance.  My son liked the farm one because it had both animals and a harvester!  Boys!  And, my daughter, who is not quite 3, enjoyed the vibrant pictures.  We played a look and find game with the books as I read.  I also like them because they are small in size and great for on-the-go. We went on a day trip yesterday, so I tossed them in my purse and took them and when we had some down time, they were perfect for occupying the kids. 

PhotobucketThese picture books are available online at http://www.adorapet.com/ but will be coming to Barnes & Noble in November so they will be easy to find!  And, in honor of their launch at Barnes & Noble, they are giving away a BOOK A DAY on their website for the rest of 2011!  All you have to do is sign up for their mailing list. You can increase your chances by liking their Facebook page and following AdoraPet on Twitter @AdoraPet_Moms and tweeting with #adorapetlaunch  

PhotobucketAdoraPets also has a "Get Ready for School Checklist" that's free downloadable gift for email list subscribers.  She suggests you frame it and use dry erase markers to check the boxes everyday. It include photos and descriptions of things kids need to do to get ready for school like brush teeth, eat breakfast, check backpack etc. 

We really enjoy reading these, I hope you do too!

Stephanie

Saturday, October 22, 2011

WINNER! $25 Home Depot Gift Card

Thanks to Danielle Rydberg- Realtor for this awesome prize that will help a family out with some fixing-up around the house!  Remember, Danielle is offering an EXCELLENT promotional deal for Louisville Family Fun readers, so check out her ad on the right side of this website for more details and contact her today!  It's not just if you are looking to buy, but if you want a home estimate as well!

The winner of the gift card, randomly chosen by random.org, is NYKOLE S!  



Please email us at info@louisvillefamilyfun.net to claim your prize and send you mailing address!

New contest coming next week....stay tune :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Things to do this weekend in and around Louisville October 21,22,23

This post is sponsored by:
Larissa Brown
Vintage Couture




 
After a rainy week, it's going to be sunny and in the 60s this weekend, if the weather predictions hold true!  That's great because their are some really fun options for you.

Here's my choices for great things to do and events for your family in Kentuckiana on this nice fall weekend in October.

Friday will be the coldest day, so maybe head to the Bass Pro Shop in Clarksville. They have a Great Pumpkin-Charlie Brown setof events that start today. Free crafts, a photo of your child with the Charlie Brown crew, trick or treating, costume parade and it goes on!  And, besides that, the Bass Pro Shop is a great place to explore. All FREE! Check their website for the schedule because different activities occur at various times on weekdays vs. weekends.  It's also listed on our calendar above!

On Saturday, you can take your family to the American Printing House for the Blind from 10-noon and make a Halloween masky, scary or friendly!  They just ask that you register and there's information on their website.

Also on Saturday, one of our favorites is having their grand opening, Jamie's 14K Cupcakes.  Why not take a nice stroll along Baxter Avenue with the family and have lunch at one of the local restaurants.  Browse the shops and take in a nice fall day.  Then at 3pm, head to Jamie's 14K Cupcakes for her GRAND OPENING.  They are having a Magician, Master pumpkin carver, flame throwers and more!  There will be free food and beverages too! 

On Sunday, it's finally the day for the BIG Louisville Mommies Trunk or Treat! It's from 3-6pm in the parking lot of the Woodhaven Country Club.  There's free admission, please bring a jar (any size) of peanut butter for Blessings in a Backpack as part of your admission.  Dress in costumes and the kids will trick or treat out of a TON of trunks and enjoy all sorts of other entertainment. Lots of prizes to win! Louisville Family Fun will be there handing out candy or a craft, your child can choose!  If they choose a craft, there will be one to do there or take home, fun fun fun!  I will also have a sign up sheet for a chance to win a family 4 pack for a train ride at the Kentucky Railway museum from LouisvilleBestDeals.com and Louisville Family Fun Pass holders can show me their pass to enter to win a $25 gift card from Vint Coffee!


Have a fabuLOUs weekend!

Stephanie

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review of Jamie's 14K Cupcakes

PhotobucketRecently, I visited Jamie's 14K Cupcakes on Baxter Avenue.  It is a cute pink and brown shop right across the street from Papalinos' pizza.  They are one of the bakeries on our Louisville Family Fun Pass, so I wanted to check it out for myself.

PhotobucketThe place is really inviting!  She has a front porch with to tables, perfect for enjoying your treats on a nice day and doing some people watching.  Inside, she has a nice space with tables and some local products.  I went for the cupcakes and she walked me through all of the options.  They change them up but if you connect with Jamie's 14K Cupcakes on Facebook, she usually posts the daily menu.  They also offer Vegan varieties daily with an expanded Vegan menu on Wednesdays.

PhotobucketPhotobucketI chose the Smores cupcake because it was so unique looking and impossible to resist. She topped it beautifully with chocolate, marshmallows, graham cracker, it was just wonderful.  Her cake was really light. She baked all organic. I have tasted so many of the options in Louisville, and these are really airy and refreshing (if airy is even a correct word!).  The icing was just enough and totally indulgent in a not-so-overwhelming way.  I really enjoyed it and kicked myself for just getting 2 cupcakes.  OH! The other cupcake was a chocolate cupcake filled with cherry. I got that for my husband because he loves chocolate desserts as well as pies, so I thought this was a perfect blend.  He agreed!  Next time, I think I have to try her 14K cupcake, it's her signature flavor, hence the name.

PhotobucketPhotobucketAside from the cupcakes, she has cake pops, covered marshmallows on a stick and these super cool cake push pops.  Wouldn't it be fun to take your child there and try out one of those!  She even has a cake in a jar that is too cool and would be awesome for sharing!  If you need a beverage, she has many varieties of cold drinks as well as hot tea and Heine Brothers coffee. 

PhotobucketJamie's 14K cupcakes also offers birthday parties and private baking classes.  It's a wonderful addition to the Baxter Avenue restaurants.  You can get Buy One Get One Free cupcakes (limit 1 free) or $5 off a dozen with your Louisville Family Fun Pass

As you can see, I brought mine home to share with my daughter. If there was ever a photo that screamed of approval, this is it!
Stephanie

Just in Time for Halloween

We have a new sponsor called Cool Glow!  They are offering great discount for our readers on all sorts of Glow products that would be great for all of the evening activities for Halloween!

Here are some links:

Free Bracelets Cheap Glow Sticks on Sale - Free Shipping

Clearance Party Supplies at CoolGlow.com


Free Shipping on All Party Products



Save 10% on All Products

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review of the Indianapolis Childrens Museum Guilds 49th Annual Haunted House

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PhotobucketWhen I think of a haunted house I don’t think that it will be something my 4 and 2 year old would enjoy. Well, the Children’s Museum Guilds 49th Annual Haunted House in Indianapolis is a different story. It’s an amazing annual exhibit put on by the guild members of the museum.

Each year they plan and raise money to allow children of all ages to enjoy the festivities of Halloween in a safe environment.
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This year’s theme is Vampire Vacation. A look at destinations around the United states from two little vampires point of view. Vick and Vicky take you on an adventure through San Fangsico, Horrorwood, Count Rushmore and many more. At first glance your kids might find it a little frightening but the game: "find Vick and Vicky" will keep their minds occupied. In each room, Vick and Vicky will be hiding and it’s the kids' job to find them and they might get a special treat for finding all of them. In each room there are also "Did You Know" signs that I found very entertaining.
PhotobucketThe actors of the "lights on" tour are friendly and cheerful, giving your kids nothing to be afraid of. There are two different ways your children can enjoy this attraction. For the younger children there is lights on hours Tuesdays-Saturdays  10am-3pm , Tuesdays 3:30pm-9pm, Sundays 11am-5pm and on Halloween 10am-3pm. For the older and more adventurous kids or even adults they have Defender Directs Frightening Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays 3:30pm-9pm and Friday and Saturdays 3:30pm-9:30pm. They are also hosting a family late-night adventure October 21st 6:30pm-10:30pm. which includes touring the Vampire Vacation at frightening hours but also dinner, a behind the scenes tour of the haunted house and other extras. They will also be holding a Friendly Feast with the Witches where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner with the witches, Halloween entertainment in the Lily Theater, and a ticket to the Vampire Vacation. 
PhotobucketPhotobucketIt’s a perfect little day away trip for your children and you to enjoy. So load up the car and join Vick and Vicky on their fun filled adventure around the United States. For more information visit their website.



 By Guest contributor  Jennifer

Monday, October 17, 2011

Contest! $25 Home Depot Gift Card from Danielle Rydberg, realtor

Danielle Rydberg is a local realtor that is sponsoring our site for the month of October. Check out her ad on the right side of the page for details about the two great offers she has for Louisville Family Fun readers! 

She is offering a $25 gift card to Home Depot to one of our lucky readers.  Have you been meaning to update something in your home? Need to fix something? Want some great Halloween decorations for your home?  Danielle wants to help you take care of that!

First please like her Facebook page to keep apprised of what's going on in her realty world!

To enter:

Type a comment on this blog post telling us what you just need to get at Home Depot!  Tulip bulbs?  New energy saver light bulbs?  Some snazzy new knobs for a dresser?  Anything!
Be sure to include your name and last initial or post under an account!

Louisville Family Fun Pass holders can email a picture of their pass (once) to bonus@louisvillefamilyfun.net for 4 bonus entries!
You can get yours today!


Note: The contest ends on Thursday at midnight, October 20th and the winner will be announced before the end of the day Friday October 21st on this site. YOU CAN ENTER ONCE PER DAY! The winners will be selected at random from the comments posted with any eligible bonus entries added. The winners must email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net by the end of the day October 24th or new winners will be chosen. Your comment will not appear immediately and will not be posted if you do not follow the guidelines or if you miss the deadline (even by minutes).

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. As a participant in this giveaway, you are providing information to Louisville Family Fun and not to Facebook. Liking the page does not automatically enter you in the contest and the winner will not be announced via Facebook

Review: Thurman Hutchins Park

Always on the lookout for new and different parks in Louisville, we were happy to stumble upon Thurman Hutchins Park on River Road, just east of Zorn Avenue. The park is right across the road from Carrie Gaulbert Cox Park (and the boat launch area) but it has a completely different feel.

Our first impression was of beautiful, wide open space, well cultivated, with walking paths winding through the landscape. Our kids quickly located the playground area and we were happily surprised to find more than ordinary play structures. While there are two typical structures, one for younger tots and a larger one, kids can also enjoy climbing rings, “stumps” to jump on, and a boardwalk between the slightly separated play areas. A row of swings is also nearby.  I especially enjoyed the secluded area and “natural” feel to this part of the park. A sprinkling of young trees provided enough shade for the benches and picnic tables where parents can sit. It’s also large enough with plenty of seating to be a great place for a “mommy meet-up” and a picnic lunch.

Nearby we saw a number of sports fields, including facilities like public restrooms, which appeared to be closed for the season. As we walked back across the park, runners, dog-walkers and nature lovers criss-crossed the .9 mile path that circles the park. In the center we stopped by the large pond, complete with cattails, dragon flies and jumping frogs! A dock with a secure safety rail juts out into the water so that visitors can get up close and personal with pond life. We met people fishing, both from the dock and from the bank, reeling in small catfish and blue gills. Our kids never wanted to leave this area, and in fact, we had to plan a fishing expedition the following week so they could try it for themselves. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy new adventures with young kids.

The park also offers a wetland trail, which we’ll probably try hiking on our next visit. At the far end of the park with its own entrance, the Patriot’s Peace Memorial is a moving tribute to local fallen patriots, and is also worth a visit. To learn about the development of the memorial, visit the website.


Thurman Hutchins Park is a great destination for anyone looking for a nature escape close to the city. Its proximity to the riverfront and downtown make it a convenient stop for fun family outings.

By guest contributor
Lynn

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dr. Mark Lynn & Associates - Win a trip!

One lucky family could win a FREE family vacation to Gatlinburg, Tenn.


Dr. Bizer’s VisionWorld and Dr. Mark Lynn & Associates are rewarding students for their achievements in school by giving one family a free vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee!

“Rewarding students for their hard work and dedication in the classroom is important to ensure their continued success,” said Dr. Mark Lynn, owner/operator of more than 50 Dr. Bizer’s VisionWorld and Dr. Bizer’s ValuVision and Doctor’s ValuVision in five states. “I wanted to express my appreciation to the current generation of students and show that, with hard work and studying, come great rewards.”

PhotobucketAs the first grading period of the 2011-2012 school year comes to an end, children and parents can bring their report cards (grades K-12) to their local Dr. Bizer’s ValuVision or Dr. Bizer’s VisionWorld location to enter into a drawing for a free family vacation to Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Mountains. For each “A” or “E” on a child’s report card, they will receive one entry into the random drawing. The more “A’s” or “E’s” on the report card, the more chances to win. Participants can earn a bonus entry by posting a photo on our Facebook page of a child visiting one of our locations.

The prize package will include a family ski package to Ober Gatlinburg, a complimentary chalet rental courtesy of Mountain Rentals and family VIP passes to all eight of the Ripley’s Attractions. The contest begins on October 15, 2011 and ends November 15, 2011.

Photobucket“I am very excited to support the education system and learning process and also have the opportunity to reward students for their good grades,” said Dr. Lynn. “This is also a chance to demonstrate the correlation between healthy vision and school performance to students, teachers and parents. Many students suffer in the classroom because they cannot see the chalkboard or other tools used in the classroom. ”

To find the nearest Dr. Bizer’s VisionWorld location visit http://www.drbizersvisionworld.com/

I visited Dr. Bizer's VisionWorld at the Springhurst location this summer. They offered great service and I had a informative visit.  I was in and out quickly without feeling rushed.  The doctor was very thorough but conscious of my time.  She was also honest about my results in recommending glasses but stating she felt they were not absolutely necessary. You can read my full review by clicking here.  Good luck with the contest, it would be great to see a Louisville Family Fun reader win!

Stephanie

Friday, October 14, 2011

WINNER! Piggy Wiggies

PhotobucketThe winner is CRYSTAL!  Perfect since she said her family just got a REAL mini pig recently.

Crystal, please email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net to claim your prize, include you full name and mailing address. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Things to do this weekend in and around Louisville October 14,15,16

This post is brought to you by:



Snapfish: Save 50% on Photobooks through 10/19


Wondering what to do this fall weekend?  We've got you covered! Of course, the entire list of options is on our calendar, but here's my picks for weekend!

Check out the Caufield's Halloween parade on Friday October 14th starting at 7pm.  We went last year and it was a lot of fun, a really unique parade.  Bring a treat bag, because it is sure to get filled!  There are some creepy costumes running around, but last year, my then almost 2 year old and 3.5 year old did just fine.  None of the gorey guys were running right up to the little ones. 

I met a wonderful dentist last week, Dr. Korie and she is having a big fall festival on Saturday from 1-4pm outside of her office (off Old Henry near the Gene Snyder) of Derby City Pediatric Dentistry.  They want you to RSVP (call or on facebook) so that they have a good count of how many pumpkins to get! It's all free, treats, contests, raffles, activities like painting pumpkins, a bouncy house and more!

In the evening on Saturday, there is a Community Children's Harvest Festival from 5:30-7:30 that has free admission. It is at Hikes Point Christian Church and will feature  games, bouncies, face painting, rides and more. If you want to eat there, they will have concessions for just $1!

On Sunday evening, why not try our the Grim Tales family event since they are a sponsor of Louisville Family Fun.  It's from 6-9pm in Middletown and it's just $5 (parents are free) or you can get a discount HERE.  Kids go through their haunted house but it's "lights on" without any of the scares and actors.  They get some goodies to take home!

Have a wonderful weekend, make it fabuLOUs!

Stephanie

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Top Five Free Things to do for Fall with your Family!


Fall is here! To help my family and yours get into the spirit of the season, here are four top free picks to do in Louisville and surrounding areas. Bundle up, breathe in the smell of fall, and listen up for the crunch of leaves as we dive into fun!
Make a Mask! On October 22nd, you can go to the American Printing House for the Blind and make a Halloween Mask! It's free, but registration is required.  It is open to all ages and the staff will help the kids make the masks, scary or friendly!  This is sure to be a unique event. 
Bake. Bake, Bake! Nothing says fall like baking some delicious dishes in your kitchen to warm up hearts and tummies! Here is one of my favorite fall goodies:  Stained Glass Cookies!

Stained Glass Cookies Recipe
What you need:
*Refrigerated sugar cookie dough (if not making from scratch)
*Several packages of hard candy (life savers, jolly ranchers, sour balls, etc) sorted by color and crushed.  About one cup total. (I tried this once with whole Jolly ranchers nestled in a sugar cookie, and it worked okay but not the absolute best)

What you do:  Start with a simple sugar cookie. You can get the rolls of refrigerated dough, or go from scratch. Roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes. I just use a round shape, as it is easier, but you can use cookie cutters and really wow your family! Make a small circle opening in the middle of each cookie. Place candy bits in the hollowed opening. Bake as directed. The candy will melt in the center and look like stained glass! Quick and easy!

Take a Hike…with your family of course! Louisville has some amazing parks and trails to explore as the seasons change. Two of our family’s favorites are the Anchorage Trail and Goose Creek Trail at E.P. Tom Sawyer parks. Take along a bag to collect your favorite specimens of leaves or other great finds, or take along your binoculars to seek out some wildlife in their natural setting. Don’t forget to crunch lots of leaves!

Blackacre Nature Preserve- October 23rd 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Meet the Tylers, Buggy Rides, and Pumpkin Decorating. Admission is free, although donations will be accepted. If you would like to decorate a pumpkin they are $2 each. Enjoy a fall afternoon on some of the most beautiful land in Louisville! Come learn about the early settlers of Blackacre and take a small buggy ride on the grounds. Pumpkin decorating will follow.  For details, check out their website.

Jack O’ Lantern Stroll- October 28th 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Louisville Slugger Field.
Looking for a different way to celebrate fall and maybe get in the mood for Halloween? Try the Jack O’ Lantern Stroll brought to you by Dreams With Wings. This will take place at Louisville Slugger Field in the infield rain or shine. Come listen to entertainment, including the Louisville Leopard Percussionists, and see lots of other fall goodies. As if over 1500 jack o’ lanterns weren’t cool enough, you can witness Louisville’s largest pumpkin pie! For more information, check out this website. Admission is FREE, and donations will be accepted.

By guest writer:
Jackie

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Something Special to Do Over Fall Break

PhotobucketMeet Sam. Although he looks as normal and adorable as any other nearly 2 year old- the vast majority of Sam’s life has been spent fighting for it. At 4 months old, Sam Sartin was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma (Infant Cancer) and he has been fighting ever since. Sam’s parents- Alex and Cassie Sartin have been right by his side for the last 18 months as Sam has faced overwhelming odds and unending treatments. To read more about the Sartin family and their story- check out ‘Sam’s Fans’ on Facebook and the Sartin family blog.

As fall break approaches, so does Sam’s 2nd birthday at the end of November. As a different kind of fall break project, think of having your children paint, color, and draw or write letters to Sam and his parents to encourage them in their journey and help celebrate such a momentous birthday. They would so appreciate your thinking of them and any cards or letters your children send. They have constantly asked for prayer throughout this journey and strongly believe Sam has triumphed against all odds because of strangers and groups like Louisville Family Fun sharing Sam’s story and continuing to pray for him. There is also a Medical Trust Fund set up for Sam and a link to donate through the family blog.

If your children are searching for creative inspiration- Sam loves rainbows, ‘Thomas’ the train and all animals. He’s learning his letters /numbers and his favorite books are ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’ and ‘Chicka Chicka Boom Boom’.

You can send your well appreciated cards and words of encouragement directly to the Sartin family at:

Alex, Cassie and Sam Sartin P.O. Box 975 Mt. Washington, Kentucky 40047.

By Guest Writer: 
Kara

There are so many local organizations, people and charities that can use a word of hope.  Pick one with your family and spend time together expressing in words or art how much you appreciate them, what they do or giving them a message of hope and encouragement.

Monday, October 10, 2011

WINNER! Cyndi Whitworth Photography Package!

The WINNER IS: Anonymous Jaclyn G
Please email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net by 10/13 to claim your prize!!!

Jaclyn wins:
Photobucket

Love this photographer's work???  Save 15% on her prints and sessions for an entire year with the Louisville Family Fun Pass!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Review of The Haunted Yard Presents: Grim Tales (Kid Friendly Nights)

PhotobucketPhotobucketThis Sunday evening my son and I went to see The Haunted Yard Presents Grim Tales.  On Friday and Saturdays nights they are open for their regular scary haunted attraction from 7pm to midnight. But on Sunday and Thursday nights, they are open from 6pm to 9pm for a lights on, scare-free family/kid night. We arrived at their
Middletown location (in the strip mall across from the Library and McDonalds in Middletown) just after 6pm.
PhotobucketThey lead you through the Haunted Yard in groups, and we went through with a couple other
Photobucketfamilies. There were a couple of 4 year old boys and my 5 year old son ready with their trick or treat bags. The boys seemed nervous to enter the building after being greeted by a talking face at the door, but
were eager to go in and see more. As soon as you walk through the door, there is a talking fortune teller's head in a crystal ball and a big, scary, horned creature in the corner.

PhotobucketPhotobucketWe were lead through several different rooms and passageways, most of which had a Brothers Grimm fairy tale feel to them with story book creatures and fairy tale themes. There were several scary costumes and props that younger children may be frightened of, but the three boys did well. There was a room that was snowing foam bubbles, a room with a pirate and hidden gold doubloons, and a room full of spiders including one giant spider that moved. The kids were given something for their trick or treat bag in most of the rooms, and were allowed to pan for gold and gems in the last room. There was spooky music playing, and it was very easy to see how scary it would be with the lights out, much less with actors jumping out at you in costume.

PhotobucketAt the end of the tour, my son had collected seven items in his trick or treat bag, 5 gold doubloons (your amount varies by how quickly your child can find them, but the pirate was ready to hand out more if any of the kids couldn't find one), one bag of panned for "gems", and a certificate with the date on it that said, "I survived my first haunted house at Grim Tales."

As we were leaving, I overheard one of the boys asking to go through again, and another mother commented that she felt it was worth the $5 entrance fee (only kids are charged on Sunday and Thursday nights with their adult in free). You can get a good deal for 3 admissions by clicking HERE.  On a normal night, adults are $13 and kids under 10 are $5. The management does not recommended the scary nights for kids under the age of 10 due to the fear factor.

By guest writer:
Caryn

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Review of Piggy Wiggies

PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketToday we got a great little package in the mail that put some big smiles on my kids' faces! We got a sample of Piggy Wiggies and they are adorable. They are being hugged while I type and the kids watch a movie for some quite time after a big day out today.

PhotobucketThese Piggy Wiggies were created by a mom and each has a story.  She named them after members of her family and there are 12 different Piggy Wiggies.  They are made out of socks, fabric and buttons and are super soft.  My daughter said their ears are cute and my son likes the one that came on the key chain because he can "hook it to stuff." 

PhotobucketPiggy Wiggies was named Plush Toy of the Year by Creative Child and can be found in boutiques, zoos , FAO Schwarz or for our readers, the best option is online at the Piggy Wiggies' website.

PhotobucketThey also have a really cute Santa Snorz that is coming out and would make for a unique stocking stuffer and they are launching a new line of Howly Owlies in December.  You can follow Piggy Wiggies on Twitter and Facebook to hear about the latest and greatest news from these cute toys!




Would you like to win some adorable Piggy Wiggies?!?!?!?  Comment on this blog post telling us which of the Piggy Wiggies you think is the cutest!  We will be running this contest for just 24 HRS!  Be sure to use an account of post your name and last initial.

Note: The contest ends on Thursday at midnight and the winner will be announced before the end of the day Friday October 14th on this site. YOU CAN ENTER ONCE! The winners will be selected at random from the comments posted with any eligible bonus entries added. The winners must email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net by the end of the day October 16th or new winners will be chosen. Your comment will not appear immediately and will not be posted if you do not follow the guidelines or if you miss the deadline (even by minutes).


This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. As a participant in this giveaway, you are providing information to Louisville Family Fun and not to Facebook. Liking the page does not automatically enter you in the contest and the winner will not be announced via Facebook