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Monday, June 17, 2013

Review of BreyerFest at the Kentucky Horse Park ( and a link for discount tickets!)

We had the privilege of going to Breyerfest 2012. BreyerFest is a three-day model horse festival held each July at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. There are horse performances, a petting zoo, pig races, face painting, toy horse painting, entertainers, a Trade Show, stores, meet-and-greets with the horses that inspired the Breyer models, and more.

There's a Groupon deal!
BreyerFest Denim and Diamonds

$16 for One-Day Admission for an Adult and Child to BreyerFest Denim and Diamonds at Kentucky Horse Park ($32 Value)
More details at Groupon

Review continued........................

 photo breyerfest2_zpsbeb327b0.jpgWe were a little caught off guard that there was a $5 fee for parking after buying the BreyerFest tickets ($20 for adults, $10 for kids for a single day of the festival. Children 6 and under are free but don't get a model horse).The Horse Park is still open for regular business, so regular parking fees applied. We first went to pick up our little model horses that came "free" with your ticket. There were 4 different models to choose from, and they came in their own cloth pouch. Then we headed over to the main arena where there were horse shows of all types going on all day. We saw miniature horses, dressage, saddle horses, costumed horse and riders, and we even saw a horse jump through a ring of fire! There was no set seating that we could see, and the kids enjoyed coming and going to the arena as they pleased. You could also eat in the arena, which was a great, shaded place to get a snack. We started to walk through the many tent shops on the top level of the arena, but with two small children, we decided being surrounded by hundreds of breakable model horses was not for us. We did notice they sold everything from models, toys, expensive jewelry, as well as signs hung up asking for different models to buy or trade. One thing to keep in mind, if you do buy a Breyer Horse model, it must be left outside of the arena at a holding area or in your car if you leave the arena. I overheard one woman who was annoyed that they would not let her carry her horse packages back inside.

 photo breyerfest10_zps52111b34.jpgWe then headed outside to the petting zoo area. The petting zoo had a good number of different animals in a fenced in area. You could pay a quarter to get a handful of food to feed whoever would come to the fence. While we were there, they had pig races which were really fun to watch and root for. Right next to the petting zoo, there was a ring for unlimited pony rides with your BreyerFest wristband. My daughter went a half dozen times, and would have gone more if I let her. We also let the kids do the $5 camel ride which they thought was terrific. Next we headed over to another outdoor area with a large tent and multiple concession stands. They had jumping obstacle courses for kids, a fake horse with multiple grooming supplies to play with, jugglers, magic shows, and more. But my kids' favorite part was the model horse painting. They were each given a free, little Breyer Horse and they took a seat at one of the long tables set up. At each table were paint and brushes. They could paint it however they wanted, and leave it to dry and pick up later. It was nice to sit and be in the shade for a while!

 photo breyerfest8_zps9885c2e2.jpgOne of the things I liked best about the festival, was that you were allowed to bring in food and drink. We brought a cooler for our lunch, so we didn't have to rely on the concessions or hope there was something my kids would eat. Plus it made the trip a little cheaper. On a side note, there were multiple port-a-potties at each of the outside areas. Of course, my daughter refused to use them, requiring us to walk to the nicer bathrooms in the arena or one of the museums. After lunch, we went to the Kentucky Horse Park attractions which are included in our tickets. There are so many things to do and see, we didn't even get to them all. We did pay a little extra to go on a horse-drawn wagon tour of the park. We were a little disappointed that the tour guides told us that kids under the age of 6 needed to sit on a parent's lap. We heard them announce this at each ride, and saw that they filled each wagon to full capacity. I understood why they did it, but it made it an uncomfortable ride for me!

After the tour, we went in a few of the Horse Park buildings, but we spent most of our time at the Kid's Barn. The Kid's Barn had stall after stall of activities and neat things to see. They even brought out a real horse for the kids to groom!

 photo breyerfest5_zps995bea8f.jpgWe also went to a Horses of the World show. Before the show started, I ran to the Tack building next door to buy some ice cream which was very reasonably priced. My kids enjoyed eating it during the show and it helped to keep us cool. The seats for the show were in the shade and there was a nice breeze which made it even more enjoyable. My kids loved this show and talked about it for days. Basically, they had 20 different breeds of horses, many of them rare, parade around the ring while the narrator gave information on them. Some did tricks, some wore costumes, and some simply did a series of figure eights before they left the ring. After the show, all of the horses came out for the audience to pet and ask questions. My kids had to pet every horse. Then we went over to a little building next door where they had 2 mechanical horses to ride. One was broken, but the other would canter for a few minutes with just a quarter. The ride lasted so long, both my kids were able to ride the same horse with only one quarter! By the time we went through the police horse stable, my kids were getting pretty tired. I would have liked to have stayed and looked through some more of the museums and the Hall of Champions, but we will just have to go back another time.

All in all, it was a great day, and very worth the money. Seeing the BreyerFest and the Horse Park in a single day may be overwhelming, but without young kids, you may be able to do everything in a single day. Both the BreyerFest and the Horse Park have lots of shade and indoor sites, so it would not be too bad in super hot or rainy days, though I'd prefer mild weather. I had a great time, and I know my kids will be asking to go again next year!

Caryn

1 comment:

Kevin M. Lloyd said...

Thank you for this review. I had no idea this even went on. Going to take the wife and our daughter to it. She loves horses