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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Family Book Review

 photo IMG_3677_zps63458369.jpgThis month's book feature is It All Started with a Turtle, written by Lisa Holthouse and illustrated by Bill Megenhardt. This book relays a special story about teaching children entrepreneurial skills as well as the idea of giving back.

I really enjoyed reading this story to my kids. It's a neat story based on true events that the author had with her own child. We all have been (or will be) asked of our children, "can we get a pet?" And the answer is almost always invariably: maybe, someday, are you responsible enough, how are you going to pay for this animal? The story It All Started with a Turtle takes children on a journey from asking for a new pet to raising their own money to buy that pet, and all of the responsibilities that come along the way. It teaches valuable lessons to youngsters about business skills, math skills, communication skills, and of course responsibility and taking ownership for something (not just asking, getting it, getting tired of it, and then mom and dad take over.)

 photo IMG_3678_zps33deeeea.jpgAs a librarian, I really valued this story because I loved reading books aloud to kids that flowed really well and told a great lesson. It was sometimes hard to find books that would relate to a varying age range of children and this story covers that really well. It's boldly illustrated with just enough text on each page in contrast to the visual which I really liked, as did my own kids. As a parent, I treasured the other underlying theme in this story: paying it forward. The story is about a child wanting a turtle, her parents explaining she would have to raise her own money to buy a turtle, which turns into the whole family working together to build a lemonade stand so that the child can use the money she earns from selling cups of lemonade to buy her turtle. What happens at the end of the story has become a national event: Lemonade Day. Kids are taught to spend some, save more, and give back to their communities through this nationwide endeavor.

Find out more about the inspiring story of Lemonade Day and how to bring it here to Louisville at www.lemonadeday.org. Have fun reading with your family every day!

By guest contributor: Erin

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fall Consignment Sales in and Around Louisville - 2013

Little Treasures photo littletreasureslogo_zps40775080.jpgLittle Treasure's Kid's Sale
Little Treasures is the area's largest twice-a-year kid’s consignment sale that offers parents the opportunity to earn money on things their kids have outgrown and save a bundle on gently used items they need this season. Shoppers can save up to 90% on brand name clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, equipment and maternity. Don't miss our Fall/Winter event Aug. 21-25 at HOOPS!

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KidStuff Sale
KidStuff Sale is Kentuckiana's longest running consignment sale events! Three unique community events - Three shopping and selling opportunities. Registered sellers at one event are welcome to shop the consignor presale at all three locations! Bonus!! Sellers can also register to sell at all three events - That's three selling opportunities for one tagging effort! Let us help you get the CA$H out of your toy box and closet! Everyone is welcome to shop, sell or volunteer.
Fall 2013 KidStuff Public Sale times: Thursday and Friday 10am - 8pm, Saturday 10-5 and in Louisville, Sunday 12-5.
Short on time to tag your own items? Check out our TagForYou Service and let us do the work for you! Or, simply bring your toys, infant equipment, outdoor riding toys or fall/winter coats, boots, Halloween costumes to the event and we will PURCHA$E them from you.
 Visit our KidStuffSale Facebook Page and participate in contests for FREE Shopping Certificates and EARLY shopping passes. Visit www.KidStuffSale.com for more information or email info@kidstuffsale.com.

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Kids to Kids Consignment Sale Sponsored by the Louisville Mother of Twins Club
Looking for some great deals on gently used baby equipment, toys, books, clothes and more? Come shop our semi-annual consignment sale in August, benefiting our non-profit club that offers support to families with twins, triplets and other higher order multiples. We have a great selection of children’s clothing, including a rack of twin/triplet sets where matching outfits are sold together at one price! We usually have a great selection of double, and even triple strollers.
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Silver Spoon Boutique Children's Consignment Sale
You have invested in your child's clothes, so why not get a return on your investment? Boutique brands only. Too busy? We will pick up AND tag for you! 13314 Ridgemoor Drive, Prospect, 40059. Friday, September 13 from 9:30-1:30 AND 5:00 - 8:00. Saturday, September 14 from 9:30 - 3:00 (many items half price all day Saturday, plus an extra 20% off your total from 2:00 - 3:00 for the last hour of the sale).  photo stjohnkidsklosetlogo.jpg

St. John's Kids Kloset
With over 135 sellers, you name it, we probably have it! Children usually outgrow things way before they have a chance to wear them out, so turn all those items into cash at the bi-annual St. John Kid's Kloset Consignment Sale. We feature brand name clothing for boys and girls, sizes 0 (infant)-18+ including young men's & junior girls, prom/formal wear, holiday dresses/suits, maternity, shoes and accessories, nursery items, books, kid's furniture, toys, computer/video games, CDs/DVDs, bikes, strollers, sports equipment, etc.

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Rhea Lana Consignment Sale
Do you need extra cash! Consign your children's best outgrown
clothes and shoes, unused toys, and baby furniture. If you need help, we are always available. Don't forget.. Rhea Lana's GUARANTEES your items against loss or theft and you don't have to hunt for your items at the end of the sale! All of your unsold items will be sorted and ready for pickup, along with your check! Come check us out!

Here is a list of many of the consignment sales in the Louisville area this fall. If you need more information about any of the sales, check the websites because some information was not available at the time this was written. If you are a new mom or military mom, many sales have pre-sales, so make sure to check that out! Many are still looking for consignors so you may want to consider that as an option too (and at some sales you get in to shop even earlier if you’re a consignor and even earlier if you work at the sale!).

Check out this podcast about local consignment sales!

 In order by date:

Kids 2 Kids/Louisville Mother of Twins Club Consignment Sale Friday August 9 - Saturday Aug. 10. LMOTC Members at 7 Friday evening, open to public Saturday at 8. Immanuel United Church, 2300 Taylorsville Road, Louisville, KY.

Little Treasure's Kid's Sale August 21 – 25, 2013 Wednesday: 9 – 9, Thursday – Saturday: 9 – 7, Sunday: 1 – 5 (1/2 price sale!) HOOPS 12101 Sycamore Station Place

KidStuff Sale - Oldham County August 22-24, 2013, Thurs & Friday 10 - 8, Saturday, 10 - 5. YMCA Soccer Arena 20 Quality Place, Buckner, KY 40010

Rhea Lana Consignment Sale September 7-11. Saturday, 9 - 7, Sunday, 11 - 5, Monday, 9 - 3. Various half price sales Monday and Tuesday (check site). Floyd County Fairgrounds, 2818 Green ValleyRd., New Albany, IN 47151

Kentucky Kids Consignment Sale September 12-14. Thursday and Friday, 10 - 8. Saturday, 10 - 5. Pritchard Community Center, 404 S. Mulberry St., Elizabethtown.

KidStuff Sale - East Louisville September 12-15, 2013. Thursday and Friday, 10 - 8 Saturday, 10 - 5, Sunday, 12 - 5. Ramada Plaza Louisville Conference Center, 9700 Bluegrass Parkway Louisville, KY 40299

Silver Spoon Consignment Sale September 13 and 14. Friday,9:30-1:30 AND 5:00 - 8:00. Saturday, 9:30 - 3:00. 13314 Ridgemoor Drive, Prospect, 40059. (many items half price all day, extra 20% off total from 2:00 - 3:00).

Sweet Repeats Kids Consignment Sale September 13 - 14. Friday, 8 - 5, Saturday, 8 - 2. Abraham Lincoln Post 167 (Legion Hall) Same place as last Spring Sale. 202 Downs Lane, Bardstown, Ky 40004.

Goody Two Shoes Consignment Sale Sept. 13-14 Friday, 8:00 - 7:00, Saturday, 9:00 - 1.

KidStuff Sale - Southern Indiana September 26-28. Thursday and Friday, 10 - 8, Saturday, 10 - 5. National Guard Armory, 2909 Grant Line Road New Albany, IN 47150

CCUM Pass It On Kids Sale September 26-28, 2013. Christ Church United Methodist, 4614 Brownsboro Road

Lots 4 Tots Kids Consignment Sale October 10 - 12. Thursday and Friday, 10 - 6, Saturday,(most items half price this day) 8 - 5. Shelby County Fairgrounds, Floral Hall building, 1513 Midland Trail, Shelbyville, 40065

St. John Kid's Kloset Consignment Sale October 11 - 12. Friday, 9 - 7, Saturday, 9 - 1 (1/2 price day). Saint John United Methodist Church,12700 W. Highway 42 Prospect, 40059

St. Paul United Methodist Church St. Paul United Methodist Church, Family Life Center Gyn, 2nd floor, 2000 Douglass Blvd. Friday, October 11, 9 - 1 and 5 - 7, Saturday, October 12, 8 - 2, (most items half price)

Highland Presbyterian Kids' Consignment Sale Dates and Times TBA

Family Exchange Consignment Dates and Times TBA

Small Wonders Kids Consignment Sale Dates and Times TBA

Did we miss any? Is your sale listed and you want to upgrade to a featured listing?  Email lauren@louisvillefamilyfun.net

LouFamFun $10 Challenge - July

 photo dirt_zpsff1f51cc.jpg photo ch3_zps8c5149c6.jpgWhen I decided to take on the challenge of spending $10 for family fun in Louisville, the brainstorming and internet searching began. What could we do that my kids (10 months, 3, and 5) would have a blast and fun childhood memories? This summer my two oldest (boys) are into making mud soup and being pirates. My 10-month-old loves being wherever her brothers and I are, so she is pretty easy to please.

With the ideas rolling in my head, I let the spending begin! I went to Lowe’s and bought 3 40lbs bags of top soil, totaling $3.75. I took the rest of the money to the Dollar Tree and bought 3 cans of shaving cream and 1 packet of little plastic lizards, totaling $4. I let the boys each pick one toy to entertain themselves on the way home since we have to drive through construction, so total spent:$9.75.
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After questions from my boys, I filled them in on what we were doing with all this randomness. We were hosting a MESSY PLAYDATE with our FRIENDS! My oldest was so excited about this that he lost sleep the night before the playdate. He woke my husband and I up at 4am to ask if it was morning yet!

Using the stuff around the house and the stuff I bought, we had several messy stations to entertain the 13 kids that showed up in my backyard.
The stations were:
1. a slide in a baby pool with mud
2. a wheelbarrow filled with 2 bags of the top soil with the lizards buried in it for the kids to search for, shovels to dig in it, small buckets to fill
3. the wheelbarrow was next to our water table so they could make mud or dirt soup
4. finger painting station with rocks and sticks
5. bubble station with homemade bubbles and an automatic bubble blower (Thanks to my friend, Maleah!)
6. another painting station where you could step in paint and walk across the long, big paper that Amazon uses for packaging
7. balloons filled with water and shaving cream for the kids to pop
 photo ch5_zpsf68f1131.jpg8. a shaving cream slide - a kid favorite (Thanks to my friend, Tanya, for the extra slide and idea!)
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This was a fun, unique playdate that was well worth the effort. I think it may become an annual event using their favorite stations from this year and trying out new ones. My kids will be able to enjoy a few of the stations for a couple of more weeks too.

 photo ch2_zps9d425f4f.jpg photo ch1_zps5c44fae3.jpgOnce our friends left, I had one more thing up my sleeve for my kids and my 7-year-old niece who happened to visiting us -  A TREASURE HUNT! As I passed their maps to them, I spoke to them in pirate telling them,  “there is some treasure buried on these parts and here is the map. Rrrrr.” I had left a piece paper at each location that had  a drawing on it on where the next clue was located. I made sure they went from downstairs to outside to inside several times. The treasure was buried in the wheelbarrow with the top soil with a shaving cream ‘X’ on top where it was buried. I used my daughter’s baby food jars to put some candy in it as the treasure. The kids loved it! Now that is how you stretch the dollar and have some Louisville Family (and FRIEND) Fun!

By guest contributor: Jeanette

Monday, July 29, 2013

CONTEST! Heartland Music Together Gift Certificate

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 photo HMTcontestinfo_zpsfab6e461.jpgIt's that time of year! Kids are going back to school soon and parents are thinking about fall activities - do I sign them up for soccer?  What after school activities are the most enriching?  What about music class?

Music classes are great for kids of all ages and wonderful opportunities for parents to join in tunes with the kids.  Heartland Music Together has classes all over town and has been doing business in Louisville with many many families since the days of Beethoven (exaggeration, obviously).

One lucky reader will win a $50 gift certificate to put toward enrollment in one of their classes. With so many location and times, there's one close to everyone!

Good luck!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Louisville Green Family Fair and The Big Latch On

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On Saturday, August 3, take part in the Big Latch On. Join Mama's Hip, Mama to Mama, and hundreds of mamas and their babies as they all latch on at 12pm, noon, to support, raise awareness, and celebrate breastfeeding. This is an international effort, and mamas and babies around the world will take part in the Big Latch On together, as one, united in their beliefs that breastfeeding is and should be supported and accepted in public. For more insight into the international spotlight, check out the website www.biglatchon.org and support mothers and their breastfeeding rights. August 1-8 also marks World Breastfeeding Week, whose theme this year is ‘Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers.' Whether you are a nursing mama, or a supporter, come out to this cause and show mamas you care about breastfeeding and its importance. Mama's Hip and Louisville Family Fun proudly sponsor this event, along with many others in the local community, including Babyology, ICAN, Squeaky Pieces, Milk and Baby, and Floyd Memorial Hospital.

 photo lgfflogo_zps7a56794f.jpgFrom 10am-1pm, the Louisville Green Family Fair will be taking place at the Douglass Loop Farmers Market on the same day as the Big Latch On. Attend the farmer's market that day and take part in the green family fair, which will be showcasing many varieties of ways that parents can 'green' up their style. During the fair, many local organizations and businesses will be on hand to answer any green lifestyle and parenting questions you have. The market is a fabulous one, so go support the local farmers and this local family fair; there will also be children’s activities including face painting and photo booth opps. A playground is nearby for children and there is live music and children's crafts at the market as well.

Both of these events can be found at the Mama's Hip Facebook event page for more details. If you would like to help with a volunteer need at the Big Latch On, email shannonstone@mamas-hip.com.

These family events are also occurring in conjunction with Mama to Mama, the nonprofit organization run through Mama’s Hip that provides much needed support to mamas in need in the Louisville community

Mama's Hip is a natural and attachment parenting store in the Highlands. The store is the host site for many natural parenting groups; check out their website for their complete calendar offerings.

Both events will be held at the site of the Douglass Loop Farmers Market, at 2005 Douglass Blvd in the Highlands.

Images courtesy of Mama's Hip
By guest contributor: Erin

WINNER! The Parent-Teacher Store & Toys Too! Bag of Prizes!

 photo PTSprize_zps828d6756.jpg photo parentteacherstore.jpgDo you shop local?  I mix it up but try really hard to hit the local stores when I can and The Parent-Teacher Store & Toys Too is definitely one of my favorites given that my kids are 4 and 6.  I can find all sorts of great toys and activities for them. When we went on a trip this summer, I scored some great finds there for under $5 to fill their busy bags that made for smooth traveling.

Also, they have school supplies that you can't find anywhere else like 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade writing tablets that are impossible to find, primary journals and 2" state regulated rest mats! Those items and more - all at this great shop on Westport Road near the Springhurst shopping area.

Last week, we ran a contest for a fabuLOUs prize that's over $250 in products - books, nano blocks, games and more!
The winner is Jenny Gallahue
email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net from the email address with which you entered the contest in order to claim the prize (within a week of 8/5)!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Tips for visiting Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana

Like us on Facebook! We are social : https://www.facebook.com/LouisvilleFamilyFun 

Note: This post is "old" so prices and times may have changed

When we visited Holiday World for the first time, we had a really nice time. I asked readers for tips via our Facebook page and I did take a lot of this advice! I am compiling that advice with my own observations and tips to give you a nice set of bullet points that can make your trip to Holiday World the most fun possible!
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  • The drive is easy right on I64 into IN. There is a gas station, hotel and a few fast food restaurants at the exit. 
  • Santa Claus, IN is on Central time, plan accordingly.
  • Take a look at the map online before you go and make a plan. 
  • Buy tickets in advance online and save $5 per ticket or at Kroger and you can save more plus you don't have to wait in line when you get there.   There's also a bunch of discounts for entering at different times, coming in May instead of peak season etc. and you need to bring an empty Pepsi can.   See them here.
  • If you can visit during the week, there will be less waiting in lines at rides and food spots.
  • The park is broken up into different sections named for holidays.
  • You can get unlimited soft drinks at any of the food locations or at the drink areas. There's Pepsi products and it's not just soda - there's Gatorade, tea (that was really good) as well. 
  • There are sunscreen stations throughout the park with pumps of creamy SPF.  That was really nice so we didn't have to carry anything around.
  • Once you enter, on the right you can purchase a locker and you and the family get a wristband to use to redeem your locker somewhere in the park and keep opening it all day.  A large locker was $15 and easily fit 2 back packs.  
  • At guest relations (and other venues like gift shops) you can also load HoliCash to a wristband. If you are just going for the day and you don't want to carry a wallet or purse, you can get all of the remaining balance redeemed back at the end of the day as long as it's under $50. 
  • Keep walking after you enter and after the gift shop on the right, there's a station to check your child's height. They will give your child a colored wristband to indicate how tall they are and therefore indicate which rides he/she can ride. See height restrictions here.
  • Have them write your phone number on the children's wristbands.
  • I felt the best place to get a locker was in the water park because that is where we would want to actually change. We headed there right after getting wristbands and got a locker and put away our stuff. If  it's a really hot day early, do the water park activities first when it is less crowded and then change in the afternoon to head to the rest of the park.  We did not do this because we visited on a mild day and when it was hotter at 3pm and we did got to Splashin' Safari, it was packed and we couldn't maximize our visit. I would definitely recommend doing the water park first.
  • There are many ride options for kids of all ages (well, not a 6 week old baby, duh) in each of the areas of the park.  At 48 inches, kids can ride ALL of the rides. 
  • At each ride, if you have glasses, hat or wallet etc., there are lockers that you can pop the stuff into and take the little key that has an elastic to put on your wrist. Really nice feature!
  • Check the schedule for the shows and plan to see the dive show, it's a favorite.  
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  • Santa has story time in the Christmas section of the park and it is adorable. The little ones go on stage with him and they just love it. Each child gets a chance to talk to Santa and gets a little trinket. My son is still sleeping with his little stuffed Santa a month later. 
  • Many readers indicated that the restaurant in the Thanksgiving area was the best and most reasonably priced for either lunch or dinner. 
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  • We at lunch in Christmas and we ordered the pizza deal. It was a HUGE pizza, 4 french fries (or you can get bread sticks) and Oreo cookies all for around $30.  I liked ordering a family meal to keep it simple.  The pizza was very good and it was again....HUGE. We actually did not eat dinner at Holiday World because we were so stuffed from lunch and chose to just have a treat in the evening.
  • Someone also said that the BBQ restaurant in the 4th of July section is really good. 
  • For little ones, right by "The Raven" roller coaster, there's a really nice small section of a lot of rides for them with really short or no lines. 
  • You WILL get wet on Raging Rapids.
  • Don't wear flip flops. Wear sandals with straps or other shoes that can work for both the park and Splashin' Safari.
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  • There is a little sprayground in the area called Hollidog's Funtown. My kids LOVED this area. Really good for kids say 7 and under. There's a few rides (little kid coaster), a nice playground and the sprayground.  Great place to hang out for a little bit, ride a little train and reapply some sun screen.
  • My son and I went on "The Raven" and had a blast. The line was long but we went on right during the dive show so we watched it while online and I felt the line went fast.   This is the smaller of the big roller coaster so great for a first time roller-coaster rider.
  • In Splashin' Safari, the best place for little kids is Safari Sam's Splashland. It's shallow and has lots of little slides.  My kids also liked Monsoon Lagoon.  There are 2 wave pools.  Lots of slides and such but we didn't go on all but one because the lines were very long in the afternoon and my kids were happy with just splashing in a pool or smaller area.
  • You can rent cabanas in Splashin' Safari online before you go. They are $125 and if you have a big group to share it or a young child that will need to rest, this may be a good option. We are too "on the go" to maximize this cost. Book them early before they sell out. 
  • We did go on "The Mammoth" in Splashin' Safari and waited almost an hour. But, it was really really fun and my son was freaking out (in a good way) when we got off and just loved it. The afternoon lines in the water park were longer than anything we saw in the rest of the park. 
  • Get the red/blue twist in the 4th of July section for dessert! I found it to be really well priced for a theme park - my daughter and I both got treats for less than $6 - big cones!  And, in the bakery in Christmas, they have lots of treats and they are also wallet-friendly. 
  • You can get a 2nd day pay pass to go back the next day for $27 and there is definitely enough to do going to the park over 2 days, we didn't do everything in 1 day.  
  • If you leave the park when everyone else is (like with us, it started to rain hard so everyone left in droves to the parking lot) you will wait a long time in the parking lot to leave since they funnel everyone through one exit.
Do you have tips? Post them in the comments!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Things to do this weekend around Louisville - July 26,27,28

This summer has definitely seen it's ups and downs in weather and that really does affect your plans. I think this weekend will be great for some outdoor fun - not necessarily swimming - but something outside.  I don't know about you, but I only like splashing and swimming when it's over 85 degrees!

Friday- Perhaps a visit to Atlantis Water Park is due-  it's cheaper on the weekdays and it will be close to mid-80s on Friday.   Or, how about some New Albany fun this weekend and enjoy a family-friendly summer concert in New Albany? The jams start at 6pm at New Albany’s Bicentennial Park, at the corner of Spring Street and Pearl Street.

Saturday - I really like Nulu, if you can't tell. If they have something going on down there along East Market, I usually put it on the picks for the weekend.  It makes me feel kinda hip to be down there, like I am still cool. This Saturday they have their first Summer Social! It's a sidewalk sale and more where you can shops the local places but also enjoy special activities and treats.  It's from 10am to 6pm.  

In the evening, enjoy Wreck It Ralph at the Jeffersonville RiverStage - the movie doesn't start until dark but they have activities (games, inflatables) starting at 7:30pm.

Sunday- DUDE. Sunday. Did you see the forecast?  Insanely nice!!  Everyone is going to say, let's go to the zoooooooo! Yes, the Louisville Zoo would be super fantastic on Sunday but it will be crowded, get there early.

In the evening, you can head to Willow Park in Cherokee Triangle for a summer concert starting at 7pm - play in the little park with the kids, bring a picnic and relish the fabuLOUs break from the summer heat.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review of Local Speed Free Family Art Activities from The Speed Art Museum

 photo 2013-07-20_124314_zps6cd8a67c.jpgAs many of you are aware, the Speed Art Museum is closed for renovations until 2016.  That means no Rembrandt or Ancient Roman Antiquities, and most importantly no Art Sparks.  But there is good news: the Speed has a number of satellite projects around town and out in the state to help us get our art fixes until the grand reopening.

 photo 2013-07-20_112526_zpse3eb9dcc.jpgIn addition to art exhibitions, the Speed is also sponsoring lots of family-friendly activities around town.  The Saturday morning Free Family Art Activities are a great way to fill your family’s arts and crafts quota.  My family recently attended a screen-printing workshop at the Local Speed facility in NuLu.  Upon our arrival we were greeted by the friendly and helpful volunteers who explained the project we’d be doing. We sat around a table drawing pictures, traced the pictures onto wax paper, and then cut out our designs.  Then we took our wax paper cutouts, taped them to a screen, and waited in line for the screen printing contraption.

 photo 2013-07-20_114550_zpse7c588fb.jpgThe line for the screen printing contraption was pretty long, mainly because everyone finished cutting out their wax paper designs at the same time.  But there was plenty to keep the kiddos occupied and everyone seemed happy to wait and observe the process.  I’ve used a hand-cranked printing press before, but the screen-printing process was completely new to me and therefore really cool to watch over and over.

 photo 2013-07-20_121050_zps4b854f51.jpgMy youngest son was first in line, so once his print was done he was content to wander around the small gallery and then sit back at the table and draw.  My oldest was in line for a while, but he was perfectly content to watch the screen-printing process while he waited.  There are also easels with paper, crayons, and colored chalk for any kids who aren’t as interested in waiting to be creative.

Free Family Art Activities will be held every Saturday morning starting at 11 am at Local Speed.  For more information, check out changingspeed.orgThe activities will be different every week and will fall into a rotating category of media including printing and mixed media.  What better way to kick off the weekend than a free art class followed by a visit to Muth’s Candies and WHY Lou Two?  I’ll see you next weekend in NuLu.

By guest contributor: Maggie

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

FabuLOUs Restaurants for Dining Out with Food Allergies in Louisville

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Dining out has become a way of life for many families. Busy schedules, for both parents and kids,  leave some families dining out more than dining in. However, eating out is often not an option for families that deal with food allergies. If it is an option, it can be challenging to find restaurants that understand the dining needs of those with severe food allergies. 

Both of our daughters have food allergies. Our oldest daughter has a life-threatening peanut allergy. As a result, we eat at home more than 95% of the time. When we do venture out in Louisville for a special meal, here are the restaurants we have found that ‘get it’ and are willing to work with us to keep our daughters safe.

For more information about food allergy management - visit Thrive On Consulting!

Our Top Pick:
Annie May’s Sweet Café- This is the gold standard for dining out with food allergies in Louisville.  They are a dedicated gluten, peanut, tree nut and soy free facility and a number of their products are also free of the top eight allergens.  They offer lunch every day and breakfast on Saturdays (good stuff like gluten free waffles and egg sandwiches).  In addition to dining in you can also purchase many items for home such as their top-selling buns, oatmeal cream pie and other great baked good and treats. 

Great for Lunch or a Casual Meal:
McAlister’s DeliThis deli in Louisville has worked well for us, particularly the Lime Kiln Lane location.  While they do have nut ingredients at the restaurant they have protocol in place to prevent cross-contact.  The counter staff talk directly to the kitchen and they switch out all cutting boards and utensils.  They also have the kitchen staff change their gloves.  Their website offers a great search feature where you can select your allergen(s) and it will show you which items are safe.  Click on the Nutrition tab to access this great tool.

Burning Bush GrilleThis locally owned Mediterranean café in Prospect is also another go to spot for our family.  The owner is very open to discussing ingredients and cooking procedures.  The counter staff always verifies with the kitchen staff when we order if any ingredients have changed since our last visit. 

Nice Dinner Out:
Mitchell’s Fish Market- When dining at Mitchell’s at The Summit we call ahead and have the allergy noted on our reservation.  Upon arrival the hostess acknowledges that we are dining with a food allergy.  The wait staff are also aware when they come to the table and talk through the best menu choices and protocol in place in the kitchen to prevent cross contact.  They also offer for the chef to come out to the table to speak directly to you about menu options and food preparation.  Another great thing, if you are avoiding gluten they offer a menu of gluten free options.

The food allergy you/your child has, as well as the severity of the allergy will determine what is safe for you when dining out.  Annie McGill, owner of Annie May’s Sweet Café and also food allergic herself says, “You have to be your own advocate”.  When dining out with food allergies you have to ask questions and feel comfortable with how the staff is reacting.  John Luker, the father of a son with a severe nut and chocolate allergy, says, “If they don't get it we leave.  So sometimes a restaurant can serve us one day and maybe not the next just due to staffing.” 

As food allergy awareness increases, more restaurants seem to be willing to work with food allergic diners.  Menus and websites will often offer detailed information about allergens present.  There are a number of restaurants that now offer gluten free menus, like PF Changs, and many that offer great gluten free choices and fresh, dye-free ingredients, like Salsarita’s. 

When eating out as a family our dining options have been selectively narrowed to the places we know and trust.  I am certain there are other great restaurants in Louisville that cater to the needs of the food allergic that we have not tried.  I picked the brains of some of our Louisville friends who also face the challenge of dining out with various food allergies and below are their top picks.  Bon Appetite- with caution and armed with all the questions you need to have answered to feel safe while dining out.  And, never leave your Epi-pen at home. 

WildEggs (Westport Village)

To support those with food allergies, participate in the Walk for Food Allergies in Louisville. 
By guest contributor: Tami

Monday, July 22, 2013

Review of Uncork the Uplands - a Parent's Night Out!

 photo IMG_1113_zps82e4dac2.jpgI must confess I am not usually much of a wine drinker and, while I appreciate great food, don’t have the knowledge or palate my husband and some of our friends do. I am happy to say that neither stopped me from having a fantastic time at Indiana Uplands Wine Trail signature July event in 2012, Uncork the Uplands. Designed for every type of wine enthusiast, the event was perfect for a novice like me, as well as those with much more expertise. We had a little trouble figuring out where to go at Huber’s Orchard, Winery and Vineyards as there was not any directional signage pointing to the proper doors to enter for the hall, but once we figured it out, getting checked in was fast and easy. We turned in our tickets and received a program, a bag for gathering information and goodies, and our bidding number for the silent auction. Then, a friendly face invited us to choose our souvenir wine glass which we would take around the numerous tasting stations. Huber’s Plantation Hall is a lovely large space with a front stage and lots of room for seating and the great amount of tasting tables all around the perimeter. Welcomes were done on stage, as well as quick mixology session with Lauren Smith, the event’s featured bartender from The Fireside Bar and Grill, who was on site making a variety of cocktails using the wines.
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We then started our tasting tour. All nine of the Uplands Trail wineries were there, each with a broad range of their wines to sample, as well as around twenty different food artisans from along the trail. We went from table to table for a while, talking with the pourers about our tastes and which foods we were looking to pair with. Everyone was kind and knowledgeable. We never had to wait long at any station and enjoyed sipping everything from dry rose, to various seasonal fruits like peach and strawberry, to Indiana's signature wine called Traminette. 

The food sampling was equally delicious. There was a nicely presented center buffet showcasing in-season vegetables, fruits, a few dips, cheese, and crackers. In between the great wines were tables of food by a wide assortment of various food artisans, with everything from pork tenderloin with two different sauces to contrast and a delicious pesto and fresh mozzarella on a baguette, to duck empanada and fresh baked breads with a variety of dipping oils. Most portions were quite generous and we each felt like we ate a full meal by the time we visited most of the tables on that side of the room.

 photo IMG_1128_zps468adecd.jpg We took a break to go to a smaller room and watch a food demonstration by the featured guest chef, Daniel Orr, of FARMbloomington. It was fun and educational to watch him assemble two of his salad recipes, each slightly altered from those in his books to best take advantage of what is growing locally right now. They had a live camera on him so we could see the food close-up on a side screen. He was available after to chat or sign his books and sent the great tasting fresh salads out to the tasting area. Recipes for both salads, as well as for the delightful chilled soup Huber’s executed from his recipe, were in the program guide too, so we can recreate these dishes at home.

After the demo, we returned to the food and wine sampling in the music filled main hall and enjoyed a few repeats of favorites as we tasted ones we missed the first time. There were a couple of tables that featured wines from each of the wineries. We moved to the other side of the room, checking out the fabulous silent auction items that benefited a few different Indiana groups, and then enjoyed some great homemade salsa and samples from a couple of other wineries on our way to the dessert side. One artisan even has a great little gift bag for each to bring home with a sample of three types of chocolate including details on how to best enjoy it with different pairings of wine. We then enjoyed watching Chef Orr create a dessert during his second demonstration and went out to try the one already prepared as that baked. 
Afterwards, we switched to tea and water and enjoyed sitting at the table chatting for an hour and a half, soaking in the terrific atmosphere and live music as they announced more door prize winners and the winning numbers of the silent auctions. 

No one in our party had heard of the IndianaUplands Wine Trail before this event so were all pleasantly surprised to learn about how many great wineries there are to visit a short drive from home. I had arrived thinking I would enjoy the food more than the wine, but I left appreciating both and made a mental list of favorites to seek out again. I have already checked out the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail website to see what other events we can attend because everything was so well done. We noticed many of the wineries feature their own smaller special events, as well as about a half-dozen done in partnership throughout the year. It was so convenient and educational to taste from so many different wineries at once, but I can also imagine how meaningful and fun it will be to get a passport and visit them individually or several over the course of a day on our own or through the company that offers limousine tours on the trail. We look forward to doing as much of the above as we can fit in for date days or nights! Keeping relationships solid by having time together to reconnect helps build stronger families and makes all of the great fun family things we have in this area even more enjoyable, so get out there and have a great date!

By guest contributor: Angela

Contest! The Parent-Teacher Store & Toys Too Gift Bag of goodies

 photo parentteacherstore.jpgWe just love shopping at this local store - The Parent-Teacher Store & Toys too! They have a great variety of different items and the folks that work there always help me find super cool gifts. Also, they have school supplies that you can't find anywhere else like 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade writing tablets that are impossible to find, primary journals and 2" state regulated rest mats! Those items and more - all at this great shop on Westport Road near the Springhurst shopping area.

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For a lucky reader, they have package a fabuLOUs prize that's over $250 in products - everything pictured here.  Books, nano blocks, games and more!

Enter to win below and be sure to head to The Parent-Teacher Store & Toys too for your back to school shopping!

Follow them on Facebook to keep up with their new items and events.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Winner! Blue Mile gift card courtesy of Foster Chiropractic

 photo fosterchiro_zps0894932c.png photo BlueMile_SM_RGB_zpsb6f1b2a1.jpgFoster Chiropractic sponsored our awesome contest last week.   Dr. Casey Foster is giving away a  Blue Mile gift card to one lucky entrant.

The winner is: Melissa Johnson!

Thanks Dr. Foster for sponsoring this wonderful contest - find his practice on Facebook.

Claim your prize by email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net from the email address with which you entered the contest!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Things to do this weekend around Louisville - July 19,20,21

I am going to be obnoxious and make one pick and just one pick. It's your weekend, do what you want but let me tell you where all of the cool people are going (and those who used to be cool like me) - cue capital letters and overuse of exclamation points


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The full post about the event can be found here - with coupon.  


Ok, if you have other more important plans the entire day on Sunday (like you're a surgeon and you need to do a heart transplant) then on Saturday, I recommend Free Family Printmaking Class at Local Speed 11:00-12:30 or 1-2:30. Local Speed, the Speed Art Museum's satellite space during the expansion, hosts Free Family Art Activities every Saturday from 11-12:30 and again from 1-2:30. It's in NuLu on E. Market and you will learn how to make artist trading cards. It's a pop in event, no need for reservation.

Here for the free admission???  ALL CLAIMED. Sorry! See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A day in historic downtown La Grange, KY

 photo LaGrange_zps019ff42a.jpgI decided to spend a day in Historic Downtown La Grange. I have been in the area several times, but never got to fully enjoy the day there. I decided to walk down one side the street, and back up the other side. There are tons of cute “mom and pop” type shops. I believe every shop is locally owned – I didn’t see a single chain store during my day. Aside from the cute shops and eateries, the fun part of Historic Downtown La Grange is the trains that go right down the center of Main Street. It is an amazing site to see. The trains dwarf the buildings and cars they pass by. Any train lover will stand in awe as the trains go by several times a day.

 photo FarmersMarket1_zpse6279d43.jpg photo Roaster_zps8badbee7.jpgI parked near the Coffee Roasters where they ground their coffee beans regularly, right there in the front of the shop. It was easily the most delicious tasting coffee drink I have ever tasted. They have live music Monday nights, a puzzles and games table with plenty to choose from, and the atmosphere is friendly and comfortable. Then I walked down the street toward the La Grange Farmers and Artisan Market which is held every Saturday. Here you can find fresh vegetables, eggs, beef, jewelry, art work, cookies from Q&A Sweet Treats, and more.

As I walked through Downtown La Grange, I went into most of the stores. Here are just a few of the shops I visited:

 photo KarensBook_zpse8c236b9.jpgAbsolutely Fabulous is a great shop filled with new gifts and collectibles every week with a Kentucky-boutique feel to it. Rainy Day Resale Upscale has recycled clothing, jewelry and accessories for women and teens – the stock was brand new looking, and the prices were amazing! At Karen’s Book Barn & Java Stop, you can enjoy a great cup of coffee, a cappuccino or frozen beverage while browsing through new and used books. There is a cute kid section, and many of the shelves are made from old doors adding lots of character to this already cute shop.

La Grange Arts & Crafts has the latest in scrapbooking supplies, jewelry making components, and art and craft supplies.  Classes and crop/craft sessions are scheduled regularly. TheWOOFery, is a shop that carries organic, safe foods, toys, bedding and supplies for dogs AND cats. They also offer pet sitting while you shop! The Treasured Child is an old-fashioned looking toy store with newly released toys for kids and adults including a riding penny pony and train table to play with. Friends & Fiber has multitudes of specialty yarns, including alpaca. The 1887 Corner Store has gifts, kitchenware, jewelry, scarves, horse items, and Kentucky-made products – perfect for gift shopping!

 photo Serendipity2_zps11e3d952.jpg photo Serendipity_zpsbddda167.jpgWhen it comes to food, there are several delicious choices. I decided to go for lunch at Serendipity Café & Gifts. I had seen the sidewalk tables, so I knew they provided lunch, but I had only ever seen the boutique items, chocolates and ice cream inside. It looked like a great little "Mom and Pop" restaurant and store. I was pleasantly surprised to see tables in multiple rooms and the back outdoor patio. The selection was good for lunch, the waitress was very attentive, they have a kids menu, and the food was great. They even gave us a free scone appetizer while we waited for our food! I very much enjoyed my experience at Serendipity, and would highly recommend it!

Irish Rover Too is Oldham County’s Irish Pub which serves up authentic Pub Grub. It has delicious food and a great atmosphere. I have also heard One Nineteen West Main and Red Pepper Deli-Café-Catering have delicious food, and I look forward to trying them on future visits.

 photo Serendipity1_zpsddfb320f.jpgIn the past, Downtown La Grange has hosted various events for every month of the year, with their most well-known event being Light Up La Grange. This event began back in 1986 and has become a tradition for many as Santa and the mayor light the town every first Friday in December at 6:00 p.m. Check their calendar for details of upcoming events.

I highly encourage a trip to Downtown La Grange. Enjoy the weather while you shop, eat, and support a local community with a lot to offer.

By guest contributor: Caryn

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review of Acorn Lane Farm at Boone Gardiner Garden Center in Crestwood

LouFamFun's Acorn Lane album on Photobucket

One of the LouFamFun writers received a flyer about this place, Acorn Lane Farm, and we decided since none of the writers had been there, we should go as a group!  We met up on a hot summer morning at 10am at Boone Gardiner Garden Center (6300 Old LaGrange Road) in Crestwood. It is very easy to find off of Highway 329.  It is open from 10am-6pm  Tuesday - Saturday and you stop in at the front office to head out to the petting zoo area.  Note, they have a bathroom in the main building at the front!

Our guide was Ms. Hope.  She was extremely personable and spoke to the kids right at their level of understanding.  She was patient and knowledgeable.  She explained the guidelines about approaching each animal, gave out the food to the kids to use to feed the animals and told us about each animal.  She obviously cares very much about the farm.

We toured with her and saw baby turkey, bunnies, chickens and roosters, goats, a variety of pigs and alpaca.  The kids loved feeding the goats treats out of ice cream cones and throwing marshmallows (aka Piggy Puffs) into the pig areas for them to gobble up.  Stand back, some of the pigs splatter mud! Outside, the kids greeted and fed donkeys and a horse.  The kids fed them animal crackers one by one and with the horse, Ms. Hope was very watchful of the kids' little fingers.  As we left, Ms. Hope brought out some fish feed and told the kids about the koi pond at the front and let them feed them too.

I noticed that they have big mulch piles that they allow the kids to climb as well as picnic tables for snacking or lunch.  It was a bit hot and humid the day we went so we didn't do either of these things.  Also, Ms. Hope mentioned that they have 2 bee hives for honey bees and sometimes during educational field trips or events, they will show these to the kids.  She also said they do birthday parties (with tractor rides).

All in all, for $5, I think it's a great place to visit with young kids. They get up close to the animals and learn about them from a staff person no matter when you visit.  It's a change of scenery from the zoo or Henry's Ark without a large cost and while you are there, you can pick up some fresh veggies to take home for dinner. You can't do that at the zoo!


From the writers:
Erin "I never really venture out to Oldham county and loved the drive! My son is under 2 and really had a blast-I had him in a stroller and was able to maneuver pretty well. He was really enamored with seeing animals from his books in real life and even took his turn feeding one of the horses! I loved how they had a butterfly garden."

Brandy "The kids and I really enjoyed the up-close animal encounters. I personally found it strange that we were encouraged to feed processed "human" food to some of animals. It seemed to go against the otherwise "natural" vibe of the place. I'm always telling our kids that our dog shouldn't eat "people food." Luckily they didn't catch on to the inconsistency."

Karen - from her son "Looks like I don't needs a bath tonight mom!" - following being licked across his knee by a goat

Whitney: "What a great place to bring the little ones. For those of us looking for an "all ages" activity, this definitely goes on the list. My 4 ages 3-10 were all smiles. Great way to introduce the kids to a working farm."

Lauren: "At Acorn Lake, I loved how she taught the kids information about the different animals. It wasn't just a petting zoo, it was a great lesson that was really fun for the kids. I was very excited to find out they have birthday parties also!"

Monday, July 15, 2013

Contest! Blue Mile Gift Card courtesy of Foster Chiropractic

 photo fosterchiro_zps0894932c.png photo BlueMile_SM_RGB_zpsb6f1b2a1.jpgFoster Chiropractic really cares about your overall health!  Part of living a healthy life is finding ways to exercise that you enjoy and having the proper equipment to do just that.  Dr. Casey Foster recommends Blue Mile (2 Louisville locations) as a great store for shopping for your running and walking gear. Not only does this shop have the items you need, but the expertise to make sure you make a great choice for yourself to avoid injuries and make exercising enjoyable.

Thanks Dr. Foster for sponsoring this wonderful contest - find his practice on Facebook.

Good luck, enter to win below.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

WINNER! $25 Gift Card for Frisch's Big Boy

 photo BreakfastBurrito_zps693a064f.jpgWe also have a $25 Gift Card Giveaway for Frisch's Big Boy to be mailed to the winner with a snazzy LouFamFun planning magnet!

Did you now that Frisch's Big Boy has a drive-thru that's fast, fresh and easy? We love Frisch's!

You can follow Frisch's Big Boy on Pinterest at pinterest.com/frischsbigboy

The winner from last week's contest is: Desiree Brown!

Please email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net to claim your prize!