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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Things to do this weekend November 1,2,3

Tomorrow is November - time is flying!  By the way, Happy Halloween!  I know Halloween has been spread out all of the week because of the apocalyptic weather predictions but today is still Halloween, isn't it?  Will the ghosts and goblins know to wait until Friday to come out for a scare - I wonder if they have been watching the local news?

Check our Fall Festivals Post because it's still fall and there are still fund events! And, don't forget to check out the Kids Eat Free VIP Card -  it's a delicious deal.

Check out this LouFamFun podcast on Louisville.am -How are you doing with our Louisville Bucket List?


Picks for the weekend - There's no boredom when there's LouFamFun


I suppose a lot of you will be trick or treating - that's what we will be doing.

Otherwise, here's a super fun event:
Fall Harvest Hay Ride in Clarksville at Lapping Park (park cars at Wooded View Golf Course) It's 6:00 - 8:30 pm (last hay ride boarding at 8:00 pm) You just need a donation of one canned good or non-perishable food item to attend. The tractor stops at Endris Lodge for a campfire and songs. Also, at 7:00 pm, the Indiana Natural Resources Raptor Center at Hardy Lake will have owls on display in the Lodge with a short "Owl Prowl" hike to look and listen for owls. Hot dogs, s'mores kits, soft drinks and hot chocolate available for purchase.

 photo newwhiglwebsitelowres_zps20a67102.jpgSaturday:
Check out our recent post about things to do with your serious Halloween candy haul. Do you and the kids really need to eat all of that?  Here's ideas about crafts and area places to swap!

Can you get a Parent's Night out?  If so, check out the new WHiGL website and click on "Things to do" and "Neighborhoods" to find a new area of town to explore.  Restaurants and nightlife options everywhere!
If you don't already have a sitter, Louisville Gymnastics is having a Parent's Night Out event for kids ages 3-12, check out details here.

It's the fall book sale for the Louisville Free Public Library. The Friends of the Library It takes place Friday through Sunday at the South Louisville Community Center (2911 Taylor Boulevard)and is Open to the Public: Saturday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 3, 1 - 5 p.m.

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review of Brown County State Park in Nashville, Indiana

 photo photo_zpsb30bc3f0.jpgSummer was coming to an end and we wanted one last weekend away before the hustle and bustle of Fall began.  We wanted it to be close, we wanted it to be fun and we wanted it to be affordable- we found it all in Nashville, IN

We stayed at Brown County State Park which is Indiana’s largest state park (and I would vote most fun- although I have never stayed at any others- but after our trip all other state parks would have a hard act to follow!).  We also ventured into downtown Nashville which offers a plethora of stores, activities and restaurants.  Prior to our trip, I had never heard of either but it is a forgone conclusion we will be back again!  At only an hour and a half from Louisville, this is a great weekend destination that is beyond family friendly.

We stayed in a family cabin at the park.  It slept eight.  Our family of four had plenty of room so we invited my parents along for the trip too.  With four adults and two children in the cabin we had more than enough space.  The cabin had two large bedrooms (one king bed, one queen, and two additional pull-out couches in the living room), a full kitchen (which is a must for our family due to food allergies), a big living area with a wood-burning stove- yes we cranked that baby up in 90-degree weather (what is a cabin trip with out s’mores?), and a large deck with a picnic table.  We were surrounded by nature and even had little woodland creatures on our deck every morning, but also had all the comforts of home for a city-loving girl like me.  We had air conditioning and a hot shower, camping city-style is how I roll.  There was also a TV.  It got only local stations, but did have a DVD player which came in handy when we needed to keep the girls occupied while we are packing up to leave.

 photo photo_zpsa3102b3f.jpgWe loved the family cabin, but if a cabin with modern amenities it not rugged enough for you they do offer a campsite and rustic cabins, or you can always book a room at the main lodge.  No matter where you stay in the park you have access to all of the park facilities.

By staying in a cabin, we also had access to all of the great amenities at the lodge.  There were two large lobby/lounge areas that had comfortable seating, a game closet full of fun games for families to play, and a large screen TV.  There was a spacious deck off the back of the lodge with porch swings and rocking chairs- had we been sans kids I might have never left this area.  The deck area overlooked a huge fire-pit where they have events like sing-alongs and s’mores. There were also restaurants and a game room with a ping pong table and arcade games.  The highlight of the lodge, especially for our girls, was the large indoor aquatic center.  It had a zero-entry pool area with fun splash features for the younger kids, a lazy river, a water-park worthy waterslide, and an area for water games- volleyball and basketball.  We arrived at the lodge before our cabin was ready for check-in and we were able to use the aquatic center- a fabulous way to keep the kids entertained until check-in.  We swam everyday and loved that we had an indoor option.  There is also an outdoor pool in the park which you can access for an additional fee.

The park boasts  two lakes, multiple hiking trails, a stable that offers horse and pony rides, glorious views from the many overlooks and a Nature Center.  You could literally spend all day in the park and not have time to do it all.  Our favorite was the Nature Center.  It has multiple scheduled programs throughout the day on all sorts of interesting nature topics.  There is also a large hands-on exhibit about many different nature topics, including a number of animals native to the park and Indiana.  We also loved the bird watching room at the Nature Center.  It provided a unique view into the many creatures of the park.

One of the days of our trip we headed into the town of Nashville, IN.  The town, while small, has a surprising number of shops, restaurants and activities.  Again, you could easily spend an entire day here taking it all in.  We did not eat at any of the restaurants since both of our daughters have severe food allergies, but that did not stop us from enjoying the rest of the town.  The stores ranged from specialty (art, oils, wine, Christmas) to those where you can get any sort of vacation souvenir (think t-shirts, yard art, snow globes).  If you have ever been to Gatlinburg, TN you will find similarities to the types of shops you will find in Nashville, IN. 

 photo photo_zps1f97587c.jpgBy far, the best and most entertaining thing we did in town was gem mining at the Copperhead Creek Gem Mine.  We got each girl a mining bag (a sand mixture with gems inside) and they got to pan for their gems on the working sluice outside the shop.  It was so fun to watch them as they discovered their treasures.  You can buy mining bags starting at around $6 and you can chose to mine for gems or fossils or both.  We got our girls each a $7 gem bag.  For $14 dollars they got to mine for about 15 minutes (there is no time limit, but they mined fast!) and each girl took home about 50 gems.  They gave us a chart of the various gems we might find so the girls could determine what they had actually gotten.  To this day, we are still playing with all of our gems.  It was the best $14 dollars we spent the whole weekend.

I can only imagine how amazing the park would be in all it’s Fall glory.  At last check, the lodge and cabins were all booked for the Fall, but with Brown County State Park being so close to Louisville it would definitely be worth a day trip.  There is a park admittance fee, $5 for in-state guests and $7 for out-of-state visitors (2015 update - fees now $7 for in-state, $9 for out-of-state). We will definitely be back!

By guest contributor: Tami

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review of Don Fightmaster Playground in Louisville, KY

 photo IMG_3653_zpsd5a0c1d1.jpgMy kids and I recently discovered this fabuLOUs playground near the University of Louisville's campus. Well, I've known it was there for years, but we actually just officially visited it and let me just say, it's become my favorite place to play when we are near that area! It's the Don Fightmaster Playground, part of the University's Cardinal Park.

 photo IMG_3656_zps803ef84e.jpgIt is a wonderfully designed playground, with lots of ramps and overpasses for kids to walk and run, it's spacious, lots of tunnels and slides, with plenty of bench seating throughout the whole area. And it's all enclosed with fencing which I love (when you have a toddler like mine who looks for the closest escape, you understand what I mean!)

 photo IMG_3663_zps45ee0b70.jpg photo IMG_3659_zps94db3e97.jpgThis playground was also designed for those with disabilities in mind. The low, wide ramps and long pathways throughout the entire playground structure make it very accessible for wheelchairs. It is named after Don Fightmaster, who is the founder and president of Don Fightmaster Foundation for Exceptional Children. When this park was built, it was the best in the nation for accessibility. Many of the design features were adapted from those featured at the Smithsonian for advancements on accessibility including wheelchair accessible platforms, transfer stations, and activities placed at ground level.  They also have 2 adaptive swings available-all of which appeared to be well maintained.

While this park is amazing, it is important to keep in mind as a caregiver of a disabled child or adult, that parking can be tricky. Be sure to bring change for a meter or pay to park at UofL’s parking garage across the street. Sidewalks and ramps at intersections are available. There are a couple of designated handicapped parking spots near the park, but the traffic and parking around campus can be extremely busy, so don’t count on those spots being open. There is some parking down the street from the playground a couple of blocks if you're willing and able to walk a little bit, and there are occasional spaces open in the pay parking lot right next to the building across the street from the playground. Also, if you go to the McDonalds next door (at the corner of Floyd and Warnock streets) before hand, they will allow you to park there, but you MUST purchase something from them first. As a good gesture, I always give one of the McDonalds employees a heads up of my plan just in case. (There are ample signs throughout the parking lot that parking is designated for McDonalds only, so this is a good idea). There is a ramp between the McDonalds and the playground for easy access. 

 photo IMG_3660_zps9f41b038.jpgYou'll have a blast playing with your kids at this playground! You can also check out some practices with the soccer, lacrosse, or field hockey teams as their practice fields are very near the playground. It is located at 2125 S. Floyd Street. Unable to locate specific hours: best guess is sun up to sun down.

By guest contributors: Erin and Jennifer

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tips for what to do with all of that Halloween candy - Candy Swap!

 photo leftover-candy_zps3f061255.jpg
  We all love it! But this time of year, if you have kids you know that there IS such a thing as too much of a good thing. That’s right, I’m talking about candy. Tis the season to receive it. I’m going to tell you how to get rid of it, before you rot out your teeth and pack on the pounds! 

1.  Science. Everyone will enjoy a little experiment. Look at www.candyexperiments.com for ideas. Maybe have a candy science party?!?!? 

 photo candy_zps0770a655.jpg2. Take it to work. OK, this can totally backfire on you if you have trouble keeping your hand out of the candy dish, but at least you will keep your kids from being over-exposed to all of that sugar! I like to send it in with my husband. Some of his co-workers don’t have kids at home, so it’s a nice treat for them.

3. Freeze it for later. There is some debate on whether it is necessary to freeze to preserve candy that is still in the original packaging, but if you decide to do so it will remain fresh for up to a year. If nothing else, freezing candy may reduce the temptation to consume it too quickly. On the other hand, it may be the beginning of a whole new indulgence. I’ve heard some candy bars are extra tasty when frozen. Maybe you should allow some taste testing in moderation!

4. Bake with it. A quick Google search will turn up ample recipes. I found some great ones here. Snickers Cupcakes? Kit Kat Cookie Bars? Yes, please! 

5. Gift it. November is a good time to give your child’s teacher or your boss a small token of your appreciation. Why not a coffee mug or cute basket filled with candy?

6. HO HO HOld onto it to stuff in Christmas stockings. 

7. Sweets for the homeless. Contact a local soup kitchen to see if they’d be willing to accept a donation. Or make little “bags for the homeless” to keep in your car. Fill them with useful hygiene items, prepackaged ready to eat food and a few pieces of candy. You can hand them out to someone in need in lieu of a cash donation. Use good judgement, of course, and don’t let your children approach strangers alone. 

8. Fill a pinata! A mom recently told me she uses leftover candy to fill her child’s birthday pinata. You could also add a few pieces to party favor bags if you don’t want to have a pinata. 

9 Put it in your Operation Christmas Child Box. Several local churches participate in this program that ships gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children all over the world. Non-chocolate candy can be included in the boxes as long as it is in original wrapping and not past the “use by” date. For more info visit www.samaritanspurse.org .

10. Donate it through a candy swap. This idea has grown in popularity over recent years. Several local dental offices and businesses participate - give you a deal, prize in exchange for candy and they donate it to a worthy cause. Contact your dentist to see if they are having a candy swap!

We know that Noodle & Company is giving free kids mac n cheese if kids swap candy this weekend (Nov 1 & 2 2014). Details here.

Also, you can candy swap at some dental locations like Mortenson or Kids Denistree

By guest contributor: Brandy

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Winners! Kids Eat Free VIP Cards - 10 Winners!

 photo kidseatfreespec2_zps2bd5d2bb.jpg
Are you a Very Important Parent? Of course you are! That's why we want you to have a Kids Eat Free VIP Card.  This card is your ticket to freebies and continuous savings through 9/30/15 - yes, 2015!

With this card, you can enjoy recurring deals at the following location so you can go back over and over again and capitalize on the Kids Eat Free deal that they offer. 

Cluckers (3 locations)
 photo cc_zpsf5493648.jpg Dish on Market
Shack in the Back BBQ
Copper Cupcake
O'Line Sports Grill
Dunkin Donuts (2 locations)
J. Gumbo's (1 of the locations)
Clifton's Pizza
Valley Dairy Freeze
Jimbo's BBQ

Check all of the deals by going to: http://www.louisvillefamilyfun.net/p/kids-eat-free-vip-card.html
Most the deals are 1 free kids meal for kids 12 and under for every adult meal purchase, limit 2 but some businesses have slightly tweaked their offer.

Also,  you get 3 one-time freebie deals at the following locations to try some new things. 

Mighty Titan Adventures
Hwang's Martial Arts

And, Exclusive contests for Kids Eat Free VIP Card holders! 
Keep an eye on the Kids Eat Free VIP card page for details in 2014!  
(Hint, take photos at these locations when you use your card!)

Kids Eat Free VIP cards are $25 

We are donating a portion of the sales of every card to Kentucky Harvest!

Who won the contest? 
Rene Leach 
Debra Glockler 
Shanna Miller 
Jill Kressin 
Andrea Fauver 
Aprill Boemker 
Kara King 
Julie Rudy 
Jennifer Feige 
Alexis Thomas

Winners: to claim, please email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net with your mailing address!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Things to do this weekend around Louisville - October 25,26,27

I am going to be brief this week - my parents are in town and we are all over the place on day trips and all sorts of fun is being had. I have approximately 7.3 minutes to type this post of weekend picks for family fun around town!

Check our Halloween Post and Fall Festivals Post because I will run out of breath if I talk about all of those! And, don't forget to check out the Kids Eat Free VIP Card -  it's fantabulous.

Check out this LouFamFun podcast on Louisville.am - a fantastic place to visit with the family is the Rauch Planetarium! They have seasonal events and regular public shows, extraterrestrial awesomeness.

Picks for the weekend - Mooooooooooooom, what are we doing today?


Head out to Annie May's Sweet Cafe for an allergen friendly Halloween party!  From 4-9pm families can enjoy funnel cakes and soft pretzels, wear costumes.

 photo newalbany_zps3e420bbd.jpgOr head to Vissing Park in Jeffersonville for Haunted Hay Rides from 6-9pm - it's FREE

Brown Park (St. Mattews) Halloween Festival starts at 11am - super fun and very popular.  Full details here. It's FREE and full of all of the things kids love (and parent's tolerate...so there, I said it) like bouncies, trick or treating and even a petting zoo.  Haunted forest.......yes, check that box too.

New Albany is doing it up with a Trunk or Treat and it looks fabulous.  It starts at 5pm and ends with a movie at 8pm at the amphitheater, "Hotel Transylvania" - FREE, woot woot!

Hang out at home and try out some of these $10 Challenge ideas

Maybe go get some exercise at YMCA of Greater Louisville or at a park because you and I both know you have been eating too much of your children's candy.

Then, stop by Thornton's between noon and 4pm - they have free hot chocolate for the kiddos during that time each Sunday.  No, you can't have one just because you are a kid at heart.

That took me more than 7.3 minutes, DOH!

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

LouFamFun $10 Challenge - October

One weekend in late September, my roommate from college and her 2 year old son were coming into town.  We both LOVE Fall and thought our children’s age was perfect for introducing them to all the things we love about the season.

 photo ghostpancakes_zpscaf98908.jpgWe started our day with our first Halloween fun – ghost pancakes! It was so simple, yet so cute!  This link has lots of ghost ideas, with the pancakes on it.  COST: $0.50

Then we began our day by going to the Kentucky Science Center because it was National Museum Day.  How can you turn down the opportunity to get into the science center for free?  COST: $0

 photo moonsand_zpsea011a2a.jpgWe headed home for lunch and naptime, and after naps, it was time to celebrate the beginning of Fall!  The first thing we did was make pumpkin moon sand. We had never made it before and it was really fun!  We got a big bag of sand at home depot, with enough to make moon sand a lot! We let the kids help us stir and make it and then we took it outside since it was such a beautiful day. We added spoons and other utensils to help them play with it.  COST: $1.00

Next was probably the hit of the day! We carved pumpkin faces into sweet potatoes (they just happened to be cheaper than regular potatoes when we were buying them). We got out big pieces of paper and orange paint on a plate.  The only thing we had to buy was the potato! If you didn’t have orange paint around the house, you could pick up a cheap tube at Walmart for about a dollar. We got the idea here 
 photo potatopainting2_zpscdde40fb.jpgCOST:  $0.42
 photo leaves_zps80815fdc.jpg
The last craft of the day was making stained glass leaves. It was pretty easy and really cheap. Again, we had a lot of the things we needed to make it already. We just had to buy some good tissue paper and more glue.  COST: $1.33
 photo mummydogs_zps6c794ac8.jpg
It was then time for dinner. We thought we’d kick off the fall season with a Halloween dinner! We made mummy hotdogs, macaroni and cheese, carrots, and oranges (all orange!). For dessert, we had orange flavored Jello pumpkins (got the pumpkin mold on sale at Kroger for 97 cents!).  COST: $5.50 for dinner for 2 toddlers and 3 adults, plus leftovers and a pumpkin mold!

We had a fantastic fall day! We figured the little bit of money we had left over would account for all the little things we used from around the house. There were so many things that we really wanted to do, but ran out of time (and money). If you want some other fall crafts to do, here are some ideas.

Lots of fun ideas for toddlers

By guest contributor: Lauren

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review of Louisville Food Tour: a Parent's Day "Date" option in Louisville, KY

Date night. Date day. Date time. My husband and I needed one recently! And we were so fortunate to be hosted by Louisville Food Tour one weekend in October for their tours that go through the NuLu district and take participants on a walking tour of some of the most highly sought after restaurants in Louisville, and around the country. We spent a beautiful fall afternoon together, tasting delicious meals and sipping delicate drinks, and had a blast together, alone, without our kids. Usually, we tend to make a square dance out of our outings and have us and our two kids along for just about every ride we take in this city. Hitting the streets of the festivals around Louisville, especially in the fall, is our most favorite thing to do. But every once in a while, we like to be adults, talk to other adults, eat like and with other adults, and play like adults, and we did just that for 2 1/2 hours down on E. Market Street, thanks to Louisville Family Fun and the fabuLOUs lady who invented this idea called Louisville Food Tour. Let me tell you all about it!

 photo IMG_4118_zps16e70a8f.jpgStop 1: Cake Flour - We were given a goodie bag with 3 of their signature items: almond biscotti, their delectable Shortbread cookies, and their famous chocolate brownie. Dessert first? Yes please!
 photo IMG_4120_zpsd627c861.jpgStop 2: Earth Friends Cafe - We were treated like very important people(!) at this stop! We walked to our table that was already laid out with a lavender lemonade, vegan cupcakes, a 3 bean salad, a vegan Reuben, and a chicken quesadilla. If you are a family with food allergies or are looking for gluten-free options and the like, check this place out. They specialize in that!
 photo IMG_4122_zps8f2dbdbd.jpgStop 3: Garage Bar - A nice simple stop where we sat outdoors at a picnic table and enjoyed a sampling of their pimento cheese sandwich and their Kentucky-made Broadbent ham slice on toast.
 photo IMG_4127_zps70457402.jpgStop 4: Toast on Market - Oh. My.Word. I love this place! This is the one restaurant my husband and I had been to before, and I'm never unsatisfied here! We got to try their "Toast and Eggs" (not your run of the mill egg and toast either BTW) and their fall offering: pumpkin pancake. This was all preceded by a spiced apple mimosa. YUM!
 photo IMG_4130_zps1855ecc9.jpgStop 5: La Coop - Okay. Let me just say - you HAVE to check this place out! Chef Bobby gave us a personalized tour of his French bistro cafe, from a one-on-one conversation with each of us to a backstage tour of his kitchen. We were give one of their handmade cocktails to sample as well as a crabcake that I just about fell on the floor after devouring. Simply divine.
 photo IMG_4129_zps5b4fed73.jpgStop 6: Wiltshire on Market - Here, once again what I loved about the tour was that some of the restaurants we frequented weren't even open to the public yet, so we received a personal, intimate setting with each chef. We sat at the long bar and sampled a masterpiece that they had concocted for a recent event: a smoked shitake mushroom pie topped with an apple slaw.
Stop 7: Rye on Market - Our last stop. I was sad to see the tour end, but happy it ended with another distinct restaurant known to Louisville and the NuLu area. Here at Rye, we got to try a handcrafted shot and their Butternut Risotto, another huge sampling that I forced myself to finish because I was so full! It was the perfect pairing of sweet and savory.

Tickets are $48 per person (which sounds like a lot, I know!) But for something different, unique to do, to get to experience new restaurants that you may not know about yet, I think it's reasonable. For the quality of food, the experience of meeting with and talking with the chefs and owners of these outstanding establishments, and the ambience and conversations you'll have while walking through. Also, you have to think about these restaurants as local, organic, home-grown types of places. Many of the chefs told us that they get their ingredients a day or two before they are prepped and served, it is SO fresh. They use local farmers, regionally around Kentuckiana and it's a partnership that is much needed to sustain each other's endeavors. On average, each sample you will get is worth $8, and trust me you will leave this tour full. My husband and I didn't have dinner the evening after we went on the tour, we were still that full and satisfied. We absolutely loved the experience we had (personally we had only been to 1 restaurant that was featured on the tour and we made notes to go back to virtually all of them!)

 photo IMG_4124_zps1d37de53.jpgOverall, if you're wondering about how kids would handle this tour, although the website says children are welcome and it's stroller-friendly, I would not recommend bringing young children on this tour. In my opinion, this tour is simply a way for grown-ups to mingle with other adults and have a nice day out. If you can swing a babysitter, I would say go do something new and unique with your significant other and have fun! Teens would probably enjoy this tour, if they're into food and dining and want to check out the NuLu area. It's mainly geared toward adults though.

Normally there are 6 stops and they rotate each week. Currently Louisville Food Tour has 12 partners (NuLu and East Market restaurants). Kim Hales is the creator and owner and was a fun, energetic, and informative host for her group! Tours are every Saturday from 1:30pm-4pm. Tourists meet in front of the WHY Lou Two store on East Market Street. You can email or call for more information. I did notice afterwards that she ran a contest on her Facebook page for free tickets, so be on the lookout for that in the future.
Happy tasting!

email: info@louisvillefoodtour.com
Phone: 812.301.2154

By guest contributor: Erin

Monday, October 21, 2013

CONTEST! Big giveaway of Kids Eat Free VIP Cards

 photo kidseatfreespec2_zps2bd5d2bb.jpg

Are you a Very Important Parent? Of course you are! That's why we want you to have a Kids Eat Free VIP Card.  This card is your ticket to freebies and continuous savings through 9/30/15 - yes, 2015!

With this card, you can enjoy recurring deals at the following location so you can go back over and over again and capitalize on the Kids Eat Free deal that they offer. 

Cluckers (3 locations)
 photo cc_zpsf5493648.jpg Dish on Market
Shack in the Back BBQ
Copper Cupcake
O'Line Sports Grill
Dunkin Donuts (2 locations)
J. Gumbo's (1 of the locations)
Clifton's Pizza
Valley Dairy Freeze
Jimbo's BBQ

Check all of the deals by going to: http://www.louisvillefamilyfun.net/p/kids-eat-free-vip-card.html
Most the deals are 1 free kids meal for kids 12 and under for every adult meal purchase, limit 2 but some businesses have slightly tweaked their offer.

Also,  you get 3 one-time freebie deals at the following locations to try some new things. 

Mighty Titan Adventures
Hwang's Martial Arts

And, Exclusive contests for Kids Eat Free VIP Card holders! 
Keep an eye on the Kids Eat Free VIP card page for details in 2014!  
(Hint, take photos at these locations when you use your card!)

Kids Eat Free VIP cards are $25 
but are on pre-sale NOW for $20 and comes with a free LouFamFun t-shirt!
(discount price good through 10/25/13)

We are donating a portion of the sales of every card to Kentucky Harvest!

We are giving away 10 cards! Enter to win below. 

Non-profits! Want an easy fundraiser? Email stephanie@louisvillefamilyfun.net to get set up with a referral code and image to share via email, social networking or on your website. Every time someone buys a card using your code, we will donate $5 back to your organization.  Donations are made every $50 earned or each 6 months starting 11/1/13. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

WINNER! Parent-Teacher Store & Toys Too! Gift Card from Bluegrass Academic Tutoring

 photo BluegrassAcademic_logocolor2_zpsec389a65.jpgRemember, Bluegrass Academic Tutoring can help you out if you think your child needs help in school! They are a local businesses connecting tutors with students all about Kentuckiana.

 photo PTSlogo_zps2d0eff94.jpgYou can schedule in-home tutoring and the first session is free! They also have a online tutoring option as well as test prep. If your child needs help, contact them to see what they can do for you!

Last week, we ran a contest for a $50 gift card to the Parent-Teacher Store and Toys too!  This winner is Jennifer Bentley!

To claim the prize, please email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net from the email address with which you entered the contest

Review of the Garvin Brown Preserve (River Fields)

 photo IMG_8631_zpsf3a74447.jpgMy friend was so excited to report to me that she found something that I didn't know about! And, I am so glad she told me about it. It's the Garvin Brown Preserve that's pretty much next to Hays Kennedy Park in Prospect.  It's privately run but open to the public from dawn until dusk.
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To find it, you go to Hays Kennedy Park and park in the lot on the right by the basketball courts.  Walk directly north a long a thin worn path to find an archway to the nature preserve. You can hike around some trails that are really family friendly but if you hike to the left, you will head to the Ohio River.  And, I am using the term hike, but really, it's a nice walk more than a strenuous hike.

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When you head to the river, look for 2 garbage cans.  Seriously, these are my instructions. My friend found this thanks to Take A Hike, Louisville!: Nature Excursions In and Around Louisville, Kentucky Between those garbage cans there is a small path down the side of the hill that will lead you to a quaint area to hang out by the river. We spend hours skipping rocks and the kids built what they claimed to be a fairy house.  It was a lovely sunset and even with an afternoon rain, it made for such a lovely way to end the day.
There are little gems like this all over Louisville, be adventurous and find one. Then, tell me about it, because I want to go!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Things to do this weekend around Louisville - October 18,19,20

My goodness! Halloween is approaching fast and you know what, I have already eaten too much candy. How is that possible? I will tell you how - in Louisville, we celebrate that holiday ALL.MONTH.LONG.

Check our Halloween Post and Fall Festivals Post because we just can't include everything in this post and you won't want to miss anything! And, don't forget to check out the Kids Eat Free VIP Card.

Tune into a recent LouFamFun podcast on Louisville.am - great interview with someone really knowledgeable about all the fun things to do around Louisville with kids, my 5 year old daughter!

So, you are looking for something to do?  Let me help you out with my picks for the weekend!

 photo marythalloween_zps9b7fdcd6.jpgFriday - The Louisville Free Public Library is having a Halloween event at the Main Library location.  It's 6-8pm and a wonderful storybook themed night of crafts and fun.  Kids should wear costumes!

Mary T. Meagher is hosting a free outdoor classic horror movie!  This week it's Halloween - starts at 9pm!

Saturday -  Two fall festivals of fun!  Join the Mayor at Jefferson Memorial Forest for a free fall festival from 12-2pm with hayrides, free pumpkins and more. Read about it here.

Or, head to the dentist!  Yes, the dentist! Derby City Pediatric Dentistry is having a fall festival Saturday from 1-4pm with fun games, prizes, face painting and more.  Details here.

Sunday - Take a drive out to Mulberry Orchard and enjoy some outdoor fall fun with hay rides, a pumpkin patch and a corn maze - all things fall!  Sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday, it's open 1-5pm on Sundays (other days too, check here)

Have a fabuLOUs weekend!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Review of Clifton's Pizza in Louisville, KY

 photo IMG_2922_zpsf3af8b55.jpgClifton’s Pizza on Frankfort Avenue is one of my family’s favorite spots in town. Whether we’re kicking off a night at the Frankfort Avenue (FAT) Trolley Hop or stopping in for a quick lunch after touring the Gate House at the Crescent Hill Reservoir, there’s always something on the menu for us. My kids love the spaghetti and meatballs, and the kid portions are generous enough for my voracious eaters. They have some of the best pizza and subs in town. It’s also a great place to dine on a budget - I think our last lunch bill was $24 for my family of four. The biggest bill my family of four has racked up there was $41 after the tip.  You can save money with your Kids Eat Free VIP Card too, a great deal that will pay for itself immediately because of the freebies!

The atmosphere at Clifton’s is laid back and casual. They have live music sometimes, though I’ve never been there for that. There is also an eclectic collection of clocks on all the walls, and my kids really enjoy counting them and discussing which ones we like the best while we wait for our food. In the bar room there’s even a bear on a bike riding a high wire overhead.

As if all that weren’t enough, Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen is right next door and Comfy Cow is right across the street. There’s only street parking, but I’ve never had much problem finding parking on the side street. Check their website for specials and coupons. See you there!

By guest contributor: Maggie

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review of Des Pres Park in Louisville, KY

 photo despres_zps38938ed7.jpgDes Pres Park in southeastern Louisville has quite possibly become my family's favorite park. We love to head there in the evenings when the heat of the day has passed this summer. We absolutely love heading there during the cooler, crisp early evenings in the fall!

 photo despres2_zps197bb9db.jpg photo despres1_zpsb596d0c0.jpgThis park has a very laid-back feel to it. It's not brand spanking new or anything, and that's just fine with us. It's simple, has a great walking trail, our kids have a blast at the playground, and my husband and I have just started taking up tennis again at the tennis courts. When our whole family of four goes, our favorite thing is really to bring my daughter's bike and let her ride around the walking loop, which is 1/2 mile for 1 loop around. It's very flat and easy to navigate, so it's perfect for kids' bikes. My husband and I usually walk and push our toddler in his stroller. There are park benches all along the trail and there is lots of grassy space to enjoy a picnic. We do that quite often too, either packing our own or picking up something quick from one of our go-to dining spots.

 photo despres4_zpsb5308ef0.jpg photo despres3_zps49a6bdf8.jpgWhile my daughter is in school, I have recently been taking my toddler up to the park in his jogging stroller to jog. I like this path for jogging because I'm brand new to jogging and it's a very beginner-friendly place to jog. One loop around is 1/2 a mile and it's flat and is well-maintained. I really like this park because it also reminds me of Seneca Park with it's great playground and a walking/jogging path around some green space in the middle. It's a mini version of that great park and just minutes from the heart of Jeffersontown on one side or the Hikes Point area on the other.

Des Pres Park is part of the Louisville Metro Parks system and is located at 4709 Lowe Road near the intersection at Taylorsville Road. In addition to the walking trail, playground, and tennis courts, there are also picnic tables and a picnic shelter, basketball courts, and some ballfields. The restrooms are fairly clean when we visit. It is open from 7am to 11pm.

By guest contributor: Erin

Monday, October 14, 2013

Review of Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular in Louisville, KY

 photo 2013-10-10_193012_zps0716ce69.jpg photo 2013-10-10_192331_zps8811f203.jpgFall is my family’s favorite time in Louisville. There’s so much to do, and we’re always looking for something new. This year we were delighted to be hosted by the Louisville Metro Parks new event called The Louisville Jack O’Lantern Spectacular at the Iroquois Amphitheater. It’s a brand new event this year in Louisville, and it began in Oxford, Massachusetts in 1988. The event, which is held nightly from October 10-November 2, features 5000 carved pumpkins along a ¼ mile trail in the woods, which totally adds to the spook factor.  Artists were still finishing up some of their carvings on opening night, which was really cool to watch. They will be changing out the pumpkins on a weekly basis, so each week will basically be a new show. The artists of Passion for Pumpkins have been creating stunning works of art on pumpkins for 25 years, so the show is not likely to disappoint. The “Around the World” themed show features vignettes from France, England, Germany, Asia, and Kentucky, all set to music.

 photo 2013-10-10_194745_zps659ea695.jpg photo 2013-10-10_194138_zps18a0da7e.jpgMy kids really enjoyed the show. If you have really little ones I recommend a stroller or wagon, as the terrain is not easy for little ones to navigate. If you have a child who is sensitive to sensory stimuli, this may not be the show for you.  Other than that, the terrain is a moderately hilly gravel path that is not terribly strenuous and is wheelchair and stroller accessible. It took us a little over half an hour to get through the trail. It was fairly crowded, but I don’t expect it to be that crowded if you go later in the evening.

 photo 2013-10-10_195842_zpsff81886c.jpg photo 2013-10-10_195803_zps86813900.jpgNow for the not-so-great part. For my family of four to attend during the week, it would have cost $42. On the weekend it would be $54. I’m on the fence about this. I don’t want to blow that much of my family’s entertainment budget on one show. But then I’m reminded this IS a fundraiser benefiting both the Metro Parks System and Kosair Charities. It is really stinkin' cool and it may not be back again next year.  The cool factor and the new factor make it a worthwhile expenditure for my family. I mean, you just can’t imagine what it’s like to stroll through the dark woods surrounded by so many glowing, intricately carved pumpkins. Click here for more info on pricing. Hopefully they’ll do a Groupon or discount night to make this event more accessible to more families. Also in the plus column, it is open until midnight on the weekdays and 1 a.m. on the weekends, so it’s a great end-of-night alternative to a bar on date night. And it might be kind of nice to stroll through there at a leisurely pace instead of constantly reminding the kids that no, you cannot touch the pumpkins.

By guest contributor: Maggie

Contest! Bluegrass Academic Tutoring giveaway for a Parent-Teacher Store Gift Card!

 photo BluegrassAcademic_logocolor2_zpsec389a65.jpgDid your children bring home a report card last week that has you a little bit worried? Or, maybe you want your child to be challenged in a different way!  Bluegrass Academic Tutoring can help you out! They are a local businesses connecting tutors with students all about Kentuckiana.

 photo PTSlogo_zps2d0eff94.jpgYou can schedule in-home tutoring and the first session is free! They also have a online tutoring option as well as test prep. If your child needs help, contact them to see what they can do for you!

The recognize that parents, teachers and tutors need a variety of supplies to help children be successful in school. They want to give a $50 gift card to the Parent-Teacher Store and Toys too! so you can get everything you need to help your child. Plus, they love helping other local businesses!

Enter to win below and good luck!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

SAHM, turned WAHM, turned .............

Is WOTHM the proper acronym for a working parent these days? I have always fit an acronym and now I am not sure I have the correct one.  Oh well, I don't need an acronym.

 photo cmnpcream_zpsbccf9457.jpgIf you have been following this blog since inception, you know it started as a little hobby and turned into a business. Hence, I went from SAHM to WAHM.  It was perfect for my family. I have always been driven to work and the extra income has been nice.  [And, I am not trying to start a debate here like being a SAHM is not work so don't even go there  - I'm perfectly aware of all that it entails. I use the term "work" to mean I do a job and make an income from that job and have to pay taxes - that's how I am using the word work.] Now that I have that out of the way - I have always wanted to work and have created situations for me to work while I was home with my children. I have tutored for years in the evenings, on Sundays. I have done some freelance web stuff. I have taught college courses part time.  Heck, in NC some of my friends paid me to make bread dough for them! Now, starting tomorrow, it's getting real. I will have an office, at a company, doing a job. A W-2 people.

 photo cmnp2_zpsbee41cfd.jpgWhen I was younger, I dreamed of my cute little family that I now have. We have an adorable yellow house with a fence and swingset with 2 dogs frolicking around and my kids creating memories on their bikes on our street. It's pretty freakin' fantastic and my husband and I are very lucky.  We came from different perspectives though.  Growing up, my mother stayed home with us and although when I (the youngest) got older, she did have part-time jobs, her primary job was us and our home.  She claims that I complained that I wanted to go to camp "like all of the other kids" instead of the swim club with her every day in the summer but I look back on it like I was the most fortunate person to have my mother there at all times.  My husband's parents both worked and my husband had after school care and babysitters.  Both of us turned out swell. When we got married, I just knew I wanted to be just like my mom and stay home with the kids. Soon after being home with my infant son, it became evident to me that the idea of being a SAHM was and is something I want but the actual life as a SAHM was not what I needed.  I want to want to stay home. Does that make sense? I know people that parent successfully in all different fashions and I thought being a SAHM would be for me, but it never was.  Don't get my wrong - I wasn't unhappy, something just wasn't right. So, I started creating jobs for myself and I have lived 6.5 years in a balancing act trying to fulfill all of little check boxes on a list of things that I think are going to make me truly happy.  And, for 6.5 years, it has been dandy.

 photo zoo_zps24c009da.jpg
 photo live725_zpsaefcc692.jpg    photo lffparty_zps84604ea9.jpg

 photo maggiewithmeandhorse_zpseb339713.jpg photo coffeeshop_zps5b3a3fcc.jpgFor 6.5 years I have enjoyed creating a business and watching it grow while making play doh hamburgers in our PJs on a Tuesday afternoon. I have reveled in the hikes through parks all over here and in NC (our previous home) and many morning play dates while scheduling tutoring clients for weekends and evenings. I have caught every moment on video or in pictures of preschool field trips,  three day weekends, weekday trips to museums just because we could, morning story time, coffee shop meetings with a client and my daughter (and her toy horses), afternoon music class and all of those gifts that I was given in the 6.5 years I have spent as a SAHM/WAHM.  It has been amazing and a gift. I wanted that time with my children and I was able to do it because of my husband and his hard work and acknowledgement that it was very important to me.   But today, I am typing this knowing that this part of my life is over. It's not that I mourn it, but it is sad.  I will miss it like I miss any other phase in my life that has come and gone.  But I need change - there's a part of me that needs to thrive that has been hampered. I'm just not built to live this phase for any longer and to stay at home just because of that idea I have, that I should want to stay home, that it should be perfect for me -that's a disservice to my family. I truly think that going back to work will bring a balance that will make me a better mom because the career goals I have for myself, I can check that box on my happiness to-do list and see if there are any new boxes I need to create. I start a full-time job tomorrow with Integrated Media Corp managing one of their publications - be excited, you'll love it!

SAHM to WAHM to....next chapter.  Don't worry about LouFamFun. This blog you frequent isn't going to change a bit. If you haven't noticed - it's a team effort and that trusted team wants what's best for this website and our readers.  To my husband, thank you and you can start another income line item in the family spreadsheet like you've dreamed for the past few years. And, to my kids - yes, we'll still go to the zoo and on long hikes, just on the weekends :)