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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Picks for things to do this Weekend: August 29,30,31 and Labor Day

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Check out our podcast with Discover Downtown LaGrange - learn about LaGrange!


It's a holiday weekend, yipppee! I am ready for a 3 day weekend with my family. That one extra day really does make a difference.

What's going on this weekend?
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I'm not going to elaborate on this too much. Instead, I am going to redirect you to our Labor Day weekend events post.  Our picks: the U of L Soccer game, World Fest and the free fun at Southeast Christian Church locations.  Click HERE.

Also, we'd LOVE to see you at InstaFam Sept. 12th - scavenger hunt at the Louisville Zoo all benefiting charity, yep, 100%! Click here.

Have a fabuLOUs weekend!
Stephanie


PS: Download our FREE app - click the image for details. Android and iPhone!
Our most popular content at your fingertips and special discount offers!
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Louisville Family Fun App - no longer updating



The LouFamFun app is no longer available or being updated because we have redesigned out mobile view for our website and it provides you everything you need for on-the-go. Please bookmark our website on your phone or save it on your home screen!

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Get your FREE LouFamFun App on Android and iPhone! 


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Android Link:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appypie.appypie4783b2037377

iPhone Link:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/loufamfun/id908338450

To get the latest update, refresh right after installing! You can refresh the app in the future, we will change content.  We change out some of the deals and the popular post link to make sure you have the most up to date information you need.

This app also provides fast access to our Kids Eat Free post and Google Calendar, very popular for mobile users.

Businesses, contact us today for introductory advertising rates starting at just $25/month. 
info@louisvillefamilyfun.net



Be fabuLOUs,
Stephanie

Privacy Policy: Louisville Family Fun LLC itself does not collect or use any personal or sensitive data from the LouFamFun app.  The app was created through a third party and you can find their privacy policy here.

Review of Massage Envy Spa in Louisville, KY

Karen was given a voucher to Massage Envy for purpose of review.


Who isn't overworked, tired, stressed ... (home and/or on the job)? Who couldn't use a little relief, some "me time", a little R&R?! Everyone!! Massage Envy Spa is definitely the place to go!

With two convenient locations, one in Jeffersontown and one in Middletown, and great hours of operation, finding a time and place to relieve some stress from your body and mind is even obtainable to the busiest of moms and dads!

I chose the Jeffersontown location, and was put under the healing hands of massage therapist extraordinaire, Jaye. Upon walking in, after a long day at work and a headache to boot, the calming music and aroma of the facility instantly drew me in. A receptionist greeted me, and talked with me about what areas of my body had pain or discomfort, and also what areas I wish to be left out of the full-body massage (*for me, it is the feet - way too ticklish!). I was then led into a "waiting room" where Jaye joined me minutes later. Jaye and I discussed what areas I wanted to focus on, and also what level of strength I wanted used for the massage. Due to my headache and visible stress, she suggested that I add in some aroma therapy, mint and rosemary.

Now it was time for the massage -- Jaye worked her magic for a full 90-minutes, and by the end, my headache was completely gone and I felt as if I could lay in that bed forever - almost a feeling of drunkenness from the extreme pleasure!

Having been to a few other massage locations in the past, I would say that Massage Envy Spa's prices and services offered are pretty much equivalent. The difference between Massage Envy Spa and other places that offer similar services, is that Massage Envy Spa has over 1000 locations nationally. This means that if you become a "member", you are able to use your membership anywhere you travel to. The prices for services to "members" are lower than that of a non-member. The only other noticeable difference is the size of the location, which makes the experience a little different than what one may be accustom to receiving at other facilities. For instance, the most well-known, larger full-service massage business in the area offers "changing rooms" and a large "waiting room" where you are treated to a foot bath and hot towels before even going into your massage room. Other than the look, and a few minor differences in services, I think Massage Envy Spa does a great job at getting "deep into your skin" to provide major healing relief! 

Massage Envy Spa - Jeffersontown
2048 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy
LouisvilleKY 40220
502-992-0701

Massage Envy Spa - Middletown
12911 Shelbyville Road Suite 109
LouisvilleKY 40243

502-253-2980

Hours of Operation:
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Sunday
8:00 AM - 10:00 PM Monday-Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM Saturday

By guest contributor: Karen

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top 10 Places for Horse Riding Lessons in and around Louisville, KY

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I am for sure a horse lover, I rode and showed American Saddlebred horses for most of my school years. When I was asked to compile a list of the best places to take lessons I jumped all over it. I will say this as a disclaimer, I know that there are so many great barns in the area to take lessons. I however created this list based on personal experience.

1. Jo Cornell Stables - First on the list is the barn that gave me my start as an equestrian. Jo is formerly a world cup coach, she has been the instructor of some of the world's best saddle seat riders. Now she has stepped out of the showing spotlight and has been focusing on 4H. The barn is located in Crestwood KY and can be reached by calling 502-241-6150

2. Louisville Equestrian Center - Betsy Webb and her staff are doing big things in Taylorsville! They have a huge operation and while they are primarily focused on American Saddlebreds they also have branched out and are offering lessons in other disciplines as well. 

3. Razor Creek Stables - This barn is located in Jeffersontown and the emphasis is on hunter jumper horses. They have indoor and outdoor lessons and 8 miles (!) of trails for trail riding. A one hour lesson is $45. 

4. Hidden Bridge Farm - This farm focuses dressage, hunter/jumper, and cross country. They are located on Cover Bridge Road in the Prospect area. The owner, Emily Ragan has been teaching since the mid 70s. They have a beautiful facility. 

5. Bannon Woods Farm - The style of riding offered at this barn is hunter/jumper, and dressage. They are located in Fairdale KY, their farm is 51 acres but is surrounded by 5,000 acres land from the Jefferson County Forest that they also use for trail riding. Lessons start at $35. 

6. Ariatti Equestrian Services - Eventing and hunter/jumper style riding is taught at this barn. They are located in Anchorage KY, and offer riding lessons to children as well as a variety of camps. 

7. Signature Stables - This riding lesson program is located at the historic Rock Creek Riding Club in Seneca Park. Signature stables is an American Saddlebred facility, and they offer riding lessons beginning at $35 per half hour. 

8. Lands End Farm - Is an eventing facility (hunter/jumper, dressage) located in Goshen KY. They offer lessons starting at $40 per lesson, they have two instructors Martha and Lauren Lambert. 

9. Premier Stables - Is located just outside out Louisville in Simpsonville KY. They train American Saddlebred horses. They are one of the best barns in the area when it comes to producing show horses and riders alike. 

10. Zubrod Stables - Has been around for 25 years and they offer lessons featuring American Saddlebred horses. They are a family business with 2 generations teaching riding lessons. 

By guest contributor: Allison

Monday, August 25, 2014

Review of La Grange Farmers' Market & Artisans + Recipe

 photo photo2_zpsa3120a89.jpgLocal farmer’s markets can be found all around the Louisville area. I decided to check out the La Grange Farmers’ Market and Artisans one Saturday morning with the intention of preparing a meal made from products found at the market. The market is located on Main Street on the Oldham County Courthouse Square and is open every Saturday morning 8-1 beginning in May and ending in October. We found plenty of free parking all around Main Street in downtown La Grange.

I knew I wanted to find the La Grange Coffee Roasters tent because I wanted to enjoy a cup of coffee while walking around the market. The tent was easy to find and I was on my way around the market sidewalk.

 photo photo1_zps7e4257cf.jpgThe La Grange Farmers’ Market allows your senses to go wild! The aroma of fresh flowers, homemade soaps and baked goods was very pleasant! You can hear children playing instruments and singing for the crowd and the train running right along Main Street. Gorgeous handmade jewelry, woodwork, bean-filled mason jars and colorful produce were beautifully displayed. And of course, the samples! The free samples made our tummies grumble for more! My children really enjoyed this part of the market, sampling cheeses, BBQ sauces, breads and anything else they could get their hands on. I particularly liked the wine samples from Old 502 Winery.

On this particular Saturday, the market had a farm to table cooking demo with Chef Gary Bajdek. My family and I sat and watched him prepare a meal using products donated by vendors. His samples were delicious so I decided to be ambitious and prepare some of the same dishes.

I went back through the market and picked up the items that I needed. A lot of the vendors were equipped to take credit cards, but some only accepted cash.

I prepared my ambitious meal for my husband’s birthday the following week. I grilled lamb and veggie kabobs, made tzatziki sauce, boiled corn on the cob and served wine and a small dessert. Because it was a special occasion, I spent more than I normally would on food and picked up extras like the wine and dessert. The meal was a great mini-at-home date night for my husband and me. My husband appreciated me venturing out of my normal recipes. Here are the simple recipes I followed from Chef Bajdek and online sites:

Lamb & Veggie Kabobs: Lamb from Magic Acres Farm ($14) Veggies from Sunshine Farms ($2) Cherry Bourbon Jam from Trish’s Jam ($6)
The lamb was already cut for kabobs and once I sliced the onion, squash and zucchini I had 7 full kabob sticks. Season the whole kabob with salt and pepper before placing it on the grill. Grill the kabobs at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes, turning once. Spread the cherry bourbon jam on the kabobs at five minutes and then again when you turn the kabobs. I was told by Chef Bajdek that lamb should not be overcooked because it will be tough. He also gave me the tip of letting the meat sit for a few minutes before cutting into it to let the flavors cook a little longer.

Tzatziki Sauce: 1 (8 oz) container of plain Greek yogurt 1 whole cucumber (from Sunshine Farms) – peeled, seeded and diced 1 T olive oil 1⁄2 lemon juiced (do to taste, I like mine lemony) Salt & Pepper to taste 1⁄2 T chopped fresh dill 1 clove garlic, peeled Combine in a food processor, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Corn on the Cob: Corn from Gallrein Farms ($2) Place in pot of boiling salted water. Cover the pot and return to boil again, then turn off the heat and keep the pot covered. Take corn out after about five minutes and butter ‘em up!

I served a bottle of “Kentucky Lady” wine from Old 502 Winery ($11) and a s’mores brownie from Q & A Sweet Treats ($2.50)

 photo photo3_zps206ba012.jpg I loved that the market offered an array of products from farmers all around the area and even shops right along Main Street. The market is located in a park-like setting with lots of shade, benches and grassy areas for kids to run. The La Grange Farmers’ Market & Artisans is a relaxing environment allowing one to experience fresh, local products and also quaint downtown La Grange all in one spot.

By guest contributor: Nicolle

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review of Carmichael's Kids Bookstore: Local Shopping in the Highlands, Louisville, KY

 photo IMG_4009_zps66e3bf63.jpgI visited the new Carmichael's Kids Bookstore (located at 1313 Bardstown Road) with my daughter during their grand opening party, featuring a street festival in the Highlands a couple of weeks ago. The store has been open since August 4 and is a great new addition to Louisville, the Highlands, and families in the city. How better can you shop locally?! For books, one of my ultimate loves!

 photo 1896731_10204789850565515_3077901046192384788_n_zps6bc1e605.jpgThe new store is right in the middle of the bustling Highlands. It is just a block down from the Carmichael's Bookstore Highlands location; there is another Carmichael's location in the Clifton/Crescent Hill area on Frankfort Avenue. The owners decided now was the best time to open up a children's bookshop, as they had been talking about it for several years now. After we browsed the store and bought a chapter book in a series my daughter loves, we had some girl time and a drink at nearby Heine Brothers on Longest Avenue.

The store is just perfect. Anyone a fan of the movie "You've Got Mail"? Well think 'Shop Around the Corner'-totally reminds me of that and how one of my many dream jobs I like to give myself is a children's bookstore owner just like in the movie. The store is filled with shelves and shelves of children's books, ranging from very newborn board book titles, to toddler books for those little ones looking for a fun story, to all kinds of picture books and more. Chapter books and middle grade books are also lining the shelves; the store's book audience goes up to about age 12.

 photo IMG_4046_zps2f62e7d8.jpgIn addition to all of the awesome titles of books, from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to one of my favorites, Mo Willems and that Pig and Elephant, the store also houses neat parenting books, journals, and gift items for expectant parents. They also carry a pretty large line of gift ideas that have been carefully selected to reflect the shop local theme.

They will be playing host to lots of events and programs-so keep up to date on their website and Facebook page as well. Recently they announced two new storytime days, on Mondays and Thursdays at 11am (recommended for ages 2-5). Plop down in the bean bag chair window seat soon with a good book!

By guest contributor: Erin

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Picks for Things to Do this weekend around Louisville: August 22,23,24

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Check out our podcast about Develop New Albany and hear about the cool stuff they have going on!


Is it really fair that kids are back to school and this weekend it's going to be HOT HOT HOT?
We all know the Kentucky State Fair is still going on this weekend, but what else?

Looks like we might be in for some rain - check out our indoor fun post here.
If you are like....NOOOO! Bring on FALL!!!  Get excited by visiting our Fall Fun Links page

Friday
Renaissance Fun Park has a cool deal going on now.  See details here.  It's an special  - Unlimited Go Karts, Laser Tag, and Mini Golf ALL DAY for just $20 Per Person!! Please note: does not include cost of Fun Card ($1), which you can keep forever and use again

Saturday
Clarksville Parks & Rec is having a Touch a Truck event from 8am - 1pm at the Clarksville Little League Complex!  Details here and here.

Sunday
In the morning, you can find a spot to watch the IRONMAN event. We love having out on US42 and cheering for the cyclists (while eating donuts, isn't that terrible?)

In the evening, join us at Valley Dairy Freeze for Water Fight Night - RSVP and details here.  15% off the entire menu for dinner and treats, a water squirter activity to try to win free ice cream. Other door prizes handed out as well!

Have a fabuLOUs weekend!

Here's a FUNNY Back to School video for you!
Stephanie

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review of Charlestown Family Activities Park in Charlestown, Indiana

 photo photo1_zps4ea5cf3f.jpgSplashes and Slides and Ships Oh My!! As a treat for dragging the kids to the gym every morning, I surprised them with a trip to the Charlestown Family Activities Park. It is located in Charlestown, Indiana… Not too far of a drive from anywhere in the area. It was about 10 minutes off I-65. The address is 1000 Park street, across from the Charlestown High School.

 photo photo2_zps85cf1598.jpgThere is a $3 per person charge above the age of 2, which was not bad considering the quality of the facilities. They also rent out party rooms on site for birthdays or gatherings. I was initially nervous about going solo with a 4 and 2 year old, but this park quickly put my mind at ease. My kids tend to be a bit busy — resembling pin pong balls — so fencing around the entire playground and splash area was a huge bonus! If you come at a busy time, it might be difficult to keep an eye on more than one child if one is in the splash area and one is on the playground, because the two locations are separated by picnic tables with umbrellas.

The play ground was fantastic with tons of slides, walkways, bridges and hideouts! Both of mine absolutely loved all the climbing! Upon initial arrival to the park, everything was very clean and neat, and stayed that way everywhere we went. Bathrooms were large and clean. There were plenty of places to sit or enjoy a picnic. The concession area had simple fare food items at reasonable prices for added convenience. The background music was Disney/child themed which was nice and appropriate for the location. You could also roller skate in a covered area…not my little one’s cup of tea now, but several people were taking advantage.

 photo photo3_zps034392e9.jpgWe thoroughly enjoyed the playground and splash park. I highly recommend water shoes or sandals for the little ones as I spotted a few wipeouts with shoeless little ones. So, if your little man wants to channel his inner fireman with a water-shooting Nemo, or your little lady wants to channel her inner mermaid, this is definitely a great spot to stop on the sunny side of the river!

By guest contributor: Morgan

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review of Pearl Street Treats in Jeffersonville, Indiana

 photo big4_zpsdeaeed7a.jpgBack in late summer, my family and I headed downtown to the Big 4 Bridge to walk over to Jeffersonville, Indiana for the first time! It was so much fun! We had visited the Big 4 Bridge several times over the past year or so since it opened to Louisville, and were so excited to be able to do the full walk together as a family. We had actually spent the entire evening downtown that day enjoying a Louisville Bats baseball game and walking around the waterfront.

 photo big4_zpsef5bff6d.jpgWe ventured over the bridge into Jeffersonville in the early evening hours and as we walked down the ramp on the Indiana side, we ran almost right into the cutest little eatery, Pearl Street Treats. A cute flower lined front porch greeted us as we walked up the steps inside. It was pretty crowded in the tiny little store which features a handful of flavors of self-serve frozen yogurt. It was pretty typical of your frozen yogurt shops with the toppings bar, but also serves drinks and gourmet chips. The price is $.50 per ounce for the yogurt. My daughter said to her it was different because it was the closest froyo she has had that tastes more like ice cream, which she liked. They also carry homemade treats for dogs! The shop serves itself very well with its location at the bottom of the ramp! It seems that the owner of this local shop is going to have her hands full now that the bridge is fully functional!

Pearl Street Treats is located at 301 Pearl Street / 812-288-8850
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 11am-9pm
Friday-Saturday 10am-10pm
Sunday 1pm-9pm
Closed Mondays

By guest contributor: Erin

Monday, August 18, 2014

Labor Day Events and Things to Do for Families

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Here are some ideas for Labor Day Weekend around Louisville!

That Louisville Bats have games all weekend and remember - there are fireworks on Friday night!

The University of Louisville has a big weekend starting Friday, August 29. The field hockey team plays at 4pm, then the new soccer stadium opens with a women's soccer game at 6pm/men's game at 8:30pm. Click here for ticket information-range from $5-$9-fireworks will go off at halftime!

The West Louisville Fun Run is Saturday at Shawnee Park - to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana.  Click here for registration information and more info about the event, it's more than just a run!

The F. A. T. Friday trolley hop will run on Friday, August 29. Many businesses will host special offers, live music and refreshments. Free trolleys will run along Frankfort Avenue from Cannons Lane to River Road from 6:00-10:30. 

WorldFest - Admission to WorldFest is free!  It takes place Friday, Aug. 29-Sept. 1 from 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. and Monday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.  Over 90 performances, food, shopping and more!  Check out our review here.

City of New Albany is having a Labor Day celebration on the river - it's a movie night.  There will be food for purchase, fun games and a movie showing at dark (around 9pm).

Family - palooza - Sept. 1st - Blankenbaker Campus: 11am-5pm 920 Blankenbaker Pkwy Louisville, KY 40243 -   Indiana Campus: 11am-4pm 1309 Charlestown New Albany Road Jeffersonville, IN 47130 - Oldham Campus: 11am-4pm 6201 Crestwood Station Crestwood, KY 40014
It's an event put on by Southeast Christian Church.   The largest event will be at the main campus on Blankenbaker. Here's our review

If you are up for shopping, there's always the big Flea market which offers free admission. It's at the KY Expo Center -  Friday 12-6 , Saturday 10-6 , Sunday 11-6 , Monday 10-5  There's a special antique section this year.

Then there's the KY Bluegrass & Bourbon Festival  which takes place at the Louisville Water Tower Saturday, August 30 - (5-11pm) Sunday, August 31 - (5-11pm). It's $10 before 6pm, $14 after 6pm but kids 10 & under are free - parking is also free.

Head to a golf course at one of the Louisville Metro Parks.  On Labor Day weekend, they have a special (a family of up to four members can play nine holes at any Metro Parks course for just $20)   That includes greens and cart fees. Families can take advantage of the deal after 4:30 p.m. on three days: Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of Labor Day weekend.  Details here also.

There's also the Mayor's Hike Bike and Paddle  for those that want to be active on Labor Day Monday. It's at Waterfront Park and well...you hike, bike and paddle.

Clarksville is having a parade on Labor Day.  Check out details here. It's part of their ClarkFest that takes place from 10am-2pm. See their website for details.

Have a great long weekend!
Stephanie

Want to win tickets for the Louisville Bats?  
Contest over - winners have been emailed!
We have 6 ticket vouchers to give away - we'll pick 2 winners for 3 tickets each and you can head out to Slugger Field for Labor Day weekend for their last home stretch of the season!  You must be 18 or older to enter and by entering, you agree to these terms.
To enter: Email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net  and put AUGUST BATS in the subject line! One entry for email address. Contest ends 8/21 and winners will be selected at random and emailed 8/22.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Review Fleur-de-Lis Academy of Ballet in Louisville, KY

 photo IMG_20140812_165137_766-1_zps970aac81.jpgRecently, my 3 year old daughter attended a ballet class at Fleur-de-Lis Academy of Ballet. She has never done ballet and my most recent exposure to it was when I was 5, but I was very impressed with the class! The owner and teacher, Ariadne Connor, was very energetic, exciting, engaging, and everything she did was developmentally appropriate. She clearly has a lot of experience and a passion for ballet and to help others appreciate it as much as she does.

 photo IMG_20140812_165655_092_zps0a2e9cb6.jpgThe class started with some basic warm up stretches to songs and music. She sang and showed the students how to move. They soon stood up and practiced some of the basic positions, but she didn’t stress that they were perfect – it was more of an introduction to the idea for such young students. They then spent time with scarves; they ran across the room jumping over them while acting like different animals, and eventually used them in their hands while twirling and spinning. It was very active and fun. My daughter had a blast and keeps asking when she gets to go back.

There are many class options for various ages, although some are already full. Classes start August 25th. The studio opened this summer and will be fully running in a couple weeks. As time continues, they will expand their space, allowing for more classes to be taught in the future.

The studio is located in the Mellwood Arts Center. I would definitely suggest going a little early your first time if you are unfamiliar with the center, as it took us a little while to find the studio. A couple helpful hints are to find the elevator, go to the second floor, go left, and then right. It really isn’t hard to find if you know what to look for!

 photo IMG_20140812_165825_611-1_zps1a6e2fc5.jpgAfter going to this one class, I would highly recommend it if you are looking for an activity for your child. As far as ballet classes go, it is very inexpensive, at only $15 per class (compared to 20-30 at many other places). If your child is interested in ballet at all, I am sure they would really like this studio. There is plenty more information about the studio on their website.

By guest contributor: Lauren

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend: August 15,16,17

This post is proudly sponsored by:    

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Check out our podcast with the Louisville Visual Arts Association - let's talk about art in this city!


Back to school time is hard on family fun - new routines throw us off and we settle in to try to get used to them. But, you still need to make time for some entertainment, giggles, exploration and fun!

What's going on this weekend?

Friday - Sunday:  How about heading to the Kentucky State Fair?  Here's our post of favorites and tips with links to the KY State Fair info page.  Click here to see what's on schedule for this weekend.

Saturday: Are you having a baby and want to get your little ones ready to greet their new sibling?  The Diaper Fairy Cottage is having a fun class called "Getting Ready for Baby" 10am-noon for $15/child v (suggested for 3-6 yos). Space is limited so give them a call to pre-register. Details here.

Or, how about a trip to Holiday World? It's going to be hot so don't say goodbye to summer just yet.   Want to win 2 tickets to go this weekend (must be able to pick them up on Friday between 9am and 4pm - Newport Rd/Watterson Expy area).
Contest over - winner has been emailed



Gosh, or maybe event Pet Day at Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve. I'm having a hard time deciding this weekend. It's 10-2pm and free, bring pets of course.

Whatever you do, have a fabuLOUs weekend,
Stephanie

PS - Click here to learn how you might be able to get a free meal at the new Noodles & Company coming to Louisville!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review of Riverside, The Farnsley-Moremen Landing in Louisville, KY

 photo 20140712_154256_zpsd3b3614d.jpgInitially when the city announced plans to offer the cultural pass, I was skeptical. We’ve already been so many places and I didn’t think they’d really offer anything different and exciting. Boy was I wrong! There are places like the Louisville Zoo and The Kentucky Science Center on there, both of which we have memberships for. But I was excited to see places like The Filson, Yew Dell Gardens, and Riverside on there.

We were in the Portland neighborhood visiting Good Garbage when we decided to break out the cultural passes and visit nearby Riverside/Farnsley Moremen Landing. I don’t think I had ever been there myself, and it was definitely the first time for the rest of my family.

We enjoyed a picnic in the beautiful picnic shelter before heading into the visitor’s center for our tour. We had the tour guide completely to ourselves, which left my kids plenty of opportunities to ask questions and participate in the experience. We learned about the history of the home and surrounding lands. We saw artifacts and paintings, and learned about the role of slaves on the farm. We also learned about outhouses and chamber pots, fireplaces and bed warmers.

 photo 20140712_155417_zpse1d47414.jpg photo 20140712_161600_zpsb41f7535.jpgThis tour was on the longer side, so it was a little difficult at times for my 5 and 7 year olds to stay quiet and engaged. But they made it through and they learned a few things, and I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about Louisville’s history. Even if you don’t have a cultural pass, you can pay the max rate of $15 per family, which makes this a very affordable family outing. Read more about the Louisville Cultural Pass here.

By guest contributor: Maggie

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Date Night Needed in Louisville, KY - Parents, Get a Sitter

 photo patrick_zpsb3e4684b.jpgLet me preface this by saying I love my kids with all my heart. I really, really do. I love being with them, playing with them, reading with them, cheering them on in different sports and watching them sleep – some nights more than others. Now the fine print: sometimes I love to miss them! Let me give a “for instance”.

The For Instance 

Last week, I had to take my soon to be three year old to the doctors with me because I had a busted ear drum. I’m not sure if it was a sinus infection but I’m more inclined to believe it’s a result of my screaming toddler whenever I have to cart him away from some activity he has gotten himself involved in that he deems fun and exciting – like licking the cat or using a sophisticated ladder of kitchen items to try to reach the “secret” cache of chocolate.

 In any case, he was fine for the first hour with his snacks, cars, pencils and paper I was so proud of myself for bringing, but after that he got squirmy and when it was my turn in the lab chair to get blood drawn for some routine maintenance, he was pretty much over being at the doctors. So, as soon as he saw I was in a compromised position with my arm out of my bulky sweatshirt and the tech about to stick me, he managed to wiggle away, go into the hallway and then said, “Be right back!” before he took off like a cheetah past offices, patient rooms and stunned admins. So I had to jump up, arm still out of my sweatshirt, muffin top bouncing wildly and chase him. His response when he saw me coming was, “Faster, Mommy! You go faster!” So after I did catch up with him, and held him firmly between my knees while simultaneously trying to keep him from ripping the needle out of my arm, I was very ready to just get back in the car and have the day be over.

The Sitter-Worthy Option Chosen 

So yes, sometimes I like to miss them. That being said, it’s hard to get out. It seems like the more kids you have the smaller your babysitting pool. I have three and watch a lot of Dateline so that makes my pool even smaller because of trust issues. I do have my parents close by but only about half the year. So when I actually spring for a sitter or am blessed with a free night, I really want it to be worth the money and/or effort.

 photo ls_zps99148996.jpgThankfully there are a lot sitter-worthy options in Louisville and I think my favorite one of those is Bristol’s in Prospect for several reasons. First of all, their wontons are an incredible culinary delight and one of the best things this side of heaven. Second, you can always get a table. Always. Third, their staff takes great care of you and lets you set the pace of your dinner. I have been there dressed up and dressed down. It’s a relaxing atmosphere and the best part is I don’t have to think. It’s not a place to go to see and be seen. It’s great food and even at a little bit of a splurge, it’s definitely sitter worthy when you need to unwind.

Sure there will be weeks when you argue with your daughter over her wanting to be a real life Rapunzel but screams every time you try to brush her hair and you may want a different, more lively escape. But I’m here to say, Bristol at Prospect is great place to exhale – just don’t forget to breathe back in and repeat.

By guest contributor: Dana

Monday, August 11, 2014

LouFamFun Writers' Tips for Visiting the Kentucky State Fair

These tips were written after attending the 2013 Kentucky State Fair:


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Check out our podcast about all things Kentucky State Fair!

Erin: "Most years we always wait until the end of the fair to visit, usually the last weekend of the fair. It helps a little as it's a little less crowded, but this year I wanted to go earlier because our daughter had two 4-H entries that won 1st place at the Jefferson County Fair, which meant they automatically went onto the Kentucky State Fair! We went during the week to be sure to see her art projects early and see the most animals we could for our toddler's entertainment. If your child (age 9+) has access to a 4-H club near you, I highly recommend it! They work on projects all year that can be entered in the fair, and because they are an urban extension service, they cover the entry fees - plus! There's nothing like arriving at the fair, looking for your artwork, and finding it. It's so cool!"

Maggie: "We tried something new at the fair this year-wrist bands for unlimited rides.  They used to only offer them on certain days, but now they’re offered every day for different prices.  We went on Friday night so our wrist bands were $20 apiece.  What a deal!  My kids got to ride all the rides they wanted, going on most of them at least a dozen times.  The downside to this, of course, is that the lines for rides were longer than I have ever seen them before.  We had to wait sometimes 5-10 minutes for some of the rides.  But everyone had fun and we stayed later than we ever have before riding all the rides we could handle.  We’ll definitely do this next year!"

Brandy: "We happened to be walking past the Farm Credit Mid-America Show Ring as the stands were filling up for Miller's Border Collies show. We were too late to snag a seat, found a great place to stand off to the side near the goats. The owner brought the dogs out one by one and together they demonstrated how Border Collies round up animals on a farm. The dogs respond to verbal commands as well as different whistles. For this show they worked together as a team to herd ducks into different pens in the ring. Every now and then one of the younger dogs would get a little ahead of himself and the owner would call out "lay down" and the dog would flatten out like a pancake. The kids got a kick out of that! The show was brief, but entertaining and was a nice break from the afternoon sun."

Caryn: "This year I decided to try out the final day of the fair. I had fears of large crowds and out of stock vendors, but we gave it a try. Surprisingly, it didn't seem any more crowded than a regular weekend,  and we were only disappointed by the bee and honey group having run out of honey sticks - a tradition for our family. Several of the vendors had "Last Day" sales on merchandise with great deals! But the best thing about the last day of the fair was the horses.

On the last day of the fair, all the show horses have gone home and the draft horses come out to play. Have you ever wondered how many pounds a horse can pull? You can find out at the Draft Horse Pull competition, which happens to be one of the oldest sports in the world. This year the competition started with the lightest weight horses pulling 4,000 pound sleds. As the horses got heavier, and as the competition continued, the weight on the sled got heavier. I was amazed at how fast those horses pulled the wood sled full of cinder blocks, and how fast they took off to pull the sled as soon as they were hooked up. More than once the teams tried to take off before they were hooked up, pulling the handlers behind them. They are amazingly strong!

Each team took their turn pulling the sled about 28 feet. As the sled approached 8,000 pounds, the horses started to have some difficulty. We watched as the teams were unable to pull the sled the full distance and were eliminated from the competition. I really enjoyed watching and cheering the horses on, but my kids were ready to leave after about 45 minutes and needed to be distracted with ice cream and snacks to remain for the full 2 hours of competition. It was a very casual atmosphere where you could come and go as you please, eat and drink, and chat with your neighbors. The announcer did a great job of introducing the teams, talking about their other wins, and telling us more about the sport. Next time, I think I'll sacrifice our good seats in exchange for watching just the last part of the competition when the horses start to really show off. It was lots of fun, but a little long for my kids.

The last part of the fair we enjoyed was the animals getting packed up for home. Watching the farmers try to get some of the animals in their trailers was like watching The Running of the Bulls, but with pigs knocking over families and children as they raced down the aisles (no one was hurt, just startled). It was entertaining to watch, not to be part of, and it was something new we had never seen at the fair mid-week. Overall, I'd say there are positives and negatives to attending the last day of the fair, but we enjoyed it just as much as the less crowded times."

The 2014 Kentucky State Fair is August 14-24, 2014.

You can also see past reviews:
2010
2010 again
All Day Round Up - visiting for a FULL day!
4H & Food

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool

This is a Sponsored Post
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TIME FOR SCHOOL:  ARE YOU PREPARED?
By Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool; Bright Horizons at Louisville, Kentucky
 photo brighthorizonspic2_zpsee120fe1.jpgThe first day of school can be difficult for children of all ages. Children entering school for the first time are often anxious, but even children who have already attended school can be upset or concerned on the first day. 

What can you do to help make the first day easier for your child? Here are some tips:
·         Talk to Your Child
Remind your child that she is not the only student who is a bit uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are anxious and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
·         Choose a Buddy
If possible, find out the names of other children in your child's class. Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your youngster can walk to school or ride with on the bus.
·         Be a Cheerleader
Point out the positive aspects of starting school: It will be fun. Tell your child he'll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh his memory about previous years when he may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because he had a good time.

Transitioning from Summer to School
 photo brighthorizonspic1_zps03ff68af.jpgWhile it is wonderful to give children the opportunity for a more relaxed schedule during the summer, August is the time for gradually easing children back into a routine to avoid an abrupt transition when school starts. 

Here are some ideas for easing the transition into school:
·         Get into the Routine
Start re-implementing your regular routines during August. If you let your child stay up a little later during the summer, gradually get back to the bedtime you expect once school starts.
·         Practice
"Rehearse" packing lunches in the morning, so that you will know how much extra time it will take and what supplies you will need to have on hand. If your child will be purchasing lunch, begin collecting dollar bills and change in a location in the kitchen so you will have it handy. Do a "dry run" of the new morning routine, whether it's walking to the bus stop or driving to the new school to see how much time it will take. Remember, it almost always takes more time than you think, especially when the unexpected happens (e.g., you have to go back to the house to get homework, sneakers for gym, lunch, etc.).
·         Phase Out Naptime
Yes, we all love sleeping children, but if your child takes a nap, begin decreasing nap time so that he or she will be ready for a full day without a nap by the time school starts.
·         Check Out the School
If you haven't done so already and if the school welcomes the practice, make a visit to the new school to meet your child's teacher and other familiar faces. If this doesn't work with your schedule, arrange for a relative or neighbor whose child attends the same school to take your child before the official school year begins.
·         Have a Back-Up Plan
Make sure you and your child know the routine for before- and after-school care. Have a back-up plan for what to do in case you are late. You probably had a plan for your current child care center, but be sure that your emergency pick-up people know where the new school and after-school program is located and what the pick-up routine is there. It is better to prepare ahead of time than encounter an emergency.
·         Create Morning Moments
For happier mornings, develop a special "getting-ready" routine and stick with it. When children can predict what's coming next, they feel competent and are much more likely to cooperate. For younger children, a relaxing routine might start off with some snuggle time and independent play, followed by a nutritious breakfast. For older children, it might include time to collect homework and plan for afternoon activities.
It's impossible to protect our children from the world and school is a big step towards their independence. With our reassurance and patience, our children's transition to school can be rewarding for all of us.

For information and articles relating to school readiness, visit the Bright Horizons
 Ready for School website.

Bright Horizons at Louisville is located at 632 South Fourth Street in Louisville.  We are pleased to offer infant, toddler, preschool, and kindergarten prep programs for learning, as well as school’s out programs and camps for school age children. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend - August 8,9,10

This post is proudly sponsored by:    

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Check out our podcast about HerKentucky.com - a blog you are sure to love!

Back to school, back to school. My kids are getting ready. I have one going to kindergarten this year - we are so excited.  Some people get all sentimental but I am such a geek - I am excited for her to go and learn new things and make new friends!

What's going on this weekend?

Friday:
How about an outdoor movie night? It's not staying light as late so this is a great time to go. Louisville Zoo is showing Croods - very cute movie. Field opens at 6 p.m., movie starts at sundown The Zoo Crew will provide free entertainment before the show. Pack your blanket or lawn chairs. 
Movie nights are free to Zoo members and only $5 after 5 p.m. for non-members.  But oh no! The rain - maybe Louisville Mega Cavern's Mega Quest instead!

Saturday:  How cute is this?  Meet up at The Parklands of Floyds Fork Egg Lawn for a big tricycle ride from 9-11am.  It's free.  Anyone have an adult tricycle I can borrow?  

Or, Bowl for FREE at King Pin.  See details here.  Grades K-12, free bowling, hot dog and soda from 12-4pm. They are going to have a DJ, face painter and more. WOW!

 photo waterfightnight_zps13df658f.jpgSunday:  I'm so excited about this!!!  Carmichael Kids bookstore is opening. It's the Carmichael’s Kids grand opening celebration on August 10, 1pm-4pm. It will be a street party on Longest Avenue at Bardstown Road.  Food, games, entertainment -----and books.

POSTPONED TO AUG. 24th due to predicted rainfall! And in the evening, of course you need to head to Let's Meet: Water Fight Night at Valley Dairy Freeze.  Details here.  Mix and Mingle with other families, enjoy dinner or ice cream (or both) at a discount.  Kids will get a chance to run through water guns squirting to win free ice cream - kids will, of course, get to try to squirt the running kids as well!

Stephanie

CONTEST IS OVER - winner has been emailed. Thank you for helping us reach 10,000 likes on Facebook! We promised a giveaway.  The prize is two certificates for painting at Pinot's Palette in St. Matthews and a $20 gift card to Salsarita's that's right next door - making for an awesome ladies night out valued at $80!

You must be 18 or older to enter and by entering, you agree to these terms.
To enter: Email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net  and put LADIES NIGHT OUT AUGUST in the subject line! One entry for email address. Contest ends 11:59pm 8/9 and winners will be selected at random and emailed by end of day 8/10.

Review of Movies on the Lawn at Norton Commons in Louisville, KY

 photo photo1_zps08ad798e.jpgSummertime in the Louisville area offers many opportunities to watch free (or cheap) outdoor movies. My family decided to go watch the Lego Movie at Movie on the Lawn at Norton Commons.

We packed our own snacks and drinks, bug spray and grabbed a couple of chairs and blankets before heading to the movie. I thought we were allowing ourselves plenty of time by arriving at 7:30 for a movie that would not start until nearly 9:00. Half of the lawn was already filled by 7:30. We started to put our stuff down behind the line of chairs and blankets, but quickly saw that we had no chance of really seeing the movie without all of us having chairs. I decided to take a quick look up front, hoping to find a small area of open grass for the five of us. Luckily, we found a spot about ¼ of the way from the screen, but we couldn’t use our two chairs without blocking the families that had already set up behind us. This was kind of a bummer, but at least our somewhat early arrival allowed us an opportunity to find a spot up front for our blankets.

 photo photo2_zpsf248434a.jpgMany of the children were playing in the grass and area around the lawn before the movie. There was music playing and Valhalla Dental Center was handing out popsicles, popcorn balls and small bags of kettle corn to everyone. I noticed that some families had walked the short distance to Gelato Gilberto and brought it back to the lawn. Other families had food from some of the other eateries located in Norton Commons.

We were given a 15 and 10 minute warning before the movie started. The movie started a few minutes before 9 pm. It wasn’t quite dark yet, but we could still make out the picture. We had to spread out on the blankets in order to find spots to view the movie. Half of the screen was out of my view for most of the movie, but I didn’t hear any complaints from the kids, so I wasn’t going to disturb the peace!

The Norton Commons movie lawn is long and narrow and lined with newly planted trees and a sidewalk. Spreading out, outside the lawn onto the sidewalks is doable, but you might be looking around a tree versus high back lawn chairs. The projector screen was decent size (perhaps raising it a little higher would help everyone be able to view it even without a chair) and the sound quality was perfect. I had to get up once to take one of the kids to the restroom and saw that the lawn was nearly full and many families had spilled out onto the sidewalks. The sound was still of high quality all of the way in the back.

 photo photo3_zps900ac090.jpgMy kids immediately asked to come back for next month’s outdoor movie night. Lessons learned: 1. Bring a chair for everyone to ensure unimpeded viewing of the screen. 2. Make sure you limit the liquid intake. I did not see any public restrooms or port-o-potties. Luckily, we were able to use a restaurant’s restroom before they locked their doors. 3. Arrive super early! Despite the sore back from not having a chair during the movie, the kids stayed happy and left singing, “Everything is Awesome!”

By guest contributor: Nicolle

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review and Comparison of Holiday World (Santa Claus, IN) vs. Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, KY


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This post is "old" so current prices may be different than what is noted below

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After being closed for 5 years, Kentucky Kingdom has reopened its gates! My family and I recently spent one day at Kentucky Kingdom, followed by one day at Holiday World. Below is basic information comparing the two parks.


Location 
Kentucky Kingdom is located in Louisville, Kentucky.
Holiday World is located in Santa Claus, Indiana. It’s a little over an hour drive down I-64 West (take exit 63).

Parking
• Parking for Kentucky Kingdom is located at the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center and costs $8. There is an area for drop-off/pick-up off Phillips Lane.  (New in 2015: parking free for season pass holders)
• Parking for Holiday World is FREE!

Admission Cost   (2014 info - check website for changes year to year)

Kentucky Kingdom Adults $44.95* Under 48 inches $34.95 Seniors (55+) $34.95 Children 2 & under Free Military & First Responders can get discounted tickets (Max 4 tickets with proper ID) *Check Kentucky Kingdom’s website to get general admission adult tickets for $39.95
Holiday World Adults $44.95* Under 55 inches $34.95 Seniors (60+) $34.95 Children 2 & under Free Military & First Responders can get discounted tickets with proper ID *Check Holiday World’s website to get general admission adult tickets for $39.95.

Food Options 
• Kentucky Kingdom has two restaurants that allow you to go inside to sit down and eat- Casa Mia Pizza and Swampwater Jack’s. There are several food stands located throughout the park if you are looking for a quick snack or a sweet treat. There are two $1 drink stations where you can purchase 32 oz. drinks for $1 (with season pass). If you don’t have a season pass you can get a $1 refill, but you have to purchase a Kentucky Kingdom sports bottle first.
• Holiday World had a few more restaurants options and a few more food stands throughout the park. They also have a section on their map/guide that tells you where you can purchase allergen friendly food. They had Pepsi Oasis stations located throughout the park where you can get unlimited soft drinks. The cups are small, but you can get as many as you want.

Changing Facilities/Lockers 
• Kentucky Kingdom has two changing rooms located near Hurricane Bay. They are rather small. There is a locker area located near each changing room, and also one near the front of the park.
• Holiday World also has lockers near the front of the park and at the entrance to Splashin’ Safari. Holiday World had a lot more lockers than Kentucky Kingdom. They had bathroom/changing rooms throughout the water area. The changing room we used was very clean and bright. The restrooms were towards the back of the changing areas, and they too were clean.

 photo 20140729_135028_zps68fb6c83.jpg Water Park
• Hurricane Bay doubled in size this year! Some of the new features are the Family Wave Lagoon (new wave pool), Adventure River (a faster lazy river), Buccaneer Beach (interactive water play elements and slides for the little ones), and several new water slides. There were plenty of lounge chairs available when we went, or you can rent a cabana (also new this year). Don’t worry if you forgot your sunscreen, they have several stations with free sunscreen throughout the park. I felt like there was plenty to do for all ages. The smaller kids will enjoy the family wave pool and spray areas with smaller slides, while the bigger kids and adults will enjoy the Big Surf (original wave pool) and all the new water slides. If you’re feeling brave you can try Deep Water Dive, which is the region’s tallest water slide with a 12 story drop!
• Splashin’ Safari also has two wave pools, a lazy river, splash areas for kids, and several different water slides. They also had free sunscreen available throughout the park. Splashin’ Safari seemed a little larger to me, but that may have been because it was more spread out than Hurricane Bay. They were very crowded, and only a few chairs were left that didn’t have towels on them. I would recommend getting there early to get a spot.

 photo 20140528_142439_zpsa80a68a7.jpg Rides!
• When my family and I go we usually stay in King Louie’s Playland. It’s towards the front of the park, and the short walk is nice on those really hot days. Inside this children’s area are 12 rides, four of which are new. My daughters are 3 and 1 ½ years old, and really enjoy this area! This area is usually not too busy. There have been many times when we stay on a ride two or three times because there is no one else in line when the ride’s over. The longest we have waited for a ride is a few minutes. There are several benches to sit on and 2 “King” chairs that the kids flock to. There are a few other rides outside this area that smaller children can ride on as well. Kentucky Kingdom has 2 roller coasters, including the new Lightning Run. Besides the roller coaster there are about 12 other rides that are geared towards older kids and adults.
New in 2015 - 8 additional rides! Read more here

• Holiday World is divided into holiday sections with several theme related rides in each section. The Christmas area and Holidog’s Fun Town each had six rides for smaller children. There were a few rides in each of the other sections (Halloween, 4th of July, Thanksgiving) that my 3 year old could ride, but not many that my 15 month old could ride. I felt like Holiday World had more rides for older kids and adults, including 4 roller coasters! We did enjoy the Raging Rapids water ride (Kentucky Kingdom has a similar ride opening next year) and Frightful Falls (which is a smaller version of Kentucky Kingdom’s Mile High Falls). Holiday World was very busy, even though it was a weekday. Some rides had a wait of over an hour. The rides in the Christmas and Holidog area didn’t have much of a wait, and my children really enjoyed them.
New in 2015: Holiday World has a new coaster - click here for info. 

My family and I enjoyed both parks! Both were similar in price. We thought the staff at both was friendly. Both parks were clean, but Holiday World’s bathrooms and changing rooms were cleaner. Both offered free sun-screen! Holiday World offers free soft drinks and has a few more options dining wise. Kentucky Kingdom was not nearly as crowded and had shorter lines. Holiday World has more rides for older kids and adults, and Kentucky Kingdom has more for smaller children. I did feel like Holiday World had more families in attendance, whereas Kentucky Kingdom had more teenagers walking around. I think a lot of people are using the drop-off area to save the $8 for parking and not going to the park as a family. We didn’t see anyone being loud or rude, but did see several police officers walking around throughout the park. Holiday World had more of a park-like feel with larger trees and grassy areas. I know Kentucky Kingdom is working hard on their landscape this year, and hopefully it will have that same feel in the future. I always hear or read that Holiday World is #1 for family fun, and I would have to agree.

By guest contributor: Kimberly