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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Programs in Louisville that Support Local Children and Communities

Just today, a juvenile decided to shoot another juvenile in a school.  That is just unacceptable on so many levels.  We might think, why would you settle a squabble with a gun?  Take such extreme measures for what is being reported as a silly motive?   Time will give more answers but the answer, in my opinion, is that somewhere, somehow, this juvenile was not taught how to cope.  They weren't shown how to deal with difficult situations in an appropriate way. Someone didn't equip them with tools to manage their life, their struggles small or large.  This person obviously had access to a gun but, sadly, that might be said about many young people and not all young people turn to violence. Why?  Because they have people invested in their lives that make a real connection with them to show them their value, show them the value of other people and teach them how to properly walk through life to be the best person they can be.

I truly believe in the goodness of people and have empathy for those who are lost in our community. It is disturbing that the students and staff at Fern Creek High School experienced such a traumatic event, that a young person was targeted and injured.  I am also distressed about the young individual who turned to gun violence.  Both sides are extremely sad.  I have chosen a path to dedicate all of my professional life to children because I can model to my own children a life of service and compassion but someone has to do that for those who do not have a model - so I'll try to play as many positions as possible.  

I hope that you are compelled to look at the time you have week in and week out and consider finding a local organization through which you can help steer our young people in the right direction.  Model for your children that you care about your community and inspire them to grow up socially conscious.  Changing one life changes the lives around them.

 photo Be_the_Change_TA67260lrg_zps361dff4f.jpg

In Louisville - the following organizations serve our children in a variety of ways and you can help in some capacity.   Don't just watch the news coverage, dedicate your time to doing something. 


Metro United Way is a great place to start looking for ways to help!

School lock downs and violence are too regular.  I believe that investing quality time in our communities will impact our future for the better.  If only one volunteer would be one of many, maybe the change would be apparent sooner rather than later and events like what took place could be past, not present.  

Stephanie

Photo from http://onenomadwoman.com/spare-some-change-tour/

Review of Open Gym at Discovery Gym in Shelbyville, KY

 photo 20140823_091917_zpsa84271b4.jpgMy family and I recently moved to the Shelby County area. Being new to the area I am constantly on the look out for family friendly things to do that don’t involve traveling to Louisville. Much to my excitement, I learned about The Discovery Gym. It is a fairly new establishment that offers gymnastics classes, a pre-school and Kindergarten program, birthday parties, and open gym times. From Louisville, it’s about a 20 minute drive past the Middletown exit on I-64. If you’re looking for a more scenic drive, you could head down Shelbyville Road and see some amazing homes and horse farms. 

The Discovery Gym currently has open gym on Saturday mornings from 9-9:55 for $5 a child. It may seem early, but if your children are like mine than you are probably already wide awake by 9am. To sign up for open gym you need to “like” Discovery Gym on Facebook because that is where you will sign up each week with your child’s name/age. Once 10-12 children have signed up you will be put on a wait list. The morning of the open gym they will let you know on Facebook whether or not there were any cancellations. I have been put on the wait list twice, once we got to go and once we didn’t. I have found that it is much busier in the winter months when there isn’t as much to do outside and people may be getting a touch of cabin fever. 
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The gym itself isn’t that large, but there are still lots of fun things for children of all ages. They have two rock walls, several different size balance beams, a climbing rope, swing, trampoline, uneven bars, parallel bars, and a few other pieces of equipment that you would find in a typical gymnastics class. My 3 ½ year old bounced around the gym from one thing to another, but really enjoyed trying to flip on the bars and walk across the tallest beam. My 1 year old enjoyed being bounced on the trampoline. 
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In the back part of the gym is their open preschool classroom. It’s not separated by walls so if you have children playing in both areas you can watch them pretty easily. This area is full of wooden blocks, a doll house, a kitchen, baby dolls, cars, legos, and a few other toys that are accessible to the children during open gym. My daughters really enjoyed this area as well. It was a good way for them to rest after being so active in the gym area, but once they got their energy back they were ready to hit the gym floor again. 

I think this open gym is great for families who live in the area or are planning on being in the area for awhile. I, personally, wouldn’t travel to Shelbyville from Louisville just to visit a 55 minute open gym. I would, however, suggest visiting the open gym and then seeing some of the other wonderful sights Shelbyville has to offer. I would recommend Gallrein FarmsThe Outlet Shoppes, or you could travel a little further down I-64 to Salato Wildlife Center.

By guest contributor: Kimberly

Monday, September 29, 2014

HerLouisville: Guide to Looking & Feeling Great and Enjoying Autumn

This post is sponsored by 
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Autumn is an incredible season here in Louisville. The city is full of fall festivals, football games, and the vibrant foliage of fall. Any given weekend may bring a neighborhood or cultural festival , a trip to Huber’s, and a high school football game or two. It’s a busy season, so we’ve put together the HerLouisville Guide to Feeling Great and Enjoying Fall to help you stay as pretty as the season around you.

Whether you’re tailgating, picking pumpkins, or just celebrating the season, here are some tried and true ways to look great while enjoying your autumn:

Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten sunburned on a beautiful fall day at Churchill Downs or Cardinal Stadium. Yeah, me too. Even in cooler temperatures, most of us find ourselves spending a lot of time outside on beautiful autumn days. It’s easy to get sun damage or even a light sunburn on sunny fall days. Remember to re-apply sunscreen frequently to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin.

Remember to hydrate!
The intense temperature changes of Kentucky autumns bring dramatic foliage and beautiful flowers. Brisk breezes and temperature changes also make it easy to get dehydrated. Keep a refillable water bottle with you at all times, and don’t forget to moisturize your skin. You’ll look and feel better, and have more energy to enjoy autumn events.

Eat your autumn vegetables!
You’ve probably reminded your kids to finish their veggies at least a half a million times. Be sure to take your own advice and enjoy some of the season’s vitamin-packed harvest. Leafy green vegetables like kale and rainbow chard are full of antioxidants and keep your skin glowing and your body performing at its highest potential. These superfoods are in season now and can be found for a great price at Lucky’s or your local farmers market.

Take some time for yourself!
Autumn brings so many amazing opportunities and obligations that it’s easy to wear yourself out. Don’t try to do it all: packing in too many fun activities leads to an overtaxed family who can’t function at school or work. You need to remember to take some time to relax. Many local yoga studio and massage centers are running great promotions through Groupon and LivingSocial right now. Easy to reach, easy to afford and easy to take care of yourself! And remember that a night in with good friends and a good bottle of wine is sometimes the best autumn activity of all!

 photo PonchoPricklyPear_zpsb563be3a.jpegDon’t forget to layer!
 photo WrapPricklyPear_zpsf9610550.jpegThe old saying goes that if you don’t like the weather in Kentucky, stick around a day and it will change. I find that, during Kentucky autumns, weather changes are more of an hourly thing. Dressing in layers is the only way to stay on the go while trading out pieces that are appropriate for the very moment. Pair neutral leggings or skinny jeans with a long-sleeved t-shirt, and keep a vest, fleece or poncho in the car. You can easily switch between t-shirts that support your kids’ soccer team and a dressier poncho or wrap as you switch between activities. Riding boots or wellies keep you warm and pull the look together.  The pieces shown are available at the Prickly Pear Boutique in Middletown.


Have a gorgeous autumn, y’all!
Heather

Learn about Heather and see a growing compilation of HerLouisville features on our new page dedicated to the topic.  We'll focus on entertaining, style and dining with moms in mind!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fall Break Camps in Louisville - 2014



 photo kentuckysciencecenterfallbreaklogo_zps09febd4f.jpgThis is a partially sponsored post.



 Dive into the wild world of the arctic. Leave Earth behind as you explore the stars, space and beyond. Discover the ideas behind today’s technology… and take a bite out of Hollywood’s favorite craze as we explore the science behind zombies. All these themes and more are available this fall during SCHOOL’S OUT SCIENCE CAMP at the Kentucky Science Center. Science SCHOOL’S OUT SCIENCE CAMPS offer exciting educational experiences for children in grades Pre K-8! Join us for unique topics that are designed to inform, engage and entertain! Camp prices vary. Register online at KYScienceCenter.org or by calling 502-561-6100.





 In alphabetical order:

All About Kids October 3-7 and 20-24. Ages 4+. Half and full day options. Swimming, open gym, and more! Prices range from $30/half day to $185/week for full day.

JCC Schools Out Days All days include sports, arts and crafts, swimming and more. October 3-7. 9-3, with before and after options. $62/day.

Kazoing  Jumping, art, games, play and much more. October 3-7 and 20-24. $40 Full day, $22 half day.

Kentucky Science Center Lots of science related learning and fun. Pre K-6th grade. Half and full day depending on age. $24-$45/day.

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The Parklands at Floyd's Fork Explore the science of hibernation and habitats! Grades K-3. 9-4. $45/day for non-members. 
YMCA of Oldham County October 21-25. Swimming, arts and crafts, sports, fitness, games and time in our Adventure Center. Ages 5-14. $40/day or $147/week for non-members (cheaper for members).

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend: September 26,26,28

This post is proudly sponsored by:    

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It's officially Fall!!!  Check our Fall Fun Links page  and Halloween post !
Download our App - click here.

Click play and learn about Bricks & Minifigs - an awesome store in Middletown

Let's get to the picks for the weekend:

Friday:
Dine outside! Pick a new place to try - Elizabeth Woolsey recently recommended Impellizeri's patio (Holiday Manor, I believe).  We have our list of outdoor dining options linked here.  My kids actually love the Village Anchor patio and Anchorage Trail is right there for a nice walk after dinner.  We get dressed nicely, learn about manners and proper etiquette and have a family date outside, it's wonderful.

 photo nulufestad_zps2c42e26e.pngSaturday:
Give me an N! Give me a U! Give me an L! Give me a U! What's that spell?!?!?!?!  NULU!!  Click the image for details.

WOOO HOOO It's Nulu Fest and I heart Nulu. Louisville Family Fun is sponsoring the Kids area so come by and say hi, get some freebies, play games and definitely get ice cream since Valley Dairy Freeze will be there and donating 15% of the sales to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana.


Sunday: 
It's the Ken-Ducky Derby.  Potentially one of the most unique sites in Kentuckiana - thousands of runner duckies being dumped into the Ohio River.  It's noon-5pm at Waterfront Park. Check out details here and see our past review.

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,
Stephanie 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Local Hobby with Kids - Retro Record Player and Record Shops in Louisville, KY

 photo 20140804_141202_zps2f1d4fff.jpgSometimes amid a flurry of video games and Netflix, you find yourself wanting to introduce your kids to a little alternative culture. There are so many options out there for families seeking a change of pace every once in a while. For my family, that change of pace has come in the form of a vintage 1978 Fisher Price record player.

We are regular attendees of the Flea Off Market, so we were thrilled to hear about the BBFlea in St. Matthews, which was basically an encore of the regular once a month event. The first booth we stepped into contained the record player. I picked it up and immediately purchased it without hesitation for maybe $20. I had been thinking about getting a record player for myself anyway, and I knew the kids would love having one of their own.

 photo 20140804_145309_zps8eed8b16.jpgWe picked up three records that day- Beach Boys Party, Sesame Street Signs, and a story record. When we got home several hours later, we discovered the needle on the record player was bad. I tweeted out a distress call and my Twitter friends responded almost immediately that I should take it to Magnetic Tape Recorder in Irish Hill. I took it that Monday morning and they fixed it while I waited for $30.

When the kids got home from summer camp that evening, we sat in their room listening to records. I taught them how to handle the records, how to use the record player, and the importance of being careful with the needle. As we sat listening to the Beach Boys and talking about music, my 5 year old son told me, “Mom, I think this is good for you, too. You can stop by any time.” My heart melted.

 photo 20140804_143943_zps78176d22.jpgFor the rest of the summer, every time we had a day off we would hit the record shops. Several of the shops we visited also had used books and comic books, so we’ve expanded our horizons to include those as well. The range of musical genres we’ve collected includes Caribbean steel drum music, show tunes, big band, jazz, classical, and lots of rock n roll. My kids really enjoy going into record shops and flipping through the albums, and I enjoy being able to teach them to appreciate many different kinds of music.

Here’s a list of a few places in Louisville to find records:
Book and Music Exchange
Better Days 
Highland Records
Half Price Books
Guestroom Records 

By guest contributor: Maggie

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review of General Butler State Park in Carrolton, KY

 photo 20140726_164723_resized_zps79511b26.jpgMy kids and I discovered a hidden gem in Carrolton, KY recently - General Butler Resort State Park. We drove through the first entrance to find a picnic area, playground, tiny basketball court, and shelters (you can reserve them for parties). Then we saw that they had even more! Mini golf, a mini train ride, an ice cream stand (most under $3), a boat dock, and the entrance to a 1.6 mile hiking trail. (There is also a bathroom building that was pretty clean and spacious).

 photo 20140726_173115_resized_zpsd67e47a3.jpgWhen we got there, there were a couple of private parties, but it still didn't feel crowded. The canoes and paddle boats are available to rent for $10 an hour (10am - 4pm), the 18 hole mini golf is $4 or $3 for kids under 12, and the mini train ride is $1.50 each. My kids enjoyed it all! Then we got back in the car and drove up to the rest of the park. We came to an Observation Point which was worth the stop to get out and look (we even watched 2 fawns eat grass 10 feet from us). There was a nice looking 9 hole golf course we drove by, and at the other end was the old Butler-Turpin Home from 1859 which is open for tours (tours available May through Nov, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm, $5 adult, $3 under 18, free for children 6 and under). There is a nice history on display at the house and on the website.

 photo 20140726_171755_resized_zps82d1cdf8.jpgAt the other side of the park are archery, tennis, playground, and more picnic areas. And of course, there are overnight stays available. You can tent or RV camp (111 campsites with utility hookups and grills, showers and rest rooms are available at two central service buildings and one laundry facility is available). You can stay in one of the 24 cottages (one, two, and three-bedroom cottages with one bath and two baths, and stocked with supplies). Or stay at the lodge (each of the 53 rooms features a private balcony or patio overlooking the pool or hillside) with a restaurant at the lodge for dining.

General Butler State Park was a great place for a short stop or long visit. Especially considering pets, bikes, and other options available that aren't always allowed at other parks. We're looking forward to heading back and staying overnight next time!

By guest contributor: Caryn

Monday, September 22, 2014

Parents Like Us: Elizabeth Woolsey

This post is sponsored by 
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 Louisville is a big-small town, no?  Through this awesome adventure that is LouFamFun, I have come to realize that those people you see on billboards, hear on the radio, elect to positions or lead board rooms - they are really, simply "Parents Like Us."   I learned that they read LouFamFun and use it just like everyone else, they wake up early to prep school lunches, shuttle kids to soccer, worry about their kids, encourage their children when they need it most and it just so happens - a lot of people might also know who they are because of their jobs.   Hence, this feature came to mind to give them a voice to share about their families and their lives in Kentuckiana as it relates to parenting.

 photo sean008e_zps04f4231c.jpgThis first feature is Elizabeth Woolsey.  I have to admit, I see her on TV and think..... WOW! She is so put together, always looks great...does she ever put her yoga pants on backwards when late for dropping the kids off at school?  Well, I don't know the answer to that one but I do know the answers to the questions I asked her. Yes, she's leading the local news on WDRB but she's also a mom, a wife, and likely the household finder-of-lost-socks just like me.

Tell us a little bit about your family and how long you have called the Louisville area your home:
I’m originally from Missouri, and my husband from Arkansas. I met my husband in Arkansas covering a story when I was working as reporter, and he was a newspaper photographer. We’ve been together ever since! My job at WDRB brought us to Louisville. We love it here and have called it home for 16 years! We have two boys, one in kindergarten and one in second grade at Christian Academy of Louisville.

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What's one thing every parent in our area should know about?
The public school system here operates differently than any I have ever seen. My advice to parents is do your research early! Look into all your options earlier than you think is necessary, so you can take tours and select the school that provides the best fit for your children. There are great public and private options!

If you had $20 to spend (and we make you spend it!!) to fill an entire 3hrs of entertainment for your family, what would you choose to do?
We love the St. Matthews farmers market on Saturdays. There is something for everyone with animals, food and entertainment. We always buy kettle corn for the kids, delicious homemade pasta, fruits and veggies. We’ll also grab sandwiches at Jimmy John’s and hit a local park.

What is your families favorite quick meal spot for dining out, and why?
You’ll find us at either Texas Roadhouse or Impellizzeri’s every week. Texas Roadhouse is one of the only places my kids will clean their plates. My older son could live on the rolls alone if I allowed it. And we love the patio at Impellizzeri’s. Besides the great pizza, my kids have plenty of room to take their Hot Wheels and spread out while we eat.

It's Date Night!!!! Where are you going?
My idea of a great date night is a long, relaxing dinner. We love Varanese and also frequent NuLu. There are so many great choices there, and we might hit one spot for dinner and another for dessert. We’re lucky to have so many fantastic restaurant options here – it’s sometimes hard to make a decision.
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What gets you through those tough parenting days? (besides date night!)
I talk to my mom often. She always has great advice and such a positive attitude. Comparing notes and talking with friends is also a huge help. Sometimes just sharing problems and concerns and discovering you’re not alone can be comforting. Friends who have been in your shoes usually have great advice as well.

Thanks Elizabeth, it was our pleasure to learn more about you!
Stephanie

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend around Louisville: September 19,20,21

This post is proudly sponsored by:    

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You can always find new ideas by visiting our Fall Fun Links page - check it out!! Newly added Halloween post with a Holiday World giveaway that ends Friday night - act fast.

Click play and learn about this weekend's National Jugband Jubilee event!

Let's get to the picks for the weekend:

Friday
Shoot for the stars with this event at Blackacre: Stars over Blackacre.  Stargazing at 8pm with Louisville Astronomical society sounds out of this world. And, for $15 per family to attend an event that's both educational and entertaining - that's a big score!

Saturday
We are playing soccer all morning, how about you?  Then, our pick is to head to the dentist. Seriously!  There is no cooler dentist in town than Dr. Korie at Derby City Pediatric Dentistry because her and her staff take such pride in kids loving going to her office.  Head to her Fall Festival from 10-1 and get kettle corn (it's crazy good) and all sorts of treats and lots of fun. Full details here.

Also, it's the National Jugband Jubilee that's.....FREE! Noon - 11pm at Waterfront Park - jugband music.  What's that?? Go see.  Details here.

Sunday
200 Years on the Ohio (also on Saturday) Sunday will include: an 1860s base ball game between the Cincinnati Buckeyes and the Cincinnati Red Stockings @ 1:00 PM; presentations by "Mr. Lincoln;" period fashion shows; a Regency tea, dancing demonstrations and archery demonstrations.  I'm a total geek - this sounds AMAZING!  Farnsley-Moremen Landing. Cost per day is $6/Adults; $5/Seniors; $3/children (ages 6-12); Children 5 and under are FREE or just $15 per family (2 adults and up to 3 children.) Admission includes a tour of the 1837 Farnsley-Moremen House and all activities.

Have a fabuLOUs weekend! As always, check out the calendar above for even more ideas.
Stephanie

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review of PRP Ice Cream Corner in Louisville, KY

 photo prp_zpsfbb27d4e.jpgPRP Ice Cream Corner is a cute little ice cream shop located at the corner of Sky Blue and Greenwood Rd in the Pleasure Ridge Park area of Louisville. It replaced an old, vacant building and was such a wonderful addition to the neighborhood in 2010. The ice cream shop, locally owned and operated, is going strong. Most of the workers are high school students from PRP, and they have always been super friendly. Many times you will run into one of the two super-friendly brothers who own the shop. I recently talked to one of the owners, Donnie. He told me that they strive to make PRP Ice Cream Corner a clean, safe, family friendly environment. They also try to keep the prices as affordable as possible for everyone. I thought the prices were very comparable to other ice cream shops I’ve been to.

 photo prp3_zps87f2d33f.jpgThey have over 24 different hand dipped flavors including some sugar free options. I have enjoyed butter pecan, cookie dough, strawberry, spumoni, and cinnamon. My daughter’s favorite is superman because she thinks it makes her stronger. They also have vanilla, chocolate, and orange soft serve. They serve shakes, malts, and sundaes, including their new hot fudge cake sundae that has two pieces of cake. Yes, two! I must admit that I have enjoyed my share of sundaes this summer. Besides ice cream you can enjoy hotdogs, BBQ sandwiches, nachos, chips, candy, and sodas.

You order your ice cream from a window outside. It’s covered with a very large canopy which is nice on those sunny days or if you are getting ice cream on a rainy day. After you order you will pick up your ice cream at another window. They have always been quick to get our ice cream out, which is nice because it’s hard to keep a 3 year old waiting when it comes to ice cream. With your treat in hand, head over to the Banana Split Pit, which is a large covered patio with lots of wooden benches. I’ve never had any problem finding a seat. The shade is nice and helps keep the ice cream from melting as fast.

 photo prp2_zps1508e632.jpgOverall, PRP Ice Cream Corner is such a wonderful addition to the PRP community. I love locally owned and operated businesses, and I try to support them as much as possible. It’s clean, friendly, and affordable. I would recommend it to anyone in the area looking for a sweet treat. They are only open until October, and the date will be announced on their Facebook page. Be sure to follow their page so you can also learn when their end of year blowout date will be. Almost everything will be half-off! Be sure to fill up that day to hold you over until the Spring when they will open up again!

By guest contributor: Kimberly

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Events and Things to Do in and around Louisville for Halloween 2014 -Indoor Options too!

CLICK FOR Halloween Events 2016

This is a partially sponsored post.
Sponsored by:
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In chronological order and constantly updated so check back often.  Past events for early October have been deleted to make it easier to read for upcoming events. 

 photo LouisvilleFamilyFun_WebBanner_2014_400x200_zps95767bd3.jpgWorld's Largest Halloween Party is at the Louisville Zoo - various dates - tickets are on sale now! Even members wanting to attend on discounted nights have to reserve tickets.   It runs pretty much the entire month of October and is the place to be for family fun in Louisville this time of year.





KY Renaissance Fair is having a month-long pumpkin (insert Oprah voice) extravaganza.   It's October 4- Novemeber 2 (that's how they spelled it, I'm being cheeky) on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only.

Jack O' Lantern Spectacular - 5,000 pumpkins light a trail the length of five football fields at the base of Iroquois Park October 9 -November 2. Open from dusk to 11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets range from $9 to $15, with discounts for seniors and children 12 and under.  Ticket info online at www.jackolanternlouisville.com. Unlimited season passes to the event will be available for $40 and discounts are available at the Box Office when using your Thorntons Refreshing Rewards Card. The event is held rain or shine.

Mary T. Meagher has old school fright night movies on the lawn at the Mary. T. Meagher Aquatic Center throughout October.


Lots of Louisville Free Public Libary special Halloween themed story times, check your location for options.



someecards.com - Do you have chocolate? My mom is going to eat half of my candy and she likes chocolate.
A funny by LouFamFun!

The Bass Pro Shop has Halloween freebies October 24-31. Details posted on their website. It's all FREE!

Belle of Louisville has special cruises for Halloween like the Scaryoke cruise or the Boo cruise.  Late October - Different dates, times, prices!

Oldham County YMCA Halloween Party - October 29th 6-8pm.  Free and open to anyone.

Creepy Carnival Halloween Party at California Community Center - October 30th - 6:30pm – 7:30pm - 1600 W St Catherine Street - See their twitter message: Last year's PACT in Action Halloween Party was a blast, let's do it again!

Trick or Treat Event at National College - October 31st, National College, located on 4205 Dixie Highway in Louisville, is hosting a community Trick-or-Treat event from 1:00p to 5:00p. Bring your kids in their costumes for candy and a fun and safe indoors Halloween experience. For more information, call 502-447-7634.

Head to Bricks and Minifigs in Middletown on October 31st, and if your child is in costume, they will receive a treat!

The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass is also hosting a trick or treating event throughout their complex; it is not indoors but is a safe experience during the day for families. It is free and from 4pm-6pm on October 31 502-722-5558


7th Street Haunt Family Friendly trick or treating - October 31st 4-7pm - indoors - FREE for kids up to 12 years old - lights on haunted house.

F.A.T. Hop - Halloween Hop October 31st 6:00-10:30pm on Frankfort Ave.

Fall Festival at Highland Park First Baptist Church -  October 31st, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Candy, food, trunk or treat, games, bouncies,free for all. www.hpfbc.com for more details. 7321 Billtown Rd.

Light Up the Night - New Birth Ministries on October 31st

Some of the area Kroger stores even offer trick or treating on October 31st. Check with your local store!

Trick or Treating at Oxmoor Center - 5-7pm

Trick or Treating at Mall St. Matthews - 5-7pm

Green Tree Mall trick or treating: 6-8pm while supplies last, kids under 12, no masks

Shepherdsville Fire Department trunk or treat event on October 31st - click here

There's Hillcrest Ave too - the best Halloween decorations in the city - great place to walk for an evening. Click here for another video.

Hetzer Haunted House - October 31st. Free haunted house for Halloween night. Probably for teens and older.

PRP Yard Hunt - Take your fun outdoors to a yard hunt at the Pirates of PRP  This is a free attraction that is kid and family-friendly (FB pics will show you how scary it is). It is free -please bring one non-perishable item with you. Located at 9007 Seaforth Drive 40258
Now through October 31

If your kids 10 and up need some screams, there's a haunted attraction called Grim Trails in Middletown on Friday and Saturday nights.

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This list will be updated continuously!  Know of a Halloween event we missed?  Email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net

Monday, September 15, 2014

Review of All About Kids - Open Gym - Oldham County Location in Crestwood

Tami was given admission to open gym for the purpose of writing a review.

 photo photo1_zps4fcc44de.jpgMy daughters, ages 3 and 5, and I went to the Inflatable Fun Zone and Preschool Open Gym at All About Kids in Crestwood for great escape from the heat and a great way for them to get exercise!

The Fun Zone, which is open M-F from 10am – 2pm, is only for kids ages 5 and under (they do offer Fun Zone times for older kids as well).  This preschool only time really allows for the little ones (and their moms) to enjoy their time without worrying about older kids taking over the play space.  For just $6/child the Fun Zone boasts three large inflatables (bouncers and slides), a small trampoline, multiple slides in different sizes, ride-on-toys in different sizes, and a climbing structure.  They really do have something for all ages.

We arrived at 11am and were the first ones there.  My girls were ecstatic to have free rein over the play area.  Not long after we arrived though, more friends showed up.  In total there were about 15 kids in the Fun Zone that day and while the overall space is fairly compact, it did not feel crowded. 

Moms of younger kiddos are generally inside the fun zone helping their little ones navigate the play structures, but there is also a seating area just outside the Fun Zone so moms can take a seat and still see the entire play area.  Another great feature of the Fun Zone, it has two locking gates so no one can escape!

At 12:00pm, the larger gym opens and all of the kids, again only those 5 and younger, are allowed to go over to the “big” side and use the larger gymnastics equipment.  Prior to opening the big side an instructor will gather the kids and go over the rules, which are focused on safety.  Once the gates open the kids can enjoy large trampolines, foam pits for jumping and swinging, balance beams in various heights, a trapeze (which is manned by a staff member), and various bars and rings.  As a mom of two, it was a little stressful when both girls wanted to be in different parts of the gym and needed assistance, but you can see the entire gym at all times so it was easy to split time and still keep an eye on both.

While the big gym was open, there were two staff members on the floor, monitoring safety and enforcing the rules.  They were very attentive to the kids and would help anyone who needed it.  My oldest daughter actually fell off of one of the balance beams while we were there and instantly a staff member came over to check on her and brought her some ice.  I don’t think she really needed it, but thought it was great customer service!

The big gym is open for an hour and the staff was great about giving a 5 minute and 2 minute warnings that the big gym was about to close.  Once the big gym closes you can return to the Fun Zone until 2pm.  One thing that I noticed on this visit (and others), the Fun Zone is relatively quiet while the big gym is open.  So, if you have a really little one that might be a great time to visit the Fun Zone to try out the bigger play structures.

 photo photo2_zpsa015adcd.jpgThe facility, while a few years old now, is still very clean and the equipment is all in good shape.  The restrooms were clean and have small sinks which is great for post-play clean up.    They also offer cubbies to store shoes and other personal items. And, they do now have a snack bar and another big gym area which was not available when the facility first opened.

All About Kids is one of our go-to indoor play spots.  It is great for getting little bodies moving and climbing.  It offers a fun and safe environment for kids to play and a great space for moms to connect.  It is an ideal spot for a play date or just a fun morning out with your kids.  You can get a membership to the facility, but the Fun Zone and Open Gym are open to both members and non-members.

To learn more about All About Kids in Crestwood including the Fun Zone, Open Gyms and other great things like classes and parties visit their website

By guest contributor: Tami




Sunday, September 14, 2014

Family Book Review - September

Erin was given two Little Critters Collection books and merchandise for purpose of review

This month's family book review is brought to you by Kohl's Cares and includes two stories from the Mercer Mayer storybook collection, Little Critter. Kohl's Department Stores are offering these items for purchase for $5 until September 20. 100% of the profits from these merchandise purchases goes directly to charities supporting children's and women's health and education initiatives across the country.

Little Critter's Bedtime Storybook by Mercer Mayer contains four short stories related to getting to bed! Have fun winding down at nighttime while reading bedtime stories with a fussy princess, a bear who learns to share, and a cold windy night. These stories are a great length for bedtime and of course the well-known and beloved illustrations of Mercer Mayer captivate young children!

Little Critter Jack and the Beanstalk is a great, interactive lift-the-flap version of the classic tall tale. The story begins with "Once upon a time there was a little critter named Jack." Little Critter Jack frolics through the beanstalk story, and fun flaps for little fingers to lift on every page. This story will surely delight young readers!


By guest contributor: Erin

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend: September 12,13,14

This post is proudly sponsored by:    

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You can always find new ideas by visiting our Fall Fun Links page - check it out!!
And, enjoy our fall festivals podcast

Let's get to the picks for the weekend:

Friday
Get your InstaFam Hunt tickets - it's at the Louisville Zoo - lots of prizes (over $1,000 worth) will be awarded, freebies, includes your Zoo admission for during the event and their outdoor movie. ALL of the proceeds go to charity! Details: http://www.louisvillefamilyfun.net/p/loufamfun-experience-series.html
Discount available via our Facebook page!

Saturday
Enjoy a Fall festival!  Why not take a little day trip? Simpsonville has a great on this weekend and I believe our fabuLOUs Erin has selected the Apple Festival at Evans Orchard for her family fun this weekend. All listed here.

And, My Gym is having an open house on Saturday. Click here for details.

Sunday
It's Family Adventure Day at Churchill Downs. Click here to read our review from the spring event.  It's $5 if you buy the tickets online in advance and it includes a lot of activities!

Have a fabuLOUs weekend! As always, check out the calendar above for even more ideas.
Stephanie

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Top 10 Unusual Vacation Spots in Kentucky

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1. Wigwam Village in Cave City Kentucky used to be one of seven similar hotels in America, but now thanks to the popularity of the Interstate there are only three left. This is a unique piece of Americana. I’ve tried three times to get reservations to no avail, so book early.

2. The Tree Top Roundhouse along Lake Cumberland Shores is up on stilts in the tree tops. It will provide your family with a relaxing getaway in nature.

3. Have you ever wanted to try off-grid living? This cabin in the middle of the Red River Gorge features a turf roof, propane cooking, and a composting toilet. The only interruptions you’ll get are when the owners bring you five gallons of water a day.

4. The Jailer’s Inn in Bardstown, KY has plenty of posh rooms to choose from. But the most unique room they have is the restored jail cell, complete with black and white stripes and pictures of Elvis and James Dean. You can actually sleep in a restored jail bunk!

5. Did you know there’s an Inn at Shaker Village? This historic site offers simple Shaker accommodations in a rustic setting.

6. Rabbit Hash General Store is in the heart of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, the town that has a dog for mayor. You can stay in the General Store’s apartment and explore all the charming town has to offer.

7. If you’re looking for the next place for your big family reunion, check out Pine Paradise at Nolin Lake. This place has 8 bedrooms and sleeps 48. There’s a game room, party barn, lake, fire pit, barbecue pit, and more.

8. Sleep in a castle at Castle Post in Versailles.

9.Stay in a luxury Yurt in the Red River Gorge at Cliffview Resort. A dome on top allows the sunlight in during the day and the effect of sleeping under the stars at night.

10. Hidden Cave Ranch offers a bed and breakfast atmosphere with horseback riding and relaxation.

By guest contributor: Maggie

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Best Playgrounds in and around Louisville

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Allison: Always Beckley. Why? Because my kids can do most everything and if we get tired of playing we can go on a walk.  We have a review here.

Nicolle: I might get in trouble for this......but someone introduced me to the KCD (Kentucky Country Day private school) playground a few years back. I don't think it's considered public, but it's an awesome playground designed like a maze-like castle. There aren't too many scary fall through spots, plenty of slides, swings, monkey bars and just room to run!  Oh no she didn't!!

Lauren: Hounz Lane Park. It's smaller so it isn't so crowded, but with plenty to do. There's also a creek to explore and great picnic places!

Dana: Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve - Harmony playground. It's so close to our home and has a playground, gardens and trails. The kids love it!

Stephanie: I'm going with Iroquois because the playground is big but also has a smaller contained kids area and it's near the spray ground and hiking trails.

Maggie: Robsion Park in Lyndon has a really great walking trail (for little ones learning to ride bikes too.) Their playgrounds are great, but be sure to wear sunscreen since there's no shade.

Erin: For playground only purposes, our fave right now is the Don Fightmaster Playground that's by UofL. It's huge, lots of great ramps to explore (making it very accessible for disabled/handicap children), and enclosed with a fence so my active toddler can't escape! Hard to park, but if you eat at McD's right next door you can park in their parking lot.

Jackie: I'm going to say Douglass Hills park. Play equipment is great for my aged kids, walking loop is right there, great for picnics. Yep. Love it.

Kimberly: Riverview Park in south Louisville. Great sprayground, lots of neat playground equipment for various ages, and a great view of the ohio river!

Brandy: We recently discovered Briar Hill Park. There is a playground, sand volleyball, paved walking path and some hiking trails we've yet to explore. Also, real restrooms. We'll definitely visit again soon.

Maggie take 2 - she can't make up her mind: I might want to change my answer. We like Wendell Moore Park because there's a great Lake for fishing, picnic sheds, and a nice playground.

Caryn: We like Waterfront Park with the Ohio River fishing/walking, Big 4 Bridge, and Tumbleweed for lunch/dinner to make a day of it!

Tami: Crescent Hill by Mary T Meagher Aquatic Center - it is TINY, but has both a play structure and a splash area. We have never been when it is crowded. The aquatic center is right there so you have access to bathroom.

Feel free to suggest your favorite park in the comments!

Monday, September 8, 2014

HerLouisville: A Guide to At-Home Tailgating

This post is sponsored by 
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If your house is anything like mine, then you know exactly what you’ll be doing every Saturday from now through December: watching college football. Between skyrocketing ticket prices, the unpredictable Kentucky weather, and the lack of rewind buttons and couches in the stadium, I find myself staying away from the stadium and throwing tailgate parties from home. It’s just more laid-back and comfortable to invite friends to watch at home than to spend an entire day out in the elements.

 photo UofLTailgate_zpsbf02e4ec.jpegI’ve gotten a lot of practice at putting together a quick at-home tailgate, and today I’m going to share with you my favorite tips to help you throw a stylish at-home tailgate without breaking the bank!

Mix in a few team licensed signature pieces with solid color plates and napkins from the dollar store, or even from your own cabinets. This lets you fill in your team colors without spending a ton on decor.
 photo PricklyPear1_zps9494fa3a.jpeg photo PricklyPear2_zpsac48a3ed.jpegI just love these U of L and UK serving pieces from The Prickly Pear! They’re inexpensive, chip-resistant, feature multiple sports and proudly announce your team spirit!

Small bites mean less waste! Make bite-sized hamburgers on dinner rolls for your littlest guests or nervous game-watchers.

 Keep kids entertained with downloadable football-themed coloring sheets. Have a “Helmet Design Contest” with inexpensive foam footballs, or other small “prizes” that they can enjoy at the party.

Assume your guests will be thirsty! Go ahead and plan on several beverages per guest. The more variety, the better. Adult guests may enjoy a beer, wine, or bourbon. Everyone needs to stay hydrated. Pick up inexpensive bottles of water as well as a few types of soda. Flavored sparkling water is a great choice, too; it adds a delicious twist without the sugar or caffeine of soda.
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Don’t spend so much time prepping that you miss the game yourself!
It’s easy to make everyday snacks special while saving time! Don’t be afraid to order pizza and use some pre-made shortcuts for your party!

I’ve found a brand of pimiento cheese that I just love; I pair it with some crackers and crudités and it’s all set. Most Louisville delis offer Southern staples like pimiento cheese, benedictine or beer cheese. A couple tubs of these favorite spreads go far!

Add a Kentucky touch to your favorite brownie mix by adding a tablespoon or two of bourbon to the batter. The alcohol bakes out, and you’re left with a rich bourbon accent to your brownies.

Have fun, and I hope your team wins big this season!

Heather

Learn about Heather and see a growing compilation of HerLouisville features on our new page dedicated to the topic.  We'll focus on entertaining, style and dining with moms in mind!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Open House at My Gym Louisville

This is a sponsored post
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Open House at My Gym Louisville
September 13, 9am-2pm


 photo mygym3_zpscac407e4.jpg Looking for something to do next weekend? Bring your children for a free day of fun at My Gym Louisville! Check out our facility and meet our fabulous staff. We'll have games, music, puppets, prizes, raffles, and more. We'll also be offering exclusive open house discounts on class enrollment and registration fees!
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My Gym has developed an extraordinary program and facility devised to help children 6 weeks thru 12 years of age develop physically, cognitively and emotionally. We offer structured, age-appropriate, weekly classes that incorporate music, dance, relays, games, special rides, gymnastics, sports and more.

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In addition to our classes, MyGym Louisville also offers fantastic Birthday Parties, Parent's Night Out, Camps, and special events.

MyGym Louisville is located at 11770 Shelbyville Road, at Village Square Plaza in Middletown.

If you have questions about the Open House or would like more information on any of our programs, give us a call at 502-614-6001, or email louisville@mygym.com.  Website: mygym.com/louisville Facebook: facebook.com/mygymlouisville