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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Things to Do this Weekend around Louisville - May 1,2,3

This post is proudly sponsored by:

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Download our App - click here - the events calendar and Kids Eat Free list right at your fingertips!

Who am I kidding?  It's Derby weekend - should I even post picks for things to do? Definitely, you should take a look at our Derby-Fun-At-Home post and enjoy a great day at home with friends and family if you aren't headed to the track!  What a glorious weekend it will be!

Perhaps on Friday - you might head to Fest-A-Ville and enjoy activities and Chow Wagon delights.

And, on Sunday - I think we should all prepare to actually do all of the things we said we would do "after Derby"

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review of Junior Course Children's Music Academy in Louisville

Children's Music Academy (CMA) is a program developed for instructing young children in music theory and piano. The program was developed 30 yrs ago in Littleton, CO, and has since grown to include studios in 18 states across the US-- including the first KY studio here in East Louisville.

 photo 402117_10150504681324438_647824437_8648299_2053911657_n_zpsextqmjio.jpgMy son and I had the pleasure of being part of owner, Kim Esposito's, very first class in her Prospect home studio. The class, known as the Junior Course, is geared towards pre-K and kindergarteners and no previous musical experience is required. My son was in kindergarten and had just turned 6 when the class began. It was much different than the private music lessons many of us experienced as children. Children's Music Academy conducts classes in a small group setting and is parent-involved. Our class began with 6 children, each with either their mom or dad present. 

 photo 320f3a85-ec3a-4d20-8920-5801e63c6969_zpsz6ckq0mv.jpgOver the course of 3.5 years, we learned a great deal of music theory, ear training, piano, rhythm, harmony, some basic recorder and even a little bit of guitar-- all in a very fun, active setting. There were stories, games, singing, dancing, costumes, ensembles, solos, prizes and lots of giggles! I could genuinely talk on and on about all of the amazing things that we did during our time at CMA. It's hard to believe we began our first sessions by baking an imaginary 'music cake' and concluded our last sessions with the kids performing Chariots of Fire as an ensemble! I enjoyed the experience so much that I enrolled my daughter (now in kindergarten) and I'm going through it all over again!

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In the beginning, I worried that the course was too long. However, I must say that our time at CMA flew by, and I was completely blown away by the things that my child learned. Numerous scientific studies have shown that there is a critical "musical window" in early childhood when the potential for developing a musical ear is the greatest. In addition to gaining musical knowledge, I personally saw a huge correlation between my son's musical training and his ability to complete mathematical tasks. Also, when my son had a very involved hearing test for a processing disorder, the audiologist was surprised and noted that his pitch discrimination skills were off the chart! His advice? "Keep taking those music classes!"

 photo IMG_2712_zps7y68elij.jpg One of the best benefits of CMA was the extra time we spent together. We had fun and faced challenges together in class. When we practiced at home, oftentimes, it was my son who played the role of 'teacher' and showed me what to do. We will be forever bonded by the time we spent together learning music. At the end of the course, this March, we had a recital and graduation. It was an incredibly proud moment for both of us! Even with as much work as it took to prepare, my son says that showing off his skills was his favorite part of the entire program. It probably didn't hurt that he got to play the Star Wars Theme Song for his big solo.

In addition to the bonding and the knowledge we acquired, my favorite aspect of the class was our instructor, Ms. Kim. A long time piano teacher and former preschool teacher, Ms. Kim is very enthusiastic and great at encouraging children and meeting them where they are. It is obvious that she loves music and teaching and that CMA is a perfect fit for her. I  highly recommend Children's Music Academy as a fun and valuable learning experience to anyone with young children.

 photo IMG_6930_zpssrp63qic.jpg For more information check out CMA's website. Most months, Ms. Kim hosts a free demo class in her home, which gives a taste of both the Junior Course, described above, and the Pre-Junior Course for 3-4 yr olds. These free classes are listed on the website and on Facebook.

By Guest Contributor: Brandy

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review of breakfast - brunch at First Watch in Louisville

 photo birthday_zpsemsus5ej.jpgMy family and I recently went out to eat for my birthday breakfast. I love to have big family breakfasts, and to celebrate my special day I enjoy finding a new place to check out for a good breakfast meal. This year, we decided to try the newly opened First Watch Louisville that opened in January.

 photo IMG_7003_zpshcp0swak.jpgThe restaurant was very nice, clean, and kid-friendly. I pick it as a good spot for families with kids of all ages, and especially younger and active ones like mine. We arrived at about 10am on a Saturday and it was busy but not overly busy. We had a wait of about 5 minutes for our table and were quickly seated with drinks within minutes of sitting down. I am not sure if this wait time is the norm, but we were pleasantly surprised! First Watch does have a kid's menu with different options including breakfast and lunch items. The kid's meal price is $4.99 and includes a drink.

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My husband ordered a Belgian waffle, and had eggs and bacon with it. I had the breakfast called The Traditional which is two eggs any style, choice of ham steak, bacon, turkey sausage or sausage links, an English muffin, and seasoned potatoes. My daughter had a three stack pancake dish. We ordered my youngest the Bacon and Egg (also comes with sourdough toast and fresh fruit) kid's meal plate. See the entire kid's menu hereFirst Watch Louisville has great prices that are affordable for families, a great atmosphere and roominess to their restaurant. 

First Watch Louisville is only open for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. The hours are each day from 7:00am-2:30pm. It is located at 201 S. Hurstbourne Parkway.

Phone: 502-384-6075

By guest contributor: 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Week in Preview April 27th-30th

This post is sponsored by:
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It's Derby Week! Take a deep breath and GO BABY GO!

Here are my picks for the week:

Live it: It's the Great Steamboat Race and the Louisville Water Tower is a GREAT place to watch it live! On Wednesday, April 29th from 12:00 noon-8:00pm you can enjoy the WaterWorks Museum, Tours, Festival Food, Terrace Views & kids activities from 3-6pm. The parking fee is only $20 for a carload! Check out their website for more information.

Eat it: It's Derby, so if you can you should definitely go check out the Chow Wagon at Waterfront Park! Samplings of the food offered include BBQ, roasted chicken, gyros, and funnel cakes. Live music is also performed at various times during the day. Check it out here for more information.

Move it: The 8th annual Kentucky Derby Festival Health Fair will be held in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center, in conjunction with the Republic Bank Parade Preview Party.  Geared toward healthy lifestyles for families and kids, this event will be held from 5:00 pm to 9 pm on April 28th, with free health screenings being done onsite. Move it on over and get yourself checked out! More information can be found here.

Learn it: Have your child (12 and under) submit a poem to Carmichael's Kids National Poetry Month Poetry Contest. Submissions need to be entered by April 30th and need to be delivered in person so make sure you give yourself enough time. Go here for more information!

By Guest Contributor: 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend around Louisville: April 24,25,26

This post is proudly sponsored by:

 Balloon Fest
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Download our App - click here - the events calendar and Kids Eat Free list right at your fingertips!

It's KY Derby Festival time!  Head to the Balloon Glow tonight at the KY Expo Center. Admission is free with your Pegasus Pin (remember the $8 parking fee).  The gates open at 6pm and the glow begins at 9pm.  You know, just you and 50,000 friends. It's one of the most popular Kentucky Derby Festival events!

The Parent-Teacher Store and Toys too! is excited to start carrying Breyer Horses.  They are celebrating with some free paint-your-own horse crafts and giveaways at their store on Saturday from 1-4pm.  

Celebrate Derby time with crafts at The Diaper Fairy Cottage (open 9am-4pm) - yes, they have more than just diapers!  They will have two craft stations to make Kentucky Derby hats and Riverboats out of newspaper. They'll also have a Derby week picture contest for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate! It is free but they are also accepting donation for charity.

Head to Indiana for the  “Indiana Frontier Experience” at Historic Tunnel Mill in Charlestown 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (also on Saturday).  Encounter the pioneers and settlers that carved homes out of the wilderness, the Native-Americans who lived there, the tradesmen who brought their skills, plus surveyors, farmers, politicians and river-men of the period. Enjoy a full cross-section of early American life in the Indiana Territory with demonstrations, craftsmen, native camps, stump speeches, battles, bare-knuckle boxing, and even a Sunday morning church service! An $8 parking fee benefits the John Work House restoration. Concessions will be available.

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Review of Arcade and Laser Tag at Renaissance Fun Park in Middletown (Louisville)

LouFamFun writers were granted admission for the purpose of review.

 photo unnamed_zpsguh6f4n6.jpgOn recent Friday night, a group of LouFamFun writers met with our children to participate in laser tag and games at Renaissance Fun Park. We asked each writer to share their favorite part about their experience and provide tips for families who may be considering going.

Maggie- My youngest went in to laser tag apprehensive but he quickly realized how fun it was and ended up having a blast. Seeing how much fun my kids had was my favorite part. It's really hard to hear the announcements and I wish there were lockers to put purses and coats, so you will want to leave valuables at home and make sure you pay close attention to start times. Overall it's a great time!

Caryn- This was our 1st time ever to Renaissance Fun Park. It wasn't that crowded considering it was Friday night. I loved that they were going around with free samples, and that all the "tickets" loaded right onto the card - no need to hold them or risk losing them. I wish there were more tables to sit at inside - we couldn't have sat down to eat dinner if we had wanted to...but they did have a great selection of snacks, a (free) water fountain, clean bathrooms, the games appeared to all be in working order, and I saw them quickly mop up a spill. Overall it seemed very clean inside the whole place. I'd be interested to see what kind of crowd is there on a non-weekend night. And I love all the deals they run on different nights. We'll definitely try it another day of the week sometime.

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Stephanie- I was shocked at how clean the bathroom was, seriously, with lots of kids there.... pretty darn clean! Favorite part: Laser tag and genuine shock and giggles from everyone while we played. Tips: Don't bring a lot of stuff, just what can fit in your pocket so you can have hands free of everything and check out the weeknight deals. Looking forward to trying it when we can go inside and outside and spread out.

 photo f2f213f7-4236-4ea6-b02c-caa695709327_zpsrie9jrnh.jpgAllison- Overall my son and I enjoyed the laser tag, he did mention that he would have felt very nervous had we gotten split up during the game. It was a fun night and $5 was actually plenty of money for the arcade games assuming that your kid doesn't get sucked in by the machine that has the iPad in it that you can win. LOL! Even if you went for a quick $5 date with your kiddo to celebrate a good report card it is affordable. Tip: With smaller kids try it out during the week. The bigger kids were overwhelming to my kiddo and myself.

Karen- Kids AND (us) adults love the laser tag! I think for someone's first time, try (Renaissance), if possible, on a weekday evening.

Nicolle- Our favorite part was team laser tag! I can see us going back as a family and playing against each other. I agree that the announcements were hard to hear. Some of the team play instructions were lost between the excitement and chaos (Ex: how to reload, where to get extra points). My son did comment that he asked an employee for help with his phaser and was happy he could easily find the employee in the arena. I wish the laser tag line was little more organized to help decrease the amount of little line jumpers.

     photo unnamed-3_zpsdirdl2uh.jpgBrandy- My kids and I had a blast with the laser tag! Before arriving, we were concerned that the gear might be too heavy for my 6 yr old, who is under 40 lbs. However, she was able wear the vest and and shoot the phaser with no problem. My family preferred the individual laser tag over the team laser tag. The recharging was a hassle and slowed down play. I could see it being exciting for older kids or party groups. We also enjoyed playing the games, and I was pleased to see the games token/ticket system has been updated to a card system. Tip: If visiting on a weekend, and you prefer to sit down during meals, I would recommend eating before visiting. There aren't many tables for eating inside.

    In addition to arcade games and laser tag, Renaissance Fun Park offers mini golf and go carts. There is a full snack bar on site. Renaissance also offers three different birthday party packages. They often offer discounts throughout the year, so be sure to check the Specials tab on their website before planning your visit.

    By Guest Contributor: Brandy 

    Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    Review of Nature Connects: LEGO exhibit at the Louisville Zoo

     photo 20150410_161648_zpsxsolsih0.jpgNature Connects® is a LEGO® brick sculpture exhibit presented by Ford Motor Company. This limited time exhibit is free with Zoo admission or your Louisville Zoo membership. 

    Throughout the Zoo, one will find 13 exhibit areas, with a total of 23 nature-inspired brick sculptures. Sean Kenney, an artist and children’s author, built the sculptures that range in various sizes, some close to 7’ tall!

     photo 20150410_1627250-1_zpsvi1j6iou.jpgUpon entrance to the Zoo, you will be offered a small, white pamphlet. On the back side is a list of all the sculptures and their locations, information of the LEGO® Brick Bash happening May 30-13, the LEGO® Brick Yard: Stay and Play, as well as an optional scavenger hunt at the bottom.
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    On this particular day, we had 3 adults in our party and 4 kids, ranging from 5-8yrs old. The kids were immediately drawn to the idea of “searching” for the sculptures. As for the adults, we were all mesmerized by the intricacy of the sculptures, and the facts/details about each, as they are posted beside each one. There is something for everyone to enjoy with these sculptures, especially for those who are really into LEGO® construction.

    Although we read each posting, and were amazed by the amount of bricks each sculpture required, we did not participate in the scavenger hunt on this trip – but definitely plan to the next time around!! 

    This exhibit will be available April 10 – July 5, 2015.

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    *For hours of operation, visit http://louisvillezoo.org, and for additional information, visit http://louisvillezoo.org/brick

    By Guest Contributor: Karen

    Sunday, April 19, 2015

    Weekly Preview April 20th-23rd

    This post is sponsored by:
     KDF miniFun Run

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    Don't you just love the warmer, longer days? I hope you and your family are able to enjoy them!

    Here are my picks for the week:

    Live it: It's Give a Day week of service. Whether you give an hour, a day, donate blood, give food, clothing or simply help a neighbor, everyone can do something! Head over to the website and sign up to help. Go here for more information!

    Eat itKids eat FREE on Monday & Tuesday evenings when you Dine In at Bearno's. Check it out here for hours and locations.

    Move it: Try a fun game of Frisbee golf at either Iroquois Park or Charlie Vettiner Park in Louisville. This a fun game that uses a special Frisbee on a 'golf' course of 18 holes. Learn more about what Frisbee golf is here and find course locations here.

    Learn it: The U.S. Postal Service celebrates April as National Card and Letter Writing Month by issuing colorful Forever stamps sheets complete with decorative stickers. Some ideas on helping your child write letters can be found here. Take some time to practice writing letters to family or friends. I bet they will love receiving a card, letter, or postcard from you and your child!

    By Guest Contributor: 

    Thursday, April 16, 2015

    Picks for Things to do this Weekend around Louisville: April 17,18,19

    This post is proudly sponsored by:
     Use code LOUCAW thru 4/12 to get 50% off  (Louisville)

     Register by 4/15 for discount rates!

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    Download our App - click here - Kids Eat Free list right at your fingertips!

    Enter to win a free registration for your child to the Kentucky Derby Festival miniFun Run! Here

    It's the Gallopalooza preview: See all the statues before they hit the streets. It's all weekend but Friday it's 5 - 9 p.m. It's located Downtown at the corner of 8th and Magazine Streets - one block north of Broadway. Tickets are $5.00 at the door. Free admission for children 3 and under.

    THUNDER!!! Need I say more?

    Not into the big downtown crowds? How about 18th Century Thunder at Locust Grove.  How totally unique to have this experience of a 1778 Revolutionary War Reenactment! See details here.  $4 for adults, free for kids 12 and under. 

    CANCELLED - Check out the Sunday 1pm University of Louisville Baseball game vs. Wake Forest.  I'm a WFU grad - so happy to see my Alma Mater here in town!  These games are free :)

    Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

    PS - Spring Festivals post , it's SWEET!

    Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    Review of Suzuki Stars Music Academy in Louisville, KY

     photo IMG_7096_zps3zut5nb9.jpgThis studio opened up fairly recently and offers private or group lessons in violin, viola, cello, guitar, flute, and piano. Another unique aspect to this studio is the Suzuki Steps Baby/Toddler Class for ages 0-3 and the Introduction to Violin for ages 3-5.

     photo IMG_7097_zpsphz6wfpp.jpgI was able to recently observe a couple of violin lessons at the studio. The lessons were led by violin instructor and Academy Director Blaise Poth. Ms. Poth also happens to be my daughter's former violin teacher whom we met at her elementary school in the Suzuki violin program. She is a violinist who has been playing with the Louisville Orchestra for 30 years and also leads the Suzuki Institute at UofL. At this particular lesson, I watched two young twin girls who were 3 years old. They were in the beginning stages of the Suzuki program and were playing a practice method called "I Can Play E." They went through the steps of Suzuki, such as first using your violin feet together and then taking a bow toward each other. Then they went through these steps 1. Feet placement 2. Violin on shoulder 3. Bow Hold check 4. Bow on E, then start to play. They did very well for 3, with plenty of gentle reminders to listen first, repeat, go to rest position, violin up on your shoulder and "hide your sticker." Everything was age appropriate.  These two girls came to violin lessons from the Suzuki Steps class that is offered for babies and toddlers. I also got to observe their mother take a lesson; she had decided to start learning along with her two daughters which I thought was really neat.

    In the Suzuki Steps class, children learn musical elements through the Suzuki method, which is completely through repetition. Children master the songs in this way. Those young students often go onto learning to play an instrument, and the transition is very smooth with both programs being offered in the same space. Read our past review here. In the Introduction to Violin, children ages 3-5 are introduced to the violin in four classes; it's designed for little ones who want to learn to play violin (children must be 3 years old to begin). Ms. Poth takes the children through one step at a time, from getting the violin, to placement on the shoulder, to getting the bow, to properly holding the bow and playing.

     photo IMG_7038_zpstvr6phvx.jpgThere are three studios in the space, along with a multi-purpose space for piano lessons and recitals that are done in house. Interested students/families can contact Ms. Poth in a variety of ways indicated below. She is taking on new students, and really wants to encourage new students in the other instrumental instruction, especially viola and cello. Her cello instructor is renowned in Louisville, so it's a wonderful opportunity for anyone wanting to begin to learn to play cello. All inquiries about lessons and pricing can be made to Blaise Poth.

    Location: 3415 Bardstown Road Suite 308A, Louisville, KY 40218
    Phone: 502-654-7872 or 502-639-7272
    Website: http://suzukistarsmusicacademy.com/
    Email: blaise.poth@gmail.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SuzukiStarsMusicAcademy

    By guest contributor: Erin

    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    Earth Day 2015 Events and Celebrations in and around Louisville

     photo IMG_2496_zpsf71vdy5l.jpgLouisville Zoo – Sunday, 4/19 10-5. Party for the Planet $8 Admission, free parking (other events all month long)

    Oldham County Parks & Rec Earth Day 5K Run & 2 Mile Walk – Saturday, 4/18 8am Morgan Conservation Park

    Red Orchard Park Earth Day Celebration & 5K Run/Walk – Saturday, 4/18 10-2. The 5K run/walk begins at 1pm.

    Shively Public Library – Saturday, 4/18 1:30 Earth Day Pre-K Party (ages 3-5)

    Other area events and opportunities for your family to enjoy, celebrate and help our planet!

    Bernheim Forest – Check out their calendar for various events all month long. Arbor Day 4/12, ECO Kids Discovery Day 4/18, Creatures of the Night 4/22

    Creasy Mahan Nature Preserve – Wildflower Saturday 4/18 10-2. Presentation and two walks featuring the preserve's favorite wildflowers. 
    The Nature Center is open on Monday & Wednesday during the week of Earth Day 9 -1. Enjoy the Nature Center, Preserve, crafts and activities. 

    Jefferson Memorial Forest – Volunteer opportunities available or take a hike with your family!

    Louisville Arbor Day Festival - Friday, 4/17 10-1. Iroquois Park.

    Louisville Nature Center – Self-directed Story Walk: “One Child, One Planet” 4/18 10:30-3 FREE, Restore the Forest Volunteer Day 4/25 10-1. (Children ages 7-14 may work alongside a parent.) Gardenaganza 4/16 11-4.

    The Oldham County History Center – Saturday, 4/18 10-4 “Sally Brown Day” “A Force of Nature: Sally Brown” showing all day and tree seedlings given to first 100 visitors.

    The Parklands – Check out their calendar for various events all month long. Wednesday Wonders Program 4/22 (registration required, $5 fee), Hiking, Park Clean Up Opportunities, etc.

    Yew Dell Gardens – Saturday, 4/25 10-4 & Sunday, 4/26 12-3 Plant Sale & Garden Market. Large plant sale with garden items vendors, activities for kids, tours of the grounds, bonsai show and food trucks. (Regular Admission Fee)

    By Guest Contributor: Nicolle Martin

    Sunday, April 12, 2015

    Week in Preview April 13th-16th

    This post is sponsored by:

     Register by 4/15 for discount rates!
    Register by 4/15 to get discounted registration!

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    With all this rain we are hoping to see loads of flowers in May! Be silly and dance in the rain with your kiddos if you can.

    Here are my picks for the week:

    Live it: Go hear some FREE live music at the KFC Yum! Center’s Norton Healthcare Plaza on April 16th. Each month a different up-and-coming local artist will entertain patrons over their lunch hour (11:30AM – 1:00PM). A variety of popular food trucks will be onsite to offer diverse food options for purchase as well. Check it out here!

    Eat it: Join Big Brother Big Sisters for National Night Out at Chuck E. Cheese's on Tuesday, April 14th. During the National Night Out, a percentage of sales will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. 5% of all register sales and 10% for mentioning BBBS from 5-9 p.m. Two locations include Hurstbourne Lane in Louisvillle and East State Street in Clarksville. Find more information here!

    Move it: Jump on over to KaZoing! for their open play. Inflatable room, Tot Lot Play room, and Craft are all open for FUN during this time! Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays (closed on Tuesdays) 10am – 12 pm. Wednesdays 4pm – 6pm. $6 per child Ages walking and up, parent or guardian must stay. *Inflatable arenas will vary. Find them online here for more information.

    Learn it: Monday is Fun Day Monday at the Louisville Zoo! Enjoy $5 general admission courtesy of LG&E and KU, with special zoo keeper talks and appearances by LG&E and KU’s “Louie the Lightning Bug.”(Tickets can only be purchased at the Zoo). Click here for more information.

    By Guest Contributor: 

    Thursday, April 9, 2015

    Picks for Things to Do this Weekend around Louisville: April 10,11,12

    This post is proudly sponsored by:
     Use code LOUCAW thru 4/12 to get 50% off  (Louisville)
    LOUCAW (Louisville) to save 50% off L/XL thru 4/12
     Register by 4/15 for discount rates!
    Register by 4/15 for discount rates
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    Download our App - click here - the events calendar and Kids Eat Free list right at your fingertips!

    Don't cook - Papa John's has Customer Appreciation Week for Louivillians - 50% all Large or XL pizzas with code LOUCAW

    Head to Bernheim - they have special spring break activities all week so why not end your week with outdoor adventure fun! Daily discovery stations and daily adventure hikes mean learning that's fun and full of exercise.  Details here.

    Take a short trek east on 64 to Shelbyville and check out the Mulberry Orchard Spring Festival and Craft Show.  It is free and packed with activities. It runs 11am-8pm on Saturday (also noon - 5pm on Sunday)

    In the evening - head to Whet Your Palette to paint something for spring!  Did you know they have half priced canvases from 6-8pm?  What a deal!

    The Flea Off Market is having a SUNDAY date - woot!  It is from 10am-5pm at Fresh Start Growers Supply (1007 E. Jefferson, near Nulu.)  It is all things eclectic and different, something for everyone in your family.

    Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

    PS - Spring Festivals post , it's SWEET!

    Wednesday, April 8, 2015

    Review of Shakespeare & Co Restaurant in Lexington, KY

     photo shakes_zps5517dfd9.jpgRecently, I had a rare opportunity to have a girl's night out with both of my sisters and we headed to Lexington to attend a concert at Rupp Arena. We arrived early so that we could find a good parking spot and find a local and unique place to have dinner together before the concert. We walked along the streets/downtown area near Rupp Arena and the Lexington Center and ended up finding Shakespeare & Co USA. This place was so cute, with neat seating and a great outdoor eating area. There were hightop tables as well as low tables with chairs, and many of the seats were comfy chairs or sofas around a coffee table; very fun for a date or a girl's night!

     photo pizza_zps0cfb6876.jpgWe browsed the menu quickly and saw salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and other specialty entrees. One of my sisters chose a Caesar salad with chicken and my other sister and I split a tomato and mozzarella pizza. We each had a drink: a cider, a special order Bellini, and a draft beer. We really enjoyed our meal and time together, and the ambiance of the restaurant enhanced our experience. There is also a delicious looking dessert selection. It is within great walking distance to Rupp Arena and other spots (like the Explorium and Lexington's Children's Theatre) throughout downtown Lexington. Remember it's one of our Top 10 Day Trips!

    Our bill came to under $35 for the three of us, so it was very affordable and fun. They also offer catering, a patisserie, fine chocolates, and online shopping. Find their website information here. Next time you're in Lexington (and if you are heading there you need to check out Kentucky Family Fun), give it a try!

    By guest contributor: Erin
    photos courtesy of Shakespeare & Co Facebook page

    Tuesday, April 7, 2015

    Review of the Great Steamboat Race - Derby Festival Event in Downtown Louisville, KY

     photo ee1b455c-d2b3-424d-b4f0-e6c142ed0e8a_zpsddf933bd.jpgThe Great Steamboat Race has always been one of my favorite events of the Kentucky Derby Festival. So when I had the opportunity to participate this year as a member of media riding on the Belle of Cincinnati, I happily bought tickets for the rest of my family so we could experience the race up close together.

     photo 05d783a8-27ad-4bea-adbd-c508f4b3a541_zps1ba4148d.jpgWe boarded the Belle of Cincinnati pretty early- about an hour and a half before the race started. In retrospect, that may have been a mistake. My kids were anxious for the race to start and were making me nervous by leaning over the railings. But once the race got underway, they were happy to be a part of it.

    The captain did a great job of narrating the race, and he told us right up front we had to root for our boat or he would send us to time out. As we steamed toward Captain’s Quarters to pick up our VIP, the Pegasus, everyone danced and cheered. The race is a little more complicated than just racing to the finish line. The crew of each boat competes in different activities throughout the day to rack up points that count toward the final tally. Then during the race the crews have to retrieve flags from the water and pick up their VIP before heading back to the wharf.

     photo f7ae4b46-cfa7-4016-a971-e92313afbc74_zps7904d3eb.jpgThe Belle of Louisville ended up winning the race, and that seemed just fine to everyone in the jovial atmosphere. We joked that it was rigged, but both crews definitely put up a good fight. The only real issue my kids had once we got underway was that it was cooler and windier than we had expected. I was the only one who had brought a sweater, so my husband and kids spent the last part of the race indoors. We’ve been on the Belle of Louisville many times, and as much as I wish we could’ve been on the winning steamboat, we had a great time. Tickets for the Belle of Cincinnati were much less expensive than those for the Belle of Louisville, and you could choose between buffet or snack bar. There was also a Groupon available, which made it super affordable. Steamboats are part of our cultural identity in Louisville, almost as much as the Derby itself. I’m glad my kids will have the memory of being on a steamboat for The Great Steamboat Race when they grow up.

    By guest contributor: Maggie

    Tickets for the 2015 Great Steamboat Race can be purchased HERE. 

    Sunday, April 5, 2015

    Week in Preview April 6-9

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    It's spring break and there is loads of fun to be had! Enjoy some time with your kids exploring the city.

    Here are my picks for the week:

    Live it: Derby is around the corner so now is a great time to get in the mood with a trip to the Kentucky Derby Museum. Make sure you visit the customer service desk who will give you a Museum Map that contains fun but tricky trivia questions in the back. Find the answers within the Museum exhibits then show them to win a prize! Location, hours, and prices can be found here!

    Eat it: McAlister's Deli has kids eat free Monday-Thursday from 4pm-close. Purchase an adult meal with no limit on the number of kids! Kids must be present. Check it out here.

    Move it: Head over and check out ClimbNulu for rock climbing. They are now open and ready for you to try out! Check here for hours and prices.

    Learn it: On Monday the Iroquois Library will be having World of Minecraft from 10am-12pm and the Main Library will have a Lego Build-a-thon on Tuesday at 2pm. Check out the Louisville Free Public Library website here for more information on these activities and to find more being offered.

    If you need more ideas don't forget to check out our Spring Break Itinerary!

    By Guest Contributor: 

    Thursday, April 2, 2015

    Picks for Things to Do this Weekend: April 3,4,5

    This post is proudly sponsored by:
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    Download our App - click here - the events calendar and Kids Eat Free list right at your fingertips!

    Enjoy a night out with friends or a date night - crafting!  Sometimes, you need some ME-time.  Good Garbage has "Adult Five Dollar Fridays." It's BYOB, it runs from6-9pm, the theme is tin cans and you can make one or many things.  Get creative!  Info here.

    Saturday & Sunday
    Check out our Easter Post.  There are a many weekend events!  

    Also, the Little Learners Family Camp at Kentucky Science Center looks super fun!  Details here. The theme this Saturday is "Feed me!" and everyone will learn about birds and make a bird feeder!  There is a cost to this event and you must pre-register.  

    Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

    PS - See our Spring Break Camp post and Spring Festivals post , they are SWEET!

    Wednesday, April 1, 2015

    Review of Chelle Belle's Creations boutique in Louisville

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    I’ve been a customer of Chelle Belle’s Creations for a while (back when she was just selling her products in various boutiques around town).  I was super excited when I heard that her store was moving to a new location and having an Open House! Formally located in Middletown next to Sew Cute by Katie, Chelle Belle’s has moved to 2942 Yorkshire Blvd off of Taylorsville Road, near Breckinridge Lane. This locally owned and operated business is now sharing space with Craft Inn, which holds crafting classes next door. Their new location is bigger and allows more cool stuff to be displayed on the walls, on tables, and way up high on shelves.  It also has more parking which was one of the reasons they moved! 

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     Chelle Belle’s Creations offers home décor including door hangings and canvas paintings in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They have also just started making corn hole boards. All of their items can be custom made and/or personalized if you so desire. Their most popular items are the jockey silks that they make, but they also create holiday décor (including Easter, 4th of July, and Halloween), sports décor (UL/UK are popular), and loads of fun Derby stuff including stuff for inside and outside of your home. The store also has a section filled with child’s décor that would be great in a bedroom or playroom. Also, if you like Fleur De Lis you will love this store! It is featured on a lot of the products.

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    Check out the store and buy what she has on display or you can make a special order and pick it up later. Check out her website to order as well.  Chelle Belle’s can be found on Facebook and the hours are posted there. Prices range from $15.00 to $130.00 depending on what you order. Local pick-ups are free but they can ship out of town if needed. These items would make great gifts for weddings, baby showers, or birthdays! 

    By Guest Contributor: