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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Picks for Things to do this Weekend around Louisville: July 31, August 1,2

This post is sponsored by:
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Download our App for on-the-go fun. See details here
Have you visited our deals page lately?  Click here.

You can try out some fun on the water at Long Run Park with Quest Outdoors. At 4pm, they'll be there for you to test out paddle boards, boats and more.  See details here.

Fleet Feet is having a back to school party.  Get 20% off (shoes for kids in grades K-12) and they'll have ice cream and a bounce house obstacle course. Sounds like my kind of shopping!
Details here.  (Activities start at 5pm, deal is all day)

Did you see Nicolle's review of Children in the Dell?  That's this Saturday 10:30am to Noon - check out the review here and head to Yew Dell Gardens for nature fun.

Head to Whet Your Palette for a ladies night out! From 6-8pm, it's "Happiest Hour" and canvases are half off! You can bring your own goodies for snacking and imbibing and have some laughs with your friends - you deserve it!

Take a break from running about and spend some time at home.  Play a few games, go for a walk, try a new recipe and cook together.  It's not always about "where should we go" that makes for family fun!

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Review Early Learning Readiness Program with YMCA of Greater Louisville

 photo IMG_6775_zpsca3b17e4.jpgThe YMCA of Greater Louisville offers a fairly new program for three and four year olds in the Louisville/Jefferson County area. It's called Caring and Learning with Me, or also known as Early Learning Readiness (ELR). "It is a free early learning readiness program for children ages 3 & 4. This program is geared for the child who usually stays home with a family member, friend or neighbor. Our caring staff combines the fun of a play date and the preparedness for kindergarten. We provide hands-on resources and support for the caregiver of the child. We come together 2 days per week for a playful learning experience for everyone. We meet from 10 am-12 pm at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (1501 Rangeland Road) on Tuesdays and Thursdays or Wednesdays and Fridays."

My 3 1/2 year old son and I have been attending the program since late January; we got in on it a little bit late but they still had some openings so we could attend. We have been having a blast together. We attend on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am-12pm. This is not a stand alone preschool type option in which you drop your child off; it is a parent driven, interactive program where you learn with your child and experience fun together. It has been great for us because we didn't start traditional three year old preschool this year, so it has really helped my preschooler learn about expectations and skills needed for school. Circle time, learning to follow directions better, going from one task to another and how to transition and clean up after yourself, listening to others in authority figures, being part of a team (having jobs to do) and taking responsibility and ownership of the classroom, and socializing with others are the big factors for our experience. He is the type of child who is probably close to being school ready in terms of kindergarten readiness skills like knowing shapes, colors, ABCs, number recognition, etc, but really needed some help with social skills. We have really enjoyed it, he calls it "preschool class" and looks forward to it each week!

Other Helpful Information:
While it's designed for 3-5 years old, they do enroll birth to age 5.
A second site is starting this fall at Roosevelt Perry Elementary; Robin Norfleet is the program facilitator -  rnorlfeet@ymcalouisville.org.
The program is completely FREE.
They are currently accepting registrations for the new year that starts the week of August 17th
You can call 637-1575 as well for more information. Mary Graybeal is the Program Supervisor.
Email Kerry Basham at kbasham@ymcalouisville.org
Phone: 502-637-1575

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This program runs during the school year and follows the JCPS school calendar. Look for registration and sign ups for next year around August.

By guest contributor: Erin

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review of BoomBozz Craft Pizzas & TapHouse in Jeffersontown, KY

 photo IMG_7228_zpsxod71bji.jpgRecently, my family and I met some friends for dinner at BoomBozz Craft Pizza and Taphouse, the new location that recently opened near Jeffersontown at 1890 South Hurstbourne Parkway (502-491-4111). We have had Tony Boombozz Pizza in the past and it is always delicious and good service. This new location is a great addition to this popular local pizza restaurant business in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

 photo 1e2ca41e-fd84-426d-9143-5eb28f505c27_zpsfjo0qaei.jpgWe met up with a group of 14 including adults and 8 kids. We were able to reserve the back party room with no problem and they were very accommodating to let us do that. It is a larger glass enclosed room for larger parties and was very nice.

 photo IMG_7227_zpso9ukdnpc.jpgSince we were three different families combined, we each ordered separate pizzas based on our family's likes. We had medium plain cheese pizzas for the kids, and tried a pepperoni/mushroom pizza, a large pepperoni with two different sauces, and one of the signature pizzas. Try the Boombozz #1 Salad also-- it's to die for!

We were very pleased with our food and service. For a large party with kids of varying ages, our server was on top of it all and gave top notch attention to us which I value.

This location also has an outdoor seating area which is great for al fresco dining this time of year! Check out their website for all of their locations.

By guest contributor: Erin

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Week in Preview July 27th-30th

This post is sponsored by:
Shop Bop Island Hop

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Enjoy your week with lots of fun!

Here are my picks for the week:

Live it: Use your cultural pass and discover the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Check their website for location and times.
Eat it: Head over to Big Four Burgers & Beer NA for their Back to School Bash! On July 27th from 5-7pm, join them for free face painting, balloon animals, and free food for the kids. Find more information here!

Move it: Beat the Heat at All About Kids for some fun! Check out their website for times of their open gym and swim!

Learn it: If you have a soon to be Kindergartener you need to be at Slugger Field on July 28th.  See the Louisville Bats play, meet representatives from local schools and community organizations, and get lots of free stuff for your kindergartener. Click here for more information.

By Guest Contributor: 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

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

This post is sponsored by:
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Download out App for on-the-go fun. See details here
Have you visited our deals page lately?  Click here.

Thursday (Bonus idea!!)
Mini Golf at the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass. Weather is going to be wonderful! Dine at Taqueria Tsunami (show flyer, lunch or dinner) + donate $5 to BBBS for mini golf from 4-9pm.  Great night to be outdoors!  See flyer/details here

The Diaper Fairy Cottage has a crawler/walker playground for little ones every Friday from 12:30 to 2:30pm.  What a great way for some playtime and to meet other parents.  It's free!

If you haven't checked out the new Science in Play exhibit at Kentucky Science Center, do so this Friday after 5pm and admission is just $5!

Nulu is one of my favorite areas of Louisville. They are having a Summer Block Party from 10am-5pm.  It's a great area to walk around and shop unique, local businesses.  Details here about what's going on that day!

How about Mother/Daughter fun?  Side by Side Studio has a special craft for moms and daughters (12-17) to do together - Hoop Weaving.  Visit this website to sign up and get more info!

Visit a "hidden gem" - not sure what I am talking about?  Click here!

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Family Day Out by the Ohio River

 photo ad973fcc-0c00-422b-b366-87b749be8d1c_zpscwzl1rbp.jpgMy family and I decided to spend the day together down by the Ohio River. We parked at the Waterfront playground and splashpad area early enough in the morning so there were still parking spots, and headed over the Big 4 Bridge to Jeffersonville. The walk over the bridge is always enjoyable with good views of the boats, wildlife, and construction. At the base of the bridge on the Jeffersonville side, there is a farmers market on Saturdays which my kids enjoyed looking around. There is also a stepped water feature which my kids enjoyed sitting around and dangling their feet in. There are signs that say no swimming, and I didn't let my kids walk through it, but I felt it was permitted to sit on the low walls and cool our feet.

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Next, we headed to my highlight of the day, Schimpff's Confectionery. We enjoyed looking around and got some fountain drinks and ice cream before the 11am "tour." Jill and Warren Schimpff (great grandson of founder 1891) did a great job with an entertaining and educational presentation. We learned about the shop, antique stove, candy table, the largest display of publicly viewed candy rollers (no longer used by most), how to make candy, and more while Jill and Warren made a batch of red hots candy. (Did you know they pump the candy and chocolate smells out to sidewalk out front?!) It was fascinating to learn about, and Jill and Warren were very funny. At the end, we all got a piece of fresh red hot to enjoy.

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From Schimpff's, we walked a little way down the street to Horner Novelty. This is just a store to shop at, but it has 2 floors of everything in the world you could ever want for any party! My kids spent over an hour looking at the themed merchandise, masks, hats, and party items in the store. If you ever have a school, holiday, or party need, Horner Novelty has something you can use.

 photo 20150613_101611_zpsctjdzij6.jpgAfter Horner, we headed back toward the bridge stopping at Pearl Street Treats (closed in winter months) for a quick snack (hot dogs and frozen yogurt) before walking back over to Waterfront Park on the Louisville side. My kids changed into their swimsuits and grabbed their towels we had brought along in the car. They enjoyed playing in the splash pad and playground for couple hours while my husband and I enjoyed sitting in the shaded seating area. My kids were too busy playing to eat, but they do have hot dogs and ice cream at the splash pad area if you get hungry or hot.

We had a great day! We all enjoyed the family time, exercise, and fun without electronics.

By Guest Contributor: Caryn

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review of Precious Threadz consignment store in Louisville

Precious Threadz is a locally owned and operated consignment store located at 12482 LaGrange Road in Louisville. I had a hard time finding them my first visit because the store is located on the side of the shopping center and is not visible from the main street.

Precious Threadz sells gently used name brand clothing (birth-size 20), toys, and furniture. The store is rather small, but kept very clean and organized. I have been in consignment stores before that look like a tornado went through them. This place had girl clothes on one side, boys on the other, some racks in the middle, shoes in one corner, and larger items up by the window. They also had a huge selection of cute bows and headbands up front.

I went one day in late winter to shop for my 1 and 4 year old daughters. They had a decent size selection of 12 and 18 month clothes for me to look through, but the selection was not nearly as large for 3T and 4T sizes. They had also had a decent amount of shoes to choose from, but I found that the toy and book selection was limited. They did have a few larger items like a swing, walker, activity mat and a riding toy. I found a few things I liked, and the prices were comparable to other consignment stores, maybe slightly higher.

I also brought some clothes in to sell. All the info you need about the buying process is on the website. Make sure you read it before you bring your clothes in. It’s very helpful. They keep your clothes and then will contact you when they are done looking through them. This is nice because you don’t have to wait around, but it also means another trip back to the store. When my clothes were ready I got a text that said how much they would pay and that I had other clothes to be picked up. When I went back I decided not to sell because the offer wasn’t as high as I’d like. I feel like this is true for most consignment stores though. They do have to make a profit.

Make sure you follow them on Facebook because they keep you up to date with store information, buying schedules, new items that have arrived, and SALES! They have had several sales since I started following them on Facebook ($1 clearance section, 25% off pjs, 25% off seasonal selection, etc.)

I really like that they offer personalized items, such as car seat covers (you pick the colors/fabric), bows, and personalized embroidered shirts. They have options for birthday shirts, holiday shirts, and special occasion shirts. Check their Facebook album for pictures and prices.

They also just got in a huge selection of Ty Beanie Boos that seem to be popular right now.

If you’re in the area, stop in and see if there’s something for your little one. Happy shopping!

By Guest Contributor:

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Week in Preview July 20th-23rd

This post is sponsored by:
Shop Bop Island Hop

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School will be starting in less than a month so make sure you get out and have some fun this week!

Here are my picks for the week:

Live it: Head over to Whet Your Palette in July. All drop in's are half off from 6-8pm! Check their website for more information.  

Eat it: Spend some time in Middletown with a meal at Fat Jimmy's Pizza. Kids Eat for $2.00 All Day Monday and Tuesday. Find more information here!

Move it: Take a drive to Simpsonville, KY and join Big Brothers Big Sisters for some mini-golf on Thursday, July 23rd. Enjoy 9-holes of putt-putt golf at the The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass for a $5 donation to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby County. Click here for more information!

Learn it: On Monday or Tuesday, head over to the Louisville Water Tower for Water Wizards. Participants will visit the WaterWorks Museum, explore information and artifacts, watch water-related videos, take a guided tour of the facilities, and do engaging activities focusing on water. Click here for more information and to register.

By Guest Contributor: 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Picks for Things to Do this Weekend around Louisville: July 17,18,19

This post is sponsored by:
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Always keep tabs on our Summer Fun Links page!
Download out App for on-the-go fun. See details here

This weekend might be the hottest of the summer!

Jump in the AC at House of Boom. They have "Kid Jump" from 9-10am during which they have special pricing per hour for jump times for ages 6 & under. One accompanying adult jumps free per child paid! (This excludes the 2 and under jump for free.)  See our House of Boom review here.

It's Star Wars Night at the Louisville Bats. It's a 6:05pm game - always better to head to an evening game during the hot summer. They encourage you to dress up as your favorite STAR WARS® character. They will have STAR WARS® themed sights and sounds, character appearances, photo opp & more!

 photo family fun day 2_zpsjqgn1vtd.jpgFAMILY FUN DAY!
We helped Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve start this event two years ago and it has become a staple fundraiser for them.  It is all to benefit this wonderful preserve that is a gem for our community.  See details here and RSVP "going" on Facebook and invite friends.
11-3pm at Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve!
Louisville Family Fun has donated freebies for the first 100 families.  The firetruck splashdown at 1pm is the best part - don't miss it! $3/child, maximum $12/family; Parents and children 2 & under admitted FREE!

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

Go Ape Zip Line & Treetop Adventure at Jefferson Memorial Forest in KY

I was recently given the opportunity to check out Jefferson Memorial Forest’s new Go Ape Zip Line and Treetop Adventure. I will start by saying I have never done any other zip line or rope obstacle course before and am slightly afraid of heights, so this was a new experience for me!

 photo training_zpsxdxwwzno.jpgThe new treetop adventure marks the opening of Go Ape’s 12th course in the US and has been described as possibly their best one yet. Located near the forest’s visitor’s center, the course can be reached and viewed from the start of the trails.

After checking in at the registration table, adventure seekers are walked up to the training area where instructors help with securing a harness on each person. There is a scaled down version of the course in this area where visitors receive a briefing on what to expect along the course and instructions on properly securing oneself to each obstacle. During this time, I was given the opportunity to become familiar with my gear and practice attaching and detaching to the lines while my feet were still safely planted on the ground.

The instruction portion then moved onto an area where we further strengthened our training, but in an elevated area. I appreciated that I was given a chance to practice climbing a rope ladder, walk a tight rope and try out a zip line before jumping right into the much larger Go Ape course. Expect to spend about 30 minutes on training.

After you complete the training and are given the go-ahead by your instructor you are off to climb your first rope ladder up to the platform located 30-40 feet above the forest floor. In my opinion, the rope ladders are the most physically challenging part to each section. They are wobbly and require some upper body strength. There are signs at each new platform and rope ladder with instructions on how to properly place the carabiners and pulley. The carabiners and pulley are also color coded, which helps when trying to remember where to place them. You are on your own along the course, but instructors patrol the course below offering help and encouragement. Each person also has a safety whistle located in their harness should they need immediate help.

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The course is comprised of 5 sections, 39 varying degrees of crossings and ending with a zip line at the end of each section. Each new section takes you higher into the forest’s canopy. There are crossings that are more challenging than others, but you can choose which ones you want to do. One of the more difficult ones I saw were suspended rings that required focus, balance and strength to cross. Some areas require crawling through enclosed nets, longer strides, strength to climb rope nets at the end of the Tarzan swings and running landings at the end of zip lines.

 photo tarzan swing_zpsvfpqg1hy.jpgI liked that each section ended with a zip line that put you back on solid ground. Once you are at the end of each zip line, you walk to the next section where you have to climb a new rope ladder. Expect to work up a sweat and to be a little tired (to say the least)! I took advantage of the end of the zip lines by taking a short break before beginning a new section. You can also choose to end your adventure at the end of each zip line. There is water placed along the course, but make sure you are not hungry before beginning the course because you will be out on it for 2-3 hours.

I encourage families to check out the FAQ section for this course, where you can learn more about rules and tips for safely completing the course. The course is open to children 10 and over that are at least 4’7” tall, but I will stress that this activity takes focus and attention to detail to remain safe. I recommend wearing bermuda length shorts, capris or pants (depending on the temperature) and proper footwear (boots or tennis shoes). The harnesses are tight and will bunch clothing. Do not wear earrings and have long hair tied back. My head rubbed against wires and ropes all along the course. You will get dirty along the course! Leave your cell phone and other valuables at home or in your car. I thought I would have opportunities to take pictures of my adventure, but once I was 40’ above the ground, I did not want any distractions and safety was my main priority.

 photo zip line_zpsnznmap2m.jpgExperienced and new thrill-seekers will not be disappointed with the new Go Ape Zip Line and Treetop Adventure. Even though it was nerve-racking at times for me, it was also exhilarating and allowed me to go way out of my comfort zone! Check out Louisville’s great new attraction in the beautiful Jefferson Memorial Forest!

Pricing for the course:

Baboon ages 10-15: $37

Orangutans ages 16-17: $57

Gorillas ages 18 and over: $57

You are encouraged to book ahead of time because time slots do fill quickly especially on weekends.

By Guest Contributor: Nicolle

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review of Big Mike's Shaved Ice in the Highlands of Louisville

 photo photo 2-6_zpsdse4xbx3.jpgWhen we heard about Big Mike’s Shaved Ice and found out it was being run by a 17 year old high school student we knew we wanted to check it out and support a young entrepreneur. Mike, a senior at DeSales High School, is selling authentic shaved ice in the heart of the Highlands. He is located in the parking lot of Dairy Mart, 1351 Bardstown Road.

 photo photo 1-7_zpsbm1uueqb.jpgBig Mike’s Shaved Ice has a variety of flavors including: blue raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, cherry, mango, and grape. He also has a few specials such as Bahama mama and Tiger’s Blood. You can choose up to 3 flavors to add to your shaved ice for any combination of your imagination. Both of my boys tried blue raspberry and loved them. My husband opted for Tiger’s blood while I went for the Pina colada inspired Bahama Mama and we were both happy with our choices. We decided on the medium size which was the right amount for my 7 year old but too much for the 4 year old. A picnic table is set up next to his stand with an umbrella so we were able to eat our treat in the shade which was nice. A size small is $2, a medium is $3, and a large is $6. Hours of operation: Monday-Thursday: Noon-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday: Noon-Midnight and Sunday: Noon-9 p.m.

This was a great treat on a hot day and we will be back to try some more flavors! For more information, check out his Facebook page!

By Guest Contributor: Kelly

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

NEW Science in Play attraction at The Kentucky Science Center

 photo science depot_zpslnqwtvej.jpgWe were given the opportunity to check out The Kentucky Science Center’s brand new Science in Play attraction before its opening weekend! After many months of waiting and being teased with prototype exhibits, Science in Play was unveiled at the beginning of July. It offers brand new exhibits and bigger, better, updated exhibits from the previous children’s area. The new space is now housed over the entire first floor of the Science Center, which more than doubles the amount of space previously dedicated to early childhood education. The area includes the former KidZone area, the area that was once reserved for the traveling exhibits and also an expanded area.

 photo Shapes_zpsqhccxsbs.jpgYour children will be drawn to the brand new 14 foot Happy Climber that sits in the middle of the children’s area. Children can climb and explore safely inside this exhibit, developing gross motor skills. There are several other fun areas near the Happy Climber, including the Noodle Forest (my seven year old said it was like being in a kid carwash), Build Your Own Rollercoaster, Mirror Maze and other fun activities!

The remodeled KidZone area does not disappoint. My favorite area was the Science Depot where children are encouraged to use real science tools and do a hands-on project that goes along with the month’s theme. Science Center employees are in this area to help facilitate with the projects, learning and creativity. Right across from the Science Depot is where you will find a giant Lite Brite in the Color & Light area. Children can explore colors through shadow play, a light table and Lite Brite wall.

 photo lite brite_zpstrn3thdr.jpgContinuing on through this area, children can pretend to drive a Smart car before heading into the Shapes & Stuff Store. This area was a favorite to both my three year old and seven year old. This area promotes math skill development through pretend play. Children can play with different shapes, shopping carts, a cash register and scale. My children loved playing “store” with the different shapes and viewing how shapes are all around them in their environment. Two things that caught my eye in this area were the Book Nook and several table stations where children were given a space to learn through other avenues besides pretend play. Books were available for children or caregivers to read and tables and chairs equipped with paper and writing tools were available for those children that prefer to explore the shapes independently.

The former KidZone area also has a new Build Your World exhibit where children can hone in on engineering skills using blocks and other loose parts. And don’t worry – the Splash! Water Table is still included in the new Science in Play!

As children walk over to the expanded new area they can play on the new Optimusic floor. They can create their own sound and light show through movement around the circle. Also in this space you will find an area specifically created for toddlers and babies. The Grow Zone is a protected play space where very young children are given opportunities for safe sensory exploration. Older children can have fun at the Airways exhibit located near the new Grow Zone.

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Science in Play is included with admission to the Kentucky Science Center and offers fun, engaging avenues of exploration for young children and their families. My family is excited that the Science Center improved and expanded their children’s area, is now including hands-on projects, has a protected area for very young children and kept some of the already great exhibits! Young children will surely enjoy the new Science in Play!

By Guest Contributor: Nicolle

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Week in Preview July 13th-16th

This post is sponsored by:
Shop Bop Island Hop

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Rain, rain please go away, we have lots of fun planned today!

Here are my picks for the week:

Live it: Get ready for some fun at Good Garbage. On Wednesday's and Thursday's from 1-4pm & 6-7:30 open art is ready for you. They will pick a few materials and the kids (of all ages) can come build inventions, make art and most of all use their imaginations. Cost: Suggested donation of $5. Find out more information here!

Eat it: It's Cow Appreciation Day on Tuesday, July 14th. Dress up in full cow costume and get a FREE meal at Chick-fil-a. Check it out here for more information!

Move it: Go for a walk on the Big 4 Bridge and explore some of the yummy foods you can find after crossing the Ohio River into Indiana. Choose from the Red Yeti Brewing Co., Big Four Burgers, or Schimpff’s Confectionery. Check here for more restaurant ideas and a map to find them.

Learn it: Kids bored yet? Head over to The Parent-Teacher Store and Toys Too to pick up some fun crafts or learning materials. Find them on Facebook here!

By Guest Contributor: 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

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

This post is sponsored by:
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Always keep tabs on our Summer Fun Links page!

It's going to be a HOT one!

Head to Atlantis Waterpark in Clarksville. Did you know it's just $8 during the week and babies under 1 year old get in free?  They have a cute kids area that's really shallow and the place is modest in size making it really great for families who don't want to be chasing kids for miles!

Check out the Kentucky Farm Fest in Crestwood. It's NEW and kids age 12 and under get in free - tons of kids activities according to their website. There's lots to learn and see for just $5 admission. 9am-6pm on Saturday (also happening on Sunday 10am-6pm).  They say there will be plenty of shade..............

Cool off in the A/C!!!  Head inside to the Ali Center to the XOXO exhibit, catch a Harry Potter movie at the Kentucky Science Center or take to the rink for roller skating at Champs!

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

6 Hidden Gems in Louisville, KY

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There’s never a shortage of things to do in Louisville, and new things are opening up all the time. But there are a few tried-and-true places around town that don’t get the attention they deserve. It’s time to get out there and rediscover these 6 hidden gems in Louisville with your family!

1. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of picnicking and feeding the birds at Cave Hill Cemetery. While picnicking is no longer allowed there, you can still take your kids exploring. Search for the cave (hint: it’s near the lake), check out Colonel Harlan Sanders’ resting place, and enjoy the beautiful specimen trees and plants of the arboretum.

2. The Crescent Hill Reservoir has been a place for Louisvillians to walk and enjoy the scenery since it was built in 1879. In the summertime the historic Gate House is sometimes open as well, giving visitors a look at the massive machines that move our prize-winning drinking water from one place to another. It sounds boring, but my kids actually beg to go there!

3. Shakespeare in the Park combines two of my favorite pastimes- Shakespeare and Frederick Law Olmstead Parks- into one unique Louisville experience. Plays are always free, though donations are encouraged to keep this awesome event free and open to the public.

4. The first time I visited The Portland Museum, I was surprised I had not known about it sooner. Portland is an important part of the history of Louisville. Up until the Army Corps of Engineers built the McAlpine Locks and Dam and dredged the river to make it deeper and wider, boats had to stop at the Louisville Wharf and unload their goods, either shooting the falls or portaging their goods and boats around The Falls of the Ohio. There’s a lot to learn about this historic neighborhood.

5. Schimpff’s Confectionary in Jeffersonville has been around since 1891- they’re about to celebrate their 124th birthday! But it’s more than just a traditional, family-owned candy store- there’s also a candy museum! Watch your kids’ eyes light up when you tell them you’re going to a candy museum!

6. There are also a few unique places around town your kids will enjoy dining. Dairy Kastle on Eastern Parkway, Ollie’s Trolley on South 3rd Street, and Dizzy Whiz on St. Catherine are Old Louisville institutions. Most of these places are cash only, so prepare for that ahead of time. Your kids will always remember these old-school burger and ice cream dives!

By Guest Contributor: Maggie

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2015 Family Summer Camp at Bass Pro in Clarksville, IN

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Clarksville Bass Pro is offering a free Family Summer Camp program right now every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from noon to 5pm (more activities on the weekends) from June 27th to July 26th.

 photo 20150627_132202_zpsriz5qdly.jpgThey have free activities for kids including archery, fishing, BB gun shooting, crafts, carousel, and of course, the usual animals and fish to watch. There are also free classes every hour where the kids can learn education and safety tips for things like water safety, hunting, fishing, and more.

 photo 20150627_133210_zpsqtcgerip.jpgThe kids that attend the classes earn a lanyard and pins for each class. The classes were short and kept the kids attention and participation. I thought the program was run very well, and my kids wanted to stay the whole afternoon to earn all the pins! We missed the 1st class on fishing, but my son asked if he could still earn the pin, and the Bass Pro employee gave my kids the handouts and said they could participate in the scavenger hunt and answer the questions to earn the pin! How great is that?!

 photo 20150627_125252_zpsecfw4dvq.jpgI highly recommend checking it out on a Saturday or Sunday when they have more activities going on (Tuesday and Thursday are less activities but still have crafts and seminars). It's only from June 27-July 26th. It's a great activity for rain, heat, or special one-on-one time for Dads, grandparents, etc. It seems great for all ages.

By Guest Contributor: Caryn

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review of House of Boom in Middletown

LouFamFun's House of Boom album on Photobucket

House of Boom invited our team of writers to check out their new facility with our families.  We had an ABSOLUTE BLAST.  For me, the highlight was seeing all of the dads get really into it.  I don't know about your family, but I'm more of the "let's go somewhere and have fun" parents and my husband is the "let's stay home and chill" parent. So, to see him really having a great time with the kids was something special.  I can't jump because of knee issues but I loved that the area was so easy to walk around, hang out and feel like I was right there with them and involved.  They even had cozy couches all over for taking a break or moms like me that couldn't jump but wanted to be up close!

I asked the writers to tell me:
1) Kids ages and reaction to House of Boom
2) Favorite area of House of Boom
3) Tips for visiting House of Boom
4) Will you be back?

Here are their answers:

Maggie: 1) My kids are 6 and 8, and my husband is a big kid. 2) We love the obstacle course area and the trapeze bar. My kids especially loved the ropes swinging into the foam block pit! There's nothing like it! I like that there are lots of things to do for all fitness levels and abilities. 3)Don't bring your SkyZone socks because they won't let you use them. You either have to go barefoot or buy their socks. 4) Absolutely! My kids haven't stopped talking about the trapeze for days to anyone who will listen, and my husband always loves a new fitness challenge!

Jeanette: 1) 7,5,2 Reactions: An hour was too short to jump!!! 2) My favorite area was trapeze bar, 7yo-dodgeball, 5yo- ramp to jump in foam pit , 2yo- any open trampoline 3) With young kids, try to go when less people are likely to be there 4) Yes!

Allison: 1) 4, 6: They both adore the house of boom 2) My kids loved the trampoline into the foam pit, I love that they have a separate little kids jump area (6 and under) so if we go and it is over run with bigger kids we can have a calmer area. 3) Go early in the day so that it won't be as crowded. 4) we already have!

Erin 1) 12, 3 1/2(almost 4) They both really loved it. 12 yo said she liked it better than SkyZone-oops did we say that? smile emoticon ~4yo loved just open space to run and jump (even though he wasn't supposed to be running! Oh as a parent I liked how open it was, more open feel no real places where kids are hidden out of view, I appreciated that. And I liked that there is a toddler area for 6 and under. 2) 12yo's favorite area ramp to jump into foam pit and the area that has the trampolines running up wall ramp sort of 4yo any open trampoline 3) Take little ones to their KidJump - much more crowded would be too much for my 4yo - I will note he got hurt while there (stepped on by an adult) and the staff was VERY helpful, made sure he was ok, brought ice, etc. and he went back to jump 4) Yes!

Kelly: 1. 4 and 7. They both loved House of Boom and were super excited to try everything out. 2. My 7 year old loved the dodge ball and 4 year old couldn't decide between dodge ball and the trapeze. Myself: I loved that it was open so I could see my kids just about anywhere they were and I could jump for exercise while they played. I also liked that I could attempt the obstacles as well. 3. Go during the week so it isn't so crowded. Take pictures and videos because my kids loved getting to watch what they did! 4. My boys were ready to go back the next day so we will definitely go back.

Brandy: 1) 9 & 6. Both said it was awesome! Husband had an absolute blast! I loved that there was good visibility and a variety of activities. We all liked the rubber wrist bands as opposed to the type you have to cut off. 2) Both kids loved the trapeze and the other foam pit area. Husband loved the dodgeball. 3) Not sure if I can or should say this, but there is a general consensus that it's a good idea to empty your bladder prior to jumping (especially for moms). 4) Definitely! It is something our whole family can enjoy.

Caryn: 1) Almost 9 and 6 2) "All of it!" Both kids really liked the obstacle courses over the foam pits. 3) Leave your purse in the car, wear a fanny pack, or big pockets that close for your keys/money, or bring a lock for the lockers 4) We will definitely go back!

Nicolle: 1) 3 & 7 My 7 yo immediately said, "Wow! This is going to be awesome!" 2) 3 yo loved sliding down the trampoline wall and just jumping. 7 yo liked the swing and dodgeball area. I liked the open concept of the facility. The upstairs viewing area and couches placed around the trampolines were nice too. I also liked that we didn't HAVE to purchase jump socks or special shoes. There are a lot more areas for parents to enjoy along with their children. 3) Take little ones during less busy times. Although it wasn't too crowded during our jump time, there were times my unaware 3 yo ventured in the way of older jumpers. The 6 and under area is nice, but my 3 yo wanted to be on the big floor. 4) Definitely plan to go back on Monday's family night for the $35/family/hr night!

Tami: 4 and 6- they LOVED IT!!! My 4yo said we should build a Hosue of Boom in our basement! My 6yosaid that it was more fun than Kazoing (which is hard to do!) and we should go back TOMORROW. My 6yo liked the 6 and under area- she liked sliding down the slopes trampoline I think she also liked it because there was hardly anyone there and she could have her space. My 4yo liked the jump platforms on the top level. Tips -Don't bring a big bag with you. I had my huge purse and no where to put it. Bring a water bottle. Yes! We'll be back

Kimberly: 4 and 2 and they both loved it! They didn't want to leave when our time was up! My 4 year old loved the obstacle courses. My 2 year old just loved jumping across the room from one trampoline to the next. I really loved the area for kids 6 and under. We didn't stay in that area too long, but it is a nice option to have if it did start to get really busy. I also liked how there were seats throughout to rest and just sit back and watch the kids jump. We will definitely be back- soon!

Karen: Ages 8 & 5 BOTH looooved it! Fav area of my 8yr old boy was definitely the dodgeball "room". I'm not sure if he left for more than 5-min maybe once or twice. Great area to team up with your dad/mom ... My 5yr old daughter really liked the obstacles area, even though she was much too small to do several of them (arm/leg span), but still tried all and had fun regardless of being able to accomplish them. We all really liked it, and Will definitely be back (soon) especially so dad can take part of Don't bring bags/purses in with you.

As you can see, it was a hit.....so, when will you be heading to House of Boom


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Week in Preview July 6th-9th

This post is sponsored by:
Shop Bop Island Hop

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Summer is in full swing. Gather your family and go have some fun!

Here are my picks for the week:

Live it: Join The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass for Shop, Bop, and Island Hop. Tuesdays in July (starting July 7th) they will have radio broadcasts, live music, bouncy fun for the kids – oh – AND YOUR CHANCE TO WIN THAT CARIBBEAN GET-AWAY! Click here for more information!

Eat it: Go eat at Adrienne and Co. Bakery Cafe on Wednesday. Kids eat free with an adult purchase, 2 kids meals per one adult at full price! Find them on Facebook here!

Move it: Go Ape's first treetop adventure course (zip lines, obstacles and more!) in Kentucky is just minutes from downtown Louisville in Jefferson Memorial Forest. Head over and have some fabLOUous fun! Check here for more information on age, weight, and height requirements. 

Learn it: Go visit the Kentucky Science Center and check out their new Science in Play that just opened. Rich in loose parts and open-ended play, kids and adults are empowered to learn together and for life. Head over to their website for more information.

By Guest Contributor: 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Picks for Things to do this Weekend - July 4,5,6

This post is sponsored by:
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Download our App - click here - KIDS EAT FREE list right at your fingertips on the go!
Always keep tabs on our Summer Fun Links page!

Happy Independence Day! Celebrate with a BOOM and a WOW!

Things to do:
Here is our list of 4th of July events - make it memorable. 

Also to note, Science in Play is opening July 4th at the Kentucky Science Center. A major, exciting renovation! See up-to-date info on their Facebook page - grand opening info here (members only preview July 3).

Have a fabuLOUs weekend,

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review of Little Scholar Learning Tablet available at Meijer

We received this item for purpose of review. 

I have been looking for an affordable tablet for my youngest child that would provide some educational entertainment while satisfying her love of technology but that would keep her away from them temptation of YouTube.  I mean, even I get sucked into watching funny YouTube videos.  Plus, I wanted something slightly smaller than our iPad that would be really good for our summer trips and long days at the soccer field watching her brother.  So, given the opportunity, I definitely wanted to check out the Little Scholar Learning Tablet. It's available at your local Meijer. It retails at $169.99 which I feel is quite reasonable considering the value of each game AND the tablet.

The tablet came with a case, charger and a rubber protective cover.  My daughter (6) was immediately drawn to it and quickly got the hang of it.

There's a dog character (Charlie) that appears thematically throughout the games on the tablet and since she loves animals, she loves him.  This character makes the tablet and its games different from our iPad because the games aren't all independent - there's some connectivity between the games.  Here's Charlie's YouTube playlist so you can see a sample of the videos.

Another feature that I really like is that there's no WiFi needed.  My daughter can play anything on the tablet, anywhere.  Unlike other devices and games that require WiFi for some activities, this tablet is set and ready to go.   She hasn't begged to download more games or complained that there's no WiFi in the car!  It is loaded with 150+ games, songs, videos, books - she hasn't even begun to tap into them all.

However, there are parental controls that you can access to switch things up IF YOU WANT to! There's a password-protected parent section - you can change the device setting for accessing WiFi, and there's a custom app store, if you want additional downloads.  My daughter doesn't event know this exists!  You can also customize which apps, music, and e-books are active on the tablet to fit your child's needs to focus on specific skills or their age-appropriate activities.

In terms of use, it is a really nice size - not too small that they are squinting (like on a smartphone) but not bulky that it's awkward to carry around.  With the carrying case, she can be responsible for it with ease. Also, it maintains a charge for a long time and smudges clean off nicely.  All around, it's a great little device for under $200.  We've had this tablet for about a month so there's even more we need to explore on it.  If you are looking to get your child something of their own, this is a great option.  Head into Meijer (not available online via Meijer) and get your hands on it so you can see what I am talking about!


Review of Simpsonville 4th of July - Independence Day Festival

The Simpsonville Red,White and Boom 4th of July event is a wonderful small town, big fun festival. We went last year and had a memorable day. I was there for work (Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana) so my family spent most of the day there. My recommendation is that you arrive after 4pm and stay for the fireworks.   They have new things planned for 2015 so our experience will be a little different from what will take place this year - they keep changing it, for the better!

The festival was in Simpsonville Park which is conveniently located right off of the main street (US60) in Simpsonville - very easy to access taking Shelbyville Rd east into Shelby County.  The parking was free and close - no problems coming or going at all.
The festival was free and they accepted donations at the door.  There were bouncies for the kids (3) that were also free and a playground at the park. They take these down closer to dusk.  There were a few booths with freebies, food, treats etc.  During the entire festival, there was live music or a DJ playing songs. It made for a really great place to spend the day. There were food vendors, ice cream and beverages for sale.  With a small town festival, there weren't many to select from but even when the lines were longer- they moved quickly.  Everything was priced really well at $2-$3 and drinks were $1.  Port-a-potties for bathrooms.

At dusk, they prepared for fireworks by clearing more area for people to sit and the crowd game in for the show.  It was a great size crowd - enough for the buzz and excitement but not enough to cause traffic or any other issues.  The show was set to music and the fireworks were shot off from the baseball field directly next to the park - it was so close and the best experience we have had as a family watching fireworks.  They were so impressive and we will be back every year because of the grand display and ease of parking,  friendliness of everyone there and affordable pricing on all of the food.