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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

LouFamFun takes a winter break

Sponsored by:

SAVE THE DATE 
JANUARY 22nd 2-7pm 
LouFamFun 7th BIRTHDAY PARTY 
TO BENEFIT BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS!
Tickets on sale soon! Limited quantity! 
Click here to stay informed 

Readers - We are taking a publishing break until the week of January 2nd.  We are linking up some awesome posts that will help you over winter break.  Thank you so much for your readership - we hope you have a wonderful holiday and that 2017 brings you joy and prosperity.

Winter Fun Links

10 Free Things to Do over Winter Break

Best Christmas Lights!

New Year's Eve for families

Popular Post - Waverly Hills Light Show

Ideas for indoor fun

Give the Gift of Kentucky Experiences

Monday, December 19, 2016

Review of Sing by Illumination Entertainment

 photo IMG_1299_zpsq2xhqbnw.jpgWe were recently lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the new computered animated movie, Sing. All 4 of us give it two thumbs way up!

Sing follows struggling theater owner, Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) and his attempts to save the family business. After he has lost all hope he comes up with the idea of a singing competition (think American Idol with animated characters). The story goes on to follow his contestants and their stage fright, family life (good and bad), and of course some run ins with bad guys. You’ll enjoy the music as it jumps from great throw-backs to pop hits from today.

The whole family enjoyed this wonderful film that entertains kids and adults alike. At the end of the show we saw only grins as we exited the theater. Several little ones were dancing in the aisles as the credits rolled.

This is a great film to fill in the blanks this holiday season. A fantastically fun family movie experience you won’t regret. Sing opens on December 21, 2016 and is rated PG. 

By Guest Contributor: Kelly

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Week in Preview December 19th-22nd

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Schools are out so make some time for fun!

Click here to see the holiday events list.

Here are my picks for the week!

Live it: Join the Jefferson Memorial Forest & Natural Areas for their Holiday Open House Thursday, December 22nd from 1:00-4:00pm. Guests can create ornaments, embark on a scavenger hunt and even enjoy a few cookies. You can also find some great last-minute gifts for friends and family! Click here for more information!

Eat it: Choose your favorite cookie recipe or two and have a family night of cooking. Pair them with some yummy hot chocolate and settle in for a Christmas movie!

Move it: Strap on your roller skates and get moving this week! Bring 2 non perishable food items to Champs Rollerdrome and receive free admission (any session from the 19th-22nd). Find out more on their website!

Learn it: Drop in to the Iroquois Library on Monday, December 19th for their Family Art Studio. From 2:00-4:00pm you can make a present to give. Find more information here!

By Guest Contributor:

Kelly

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Picks for things to do this weekend around Louisville: December 16,17,18


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Check out our HOLIDAY EVENTS LIST!






Friday:  
Do you have any Fandom Fest/Comic Con lovers in your house?  Fandom Fest is hosting a Christmas Bash at The Nerdy Planet.  They will have a free gift for everyone, refreshments, door prizes and more.  It's from 7-9pm. Details here.

Saturday:  
Love City Inc. wants the community to gather for caroling and hand out 100 donated food baskets from 5-6:30pm. Details here. Love City is a non-profit organization in Portland with the goal to support and lift up children's dreams for their future. Join them to spread love!

Sunday: 
It's Nutcracker on Ice (also on Saturday) at 1:30pm and 4:30pm at Iceland. Support these young skater and enjoy this show!

Stephanie

P.S. - Tune in! Stephanie and Dan talk about our favorite holiday movies!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Coffee Zone in Westport Village, Louisville, KY

 photo IMG_0552_zpslybmdaoz.jpgWestport Village has a new coffee shop called The Coffee Zone and we all hope it is here to stay. It went into the old Heine Brothers space, right next to The Comfy Cow.

 photo IMG_0549_zpsc8ls5vet.jpgI pretty much stick with the same thing when getting fancy coffee, a vanilla latte, however, I noticed they had some seasonal flavors and said why not try it? So I got a vanilla latte with a splash of bourbon syrup, whole milk but hold the whip. It was so good, I went back the next day and got another. It had the aroma of mild coffee (not sugar), was just the right temp for sipping, and was not overly sweet or strong.

If you don’t like coffee, no worries. They have seasonal hot chocolate- I will be in line soon to try the Bourbon Caramel Hot Chocolate and report back. They also have frozen beverages and smoothies.

The staff was very friendly and helpful. They offered suggestions on flavors to try and what would mix well. I did not have a chance to drill them on the different types of coffee they offer and what regions they are from but I know you can buy it by the pound and more.

I have yet to try the varity of baked goods they offered, but overheard some people trying them and approving.

The Coffee Zone is a nice and big space that worked well for my 9 a.m. meeting. There are lots of places to sit, a few big tables, and some smaller ones. In the warm months there is lots of outdoor seating that works for people watching.



 photo IMG_0551_zpsbpi0ugx6.jpgI suggest liking their Facebook page and checking back for specials. They post them up there from time to time. I noticed once they offeres a $2, 12oz latte any flavor...for example.

The other good news is you can put your name in at Wild Eggs and take your pager with you to sip on some coffee while you wait.

Overall I really enjoyed The Coffee Zone and have been back a few times. They are friendly, clean, convenient to my home and seve up a great cup of coffee.

By Guest Contributor: Christine

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Review of Birthday Party at House of Boom in Louisville

We opted to have my daughter's "friend party" at House of Boom this past spring to celebrate her 13th birthday and we were very pleased with the party experience.

 photo 0421161814a_zpsf6mztahs.jpgWe chose a week night party to save a little bit of money; week day (Monday-Thursday) parties run $225-$500 depending on the number of jumpers in your party. Weekend parties Friday-Sunday run $275-$550. A birthday party package at House of Boom includes a one hour flight ticket for each jumper and exclusive use of a party room for 45 minutes after your jump time (you jump first, then have the party room for food, cake, presents, etc.). You will have your own party hostess assigned to your party who will help with set up and clean up of the room, included in the price is all paper goods, utensils, etc. and table covers, although guests can bring in their own if desired. You are also allowed to bring in any food, drink, and cake or desserts. The birthday person also received a free flight t-shirt.

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My daughter's party was on a Thursday evening starting around 5pm. Since she is in middle school, that time worked best for kids arriving from home and getting back home in time for homework and other family matters. I allowed her to invite 10 friends, so the party was the base price of $225 before taxes. They all arrived right on time and got their personal items stowed away and gifts dropped off in the party room. With their ages, I didn't mind parents leaving their kids there at the site. Anyone who had not filled out an online waiver form had to have one filled out by a parent before they could start jumping. The waiver form is required and there are no exceptions. They keep them on file so if you have kids who have been to HOB previously, staff will be able to search for their waiver through their account. Online waivers can be found here https://houseofboom.pfestore.com/waiver/WaiverInfo.aspx

 photo 0421161924_zps0dbekmpd.jpgMy daughter and her friends had a blast jumping and goofing off for an hour. Because it was an early evening on a Thursday, the place really wasn't that busy at all so they practically had it to themselves. After exhausting themselves, they headed to the party room to eat pizza, have some drinks and cake, and open presents. I had ordered Papa John's pizza online for them ahead of time through the mobile app and had it delivered directly to HOB, plus used one of their popular coupon codes!

My daughter made great memories at her 13th party with all of her closest friends, and we will definitely think about using HOB for a birthday party again. The party hostess was a great help and having to listen to and work with 11 tweens and teenagers (who can get pretty loud in that party room), she deserved an A+! I really loved watching the teens let loose and just be kids again; this age is so fun! I recommend booking a party on a weeknight if you can fit it into your schedule for a less crowded experience and to save a little bit in your pocket.

House of Boom is located at 100 Urton Lane, Louisville, KY 40223
502-509-3457
jump@houseofboom.us
http://www.houseofboom.us/Parties

By guest contributor: Erin

Monday, December 12, 2016

Basketball Lessons for Kids

This is a sponsored post
 photo aak_zpslpwsplkf.pngAll About Kids' Oldham County sports center hosts basketball lessons and leagues for kids of all ages. Your child will not only learn the game of basketball, but also develop important game and life skills. In a fun and safe environment, their coaching staff will focus on techniques, fitness, and psychology of the game at various age levels.Their  basketball coaching methods emphasize patience, enthusiasm, creativity, and most importantly, fun!

LIL BALLERS (AGES 3-5)

In a positive, safe environment, the coaching staff will provide this group a basic introduction to the game of basketball with a focus on improving the kids' motor skills through different activities and games. During each 45-minute class, the Lil Ballers will participate in warm-up/stretching, instructional/activities and implementation/scrimmage sessions.
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BASKETBALL CLINICS – ALL AGES
Clinics provide growth opportunities for beginners to basketball, all the way through the advanced high school player! Your child will learn about teamwork, fair play, and the rules of the game all while developing individual skills.

 photo IMG_5666_zpsuey12flu.jpgYOUTH RECREATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE
The Youth Recreational Basketball League is a co-ed league for ages 3 years – 4th grade. It is a great league to help kids learn and enhance the fundamentals of the game of basketball. The league offers approximately 7 games and 9 practices. All practices will be held on Monday or Wednesday evenings and all games will be held on Saturday mornings.

AAK TEAMS (3RD GRADE – HIGH SCHOOL)
October – February (with open enrollment)
These teams are designed for those athletes that do not play on their school teams, but wish to compete in a competitive environment. The program is designed to simulate a “school season” for the players while preparing them for next year’s try-outs.
This group also has a March – July summer program.
The summer program takes your player’s basketball skills to a new level during their “off season.” This is a 6 month commitment designed to improve your athlete’s skill level by having regular team practices.

Click here for more information about these classes or to sign up!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Week in Preview December 12th-15th

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Star Wars, the Grinch, and Santa are just a few of the fun options to choose from this week!

Here are my picks for the week!

Live it: Celebrate Dr. Seuss with The Grinch Who Stole Christmas at the Fairdale Library on Thursday at 6pm. They will watch the classic film, craft and eat themed snacks. Ages Preschool+. Find out more here!

For the Star Wars fan, head over to the Main Library on Tuesday at 7pm. Join biographer Brian Jay Jones for a discussion of his latest book George Lucas: A Life, detailing the incredible life story of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator. This program is free, but tickets are required. Get your tickets here!

Eat it: Kids eat FREE at Sandi's Kitchen from now until Christmas from 4-8pm! Dine in only, one per adult. Check it out here!

Move it: Go see Santa at All About Kids-Oldham County Location on Thursday, December 15th from 5:30-6:30pm. While you are there get moving during the Fun Zone (4-8pm, kids 10 and under, cost is $8 per child).

Learn it: Join Side by Side for their Open Studio on Monday from 10-11am or Tuesday from 4-5pm. Open Studio is a drop-in event and pre-registration is not required. Cost is $10. Check out their website for more information!


By Guest Contributor:

Kelly

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Picks for things to do this weekend around Louisville: December 9,10,11


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Check out our HOLIDAY EVENTS LIST!
This is a big weekend for holiday events, but not everything........... 






Friday:  
This looks so cool and cold but I think it you prepare, it will be fine! Layer up, bring lots of blankets and wear warm shoes. There's a Geminid Meteor Shower Program from 8:00pm to 10:00pm at Jefferson Memorial Forest.  Look for shooting stars whizzing overhead with one of their naturalists. They'll also have a guided cosmic hike and hot chocolate and coffee will be available. They'll have telescopes set up. Pre-registration required, call 368-5404. It's$8 per person.

Saturday:  
Head to New Albany for an Old-Fashioned Christmas featuring Victorian carolers through downtown, rides in a horse-drawn carriages, a lovely bell choir performance, and unique boutiques and stores with retro storefronts decorations fit for the season. It runs from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. in downtown New Albany. It's free and food will be available for purchase.

Sunday: 
I have to be honest, I may or may not have chosen this event because I wanted to say Schnitzelburg. Say it, it's kind of funny and makes me smile!  Santa and the Schnitzelburg Area Community Council are celebrating the holiday season! Meet at Emerson Park under the Jim King Gazebo for hot chocolate, snacks, and holiday cheer at 5:30. Kids can sit on Santa's lap for photos. Then, everyone will walk along Hickory Street and sing Christmas carols together. So simple and fun.

Stephanie

P.S. - Tune in! Stephanie and Dan talk about career shifts - the gal we interview used to fit bras and now she's all about burgers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Waverly Hills Laser Light Show

Dana was granted admission for purpose of review
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When I think of Christmas traditions, Waverly Hills Sanatorium has never come to mind. Mostly known for being one of the most haunted places on earth, I never thought I would be intentionally heading up that winding road in my minivan with my husband and three children in tow. We all still sleep with a night light and creepy is totally not our thing. That being said, I have always been a little bit curious about Waverly Hills. Besides, who doesn’t like a Christmas light show?



 photo 20161202_175921_zpsnx0jcooq.jpgSo we all piled up and headed to the Sanatorium for the Waverly Hills Laser Light Show. As soon as we got through the gates, there were Christmas lights and themes galore all the way up to main attraction! Santa and his reindeer, a nativity set, dinosaurs, nutcrackers, all sorts of inflatables, and more lined the windy drive up to Waverly Hills.

We attended the first showing at 6, and we were the first ones in and got the prime spot right in the middle. Looking straight up at the looming building and all its history was actually pretty awesome and only slightly moved the needle on my creepy meter. We were instructed to turn our radio to a specific station then we waited for the light show.

My kids flat out thought it was amazing!! The lights are perfectly synchronized to all the Christmas favorites from Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree to Silent Night to a seasonal Turn Down For What. Lights danced in front of us in so many forms and kept us all entranced for the entire show. We were all singing along and some wonderfully beautiful memories were made. I mean, who can forget a laser light show at Waverly Hills? Besides the flawlessly executed lights on the building’s façade, the historical setting makes for a pretty fantastic experience.

 photo b5ee893b-f111-4bae-a6ce-fcfe443e2575_zpsrbw3jrtd.jpgIt’s definitely worth the $25 admission for a carload of up to 7 people. Waverly Hills has teamed up with Dare to Care, and if you bring some non-perishable foods, you get $5 off your admission along with some holiday warm fuzzies for helping a good cause. Every Friday and Saturday through Christmas Eve, the shows start at 6 p.m. and are every half hour until 10 (gates open at 5:30). I would recommend going around 7 for the second hour. We were at the first show and there were a couple technical difficulties with the sound, so when we go next year (and we WILL go next year), we’ll wait until a later showing

 photo 20161202_181551_zpspvljbrmc.jpgThe show is appropriate for all ages; just make sure everyone takes a potty break beforehand as there are no facilities. We were able to completely shut the engine down on the van without getting cold, but a festive idea would be to take a thermos of hot chocolate and some fuzzy blankets if the weather is a little too frightful. So go enjoy the show and have some Louisville Family Fun!

By Guest Contributor: Dana

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Gift Ideas FROM Teachers

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We talked to local teachers to find out what toys and games they'd love their students to receive this holiday season.


Preschool ideas:

Playdough, Mr. Potato Head, stringing beads, Lite-Brite and scissors all help develop fine motor skills.

Building toys like Lego and Lincoln Logs are helpful for creativity as well as fine motor skills.

Snail's Pace Race teaches color, counting and taking turns without competitiveness.

Spelling Bee Bingo reinforces letters.

CandyLand and Chutes and Ladders teach basic counting skills.

Sum Swamp teaches basic math skills.

Dice games help with recognizing patterns and counting.

*Teacher Tip! - When playing board game, have your kids follow ALL of the rules ALL of the time, and make sure to let your child lose about half the time.

*Teacher Tip! A small white board is an easy, inexpensive gift that most children love. In addition to letting your child play with it independently, keeping it close by when doing reading homework in later years can be really helpful.


Elementary ideas

Grades K-1

Hullabaloo gets little ones moving.

Uncle Wiggily for number fluency.

WOO! introduces simple addition and spelling concepts.

Coggy encourages visual-spatial skills, critical thinking and logic.


Grades 2-3

SET family card game is great for higher level thinking.

Tenzi and Slapzi encourage dexterity, quick thinking, and interaction.

Perplexus improves hand-eye coordination and spatial relations and develops motor and dexterity skills.

Rory's Story Cubes is a creative story generator, providing hours of imaginative play.


Grades 4-5

Rummikub encourages family interaction and logic.

Qwirkle encourages visual thinking and planning, strategy. A LouFamFun fave!

Blokus develops logic and spacial perception while kids learn to be tactical.

Ivan’s Hinge patterned challenge cards invite curiosity, logic, determination and refines visual spatial skills.

*Teacher Tip! Bring the classic board games back into the home. With the electronics explosion we are experiencing in our world, conversation between parents and children has been reduced tremendously. There seems to be a decline in language and vocabulary skills in the past 5-6 years that could be attributed to too much screen time. Playing a board game encourages lots of healthy dialogue! Not to mention the added benefit of learning to take turns, win and lose gracefully and think strategically.

*Reading Intervention Teacher Tip!!! Books are the best gift of all. While electronic books are awesome and easy to access, I have noticed in the past few years that some of my beginning readers struggle with turning pages, reading the left page before the right page and understanding directionality of print. Having an adult read a real book with or to a child naturally establishes these early concepts of print. It also encourages lots of rich conversation – so healthy!

Note: Amazon affiliate links were provided for visual aid. These games and toys are available at many retailers, including local independent toy stores, so be sure to check your favorite store.

By Guest Contributor: Dana


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Week in Preview December 5th-8th

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No time to sit still, get moving and have some fun!

Here are my picks for the week!

Live it:Splurge a little this week and go see Linkin' Bridge and Tom Mabe on Thursday. Join them as they give back with a night of entertainment and inspiration to benefit Blessings in a Backpack and 100 Black Men of Louisville at The Kentucky Center on Thursday, December 8th starting at 7pm. For more information check it out here!

Eat it:Have dinner Tuesday at Senor Iguanas and get a free kid's meal with the purchase of an adult meal! Check out their website for more information!

Move it: Get moving at KaZoing Party and Play on Wednesday, December 7th for their Holiday Party from 5-8pm! Free Santa visit, jumping elves, face painting, and more! Admission is 1 new unopened gift per child or $8 to be donated to Foster Care Children in the community. Find out all the news here!

Learn it: Join others at the Santa’s Workshop at the Main Library in Oldham County on Tuesday from 6-8pm! This year, they are celebrating the holidays and local ingenuity. Children can make a variety of crafts and science projects in the elf themed maker room. Families can enjoy holiday music and refreshments while interacting with local artisans. Learn about the different processes of creating from experts in weaving, glass bead making, molding, and more. Don’t miss out on this free event for all ages! Find more information here!

By Guest Contributor:

Kelly

Friday, December 2, 2016

Picks for things to do this weekend around Louisville: December 2,3,4


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Check out our HOLIDAY EVENTS LIST!
Adventure throughout Kentuckiana this weekend:






Friday:  
Waverly Hills celebrates the Holidays with a Laser Light Show! Drive up the newly decorated winding road to Waverly Hills, see the beautiful historic building, and enjoy a laser show unlike anything else in town. And you never have to leave the warmth of your car! Bring non-perishable food items for a Dare to Care and receive $5 off your admission! Gates open from 5:30 to 10:00 pm For a standard car (Max 7 people): $25.00 per vehicle.

Saturday:  
 photo 11 x 17 2016 Christmas poster-FINAL_zpsnbevg5cj.jpgWe've said it before, we really enjoy events at the Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve and their annual Nature of Christmas event is Saturday from noon - 3pm.  They have crafts, shopping, treats and hot chocolate, food, hay rides and of course, visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus (1:30-3pm). The Bell Choir plays at 12:30pm and it's very nice!  It's free (donations encouraged).


Sunday: 
Skate with Santa at the Jeffersonville Ice Rink. The rink is real ice and located at Market & Spring St. in Jeffersonville. Santa is there on Sunday from 1-4pm. It is $8 per person and there's a $2 discount if you bring your own skates. Hopefully the rain holds off during this time!

Stephanie

P.S. - Tune in! Stephanie and Dan talk about community service

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Free Things To Do in and around Louisville, KY, December 2016



There's so much going on in December and we know......it involves a lot of spending.  So, let's take a moment to focus on some FREE family fun!

1. Carriage Rides with Santa
Every Saturday and Sunday through December 18, 2016, 12:00 -4:00PM
Head to the Paddock Shops and enjoy a free ride with carriage ride with Santa around the shopping area.

2. Speed Art Museum Free Admission
Every Sunday, 12:00- 5:00PM
Thanks to a generous contribution from Brown-Forman, anyone can visit the Speed for free on Sundays through March 2021.

3. Nutcracker Family Storytime at Louisville Free Public Library Branches
Thursday, December 01, 2016, 6:30 PM, Iroquois
Tuesday, December 06, 2016, 6:30 PM, St. Matthews
Thursday, December 08, 2016, 6:30 PM, Main Library

Children of all ages and their families are invited to one of six special Nutcracker Family Storytimes with Louisville Ballet. The events feature a Louisville Ballet dancer reading the classic holiday story The Nutcracker, followed by Nutcracker-inspired crafts and activities. PLUS, one lucky family at each storytime will receive 4 tickets to see Louisville Ballet’s production of The Brown-Forman Nutcracker.

4. The Polar Express Storytime- Friday December 2, 2016 7:00 PM
All aboard! Come in your PJs and join in the magical evening at Barnes and Noble at the Paddock Shops or the Shoppes at Plainview as they host their annual Polar Express Storytime. Coloring and activities to follow, including writing a Dear Santa letter. Also check out their holiday themed story times on Saturdays throughout the month of December.

5. Highview Holiday Fest- Friday, December 2, 2016, 6:00-8:00PM
Join the holiday fun at the Highview Holiday Fest at the Highview Park and SE Government Center on Outer Loop. Free, fun, family friendly event.

6. Light Up the Village at Westport Village- Friday, December 2, 2016, 5:00PM
Westport Village will host its Light Up The Village holiday celebration with festivities that will include decorations, lights, holiday cheer and special promotions and give aways at select shops.


7. 13th Annual Nature of Christmas in Goshen- Saturday, December 3 from 12 – 3 p.m. (Rain Date December 10)

Get into the holiday spirit with your friends, family and neighbors at Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve! Come for the free chili, hot dogs and hot chocolate. Enjoy live music, artisans and gift booths, crafts and the always popular hay ride. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be here for photos and to hand out treat bags to the first 200 children.

8. Light Up St. Matthews- Saturday, December 3, 2016, 4:00-6:00PM

Go to Brown Park for Light Up St. Matthews, a neighborhood tradition for decades! Enjoy light displays cookies and hot chocolate, a live DJ, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, activities for the kids, and fun for the entire family. At 6 p.m. the event concludes with Santa turning on the lights throughout the park.

9. Building Workshops- Saturday, December 3, 2016

Little builders can enjoy a free workshop at Home Depot to build a Gingerbread Man Candy Dish or the Lowes Build and Grow Workshop to build Christmas Ornaments. Register online to attend either event.

10. Family Fun Night: Holiday Open House- Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 6:00-8:00pm

Go to the Oldham County Library for a festive evening including crafts, music and refreshments.

11. Festival of Nativities- December 8-10, 2016

See over 500 nativity scenes from around the world at The Crestwood Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Attractions include: Children's room, Treat Room, Family Photo Booth, Nativity Art Tours, Live Artists, Living Nativity, Musical Concerts, Nativity Story Readings in English and Español.

12. Christmas Gift and Décor Show- December 9-11, 2016

Head to the Kentucky Expo Center and enjoy free admission to the show with over 750 vendors and free pictures with Santa!

By Guest Contributor: Tami

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review of ClickList at Kroger in Prospect, KY

I've been hearing friends and family rave about curbside grocery pickup for months. When the Kroger near my home recently began offering ClickList, I knew I had to give it a try.

 photo 18a4bfe7-7eec-4e68-99a0-43b6b491aa47_zpspsshytxo.jpgCurbside grocery orders are placed online. The process was easier than I expected. I already had an online account with Kroger, which I use for uploading digital coupons to my Plus card. I went to the Kroger.com as usual and selected ClickList to begin my order. I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of the online ordering process. The first screen I came to showed items I had recently purchased (as tracked by my Kroger Plus card). Each item included a photo with the description, which was helpful. The only thing to be careful of is size, since a 10 oz package looks the same a 30 oz package in a photo. I quickly scrolled through the list and clicked to add some often used grocery staples to my cart.

The next section showed my sale items. These are items that I've previously purchased that are currently on sale. I added extras of some of these items to my cart, if the deal was especially good, just as I would have if I had been walking through the store. I appreciated not missing out on these types of deals! If you're not careful, there are a few deals you might miss out on. For example, Kroger was running a 'mix and match 10 items' deal. If you buy 10 items with a special tag, you get each of those items at a reduced price. There are no special tags when ordering on ClickList. However, if you click the tab for Savings and then select Weekly Ad, you can learn about these sales and still take advantage of them. Also, it is important to note the prices you pay are the ones the item is being sold for on the day of pickup-- not the day of order. I would avoid ordering on a change over date if you're trying to take advantage of special sales.

For the rest of my grocery list, I used the search bar to find the item I needed. The search feature worked pretty well. For example, I typed in "baby spinach" and it brought up the leafy greens I was looking for in the various brands offered. However, it also showed me jars of spinach baby food. I didn't find that to be a problem, but one could avoid seeing the extra items, by narrowing down the search to "produce" by checking a box on the side. The first time I ordered on ClickList, I found all of the items I needed without any problems. The second time I ordered, I noticed a few items missing. One type of salad I like wasn't an available option, nor was the brand of frozen vegetable egg rolls I prefer. I also learned that, while "cosmetics" is a featured category, makeup items really aren't available through ClickList at this time. If I needed mascara, I'd have to go in the store or order it from Amazon. Overall, the product availability was quite extensive, so I don't find that to be a major deterrent.

For all items, the price (with Plus card) was clearly displayed. I appreciated the fact that I could see a running total as I added items to my cart. I could see that being very helpful for staying on budget. It was easy to scroll back through and remove products I changed my mind about. On the review screen at the end, I noticed the words "allow substitution" under each item with a check box beside it. The boxes were automatically checked, but I could uncheck them if desired. I decided to leave them all checked to see if any substitutions would be made. I had previously read that Kroger ClickList associates had been trained to make appropriate substitutions, so I was curious to see what would happen.

 photo FullSizeRender 25_zpsdyizjwbk.jpgAt the end of the online ordering process, I was able to select a pick up date and time. It's important to note that you cannot order and pick up groceries within the same day. Your pick up date will likely be the next day, but it could possibly be later. The first time, I ordered early on a Sunday and was able to pick up my groceries the next morning. The second time I ordered, I got a late start on Sunday evening. When I started my order, the available pick up time was 2 - 3 pm on Monday, but by the time I was finished and ready to select a time, it was up to 7 - 8 pm. Lesson learned. My advice is to get an early start on filling your cart. After a pick up time is selected, you can edit your cart up until midnight. 

 photo FullSizeRender 24_zps2fnkly1f.jpgThe online instructions say to go to the store at your pick up time and follow the signs to the ClickList area. I did not notice any signs outside of the Prospect Kroger when I arrived for pick up. After driving around the lot for a while, I realized that pick up was behind the store. There were several spaces clearly marked for ClickList. The sign in front of each space has a phone number on it to call when you arrive. Don't forget to bring your cell phone! Upon calling, the associate came out within 2 - 3 minutes.

When the ClickList associate came out, he was very friendly. I did not have to get out of the car for anything. The first thing he did was go over list of substitutions that were made on my order. There were multiple items that were required substitution, but I was pleased with all of their choices. The best part of substitutions is, you receive the lowest price. For example, the brand of bacon I ordered was on sale for $1.99 per package. It was unavailable, so they substituted a similar bacon that retailed for 3 times that price and I only paid $1.99. That was quite a nice surprise! Had I not been pleased with the substitutions, I could've rejected them. I noticed that the substituted items had been bagged in regular Kroger bags rather than the white, ClickList bags so that the associate could easily find them and remove them from my order if needed.

Paying for my groceries was easy. I used my credit card and signed the associate's tablet while still in my car. All of my online coupons were automatically applied. I did not try to use paper coupons, but I've heard that they can be used, though they slow down the check out process. While the associate was at my car, I inquired about the storage of ClickList orders after they were picked. He explained to me that they have large refrigeration and freezer rooms where they store the cold items until pick up. So for those who live far from the store, ClickList may be a better option than going inside the store, since your cold groceries remain refrigerated or frozen until they are taken out to you car.

Upon arrival at home, I found that all of my groceries were as expected with no missing items. When ordering the produce, you are able to make a note about what you like (for example, "green bananas") so that helped to insure that those items would be to my liking. The only trick is some of those items are by weight and some by quantity, which I didn't notice, so I only ended up with 2 bananas.

Overall, my impression of ClickList was extremely positive. I really liked the online process, and could see value in looking up items online to price check first even if I planned to go into the store to make my purchase. The fee for using ClickList in the Louisville area is $4.95 per order, however the fee is waived the first 3 times. I think it's a fair price, considering it saved me at least an hour of time and I saved money on substitutions I would've had to pay for if I substituted on my own. At first, I thought this service was only for the elderly, disabled or parents with young children. However, I can see it as beneficial for anyone. In addition to saving time, I didn't make impulse buys and made a more thorough list than usual. I wouldn't use it for a quick trip to get just a few items, but I'll definitely use ClickList again for my major weekly shopping trip!

By Guest Contributor: Brandy




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch or Dinner with Santa in and around Louisville, 2016

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Start a new holiday tradition and enjoy a meal with Santa! This is one of my children's favorite things to do around Christmas. Just be sure to call ahead, as most require reservations in advance. 


Saturday, December 3


The Galt House - Breakfast with Santa. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. $40/child. $20/adult. No charge for 2 and under. *Includes admission to Christmas at the Galt House.

Spirit of Jefferson - Brunch cruise with Santa & Mrs. Claus. 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.  $32/child. $42/adult.
$41/seniors.

Jefferson Mall Chic-fil-A- Breakfast with Santa in the food court. 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Donuts With Santa - Donuts, crafts, raffle, face painting and photos with Santa at Harmony Elementary School in Goshen, KY. 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Breakfast With Santa and Advent Workshop - Breakfast with Santa for all ages from 9 - 10 a.m. Advent workshop for children age 3 yrs - 5th grade from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Middletown United Methodist Church. RSVP 502-245-8839.

Pancakes with Santa - Pancakes, crafts, face painting, raffles and meet and greet with Santa, Elsa, Anna and Olaf. Sullivan University. $5 admission.

Breakfast with Santa - All-you-can-eat breakfast, fire truck, bounce house, games, Christmas movies and Santa! McMahan Fire Dept. $5 for children. $7 for adults. No charge for children 2 and under. Benefits Crusade for Children. 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Pancakes with Santa - Santa, pancakes and craft stations. $3 for kids 12 and under. $5 for adults. No charge for children 2 and under. Southern High School. 9 - 11 a.m.


Sunday, December 4

Martini Italian Bistro - Breakfast buffet and Santa visit at your table. 9 and 9:30 a.m. $6.95/child 12 & under. $16.95/adult.

U of L Golf Club - Breakfast with Santa. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. $7.50 for children 4 - 10 yrs old. $14.99 for adults. Call 852-8958 for reservations.


Friday, December 9

Dinner with Santa - Mexican food and free pictures with Santa at Gusavto's Mexican Grill Crestwood. 6 - 9 p.m.


Saturday, December 10

The Galt House - Breakfast with Santa. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. $40/child. $20/adult. Free for 2 and under. *Includes admission to Christmas at the Galt House.

Spirit of Jefferson - Brunch cruise with Santa & Mrs. Claus. 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.  $32/child. $42/adult.
$41/seniors.

St. Paul United Methodist Church - Breakfast with Santa. Pancakes, crafts games and photo ops.

Santa Breakfast - Pancakes, crafts and photos with Santa. Klothe-A-Kid and Dream Express will giveaway clothing and storybooks. This event is free. North Bullitt Christian Church. 9 - 11 a.m.

Breakfast with Santa - Breakfast, crafts, games, Santa, cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus and more. Westport Rd. Church of Christ. 9 - 11 a.m.

LaGrange Mason 2nd Annual Breakfast with Santa - 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Bring a new unwrapped toy for the Not Forgotten Box and receive a free pancake breakfast.

Dinner with Santa - Mexican food and free pictures with Santa at Gusavto's Mexican Grill Prospect. 6 - 9 p.m.


Sunday, December 11

Martini Italian Bistro - Breakfast buffet and Santa visit at your table. 9 and 9:30 a.m. $6.95/child 12 & under. $16.95/adult.

Santa Lunch - Crestwood Christian Church. 12:15 - 2 p.m.

Santa at Captain's Quarters - 11 a.m. -2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. -8:30 p.m. Free photos and ornament making. Kids 12 and under eat free with adult entree purchase.

St. Aloysius Breakfast with Santa - The St. Aloysius Women's Club is sponsoring breakfast with Santa from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Admission is $5 per person and includes a pancake breakfast, crafts and a visit with Santa!


Saturday, December 17

The Galt House - Breakfast with Santa. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. $40/child. $20/adult. Free for 2 and under. *Includes admission to Christmas at the Galt House.

JDRF Breakfast with Santa - Breakfast with Santa at the Cheesecake Factory, Mall St. Matthews. 8 - 10 a.m. Tickets are $10. No charge for age 1 yr and under.

Oldham County Schools Arts Center - Pancake breakfast and photo with Santa. 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.


Know of a Santa meal we missed? Email the information to brandy@louisvillefamilyfun.net.


By Guest Contributor: Brandy



Sunday, November 27, 2016

Week in Preview November 28th - December 1st

Sponsored by:
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Make this week fantastic!

Here are my picks for the week!

Live it: Enjoy some Christmas Lights at the World's ONLY Drive-Thru Underground Light Show!
Pick a day this week to head over to the Louisville Mega Cavern to get yourself into the Holiday Spirit! Find all the details here along with a coupon!

Eat it: Visit W.W. Cousin's on Monday or Tuesday after 4:00pm to enjoy kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. Check out their Facebook page for more information!

Move it: Go ice skating this week downtown at the plaza at 4th and Jefferson Streets! The skating rink is open Monday-Thursday from 11:00am-10:00pm. For more information and all the hours open click here!

Learn it: Mayor's Music & Art Series will be held in the WFPK studio, 619 S. Fourth St. on Thursday, December 1st. Their monthly shows spotlight local musicians and artists in the intimate setting of the Mayor’s Gallery Listening Room at historic Louisville Metro Hall. Performances are the first Thursday of the month. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. with music starting at 12:10 p.m. and lasting about 45 minutes. All shows are free and open to the public, first come/first served.

By Guest Contributor:

Kelly

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Picks for things to do this weekend: Thanksgiving

Sponsored by:
   Christmas at the Galt House 

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We are enjoying family time, just like you. We have linked up some items below so you can find your fun.  As always, our trusty calendar is also ready for you to review and find events.

If you are reading on a mobile device, we recommend you download our app because that's the easiest way to see the calendar when you are out and about. 
  
Check out our HOLIDAY EVENTS LIST!

Please refer to our Winter Fun Page for lots of ideas!

~Stephanie

Psssssst: Tune into the latest episode of Fortyish - Dan & I chat with our adopt-a-mom-of-a-friend-when-yours-is-on-a-cruise Velma! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Top Five Favorites from Christmas at the Galt House in Louisville, KY

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Christmas at the Galt House is back again and I attended for a media event to see what's new.  As always, it's very colorful and gets you in the mood for the holidays. Here are my favorite parts of our day.

1. Santa Claus - Santa is waiting for you to have your picture taken in one of the first rooms you encounter. You can buy a professional picture or just take one with your own camera.
 
2. The 12 Days of Christmas KaLightoscope! Starting with a partridge in a pear tree, past turtle doves and French hens, through golden rings, over a bridge of swans a swimming, with the last stop being 12 drummers drumming. Our favorite was 8 Maids a Milking!

3. The Naughty or Nice Mat- Step just right and either the naughty or nice lights will brighten up, letting Santa know which list to put you on. Santa’s elf will help, but make sure you are on the lookout or you may pass it up.

4. The interactive camera in the KaLightoscope near the 4 Calling Birds. Put your face in front of the camera and it will be projected onto 3 different luminaries.

5. Carolers – they are sure to put you into the Holiday Spirit and sound wonderful singing favorite Christmas Songs.

LouFamFun's Christmas Galt House album on Photobucket

Learn more about Christmas at the Galt House on their website.

By Guest Contributor: Kelly

Monday, November 21, 2016

Four Reasons to check out Heartland Music Together this winter

This is a sponsored post photo MTphoto-05-web_zpsuehhwbkz.jpg 

Does your child love music? Heartland Music Together can foster that love of music!

You may have already noticed your child bopping to a beat, singing along in the car, or even just brightening and smiling when you sing a favorite song. We know that every child is musical – and the more you share musical fun with your child, the more you support your child’s budding music skills.

1) Fun for every temperament and learning style
We support your child's love of music, with activities to encourage musical play and exploration at your child's own developmental level. Each class is a 45-minute journey that includes high energy fun, quiet activities, instrument play, and finally a lullaby and snuggle at the end of class. We welcome children from infants through preschool. And we because we believe you deserve some fun in your day, we make our classes fun for adults too!

 photo MTphoto-23-web_zpskay3lv9u.jpg2) New – Prospect classes!
We offer classes all around town to meet your needs, with morning, afternoon, evening and weekend options. Our NEW Prospect class meets at Power and Grace Gymnastics on Wednesday mornings, starting in December. Try a free single class, or…

3) Join us for a holiday mini-session
This 3-week holiday session is a favorite way to get a taste of Music Together without committing to a full semester. You can register in advance for the class you want – or just drop in to pay as you go. Perfect for your busy holiday season!

4) Holiday gift solution
Music classes make a great gift! No batteries, no clutter, and it’s a gift the whole family will enjoy. You can create a certificate for any amount. And years later they’ll still thank you for this amazing gift!

 photo image003_zpsfpyhkp3x.jpgShare music fun with a child you love. Visit our website for more information. Or come see us in class!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Week in Preview November 21st-24th

Sponsored by:
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Games, Crepes, and Boom!

Here are my picks for the week!

Live it:Enjoy some family time at home this week with a Family Game Night! Pick your favorite and have some fun! Some ideas could include Monopoly, Qwirkle, Life, or Sorry.

Eat it: It's Customer Appreciation Day on Wednesday, November 23rd at Four Sisters! From 11am-3pm, they will be offering FREE crepes and all donations will go to charity. Find out more on their Facebook page!

Move it: Get jumping at House of Boom this week!  Join them for Kid Jump (9am-10am) for children 6 and under. One accompanying adult jumps free per child paid. This is available Monday-Saturday, find out more here!

Learn it:This week of thankfulness would be a wonderful time to also spread kindness. Check out our post of opportunities for service and pick one for your family!

By Guest Contributor:

Kelly

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Picks for things to do this weekend around Louisville: November 18,19,20

Sponsored by:
   Christmas at the Galt House 

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Check out our HOLIDAY EVENTS LIST!


Friday:  Take advantage of the warmth and head to Kentucky Horse Park for Southern Lights. It's not too bad of a drive and a really nice place! They suggest you arrive as close as possible to 5:30 pm to avoid longer lines giving you more time to visit the Holiday Festival (non-driving) attraction. It's $25 per car on weekends. 








Saturday:  Christmas at the Galt House kicks off this weekend and will be having a fun event to get things started - The World's Largest Fairy Gathering.  Tutu/fairy wings/wands encouraged!  They are trying to set a Guinness World Record!  The doors open at 10am and they begin counting folks at 11:15am. See all of the details by clicking here.

Sunday: Get a jump ahead on holiday shopping at the JCC Snowflake Shoppe, supporting their early learning center. They have a long list of vendors all in one place. 


Stephanie

Psssssst: Tune into the latest episode of Fortyish - Dan & I chat about smiling and nodding. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Review of "All the Whos in Whoville" at Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville, KY

Click here to learn about all of the holiday happenings for 2016

I took my son to the last working dress rehearsal of "All the Whos in Whoville" to check out this holiday play and see what it might have in store for families looking for a seasonal event to attend this month.

 photo 1110162138a-2_zpspro41kzg.jpgWhen we arrived, several of the actors were going over lines on stage and were dressed in colorful outfits, looking very Who-ville and it set up the mood for us as far as getting in the Grinch and Who spirit. They were super receptive to my son and immediately drew him into their acting and humor by telling him to say "Merry Christmas" to a certain Who, and he would run off the stage and hide. It was very fun and interactive and of course my son loved it. He loves attention! He has really exhibited a love for theater, so I really enjoy taking him to these types of events. The actors then played along with him and asked him "Wanna play follow the leader?! You're the leader, go!" And he took off and they followed him, imitating his every move and making the small audience laugh hysterically. It was really fun and got us very pumped for the start of the play.



When the play began, there was a narrator telling the back story of The Grinch and how he had grown to love the Whos in Whoville and loved Christmas and giving to everyone. Then, the story turns into the Grinch becoming basically "mean" again because he looks into a superficial little globe of light that "shocks" his system back to "Grinchood." In the story, there is a lot of sci-fi, fantasy, lights, music, time travel, mystery, and problem solving as the story goes on. We are introduced to Cindy Lou Who as she is a grown up now and has a daughter of her own, Suzy Q. We are also introduced to Cindy's mother and her sister, Betty Boo and Mary Sue. While the lines are lyrical and rhyming for the most part, much of the dialogue in my opinion will only be understood by adults and older children and teens. The Grinch stole the show though, and he was fabulous. My son really only enjoyed the scenes where the Grinch was center stage. Who wouldn't be drawn to him?! He was dressed spectacularly to the part!

 photo 1110162034_zpsc6asdbau.jpgI would recommend this show for an older audience. If you have a family of younger children, I really think it's scripted well and has a lot of humor that adults will catch, but it is not very much like the movie or anything, so if your kids are expecting something like that, they may not enjoy it as much. As a parent with children who span 8 years between them, I value finding entertainment that we can all enjoy though, and isn't so entirely centered on the preschool age range. Older kids, teens, and adults who enjoy mystery and sci-fi and theatrical effects will most likely appreciate this show. The ending is heartfelt and brings joy to the scenes.

It is a totally locally sourced cast and is in its second run at the Iroquois Amphitheater. "All the Whos in Whoville" is a ZTK Entertainment production written by Todd Zeigler and directed by Kathryn Zeigler.


"All the Whos in Whoville" can be seen Thursday-Saturday November 18-20 at 7:30 p.m. and at a family matinee on Saturday, November 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22; matinee special pricing is $20 for adult admission and $10 for children admission.

See the show at Parkside Studio indoors at the Iroquois Amphitheater
1080 Amphitheater Road
877-987-6487
www.iroquoisamphitheather.com

By Guest Contributor: Erin

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Indoor/Winter Service Opportunities for Families in and around Louisville, KY

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 photo IMG_1483_zpsowrkg2pf.jpgRonald McDonald House – The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana is to provide a “home away from home” for families of children receiving healthcare at area medical facilities while also lending support to other organizations who aid children. They have several different opportunities for ages 6+. See our review of one such opportunity here.

Fed With Faith Fed with Faith is a Louisville-based homeless outreach aimed at providing food, shelter, and essential resources to the indigent population with particular focus on 18 to 24 year olds. They work with families, street youth, runaways and general homeless to gain resources that may help them. The folks at Fed With Faith are incredible to work with! When my family and I volunteered, even my 4 year old was able to help.

ApertOWL – While ApertOWL usually does service projects with groups - Girl Scouts, beta club, church groups, etc., founder Taryn Skees has opportunities for families or a group of families as well. Her mission is to raise awareness and help families with a child diagnosed with Apert Syndrome. She discusses her own son’s journey with Apert syndrome and how to handle talking to your children about noticing differences in others. The group then decorates the boxes for “Whooo’s Brave Kits,” a care package sent families of children with Apert syndrome. This is another opportunity where even little hands can help!

Humble Pie - Humble Pie is a Louisville-based children's volunteer group offering charity opportunities for children ages 12 & under. Check their calendar for different service opportunities each month ranging from making care packages to volunteering at Creasy Mahan Nature Preserve.


Cozy Cuddlebugs - Sponsored by the families of Withrow Price Real Estate Group, Cozy Cuddlebugs makes no-sew blanket comforters for the children at St. Joseph's Childrens' Home. Upon leaving St. Joe's, each child gets to keep his/her blanket. Families can help by making a monetary donation to sponsor a blanket, attending a blanket party or both!

Snacks in Snacks - Snacks in Sacks meets at Fern Creek United Methodist Church, typically on a Friday evening, every 6-8 weeks. They fill gallon sized bags with food for the homeless in our community. Organizer, Trisha Drake, has a list of snack ideas to purchase for the bags. This is a great way to serve with the entire family!

Dare to Care - Dare to Care partners with over 300 local social service agencies, such as food pantries, shelters and emergency kitchens to distribute food to our community. Dare to Care also fights hunger through programs targeting the most vulnerable in our community. These programs include Kids Cafe, Backpack Buddy, Mobile Pantry, Cooking Matters, and a variety of targeted initiatives to reach senior citizens.

Bread of Life Food Pantry - Grace and Glory Lutheran Church, partners with Dare to Care, Kentucky Harvest, and local farmers, to eliminate hunger in our community. Each month they serve 1,000 or more people. Kids can help by raising money or collecting non-perishable food and personal care products for the pantry. Older children, teens and adults can assist with stocking and distribution.


Kentucky Humane Society - The Kentucky Humane Society (KHS), located in Louisville, KY, is a private, nonprofit organization that is Kentucky's largest pet adoption agency and largest no-kill animal shelter. KHS has opportunities for children 10+. All new adult, student, and junior volunteers must attend an orientation and training session at either our Main or East Campus before they begin.

Cabbage Patch House - The Cabbage Patch Settlement House serves 1,000 to 1,200 at-risk children and their families each year, creating an endless need for donated goods and services. These donations allow the Cabbage Patch to maximize every dollar raised and put it to use providing critical programs and services to at-risk children and families.

 photo 1798b484-43dc-43aa-a001-5cc686a81858_zpsf9bjvofy.jpgPurses With a Purpose - Started by a young lady in Louisville, Purses With A Purpose collects gently used purses for underprivileged women and teens and fills each purse with essential items and a Bible!

Operation Christmas Child - The world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child, uses gift-filled shoeboxes to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world. Collection week is November 14-21. If you miss this one, have a Christmas in July packing party for next year!


Little Free Library – Collect books through Metro United Way for the Little Free Library initiatives.

A Million Thanks – Have a letter writing party! Write letters and make cards of appreciation for our military, past and present. Active and reserve service men and women, as well as veterans will receive these messages, whether they are serving at home, abroad, or are injured in hospitals.

In addition to all these great opportunities for families, you can also host a collection party! There are several ministries and causes that are in desperate need for donations. Check with local food pantries, schools, churches and charities for “wish list” items and hold a collection party with your family and friends.

If you know of any other great indoor/winter family service opportunities that should be included on our list, please email brandy@louisvillefamilyfun.net.

By Guest Contributor: Dana