Wednesday, June 20, 2018

20 Things Kentucky Families are Doing This Summer In Irvine

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Looking to plan a staycation?  Want to make the most of your time with your kids this summer and explore Kentucky?  
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50 distinctive quilt patterns can be found on barns all over Estill County.

Don't miss out on fun right here at home.  Explore your local area or make a trip to Estill County  to complete your summer break to-do list.

1) Explore the Back Roads | by taking a country drive on the Quilt Trail

2) Enjoy the Small Things in life | at the Estill County Library Lego Club at 4pm on Thursdays

3) Bathe in Nature | at the Lily Mountain Nature Preserve

4) Explore Kentucky History | at the Fitchburg Furnace

5) Enjoy a Live Concert | at Rising Park behind the Estill County Library for Pickin' in the Park on June 26th

6) Buy Local at the Farmers Market | Estill County Farmers Market on Fridays from 3:30-6:30pm at the Estill Co. Fairground Pavilion or on the 2nd Tuesdays of the month from 11-2pm

7) Go Camping or Plan a Retreat | at Aldersgate on the weekends - call for availability

8) Enjoy a Family Pizza Night | at the Steam Engine Pizza Pub
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Yes folks, that is the largest morel mushroom we have ever seen.

9) Climb on a Playground | at the Choo Choo Playground at Veterans Memorial Park

10) Get Emotional During a Movie | while watching A Wrinkle In Time at the Estill County Public Library on June 22 at 2pm

11) Take a Quintessential Hometown Photo | next to your public art

12) Relax By or on a Body of Water | at Heidelburg Park

13) Get a Brain Freeze | at The Twin 
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14) Experience a Festival | 2018 Estil County Fair, June 30th - July 7th

15) Catch the Local Lunch Special | at El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant

16) Participate in the Local Summer Reading Program | at the Estill County Public Library

17) Get in a Little Retail Therapy | at Main Street Sweets

18) Get Creative | at the Estill County Library on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 1:30 for Crafternoon

19) Go Fishing | on the Kentucky River at Heidelburg Park

20) Gather in the Moonlight | at the Moonlight Market on July 20, August 10 and September 7



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Friday, June 15, 2018

5 Last Minute Ways to Celebrate Father's Day

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Haven't decided on how to celebrate Father's Day?  Don't sweat it!  Here are 5 last minute ways to make the most of the day in Kentucky.  

1) Celebrate World Cup: In our house, nearly everything stops for World Cup. Only the lawn and beard grow when Futbol reigns.  That's ok!  It's a time for making memories as the dad in our house heads to the lawn to kick the ball around with the kids between games.  Does this sound familiar or at least something you think the dad in your life would enjoy?  Make Father's Day an opportunity to make the most of watching World Cup 2018.  Make vuvuzela's, grill out, and set up your own goals in the yard with some inexpensive pool noodles. 

2) Go Birding: Does your father love nature?  Then adopt a Peregrine Falcon in his name, and plan a day to go birding along a Kentucky trail. Learn more about birding in Kentucky here.

3) Creek Walk: Head for the cool waters of a shaded Kentucky creekbed.  Don't forget to pack his hammock or chair, favorite beverage, koozie, and water shoes.  Give the dad in your life the whole day to relax and be present with his kids.

4) Take a Family Bike Ride: Load up the bikes and head to a local rails-to-trails bike path.  Visit the Rails to Trails Conservancy for trail suggestions.

5) Hit Some Golf Balls: Plan a day at a local driving range.  It is an activity almost everyone in the family can participate in. 


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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Let’s Celebrate the 4th of July Kentucky!

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Plan to attend one of these celebrations near you on the 4th of July!


Eastern Kentucky

Berea | 4th of July Spectacular | 859.986.9402 | 6pm
Celebrate with food, live music, kids activities and fireworks. Fireworks begin at 10pm.

Ashland | Summer Motion | 606.921.2040 | 5pm
Fireworks & country music at the Ashland Riverport. End of a 6 day festival. Should be spectacular as the fireworks will go off over the Ohio River.

Central Kentucky

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Fort Knox | 4th of July Celebration | Brooks Field | 502.624.5875 | 5 - 11pm
Live music from Tony & The Tanlines, pie eating contests, kids activities, bounce houses, and fireworks - 10:15pm.

LouisvilleIndependence Day 1816 | Locust Grove | 502.897.9845 | 10am - 4:30pm
Experience life 200 years ago. Hear readings of the Declaration of Independence and remember why we celebrate the day. Bring a picnic and enjoy the grounds. Make sure you check out their site audio tour while you are there. It is simple as calling in with your cell phone.

LaGrange | 4th of July Celebration | John W. Black Aquatic Center | 502.225.0656 | 2pm
The OCAC kicks off the festivities at 2:00 pm with singing, a flag ceremony, pool races, kiddie patriotic swimwear contest, adult cannonball contest, and the greased watermelon dive - regular pool admission. Entertainment in the Wendell Moore Park before fireworks at 10:00.

 photo 7.4.2015_zpsrukbuncw.jpgFrankfort | Old Fashioned Fourth of July | Liberty Hall Historic Site | 502.227.2560 | 2 - 4pm
Concerts by Copper Pot Brass Quintet Band and the 101st Airborne Division Quintet Band. Arrive at 2:15pm with your decked out bicycle or stroller and join the Pedal Parade - 2:30pm. Liberty Hall Historic Site will provide free watermelon and lemonade. Bring your own water shoes and run through the lawn sprinklers.

Lexington | Lexington’s Fourth of July Festival | 859.335.8640 | 9am - 10pm
Celebrate starting in the morning at the Fourth of July Street Festival - 9am, watch the parade on Main Street between Midland Ave. to Mill Street - 2pm and watch the fireworks near the Lexington Financial Center - 10pm.

Western Kentucky

Paducah | Independence Day Celebration 2018 | 270.444.8508 | 4 - 9:45pm
A full day of family fun, food and fireworks. Participate in a community-wide art project. Listen to live music - 4pm. The event draws 8,000-10,000 people to the Riverfront. Kid Zone of activities - 5 - 8pm. Fireworks - 9:15pm.

Murray | Freedom Fest | 270.759.2199 | 7am - 9:30pmAlso a full day of family fun. Boy Scout Troop 45 Memorial Breakfast - 7am -10am, FNB Bank Freedom Fest Parade marches down Main Street - 9:30am, Murray Bank Family Night in the Park with a free concert. Briggs & Stratton Fireworks Extravaganza near Hwy 641N - 9:30pm.

Don't forget to brush up on your Independence Day history!

Other ideas...

Ky State Parks has a listing of all of the events at their locations around the state - Click here.

Also, Kentucky Tourism has a great website for events where you can filter by topic. Click here and in the keyword area, search "fireworks" BAM! So many options!

LexFun4Kids will hook you up with all of the events in Central KY - click here has all of the options for the Louisville area - click here.

What about Shelby and Oldham counties? There are celebrations for you too! Click here for Shelby and here for Oldham.


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Monday, June 11, 2018

Uniquely Kentucky: Lawrenceburg Chicken Swap

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Uniquely Kentucky Family Experience

What do you think of when someone says the word Kentucky?  I think it would be fair to say that for many Kentuckians, basketball comes to mind.  It would be a lot easier for me if I could say the same. I am a transplant and I was raised as a farmer's daughter in a family of women.  I didn't follow many sports teams growing up.  What I tend to associate with Kentucky would be the landscape, people and traditions. Now that we have settled permanently in Kentucky, I hope to set down roots and give my children the full Kentucky experience.  This article is the first in a Kentucky Family Fun series that will spotlight some of these unique, or at least unexpected, experiences here in the Bluegrass state.

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Lawrenceburg Chicken Swap

Where: Located on 8 acres at 2240 US 127, Lawrenceburg | The site of the event is an open field near the four-lane highway of US 127.

When: 8am to 1pm | 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month | March through October

What Makes it Unique: Currently the largest poultry swap in Kentucky.  Participants travel as far away as Tennessee and Ohio to sell and buy unique chickens, ducks, turkeys, quail, guinea fowl, and more.

Creature Comforts: The organizer coordinates with local food trucks to provide sustenance. There are port-a-potties on site.

Words of Advice: Bring a bottle of sanitizer and use liberally.  Petting animals as a rule is not a good idea.  Ask vendors before allowing your children to handle animals.  Message the event organizer for up to date information on scheduled petting zoo activities.  The site can be muddy if it rains.

Why: Are you considering adopting a new family pet?  Have you considered whether you might like to invest in an animal that can help you both compost and provide nutrition to your daily diet?  Is your property wooded?  Are you concerned with the increasing concern around ticks and lyme disease? The Lawrenceburg Chicken Swap is a perfect place to learn more about the benefits of raising poultry in your backyard.  
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Disclaimer: This event is monitored for animal welfare concerns.  All birds must be in cages that allow for full movement and have access to water and shade for the entirety of the event.

How to Prepare: Want to learn more about raising poultry before you go?  Join the Lawrenceburg Chicken Swap Page here. Visit the UK Poultry Extension here.
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Friday, June 8, 2018

25 Things Kentucky Families Will Be Doing This Summer In Danville

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Looking to plan a staycation or make the most of your time with your kids this summer?  

Don't miss out on fun right at home.  Explore your local area or make a trip to Danville to complete your summer break to do list.

1) Take to the trails | at the Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge
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2) Enjoy the small things in life | at The Great American Dollhouse Museum

3) Wait for the peach truck | at Ace Hardware and Appliances on June 22nd

4) Birdwatch | at the Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge (it is here twice, we really love it!)

5) Watch fireworks | at Millennium Park on 4th of July

6) Explore Kentucky history | at Constitution Square Historic Site or the Historic McDowell House Museum

7) Experiment | with flavors at Elmwood Inn Fine Teas (June is Ice Team Month)
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8) Get a brain freeze at the local ice cream shop or | at the Burgin Dairy Barn (near Danville)

9) Buy local at the farmers market | at the Boyle County Farmers Market on Saturday's from 9-1pm

10) Cheer on your favorite athlete | during the Main Street Live Cornhole Tournament on June 21st

11) Take in a local concert or play | at Mainstreet Live or at the Pioneer Playhouse

12) Play on bounce houses at Party On Air Extreme Inflatables 

13) Get emotional during an outdoor movie | while watching the Greatest Showman during Lawn Chair Theatre 

14) Swim at the Danville Public Pool 
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15) Wave at your neighbors during a parade at the Great American Brass Band Festival (already happened, but save the dates June 6th - 9th, 2019, for their 30th anniversary)

16) Relax by or on a body of water | at Harrington Lake

17) Yard "Sale" | around Boyle County 

18) Harvest from a garden | through the Community Garden Planters

19) Experience a local fair or festival | at the Boyle County Fair, June 12th - 16th

20) Ride bikes as a family | on the 2168 Connector Trail

 photo 2018-06-04 10.21.24_zpspwesodcs.jpg21) Participate in the local Summer Reading Program | at the Boyle County Library (Why? Click Here!)

22) Shop at an antique mall or flea market | at Not Just Antiques

23) Get creative | at The Community Arts Center

24) Fish | at the pond at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (near Danville)

25) Go out for donuts | at Burke's Bakery


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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Review of Annual Beer Cheese Festival in Winchester, KY

 photo beer 2_zpsdn3aw6fp.jpgBeing big fans of one of many great Kentucky creations, the unique deliciousness that is beer cheese, we were so excited to find out there is an entire Beer Cheese Festival celebrating it where you can sample all you want for a flat fee! We found Winchester, KY easy to navigate and appreciated its small town feel in a well-kept historic downtown. We parked for free at funeral home that had signs inviting cars to do so. We also noticed free parking available at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum and some on street.

You can enter the festival area from several spots, with two main ones opposite each other. You start with the free to enter section featuring all sorts of vendors before and around the pay to enter section. There was a great variety of these ranging from Kentucky Proud items, crafts & artisans, jewelry, woodworking, clothing, direct sales companies, political, community, and businesses. There were several farmer market offerings including lots of samples, homemade jellies, candy, barbecue sauce, hot sauce, spice mixes, and more, so bring a good size bag to shop and maybe a cooler for beer cheese, produce, or meat. We also noticed what looked to be a motorcycle and off-road vendor off to one side street. Several commercial beer cheese vendors had merchandise like t-shirts and cozy with their logos for sale and some vendors in the free section gave away freebies including water or sold refreshingly cold bottles of another Winchester original, Ale-8, for just a dollar!

When you get to the star of the show, Beer Cheese Boulevard, you pay $5 cash each for a wristband and voting ticket, then follow a line down and around to just under 10 commercial vendors, most offering more than one kind of beer cheese with crackers, pretzels, and one also offered carrots or celery. We had such fun sampling and found it hard to choose just one top favorite each!

The free part of the festival had a small food court option, mostly typical festival food and at least one had beer cheese themed offerings. There was also a small beer garden area and a few places selling ice cream or other cold treats. We got so full from tasting beer cheese plus various samples from vendors in the free areas, that we didn't end up buying lunch after all. We bought ice cream and fresh squeezed lemonade, which offered regular and sugar free options. There was live music in at least two areas and a DJ at the courthouse who played family friendly songs from a variety of decades.
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The whole event felt family friendly except, understandably, the beer garden, and that there wasn’t any designated smoking or no-smoking areas. Everything is pretty spread out so even though well attended it didn't feel shoulder to shoulder crowded. Waiting in line for the beer cheese samples moved along at a decent place and chatting with fellow beer cheese lovers was a great way to pass the time. The vendors were personable and very nice to our child. We noticed an inflatable and some sort of swing and other rides off to one or two side streets, but didn’t venture farther to check that part out more because our kiddo was quite happy already. The festival had outstanding directional signage, which made it easy to get around. We saw a good amount of police officers so felt even more secure than we already did with the friendly atmosphere.

 photo beer 1_zpsf9i92itn.jpg The crowd started to thin around 2:30 pm on Beer Cheese Blvd. compared to when we arrived around 12:30 pm. We stayed until about 3:15 pm, so just under three hours total including lots of meandering. This was a terrific way to experience a Kentucky original as a family. If you want to stretch out your day or make a weekend of it, the tour at Blackfish Bison Ranch was an awesome way to begin the day. Call ahead to reserve your spots and confirm current times, which was Saturday morning only when we went. We also stopped by the historic Civil War Fort at Boonesboro which has a neat Kentucky River mural in the parking area, and found another quick spot to see the Kentucky River and some of the old stone fences nearby. The Ale-8-One Factory offers free tours, currently only Thursdays and Fridays, so a great way to make a weekend of it would be to drive there for Ale-8 tour Friday morning, visit Fort Boonesborough State Park afterwards, stay overnight, visit the Blackfish Bison Ranch Saturday morning, and then finish off the weekend perfectly at the Beer Cheese Festival. Other nearby attractions can be found at Tour Winchester, including a Beer Cheese Trail. The Beer Cheese Festival is held annually on the second Saturday in June, so mark your calendars and plan to have a great time enjoying all of the yummy beer cheese- just be sure you save some for us!

By guest contributor: Angela
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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Let's Go Swimming Kentucky

Swimming Pools Waterparks in Kentucky

Places to go swimming / waterparks in Kentucky

It’s summertime and you know what that means… it’s time to go swimming. Question is, are you looking to try a new watering hole? Are you planning a day trip to explore your home state? Consider diving into one or more of these Kentucky Public Pools.

For the purpose of this post, public pool is defined by any pool open to the general public with or without a charge and without a membership requirement. Prices and information subject to change, please check with the venue to any updates.

Eastern Kentucky
Kentucky Splashpark and Campground | Williamsburg | 606.549.6065 | Municipal Pool and Waterpark
General Admission: 3 and up: $10
Highlights: 18,000 square foot wave pool, lazy river, kiddy activity pool, 5 slides, minigolf and camping

Berea Swimming Pool | Berea | 859.986.9591 | Municipal Pool
General Admission: $4, Children $3, After 4:30: $2
Highlights: Speed & curly slide, zero depth entry, 12 foot diving well

Dawson Pool | Ashland | 606.329.1676 | Municipal Pool
General Admission: $3, Children: $2
Highlights: Great value, playground, small slide

Central Kentucky
Florence Family Aquatic Center | Florence | 859.647.4619 | Municipal Pool
General Admission: They have resident and non-resident daily rates between $5-10
Highlights: Lazy river, zero depth entry, two spraygrounds, spiral and speed slides, and shade

Lexington Aquatic Centers (Seven in All) | Lexington | 859.288.2974 | Municipal Pools
General Admission: $5-4, Children: $4-3
Highlights: Differs depending on pool

Juniper Hill Family Aquatic Center | Frankfort | 502.352.2037 | Municipal Pool
General Admission: 11 & Up: $6, 3-10: $5, After 4pm: $3
Highlights: Centrally located and a great value, especially after 4:00
Click here for a review. 

Nicholasville/Jessamine County Aquatic Center | Nicholasville | 859.887.2853 | YMCA Pool
General Admission: $6, 3-15: $4
Highlights: Great value considering there is plenty of shade and activities

Bardstown City Pool | Bardstown | 502.348.9281 | Municipal Pool
General Admission: $5

Danville-Boyle County Pool | Danville | 859.238.1233 | Municipal Pool
General Admission: $3 during the week and $2 on weekends
Highlights: A+ on Staff, clean and super affordable, gazebo picnic area and small slide

Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay | Louisville | 502.813.8200 | Waterpark
General Admission: $44.95, Under 48" tall: $39.95
Highlights: 2 wave pools, a lazy river you can ride ALL day and many different slides

Algonquin Park | Louisville | 502.772.7907 | Metro Park Pool

Fairdale (Nelson Hornbeck Park) | Louisville | 502.361.8270 | Metro Park Pool

Norton (Camp Taylor Memorial Park) | Louisville | 502.451.0678 | Metro Park Pool

Sun Valley Park | Louisville | 502.935.0302 | Metro Park Pool

John W. Black Aquatic Center | La Grange | 502.225.0656 | Municipal Pool
General Admission: 13-59: $6, 3-12: $5, 60+: $4
Highlights: Stand up paddle yoga on Saturdays from 10-11, slides and pool parties available

Clear Creek Park Family Activity Center | Shelbyville | 502.633.5059 | Municipal Pool
General Admission: 14-59: $6, 3-13: $4, 60+: $5
Highlights: Zero depth entry, water slide and spray features

 photo IMG_8630_zpstkb5p8xy.jpg SomerSpalsh Waterpark | Somerset | 606.679.7946 | Municipal Water Park
General Admission: $16.95, 48 inches and shorter: $14.95
Highlights: Touted as Kentucky’s Best Waterpark, lazy river, water playground with 30 interactives, tube slides, and wave pool. Click here for our review. 

LexFun4Kids has great info too!
Louisville Family Fun has info too!

Western Kentucky
Leitchfield Aquatic Center | Leitchfield | 270.259.4420 | Municipal Pool
General Admission: $7, 8-15: $6, 5-7: $5, 2-4: $3
Highlights: Zero depth entry, large splash & play center, lazy river, lily pads and slides
Upcoming Events: World’s Largest Swim Lesson - June 21 & Midnight Swim - June 23

Venture River Water Park | Eddyville | 270.388.7999 | Waterpark
General Admission: $26, Under 54” tall: $21, Seniors: $10, 2 and under free
Highlights: 18 different slides, 18,000 square foot wave pool, lazy river, rentable cabanas

Glasgow City Pool | Glasgow | 270.651.9296 | Municipal Pool
General Admission: $5, 3-12: $

Beech Bend Amusement Park | Bowling Green | 270.781.7634 | Waterpark
General Admission: $35.99, Under 54" tall: $31.99, 60+: $31.99, 2 and under Free
Highlights: Lazy River, Wave Pool, Water Slides, Lilly Pad and Interactive Playground
Click here for our review.

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Russell Sims Aquatic Center | Bowling Green | 270.393.3271 | Municipal Pool
General Admission: $8, 6-15: $5, 3-5: $4, 0-2: $2, Seniors: $5
Highlights: Zero depth entry, splash playground, two water slides, and diving boards

Madisonville City Park Pool | Madisonville | 270-834-2155 | Municipal Pool
General Admission: $3, 5 and under: $2


Here's a video about SomerSplash
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Monday, June 4, 2018

Corvette Museum in Bowling Green

 photo IMG_4261_zps1npnzfd6.jpgWe recently took a road trip down to the Corvette Museum to celebrate my son’s birthday. The Corvette Museum is located in Bowling Green, KY, an easy hour and a half drive from Louisville. We arrived around 10:30am (they are on Central Time Zone) and we were happy to find out that the Corvette Rides had no wait (this is an extra cost on top of the museum price and a waiver needs to be signed). There were 3 cars to choose from and one child picked the 1966 Rally Red Convertible 327 and the other chose the 1979 Corvette Red Coupe. They loved the ride and the drivers did a good job explaining some about the cars and giving them safety tips. The trip lasted about 15 minutes and both boys said they had a great time and got to go fast around the track!

By this time we were all hungry so we stopped in at the Corvette CafĂ© and had lunch. They had a small menu but just enough choices to make us all happy. A kid’s menu was available as well as burgers, salads, hot dogs, and BLTs. They also had malts, shakes, and cookies but we did not indulge on this trip.

 photo IMG_4269_zpskbhemmkz.jpgOnce we finished up our meals we headed out to the museum and passed cars that were custom ordered that lined the walkways inside the building. As we were walking one of the owners came to pick up his car and got to drive out of the building to a round of applause from all the museum goers.

Once we made it to the museum we were delighted to take a trip down memory lane with Corvette’s from the 1950s or so to the present, all surrounded by history of their time. We also found a Kid Zone that had fun car activities to explore. This included a toy car that was in need of maintenance and all the tools needed to fix it.

 photo IMG_4280_zpskceywnrm.jpgAll the cars on display had fast facts nearby with loads of information. The Corvette Cave-In: The Skydome Sinkhole Experience was also a neat exhibit that explores what happened the day of the sink-in, the recovery, how it was fixed, and the cars that were salvaged and those that were not. You can even look down a 48” manhole into the cave under the Skydome.

 photo IMG_4285_zpsosxlurfu.jpgWe had a great time and spent about 2 hours exploring. The Corvette Museum also offers a Corvette Simulator, Go-Karts, Corvette Touring (4 laps with a pace car) and more! Some of these are only offered at certain times so make sure to check the website for more information. The Corvette Museum is located at 350 Corvette Drive, Bowling Green, KY 42101.

By guest contributor:
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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Five Reasons to Visit Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

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1. Get Away and Unplug
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Are you finding it difficult to get your kids to unhand their devices even while out of the house? Do your children want to know what the Wi-Fi password is even before you sit down to dinner? A visit to Shaker Village of Pleasant Hil is an experience that offers a break from screen time.  With 3,000 acres to explore and easy access to family-friendly amenities and activities, kids can simply be kids.

2. Family Fun at a Relaxed Pace

Whether you prefer a set agenda or an a la carte menu of activities, Shaker Village is a place where a family can unwind and take a break from the fast pace of daily life. The nature of the site provides a relaxed atmosphere where families can picnic in picturesque settings overlooking native prairies and in a short distance of the Kentucky River. Families can also plan to attend guide led activities and tours held all day and into the evenings on Fridays and Saturdays.

 photo Horses_zpslgndpvcj.jpg3. Animals, Animals, Animals
With a mission that includes land stewardship, Shaker Village is a destination that offers ample opportunities to spy on animals at the farm and within their native habitats.  A visit to Shaker Village is likely to spark your child’s interest in monarch butterflies, pileated woodpeckers, runner ducks and more. With a hands-on approach, children will have the opportunity to assume jobs on the farm (with the guidance of tour guides of course).  Don’t be surprised if they end up putting ducks to bed or collecting eggs from the chicken coop.

4. Experimentation for Your Picky Eater
Explore the farm and sample the flavors of the season.  A 200-year-old kitchen garden has been transformed into a 2.5-acre sustainable farm just a few steps away from the restaurant. Farm guides are inspiring and give children an opportunity to discover where food comes from. Year-round, families can taste veggies directly from the garden and the greenhouse or in creative dishes at the Trustees Table, an on-site full-service restaurant.  Looking for a more convenient bite? Healthy picnic snacks can be purchased at the Post Office Gift Shop from April to the end of October including sandwiches, salads, drinks and homemade desserts.

 photo 2017-06-19 17.13.21-1_zpsffkw24ie.jpg5. Inspire Your Family to Live Simply
It is unlikely that you will not take something away from a visit to Pleasant Hill. The people who developed the village were on a mission to create heaven on earth.  Their vision included not wasting anything, eliminating chaos and living simply.  What family doesn’t aspire to these ideals? Each season offers a different hands-on activity like making brooms, preserving strawberries or hand-pressing apple cider. 

More Bonus Reasons to Visit Shaker Village…
Whether you go to enjoy their weekend concerts on the lawn, celebrate someone’s birthday, take to the trails or ride the Dixie Belle riverboat, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill inspires families to relax and be present.  There are no worries about crossing busy roads, getting lost in crowds or finding a bathroom.  Just park your car and set off on foot to enjoy time well spent just being together.

Shaker Village is located seven miles northeast of Harrodsburg, a town voted by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the top 20 small towns to visit in American in 2014.


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Friday, May 25, 2018

Birding Around Kentucky

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Why Go Birding?

Migratory birds are a sign of spring and provide clues to the health of our environment. The practice of bird watching also forces us to slow down and be present with our kiddos. Explore a local trail and see how many birds you can identify together.  It is a fun activity that does not require a lot of planning or equipment!

How Do We Get Started?

Before considering where you even go, visit this Nature Conservancy website and print off mnemonic device cheat sheets.  Download the FREE Merlin Bird ID app to listen to their recorded calls ahead of time. You can even encourage your kids to practice their mnemonic devices to the recordings as preparation for your trip.  Take the advice of Audubon and use common birds like the Robin to practice listening for birds before you see them.


Grab a pair (or even better, multiple pairs) of binoculars and head to a local trail.  Monoculars are recommended for children, but they are not necessary.  It is more fun when more than one person can look for a bird at the same time, so bring extras if you can.

Don’t have binoculars?

Often parks like McConnell Springs in Lexington have binoculars that they will lend to guests. Helpful hint: for less stress and quicker sighting, stick to areas near water. 

Where To Go Besides Your Backyard?

Eastern Kentucky

May 26 | Red River Gorge | Red River Gorge Bird Walk | 7:30-3pm

Any time | Daniel Boone National Forest | Flat Woods Trail

Central Kentucky

June 2 | Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest | Birding at Bernheim: Exploring Habitats | 8am

June 10 | Falls of the Ohio State Park (Almost Kentucky) | Family Nature Club - Birding | 2-3pm

June 16 | Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park | Camp Nelson Bird Walk | 7:30 – 12:30pm

Anytime | Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill | Heritage Trail

Anytime | Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge | Blue Bird Trail | While you are there... visit Danville

Western Kentucky

June 9, July 14, August 11 | KY Dam Village State Resort Park | Sunset Birding Trip to KY Dam | 6:30pm

For more information about Kentucky’s Birding hotspots visit the Audubon site here. Have more suggestions for our followers or birding events you would like to promote?  Let us know in the comments below.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

U-Pick Farms in Kentucky

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There are so many reasons to look forward to spring but for our family, it is loading up and heading to a U-Pick Farm to stock up on Strawberries!  There is no competing with the sweetness and flavor of freshly picked strawberries (and blueberries). 
Get them while they are still available!

Last year even in the middle of a major family move from Indy to Kentucky, we still took time to pick 3 flats of strawberries to store in the freezer for Vitamin C packed smoothies. It is a family tradition that marks the beginning of our summer for our family.  I know our Kentucky Farmers would love it if you made it a part of your family traditions too.

Eastern Kentucky

Marcum Farms | Waco | 859.369.7300 | Strawberries | Opened May 17, Call ahead for U-Pick

Northern Kentucky

Red Barn Farms | Dry Ridge | 859.391.4433 | Strawberries | Open late May, Call ahead for U-Pick 

Central Kentucky

Reed Valley Orchard | Paris | 859.987.6480 | Blueberries | Opens June 11, 2018
Berry Trail & Blueberry Pancake Saturdays – June 16, 23, & 30

The Farm at Landworks | Paris | 859.987.1266 | Strawberries | Open through the first week in June

Eckert's/Boyd Orchards | Versailles | 800.745.0513 | Strawberries and Blueberries  | Open Now | PLAYGROUND FREE ALL SUMMER

Evans Orchard | Georgetown | 502.863.2255 | Strawberries, Blueberries and More | Open Now

Gallrein Farm | Shelbyville | 502.633.4849 | Strawberries | Open Now

Glover Farms | Pleasureville | 502.321.5689 | Strawberries | Opening last weekend in May

Bluegrass Blueberries | Oakland | 270.432.5836 | Strawberries and Blueberries | Call ahead for U-Pick

Western Kentucky

The Berry Farm | Fulton | 270.970.1000 | Strawberries | Call ahead for U-Pick

VanMeter Family Farm  | Clarkson | 270.963.2320 | Strawberries | Saturdays – Call ahead for U-Pick

Toodlebug Farm | Woodburn | 270.320.5104 | Strawberries | Open starting Tuesday, May 22

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Family Night Out - Barren River 2018 Summer Concert Series

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Every family needs a night out, but where can a family go for either the evening or overnight where the kids will be entertained and the adults can finally sit down to relax after a hard work week?  Mark Barren River State Resort Park on your map and celebrate with a weekend getaway at a concert on any of the following nights on the Lodge patio.  Shows run from 6:00-8:00pm, unless otherwise noted.

 photo IMG_3795_zpsn1wrsis3.jpg2018 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

May 19 - Lightly Blended

June 23 - To Be Announced

July 28 - Harmonica Neil

August 18 - The Hiding

September 15 - To Be Announced

October 6 - To Be Announced

These concerts are family friendly.  Drinks and dinner are available for purchase at the bar and restaurant. Visit their website for more information about their concert series.

What to know more before you go?  Read Stephanie's review from 2017.

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