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

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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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Coupon Code for Day Out with Thomas at Kentucky Railway Museum

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Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends are coming to the Kentucky Railway Museum in New Haven, Kentucky in June! This family friendly event includes a ride with Thomas, a visit with Sir Topham Hatt, an Imagination Station, and other fun Thomas and Friends inspired activities.

Tickets are $20 in advance. This event sells out frequently so I would suggest having tickets in hand before making the trip. Use the coupon code kentuckyfamfun18 for a special $2 off discount! The museum asks that you arrive an hour before your departure time to check in and take pictures.

Kids under the age of 2 - free tickets!

Event dates: June 2-3 and June 9-10

Click here for tickets or call 866-468-7630

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Monday, May 14, 2018

How to L.O.V.E. Your Food Allergy Friends

Be Aware-Show You Care
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May 13-19, 2018 is Food Allergy Awareness Week.  1:13 children have a food allergy so chances are you know someone with food allergies.  There are many ways to support a friend with food allergies.  This support goes a long way to keep our food allergies friends safe and included! 

Check out these easy ways that you can be more aware and show L.O.V.E. for friends with food allergies. 


Look to food allergy families for guidance.  Most food allergy families are happy to work with you to determine safe options.  Often, there are simple alternative ingredients or activities to keep it safe.  Talk to food allergy families- most have done the research and can make your job easier by providing ideas.


Offer non-food treats. Food and fun often go hand-in-hand, but when you have a food allergy that food can make it dangerous. Offer non-food treats at events to keep it safe.  Pinterest is FULL of easy options that will remove the food, not the fun!

 photo LabelReading_zps2m2gcgks.pngVerify ingredients by reading labels.  The top 8 allergens (Wheat, Milk, Tree Nuts, Peanuts, Soy, Fish, Shellfish, and Egg) will be called out in an ingredient list.  For those that are severely allergic, products processed in the same facility as their allergens can potentially trigger a reaction.  Taking time to read a label (or show it to a food allergy family for verification) can prevent unintended exposure to allergens.

Exclude the food, not the person!  We all know how it feels to be excluded.  Offer safe foods or non-food options so that everyone can participate in all the fun, and stay safe!

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Want to learn more or help to continue spreading awareness?  Follow Thrive On Consulting all week on Facebook!  We will be sharing great videos on being food allergy aware!

~ Tami Pyles

Tami Pyles is the Founder of Thrive On Consulting, Food Allergy Support and Training. She is a certified AllerCoach, writes and speaks on food allergies, and is a food allergy mom dedicated to helping everyone Thrive On with food allergies. You can follow her on Facebook for great information on thriving with food allergies.
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Saturday, May 12, 2018

3 Timely Reasons to Visit a Kentucky Public Library

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We know working families have it tough.  There just isn't enough time in the day, week, month... to get everything done.  Someone asked me recently, "When does parenting get easier?"  Well, it doesn't. It just gets different.  We are here to encourage you to walk away from your dirty dishes and laundry and take advantage of the present moment with your child.  You don't have to go far to make a lasting memory and enjoy your child at whatever stage they are in.

 photo 2018-05-05 15.33.34_zpspzq1ik6q.jpg1. Escape the Crowds Around Popular Kentucky Events

Events like the Kentucky Derby are not for everyone. Sometimes what we really want is to avoid the chaos, big sporting events cause.  You don't have to go far to find a place to escape.  Just look to your neighboring county public library. Make a day of exploring another Kentucky town and stop by and check out their local library.  You don't have to have a library card to find a comfortable chair, interactive experiences for your children and a place your teen can escape.

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2. Give Your Child an Opportunity to Practice Responsibility

Do you remember the feeling of filling up your first wallet? Have your kids ever asked for an empty gift card so they can have play cards for their wallets? Getting a library card for the first time is a right of passage in childhood, but not every child gets the opportunity. What a perfect way to transition children into a world of responsibility, celebrate your child's maturity with their own Library Card.

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3. Play and Engage with Your Child(ren) Without Interruptions

Away from the endless tasks at home, you can focus on your children and enjoy just being present with them. Jessamine County Public Library, our local library, offers many of the interactive toys you might find in a Children's Museum in a city.  Without having to buy them yourself, you can enjoy blocks, puzzles, and board games and of course BOOKS!  Reading to our children daily is so important and with the constant distractions of devices and TV, a regular visit to the library offers a much-needed break.

Visit here for a complete list of Kentucky Libraries by County and don't forget to sign your child up for the "Libraries Rock" summer reading program!


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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

5 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Harrodsburg Kentucky

 photo GLINTstudios_2015_ShakerVillage_00067_zpso4t9flzt.jpgWe love to find gems around the state and bring people just enough information to go out and explore that area.  Something to learn, pure fun, museums, parks.....places to eat.  Here are some suggestions for spending a day (or two) around Harrodsburg with your kids.

 photo devine_zpsb7ubqbt8.jpg1. In the fall, visit Devine's Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch for all things farm fun. They make a really intricate design so it is not your average corn maze.  They also have a hay maze, pumpkin patch, petting zoo and more......yes, a zipline!  It's worth a day trip.

2. Go for a ride on the Dixie Bell River Boat.This is a cozy paddlewheeler that fits 115 passengers and cruises along the Palisades. It's a really lovely ride, such gorgeous natural views. Tickets are just $10 for adults, $5 for kid age 6-13 and guess 5 and under ride free. The cruises run from late April through October, Tuesday – Sunday between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.  Relax, take in the sights and learn the history of the area.

 photo lap pool and diving wells_497x280_zpsocwwqioh.jpg3. Dip in the pool at the aquatic center.  Summer is always a fun time to explore but you might want to finish your day with cooling off. For just $5 per person, you can do that at the Anderson-Dean Community Pool. It has slides, a zero-entry area and a water playground.  Your kids will love it and you won't break the bank.

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 photo brs_zpscivsidax.jpg4. This is near Harrodsburg. Take to the trails on horseback at Big Red Stables.  What's great about this place is that it's for all experience levels. It's $40 per person for an hour of riding.  Bring cash! They don't accept credit cards and keep in mind, they have a 12 year old minimum wage. 
5. Dine at the Olde Bus Station - especially if it's a lovely day because they have a big covered patio for outdoor dining.   Or, there's counter service - my kids love places with counter service. It's breakfast and lunch so plan accordingly. We are talking sandwiches, onion rings, traditional breakfast items - home cooking!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Parents for Healthy Kids Grant

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Here is a grant opportunity that is available in Kentucky. Kentucky parents are encourage to apply and can possibly receive funding for up for $1,000 to support programs that encourage physical activity.

Here is a message about the grant: 

Parents can be a formidable force for change in schools, especially when it comes to implementing health and wellness policies and programs that create healthier learning environments for our kids. And studies show when parents are involved in a child’s education, their children demonstrate higher academic achievement, better attendance, better social skills, better eating habits, increased physical activity and less emotional distress.

Yet, despite wanting to do what’s best for students’ health, many schools lack the necessary resources to implement health and wellness practices that help students eat better and stay physically active, and be better prepared to learn. That’s why Action for Healthy Kids has announced a new Parents for Healthy Kids grant for the 2018-2019 school year designed for parents and parent-groups (e.g. PTAs, PTOs) to lead school-based physical activity and nutrition initiatives and to engage more parents in student and family health.

 photo PFHK_WEB_Lock Up Logo_AFHK and PTA_high res_zpstjnusb1t.jpgIf you have ever thought of starting a school garden, getting kids to eat more fruits and veggies at lunch, or you are trying to find ways to ensure your kids get more physical activity in and get the wiggles out during the school day so they can better focus in class, then this grant opportunity is for you. In addition to providing schools with needed funding (grants up to $1,000), AFHK provides schools technical support and resources to activate their grants. 

Parents can learn more and apply for a grant by April 6 by visiting
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Monday, March 19, 2018

Easter Sunrise Services in Kentucky

Sunrise service is a wonderful way to celebrate Easter. And, you know in Kentucky, we have some beautiful sunsets and sunrises so it can make it quite memorable.

Here are some places that traditionally have offered such a service.  Make sure to check with their schedule each year to see that they are continuing to offer the service and check on the time.  Times may vary based on when Easter lands on the calendar and sunrise take place!

At Breaks Interstate Park-Easter Sunrise Service at Potter's Knoll and other events.

Florence Christian Church in Florence, KY 

Kelleyville Church in Columbia, KY

Paxi Christi Catholic Church in Lexington, KY

Saint Luke United Methodist Church in Lexington, KY

Looking for more Easter fun? Here are some links.
Oldham County
Shelby County

If you have any that need to be added to the list let us know!
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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Review of L'escalade climbing gym in Lexington

 photo kff climbing3_zpsofyec0gn.jpgRock climbing is a sport that can be practiced indoors or out, depending on the weather. We are fortunate to have several rock climbing gyms in Louisville, but sometimes we like to explore rock climbing gyms with things we can’t find in Louisville, especially when the weather is not right for climbing outdoors someplace like the Red River Gorge. Typically we go to Climb NuLu, but since it is an all bouldering gym we have to check out other places to practice certain skills. That’s why on occasion we head to Lexington to check out L’escalade Climbing Gym.

LEF Fitness is Kentucky’s newest and largest indoor climbing facility. One of the biggest draws for my family is the auto-belayers. Typically when you rock climb, whether indoors or outdoors, you need an experienced person to belay for you, or work the mechanism that keeps you from falling to the Earth and turning into a pancake. This slows down the process of climbing because you have to have two people in a harness at a time and only one of them can be climbing. Auto-belayers mean that all three climbers in my family can be climbing at the same time and no one has to be holding the ropes.

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It’s the same for bouldering walls - no one needs to hold the rope there because no ropes are required for these shorter walls with thick heavy pads underneath. LEF Fitness has several bouldering areas as well. There is an area with mixed bouldering, top-roping, and auto-belayers for beginners and there is a separate bouldering area for advanced climbers.

In addition to beginner areas, an auto-belaying section, and an advanced bouldering section, LEF Fitness also has a multitude of top-roping and lead climbing options. Top-roping is what you typically think of when you think about a climbing gym (such as Rocksport in Louisville). There are ropes hanging down and you have to harness in the climber to one end of the rope and the belayer to the other and the belayer pulls more rope through the belay device as the climber gets closer to the top, leaving a shorter fall for the climber.

 photo kff climbing_zps0pkrtc9v.jpgLead climbing is a little more advanced than that. The belayer is working in reverse of that, feeding rope to the climber as he or she ascends and clips into each bolt. This is the kind of skills you will need to practice in order to go climbing outdoors - you wouldn’t trust a rope that had been hanging down the side of a cliff for who knows how long, so you have to take your own rope up with you. Oftentimes the first climber up will clip in to the bolts and then rappel down so other climbers can then top-rope.

LEF climbing is a great place for serious climbers to practice all of these skills in one place. And even though we went on a Saturday when it was crazy busy, there are enough places for people to climb that it never felt particularly overcrowded.

My only complaint about this gym is that there is an age limit rather than a skills limit for belayers. They have to be 14 and my son, who belays for his dad in Red River Gorge and Joshua Tree National Park, is way off from being able to belay for him indoors at 10 years old. Fortunately the auto-belayers always save the day.

If your family likes rock climbing or wants to learn more about different kinds of rock climbing, it is well worth the drive to Lexington to check out L’Escalade Rock Climbing Gym.

By guest contributor:
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Day Trip to Hodgenville and Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park

 photo IMG_0429_zpsgipkblto.jpgMy third grader was learning about Presidents and my first grader about the Civil War so when searching for a day trip option that would be fun, a trip to Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park was perfect.   We had glorious late winter weather which made it just lovely.    The park is in Hodgenville, KY so a trip to explore has to be combined with some local spots.

Start Your Day

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park opens daily at 8am so we headed out early.  We arrived at around 10am and went to the visitor's center first.  We were greeted by a friendly park ranger who told us about the Junior Ranger program.  My kids loved it!  They received a really well-done booklet to take around that park and do as they explore and learn.  The activities were age appropriate for elementary-school-age children and engaging.  The ranger told them that if they worked on it while they explored, they can show him later and he would swear them in as official junior rangers!  We browsed through the exhibits at the center and watched the ~10 minute movie about Abraham Lincoln as the area we were about to see.  Everything was very well done.

We went outside and walked through the paths. They had a wonderfully shaded "boardwalk" through the woods that led up to the memorial.  Inside the memorial, there is authentic log cabin.  For a long time, it was thought to be THE log cabin that belonged to Abraham Lincoln's family but the ranger at the memorial told us that just over a decade ago, they discovered it was actually the cabin of a neighboring family and not the Lincoln's.   We made our way down the steps (I won't tell you how many, you'll have to learn that fact and it's significance) to the well. The well served as a clean water source for Lincoln's family.  The kids and I found this fascinating.  They took a sip from a modern fountain nearby and thought they were drinking the well water :)

At the top of the hill, there is a device that recites some of Lincoln's speeches and just beyond the well, there is a short (under a mile) walking path.  We peaked inside of the other log cabins on the property and returned to the visitor's center so the kids could be sworn in - which was really cute.  They had a lovely gift shop and the kids picked up a souvenir.  The bathrooms were very clean and convenient in the visitor's center.  Across the main street leading into this area, there is another picnic area and set of hiking trails.  We did not visit that area but it was very close.

Lunch & Town

After just a 10 minute drive following signs, we found the heart of Hodgenville.  It is a quaint town circle with just enough to walk around and have a great local lunch and dessert.  We walked around for a bit and read the historical markers.  The center was a tribute to Lincoln with a boyhood statue, a Presidential statue and notable speeches engraved in the pavement.  In the town, there were gift shops and a bookstore as well as a museum about Lincoln with a gift shop.  We didn't tour the museum because we were getting hungry but we did learn about Lincoln Days (early October) and I think we'll look at going back to experience it!

We ate at Laha's Red Castle Burgers after seeing it on Trip Advisor. You could smell it when you parked the car - in a good way.  They are known for their onions, not just the burgers.  The place is a shoebox with a counter and just what they need to serve up a few menu items.  We took up the entire place. There were three women working behind the counter zipping around getting it all done.  The burgers were small (perfectly small) and fresh.  The flatten them on the grill and cook them with finely chopped onions and then steam them a bit with the bun - they just melt.  They were fantastic.  The sides were nothing in comparison - next time I would just get 3 of those burgers and a coke and call it a day.  The prices were incredible - 5 of us ate for less than $30. The one thing that did put me off a bit is that I was with my parents who LOVE hole-in-the-wall/mom & pop places like this and my mom was being so friendly and when she asked the owner "do you get a lot of out of town guests?" - the owner said "Yes, probably more than I'd like" and that just took a little bit of the fun out of the experience knowing we sought out this great place and thought it was fantastic only the be directly told that they really don't like visitors?  Hopefully she was just having a bad day............

We saved room for dessert and went to The Sweet Shoppe.  Seriously....I have never seen so much fudge.  Truly.  And, they make it all there and it was really reasonably priced.  3 huge pieces for $15. We got the Oreo, chocolate and a peanut butter/chocolate combo. I really couldn't decide!  And, it was perfect - so so very good.  They also had baked goods, candy and a variety of ice cream options.  My father got a shake and I lost count on how many scoops of ice cream they put in!

End the Day
We drove about another 15 minutes to find Abraham Lincoln's Boyhood Home park.  The park main building is only open April through October so we only explored outside - which was fine.  Also, they have really clean, updated bathroom facilities.  We walked around the log cabin, and went down by Knob Creek where it is said Lincoln almost lost his life as a young boy.  The kids explore, looked at rocks and imagined life 150 years ago right there and what it would have been like.   We stayed there for about an hour before heading back home for the day.  If you are prepared for it, they do have some serious hiking trails at this location.   Also, prepare to check for ticks and dress/spray to prevent taking one home!  Shower when you get home!  Like being out in any forest, you can come home with any number of rashes/bugs like we did.  Nothing that truly caused issued but definitely something we will prepare better to prevent next time!

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Midway Chocolate Stroll

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Saturday, February 10 is your time to indulge! It's the Midway Chocolate Stroll taking place from 10am to 5pm.

All of the shops and restaurants in Midway will be celebrating Valentine's Day. Equus Run Vineyards is also participating but from noon-4pm. You walk along Historic Main & Grantz Streets and explore the businesses.  There will be specials for the day and of course, a chocolate treat for everyone.

You can get your FREE chocolate stroll ticket at any shop or restaurant.  If you have your ticket stamped 10 times, you can drop your competed ticket off at the Midway Sweet Tooth Candy Store to enter to win a prize. 

It's like.........a chocolate scavenger hunt!!!

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Kentucky Students Invited to “Dream Out Loud” for a Chance to Win $1,000 for College

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Attention parents and educators. Kentucky's 529 college savings plan has an initiative going on now through which your child/student can win money for college and the school can win money as well!

Here are all of the details:

Kentucky’s 529 college savings plan is inviting families of students in grades Pre-K through 6 to participate for a chance to win a $1,000 college savings plan account and $500 for their school. Students may enter Dream Out Loud by submitting an original drawing, poem, essay or video answering the question: “How will I change the world after I go to college?” Parents can learn more by visiting

The Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust (KESPT) is Kentucky’s official 529 college savings plan. KESPT sponsors Dream Out Loud to encourage Kentucky families to start planning for higher education with their children.

“Over the years thousands of Kentucky children have participated in the Dream Out Loud Challenge and shared their dreams for the future,” said KESPT Manager David Lawhorn. “Dream Out Loud encourages families to talk about future college expectations while their children are young, which is an important time to start saving for higher education expenses to help support future college dreams.”

Dream Out Loud runs from January 15 through March 19, 2018. Entries must be postmarked by March 19 and received by March 23. The contest has two categories: drawing or video and essay or poem. One winner will be chosen from each category in grades Pre-K and K, grades 1 and 2, grades 3 and 4 and grades 5 and 6. The winning families will receive a $1,000 KESPT college savings account, and their schools will win $500.

KESPT has awarded more than $106,000 in Dream Out Loud prizes to winners and their schools over the past eight years. The plan is administered by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI). KESPT helps parents, grandparents and others invest in a child’s future college education. A KESPT account can be started with as little as $25 and can be used at any qualified institution in the nation. For more information about KESPT, tax advantages and the eGifting feature, visit or call toll-free 1-877-598-7878.

Visit to learn more about the Dream Out Loud challenge, including official rules, prize details, a communications toolkit and a complete description of entry requirements. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.
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