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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

12 Things to Know when Visiting Lost River Cave

 photo Things to Know when Visiting Lost River Cave_zpsyie7xe3o.png 

1.  Touring the grounds at Lost River Cave, hiking and the nature play area - FREE. Come and go all day. We did!
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2.  Plan to buy something at the gift shop - it's NICE. Like, you walk in and stop and look around and wonder - am I in the right place?

3.  It's an independent non-profit so your dollars support their educational and preservation efforts.

 photo IMG_0714_zpsu8xcmsm6.jpg4. The boat tour is worth the money.  The tour guides were funny, knowledgeable and totally in love with this place which made for a great experience.  Tip them, see #3 - they can likely use the money.

 photo IMG_0744_zpsychupsgh.jpg5. Get the junior tour guide books for the kids.  Request them in the gift shop, this activity is free and my kids love it.  They get a nice activity book to go through and are rewarded when they complete it!

6. If you live nearby, they have camps!  There were kids there having a blast over spring break.

7.  Butterfly habitat May-Sept, it's back along the trails and from the looks of it - it's worth the short hike back there to check it out when it's open.

 photo IMG_0771_zpspeugyz5b.jpg8. Hiking trails are not too treacherous which makes visiting more open to everyone!

9. They have a Nature Trading post that is open the 2nd & 4th Sat April - Oct.  It back along the trails like the butterfly habitat.  Check it out for additional experiences.

10. You can have an event there, even a wedding in the cave!  Seriously - it use the be a nightclub. I kid you not.

11. There are many places to eat nearby if you don't bring a picnic.  We grabbed frostys at Wendy's because the kids got them free after completing their junior tour guide books, there are other fast-food options between Lost River Cave and the highway but also if you head into town on Nashville Rd, there are tons of options - I noticed Lost River Pizza Co and Home Cafe which both get great reviews online.

 photo IMG_0790_zpsn7hig5um.jpg12. You will LEARN while having fun. The best kind of fun is when you take away knowledge! Like these blue holes - I know what they are and you will too - after you visit Lost River Cave!

~Stephanie
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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Starview Greenhouses, Nursery, Garden Center and Gift Shop in Henry County

 photo 20160417_1409311_zpsa0ilbb7d.jpgIf you have a green thumb and love making your part of the great outdoors beautiful, Starview Greenhouses, Nursery, Garden Center and Gift Shop has everything you need and more. Located just across the Henry County line at 10082 KY Hwy 146 in Lagrange, Starview is easy to find and well worth the scenic drive.

On site, there is one large greenhouse of annual flowers – hanging baskets of flowers, flats of flowers, potted flowers – in every size, shape and color imaginable. There are two other greenhouses of perennials broken down in to three categories – shade, partial sun, and full sun. Yet another greenhouse is devoted to herbs, vegetables, and small fruits. Their gift shop is filled with whimsical garden d├ęcor to outdoor rugs to seeds and anything else a gardener could need or want! There is also a pottery shop and area dedicated to trees and shrubs.
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The shopping process is pretty simple. While there are no carts, there are flats you can fill then take to the loading area with numbered benches in the main garden center. The staff will assign you a number and take your selections there to be held. Then, you can go shop more. As you accumulate goodies, the staff will help you carry them back to “your area” on the bench. When you are done, a staffer will generate a ticket that you can take to the gift center to check out.

 photo 20160417_145128_zpsypeuwjdf.jpgThe staff are not only incredibly knowledgeable about all their products, but they are incredibly friendly and always happy to help. And, from my experience, the quality of the plants is unsurpassed. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, let your kiddos help clear a spot out and then head out to Starview to pick out some flowers to plant together!

My kids, ages 9, 8, and 4 loved checking out all the plants with me. Make sure you hit the restroom before you go if your kids are uncomfortable with portapots – like 2/3 of mine are. We spent about an hour and a half looking in all the greenhouses and choosing vegetables for our garden. We’re planning another trip for more flowers too! It can get hot (because, you know – greenhouse) but there is a shade house and you can always find a cool breeze.

This family owned garden spot has it all! You can check out their website at http://www.starviewgreenhouses.net/.

By Guest Contributor:
Dana
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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

5 Family Activities to do in Rockcastle County

Rockcastle, KY is a scenic and beautiful area of Kentucky south of Lexington. There's history, water fun, caves and more. Here are 5 places we recommend when visiting this county - it would make for a great weekend away!

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1) Bittersweet Cabin Village - You can take a free self-guided tour through this Renfro Valley gem.  It is a throwback to simpler days with cabins themed for their purpose like the General Store or the blacksmith- see here.  And, it's close to the Kentucky Museum Hall of Fame.


2)  Eat local at Marcella's Farm to Fork - Homemade biscuits, lots of sandwich options and great prices!

 photo ikayak1_zps3i7esnnx.jpg3) Just Kick-N-It Ranch - This place has so much farmtastic fun.  They offer cave tours (starting at $15), canoe/kayak rentals (starting at $20 for 4 hours) and trail rides.  It is the place for outdoor fun around Daniel Boone National Forest.


4) Camp Wildcat - Hiking is a great activity to do together and this one provide some history.  Families can walk the trails that were taken during the Civil War and along the trail, there are placards providing details about the Battle of Wildcat Mountain.  The hike takes about an hour and a half.

5) Eat at the Snack Shack in Mt. Vernon - It's a hole-in-the-wall kind of place and it's really all about the milkshakes.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Scholastic Road Trip is coming to Kentucky

Scholastic is touring the country for a huge road trip and they are stopping in Kentucky twice - in the Lexington area.

They will be stopping by with their favorite authors, illustrators, and characters! 
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It's a reading festival for families with kids ages 0–12, a great way to start a summer-long celebration of reading!

Wednesday, May 17, 2016
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Crestview Hills, KY
(859) 912-7860

Wednesday, May 17, 2016
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Lexington, KY
(859) 273-2911


They have a great summer reading program - read all about it by clicking here.

PARENTS - they'll have free book lists and activities, more details after MAY 9, 2016

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

4 Fantastic Food Spots for Families in Bowling Green


 photo IMG_2617_zpslmbrdvgr.jpgDouble Dogs
This is an open-air, family friendly joint with everything you would want on an all-American menu  with many items served up..............in dog bowls.  You can sit inside for a loud, sports-bar, buzzing atmosphere or hang outside on the patio/open air section for something a little more calm - there are still TVs so you can peak at the latest scores.  Also, this place was pretty darn affordable for a dinner out.  The kids meals were $3.99 and included a drink and combined with my salad and tea, our total was around $20. Not bad at all.  My southern fried chicken salad was fresh & tasty and the kids gobbled their chicken and pizza.  We left with bellies full and a good laugh at our first dog-bowl-eatery experience.



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Chaney's Dairy Barn
This place was our favorite during our trip to Bowling Green.  The lunch items were made fresh to order so there's a little wait but not a problem when you are at such a quaint gem of a spot.  For lunch, I had a "pick 2" combo with a half turkey sandwich and potato salad.  The potato salad had a tasty sour cream twist, I'd definitely get it again and my sandwich was wonderfully topped with fresh veggies.  My daughter had a corn dog- which looked freshly made, not from frozen and my son had a grilled hotdog. We all shared their sides of fries - which were seasoned and super crispy on the outside. YUM!

Of course, after playing outside, we came back in for ice cream.  The staff serves up samples with a smile and offers lots of great sundae suggestions.  We couldn't resist the smell of the homemade waffle cones though, and opted for scoops.  My daughter had "Wow Now Brownie Cow" which was basically chocolate with chocolate this and some more chocolate that. I had the peanut butter & chocolate with a vanilla brownie scoop (my favorite) and my son had cookies & cream and chocolate chip.  We savored every bite.  This ice cream was perfection - it was light, creamy and the flavors were just right - not too bold and sweet - perfect.  I want more. Now.


 photo IMG_0807_zpsyg91nvhj.jpgThe Pie Queen
Touring the small center square of Bowling Green, I saw a sign pointing down a cute brick alley that said "The Pie Queen."  I could not let that go unexplored.  I mean....if there is a Queen of pies in Bowling Green, I had to meet her.  Meet her, I did not.........BUT...........I did sample her delicious pies in her adorable cafe and we are so glad we followed that arrow!  With an eclectic interior and a spacious outside patio, this is a perfect spot for a treat.  They had cream sandwiches, cookies smooshed with peanut butter cream, beverages and of course, PIE.  We had a small German chocolate pie that was sinful - but not too sinful because we split it.  And, two of the sandwich-type treats: a brown sugar cookie with cream & chocolate chips and a shortbread cookie with peanut butter cream& chocolate drizzle.   Go!


  photo IMG_2683_zpsqen3rgp8.jpgGreat American Donut Shop
I don't go anywhere without looking up the local donut shop.  There's a time and place for chain donut treats but when visiting a new place, find THE local donut shop. And, when you find it at 3pm on a Monday and the parking lot is FULL.  I repeat, 3pm on a Monday.  YOU FOUND THE RIGHT SPOT.  And, they don't have a website because......I repeat, 3pm on a Monday = full parking lot. Here's the address: 901 US-31 BYP, Bowling Green, KY 42101. There was a lady zipping around behind the counter, you know the type that has all combinations of donuts and prices calculated in her head with the tax included - like a donut math wizard - that was her.  We snagged 6 donuts for under $5 for our trip home in the car.  We ate them before we got to the highway.  They were light, modestly iced. YUM.

Stephanie

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