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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Thomas Dairy Farm and Market

Thomas Dairy Farm and Market in Cecilia, Kentucky offers pumpkin picking, hayrides, an awesome corn maze, a giant jump pad, nighttime zombie paintball, and more. 

This is a sponsored post
 photo IMG_9652_zps2gqgncxz.jpg Here is all of the information you need to know about Thomas Dairy Farm and Market, just outside of Elizabethtown. Also, here's a review by Louisville Family Fun

Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-Midnight
Sunday: 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.
Opening day daytime- September 21st
Opening day for Zombie Paintball- September 27th 
 



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 photo Thomas Dairy Farm and Market ad 1_zpsqbewoztc.pngDaytime Attractions: Walker T's fun zone with new barnyard games, mega slides, corn pit, hayride to the pumpkin patch, 8 acre corn maze, 2 acre kiddie corn maze, tot spot, animal farm, concessions and more!

DELUXE DAYTIME ADMISSION: This admission option includes EVERYTHING there is to do during the daytime at the farm. General + jump pad + paintball shoot + premium gem mining bag $24/person
General Admission: $7/person. Children 2 years old and under are free!

The 1 acre sunflower maze is the perfect place for a family photo! This is included with admission.
The jump pad is suitable for all ages. The jump pad will be open on Saturday (10 am-6:30 pm) and Sunday (12 pm-6 pm). The jump pad package is $9/person and this also includes everything from general admission!

Daytime paintball admission- Daytime paintball shoot is back! Guest will get 60 paintballs to shoot at various targets and test out their marksman skills! This is available on Saturdays and Sundays only. admission includes general + jump pad admission + paintball shoot: $15
ZOMBIE PAINTBALL HAYRIDEThe zombie invasion has begun! Come out for a one of a kind experience on the hayride paintball trailer! This year's theme is the "Wild, Wild West" featuring a new course and even more live zombies! Suitable for all ages! Wheelchair and handicap accessible
$15/person including 125 paintballs, Walker T's fun zone, mega slides, animal farm, flashlight corn maze, bonfire

GEM MINING!: Gem mining adventure! Four different mining bags this year ranging from $4-$9/bag unique finds include seashells, arrowheads, fossils, fool's gold, quartz and more!
Gem mining admission - admission includes everything from general + jump pad admission + a premium bag of gems: $18/person
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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Beach at Green River Lake State Park

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Families always ask where the beaches are in Kentucky. The answer is: at the lakes! Green River Lake State Park has a swimming lake that's great for cooling off in summer


On a quick trip to Campbellsville on a hot summer day, my daughter and I decided on a short stop at Green River Lake to swim at the beach. We love the beach and living in Kentucky, we can't get to the ocean for a quick dip. There are several Kentucky State Park lakes that offer beach swimming and Green River Lake is one of them. The lake was very easy to find using my phone map and there was no fee to enter to park.


Once in the park, we followed the signs for the beach. There was ample parking and we quickly made our way to the water. The sign near the lake stated that the beach is open from 11am - 6pm and of course, this is during summer months.

The beach itself was very rocky. I advise water shoes for this beach. The beach was clean and the water was very warm and refreshing. Even in the water, my daughter and I both said we definitely have to tell people to bring water shoes or floats to avoid the rocky bottom.

It was a very scenic area with landscape views all around, boats going by towing water-skiers, play spaces and lush trees. We noticed the campers adjacent to the beach so if you are looking for a new place to explore with a camper and dock a boat, definitely check our Green River Lake. Additionally, up on the hill we saw bathrooms and a small store. Upon leaving, we saw the miniature golf up on the hill, playgrounds, basketball, volleyball, hiking, fishing, and picnic shelters. Lots of thing to do! You could spend an entire day there or like us, pop in for a quick swim.

Looking for pools? We have a list for that!

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Monday, May 20, 2019

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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Monday, April 29, 2019

8 Things You Didn't Know about Churchill Downs

 photo IMG_7624_zpsdj5g11ai.jpg1) Family Adventure Day is held four times a year (in the spring and the fall). Bring the kids to Churchill Downs for a day of racing and family activities including pony rides, inflatables, petting zoo, stick horse races in the Paddock, face painting, and more.


2) You can spend special days at Churchill Down’s for Father’s Day or Thanksgiving! General Admission tickets are available or you can get reserved tickets for seating or dining.

3) Right beside Churchill Downs, The Kentucky Derby Museum offers multiple tours including the Around the Track Golf Cart Tour, Barn and Backside Van Tour, or the Historic Walking Tour.

4) Churchill Downs has Military Appreciation Days! Active and retired members of the military are invited to enjoy a day at the races twice a year. By showing a military, or government issued, I.D., military members will receive FREE general admission or a discounted ticket to Millionaires Row dining room.

5) Across the Street at 4th and Central is a popular restaurant that many Racetrack fans frequent called Wagner’s Pharmacy. Lots of history is on the walls and sometimes you can catch jockeys, trainers, and owners having a meal.  We also have a review!

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6) Dawn at the Downs: Get up early and watch the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders conduct morning workouts while enjoying a delicious buffet breakfast. Dawn at the Downs is a popular tradition for both Louisvillians and visitors, giving Kentucky Derby fans the opportunity to see the contenders train for the big race, while listening to expert commentary. Don't miss this next year!

7) Not sure how to bet at Churchill Downs? Don’t worry, they offer a Betting 101 site to help you with the process! Check it out here.

8) Did you know you can become a Race Horse Owner? Churchill Downs Racing Club is your low risk pathway to becoming a race horse owner! The club is a low cost, low risk glimpse into the life of a thoroughbred owner. Visit the track in the early mornings to watch your horse conduct morning training routines, experience the Paddock enclosure just prior to the race, listen in as your trainer gives final instructions to the jockey, watch and enjoy your horse as he competes at the World’s Most Legendary Racetrack and hopefully experience the thrill of visiting the Winners’ Circle!


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Monday, March 25, 2019

A Day Trip to Owensboro, Kentucky

Take a day trip to Owensboro with kids, family fun!


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Owensboro has a lot to offer families and kids! We found a ton of free and inexpensive fun for everyone.

Downtown Tips:
  • There's a Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn on either side of the modern looking convention center - great location for an overnight stay.
  • Free Trolley rides around downtown for hopping on and off!
  • Cute shops downtown- boutiques, antiques - something for everyone.


Owensboro Museum of Science and History
  • Affordable and they allow you to come and go as long as you have your ticket stub for the day
  • Free downtown on street parking 
  • A tad of an old place that needs some TLC- not everything works.
  • Good for younger kids - the upstairs play area is nice!
  • Lots of state history for elementary to middle school aged kids that are learning that topic in school
Smothers Park 
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  • Jumping water fountains all over
  • VERY clean and well-maintained - close to downtown for easy access
  • Huge/unique playground for all ages 
  • Restrooms were clean 
  • Stocked Snack bar
  • Lots of tables in the playground and surrounding park 
  • Splash pad open during warmer months

Giant Sassafrass Tree
  • We drove into the commercial and residential area searching for this tree!
  • It's not as impressive as it seemed online so, save your time. Cool idea but didn't have much of an impact or leave an impression.

Wonder Whipp
  • Walk up burger joint with small selection of ice cream but delicious shakes
  • Recommend fried apple slices with vanilla ice cream
  • Great location for stopping on your way out of town (depending on your direction, of course)

Yellow Creek Park
  • AWESOME park!!!! Not just any park, it's a destination - really.
  • Multiple playgrounds, covered picnic spots, disc golf, fishing, fields and more.
  • Pioneer Village and hiking trail were our favorite - we spent significant time there
  • Bathrooms near the pioneer village for convenience
  • Cool suspension bridge and covered bridge on the walking trail

Other things to note about Owensboro:
  • We noticed a couple of orchards for fruit picking during the season
  • Walk-up pizza placer called Fetta by playground - easy lunch spot
  • There's wifi at playground and Bee Bop, but not museum
  • Many of the area hotels have pools - kids love hotels with pools! 
  • Camping, RV, cottage, and motel room rentals at Diamond Lake Resort - theater, go-karts, bumper boats, pedal boats, mini golf, disc golf, fishing, pizza and ice cream parlor, grill, grocery and laundry on site.
  • The city also has a tennis complex, ice center and a skate park and lots of festivals and shows throughout the year

Stephanie & Caryn
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Monday, March 18, 2019

Day trip to Frankfort, Kentucky - our state capitol

A Day Trip to Frankfort, Kentucky

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Over spring break, I had one day to spare from work so I told the kids we would take a day trip.  Their request: a learning trip.  We love going places to explore that have a hint of learning. Sure, there are those times for pure, giggle-full fun but more times than not, my kids want to learn. Love that!

I decided on Frankfort because it's about an hour from home so it's doable in a day without having to get up and out very early.  After breakfast, we grabbed our book about the Kentucky state capital and took to the road.

How to get there:
Get yourself to I64 toward Frankfort from wherever you live.  The exit I recommend is 53 onto Lawrenceburg Rd toward Frankfort.  Head into town and you can choose two ways to get to the capitol area: 1)take 60/Louisville Road east and you will arrive on the same side of the river as the capital.  2)Cross over 60/Louisville Rd and continue on Lawrenceburg Rd and you will go beyond the capital but approach it by going through the downtown area and some great historic areas. Basically, go in one way and out the other and you have it all covered!  When you take the 60/Louisville Rd route, that's when you will pass the small parking area for the scenic overlook of the capital. It's a great stop for photo opps.

 photo IMG_3454_zpszw7zivyw.jpgState capitol self-guided tour:
There are two maps online that I recommend you print and take with you for each child. Click here and here. One covers the grounds and the other the interior of the capitol building.  It really helps the kids focus on what they are seeing and appreciate the details.  We liked finding the markers for time capsules and learning tidbits of history as we walked around.

Visitor information can be found here. There's plenty of parking around the building and on adjacent streets. The hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m year round. Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (April through October). It's always closed on Sunday. You just walk on in and check in with security. You can arrange for a guided tour if you prefer.

 photo IMG_7018_zpslndjiupy.jpgCliffside Diner:
This diner is right around the corner and literally on a cliff. It's a tiny place full of locals - they spotted our "out of town-ness" immediately.  We sat at the diner counter and shared burgers, fries, and chicken tenders. They had specials to try and the prices were reasonable.  We love finding these local spots. They do not serve breakfast all day.......

 photo IMG_3536_zpsep64pzvl.jpgDowntown Frankfort:
We crossed back over the river to find the main street in Frankfort.  It was quiet but we could tell that it's a wonderful place for festivals and such. Luckily, we spotted B's Bakery right before it closed.  It is the most adorable spot!  If I did this trip again, I'd go there first for coffee and pastries.  The decor was unique and the treats were not only attractive, but delicious.  We snagged a brownie, cookie and donut holes to go....for way less money than I thought at such a nice place. We sat at one of the picnic tables downtown for our snack before heading up the street to the original state capitol building and another awesome strip of shops featuring a coffee shop and local all-things-Kentucky shop.  We also were too late to explore the free Capital City Museum, so we'll have to do that next time. And, on the next trip, we are totally using the Frankfort Public Art Tour map to have a little scavenger hunt to find everything - the kids would love that.  We also drove by Liberty Hall and noticed they have tours and events.  That will go on my "next time" list.  As you can see, you can spend your day in downtown if you like!

 photo IMG_3516_zpsddrrw9uu.jpgSalato Wildlife Center:
If you go back out to 60/Louisville Rd and head west, you will get to the Salato Wildlife Center.  When we went, there were quite a few animals off exhibit so if you are planning a day, give them a call and check on the animals that are out and about their areas.  It's just $5 for adults and $3 for kids (children 4 and under receive free admission) so we didn't mind exploring when the place wasn't totally active.  We were there for about two hours and saw it all, my kids moved fast.  There are times when they have educational experiences with the staff both indoors and outdoors so ask for those times when you go in.  There's an indoor area with some hands-on educational fun, turtles, snakes and more. Outside, there is a paved path for navigating the center and the kids will love the black bear, wildcat and the play area among other exhibits. It's worth a stop if you are in Frankfort.

 photo IMG_3545_zpsds7sq7hd.jpgJuniper Hills Park:
This park is known for it's relatively new aquatic center. But, it has a nice playground area as well. We love finding a playground everywhere we go......to burn off our sugar consumption.  This playground sits up on a hill so it's a great view for relaxing while your children plan.  It was suitable for a variety of ages and way clean. This would be a perfect spot for a picnic or like we did, a short 30 minute stop to get the wiggles out before heading back home in the car. Since we were there in early spring, the restrooms were not open but they did have a clean port-a-potty nearby.

Stephanie
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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

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 what.......kids 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!

Stephanie
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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Overnight Summer Camps in Kentucky

Are you looking for sleep-away camps for your kids? There are great options all over Kentucky for that overnight summer camp experience!

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Here are some options around Kentucky for sleep-away camp


Bluegrass Christian Camp - Lexington

Camp Crooked Creek - Shephardsville
Camp John Currie - Benton
Camp Earl Wallace - Monticello
Camp Robert Webb - Grayson
Camp Judy Layne - Lexington
Coach Cal Basketball Camp - Lexington
Cathedral Domain - Lexington
Youth Haven Bible Camp - Beattyville
The Cathedral Domain - Lexington
Military Adventure Camp - Millersburg
Faith Christian Camp - Annville
Camp Loucon - Leitchfield
Camp Burnamwood - Lexington
Aldersgate Camp - Ravenna
The Center for Courageous Kids - Scottsville
Barefoot Republic - Fountain Run

YMCA Camp Piomingo - Brandenburg

Camp Victory - Somerset
Ohio Valley Christian Camp - Murray
Crossings - Bagdad and Hardin
Foster Music Camps - Richmond
Reading Camp - Pine Mountain
University of Kentucky (some overnight camps) -Lexington
4-H Camp - Various locations
SCATS (Academically Talented) - Bowling Green
VAMPY (academic) - Bowling Green
Transylvania University College Prep Camps - Lexington
ImpactU at Asbury University - Wilmore

Know of more camps or want to advertise your camp?  Email info@louisvillefamilyfun.net
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Friday, January 4, 2019

This Weekend In Kentucky - Free or Cheap Events by Region

Here are a few places you and your children can explore together and experiment with new materials and tools.

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Louisville Metro Area

Friday and Saturday | The MakerPlace, 10 am - 12 pm and 3 pm - 6pm

What: Enter the world of tinkering at the Kentucky Science Center's maker space.  Give your child the gift of discovery by giving them the opportunity to build and create using new tools and methods.  Explore the world of Science Technology Engineering and Math by soldering, circuitry, textile crafts and much more.

Where: Kentucky Science Center

On the Cheap: Arrive at 5 pm and admission is $5



Central Kentucky

Saturday | Toolbox Challenge, 2:30 - 4 pm

What: Bring your thinking caps and your family for a making challenge.  Enter your family as a team to assemble a new invention from a mystery bag of parts. Work with your family to devise a creation and share with the group.

Where: Lexington Public Library, Eastside Branch

On the Cheap: FREE



North Central Kentucky 


What: Gather together ingredients to make a homemade treat while supporting your local Kentucky farmers and makers.  Covington Farmers Market is now a year-round market and invites Kentuckians to kick-off their year-round schedule with their first Farmers Market of 2019.

Where: The Roebling Room at Smoke Justis - 302 Court Street, Covington

On the Cheap: FREE to attend



Western Kentucky

Saturday | Junior Quilters Workshop, 2:30 - 4:30pm

What: Young aspiring quilters and textile artists are invited to join in becoming Kentucky's next generation of quilters.  

Where: The National Quilt Museum - 215 Jefferson, Paducah

On the Cheap: Children 12 and younger are FREE, Students are $5 and General Adult Admission is $12 



Looking for other ideas?
 

Visit Louisville Family Fun here.

Visit Lex4Kids here.


Visit Shelby Family Fun here.


Visit Oldham Family Fun here.

Visit Elizabethtown Family Fun here.




Nicole

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Monday, December 31, 2018

Let's Go Kentucky: Get Healthier in the New Year

You don't need a new year to start a new chapter in your family's life, but it is definitely a great time to commit to a healthier future.


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With our devices pulling us into stationary positions we have to be proactive in getting our families moving.  We are our children's first and best teacher and the best way to get healthier is to make it a family initiative. 

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services prescribes 5-2-1-0.

Healthy Number for Kentucky Families





+ Five: Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
+ Two: Limit screen time to no more than two hours a day.
+ One: By physically active at least one hour a day.
+ Zero: Don't drink sweetened beverages.

For those of you who are looking for SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely - goals for the new year that will impact your family's quality of life, this prescription is a great place to start.

I don't know about you, but being physically active for an hour each day is our family's biggest challenge. Squeezing in an hour of physical activity shouldn't be as hard as it is. It is all go, go, go, but not the type of activity that makes us sweat, raises our heart rates or gives us sustained mental relief. But the rewards of making exercise and physical activity a daily priority drastically improves a family's quality of life. Less stress for parents, much-needed quality time with children, and overall better mental health for all.


As adults, we know how important exercise is, but how do we get our children's buy-in?  Sitting down together for a family meeting is a great place to start.  After all, if it is going to be a family initiative, it should involve the voices of the entire family. Try creating a vision board.  They are a way to visualize your goals to be healthier and is a great way to have a dialogue with your children.

Come prepared to your family meeting with ideas.  Kentucky Family Fun has recommended resources for active families.  In addition to walking, riding bikes, playing at the playground, and gardening Kentucky offers many other opportunities for mixing exercise with fun.  Click below and print them out to share with your children.

Let's Go Swimming

Let's Go Play Indoors


Let's Go Camping


Let's Go Hiking


Let's Go Birding


Happy New Year!  And may your family meet their goals for a healthier future.


Nicole

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Let's Go Birding Kentucky - Christmas Bird Count

Get outside, count birds and participate in the statewide Christmas bird census.

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Why Go Birding?

It is also time for the annual early-winter statewide bird census.   On December 15, birders and bird enthusiasts across Kentucky participate in an annual statewide census that helps track the health and well being of our environment. You can participate, everyone can! 

The practice of bird watching forces us to slow down and be present with our kiddos. Explore a local trail and see how many birds you can identify together as a part of the statewide early-winter bird count. 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.

or...

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.


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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. 

Also, check with your local library.  The Jessamine County Public Library provides a birdwatching kits.  It includes a backpack, Celestron NatureDX binoculars, 2 Kidwinz binoculars, a Birds of Kentucky book and a Natural Geographic Kids Bird Guide to North America.

Where To Go Besides Your Backyard?

Eastern Kentucky

December 15, 3-6pm | Winter Craft Day | Count birds then make birdseed ornament to help out the winter birds!

Any Day | Berea College Forestry Outreach Center | Trails behind Berea College

Any Day | Daniel Boone National Forest | Flat Woods Trail


Central Kentucky

December 8, 10am | Winter Birding | Raven Run Nature Sanctuary | Lexington

December 15, 6am-9pm |  Bird Count | Fayette County

December 15, 8-11am | Christmas Bird Count | Buckley Wildlife Sanctuary | Frankfort

December 15, 10am | Naturalist |  McConnell Spring Park | Lexington

December 15, 1-4pm |  Wings: Intro to Bird Identification & JSP Bird Count! | Josephine Sculpture Park | Frankfort

Any Day | Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill | Heritage Trail

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


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.

Nicole 
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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Give the Gift of a Kentucky Experience

Looking for a gift that will keep on giving?  Consider buying one of these Kentucky Experiences and give a gift that lasts an entire year.


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Annual Pass to Newport Aquarium
You could easily go to the Newport Aquarium every month and find something new each time.  If you plan to go to Cincinnati in the next year, plan ahead and get an Annual Pass to the Newport Aquarium.  The holidays are a great time to get seasonal discounts to experiences across the state.

 photo UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_31cb_zpsvwl2ke6q.jpg Annual Pass to Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
Did you know that there was a group of Kentuckians who set out to create heaven on earth here in the heart of the commonwealth? Need an excuse for your family to regularly break free of the pressures of daily life?  With an annual pass, a family can enjoy FREE admission to the entire village, enjoy unlimited FREE rides on the Dixie Belle Riverboat and any and all hayrides and gain FREE admission to their signature events all year long.  Passholders also enjoy discounts at The Trustees' Table and shops.  Purchase Your Annual Pass here.

Join the Kentucky Historical Society
Give a $40 gift to the Kentucky Historical Foundation and automatically become a Kentucky Historical Society member.  Commit your family's donation to prepare Kentuckians for the future because you know history matters.  Members enjoy FREE admission to the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Kentucky Military Museum, the Old State Capitol and Martin F. Schmidt Research Library including a personal family invitation to members-only events, exhibitions, and programs.

Kentucky Derby Museum

Enjoy the thrill and excitement of Derby every day! Membership includes a Fast Track Family Membership.  Membership includes free admission to the Kentucky Derby Museum, complimentary guest passes and the use of the Kentucky Derby Museum's box seats at Churchill Downs Racetrack for the Spring and Fall race meet among other things.

Kentucky Science Center/Louisville Zoo Membership

Get approximately $20 off when you buy a combined membership to both the Science Center and the Louisville Zoo. The dual Family Membership includes two adults and up to 4 children ages 4 to 19.  It includes 2 one-time use child admissions to the Louisville Zoo and 2 one-time guest passes to the Science Center. 

Louisville City Soccer Season Passes

A dynasty is in the making as the purple and gold make a run at their third straight USL Cup in 2019. Season tickets bring a host of member benefits, including a team scarf, access to special member events, and concession discounts.  Best of all, you can easily resell or transfer any tickets you can't utilize with SeatGeek, and register priority for best available seats in the new Butchertown stadium coming in 2020.

Muhammad Ali Center Membership

Does your family member have a special connection to the legacy of Muhammad Ali?  Give them the opportunity to be a part of the mission of Ali's legacy of hope, peace and cultural understanding.  Enjoy free membership to the museum, exclusive member-only merchandise and more.

Season Pass to Beech Bend 

Don't miss the half-off discount, free parking, and unlimited sunscreen at Beech Bend in Bowling Green through November 26th.



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Tickets for the PlayThink Festival
Although the Playthink Festival lasts only 5 days in June, it is an experience that will leave a lasting impression.  Playthink is a magical experience for those who want to let down their guard and their phones to reconnect with themselves and their children through play, movement, music, and the natural world.  This year's festival is sure to be the beginning of a new chapter of the event as they are moving to a new location in Harrodsburg. The sooner you buy your tickets here the more you save. 

YMCA Membership
Give the gift of family fitness and togetherness all year.  YMCAs are such a blessing to families across the state.  Many a multi-tasking parent or guardian has balanced responsibilities to self, career and family thanks to free Wifi, the weight room or pool and the obliging cafe table.  Whether it is a gift to yourself or to a family who needs more support, a YMCA membership is definitely a gift that keeps on giving.

Happy Memory Making!


Nicole
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