Friday, October 31, 2014

Get away before the holidays!

Halloween is officially here, which means the start of the holiday season. Rushing becomes our way of life and we aren't able to stop and enjoy the season because of all of the 'things' we have on our to do list. I was talking to a friend the other day about this, because not only is this season crazy between Thanksgiving and Christmas, to top it off my birthday is ten days before Christmas. My friend encouraged an adults getaway.

Before you stop me, I totally understand that money is extra tight this time of year. For something to be meaningful it doesn't always have to cost a lot. May I suggest Berea, Kentucky?

Berea is located 39 miles south of Lexington and 113 miles southeast of Louisville. It is pretty centrally located but far enough away to make your trip really seem like a getaway.

Berea has several beautiful parks and perhaps before all of the amazing fall colors are gone you could enjoy them on a stroll through Memorial Park.

The Boone Tavern was recommended to me as a great place to stay, it is a historic hotel and it is beautiful.

You could also stay at the Rest Weavers Cottage, this cottage was originally the first Mayor of Berea's home.

There is always the Fairfield Inn and Suites if you are looking for something a little more traditional.

From November 28th - December 28th Berea has something happening called Make it, Take it, Give it.  They have a wide variety of workshops available for you to participate in and leave with a gift that you would be proud to give someone you love!

Berea has a lot of little locally owned shops that you could spend the whole day checking out each and every one. This link showcases all of the shopping options that you have.

Have you been to Berea before? Do you think you might go?

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Big South Fork Scenic Railway in Stearns, KY

The Big South Fork Scenic Railway in Stearns, KY is an absolute treasure and must take adventure for those seekers of fun from age 1 to 99! Step into the train cars for any type of journey, whether it’s a leisure viewing, family escapade, or a group involved setting such as their ice cream social, Haunted Hollow and Santa express rides, or the Banjo Boogie express. There’s something for everyone here, and the prices are very affordable!

The train ride takes you through the gorgeous views of rural Kentucky, through the gorge of the Big South Fork National River area and more. There are many ticket and types of rides options, with prices starting at $22.75 for adults, $21.25 for seniors, and $13.00 for children (3-12).

Book a trip with your family, a group outing, or plan a unique family reunion. Most rides are 2 or 3 hours long and take you 12-14 miles roundtrip through the beautiful bluegrass regions of Kentucky.

Location: 100 Henderson Street, Stearns, KY 42647 Contact: 1-888-462-5664 M-F 9am-5pm for booking reservations or email

Photo courtesy of Big South Fork Scenic Railway, Facebook
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Monday, October 27, 2014

My Town Monday: Elizabethtown, KY

Our great state of Kentucky, has 120 counties and even more little towns that fill these counties. They are made up of hard working good people, that are raising families and earning a living in this state. We want to recognize these places, some times they are map dots, sometimes they are a big metropolis.

Today's pick is Elizabethtown, KY. I went to college in the Western part of the state and drove past the Elizabethtown exits more times that I can count, but I am sorry to say that I never stopped and explored. Did you know that E-town is the 10th largest city in the state? Or that there is a fantastic family website devoted to all things fun in Elizabethtown? You can check out that site here!

Here are some attractions that I came across when I was researching that look like just the thing to do with your family.

If your crew is anything like mine, they are really into cars. The Swope Cars of Yesteryear Museum looks like a fun stop for perhaps your older car lover. The museum is free and is open from 10 am to 5 pm Monday - Saturday.

The Elizabethtown Nature Park seems like a great place to let your kiddos stretch their legs but most importantly there is a Veteran's Tribute with a sculpture honoring all 5 branches of service.

Greenbelt Walking Tours and Parks has a large amount of different hiking trails you can choose from based on how far you want to walk.

If you are in the area you have to check out the Lincoln Museum, which technically is in Hodgenville, KY but close enough right?

In July, make sure you are in E-town for the Crusin' the Heartland Festival. It has gotten pretty large over the years!

I am sure our friends at Elizabethtown Family would be glad to give some more tips on the "must dos" for you and your family!

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkins, Pumpkins and MORE pumpkins.

We have already written a post about Pumpkin Patches around Kentucky, you can check it out here.  However, there is always so much more that you can say about pumpkin picking this time of year.

Did you know that this weekend in Elizabethtown, the Pumpkin Wagon is doing their Great Pumpkin Fest from 6 -10 pm? Admission is free and there is a costume contest, marshmallow roasting and flashlight corn mazes to name a few things. Of course pumpkins will be available for purchase!

Also in Elizabethtown, Hinton's Orchard is doing their Halloween Party on October 25th starting at 9 am. Admission is $5.00 and you get to trick or treat, take part in the great pumpkin hunt (kids only please) play in the farmlands play area or explore the corn mazes.

Check out Elizabethtown Family's website here for more on their area fall events.

You could keep going down 65 and hit Bowling Green.

On October 25th the National Corvette Museum is having their trunk or treat from 10 am - Noon with a costume contest starting at 11 am. Carnival games are .25 per game and you get to trunk or treat out of collector cars.

You could also hit Jackson's Orchard in Bowling Green and check out their pumpkin fest. Think pumpkin picking and an apple cider slushy ( I don't know what that is but I would love to find out)

You could hang out in Louisville for the day and find some fun.

Jeffersontown is having their Pumpkin Fest it is free and you can trick or treat and even enjoy FREE hot dogs!

Head over to Louisville Family Fun for more fall fun ideas in Louisville.

In Lexington there are some fun choices too.

Head over to Salato Wildlife Center and participate in their Halloween Walk with the Animals. Admission is $5 and you get to take part in a Haunted Hay Maze, Face Painting, Fishing Booth and CANDY!

Check out LexFun4Kids for more about the fall festivals in that area.

OR in Northern Kentucky...

Go check out Neltner's Farm and Greenhouses and pick a pumpkin, visit the petting zoo or listen to the live music. Admission is $5 but it includes a hay ride to the pumpkin patch and the corn maze.

You could also head over to Country Pumpkins, and take a ride on their Cotton Wagon. There is a 5,000 lb bale of cotton to play in! When you head to the pumpkin patch the pumpkins are still on the vine, ready for you to cut off! Admission is free but pumpkins are $8.

Phew! That list is all things that you can do with your family THIS weekend!

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Educational Day Trips Around Kentucky

When schools are on the various breaks that happen with in the school year or it is summer break, I hear so many parents saying what am I going to do! You can be sneaky and plan a whole day of learning, trust me your kids won't suspect anything!

Here is a list of places to check out with your family when you have a whole day burn!

The Highlands Museum is located in Ashland and admission is very reasonable $6.50 for adults and $5.00 for kids 2 and up.

Locust Grove in Louisville, is a history buff's dream trip. I remember many a field trip to this landmark myself.

The Kentucky Railway Museum is really special not only do they have special events like Thomas the Train coming to visit but they have a really interesting museum that you can take your family for a visit. New Haven might just be where you and your family end up for the day!

The Dinsmore Homestead is located in Burlington, when you visit this homestead you are able to take a trip back to rural 19th century.

I had no idea that this place existed but there is a coal mining museum! It is called the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum and is located in Harlan County. Loretta Lynn has items on display in the museum.

The Great American Dollhouse Museum is a good place to think about taking your doll house lover. It is located in Danville KY and was recently featured on A&E.

The Marshall Key House in Washington, KY was written about in Uncle Tom's Cabin and was the site of slave auctions. The museum goes from Slavery to Freedom, and is featured in the Underground Railroad tours.

The Wickliffe Mounds is located on a site that used to be a Native American Village. It is located in Wickliffe Kentucky.

South Union Shaker Village is a great place to visit if for no other reason than to pick up their Shaker Lemon Pie! It is located in Auburn, KY my old stomping grounds!

The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY is a great visit! They house a wide range of horse breeds and do daily demonstrations about various horse related topics.

These ideas should at least keep you and your family busy for a little bit!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

If I were going to Bowling Green for the weekend I would....

In my family we like to play hypothetical games like: If I won a million dollars I would... or If I could only eat one type of candy for the rest of my life it would be...

So I was playing that game internally, today and that got me thinking about the topic for today's blog post.

If I were going to Bowling Green for the weekend I would....

Leave right after the kids get out of school and check out dinosaur world on the way down.

I would stay overnight in Cave City at probably the Comfort Inn and Suites because they have an indoor pool (bonus kid points!)

Tour Mammoth Cave the next morning allowing at least 2 hours before heading further South.

When we got to Bowling Green we would stop by the Corvette Museum on the way into town. If you were to go this weekend October 25th make sure to pack your Halloween costumes and do the trunk or treat from 10 am - 12 pm.

Finally, we would hit up Chaney's Dairy Barn and enjoy the pumpkin patch and corn maze.

After all of that fun it would be time to load up the car and head back home to the reality of laundry piles and grocery shopping.

It is fun to dream though isn't it?

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Monday, October 20, 2014

My Town Monday: Crestwood, KY

My town Monday
Our great state of Kentucky, has 120 counties and even more little towns that fill these counties. They are made up of hard working good people, that are raising families and earning a living in this state. We want to recognize these places, some times they are map dots, some times they are a big metropolis.

First up on the My Town Monday feature: Crestwood, KY.  I spent my entire life in Crestwood, in fact I lived in the same house until I got married. While Crestwood could be considered a map dot town there is a lot to do and see there!

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens is a really neat place to visit while you are in Crestwood. They have beautiful gardens for you to explore and offer a wide variety of children's programming.

If you are looking for something to munch on in while you are in town check out locally owned Jucy's Bar B Q.

Foxhollow Farm is a really unique place to visit. They not only raise grass fed beef that is available for purchase, but they host wheelbarrow to table dinners and festivals.

Sometime when you are kid free, stop by Duncan Memorial Chapel. The grounds there are so very peaceful, a beautiful pond with benches. The chapel there was built in the English gothic style and dates back to 1936. The man who built it, Mr. Duncan, built it for his wife as a memorial. How romantic is that?!

We want to feature your town! Tell us where you are from and what town you want us to spotlight.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Kentucky's Best Loved Dishes & Recipes

A whole other life ago, I went to culinary school and in my free time I love to spend it in my kitchen experimenting. I started thinking about all of the amazing dishes that Kentucky gets to claim.

 The Kentucky Hot Brown, this one is probably the most obvious. I am a hot brown lover, there isn't a hot brown that I don't like. There is even something called the Hot Brown Hop in Louisville. Given the amount of calories in one of these rich dishes I suggest you break up the hop over a couple of years. Damaris Phillips is a Food Network star from Kentucky and she has a unique twist on the hot brown. Try her out her recipe

Do you burgoo? Burgoo is a hearty stew that is traditionally made with game meats, think squirrel, opossum and their relatives. If that makes you a little squeamish you can give it a try with chicken and beef. People dig burgoo so much there is a festival just for the hearty stew. You can try a some restaurants like Mark's Feed Store. If you want to give it a whirl in your own home this recipe is an awesome one, bonus points for the bourbon in the recipe! 

Fancy having a tea party and inviting your friends over for benedictine? I don't blame you! I love benedictine, what makes it even tastier is that it isn't a bit hard to make. If you go out of state asking for it you are bound to get funny looks, so make a big batch of this recipe and take it with ya! 

To round things out you can't have a complete Kentucky meal with out bourbon balls or a Derby Pie. Something you should remember is you can't technically call your pie a "derby" pie unless it comes from Kern's Kitchen. We have some pretty close copycat recipes though! This pie recipe is super easy to make and very tasty. 

I don't have a bourbon ball recipe that I like enough to share but I do have a good friend that makes the best bourbon truffles that you would ever want to taste! She even sent her truffles to Hollywood last year to be part of the Oscar swag bags! Check out Art Eatables

I love new recipes, if you have one that you want to share I would love to hear about it! 


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Monday, October 13, 2014

Things to do in Kentucky with kids on rainy days for indoor fun!

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It's rainy, your kids are antsy and you can't stand another at home science experiment. Here are some ideas from around our great state that will help ensure sanity sticks around for at least another day!
  • Take your kids bowling at Axis Alley on the Newport Levee. 
  • Get your quarters ready for GameWorks also located at the Newport Levee
  • Head over to Jump Zone in Florence, ya'll to bounce out some energy. 
  • Show your kids the skilled roller skater you are at the Florence Fun Dome
  • In Lexington head to Kids Play Place Adventure, they say they are the largest indoor playground in Kentucky. Check it out for yourself. 
  • Take your airplane lover to The Aviation Museum of Kentucky
  • Go to the Explorium, and let your little explorer run wild. 
  • YaYa's Island, if for no other reason that the name is fun to say. If you are in Paducah head there to take cover from the rain.  
  • If you have a little car lover, head to the National Corvette Museum and check out the cars! 
  • If you are looking for things to do in the Louisville area, check our previous blog post here.
  • In the Fort Knox area you can visit the General George Patton Museum for FREE!  
  • Be the coolest parent around and take your kids to Richmond Underground Lazer Tag. 
  • Check out the Kentucky Reptile Zoo, and try not go get the heeby jeebies. 
  • Let your kiddos catch up on the latest comic books at Comic Oasis in Richmond, KY
  • If you think that indoor sand volleyball and bowling would appeal to your kiddo then check out Southern Sports Lanes in Alexandria.
Those are just some ideas from the top of my head! Where is your go to rainy day place in Kentucky? 

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Friday, October 10, 2014

The 10 Best Indoor Things to Do in Louisville with Kids

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Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky so it packs a big punch when it comes to entertainment. With so many options, you need to know what is the BEST fun for your family!  Here's our list of the our picks for indoor places to visit in Louisville.

1.  Louisville Mega Cavern - Mega Quest.  This ropes course in underground and climate controlled so there is never a bad time to go. It is awesome for kids 6 and up because they can manage the course best.  Parents will like it too!

2.  Kentucky Science Center.  It's the go-to for families looking for the downtown museum experience.  There are many levels of entertainment, a kids area and special events all of the time.  And, they just added a 4-Story Digital Theater that's amazing.
Tune into this podcast with the Kentucky Science Center:

3.  Rauch Planetarium.  Why see a movie when you can go to the planetarium and experience a unique show and learn something at the same time?  They have lazer light shows as well as public shows and events.

4.  Bluegrass Indoor Karting.  C'mon, it's a 1,000 ft long go-kart track. That's sweet!  Kids (and adults) over the age of 7 can race up to 8 karts for a great adrenaline rush.

5. Whet Your Palette.  Painting is definitely "in" these days but this place is special, it's kind of funky.  It's a large home that has been completely turned into a creative zone.   It is very affordable and you don't have to be a part of a formal class, you can just drop in.

6.  CLOSED Good Garbage.  Let trash become your child's next masterpiece.  Talk about let the creative juices flow - at Good Garbage, make robots out of random items, create a lamp out of bottles or maybe even jewelry out of buttons.

7.  Explore Downtown Louisville via the Louie Link Pedway System.  There's something about these tunnels that spark adventure with my kids.  They reach a new place and get excited like "Wow, a hotel!" or "No way, we are walking over the street."  We pair it with lunch somewhere and it's a day of indoor fun.

8.  House of Boom.  If you are looking for something indoors to do because it's cold outside, you'll warm up in minutes after you start jumping. They have a bunch of special times for preschoolers or children with special needs. 

9.  Stage One Family Theatre.  Plan ahead and get tickets to their public performances.   Live theater is so intriguing to kids and Stage One makes it really affordable to see a high quality live show in a really nice atmosphere at the Kentucky Center.
Tune in and learn more:

10.  Louisville Stoneware.  It's been around since 1815 so you are definitely going to see something special.  Tour and learn about how unique it is and then paint your own pottery!  Be sure to ask to meet the one woman that's been putting on all of the handles to their pitchers and mugs for years - she does it all by hand and it's an art.


Here's a podcast from Louisville Family Fun with more ideas!
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Festival of Riverboats

Here in the Louisville area we are very lucky to have the Belle of Louisville on display for everyone to see day in and day out.

This year the Belle is celebrating it's 100 year anniversary, and there is a huge celebration planned! Riverboats from around the country will be on display during the event.

The event takes place from Tuesday October 14th - Sunday October 19th, each day there is live music, a free bicycle valet service (how awesome is that?!), a calliope contest, riverboat races and a food and beverage showcase.

Every day there is a special event of note like the balloon glow on Friday night, and the Belle's birthday bash on Saturday.

For more information check out the website here.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

10 Local Pizza Places in Kentucky that you have to try!

I don't know about your piece of Kentucky, but in the Louisville Area pizza places are taking over! We have every style of pizza known to man, I decided to go on a quest, for the best local pizza places in Kentucky.

Without further ado, I present to you Kentucky Family Fun's Top 10 Local Pizza Places in Kentucky!

1. Miguel's - There is something about hiking at the Red River Gorge all day and coming up upon Miguel's that makes that pizza taste so awesome!

2. Smashing Tomato Pizza- They cook their pizza's in a wood burning oven that is heated to 800 degrees. Even more impressive is that Smashing Tomato is Kentucky’s only Neapolitan Pizza Restaurant certified by the Vera Pizza Napoletana.

3. Clifton's Pizza- Their pizza and calzones are out of this world. They are in a little hole in the wall restaurant in the Clifton neighborhood of Louisville.

4. Mister B's Pizza - Located in Henderson, they have been locally owned and operated for over 20 years. That's gotta be some great pie!

5. Mancino's Grinders & Pizza - They have some amazing pizza in Bowling Green at Mancinos. Located in my college town, it is strategically positioned next to a Baskin Robbins. Can you say Freshman....30?

6. Newport Pizza Company - Located in Newport, just across the river from Cincinnati they took their signature pie to a whole new level. With Cincinnati Chili topped pizza, as their signature pizza. Let me know if you give it a try.

7. Apollo Pizza -  They make the dough in house on a daily basis, and boast an 'almost gluten free' pizza. I am not entirely sure what that means but let me know if you figure it out!

8. Papleno's Restaurant - Reviewers on Yelp say that there pizza was nothing short of amazing and if you go there and don't order a pizza you have wasted a trip. They are located in Corbin.

9. Giuseppe's Neighborhood Pizzeria  - Situated in Covington they are an award winning pizza company. Their menu is pretty creative, as well. It might just be worth the trip.

10. Giovanni's Pizza- If you are ever in the Paris (Kentucky of course) area stop into Giovanni's Pizza for one of their famous pies.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Top 10 Halloween Celebrations in Kentucky.

Top 10 Halloween Festivities in Kentucky
Activities are rated on a "ghost scale"
1 ghost = Not Scary,  2 ghost = mildly scary, 3 ghosts = moderately scary, 4 ghosts = Very Scary

1. Halloween Train at the Kentucky Railway Museum. Trick or Treat on the train with various characters, costumes for your kiddos are encouraged!

2. Halloween Family Weekends at General Butler State Park. You can enjoy glow in the dark 18 hole mini golf, haunted train track of terror and haunted maze shelter house. 

3. Halloween Campout Celebration at Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park. There is a pumpkin carving competition and costume contest. Be the most creative in decorating your campsite and you could win a free weekend stay! Haunted mini golf is also an option. 

4. Harry Potter Party at the Graves County Public Library. Think a hogwarts themed scavenger hunt and a wand workshop. 

5. Sinister Tombs Haunted House. This attraction is obviously for the older, less jumpy crowd. The website scared me. 

6. Scarecrow Trail at Lost River Cave. This is a contest encouraging movement in children, the organizers are hoping to cut down on 'screen time' in kids. Instead you and your family will be creating a scarecrow to enter into the contest. 

7. Museum Monster Mash at the National Corvette Museum.  There is trunk or treating, carnival games, arts and crafts and a costume contest. 

8. Movies in the Garden at Liberty Hall. Take in a double feature in the garden. Before the show starts you can participate in face painting, a costume contest and a ghost tour. 

9. Harvest Festival at Evans Orchard. Each weekend leading up to Halloween you can take part in freshly cooked kettle corn, pony rides, hayrides and horse drawn wagon wides. 

10. The World's Largest Halloween Party at the Louisville Zoo.  Take your little pumpkin to the zoo for trick or treating, pose with characters and check out the pumpkin carvings on display. 
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Railroad & Bluegrass Festival in LaGrange, Kentucky

All Aboard! LaGrange is the place to travel to October 10th and 11th!

On Friday October 10th the festivities start at 6pm with a Garden and Bluegrass Jam Session.

The next day, Saturday the bulk of the festivities take place kicking off at 10am.

The cardboard train parade gets things started, your kids can participate and prizes are given for various categories.
They include: Best Walking Full Train ( must have at least 3 cars and a locomotive), Best Individual Locomotive, Best Railroad Car, Best Caboose, Best Pulled Wagon Railroad Car or Locomotive.

There will be various live bands playing through out the day and you can take part in a cornhole tournament, or even watch the great train robbery.

Sounds like a great time!

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