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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Discount admission to Ark Encounter

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We've heard many readers say they want to check out the Ark Encounter but that it's too expensive for them.  Well, they are having a deal for Christmastime for half-price admission and free parking. The deal is good when visiting from 5–9 p.m. on December 16-23 or 26-30. During this time, it's decked out in lights and sets the mood for the season.

These discounts are not available online, only at the location.
Free parking starts at 4:30pm.
They have food available for purchase and even shopping opportunities.

On Christmas Eve, the half-price admission is good all day 9am-3pm. 

They have some really great photos on their website that give you an idea of what you will experience at this attraction this time of year. Click here.

Photo credit: Ark Encounter
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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Children's Christmas Book about Kentucky

 photo IMG_5714_zpsnxestkx7.jpgRecently, Sterling Children's Books sent me a book to review and I saved it for the holiday season for good reason. It's called Twelve Days of Christmas in Kentucky by Evelyn B. Christensen.

 photo IMG_5712_zpst3afgp9h.jpgMy daughter and I read the book together, I read the left page and she read the right page. The book is about a boy that goes to visit family in Kentucky and has wonderful experiences while he's here....of course. The way to book is structured, there is a letter that he writes to his parents on the left page that's longer and on the right side, the text is "The twelve days of Christmas" themed like the song.  It makes for great co-reading.

The book takes readers throughout Kentucky with wonderful illustrations and much to learn along the way. We read things that we already knew about our great state but definitely learning many new things.  My daughter is excited to read it again with her cousins when they come to visit from California. I believe this book will become a family tradition to read during the Christmas season.



The book is hard-cover and I found it available for under $15 on Amazon.  On Amazon, you can also flip through a preview some of the pages.  This would be a great gift for a child or family!

Stephanie
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Monday, December 5, 2016

Gifts that Give Back

 photo digit_zpstvxiwf04.jpgUnited HealthCare has a way that you can turn your gift-giving into a way to give back to others.  They have a medical grants program that has helped 200 families in Kentucky over the past five years. 

Available now, inspirational children’s books, toys, and kid-designed holiday cards from the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) will not only make great gifts, but the proceeds from those items will fund child medical grants for families who need financial assistance.

Holiday gift ideas include:
  • Award-winning Oliver & Hope children’s storybooks, along with plush characters Children’s joke books
  • Digit’y Do — a new numbers game that combines elements of strategy and probability with a high dose of fun. Kid-designed holiday cards and 2017 wall calendars
  • Grins to Go bags— this nylon draw string backpack is filled to the brim with a dozen toys, games and activities that will inspire and amuse any boy or girl between the ages of 4 and 12.

All products are available at Amazon.com (search for UHCCF) and 100% of the proceeds go to fund medical grants for children in Kentucky and throughout the U.S.

Interested in applying for a grant?
To be eligible for a grant, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. Families do not need to have insurance through UnitedHealthcare to be eligible.


Since 2007, UHCCF has awarded over 12,000 grants valued at more than $34 million to children and their families across the United States for treatments associated with medical conditions such as cancer, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hearing loss, autism, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy. Kentucky families in need should go to www.uhccf.org to review criteria and submit an online application.
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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Live Nativity in Shelbyville

 photo bethlehem_zpsmpbl9brx.jpgOne Saturday, December 3, Shelby First Baptist Church in Shelbyville will host a drive-thru live nativity.  This unique experience will take place from 6-8pm and it's totally free!

It doesn't matter if it's cold, you'll be all snug in your car and you can listen in to the narration too. It is a serious production with over 100 live characters and animals to make the spirit of Christmas come to live. 

The church will also give out cookies and hot chocolate, also free.

Be sure to enter through the Shelby County fairgrounds. 

For more holiday happenings in Shelby County - click here.

Photo via the church Facebook page.
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Monday, November 28, 2016

First-time family-friendly New Year's Eve event in Louisville

 photo lou years eve 2016 holiday ad 2_zpszo1x8e1u.jpgSo often, we get asked about New Year's Eve events for families and we just don't have much to suggest.  Someone is looking to change that and bringing an event to Louisville so families can come together and have fun on New Year's Even.

Lou Year’s Eve will be a first time event to kick off the new year and it will offer a family-friendly option for Kentucky families to celebrate together.  The intention of this event is to highlight Louisville's arts and cultural scene while providing a fun and safe place for families to celebrate.

This event will be on Saturday, December 31st from 2:00 pm-midnight in downtown Louisville. More than 20 venues on West Main Street between 3rd and 9th Streets will be participating, and it will feature dance, art, story-telling, magicians, music of all kinds, food, beverages, and performers, both outside and indoors - great for a winter event!

Plans include: interactive children’s activities beginning at 2:00pm at venues all along Main Street; a People’s Procession that will march down Main Street at 5:00pm; an adult beverage garden opening at 6:00pm at The Kentucky Center; live music and entertainment on the outdoor main stage at 5th and Main beginning at 6:00pm; and dance, art, story-telling, magicians, music of all kinds, food, beverages and performances at various venues, both inside and outside, all night long.

There will be a special countdown to midnight with fun surprises to ring in the New Year. The full schedule of the day’s events will be announced on December 6th.

Tickets are available on www.louyearseve.com. Tickets are $8 in advance/$10 at the door for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, and admission is free for children 5 and under.

-------------------------------

UPDATE:
The inaugural Lou Year's Eve event will feature 40 live performances and activities at 15 venues along West Main Street in downtown Louisville this Saturday.
Join the New Year's Eve celebration!

Highlights include:
- children's activities at 5 museums between 7th and 9th Streets
- an intimate set with "The Voice" contestant Dave Moisan
- performances by the Louisville Ballet and Actors Theatre of Louisville
- a People's Procession that will march down West Main Street
- live ice sculpting and interactive art pieces
- an outdoor Main Stage will open at 6:00pm with remarks from Mayor Greg Fischer, followed by performances from Wildwood, DJ Glenn Smith, and Billy Goat Strut Revue
- an adult beverage garden will open at 6:00pm
- a countdown to midnight with fun surprises, and the raising of Kentucky's largest disco ball by crane!
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Monday, November 21, 2016

Scuba Santa® at the Newport Aquarium

 photo WaterWonderlandScubaSanta_ListingSpot.ashx_zpsqaninktg.jpgYou read that title correctly!  You can take your children to a totally unique experience right here in Kentucky.  Kids love to see Santa and SCUBA divers are pretty cool too so put them together and I am sure they will love it.

From November 25 to December 31  (daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) the Newport Aquarium has an underwater holiday celebration.

They will create a wonderland of lights and sounds to get you in the holiday spirit in multiple areas of the aquarium from the seahorses to gators.

Included in admission is "Meet Scuba Santa®" in Shark Ray Bay Theater where Santa's elves will also be there to keep everyone entertained. Kids get to talk to Scuba Santa one-on-one. Also with admission, kids can write their holiday wishes on a magic bubble and drop it right into Scuba Santa's® mailbox.

Finally, if you are looking for some extra fun........there's even a special breakfast with Scuba Santa® for an extra fee.

You can find all of the special holiday event info and get tickets on the Newport Aquarium website.

Photo from the Newport Aquarium website. 

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Old Fort Harrod Holiday Open House

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Photo credit: Kentucky State Parks
Harrodsburg is southwest of Lexington and home to Old Fort Harrod. This state park has a full-scale replica of forts, houses and cabins that all take you back in time to see how our pioneers lived.  They have a museum, monuments and even the Lincoln Marriage Temple which is part of the Lincoln Heritage Trail.

This weekend, they will host their annual Holiday Open House on November the 19th from 6-8 p.m. Families can tour the fort that will be decorated for the holidays with period lanterns. Santa will be sitting fireside in one of the blockhouses to hear from the children and grant some Christmas wishes.

This unique event is free and you can even enjoy some cider and cookies.
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Monday, November 14, 2016

Santa Safari at the Louisville Zoo

 photo 2014-12-13_SantaSafari_RDK_35_zpsz3ak0rud.jpgTickets to the Louisville Zoo’s Santa’s Safari are now on sale at www.louisvillezoo.org/santa. This popular annual holiday event will take place December 10–11 & 17–18 with sessions at 10 a.m., Noon and 2 p.m.

The Zoo’s Gheens Room in the Islands Pavilion will be transformed into a festive holiday wonderland that will include a visit by Santa, his elves and Frosty the Snowman. A complimentary photo with Santa will be provided for each family.

Mrs. Claus will also make an appearance to deliver tasty holiday refreshments for each guest. Every child will be invited to participate in activities including creating a take-home holiday craft, sing-alongs and a holiday story reading. Afterward, families can share an adventure as their Santa’s Safari Passport guides them along a discovery trail through the Zoo’s heated buildings for some special animal insights and encounters. Safari Stations will provide guests with the opportunity to have one-on-one interactions with Zoo educators with biofacts and select Zoo outreach animals.

 photo 2015 Mrs. Claus_zpsgmj6evpm.jpgSpecial tickets are required for all guests. This is often a sell-out event, so be sure to get your tickets early. Tickets must be purchased in advance online. Tickets, which include all-day Zoo admission, are:

Ages 3 and older — $15.95 for Louisville Zoo members, $20.95 for non-members

Ages 2 and under — $8.50 for Louisville Zoo members, $11 for non-members. Parking is $5 per vehicle for non-members; purchase the parking pass online with your tickets for maximum convenience

Visit louisvillezoo.org/santa for tickets and for frequently asked questions. The Zoo’s winter hours are daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (stay until 5 p.m.) Closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
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Monday, November 7, 2016

The Best Holiday Events in Kentucky 2016

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Photo books make great holiday gifts!
 


It's the most wonderful time of the year, right? Time to visit the local Kentucky attractions and prepare for the coming holiday and squeeze as much fun into this time of the year as possible!

We have compiled a list of the various events around Kentucky, they are in date order. As always, if your favorite event is missing make sure to let us know! 

Louisville has so many events going on and you can see them on Louisville Family Fun.

Oldham events can be found here.

Shelby events can be found here.

You can find Lexington events here.

Elizabethtown Family has a great list of events for the Holidays, you can check out that link here.

November


Louisville does Christmas up at the Galt House Hotel. Christmas at the Galt House starts November 17th and runs through December 24th. You can read more about it here.

Ashland has a Winter Wonderland of Lights starting November 14th  - January 8th. You and your family can stroll through Central Park, and take in over 800,000 lights spanning 52 acres. Admission is Free! Read more here.

Owensboro boasts a very large Christmas parade, it happens the Saturday before Thanksgiving at 5 pm. This year it falls on November 19th. Check out the info on Facebook.

The Newport Levee has a bunch of holiday events. On the weekends, there's an array of special entertainment. Click here for the schedule. And, they have Light Up the Levee on November 22nd.

In Bardstown on Friday November 25th head to the town square for Light up Bardstown, word is even Santa himself will be there! Look at Bardstown's website for all of the details. Santa also makes appearances on other days.  See the graphic on their website.

Check out Christmas on the Farm Family Day in Cordon, Ky on November 25th Vendors, animals and Santa - totally unique. See details here.

Hop on the Santa Express in Stearns. Your child will get to meet Santa, receive a special gift and sing Christmas carols during this special train ride. This runs from on multiple dates between November 26th - December 17th.


December

See A Charlie Brown Christmas come to life at the Jenny Wiley Theatre in Pikeville.


In Bowling Green they celebrate at Fountain Square for light up Bowling Green. You can go to Visit Bowling Green for more details (updated soon). Lots of Bowling Green holiday events!


Paducah has a Christmas Parade December 3rd. Event details here. And, their Candy Cane Hunt is also on December 3rd, kids hunt for over 1,000 candy canes!

Hopkinsville is having their annual Christmas tree lighting on December 10th, with events all day and a parade (starting at around 5pm) and tree lighting in the evening. Here is a link to their website.


Have an event that we need to add? Let us know!

Stephanie


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Monday, October 24, 2016

HalloWhinny at the Kentucky Horse Park

Head to the Kentucky Horse Park this weekend for a special event.
On both Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29-3, from 2 p.m. – 5pm it's HalloWhinny!

Included in regular park admission and be sure to explore the entire park!
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This year, the spirit of HalloWhinny is taking over the weekend. Halloween is approaching, and the park won’t let the holiday pass without offering two presentations of HalloWhinny, the annual Halloween show, where park horses and their riders are likely to show up as just about any kind of “scary,” funny, or quirky dual human/horse costume for the holiday. Guests will experience fun at HalloWhinny and see some creative costumes, with performances set to music, possibly even Superman, a creepy ghost, a hippy chick, the Wicked Witch, Harry Potter, Beauty and the Beast or any number of spooky or fun characters. Joining the staff, volunteers and horses from the Breeds Barn, the Hall of Champions and the Big Barn will be Patrick the Miniature Horse, retired racehorses from Ohio Standardbreds and Friends, and maybe even American Miniature horses from Stampede of Love.

I tell you what............this is oh-so-very Kentucky!

Stephanie
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Monday, October 17, 2016

Unique trick-or-treat opportunity in Louisville from Louisville Water

 Trick or treat with Louisville Water On October 26th from  4:00pm to 7:30pm the candy-hungry ghouls and goblins can head to the Crescent Hill reservoir gatehouse for a unique trick-or-treating event.  This is such a cool location for an event!

This event includes a plant tour, fun prizes, fun science experiments and snacks.  There will be a Healthy Zombie Walk around the Reservoir with activity stations for the kids.  If you haven't been, the area has a flat, elevated path around the reservoir and it's really quite lovely and picturesque with the historic gatehouse in the middle.  This is a family event so children must be accompanied by an adult.  There is free parking available along Reservoir Avenue.

Here's a photo of the location: 
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 Location: near 201 Reservoir Avenue Louisville, KY 40206
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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Review of Boyd Orchard in Versailles, Kentucky

 photo boyds 1_zpsoykwoayz.jpgThis past weekend, my family of 4 met some friends at Boyd Orchard in Versailles, Kentucky. They are mainly an apple orchard, but clearly work hard to get a lot of people to come to their pumpkin patch because they have many different activities for families centered around pumpkins!

When you get there, there is a large “pumpkin patch” of pumpkins they have picked and pre-labeled with the prices. You then walk through their marketplace, which has tons of things for sale – apples from their orchard, as well as various products made from apples including apple cider and apple spice donuts. If you do nothing else while you’re there, get one of those donuts!

 photo boyds 2_zpsor2jbrhz.jpgIf you continue on through the back doors, you will see the expanse of fun just waiting for your children! There is a huge slide, hay to climb on, hay bales to run across, an animal center and so much more! To get in to this area you have to first buy a ticket. There are a few options for adults and children. You can choose to pay for the playground, a hayride, the animal center and corn maze for $12 ($8 for adults) or you can just do the playground and animal center for $8 (adults are free with this option). Separately, you can buy tickets to ride the mini train for $4 or you can pay for a hay ride separately for $4 as well. We didn’t feel the need to do the corn maze, so we opted for the second option and paid individually for our hayrides.

We got our wristbands and headed into the play area. The kids had an absolute blast! They played for a good 30 minutes and I’m sure could have played much longer if we’d let them. It was lunch time so we decided to head inside to eat, although there were tables and a place to order food outside as well. I was slightly disappointed in their choices and prices, but the BBQ sandwich I got was delicious. My kids wanted hot dogs, but the only choice was to get a hot dog with chips and it was $3.50. It seemed pricey to me, especially for my 1 year old who wasn’t going to eat the chips. We ate and then headed back outside to the animal center.

As we entered the animal center, we saw lots of goats and a couple horses. There were cups of food sitting on the table and as my husband went to get one to feed the animals, they informed him that they were 25 cents apiece. Not expensive, but we had already paid to get in there, so we felt that was unnecessary. There were also signs all over saying not to feed the white horse because it bites. I didn’t understand why they would have a horse around children that they know bites. We did enjoy feeding the goats and my children really had a good time in this area.

 photo boyds 5_zps2y6bpohb.jpgWe then headed back to the other part of the playground, which included some equipment geared toward smaller children, like my son. My 5-year- old still had plenty of fun on this side as well though. One of her favorites was a long inflatable obstacle course. There were also large tube slides and swings. In one corner they had a woman face painting, but as I got closer, there was a sign that said it was $2-$8, depending on your option. Once again, asking for payment once we’ve already paid quite a bit to get into this area.

 photo boyds 4_zpssxhhxuib.jpgWe were saving our pumpkin picking for last so we didn’t have to carry them around all day, so we finally headed that direction. We walked over to get on the hayride and it was a short wait. They clearly had a few running, which was nice. We headed out and quickly realized that there was a pumpkin patch very close and that there wasn’t really a need for the hayride, but it was a fun adventure and we figured it was taking us to a patch farther away that you couldn’t just walk to. We rode for about five minutes, seeing many apple trees with lots of types of apples, and then we came to where they had the corn maze. The tractor stopped to let people off and let others on and then we continued on our way. There were no pumpkin patches by the corn maze, so we stayed on. As we started getting closer to where we got on, we saw more pumpkin patches again and assumed we would stop. We did not. The tractor pulled up to where we started and we realized that we had just paid $4 each to ride the hayride to nowhere. Yes, it was a fun hayride, but had we known that we didn’t need to ride the hayride to get to the pumpkin patch, we probably would have saved that money for an extra couple pumpkins!

 photo boyds 3_zpsq5tv1vbw.jpg  At that point, we decided to just get a pumpkin from the front where they were labeled with the price instead of trekking back out to the patch. The pumpkins there are 55 cents a pound and after all the other money we’d spent, decided to know for sure how much we were going to be paying for the pumpkins. We found quite a few great pumpkins out there and had a hard decision, but were able to find some that were less expensive and larger than some others, so we chose 2 pumpkins and decided to get some others back home (the cheapest ones we could find were $5 and they went up above $10).

After paying for our pumpkins and enjoying some donuts, we headed out for the day. Overall, it was a very fun experience with many unique activities, but we did often feel like they were trying to make money, and lots of it, everywhere we went. Yes, they are a business, but it was frustrating to pay for things and still not be able to experience everything for that price. If you are looking for a pumpkin patch with a place to stay for hours and really make a day of it, this is likely the place for you. If you are looking for a hayride to a pumpkin patch to get a pumpkin and head home, it probably isn’t.

By Guest Contributor: Lauren
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Monday, October 3, 2016

Halloween Walk with the Animals

 photo salato halloween_zpstwbzdc6n.jpg On October 29th from noon- 5p.m., the Salato Wildlife Center will host a fun event for families! It's the "Halloween Walk with the Animals" for just $5 per person (free for members).


Visitors are encouraged to put on your costume and This is a kid-friendly event that will include a hay bale maze, “Creatures of the Night” exhibit, face painting and plenty of candy! Kids will get a Passport to take around to every exhibit for a stamp this way you know you have it all covered!

Staff and volunteers will be there to answer question and all of the animals are ready for visitors.

For more information about the Salato Wildlife Center, click here.

Location: 1 Sportsman's Lane Frankfort, KY 40601
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Monday, September 19, 2016

Spencer County Octoberfest

Does Spencer County know how to celebrate fall!?! Spencer County Octoberfest runs for several days at the end of September.  You can click here to stay up to date with their events each year.

Octoberfest consists of:
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  • A 5K walk/run
  • Several Pageants (for all ages)
  • A talent show
  • Parade
  • Festival
For 2016: It's all taking place September 24 - October 1. 

The festival (basically all day October 1) and parade (10:30 - noon October 1) are definitely the main event.  It all takes place on Main St. in Taylorsville.  They will have acts performing on the main stage throughout the day like many country music acts, the winners of the talent show, an father/son Elvis tribute and from 8-11pm Judge Angus Band will take the stage to close out the day.

Also, on the street, there will be dance team and gymnastics performances as well as two re-enacted Cowboy Posse shoot outs!  That's something to see!

They have a Facebook page you can follow for more details. 


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Monday, September 12, 2016

Free Museum Admission on September 24th

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Did you know about this awesome promotion from Smithsonian Magazine?  You can choose a museum and get free admission on September 24th!  One ticket is good for admission for free for two people through this promotion.

Click HERE to see the list of Kentucky museums that participate and get more information.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Review of Big Bone Lick State Park

 photo 20160630_151838_zpsuoled0se.jpgWhen they were younger, my kids were totally OBSESSED with dinosaurs and fossils and paleontology. The older two (9 and 8) may act like they’ve outgrown the whole dino craze, but the fact is you never outgrow skulls as big as your whole body! When I saw Big Bone Lick State Historic Site with pictures of bison and a mastodon skull, I knew we had to go.

Located in Union, Kentucky, BBL is about 1.5 hours northeast of Louisville, just over an hour north of Lexington, and about 35 minutes southwest of Cincinnati. BBL is very easy to find once you get off the main interstate but check your GPS for your exit because there’s no interstate signage.

My kids got excited as soon as they saw the big entrance sign with picture of bison and mammoths. We went straight back to the outdoor diorama and the museum. While you aren’t able to touch or access them directly, the life sized replicas are really cool and the walkway above serves as a place for photo ops and also has several educational plaques.

 photo 20160630_120436_zpsnnmatg77.jpgThe museum has a large (air conditioned!!!) room with a mastodon skull as the focal point. There are several other fossils, historical references, restrooms, and a gift shop. Typically I cringe when I hear “gift shop” because I hate being asked to buy a $25 stuffed animal that I’ve seen at the dollar store – just without a logo. However, this gift shop is very reasonably priced and if your kids like getting souvenirs, you won’t break the bank.

 photo 20160630_125307_zpsawkmshba.jpgFrom the museum/gift shop we headed across the parking lot to a trail to see the bison. The trail to go see the bison is less than a quarter of a mile and if you have little legs with you or even a sturdy stroller, it’s an easy walk. The trails in the woods are more difficult for toddler legs and impassable for a stroller. The first trail we started with was called Cedar Run. Five minutes in and were totally surrounded by untouched nature in all her splendor. Due to the narrow width, single file walking is a must – so pick a line leader.
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We took the longer trail around the woods instead of heading straight back to the museum and ended up hiking around two miles. We did have to stop and take some water breaks after some steep inclines and I had to keep reminding my kids to watch their footing on the sharp descents, but minus some huffing and puffing, we all made it just find – including my active five year old. After a quick bathroom stop in the museum, we drove to the lake parking lot (which only has around 8 parking spaces) then hiked up some terrain steps to the lake at the top - another beautiful nature view with plenty of benches to relax. There is another two mile trail looped around the lake, but my folks were done with trails at that point! We also drove up to the campsite, which has mini-golf, a small camp store, and a pool for the campers.

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All in all, we had a very fun and full day. When we stopped at the museum/ visitor center, there were several fliers about upcoming events – most of which were free. There are also educational scavenger hunts to make things even more interesting for older kids. Big Bone Lick State Historic Site has 813 acres with 40 acres of picnic grounds, a pavilion with more restrooms, 2 playgrounds and a 62-site campground with electricity, water, grills, bathhouse, and a pool.

Just one word of caution, there is NO cell service at the park – at least my AT&T phone didn’t pick up service until we were back towards the highway.

Dana
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Monday, August 29, 2016

Finding Fall Fun Around Kentucky

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Upcoming Fall Events at Shaker Village

 photo shaker run_zpsvg3kyhpy.jpgThere are many fun activities that take place daily at Shaker Village but when it comes to fall, it's the best time to head out to this beautiful place in Kentucky.

The Healthy Community Fall Trail Festival is September 3rd and features runs and a field festival.  There will be cooking demonstrations, nature programs and fun for the kids as well.  Of course, runners can enjoy admission to Shaker Village free with the race registration. It's all free for kids so bring the kids with you to you on!

HarvestFest is September 10-11 and is everything you want to kick off fall. Hay rides, hay stacks for the kids to climb on plus a harvest markets and, of course, the apple orchard. With music and food to round out the weekend, this is a great destination for a fun family weekend.

Don't forget! While you are there, you can always enjoy the "Daily Adventures" which include:
  • Hiking
  • Checking out the bird blind
  • A Riverboat ride
  • Tours
  • Stories
  • Hayrides (seasonal)
  • Horse + carriage ride
  • Taking in the gorgeous scenery
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Friday, August 12, 2016

The Levee Kids Karnival

 photo levee carnival 16_zps3a2gugo9.jpgOn August 20th, Newport on the Levee is hosting a "Karnival" for everyone to enjoy.  This event runs from 11am-5pm and is free to attend.  

They will have entertainers, inflatables, carnival games and arts & crafts, workshops, corn hole, hourly shows and more.

Although they do not charge admission, tickets will be for sale for carnival games and to play on the inflatables. They will also have drinks for purchase.

The entertainment includes folks on stilts, jugglers and magicians.  As for the shows, they will have a juggling show, magic show, fire show and hula hoop workshop.

To see a schedule for the day and even more detail on the activities, click here
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Monday, August 8, 2016

Cinemark Community Day - FREE Movies

August 20, 2016 from 9AM - 1PM 

This event will feature family-friendly movies for FREE along with discounted concession offerings!
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It is a fundraiser for WE.org

More details:
  • FREE family movies at all Cinemark locations from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • Movie selection at each theatre may include the following family-friendly films: Kung Fu Panda 3, Home, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Madagascar 3, and Shrek.
  • Discounted concession items including: $2 small popcorn, $2 16 oz. soft drinks, and all packaged candy varieties for $2 (While supplies last)

Showtimes and movie selection will be available to view online at cinemark.com starting August 15th. Complimentary tickets for the select DreamWorks movies, at each theatre, will be available at the theatre box office only. Community Day showtime tickets will be available at each theatre’s box office starting at 8:30AM on August 20th.*
Find a Cinemark Theatre location near you: cinemark.com

*Free tickets to select DreamWorks movies will be available at the Cinemark box office starting at 8:30AM on August 20, 2016. No advance tickets available at box office or online. Check your theatres available showtimes at cinemark.com (Showtimes and movie sections may vary per location. Exact showtimes to be determined. Participating theatres only. Limited seating. Seating availability is first come, first serve, per showtime. No rainchecks).
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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Splash 'n' Dash 5K Walk/Run to benefit Kosair Children's Hospital

This is a fun annual event for families.  

August 6th - 9am

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Runners and walkers can choose to splash their way through a 5k obstacle course or a kid-friendly 1k course filled with fun and refreshing ways to cool off in splash zones.

After the race, enjoy family-friendly activities in the “Just for Kids” Zone:

• Water slides
• Water balloon toss
• Splash park
• Face painting
• Water obstacle course

Learn more and register at www.SplashNDash5k.org or by calling (502) 629-8060.

The Kosair Children's Hospital Splash 'n' Dash is presented by: Texas Roadhouse.

Proceeds benefit the life-saving care provided to children at Kosair Children’s Hospital, through the Children’s Hospital Foundation.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Review of Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area

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Our family had a wonderful first visit to the Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area, which is owned and operated by the KY Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources. It is right on KY-1638 off US-31, not too far off the interstate, and has so much to offer that it is well worth a drive to spend the day or even longer! 

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You pick up a map and pay at the main gate, just $3 each person over 12 years old unless you are using any of the special activities like horse trails, mountain bike trails, or shooting ranges, which has an additional charge. Annual permits are available. If you are heading to the range, you backtrack to its separate entrance, displaying your paid passes on your dash. The road to that is gravel and a little tricky if you aren’t used to country roads, but very pretty scenery. They offer a traditional archery range for broad heads and target tips, as well as a really fun 3D range where are you go into a walking path in the woods and stop at numbered posts for a total of 30 stops to try your aim at foam animals, like coyote, deer, turkey, and even bear and mountain lion. You shoot uphill on the left side of the trail and downhill on the right. We spent a good amount of time searching for lost arrows, so we plan to buy some light up nocks before we drive out again. The rifle range is close so you do hear it- you may want to bring earplugs for anyone with sensitive ears.  

 photo otter5_zpsmyjsbev1.jpgWe had the pleasure of meeting one of the staff members who was working on maintaining this big beautiful property.  His passion for it was contagious and he was so informative and friendly. He and others there, including staff and fellow patrons, were especially encouraging of our kiddo who is just learning to shoot archery. The nice staff member shared so much information with us that I hope I got it all correct to pass on to you!  They sometimes offer free archery instruction for kids on Saturday mornings. Call on Friday afternoon to ask and you get in free to the range during it. He talked with us about the great trout and other fishing there. They stock the creek with trout several times a year. There is a sandbar where the stream meets the river that’s good for catching catfish, and a carry down ramp to the Ohio River for canoes, kayaks, or small boats. Otter Creek Rec Area is the first in the state that is a hybrid between a park and wildlife area so people do hunt here according to seasons, but not on the campground or disc golf course. They have lots of plans to add things, including a pistol pit range and doing a 5-million-dollar creek restoration with a fill and spill area. The grounds currently have about 20 free geocaches and up to 40 for premium geocache members including earth caches featuring conservation messages. The geocaches are not sponsored by the park because some are off trail. They’d like to arrange a “Cache In Trash Out” and offer prizes for things like first to find, first to complete all of them, and the like. This sounds like a great addition to an already great mix of things to enjoy there! 

 photo otter4_zpsh4apidg8.jpgOtter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area offers 18 miles of hiking with a good variety of lengths and difficulty levels. You can swim at Blue Hole, which is an easy flat half mile walk through the woods from parking, or at the busier Garnettsville Picnic Area where we saw lots of families hanging out having a great time, grilling, playing games they brought with them like ping pong, corn hole, and cards, as well as some adults hanging out farther down the creek, many of which bought portable chairs to just sit in the water to cool off from the summer heat. The water here has a great little current on a couple of sections right by parking lot and several people enjoyed those in inflatable tubes, so plan to bring one to join the fun. Our kiddo had fun just sliding down with his body letting the current take him, so if you prefer to travel light there is still fun to be had! If you plan to swim in either place, you may want to use swim shirts for boys and full swimsuits girls because the rocks can scratch as they gleefully splash and play. I definitely suggest some sort of swim shoe or swim sock because you're walking across rocks, but the water felt great even in bare feet. 

They sell hunting and fishing licenses on site at the entry gate, which is a nice convenience. You truly get away from it all here since there is little to no cell service in many spots. We only saw portable bathrooms throughout. You will want to have plenty of water, sunscreen & bug spray, and do tick checks, like in any outdoor area. We brought most food with us because there are no facilities there and not much nearby. We stopped at Dodge’s Chicken down the road because my family hasn’t had that since moving here. It was a hopping place and smoking is allowed inside, but there are a couple of tables outside plus a cool chicken statue for a fun photo opp! 

 photo otter3_zpslowqovcn.jpgIf you want to make your visit longer, the campgrounds looked like a great option, We drove through to check it out and it looked nicely kept with plentiful real bathrooms and space. They have a few cabin rentals also. Nearby you can explore Tioga Falls, one of the best waterfalls we’ve seen in KY, & Bridges to the Past trails, as well as Saunders Springs, all of which we enjoyed on a previous outing. For even more to do in the area, visit Radcliffe & Ft. Knox Tourism.
 
If you get a chance to visit this place, be sure to visit their Facebook page and Twitter feed to see what extras might be happening, as well as to leave a review so you can help spread the word. Check out their site for more information and regulations. According to their website, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources receives no money from the state’s general fund, so they rely on support from Sportsmen & Sportswomen and donations via the Kentucky state income tax check off to the Nature and Wildlife Fund. I imagine it also helps when you pay the entry or usage fees at great sites like this, so have fantastic family fun while keeping our wild spaces open for adventure! 

Angela

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Owensboro Entertainment for Kids and Families

As guests of Visit Owensboro, we explored for a weekend and found that not only is Owensboro and affordable place to visit, it's packed with fun.

Here are some things our writers had to say:

Smother's Park

 photo IMG_1590_zpsx2ukk3xd.jpgSmothers Park is absolutely amazing. The playground is huge, good for all ages, it was super clean, felt very safe, and entertained my kids for HOURS. The splash pad was just flat and basic, but with different timing of the sprays of water which kept my kids entertained. The restrooms were clean and well stocked, which is hard with a splashpad involved! The cafe had a great selection of inexpensive treats, the water fountains were beautiful and fun to stick our feet in. There was a ton of riverside seating, and their Free Friday Festival was AMAZING! The only complaints I had for the waterfront area, was a lack of shaded seating during the day, and the multiple ways for little kids to "escape" the playground. It's so big, if you feel like you need to keep an eye on your kid, you'd better bring help. ~Caryn

Smothers Park was our favorite! That playground was huge! My girls loved all the bridges and trees including in the playground. I thought the water spray area was rather small compared to the rest of the playground, but it was still enough to get wet and cool down a bit. I was concerned with how easy it was to get out of the playground on the side by the road. I think some kind of fence and gates at the entrances may be a good idea. I thought it was very clean and well maintained. I also liked that they had a concession area! ~Kimberly

 photo IMG_1598_zps19bndt5z.jpgThe waterfront is incredible! We loved the swings and how clean everything was - including the bathrooms. Smothers Park was awesome as well! My 9, 8 and 5 year olds ALL loved it - there was something for every age. The more challenging obstacles made me nervous with my youngest one so I watched him more than my other two. We were also impressed with how reasonable the prices were at the concessions stand. My kids also loved the trolley through downtown and near the park and although we rode it a few times, it never lost its charm. And it's also FREE - huge bonus!  ~Dana

Smothers Park was by far my kid's favorite part of the beautiful riverfront. They quickly joined up in games of "Tag" and such with other children, and never ran out of new places to hide and explore. They, being 10 and 7, didn't care so much for the little splash pad, as it was a bit basic and more geared towards the little ones, but certainly had no problems making use of it to cool off from all the running!! ~Karen

We really enjoyed the playground. It was huge and had a lot of options for play. It is very large and I can imagine could be hard to keep track of kids at times, especially when it gets crowded. I loved the big trees that were a part of the play ground. It was also very clean (including the bathrooms) which makes this Mom happy. ~Kelly

Smothers park was amazing. Other parks seem small and boring compared to it! There was definitely something for a wide range of ages!  ~Lauren

Friday After Five

 photo IMG_1612_zpsck9qokne.jpgFriday After Five was a nice family event. I think it may get a little less kid friendly the later it gets, but we had a great time checking out all the old cars, getting Kona Ice (of course), playing cornhole and listening to the five different bands. It was also great people-watching! It's spread all along the riverfront, so it can get taxing - especially for little legs after a long day. ~Dana

 photo IMG_1644_zps4sa4omlb.jpg photo IMG_1627_zpseh6yh667.jpgFriday After Five was my husband's favorite portion of our weekend visit. He loved the ambiance, the bands, pop-up bars, and just the general feel of the public having a good time. I too enjoyed myself, and we are planning to go back again, just as a couple. Our kids did enjoy themselves, but were tired out a bit early and lost interest in "sitting and relaxing" to just enjoy the music and atmosphere. They did like the street fair (*magician act), food trucks, balloon artists and such, just were done with the whole scene a little early. ~Karen

Holiday Inn 

The Holiday Inn felt very new and clean, the staff were very helpful and kind, and the room had a Keurig coffee maker with K-cups, mini fridge, and microwave, plus extra toiletries if you needed. The indoor pool and hot tub were clean, and the hotel had a beautiful riverfront view from some of the rooms and the restaurant. ~Caryn

 photo IMG_1666_zpsxjacq9nt.jpgThe Holiday Inn provided a perfect spot for our family, and having the corner suite with a wall-to-wall view of the riverfront from our bedroom was beautiful, especially in the evening!! The staff was also very friendly and helpful!! **Full disclosure, we were confused as to wear to catch the Trolley, and I also had to ask for a toothbrush as I had packed the whole families' except for mom's! ~Karen

Any hotel is an adventure for my kids, but they especially loved the balconies in the suite! The indoor pool and hot tub were a nice addition and the outdoor seating area was lovely. Service was gracious and kind - I could tell that everyone I encountered wanted to be there.  ~Dana

The Museum of Science and History

 photo IMG_1671_zpsdbffo1yj.jpgThe Museum of Science and History (just $3 admission) has added some new features since our last trip there. Some of the areas will probably always be the same, but my kids still enjoyed it. I think the admission fee is definitely worth the enjoyment and time my kids can play there. The town of Owensboro itself is very cute. The buildings on the main streets look well kept, there are a ton of cute restaurants and shops, and I think it is only going to grow as more hotels are built and people realize what a gem Owensboro is to visit!  ~Caryn

The Museum of Science really caught my son's attention with the cave tour. He was fascinated with it, and also liked a lot of the other exhibits throughout. My daughter also enjoyed. Worth going once. ~Karen

The Museum was pretty neat. There were lots of different hands on activities to keep the kids of all ages engaged. Loved the little tunnel that went outside the window on the second floor! The cave was also really fun for the kids to crawl through! ~Kimberly

 photo IMG_1689_zpsbzkmjuzl.jpgWe also loved the museum of history and science. We spent most of our time exploring all the different science activities. Most kids probably didn't realize how much science they were doing and that they were learning while having fun!  ~Lauren

 photo IMG_1700_zpsajexb8v5.jpgWe all really enjoyed the Museum of Science and History. The visit makes for lots of teaching moments, but in a very fun and hands-on way. My five year old was OBSESSED with all the buttons, levers, drums, pipes, and anything else he could DO. The play area upstairs is better suited for smaller kiddos but there were still plenty of other things to keep my older kids interested.  ~Dana

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Reach Out for Kosair Kids Fundraising Event in Cave City

 photo reach out for kids cave city_zpszjlhuwuy.jpgReach Out for Kosair Kids® is a fundraising event which has raised over $131,000 for Kosair Charities since 2012. Join the Glasgow Shrine Club on August 5, 2017 at 9am at the Cave City Convention Center in Cave City, Kentucky. It's the 6th (and final) year for this event!

There is no admission cost and most kids activities are free or just cost a coin to play. 
Prizes are given out like bikes, gaming systems, basketball goals and more.

There will be a cake walk, karaoke contest, dunking booth and more that are sure to be fun. Mascots will be there for meet-n-greets as well. It will also include a tractor pull and antique car show. So much fun!

Tickets for the 50-cent meal (hot dog, Coca-Cola®, chips and dessert) goes on sale at 9:30 a.m. and continues whiles supplies last.

More information at https://kosair.org/event/reachoutforkosairkids/. And on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RO4KK/
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