banner

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Five Reasons to Visit Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

 photo 5 Reasons to Visit Shaker Village copy_zps7jtxyngy.png

1. Get Away and Unplug
 photo IMG_0112_zps70xyzx7n.jpg
Are you finding it difficult to get your kids to unhand their devices even while out of the house? Do your children want to know what the Wi-Fi password is even before you sit down to dinner? A visit to Shaker Village of Pleasant Hil is an experience that offers a break from screen time.  With 3,000 acres to explore and easy access to family-friendly amenities and activities, kids can simply be kids.

2. Family Fun at a Relaxed Pace

Whether you prefer a set agenda or an a la carte menu of activities, Shaker Village is a place where a family can unwind and take a break from the fast pace of daily life. The nature of the site provides a relaxed atmosphere where families can picnic in picturesque settings overlooking native prairies and in a short distance of the Kentucky River. Families can also plan to attend guide led activities and tours held all day and into the evenings on Fridays and Saturdays.


 photo Horses_zpslgndpvcj.jpg3. Animals, Animals, Animals
With a mission that includes land stewardship, Shaker Village is a destination that offers ample opportunities to spy on animals at the farm and within their native habitats.  A visit to Shaker Village is likely to spark your child’s interest in monarch butterflies, pileated woodpeckers, runner ducks and more. With a hands-on approach, children will have the opportunity to assume jobs on the farm (with the guidance of tour guides of course).  Don’t be surprised if they end up putting ducks to bed or collecting eggs from the chicken coop.

4. Experimentation for Your Picky Eater
Explore the farm and sample the flavors of the season.  A 200-year-old kitchen garden has been transformed into a 2.5-acre sustainable farm just a few steps away from the restaurant. Farm guides are inspiring and give children an opportunity to discover where food comes from. Year-round, families can taste veggies directly from the garden and the greenhouse or in creative dishes at the Trustees Table, an on-site full-service restaurant.  Looking for a more convenient bite? Healthy picnic snacks can be purchased at the Post Office Gift Shop from April to the end of October including sandwiches, salads, drinks and homemade desserts.

 photo 2017-06-19 17.13.21-1_zpsffkw24ie.jpg5. Inspire Your Family to Live Simply
It is unlikely that you will not take something away from a visit to Pleasant Hill. The people who developed the village were on a mission to create heaven on earth.  Their vision included not wasting anything, eliminating chaos and living simply.  What family doesn’t aspire to these ideals? Each season offers a different hands-on activity like making brooms, preserving strawberries or hand-pressing apple cider. 

More Bonus Reasons to Visit Shaker Village…
Whether you go to enjoy their weekend concerts on the lawn, celebrate someone’s birthday, take to the trails or ride the Dixie Belle riverboat, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill inspires families to relax and be present.  There are no worries about crossing busy roads, getting lost in crowds or finding a bathroom.  Just park your car and set off on foot to enjoy time well spent just being together.

Shaker Village is located seven miles northeast of Harrodsburg, a town voted by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the top 20 small towns to visit in American in 2014.

Nicole



Read More »

Friday, May 25, 2018

Let's Go Birding Kentucky

 photo Cave Run Lake KFF copy_zps0f9gq80m.png

Why Go Birding?

Migratory birds are a sign of spring and provide clues to the health of our environment. The practice of bird watching also forces us to slow down and be present with our kiddos. Explore a local trail and see how many birds you can identify together.  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.


 photo IMG_2930_zps38fz6bs1.jpg
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

May 26 | Red River Gorge | Red River Gorge Bird Walk | 7:30-3pm

Any time | Daniel Boone National Forest | Flat Woods Trail

Central Kentucky

June 2 | Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest | Birding at Bernheim: Exploring Habitats | 8am

June 10 | Falls of the Ohio State Park (Almost Kentucky) | Family Nature Club - Birding | 2-3pm

June 16 | Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park | Camp Nelson Bird Walk | 7:30 – 12:30pm

Anytime | Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill | Heritage Trail

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

Western Kentucky

June 9, July 14, August 11 | KY Dam Village State Resort Park | Sunset Birding Trip to KY Dam | 6:30pm

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.
Read More »

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

U-Pick Farms in Kentucky

 photo U-Pick Farms copy_zpszluivo6i.png



 photo 2016-02-14 13.21.30_zpsna65obdc.jpg photo 2015-05-31 17.06.44-2_zpsjcxr4dlb.jpg
There are so many reasons to look forward to spring but for our family, it is loading up and heading to a U-Pick Farm to stock up on Strawberries!  There is no competing with the sweetness and flavor of freshly picked strawberries (and blueberries). 
Get them while they are still available!

Last year even in the middle of a major family move from Indy to Kentucky, we still took time to pick 3 flats of strawberries to store in the freezer for Vitamin C packed smoothies. It is a family tradition that marks the beginning of our summer for our family.  I know our Kentucky Farmers would love it if you made it a part of your family traditions too.

Eastern Kentucky

Marcum Farms | Waco | 859.369.7300 | Strawberries | Opened May 17, Call ahead for U-Pick

Northern Kentucky


Red Barn Farms | Dry Ridge | 859.391.4433 | Strawberries | Open late May, Call ahead for U-Pick 

Central Kentucky

Reed Valley Orchard | Paris | 859.987.6480 | Blueberries | Opens June 11, 2018
Berry Trail & Blueberry Pancake Saturdays – June 16, 23, & 30

The Farm at Landworks | Paris | 859.987.1266 | Strawberries | Open through the first week in June

Eckert's/Boyd Orchards | Versailles | 800.745.0513 | Strawberries and Blueberries  | Open Now | PLAYGROUND FREE ALL SUMMER

Evans Orchard | Georgetown | 502.863.2255 | Strawberries, Blueberries and More | Open Now

Gallrein Farm | Shelbyville | 502.633.4849 | Strawberries | Open Now

Glover Farms | Pleasureville | 502.321.5689 | Strawberries | Opening last weekend in May

Bluegrass Blueberries | Oakland | 270.432.5836 | Strawberries and Blueberries | Call ahead for U-Pick

Western Kentucky

The Berry Farm | Fulton | 270.970.1000 | Strawberries | Call ahead for U-Pick

VanMeter Family Farm  | Clarkson | 270.963.2320 | Strawberries | Saturdays – Call ahead for U-Pick

Toodlebug Farm | Woodburn | 270.320.5104 | Strawberries | Open starting Tuesday, May 22

Nicole
Read More »

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Family Night Out - Barren River 2018 Summer Concert Series

 photo Barren River Concert Series_zpsuxtfyvdl.png

Every family needs a night out, but where can a family go for either the evening or overnight where the kids will be entertained and the adults can finally sit down to relax after a hard work week?  Mark Barren River State Resort Park on your map and celebrate with a weekend getaway at a concert on any of the following nights on the Lodge patio.  Shows run from 6:00-8:00pm, unless otherwise noted.


 photo IMG_3795_zpsn1wrsis3.jpg2018 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

May 19 - Lightly Blended

June 23 - To Be Announced

July 28 - Harmonica Neil

August 18 - The Hiding

September 15 - To Be Announced

October 6 - To Be Announced

These concerts are family friendly.  Drinks and dinner are available for purchase at the bar and restaurant. Visit their website for more information about their concert series.

What to know more before you go?  Read Stephanie's review from 2017.

Nicole
Read More »

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Coupon Code for Day Out with Thomas at Kentucky Railway Museum

 photo 3348170082_2815b1a331_b_zpst9oo5bjj.jpg


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

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

Kids under the age of 2 - free tickets!

Event dates: June 2-3 and June 9-10

Click here for tickets or call 866-468-7630




Read More »

Monday, May 14, 2018

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


Be Aware-Show You Care
 photo FAAWBanner2018_zpsgz7xwang.jpg

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

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

L

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

O

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

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

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

 photo friendsinclusion_zpsw9lsny2z.jpg

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

~ Tami Pyles

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

Saturday, May 12, 2018

3 Timely Reasons to Visit a Kentucky Public Library


 photo 3 Reasons to Visit Your Local Library-2 copy_zpspdwulwfk.png






















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


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


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

 photo 2018-05-05 15.56.28 copy_zpsmdzevntz.jpg



2. Give Your Child an Opportunity to Practice Responsibility

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


 photo 2018-05-05 16.24.00 copy_zpsk7phqd9i.jpg





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

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


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

Nicole


Read More »