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Friday, July 27, 2018

Uniquely Kentucky: Great American Dollhouse Museum

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Indoor Play and Family Fun at The Great American Dollhouse Museum 

Where: Centrally located in Danville, The Great American Dollhouse Museum is about 50 minutes from Lexington and an hour and a half from Louisville. 

Essential Information: 344 Swope Dr. Danville, Ky 40422 | 859.236.1883 | www.thedollhousemuseum.com | Facebook

When: The Museum is open from 11am to 5pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays and closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Where to Start: Purchase your admission, $7.50 for adults, $6.60 for seniors, $5.00 for children (4-12) and children under 4 are free!

Why: This is a destination spot for anyone who loves vintage dollhouses and United States history. This museum takes museum-goers on a journey through a timeline of U.S. history, through the periods of Native Americans, Colonial, Old West, Southwest, Victorian eras and ending all the way through the 20th century. As you walk through the museum, you are more interconnected with the dollhouses and the rooms than you might expect.

There is also a Miniatures Store located at the museum which houses all of your needs for fitting your dollhouse to its best. If you’re looking for a more unique place to visit with your family, especially if you have doll lovers with you, head to this historic place!




Nicole
 Photo courtesy of The Great American Dollhouse Museum, Facebook
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Thursday, July 26, 2018

One Tank Trip: Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site

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Fantastic Kentucky Family Fun On One Fill-up: Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site

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Where: Centrally located, Perryville is approximately an hour and 20 minutes from both Louisville and Lexington in Perry County.

Essential Information: 1825 Battlefield Rd. Perryville, KY, 40468 | 859.332.8631 | www.perryvillebattlefield.org | Facebook | Twitter


When: The park is open from daylight to sunset, seven days a week.  The Museum and Gift shop are open 9am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday and 11am to 5pm, Sunday | Beginning April 1 to October 31 | Call for availablity in the offseason.


Creature Comforts: Restrooms, a pavilion, and picnic tables are all available onsite. Everything is very clean and very well maintained. Snacks are available for purchase in the Museum and Gift Shop.


Why: Kentucky has been a battleground for the soul of our country on more than one occasion. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln feared losing Kentucky to the Confederacy would mean losing the war. As the largest Civil War battle in Kentucky, the Battle of Perryville marked the climax of an attempt to add Kentucky to the Confederacy.  The battle, which took place on October 8, 1862, left the town of Perryville in shambles and led to 1,431 casualties partly as the result of 90 cannons that were positioned across the field of battle.


You will be amazed at the absolute unspoiled beauty of the grounds.  During the summer the fields are colorfully speckled with a wide variety of native wildflowers including the monarch loving milkweed. The trails are very well defined, and there are interpretive markers strategically placed through the fields explaining each part of the battle and pointing out significant areas.  Main trails are well marked by blue bullets on posts throughout the grounds.

Where to Start: First-time visiting? Head straight to the museum and gift shop to be counted as a visitor, get oriented and plan your visit. Admission to the museum is very reasonable.  Adults $4, children 7-12 $3.50, and admission is free for children under age 6. There are special rates for groups, military, and seniors. Park admission is FREE.
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17 - Loomis Heights and 13 - Lumsden's Battery 

The staff will help you plan your experience. There is an introductory film, an exhibit, interactive demonstrations and artifacts to investigate. Ask at the front desk about scheduled demonstrations.  It is not uncommon to get a chance to fire a replica Civil War musket.


 photo File Jul 22 8 44 14 AM_zpswtqxcord.jpeg There are also more than 1,000 acres of historic countryside to explore.  We recommend heading to the epicenter of the 1862 battle at Loomis Heights, where the Union Army tried repeatedly to hold their line in the face of Confederate soldiers advancing from the northeast. The Jones Trail starting at Loomis Heights follows the main gravel road and loops across to the Confederate cannons at Lumsden's Battery and ends back at Map Marker 17. This trail gives a good sense of the close proximity between the different armies as well as the geographical optical illusions that plagued the battle.  There is definitely no replacing seeing something with your own eyes to help history come alive.

 photo File Jul 22 8 43 19 AM_zpsxwcyozvi.jpeg Disclaimer: Part of the museum admission includes a film about the tumultuous events of the October 1862 battle. The film does contain graphic elements that may not be suitable for younger children.  The film does, however, provide an essential overview of the history of the battle and is highly recommended. We ended up dividing and conquering on the video, taking the younger kids through the gallery while half the adults watched.


Before You Go: Cell service is very limited once you are onsite, so plan ahead.  We recommend downloading their Perryville Battlefield App before you go: Apple App or Android App. While the exhibit space is invaluable to the visitor, the app interprets the battle as you walk a suggested tour of the grounds. If you are going in the summer be aware that there will be ticks if you hike off the gravel road. We may have collected over 15 stowaways while on a 30-minute hike.

A hard copy Kentucky map might also be helpful to navigate your way in and out of the site.  We struggled to maintain our access to google maps once outside of Danville.  

Suggested Reading | A little context to get your kids asking questions
Mary Pope Osborne. Magic Tree House #21: Civil War on Sunday.

Annual Events

October 6-7, 2018 | 156th Anniversary of the Battle of Perryville Reenactment
Visit the Friends of Perryville Battlefield for more information.
Read a review from LexFun4Kids of the 2016 Reenactment.

Trending Topics: #HistoryRelevance #KyStateParks #TakeAHike #monarchwatch


After Your Visit: Interested in helping to preserve the site?  Join the Friends of Perryville Battlefield here

We just can’t say enough about how strikingly beautiful and moving the landscape is. A one tank trip to this battlefield is time well spent!




Nicole

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Monday, July 23, 2018

Let's Go Back To School

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Back to School Events, Supplies, and Fun

It is that time again to get ready for school.  Below is a list of events around the state sponsored by a wide variety of businesses and nonprofits who want Kentucky Families to get the 2018 school year started off right. 

Eastern Kentucky

July 25, 6-8pm | Back to School Bash & Backpack Giveaway | First Christian Church | 206 Chestnut St. Berea 40403
Admission: Free
Highlights: Games, food, music, and backpack giveaway begins at 6pm until supplies last

July 27, 2-5pm | Back to School Bash | Kentucky One Pediatrics | 378 Thompson Poynter Road London 40741
Admission: FREE
Highlights: Inflatables, Games, Food, and Free Back to School Supplies

July 28, 11-4pm | Back to School Bash at Hazard Family Medical Clinic | 625 Memorial Dr. Hazard 41701 | 606.435.0001
Admission: FREE
Highlights: Food, school supplies and free school and sports physicals and more

Central Kentucky

July 28, 10-2pm | Beyond Blessed Back to School Bash | 880 Devils Hollow Rd. Frankfort 40601
Admission: FREE but on first come first serve basis
Highlights: Free clothing and school supplies while supplies last. Clothing limited to 3 outfits per child.

July 28, 6-9pm | Back to School Bash!! | Bagdad Fire Protection District | 4741 Bagdad Rd. Bagdad 40003
Admission: FREE
Highlights: Dunk a Firefighter, bounce on bounce houses and pick up FREE school supplies


August 8, 6-8pm | 2018 Back to School Bash | Man of War Church | 1501 Trent Blvd Lexington 40515
Admission: FREE to Anyone who registers HERE
Highlights: There will be bounce houses, face paint, fun games, and free food. 500 backpacks (with supplies) will be given away. The limit is 3 per family and the child must register and be present.


August 11, 3-8pm | Back to school Bash | The Summit at Fritz Farm | 120 Summit at Fritz Farm Lexington, 50517
Admission: FREE to anyone
Highlights: Sales racks on sidewalks, in-store promotions, kids games on The Green and a GIANT giveaway of three swag bags.


August 25, 6-9pm | Back to School "Cruise-In" | Morning Pointe of Danville | 1375 Perryville Rd. Danville 40422
Admission: School supply donation
Highlights: Live music entertainment, cruisers and food trucks


Western Kentucky

July 28, 11-3pm | Back to School - Kindness Cuts for Kids | 5101 Hinkleville Rd. Paducah 42001 | JCPenny Salon
Highlights: Kindness cuts for kids, 20% off parents, backpack giveaway and goody bags for kids

August 4-5, 10-5pm | Back to School Market Days | Preservation Station Market and Event Center | 9661 Hwy 56 Owensboro 42301
Highlights: An incredible shopping experience that will include new vendors of local makers selling unique products just in time for back to school.

Is your child starting Kindergarten this Fall?  Consider a trip to Louisville to get ready.  Read this article from LouisvilleFamilyFun.net.

Nicole 
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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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Friday, July 20, 2018

Uniquely Kentucky: SuperHero Creamery and T-Shirt Factory

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Plan a back to school shopping trip to Ashland for custom T-Shirts, ice cream, and family fun.

It is that time again to start thinking about making sure our kids are ready to head back to school.  Parents are thinking about immunization records, school supplies, and somewhere in the backs of our brains, how we will ever get our kids back on their school schedule. There is a lot for us to think about, but it will all get done.  And yes, despite all things, our kids will make it to the first day of school. 

 photo File Jul 20 7 44 26 AM_zps9vftmibe.jpegHere in Jessamine County, we are already under the one month mark.  There are definite signs of anticipation coming from our eldest daughter who is looking forward to her first year not being the new kid in school. Her mind is completely focused on getting back to her friends or her squad.  She would be mad I told you that.  Everything I say these days sounds "cringy" to her.  Oh yes, we have entered the years where I can embarrass her with nearly anything I say.

The main concern on my mind has been clothes shopping.  It is my absolute least favorite thing to do.  My ideal experience is heading to Once Upon a Child and virtually finding everything our three kids will need in two hours.  Those days are fading away as our 12-year-old is outgrowing that store and we are entering the teen years.

  
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Finding the right fandom gear and lobbying for trips to Hot Topic are daily topics of conversation in our house. Being able to have a weeks worth of Marvel gear is paramount (at least to my daughter).  There are options of course.  You could order gear from Amazon, brave Hot Topic or hope for the best at Walmart. What is this mother to do? Find ways to make school shopping fun.  That is why, we stopped at the Super Hero Creamery and T-Shirt Factory last weekend on our way east on I64 to visit friends in Augusta County, Virginia.

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The Super Hero Creamery and T-Shirt Factory is about 15 minutes North off of I64 in downtown Ashland.  Their concept is definitely Unique to Kentucky as the business proprietor has only two locations in the area.  Where else can you order Superhero themed ice cream, shop for fandom gear and order an original unlimited color T-Shirt for just under $20. In the time it took us to order and eat Ice Cream our daughter had a brand new Bucky T-Shirt and a smile that said it all.  

 photo File Jul 20 7 02 55 AM_zpsylnfn53k.jpegThis business has two locations in Ashland, Kentucky - 215 6th Street and 415 Diederich Blvd. The staff is incredibly friendly and accommodating. For more information read their reviews on Facebook or call them at 530-507-8737.  T-shirts are fully customizable and there are plenty of graphics to choose from. 

Nicole




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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Let's Go Camping HomeGrown HideAways

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Looking for a few days away from it all but close to home? Love nature but don’t want to deal with packing a car full of camping gear for just a day or two getaway. Try out HomeGrown HideAways just outside of Berea, Kentucky.

 photo holler_zpsy53pztil.jpgHomeGrown HideAways is located in a beautiful valley (holler) with a small creek running through a big wide open field surrounded by lush forests and knobs. We spent an overnight here in the foothills of the Appalachian forest on our way back from the Red River Gorge.

HomeGrown HideAways is a working farm and member of the National Forest Stewardship program and they have just begun offering "glamping" on airbnb in order to attract a wider audience. They offer completely kitted out options such as a treehouse and a yurt, as well as some more rustic options in a bell tent or our choice a 24 ft tipi. You may also pitch your own tent or bring an RV- they have hookups.

The Tipi was amazing- for the kids and us grownups- the idea of sleeping in a tipi was pretty exciting. The construction of the tipi itself is fascinating and the fact that you can safely build a fire inside makes us want to return in the fall to experience that on a cooler night. We brought a couple of tarps for the ground and airbeds and slept very comfortably. We kept the smoke flaps open overnight hoping to see a starry sky- unfortunately clouds had rolled in- but this gives us yet another reason to return.


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Tipi where we stayed overnight.

The kids had a blast on the grounds of HomeGrown HideAways, playing in Floyd Branch, campfires, visiting the chickens, and making friends with the dogs who call this beautiful place home. We recommend you make a B-line to the creek that runs through the valley if it gets hot.  Hang a hammock in the trees or set your favorite folding camp chair directly in the creek where the temperature is usually much cooler.

We’ve camped a lot and came completely over prepared for our weekend. Staying in any of the on-site lodgings, you have access to a full kitchen with fridge, oven, coffee maker, sink with hot and cold water and more. We didn’t need to bring out our gas camping stove, we didn’t need our cooler full of ice, or a table, or plates, or cutlery, no need for pots or pans! The fridge had fresh eggs from the farm. They also have a full and very clean bathhouse with flushable toilets and hot showers, a fire pit, cornhole boards, ultimate frisbee goals, covered picnic tables, a large playing field with swings. The farm also includes a beautiful hiking trail through the woodlands on the property. You can rent canoes for an afternoon on the nearby reservoir. Jessa and Nathan have everything you could need- all you need are your sleeping bags, pillows, and food to cook.
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Relax in Floyd Branch Creek.

Jessa and Nathan have built a new secluded Treehouse with huge windows that will give you amazing views of the landscape- definitely on our bucket list. We definitely recommend you check this place out with your kids, extended family, a great location for a family reunion, or an adult getaway- you even have the option of having your food cooked for you.

Before you go you should know that there is no cell service at HomeGrown HideAways and no pets are permitted. HomeGrown HideAways is located at 500 Branch Road in the beautiful Red Lick Valley, approximately 12 miles east of Berea. For additional information visit www.homegrownhideaways.org.

Jennifer & Nicole
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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Spartan Kids Race at Fort Knox

This is a sponsored post

RACE AGAINST SOMEONE YOUR OWN SIZE: Spartan Kids Race at Fort Knox

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On July 14th The Spartan Race USAA Honor Series will push kids racers beyond their comfort zones, all while teaching them valuable lessons and empowering them to overcome personal life obstacles.  The Spartan Kid’s race caters to athletes searching for a competitive sport, to children seeking a healthy lifestyle.

Race Distances: 4 Options for our young athletes.

Obstacle counts and difficulty increase with each distance.
Ages 4 – 6: .5 mile
Ages 7-9: 1 mile
Ages 10-14: Open 2+ miles
Ages 10-13: Competitive 2+ miles

Fees start at $25
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Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival

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Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival

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ONE WEEKEND LEFT

Where: 955 Elm St. (Hwy 22) Eminence

When: 10am to 7pm | Seven Weekends ending July 14th and 15th | June and July


How much does it Cost: BEST VALUE - Buy tickets online and save $3 to $6 per ticket. 

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Cheer on your favorite knight.

What Makes it Unique: Where can you go and see longhaired surly men knocking each other out playfully on horseback?  Most of us have played chess, but have you played as an actual lifesize pawn directed by cheeky squires?  Families can be transported to another realm of play and discovery when they attend the Highland Renaissance Festival.

Creature Comforts: This event has been thoughtfully laid out to meet a variety of needs. When you get hot, head to the covered bridge to cool off under a spray of mist.  Need a place to sit down to breastfeed or let your kids decompress?  Head to the Fairy Forest.  Just be aware there is no outside food or drink so pre-entrance tailgating is a good idea.


Words of Advice: Cosplay is strongly encouraged but wear comfortable shoes and plenty of sunscreen.  

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Test your accuracy by throwing hatchets, knives and stars.
Why:  How many times a day do your children ask you to play with them?  How often do you try to make time to be playful but end up being distracted by the literal laundry list of things to do.  This is a perfect opportunity to intentionally make a day to play and live in the world of imagination with your children.

Disclaimer: This event is very family friendly but is an adult-centric event.  Be mindful that there may be adults smoking cigarettes and responsible social drinking.  There are also activities that may need a higher level of safety monitoring.  

How to Prepare: Each weekend has a theme for cosplay.  The last weekend, for example, is the Celtic Weekend.  You can be sure you will see a lot of Meridas from Brave.  Consider getting in the right frame of mind and plan to dress up as your favorite Irish or Scottish character. 




Nicole

What do you think of when someone says the word Kentucky? I think it would be fair to say that for many Kentuckians basketball comes to mind. It would be a lot easier for me if I could say the same. I am a transplant and I was raised as a farmer's daughter in a family of women. I didn't follow many sports teams growing up. Instead, what I tend to associate with Kentucky would be the landscape, people, and traditions. Now that we have settled permanently in Kentucky, I hope to set down roots and give my children the full Kentucky experience. This series spotlights some of the unique, or at least, unexpected experiences here in the Bluegrass state and how your family can get the most out of them.

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Let's Go Get Ice Cream Kentucky

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Looking to beat the heat?  Take a road trip and find your "new" favorite uniquely Kentucky ice cream destination.


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We tend to celebrate birthdays with ice cream instead of cake.
Eastern Kentucky

Super Hero Creamery & T-shirt Factory | 216 15th St. Ashland | 530.507.8737
Comics and ice cream in one place!  We haven't been yet, but you can bet we are planning to go soon.  I just have a feeling we will be leaving with new fandom gear.

The Twin | 63 River Dr. Irvine | 606-723-5623

This little ice cream stop is a bit out of the way but it is a must stop for our family each summer as we make our way to and from summer camp at Aldersgate.  

Dorsie's Dairy Bar | 667 Bypass Rd. Pikeville | 606.432.2270
Footlong hotdogs and peanut butter milkshakes, oh my! This business transports me to my childhood.

Mad Scoops | 330 Eastern Bypass, Suite 3 Richmond | 859.623.2500
Cookie Monster Ice Cream?  Red Velvet? This Kentucky Proud business specializes in custom and seasonally unique flavors.

Central Kentucky

Bertie's Ice Cream | 310 S. Main St. Brownsville | 270.597.3586 
A great place to stop for a break when cruising through the area.  Considered a landmark by many Brownsville natives.

Burgin Dairy Barn | 500 E. Main St. Burgin | 859.748.2276
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Moove on over to the Burgin Dairy Barn.
Heading to Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill?  Perhaps you are going boating on Herrington Lake?  You will not be disappointed if you make a detour here. Our favorite Burgin Dairy Barn treat is their salted caramel milkshakes, but honestly, you can't go wrong with anything.

Kentucky Fudge Company | 225 S. Main St. Harrodsburg | 859.733.0088
Looking for the atmosphere of an old school drug store and soda shop?  This spot is a perfect destination to go back in time to eat a hamburger and enjoy a root beer float.

A Kentucky Family Fun Favorite - Recommended by our readers! 
The Sweet Shoppe | 100 South Lincoln Blvd. Hodgenville | 270.358.0424
You definitely go there for the ice cream but you leave with fudge. This family-owned business is a definite stopover for anyone traveling through the area. We highly recommend their banana splits but their most popular ice cream flavors are butter pecan and superman.

Sav's Chill | 289 S. Limestone Lexington | 859.255.2445

Are you looking for traditional vanilla and chocolate or hoping to surprise your taste buds with something different?  Make a trip to Sav's and try their spicy banana ice cream.   

Crank and Boom | Several locations in Lexington | Contact them here.

A splurge that must be done.  Try their coconut ice cream to start at the beginning of their story but we recommend getting a sampler flight of 4 ice creams to share as a family.  Our family favorites are blackberry & buttermilk, blueberry lime cheesecake, banana chocolate and fresh strawberry.

The Arctic Scoop | 841 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy Louisville | 502.409.6602
Want to have creative control over your ice cream flavor?  Looking for an experience that will entertain your kiddos?  Head to Hurstbourne Parkway in Louisville. Read our review!

Comfy Cow | Several locations in Louisville

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Comfy Cow has something for everyone.
There are so many reasons to love Comfy Cow. There is literally something for everyone.  Have a gluten intolerance? No problem.  Cutting down on carbs? They got ya!  Looking to celebrate someone's birthday with a highly memorable treat.  You won't be disappointed.  

Ehrler's | 1330 Belmar Dr. Louisville | 502.749.2236

Folks, this ice cream shop started as a dairy 150+ years ago. That is amazing! Visit their physical shop or look out for their ice cream truck at an event near you.

Dairy Kastle  | 575 Eastern Parkway Louisville | 502.634.8990

Not from Louisville?  Looking to get a taste of life as a Louisvillian? Don't miss a lazy summer evening trying to find a place to park at this busy dessert hub.  

Sweet Tooth | 125 W. 11th St. Newport | 859.581.6763
A traditional Ice Cream Parlor still going strong.  
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Eckert's-Boyd Orchard

Eckert's-Boyd Orchard | 1396 Pinckard Pike Versailles | 800.745.0513
Looking for a place where kids can play while they eat ice cream?  Eckert's KIDS CORRAL is open all summer long for free!

Looking for other suggestions in Louisville?  Head on over to Louisvillefamilyfun.net

Other Central Kentucky locations? Visit OldhamFamlyFun.net

Western Kentucky

Big Dipper | 2820 W. Parrish Ave. Owensboro | 270.684.4806
This spot holds a lot of memories for many residents of Owensboro.  The shakes and malts are highly recommended. 

Lic's Deli and Ice Cream | Several locations in Owensboro 

Lic's or (Loyd's Ice Cream Shop) has been a Owensboro destination since 1950 and ice cream is at the center of their business.  

Ritzy's | 4925 Frederican St. Owensboro | 270.691.9195 

Try their homemade butter pecan cashew ice cream is made right in the store.
  
Chaney's Dairy Barn  | 9191 Nashville Rd. Bowling Green | 270.843.5567
Don't miss their Ice Cream & a Moovie nights and other events.

Kentucky "Ice Cream" Events

Riverside Ice Cream Social | 7410 Moorman Rd. Louisville | 502.935.6809
 photo 96d636474b_zpsvyngzcvk.jpgWatch an1860s style baseball game and magic shows.  Event ice cream provided by Ehrler's ice cream.

Kentucky State Fair | August 16-26
Make a point to try Newton's Homemade Ice Cream.  It is made with a John Deere hit-and-miss engine. Try any of the following flavors: vanilla, chocolate, banana, strawberry, peach, and pineapple.

Nicole











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