So you are interested in Kentucky huh? Yeah, it’s a pretty cool place. I bet when you read the word Kentucky you immediately thought of chicken. No? Well, Kentucky does happen to be the place that KFC was originally started during the Great Depression. I bet you’re now thinking that there must be some awesome KFC museum there, where you can go and eat as much fried chicken as you want and bask in the “I need to unbutton my pants” glow. Sadly, this is not the case. It is the location of the headquarters but standing outside waiting for a handout won’t get you very far. So if you have a chicken craving better just head to the nearest KFC restaurant.
Now that we have discussed chicken, I thought I would share some other things that you may enjoy doing with the kids since you are in the area.
1. Louisville Zoo – I’m a big kid at heart (and my hubby is just a big kid) so we love taking the kids to zoos and exhibits where we can all have a bit of fun and get to see something new. Louisville Zoo is no exception. In all my zoo experience (I have probably been to about 7 worldwide – I know, impressive!) this would have to be a pretty good zoo. There are lots of fun exhibits like the snow leopard and the maned wolf but there is even a chance to see…wait for it…. A tarantula! Cos who wouldn’t want to see a nasty hairy, eight legged beast with large fangs? Sorry, if you happen to be a spider lover but I’m an Australian, spiders are too common here and I like my space to be spider free. Once I leapt out of a moving vehicle because a nasty large huntsman almost the size of my hand jumped onto my face! Sorry, we are totally getting off topic… that’s right, the zoo! Oh and if you go at Halloween they run a special kids trick or treating event which provides a nice safe environment for the kids to get on a sugar high! Bonus!
2. Kentucky Science Centre – this place would definitely have to be one of my favourites when getting around Louisville. The main appeal with this Science Centre is the fact that it is tailored to kids and as kids like to touch EVERYTHING, this place certainly doesn’t disappoint. A favourite here was near the front where you can get inside a giant bubble. Sadly you can’t stay there and see the world from your germ free environment, but it is fun for the few seconds before it pops. The other top thing to see if you asked my kids was the water play area. Had I known there was going to be a water play area, I would have packed a few days supplies and perhaps a sleeping bag. Saying that my kids love water is like saying that women love chocolate.
3. Kentucky Derby – This is another place that people think of when you say “Kentucky”. The Kentucky Derby Museum was rather interesting, even to me, even though I think I may have seen one horse race in my entire life. The museum takes you through the whole racing deal and what goes on and stuff. Yeah sorry I should know more but as a busy mum I forget some of what it was like as I was on “don’t run away” duty with the kids. There are some fun areas that the kids will enjoy though such as where you can climb onto a (fake) horse and ride it by watching screens and pretend you are in a horse race. I think I even won!
4. Holiday World – This Indiana tourist attraction (just over an hour from Louisville) was my children’s first taste of a theme park and they were not disappointed! There is a great variety of rides here all the way from the merry go round style rides for the littlies to the rollercoasters for the thrill seekers. The wooden roller coaster here was the biggest I have ever seen in my life, and it was fast! It was also extremely rough and I may have climbed off needing some sort of chiropractic manipulation to put my spine back into shape. However, if I had my time over I would do it again. The kids not only enjoyed the rides but got to experience some of the country life by running through a giant corn maze (and getting entirely lost) and also getting to play in a large corn pit (like a sand pit, only with dried corn kernels). The thing I thought was really cool was that drinks were free throughout the whole park, so you could grab a cup and help yourself to unlimited soft drinks (or soda, for you Americans) at the self service drink fountains throughout the park. I don’t usually drink much soft drink at all but even I had to make the most of this opportunity.
5. Kings Island - Another theme park (this time in Ohio, although its under 2 hours from Louisville), this one is the largest theme park in the midwest and includes an awesome water park. I happen to be quite a water baby (as do my kids) so anywhere you can have fun and get wet gets my vote! They have some of the best rollercoasters too and plenty to keep the kids (both big and little) entertained all day long.
6. Squire Boone Caverns – You know Daniel Boone? Well, Squire Boone was his, not as well known, brother. Anyways although not technically in Kentucky (it’s in Indiana), you can go to Squire Boone Caverns and enjoy some of the amazing underground beauty of some of the worlds most beautiful cave systems. There are walking tours here that take you through the caves and then you can have some fun checking out the homemade candles, soaps and even do some rock mining with the kids. As my children are fascinated by rocks we thought the rock mining would be a solid winner. It’s simple in that you buy a bag of rocks in a sand mix and then in the water station you use the large sieves and find the rocks. My little treasure hunters didn’t realise it was that easy and we ended up having to console our 4 year old who sobbed her little heart out because all the kids in front of her were stealing all her treasures. The crisis was averted by a sweet lady employee who gave my daughters some sparkly rocks to cheer them up while they waited.
7. Huber Farms – Also in Indiana (but only a half hour drive from Louisville) Huber Farms and Restaurant is a nice outing for the whole family. There is plenty to do on an ordinary day such as see the winery, visit the farm market and gift shop or grab a tasty bite at the restaurant. But I really recommend waiting for a special event that they run during certain times of the year. We showed up around halloween and the kids were thrilled to be able to have tractor rides, go on jumping castles, ride ponies and basically run wild and free for a nice portion of the day. There may even be some paintball shooting where you can show off your amazing gun skills (great for keeping people in line lol).
8. Fort Knox - if you are looking for an interesting day out, don't go past Fort Knox. The first I had ever heard about Fort Knox was from my mother who used to tease my dad that our house was locked up like Fort Knox. That teasing had a whole new meaning when I got the see the real thing! Fort Know is a United States Army post and the site of the Bullion Depository which is used to house a large portion of the gold reserves for the United States. I'm not completely sure how much is open to the public as we got in with a family member who was military but it is definitely worth a look if you get the chance.
So that brings me to the end of my top picks if you are in or around Louisville. I would love to hear your thoughts too about what you loved and hated when you were there so please leave a comment or send me an email.