Louisville Happenings

2013 Louisville Family Halloween Events

Halloween is not just a holiday, but a complete holiday season beginning on October first. The leaves begin to change and the weather begins to cool, setting the scene for a spooky Halloween. Throughout the month of October, the Louisville area is filled with a variety of local Halloween events to thrill and excite the entire family. While residents already know about the World’s Largest Halloween Party at the Louisville Zoo during October, there are many other family focused events during the Halloween season! Be sure to grab your calendar to mark the dates for your favorite Halloween events!

Corn Mazes

Corn mazes are a basic staple of the Halloween season. Most are suitable for the whole family, with some labeled as ‘haunted,’ they may be more suitable for the older kids.

FFA Field of Terror is a 6.5-acre corn maze located behind Thomas Nelson High School in Bardstown, Ky featuring scary haunted scenes. Hayrides are available to guests both before and after the corn journey. This maze is an annual fundraiser put on by FFA Thomas Nelson chapters and Nelson County. The price is only $5 per person, with discounts available for groups of ten or more. This attraction received 10 out of 10 pumpkinheads at www.louisvillehalloween.com. Phone: 502-349-7010 or 502-349-4650.

Deere Farms Corn Maze is an ideal maze for the whole family that runs from September 21st – November 3rd. Labeled as ‘not haunted,’ this maze leaves you to find your own way out without the added thrills of ghostly scares. Located in Lanesville, Indiana, this established attraction received 7 out of 10 pumpkinheads. Newly added events include pig races and The Great Pumpkin Run. MazePlay games are a great highlight for children and adults of all ages. Admission price is $5 for children 3-12 and $8 for ages 12 and up. Parking is free. Phone: 812-952-1629.

Halloween LouisvilleThe Cornucopia Farm Corn Maze, located in Scottsburg, Indiana, from September 14th through November 2nd, is perhaps the most family friendly Halloween attraction in Kentuckiana. Offering more than just a corn maze, there is a super straw house, a giant slide, pumpkin picking, face painting, horse rides, Big Trike Track, and a petting zoo are just some of the attractions to those with a general paid admission. Children under 3 are free, children 3-12 and seniors over 65 are $6, and all others are $8 each. The attraction is family-focused and is especially great for families with children. Phone: 812-752-6694 Email: info@cornucopiafarm.com.

Haunted Family Events

Pirates of PRP, a ‘yard haunt,’ this Pleasure Ridge Park attraction is inspired by the Walt Disney World ride Pirates of the Caribbean. Handmade props are beautifully designed, and include mermaids, a pirates’ bar, and the ships crown jewel. This FREE attraction is fun for all ages. It is operated throughout the entire month of October. 9007 Seaforth Drive, Louisville. Received 8.3 pumpkinheads. For more info, visit www.facebook.com/PiratesofPRP.

Jack-o-lantern Spectacular makes its debut this year! Held in Iroquois Park October 10 through November 2, this attraction boasts over 5000 carved pumpkins lining a quarter mile trail from dusk until midnight. The ‘art show’ attraction prices are $12 for adults and $9 for children under 12 Sun-Thurs. Friday and Saturdays prices are $12 for children under 12, $13 for seniors 62 and over, and adults are $15. Advance ticket purchases are available. Phone 502-363-7766 JackoLanternLouisville.com

Boonanza is perhaps Louisville’s most family friendly indoor Halloween event hosted Saturday October 26th and Sunday October 27th. Held at the Louisville Science Center, kids and adults get to play in ‘pumpkin guts’ and visit the ‘glow in the dark laboratory.’ Great prizes are awarded to the participants of the mystery detective lab. It must be noted that this is a children’s event. Absolutely no scary costumes or masks are permitted in the event. Admission is free for members, and non-members pay for each attraction individually. Phone: 502-561-6100. www.kysciencecenter.org.

Make a Halloween Mask is a unique event to Louisville, sponsored by the Museum of American Printing House for the Blind on October 19th from 10:30am – 12:30pm. This is free workshop for sighted children designed to teach them how to convey emotions through textures and shapes, in the way that non-sighted children do. Museum staff leads the group to make friendly and scary masks, plus headdresses using tactile materials. Registration is required by October 17. Phone: 502-895-2405 Email museum@aph.org or visit the Saturday Fun section at www.aph.org/museum/programs.

If you’re looking for family friendly events in the Louisville and surrounding areas, the mix of urban and rural settings offers everything for full enjoyment of the 2013 Halloween season.

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Lynn’s is not the only place making their servers tip out

Louisvillians, foodies from far and wide, and visitors that come back often to become “out of town regulars” are enraged and confused after one of Louisville’s most popular and beloved restaurants has closed it’s doors for good. Lynn’s Paradise Cafe abruptly closed it’s doors at the beginning of the year and reports of wrong doing by the restaurant’s owner and management team have been spilling out ever since.

Lynn’s Paradise Cafe was one of a kind, never to be matched by any other restaurant in or out of town. Everything from the colorful decor to the kitschy art work and fun atmosphere made Lynn’s a local favorite and on every out-of-towner’s list of places to go. Not only were people visiting Louisville making sure they went to Lynn’s, but in some cases, visitors were visiting Louisville just for Lynn’s. Throughout the 22 years of the Cafe’s life, it appeared on multiple television shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, and a slew of Food Network shows. Lynn’s has been written up in the best publications such as the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and has appeared in almost all the high end cooking magazines. At the beginning of the year, and for the past 22 years, from the outside looking in business was booming, so why the sudden closure?

The closure of Lynn’s is muddy. Even for a girl who spent eight years of her life as a server, it doesn’t all seem to add up. Lynn Winter, owner of Lynn’s decided to close the doors after allegations that the business was violating state labor laws. Servers were complaining that they were being forced to bring in their own money to tip out other employees at the end of their shift. Once a Lynn’s server was allegedly fired for not complying with the “tip out” rule and became outspoken against the restaurant, Winter decided to shut the business down for good. While this is not an uncommon procedure, it is illegal and it cannot be forced upon any employee.

This practice of illegal tipping out procedure is a common practice for many restaurants in town. Servers know that at the end of the night nearly 30% of their tips will be given away to the dishwasher, host, busser, and bartender. It is an unfair practice, but most servers suck it up and go with the flow. There have been rare cases in the past, however, where servers have spoken out against this practice. April of last year, Ron Lieberman picketed outside of Ramsi’s Cafe on the World after quitting his job as a server because he refused to tip out the 30% at the end of his shift. Servers make $2.19 an hour and Lieberman called the practice of forced tipping out “a system of organized slavery.”

The “tipping out” fiasco is indeed a big deal, but no reason to close a successful 22-year business. Ramsis’s didn't have to shut down in the case of Lieberman. If there are more skeletons in Lynn’s closet I'm sure it will only take some time for Louisville’s fine investigators to uncover them.

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Pool Leagues in Louisville

Ilyse's Louisville
I believe with everything in me, that moms that give themselves a night out on a regular basis make themselves better moms in the long run. Now maybe this is just something I tell myself so that I don't feel bad for taking a night out here and there, but regardless,if i’m playing a mid trick on myself or not, it seems to be working for me. I seem to have fallen into a new hobby that has sucked me in to a weekly night away at the Back Door. I have successfully trained for and recruited my own team for the bar’s next session o the APA rule pool league. I grew up with a pool table in my basement but it had been years since I played the game, when I met a regular pool player at the bar named Jinx. Jinx took me under his wing, taught me a thing or two, and soon became my “coach.” I was hooked. My competitive spirit paired with the endless circulation of interesting characters that rotate through The Back Door keep me going back time and time again to practice the game and try to get better. What I have found is that the game of pool is both a social sport, and a complex sport that is way more fascinating that I initially realized. Now that I have successfully put together a team for next session’s league, I will be able to expand my game, socialize with the diverse crowd, and get some much needed me time away.
 
There are several places throughout the city that offer pool leagues. The Back Door is a relatively laid back league that although technically competitive in the sense that the winner wins the pot, The Back Door is a good beginners league. If you are interested in putting a team together for the Back Door league, we play on Monday nights starting January 28th. For more information visit www.thebackdoor.com.
If Mondays aren't a good night for you, there is a league in town pretty much every night of the week. Barrett Bar is a more competitive league, playing Wednesday nights. Barrett Bar has excellent tables, delicious food, and it’s usually easy to get in for a game.
One of the most popular billiards clubs in town is Diamond Pub and Billiards. Now with two locations, one in St. Matthews and one on Barrett, you can play in a league Sunday through Thursday. Diamond even offers two different leagues, APA, which most bars play in, and on Tuesday nights they offer the LAP league. For more information got to diamondpubandbilliards.com.
There are many other bars and billiard clubs that offer a place to get in a league. For a list of these places, go to louisville.lapleague.com.
 
The best way to find out about these leagues is to see them in action. Visit the bars on league nights and meet the players. The only way you can find the league that fits you the best is to talk to the teams, see the atmosphere first hand, and figure out which rules you want to play by. A pool league is a great excuse to get out in these Winter months and socialize with people you would have never met otherwise. Most new sessions will be beginning soon, so if you are interested in joining a league, start doing your research now. Hope to see you out there!
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Warm Up With Trivia Nights in St. Matthews

Do your friends always say that you are filled with useless knowledge? Are you a movie buff, know all your state capitols, or a master of the periodic table? If you answered yes to any of these questions or just enjoy an atmosphere filled with a hearty competitive spirit, then you may be a natural trivia buff. Many Louisville pubs hold weekly trivia nights, where one night a week depending on the location, either a live host or television screen, will announce questions and teams of various sizes are challenged to get the correct answers. These trivia nights are becoming increasingly popular among bar-goers of all various age groups and will be an excellent excuse to get out of the house this cold and lonely winter.  

St. Matthews’ own Molly Malone’s Irish Pub holds one of the most popular trivia nights. Tuesday nights from 8pm to 10pm Molly Malone’s Pub Quiz is free to anyone who wants to join in. Along with the trivia, Molly Malone’s offers excellent Irish food including fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and bangers and mash. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub is located at 3900 Shellbyville Road.

Every Wednesday night starting at 7pm Bluegrass Brewing Company hosts their version of Pub Quiz night. With six rounds of trivia consisting of ten questions in each round, trivia night at BBC promises a full night of fun, good beer, and delicious food. Bluegrass Brewing Company is located at 3929 Shellbyville Road.

DiOrio’s Pizza and Pub is relatively new to the St. Matthews community and serves New York style pizza and sandwiches. Trivia nights are Thursdays starting at 8:30pm and follow the typical six round format. DiOrio’s also hosts karaoke on Saturday nights. DiOrio's Pizza and Pub is located at 310 Wallace Ave.

Mellow Mushroom, one of St. Matthews’ newest and hippest restaurants, hosts Mellow Trivia beginning at 8:30pm on Wednesday nights. Mellow Mushroom has a lengthy craft beer menu and delicious pizza to make your trivia night even more worthwhile. 

St. Matthews is packed full of pubs that offer trivia nights. On any given night you can find a neighborhood bar offering a place for you to expand your mind and challenge your intellectual and competitive spirit.  

If you enjoy trivia nights and become a regular, you may consider joining the league and competing in the tournament. The 2012 tournament, just ended, but next year’s tournament, is being scheduled now. The top ten teams from each bar with a trivia night compete in the tournament and keep score based on 10 point scale. At the end of the tournament the overall point leader wins. For more information on the league or tournament go to www.louisvilletrivia.com.

Trivia nights are a great way to spend time with old friends or are a wonderful way to make new friends. These next few months are going to get cold, so why not escape to a warm bar with good food, friendly people, and a challenging game of trivia.

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New Heine Brothers opens in St. Matthews

Louisvillians love their coffee, and not just any coffee, local coffee. With several locally owned and operated coffee shops thriving in town, Louisville is a great city to sample some of the best and most unique coffee blends. When you drive through several neighborhoods in town including the Highlands, Clifton, and Germantown, there are small, local coffee shops popping up on every corner. St. Matthews is the newest neighborhood following the trend to include some of the best local coffee spots, with Louisville favorite Heine Brothers bombarding the community with it’s delicious roasts. Heine Brothers opened up their new store November 28 in St. Matthews making it the third Heine Brothers in the St. Matthews neighborhood. 

Heine Brothers opened its first store in 1994 in the Highlands and has grown immensely popular ever since. The Heine Brothers mission is to remain committed to sustainability and operating responsibility while bringing its customers delicious drinks and friendly service. Not only are the Heine Brothers products high quality and very tasty, but the Heine Brothers team does a lot of good on the side. Heine Brothers donates to many community groups and co-founded the World’s first fair-trade coffee buying cooperative.

Heine Brothers offers its customers a wide range of coffee experiences. With seven House blends and twelve single origin coffees there is something for everyone. The baristas that work at each Heine Brothers location are very helpful and well versed in coffee knowledge and can help you find the perfect flavor for you. Heine Brothers also offers a full list of organic and fair-trade loose leaf teas that I personally know are delicious. If you want to grab something to eat, Heine Brothers has a menu filled with pastries, paninis, and several vegan and vegetarian options. 

The St. Matthews location is located at 4305 Shellbyville Road and serves all that I mentioned above. Heine Brothers sells some of the best coffee in town, and St. Matthews is full of Heine Brothers stores now. Not only can you get a good cup of coffee, but supporting Heine Brothers means supporting a local store and supporting local community groups. Think about this next time you pull up to grab a cup of coffee from a national coffee chain. 

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Tips on throwing an in-prompt-to holiday party that wont break your seasonal budget.

The holiday season can become overwhelming with parties and social events, but in my opinion the more the merrier! This season’s gatherings are often filled with long lost friends, ugly christmas sweaters, and silly gift exchanges and too often involve an obscene amount of spiked egg nog.  When it comes to hosting your own event however, theres often less partying and more stressing.  It is important that you plan ahead and spend time deciding what kind of holiday party you want to undertake.  Parties can easily become an expensive venture and during this time of year, most of us are breaking the budget as it is.  Don't let the price of a good time deter you from hosting a holiday shin dig however, there are plenty of ways to throw a fabulous yuletide celebration on the cheap. 

Don't feel like you have to invite everyone you know.  Keep the party intimate with just a few close friends.  By keeping your party guest list to a minimum you give yourself many different options when it comes to the party itself.  By only having a few guests, you have the option of a dinner party, gift exchange, or even a fire pit party in the back yard. 

My favorite part of throwing any party is creating the party decor.  Expensive looking decor can cost next to nothing if you have the right materials and get a little creative. My staple decor pieces are white and off-white candles of various sizes and clear glass candle holders to hold the various sizes of candles. (I purchased candles and candle holders at Garden Ridge ranging from $4-$15 a piece).  If you have these basic materials you can make any space look smart and festive for any holiday.  Each time you decorate for a party all you have to do is fill the glass around the candle with some sort of filler. This adds color, warmth, and a little quirk to the space.  My Christmas pieces are filled with cranberries and shelled walnuts.  Pine Cones from Garden Ridge, a pine garland over the fireplace, and the Christmas tree round out our natural decor elements in the house. A few fun decorations are always essential and Work the Metal in Butchertown Market is the place to go for any unique Christmas decoration.  A silver glitter reindeer from Work the Metal adds some youth and fun to our party.  

This holiday season I prefer dinner parties over parties serving hor-de-ouvers.  Small, intimate gatherings of your closest friends are the way to go this year.  Serving dinner doesn't have to be expensive either. There are plenty of meals that you can prepare that are simple, feed a lot of people, and don't cost a lot to make. Fish tacos are one of our favorite party meals because a little fish goes a long way. Traditional fish tacos only call for cilantro and onion, serve some rice and beans on the side and that’s it! Soups and chilis are my other go to dinner party meal. Soup is perfect because you can prepare it before hand and be with your guests when they arrive. Soups are nice also because if you have guests with a variety of dietary needs, it is easy to make several soups before and leave them on the stovetop for your guests to help themselves. If you want to take your soup party a step further, try making grilled cheeses to go with the soup with a variety of cheeses and fillings. 

There is plenty of time left to throw in in-prompt-to holiday party. Be creative and have fun, this time of year is just about spending time with the people you love, so try not to stress. 

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St. Matthews Chamber of Commerce and Community Pride Breakfast

The St. Matthews neighborhood is known for it’s high number of locally owned shops and community-based businesses. In a city such as ours, communities such as St. Matthews are able to thrive through Louisvillians who understand the importance of shopping locally. Not only are our city’s consumers helping support our local businesses but the tight knit small business community works together to promote one another. The St. Matthews local business owners and prospective business people have created an inner circle to strengthen the community’s local business. 

The St. Matthew Chamber of Commerce has developed an inviting and helpful central location for local business owners to explore their options and grow their business. With a variety of regular and special events open to members and nonmembers, the St. Matthews Chamber of Commerce is an excellent resource for anyone with an established business in the community or someone just starting out. For nonmembers the best event would be the 5:05 After Hours Networking event. Every fourth Tuesday of the month a member holds a meet and greet event at their place of business. The event usually includes appetizers, drinks, door Prizes and a lot of networking. This event is a great way to meet other business people in the community and pick their brains. If you decide to become a member their is a slew of other events available to you including Networking at Noon and the Think Tanks.  

Wednesday, December 12 The St. Matthews Chamber of Commerce is hosting the St. Matthews Community Pride Breakfast.  From 7:30am to 9:00am the St. Matthews Community will honor several people who have made extraordinary voluntary contributions to the community. The winners were chosen by several civic clubs and other community service organizations and the winners will receive “community pride service awards.” The breakfast is open to the public but you must register online at the chamber of commerce’s website. St. Matthews Chamber of Commerce

If you are a business owner in the St. Matthews community you might want to consider joining the Chamber of Commerce. Not only can you benefit from the events but you can also benefit from healthcare, advertising, and retail discounts as well! Membership fees for the St. Matthews Chamber of Commerce are $150 annually for the first member and $125 for an associate membership. To find out more information about the St. Matthews Chamber of Commerce you can visit their website. If you want to join you can call their office at 502-899-2523 or email at chamber@stmatthewschamber.com.

Regardless of whether or not you are a consumer, business owner, member, or nonmember, it is important to keep this inner-circle of locally owned businesses going.  This holiday season shop locally and support your own community’s small businesses. Your neighbors are the ones that own these shops and businesses, wouldn't you rather support them than some CEO you've never met?

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Downs After Dark - A Golden Era

Who said Churchill Downs is only fun one weekend out of the year? With the relatively new night racing series, Churchill Downs has become a hot spot more often than not and this upcoming weekend will be no exception. Downs After Dark began in 2010 and has been picking up speed and popularity ever since. Downs After Dark combines horse racing, music, and the nightclub scene to create the ultimate party. Each Downs After Dark attracts tens of thousands of patrons. Attendees come to party under the historic twin spires in a unique setting that you can’t get in a normal afternoon at the track. Couches and lounge chairs accompany the typical paddock furniture, creating a unique nightclub atmosphere. The Downs After Dark model has proven to be very successful. 

It is nearing the end of November and Churchill Down’s night racing will return from a short hiatus with an extravagant party. Saturday, November 17, 2012, Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka are hosting Down After Dark-A Golden Era. The theme, A Golden Era, will celebrate the roaring twenties, so make sure you come with your flapper hat and mob boss suit in tow. Churchill Downs is said to be transformed into a “Gatsby-like estate” according to Darren Rogers, Senior Director of Communications and Media Services at Churchill Downs. You can expect the same over-the-top decor and exciting ambiance that you get from any other Downs After Dark.

In keeping with he roaring 20’s theme, the headliners for the night will be Swing St. Louis featuring Jack Garret and the Syndicate and the Rick Bartlett Band. Both bands will be performing at the former Paddock Pavilion.

Downs After Dark is also bringing back a popular Bet or no Bet Sweepstakes sponsored by Thortons. Four lucky fans will get the chance to choose between placing a $1,000 win wager on a horse of their choice, or walk away with a $100 gas gift card.

Doors open at 3:00pm on Saturday and the first race is scheduled to run at 4:30pm. There are eleven races to run under the lights with the last race scheduled for 9:36pm. General admission to Churchill Downs is $10.00, but there are a variety of other ticketing options available.  

Box seats are available for $20.00 per person.

For $40.00 per person you can gain access to the Millionaire's Lounge where beer tastings are available as well as food tastings, entertainment and access to a semiprivate balcony.  

For $59.95 you can sit in Millionaires Row. You will also have dinner on Millionaires Row. 

For $101 per person you will have a private Jockey Club Suite. A private room and balcony, full bar and chef table, and private wagering machine are all included. A 15 person minimum is required.

I already have my plans set to attend this weekend’s Downs After Dark and I wouldn't miss it for anything. Churchill Downs and Downs After Dark are both uniquely Louisville and we should take advantage of celebrating them every chance we get. 

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Preparing for the Holiday Stress

With signs of the upcoming holiday season popping up everywhere, it is understandable that many of us are starting to get a little anxious about the amount of money we are expected to spend in the next several weeks. The holiday season is supposed to be filled with family, friends, and holiday cheer, but more often is ruined by the many stresses that come along with the time of year. Now is the time however, before the holiday season officially begins, to plan ahead to reduce the holiday stress. Chances are that you will be spending more money in the next month or so than you would normally spend throughout the year. The good news is that if you plan ahead, there are ways to either offset or reduce the hit of the extra spending.  

For Thanksgiving this year my family is trying something new. We are not only changing things up to reduce our spending but to reduce the stress involved. My husband and I are hosting Thanksgiving at our new home and inviting both sides of our family so that we don't have to travel. Instead of doing a traditional sit-down Thanksgiving dinner, we decided to have a “Thanksgiving Party.” With 20 adults and 7 kids a sit down dinner would be both stressful and frankly, quite ridiculous, so we decided on a buffet style dinner. Everyone is bringing a dish or two, and we are supplying the centerpiece to the meal. We ordered a Turdunken from the Frankfort Avenue restaurant, Varanese, which in itself it’s reducing our stress load and was well worth what we paid. All we have to do is pop in in the oven the night before and the next day we will have a glistening turkey, duck, chicken, ready for our guests.The money and stress we will save doing it this way is already worth it. I will report back and let you know how the Thanksgiving party went.  

Parents around Christmas time make themselves crazy trying to find the perfect toy for their child and often end up spending more money than they would like. Every parent wants to give their child a good holiday season and I have a simple way to ease the financial burden. Take advantage of the community's kids eat free opportunities. Every day of the week there is a restaurant in the St. Matthews neighborhood that offers a kids eat free deal.  

If you are going to eat at a restaurant, make sure that you take the time to find out which restaurants are offering free food for your child. I figure this season you are spending extra money on them so why not feed them for free?

Mondays are kids eat free at W.W Cousins, one of my favorite restaurants. W.W Cousins is a great place to bring the kids. The burger and salad bar are great for both adults and children and the restaurant offers a noise level that welcomes young children.  

Go to Penn Station on Tuesdays and when you purchase a normal size sub you get a small one for free.  

     Kids eat free at Moe's Southwest Grille on Wednesdays.
     Thursdays go to McAlister's, kids eat free.
     Fridays at Salsaritas kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal.  
     Kids eat free at Hooters on Saturday so go and grab some wings!
     Sundays offer free kids meals at Tumbleweed.

The holidays can be very stressful, but plan ahead and try to be creative. There are a lot of ways to save money while spending extra money on the holidays. You want to be able to enjoy  the holidays while you are celebrating them, so prepare yourself now so you can enjoy yourself later. 

 

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Leftover Pumpkin Month

November is the month of the pumpkin. I know, I know, Halloween is in October and that is when we carve our pumpkins, go pumpkin picking, and see the influx of pumpkins everywhere we turn, so yea, October really should be the month of the pumpkin, but just hear me out. The day after Halloween is November 1st and that is the day that our truly creative pumpkin process can get started. After Halloween we are usually left with several pumpkins that we have no idea what to do with. These gourd-like squashes have so many uses beyond the standard Jack-O-Lantern that it is a shame to think we would just toss it out. I’m going to share just a few of the many things you can do with your pumpkins after Halloween to keep the pumpkin love going all month long.
 
My first tip is probably the simplest, if you haven’t carved your pumpkin, then don’t do anything to it! Leave it on your porch, but tweak a few things around it to change the decor from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Add a few gourds, mums, or even a hay bale, and watch as your Halloween décor turns into a beautiful outdoor Fall expression.

PumpkinOne of the oldest tricks with pumpkins is to toast the seeds and it is probably the only reason why I carve them anymore. Again, this is only for you folks who haven’t carved your pumpkins yet. Get all the guts out of your pumpkin and throw them into a bowl that has a top. Add water and close the top, shake and let sit. The seeds should float to the top and the guts of the pumpkin should separate and stay on the bottom. Put the seeds on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until you can smell that they are ready. I enjoy my seeds the old fashioned way, with a light sprinkle of kosher salt. There are all sorts of recipes online however if you want to get fancy. 

Now for the majority of you, the ones with leftover jack-o-lanterns. What the heck do you do with those? Would you guess you could have a spa day? Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc which are all wonderful for your skin. I found two pumpkin spa recipes online that look divine and I cant wait to try them with my leftovers.

Pumpkin Facial
Ingredients
2 tsp. pumpkin
½ tsp. honey
½ tsp. milk
¼ tsp. cinnamon

Mix together and apply. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.  Rinse.

Pumpkin Body Scrub
Ingredients
1/2c. cooked pumpkin
1/2c. brown sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon

Mix together. Apply in shower with wet wash cloth avoiding face. Rinse with warm water.

For more information on these recipes and for more ideas go to dailycandy.com

Other ideas for using your pumpkin include cooking with the endless possible pumpkin recipes like pies, muffins, and soups, composting your pumpkin to help your garden grow, or plant the seeds to grow your own pumpkins.
 
Be creative with your leftover pumpkins, and never just toss them out. If nothing else let the neighborhood kids go at them with some paint, let them see if it floats in water or at least let them throw it off the porch and watch it splatter. Have a great pumpkin month!  

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Fall Racing Time at Churchill Downs

Although the Kentucky Derby, held each year at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May, gets most of the attention from thoroughbred racing fans, the track’s fall meet is definitely a Derby City gem. The meet opened this Sunday, Oct. 28 and will run each day except Mondays and Tuesdays through Sunday, Nov. 25. Louisville home owners love to check out the races during this fall ritual and find it to be a festive way to get into the party mood before the arrival of the holidays.

Although there isn’t as much daylight in the evenings during the fall meet like there is in the spring, the Downs offers a number of fun attractions in addition to racing that draw the crowds. Happy Hours run each Friday during the meet from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Paddock. In addition to discounts on drinks, various featured entertainers perform, and the admission is only $3. Also, each Sunday during the meeting is a Family Fun Day sponsored by Kroger. From 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the Paddock balcony, kids and families will have an assortment of activities. One Sunday will feature a spotlight on what the racing industry is really like; another will give kids a chance to make crafts; and the last Sunday of the meet will host visits from Santa. Again, admission is just $3.

Of course, a major draw during racing in November is the Breeder’s Cup. Although this international racing event will take place at Santa Anita this year, Churchill Downs will still be the place to be since it will simulcast all of the races on Nov. 2 and 3. Another big event during the meet will be the return of Downs After Dark, when racing takes place under the lights. Featuring a Roaring 20s theme, Great Gatsby-style music and dancing, and other fun activities, the event is sure to draw big crowds. Various seating options are available for a wide variety of prices.

Yes, the spring meet does get most of the attention, especially during a year when the Breeder’s Cup is not in town. But this week’s fall meet at Churchill Downs will have lots of Louisville residents celebrate autumn by checking out the races. The spring meet has the greatest two minutes in sports, but this year’s fall meet has lots of exciting events on tap for racing enthusiasts as well as those who just want to unwind and have some fun.

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You Have the Right To Feel Safe in Your Neighborhood

Moving into a new neighborhood comes with all sorts of firsts; you’re first dinner party, first round of the holiday season, and the unfortunate first big appliance melt down. Sometimes, the firsts can be a bit more serious and can cause you to question whether or not you made the right decision in buying the house in the first place. 

The Highlands Louisville KYLast night while playing with my son in the back yard I was suddenly disarmed by a noisy low lying helicopter over my head. I headed to the front porch to get a better view when I ran into my next door neighbor who had some shocking news. Just two blocks over, the police were on the scene of, what was thought to be a crime early in the investigation, where two bodies were found inside a house. I was numb. Two dead bodies were within yards from where my children play? That doesn’t sit well with me. Unfortunately this is not the first newsworthy event that has happened close to my new home within the past several years. Two years before I moved in to our home, a murder investigation took place in the alley behind my house and just a couple months ago, gun shots rang out from that same building. I live in the Highlands for goodness sakes, things like this are not supposed to happen in the Highlands!

Despite all the nonsense and frightening things that have gone on around my home, call me crazy, but for some reason I do not feel unsafe. 98% of my neighbors are wonderful and dedicated to keeping a safe neighborhood, so I can not let the occasional scary situation ruin that for us.

So how do you feel safe in your neighborhood if you have a similar situation? Before you choose to buy a home or if you already have a home, there are ways for you to find out if your neighborhood is safe. There are several websites dedicated to making an easy way for families to know where dangerous people reside. http://www.icrimewatch.net/kentucky/index.php is the official Kentucky Sex Offender Registry webpage and updates every time a new sex offender registers. This is the most accurate radius map and the most helpful. Just remember though that the sex offender map is not the end all be all in saying you are safe or unsafe. Whether you are covered with dots or not you should always be on the look out for anyone that looks suspicious. Knowing the active crime that is going on in your community can be even more helpful. One of the most helpful websites I have found when it comes to knowing any active crime that is going on in your neighborhood is spotcrime.com. Spotcrime.com is more helpful to me than the sex offender list because it will tell you every current reported burglary, assault, and theft in your neighborhood.

If you are really concerned with your neighborhood don’t be afraid to talk with your local police and request more information. Be persistent and don’t back down, as a citizen you have the right to feel safe in your neighborhood!

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Really Scary Side of Halloween

With Halloween just days away, folks are gearing up for the special holiday by  stocking up on candy for trick-or-treaters, putting the final touches on their costumes, and finally cutting into their pumpkins transforming them in to Jack-o-lanterns. Halloween time is in full swing and the excitement can be felt everywhere you turn. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. A celebration that is inclusive of everyone, regardless of religion or economic standing, Halloween has become a day celebrating imagination, fun, and allowing yourself to splurge a little on goodies.

Although the most popular way of celebrating the modern day Halloween holiday is how I previously discussed it, but we sometimes forget the dark routes that Halloween is engrained. Halloween dates back to an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain, which was a festival marking the end of the harvest and the beginning of the extremely cold and deadly Winter. It was believed that during the festival, the dead would return to Earth to help the Celtic Priests foresee the future of the harsh Winter months. You have probably heard of Halloween referred to as All Hallows Eve, the night before All Saints Day or all Souls Day. This was the Catholic spin on the Samhain Festival created in 609 AD. Celebrated much like the Celtic festival, it was said that on All Hallows Eve there was a blur between life and death and the dead would return to Earth.

Although today we do not celebrate Halloween the way the Celts and Catholics did in the past, there are still some people that enjoy Halloween for the darker side of it. Louisville is filled with real life haunted houses and urban legends that keep ghost hunters and those interested in the paranormal busy all Halloween night. In all my research looking in to haunted places in Louisville, I've found many places that you can explore if you are interested and you don’t have to go too far.

Cave Hill Cemetery and Eastern Cemetery are just a short drive away in the Highlands and worth checking out if you want to see a truly Haunted graveyard. Witnesses at Cave Hill have reported green lights, sounds of falling graves and odd noises. It is reported that the sounds can be heard miles away from the back gate. Eastern Cemetery is adjacent to Cave Hill Cemetery and is an abandoned graveyard that is in terrible condition. It is said that the ghosts of the buried haunt the cemetery upset at it’s condition. It is also said that the ghost of a woman can be seen taking care of the babies buried in their own section of the cemetery.

If you don’t feel like committing to a graveyard to go ghost hunting, but want to ease in to paranormal activity, there are a couple places that you could go to get a drink that are said to be haunted. Joe’s Older Than Dirt in Lyndon opened in 1937 and has had many regulars over the years pass away. The staff claims that late at night chairs and voices can be heard along with visions of white apparitions. Spring Street Bar and Grille is another bar and restaurant that has been around for a while and whose staff claims it is haunted. It is said that the ghost of a man lives on the second floor. Late at night when things are quiet the staff can hear footsteps upstairs and when they go to the second floor their hair stands on top of their head.

If you are interested in these stories there are several more just like them. I encourage you to do some research of your own and do some ghost hunting too! Halloween is all about fun, imagination, and adventure, so embrace whatever that means to you and have a great Halloween!

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18th Century Market Fair at Locust Grove

“Hear ye hear ye may I have your attention please.” If you’re looking for something unique to do this weekend I have the perfect event for you. St. Matthews’ Historic Locust Grove is hosting an 18th Century Market Fair to feed all your American culture history needs. The Market Fair will give both adults and children an amusing look back at a time in American life when jugglers and traditional sea songs were the days entertainment, candle making was a top job, and military battles were complex and hand to hand. This weekend’s event will give visitors a chance to see what life in the 18th century would be like from many different standpoints.

The 18th Century Market Fair will take place at historic Locust Grove Saturday October 27th and Sunday October 28th. Locust Grove is a National Historic Landmark located just outside the Indian Hills neighborhood. Locust Grove was established in 1790, and was home to the founder of Louisville, George Rogers Clark. The Georgian Mansion on Locust Grove’s campus has been beautifully restored and is available for tours. Locust Grove Locust Grove offers 55 acres of grounds to explore, hosts events, public and private, and attracts visitors year round. The Indian Hills community which is home to Locust Grove is steeped in Southern history itself. Originally named the “Indian Hill Stock Farm” in 1872 and one of the largest horse farms in Kentucky, Indian Hills holds still shows evidence of it’s original farming roots today. The Georgian Style Veech House at 125 Indian Hills Trail, and Spring House at 119 Arrowhead Rd are still standing from the original Farm, and add historical relevance and Southern charm to the neighborhood.

Some of the events from the Locust Grove 18th Century Market Fair include mock battles, excellent period food, games, jugglers, traditional Celtic music, dancers, and even a period doctor who you can visit to cure you with treatments of the time period. Traditional fare includes a rustic homemade stew and cornbread as well as hand crafted wine and ales. Visitors will also have the chance to shop for 18th Century furniture, clothing, and period style candles. No matter what you are interested in, whether it be the battles, food, music, or shopping, there will be something at the market for you.

Not only is this weekends event going to be something unique to be a part of, but it could not be held at a better time. Locust Grove is on my top five list of places to go to appreciate the Fall foliage. If watching the mock battles is not your thing, then take a stroll around the grounds of Locust Grove. Right now is the perfect time to see the variety of hues of the trees and admire the falling leaves.  

The 18th Century Market fair runs from 10:00am to 4:30pm each day and is $6 for adults and $3 for children.  For a complete list of the days events go to www.locustgrove.org/marketfair.html. 

Brad Long Group agents are Professional Buyer's Agents helping Buyers of Louisville, KY Real Estate.  Search the MLS for free here - Louisville Real Estate
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What's Your Most Frightening Fantasy?

Every woman has her fantasy. Whether they are fantasies of grandeur, fame, or wealth, out-of-body fantasies allowing you to act as someone else, or simpler fantasies of success, happiness, or family, fantasy plays a vital role in our lives as women. Today, women do it all. We take care of the kids, maintain a full time job, manage the house, groceries, dog, birthday parties, and the PTA. It’s a wonder we have time to wash our hair let alone think of ourselves for enough time to fantasize about what we desire. Whether we realize it or not, there is one sacred woman act that allows us to delve into our fantasies and set us up for success. It is the few minutes that we have to ourselves in the morning, when we can close the door to the bathroom and be alone with our reflection in the mirror. Putting on whatever make-up that we do, allows ourselves to check-out from the real world for a brief moment. While we put on our mascara and eyeliner, we embrace Audrey Hepburn. We roll the lipstick over our lips, and for a brief moment we become Marilyn Monroe. Our make-up is applied and we look in the mirror feeling confident, and we are Jackie-O. Make-up is transformative, and that is exactly the message that Blades Salon make-up artist Lori Karnes is spreading across Louisville.

Karnes’ passion for make-up came while working in retail. A seven-year-old little girl whose face was burned in a house fire came to Karnes with her mother looking for help covering her scars. A week later, the girl and her mother returned to visit Karnes at work, thankful and excited, telling her how the new make-up had changed her life. Making this little girl’s humble fantasy a reality motivated Karnes to look in to make-up schools around the country and is what gave her the fervor and dedication to work with burn victims later in life. After gaining her education, traveling, and working for such companies as Universal and Disney, Karnes settled in Louisville and opened up her Studio at Blades Salon on Chenoweth Lane in St. Matthews. Jackie Sturgeon, Co-Owner of Blades Salon is the founder of Cool Cuts, a non profit organization providing wigs and hairpieces to children with medical challenges. To Karnes, it seemed a natural fit for her to open up her studio with a passion for helping burn victims, close to Sturgeon. 

Karnes’ is not only well know for working with burn victims, but also for her fantasy make-up artistry. Karnes is one of Louisville’s most talented and best known fantasy make-up artists. According to Karnes, “fantasy make-up is creating any character that you can’t be every single day. Being able to be something completely different…to me that’s fantasy.”  Fantasy make-up, according to Karnes can range from a bride on her wedding day transforming from a plain Jane to a beauty queen, a beautiful peacock painted on a face, or bloody zombie make-up transforming someone one into “night of the living dead.” Karnes has a deep appreciation for the art form of fantasy make-up. Her father was an artist and taught her how to use the airbrush at a young age.  Between her father and the geniuses she learned from at Universal Studios, she has become one of the only skilled airbrush make-up artists in Louisville. Her unique skill set, background, and knowledge of the “blood and gore” make-up world are all reasons she is back for her second year at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium Haunted House.

One of Karnes’ most massive undertakings to date, the make-up in the Waverly project is sure to impress, that is if you can dare to look at the characters long enough to see. Waverly Hills Sanatorium is known as the “Most Haunted Place in the World.” A fifty bedroom Tuberculosis Hospital located in Southwest Louisville, the hospital was built in the early 1920’s and has seen it’s share of illness, death, and reportedly, paranormal activity.

Karnes started work in  June for the Waverly Project.  With roughly sixty actors that needed head to toe make-up, there was a lot of work to be done. Karnes started out the process by going room by room of the haunted house, learning the theme of each room, how many characters there would be, and if the characters would be zombies, ghosts, clowns, etc.  She then sat down and sketched each character, deciding their individual head to toe looks and unique quirks.  Once all sixty sketches were done, she ordered all the make-up including airbrushing materials, three kinds of blood including dry, stage, and scab, she then had to work with the engineers on lighting for each room, work with casting, and the list went on.  The Waverly Project is a full scale production. 

This year’s haunted house is more extravagant than ever,  with thirty rooms and thirty different scenes. Among the rooms is a 3D clown room where visitors must wear special glasses while walking through a neon colored room inspired by Steven King’s “It” and the film “Killer Klowns from Outer Space.”  Karnes was able to use this year’s Waverly Hills Haunted House to explore the boundaries of fantasy make-up.  Relying on her own terrifying and humorously twisted fantasies and assuming the visitors’ most frightening fantasies, she created the most realistic and petrifying haunted house experience possible.   

Tours of the Sanatorium and the Halloween Haunted House are some of the recent attempts by Waverly Hills’ owners to cut down on vandalism and raise money to restore the historic building.  This year’s proceeds from the Haunted House will be split between restoring the building and the WHAS Crusade for Children. The Haunted House opened September 21 and will be open every Friday and Saturday night from 7:30pm to 1:00am through November 4.Tickets are $20.00 cash at the door. For more information go to Facebook.com/scareatorium2012 or www.therealwaverlyhills.com.     

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Pumpkin Pickin' Fall Traditions

Halloween is right around the corner and signs of Autumn are popping up more and more with each passing day.  Louisvillians will soon be visiting their chosen pumpkin patches and family farms to partake in their favorite Fall customs and stock up on seasonal necessities. Nothing beats riding on the back of a tractor on your way out to the pumpkin patch while drinking a hot apple cider. The taste of hot apples, cinnamon, and spices makes the way out to search through those sticky vines to find the perfect carving pumpkin that much more special. 

One of the nice things about the Fall season in Louisville is that you don’t have to live in the Country to experience all that rural Kentucky has to offer.  Within a half an hour there are several farms that convert themselves into seasonal destinations.  Most of these farms include a pumpkin patch as their number one draw, but many are now offering a wide range of events, children’s activities, and food to set them apart.  

For as long as I can remember, my family has been going to Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant for our annual Pumpkin Pickin’ Fall tradition. Located in Starlight, Indiana, 22 miles from Louisville, Huber’s is my pick of pumpkin patch to go to if you are looking to sit down and have a delicious, southern meal as well.  The restaurant on the farm is the part of the day trip that I most look forward to every year.  When you go, order the family style meal, it’s the only way to do it, and you will get a table full of all the best in home-cooked food.  The fried chicken and homemade chicken and dumplings are the stars of the meal but all the sides including the green beans, corn, and mashed potatoes are delicious. There are two things you need to remember though when eating at the restaurant; make early reservations because during this time of year they are busy and can run out of things, and don’t fill up on the fried biscuits and homemade apple butter, just remember you can buy the apple butter in the gift shop.  Aside from the restaurant, Huber’s has a gift shop that makes fresh caramel apples, an assortment of fresh apple ciders, apple butters, as well as a full farmers market. Tractors are constantly taking folks out to the pumpkin patch and it has yet to disappoint me in finding the perfect pumpkin for my many years of jack-o-lanterns.  Huber’s also has a small area called the “Barnyard” that offers an area for children to play. Acow train, cartoon corn maze, and a tractor a wagon ride to see the farm animals are all included in the Barnyard. Lastt year, admission to this area cost money, so you may need to plan ahead for that.  For more information on Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant, go to www.joehubers.com.

Yesterday I received a call from a friend asking if I wanted to take the boys pumpkin picking.  I felt as if I was cheating on Huber’s, but seeing as though we have our family trip planned for next weekend, I thought it would be nice to get the boys out and check out some place new (and it would be ok as long as I didn’t buy a pumpkin).   Deere Farms is located in the Heart of Lanesville, Indiana, about a half hour away from Downtown Louisville.  Deere Farms offers a much different experience that Joe Huber’s, focusing on family activities rather than food. After an $8.00 charge for adults and a $5.00 charge for kids we were surprised to fin all the other charges involved with the trip. The only food that was offered was a concession stand with hot dogs and soft pretzels and a man grilling pork chops for $6 a pop.  I have to say though, that the activities for the kids were great.  The activities were basic farm activities taken to the next level.  A large tunnel slide, playground made of tractor tires, and truck bed filled with corn were among some of the highlights for my boys.  Deere Farms is also home to the largest corn maze and pumpkin patch in Indiana. Despite the fact that we thought it was too expensive, we ended up having a great time at Deere Farms.  For more information, go to www.deerefarms.com.

There are other farms closer to Louisville that can offer similar excursions including Sunny Acres Farm in J-town and Foxhollow Farm in Crestwood.  Both of these farms offer hayrides out to the pumpkin patch and can give you the same feeling of the other farms but close to home.  For more information on these farms go to www.sunnyacresfarmky.com and www.foxhollow.com

If you go every year, or have never been to a pumpkin patch, I could not suggest any higher either going for your first time, or supporting a new farm.  Pumpkin picking is my favorite family tradition, and I hope many of you get to enjoy it this season as well.  

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Louisville's Fall Foliage

This morning while I was sitting on my front porch, cup of coffee in hand, my robe still on, and the cool fall morning breeze on my face, I was wracking my brain thinking about what I wanted to write for today’s blog.  Admittedly still half asleep from my long night the night before, I found myself getting lost in the sunrise reflecting on the large golden leaves of the tree in my front yard.  They were green only yesterday.  I continued to study the neighborhood only to realize that all the trees are changing. Reds, oranges, and yellows are taking over the street, and I am stunned that I am just realizing that Autumn is here.

The past few mornings and evenings I have been living on my front porch.  Coffee in the morning is a time to gather my thoughts, say hello to the neighbors and guarantee a nice beginning to my day. Last night I brought a blanket, book, and bottle of wine to accompany be in my big comfy chair and sat by candlelight for hours, reading in the crisp Autumn air.  This time of year when the weather is changing from hot to cold, the first leaves are floating off the trees, and that distinct smell of the impending chilly months is tickling my nose, I cant help but think it is truly magical.  

If you don’t have a front porch to admire this time of year, don’t worry, there are plenty of places in Louisville, and a few places a little further away, that are great places to get out and enjoy the Fall colors and weather.  

Right here in Louisville’s East End is historic Locust Grove. Locust Grove is a National Historic Landmark established in 1790, and was home to the founder of Louisville, George Rogers Clark. The Georgian Mansion on Locust Grove’s campus has been beautifully restored and is available for tours. Locust Grove Locust Grove offers 55 acres of grounds to explore, hosts events, public and private, and attracts visitors year round.   Fall at Locust Grove is an especially great time to visit because the Fall foliage is breathtaking.  

One of my favorite places in town to watch the leaves change is Cherokee Park.  You can go for a drive, walk, bike, or run around the 2.4mile scenic loop and admire all the different varieties of trees going through their various shades throughout the season.   Cherokee Park also has 389 acres of public land and a golf course where you can take in your surroundings while playing a round.

There are some day trips a little outside the city of Louisville that are great for admiring the Fall foliage.  The Kentucky Horse Park just outside of Lexington is comprised of 1224 acres of Kentucky bluegrass.  A peaceful atmosphere, the Kentucky Horse Park is home to over 100 horses and is set on rolling hills and is beautifully landscaped.  

Bernheim Forest is located about 25 miles South of Downtown Louisville and offers all sorts of outdoor activities for admiring the Fall colors.  With an arboretum, hiking trails, picnic areas, special events, and so much more, Bernheim Forest offers many  unique ways to take in the Autumn beauty. These are just a few of the great places you can experience the beauty that the Autumn months naturally create every year.  I suggest taking it in every day, and making a special trip at least once this season to admire the weather; it is truly a special time. 

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Louisville Family Fun dot net

If you are a new parent or grandparent in Louisville, or are visiting Louisville with children, you know that it is often hard to find things to do with your family. The obvious choices like the Louisville Zoo, the Science Center, and the Louisville Slugger Museum get tired after your membership cards start desinigrating in your wallet. It is hard though, to come up with creative ideas when you are in a bind and need your children to get busy, and quick. The good news is, now-a-days, the internet is chalked full of information to help caregivers receive the best information on how to keep their child entertained.

I recently learned about a website called Louisvillefamilyfun.net, and it has changed the way I look at keeping my two young boys entertained. Not only does this website give tips on what family friendly events are going on daily in our community, but there are also product reviews, healthy recipes, science projects to do at home with your children and so much more. On the front page of the website, the calendar pops up to today’s date, giving a list of things to do. Most weekdays there are several events going on for children of all ages that I never knew about.  Our public libraries offer free story times for children of all ages, there are open gym times for children to play inside if it’s a rainy day, and I can not believe how many places offer free food for children every day.  

Aside from the calendar, which alone makes the website amazing to me, Louisvillefamilyfun.net offers reviews that help in understanding the realities of several facets of parenthood. Reviews on family vacations like day trips to the Newport Aquarium and Clifty Falls State Park help families decipher which will be a good fit for their particular situation, and may possibly help them avoid making the same mistakes others have made before them. There are reviews on parks, museums, restaurants, and popular children’s attractions like Puzzles Fun Dome and All About Kids. You can get a chance to experience these places before dragging your kids out to them, only to find out that it wasn’t what you expected or wished for your kids to be a part of. My favorite section in the reviews however, is the special event section.  Here you can get tips from parents who have experienced such events as the Kentucky Derby Parade, State Fair, and Thunder over Louisville with kids. These reviews allow their readers to get the inside scoop on what to do and not to do and what events to avoid bringing the kids to all together.  

The last section of the website I am going to talk about is the daily discounts and deals section. This area of the website it fantastic for everyone, I mean, who doesn’t want to take advantage of the areas greatest deals? We all know that kids can be expensive, especially when it comes to a special day out. Today a family trip for four to a baseball game or the movies can cost over $100.00 easy once you factor in the hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, and $5.00 cokes. Louisvillefamilyfun.net helps you find cheaper ways to have just as much fun with your family.  

Did you know that this Saturday you can get in to any museum for free because it’s Smithsonian day at the Museums, or do you know how to make homemade slime? I know these things and a whole lot of other useful information now because of Louisvillefamilyfun.net. Spread the word about this website, it can truly be a lifesaver.

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LaGrange Railroad and Antique Festival Art Show

Its not very often that an art and antique show comes along that can be just as appealing to adults as it can children. I know that my two-year old son will be just as intrigued with the variety of “choo choos”  showcased in the LaGrange Railroad and Antique Festival Art Show as my husband and I will be.  The multimedia art show is running now through Novermber10th and features trains and train related subjects.  The event is sponsored by the Oldham County Arts Association and will take place in Gallery 104 located at 104 East Main Street in LaGrange. The event is free. 

LaGrange itself is a great place to go if you want an opportunity to check out a train up close. Known for it’s railroad line running through the town’s center, LaGrange’s unique city layout offers visitors a chance to get up close and personal with a locomotive. Apart from the train tracks providing a unique experience, LaGrange has so much more to offer. LaGrange is a great place to spend a day and unwind. LaGrange is the largest community in Oldham County and it’s location away from the busy city makes it a desirable place for many to call home. LaGrange has a close-knit, small town atmosphere that is both comforting and peaceful. LaGrange’s historic downtown is filled with restaurants, ice cream parlors, and specialty shops that attracts visitors from all around.  

While you are in LaGrange checking out the Railroad and Antique Festival Art Show, stop by one of their excellent restaurants for a bite to eat.  LaGrange may be considered a small town, but it does not lack in having a variety of great food. Irish Rover Too, Steve O’s Italian Kitchen, and Big R’s Barbeque are all great choices. 

The Railroad and Antique Festival Art Show is a precursor for what is to come.  Mark your calendars for October 12th and 13th, because LaGrange will be hosting the popular Railroad Festival. Friday and Saturday will be packed full of events that encompass the town’s love of trains.  A Discover Downtown LaGrange Event, this will be the third year of the festival, and it is getting bigger every year.  The streets of LaGrange will be filled with different varieties of entertainment. Music, farm-fresh foods, and antique cars are just a few of the entertainment options you will find at the Railroad Festival.  Last year’s festival included such events as the History Center activities, a farmer’s market, a scale model train swap, and a Fall City live steamers train rides. The Railroad Festival’s true missions is to celebrate the town of LaGrange’s railroad legacy. It was the expansion of the railroad in the 1850’s that ultimately lead to the city being the largest in Oldham County.  LaGrange’s history is enveloped in the railroad that run’s through it, and this festival was created to celebrate that.

This year’s festival is supposed to be bigger and better then ever before, so grab your kids and come out to enjoy the fall weather and everything locomotive.  

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Wild Eggs Pancake-Eating Championship

Louisville fans of food-eating competitions like the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition and television shows like Man vs. Food, are going to get a rare chance to see an exciting culinary race up close and personal this weekend. This Saturday, September 29th, competitive eaters from all around will come together to take part in the National Wild Eggs Pancake-Eating Championship. 

The top ranked eaters in the Major League Eating organization (yes, I am being for real) will battle in a 10-minute all-you-can-eat chow down.  If you think you have what it takes to take on the professional gut-busters, you can register at any of the three Wild Eggs locations in Louisville or online at www.ifoce.com/events for your chance to win a spot at the table.  Three amateur eaters will be chosen at random to join the competition and see if they can eat with the big boys (and women).  

So what does it take to be a professional eater? You would expect with all the extra carbs, calories and excessive amounts of food that no human needs to consume in one sitting, that every pro eater would be overweight and unhealthy, but surprisingly that is not always the case.  One of the best examples is a newcomer to the competitive eating world. Meredith Boxberger is gaining tons of buzz throughout the MLE after sucking down 21.5 hot dogs in ten minutes during last year’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition.  Although Boxberger’s 21.5 hot dogs was not even close to the 45 hot dogs that Sonya, the “Black Widow,” took down to win the women’s division, but Boxberger’s impressive first time show was definitely impressive.  Although both Boxberger and the Black Widow can scarf down an incredible amount of food in a short time, you would not be able to tell by looking at them.  Both women are fit and couldn’t way more than 100 pounds.  

Boxberger says that she runs to stay in good shape.  So what should you expect to see on Saturday? Lots of buttermilk pancakes and lots of water.  Wild Eggs plans on making hundreds of their signature slapjacks and you can expect for most of them to be gone by the end of the 10 minutes.  Boxberger says that water is going to be the key to winning the competition because the pancakes are so dry.  While dipping pancakes in water before eating them might not sound too appetizing, neither does eating as many as I can in 10 minutes.  

I will definitely be at the  Wild Eggs Pancake-Eating Championship this Saturday. it’s not often the we get a chance to see professional eaters in action! The competition will be held at the Wild Eggs location in St. Matthews at 1311 Herr Ln.  If you are wild enough to think you can participate, good luck to you! The top five winners will be awarded cash prizes starting at $150.00 and going up to $2,000 for the winner. For more information on this contest or any other eating competitions you might be interested in participating in or going to, visit the MLE website at www.ifoce.com

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