Keyword Exclusive — More children’s museum adventure
Supplement to “Let’s play!”
Covington’s Devou Park
Admission: $7 general; $6 seniors; $4 ages 3-17. A two-headed calf and a shrunken head, a chance to tunnel under a model community layout and sit in a 1959 Buick Electra, plus watching “movies” from the 1950s and a gallery where kids play dress-up with reproduction clothes from the olden days, “fish” in the river, “pilot” a packet boat, and pushing buttons for authentic riverboat sounds—this museum has lots of hands-on fun and toys. Summer camps and summer concerts also offered.
Ben E. Clement Mineral Museum
(270) 965-4263, (877) 965-4263
Admission: $5 adult; $3 ages 6-12. See rocks glow in the fluorescent room, learn how a churn drill works, and participate in a children’s dig (held daily, weather permitting). Then let the kids hit the gift shop for a science kit, arrowhead necklace, assorted onyx and soapstone animals, or science books—it’s all in the name of education.
The Great American Dollhouse Museum
Admission: $7.50 general; $6.60 seniors; $5 ages 4-12; free under 4. A timeline of U.S. history narrated through character doll vignettes, an early 1900s Village of Copper Hollow, a Fantasy Forest—the museum is chock-full of stories and endlessly fascinating. A kids’ play area has hands-on fun dollhouses, miniature mall, and horse barn. Birthday party groups can enjoy a tour, use of the museum’s banquet room, and everything needed to make a miniature room box from the “all-you-care-to-use” Materials Buffet.
Highlands Museum & Discovery Center
Admission: $6.50 general; $5 seniors and children age 2 and over; under 2 free. Hands-on dig pit in the interactive Discovery Center, composing your own song on the Music Quilt in the Country Music Heritage Hall, playing dress-up in a one-room schoolhouse, spotting rock bass in a 210-gallon aquarium—this museum has plenty to keep kids busy and engaged.
Kentucky Science Center (formerly the Louisville Science Center)
(502) 561-6100, (800) 591-2203
Admission: Exhibits only: $13 adults; $11 ages 2-12. IMAX Film: $7 person. Combo ticket: $18 adults; $16 ages 2-12. Jump in hands first at 150 or so interactive exhibits and activity stations, including the workshop labs at the Science Education Wing. A special KidZone play area entices kids ages 7 and younger with its Splash! water experience, airplane, ambulance, and spaceship.
Owensboro Museum of Science and History
Admission: $3 person; age 2 and under free. Head to the Owensboro Rotary Playzeum, a lively indoor playground for kids 10 and under with crawl tubes, bridges and tree houses, a riverboat, and train and train station. Two new permanent galleries include the Coal Mine and the ORIGINS Natural History—complete with walk-through cave.
APPLE VALLEY HILLBILLY GARDEN & TOYLAND
Pays tribute to the tacky roadside attractions of yesteryear via a 1928 Gulf gas station/diner/store/museum, a tower of tires, scads of retro toys, a half dozen running trains and a fantasy toy diorama. Admission is by donation.
Admission: $8 general; $7 seniors; $4 ages 6-12. Back in the day—the day being the 1770s—Kentucky was “The West” and frontiersman George Rogers Clark was busy founding Louisville. Students can learn about all this at Locust Grove, a National Historic Landmark that was built in the late 1790s. Check the Web site under Learn/Field Trips (www.LocustGrove.org/fieldtrip.html) and call ahead for requirements for special group programs for children, available by prior arrangement only. Those programs include the Craft Sampler, featuring costumed demonstrations of cooking, spinning, and woodworking, and A Day in the Life, where kids learn about the frontier life of kids in early Kentucky.
JOHN JAMES AUDUBON MUSEUM—Henderson
Admission: $5 adult; $3 children; free under 3; $12 family. While the adults explore the museum located at this state park, the kids can head to the Nature Center and its Bird Observatory, the hands-on Discovery Center with its giant bird’s nest, or the Learning Center to join in a program with the park naturalist and art educator.
KENTUCKY CHILDREN’S GARDEN AT THE ARBORETUM, STATE BOTANICAL GARDEN OF KENTUCKY
Admission: $3 person (under age 2 free). Themed gardens—butterfly plants, demonstration beds—scaled to children, a pioneer homestead, a Native American camp with wigwam, a stream to explore, and a Nature Center. The Children’s Garden is nearly two acres of interactive, hands-on fun. There is a scheduled activity every day the garden is open.
LOUISVILLE SLUGGER MUSEUM & FACTORY
Admission: $11 general; $10 seniors; $6 ages 6-12; free for ages 5 and under. Take a guided factory tour to see how Louisville Slugger bats are made; hit replica bats of legends like Babe Ruth and Ted Williams; test your swing with the museum’s latest line of TPX and TPS baseball and softball bats; catch the film The Heart of the Game; and leave with your own souvenir bat.
RIVER DISCOVERY CENTER
Admission: $7 general; $6 seniors; $5 under age 3; groups of 15 or more, $5 person. Captain your boat in the Pilothouse Simulator. Watch the workings of the Hydroelectric Dam and Lock models. Kids stay busy at this museum with its Rain Table, music stations, restored 1920s calliope, and short film.
*Closed for renovations
SPEED ART MUSEUM’S ART SPARKS
Home to the bustling hands-on Art Sparks, a gallery of adventures for kids, the Speed is currently closed for renovations, with an estimated re-opening sometime in 2016.
To read the Kentucky Living April 2013 Worth the Trip column that goes along with this supplement, go to Let’s Play.