Last Monday, the Louisville Free Public Libraries were bombarded with people lining up to pick up the Summer 2014 Cultural Passes, made available to Louisville residents through the Mayor’s office and initiatives with Vision Louisville. My kids and I were one of thousands who grabbed them up before they ran out all across the city and we started using them right away. We’re trying to make a trip each week this summer to one of the organizations or sites on the cards. We’ve checked off Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft and the Louisville Zoo so far.
Now granted, with a toddler on board, many of these places allow children under 2 or sometimes under 3 in free anyway, and with the cultural pass that is the key: children under the age of 16 can enter for free along with one adult when they present their cultural pass at the entrance. But there's just something about the pass, and my toddler hanging it proudly around his neck, that makes it more fun to go check out these places around Louisville that we might not have otherwise approached. So, we’re trying to make our way around the city through seventeen or so sites and see how many we can venture through.
Since it’s summer now, my older child is along for the ride as well, but my toddler has really enjoyed the two places we’ve been to so far. We checked out the MakerSpace area for children at Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft last week. It was a very fun space, and reminded me a little bit of the old Art Sparks area at Speed Museum. There were plenty of small spaces to get creative with art, and my toddler loved the oversize chalkboard wall and the large art board with Velcro backed pieces that stuck to the wall, where kids can create a variety of artistic pictures, then rearrange and do it again! Yesterday we went to the Louisville Zoo. We haven’t renewed our family membership yet so it was a good time to use the cultural pass to head in for the day. The pass doesn’t cover the $5 parking fee at the zoo if you are not a member. We had fun exploring and seeing the Big Big Bugs exhibit currently on display throughout the zoo. We broke up our day by heading over to the splash park near Glacier Run and cooled off for a bit. What toddler doesn’t like our zoo? It’s pretty self-explanatory! I must say the one thing he talked about when we got home was those large animatronic bugs--he got a kick out of those! I think our next stop is going to be Riverside Farnsley or the Crane House (we haven’t been to either).
Here is the list of institutions participating in the Cultural Pass Program:American Printing House for the Blind MuseumBernheim ArboretumCarnegie Center for Art and HistoryAsia Institute-Crane HouseFilson Historical SocietyFrazier Historical Museum (Monday-Thursdays only)Gheens Science Hall & Rauch Planetarium (Weekend public shows, see the website for more details)Historic Locust Grove (Kid-friendly tours Monday-Friday 10:15am and 11:15am)Kentucky Derby MuseumKentucky Museum of Art and CraftKentucky Science Center (Mondays-Thursdays only)Kentucky ShakespeareLocal SpeedLouisville BalletLouisville Youth ChoirLouisville Zoo (Mondays only)Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen LandingStage One Family TheatreYew Dell Gardens
Surely you already have your cultural pass, know about the cultural pass, and are using your cultural pass. If not, head to an LFPL library branch or a Metro Parks community center to pick one up today. Again it is only for Louisville/Jefferson County residents, for children under age 16 and one accompanying adult, no matter how many passes/children are in the party. The passes are good for anyone up to age 22. Once you complete your tour of places on the pass, you can return the pass to your local library or center and be entered for some drawings of prizes. They must be turned in by August 25. You can find more information by heading to www.visionlouisville.com. Go and explore together!
Photos by Erin Nevitt; cover photo courtesy of www.louisvilleky.gov