I am always looking for fun and interesting things to do with my grandkids and I want to think I’m not a typical “grandma.” You won’t find me sitting in a rocking chair knitting or waiting at home for my grandkids to come visit me. There are so many fun things to do in Louisville with your grandchildren (and some are even free!). Where do I begin?
Roller Skating! You’re never too old to roller skate! Yes, I might be the oldest one out on the floor with my grandkids, but by putting on those skates and getting out there, all of the sudden I am 14 again, backward skating to Captain and Tenillle’s “Love Will Keep Us Together” as the blacklights flash and the disco ball sparkles. Having grown up at the old Skate World in J-Town, rollerskating brings back so many good memories for me. I wonder what ever happened to my skates – with the J-town maroon and white pom-poms and the glow in the dark wheels? Skating with the grandkids is an extra plus, even if Grandson #1 is getting older and will no longer do the Hokey-Pokey and Cha-Cha Slide with me. Check out Champ’s Rollerdrome  on LaGrange Road.
On a very hot and steamy day in July, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to take the grandkids to Waterfront Park. We easily parked at a meter on Witherspoon. The boys were thrilled that Grandma was letting them run through the fountain in their clothes! Not to mention, we all got drumstick ice cream cones from the vendor that was set up there. Next time, we rent bikes at Wheel Fun Rentals ….it was just too hot for Grandma on that day!
Who doesn’t love animals? If you’ve never been to Henry’s Ark , you really need to go. Located at 7801 Rose Island Road in Prospect, you can hand feed goats, deer, zebras, and ostriches. You can also see beautiful peacocks! There is no admission fee, although donations are accepted. And while you’re at it, take that scenic drive down River Road, stopping to swing and watch the boats at Carrie Gaulbert Cox Park  and maybe have a fish sandwich at Cunningham’s .
One of our favorite free things to do is to feed the many ducks and geese at Papa John’s Park  on Bluegrass Parkway. This is a beautiful place to walk and take photographs. Who says you have to spend money to have fun? Grandson #2 always asks me to take him here, and then proceeds to clean out my pantry of all the crackers, bread and chips. But that’s okay with me!
Kids love to make things, do art projects, etc. Why not take them Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics ? I can’t believe I just found out about this a few months ago and I really can’t believe it’s totally free. Since then, we’ve been regular attendees. Led by Lowe’s employees on select Saturday mornings, my grandkids were psyched to get a Lowe’s work apron (to keep) and a hammer to work with. They give each child a kit to build. The boys have built a wooden tow truck (which we later spray painted…that’s another story!), wooden binoculars (that actually work believe it or not!), and a wooden back-to-school photo holder. Watching the kids hammer away frankly can give you a headache, but seeing the smile on their face when they show you what they built is priceless. They also get a certificate and a patch that they can sew onto their apron and proudly show it off the next time they attend.
Granted, when you think of cemetaries, you don’t automatically think “oh, that’s fun!” But there’s something very important about taking your grandchildren to visit their deceased relatives. I like to take the opportunity to have a dialogue with my grandsons about life, death, Heaven, and Jesus. Children are naturally curious and you’d be surprised how open they are to accepting death and asking legitimate questions. Now, I have them asking me all the time to take them to visit their great-grandmother. This warms my heart.
One last thing that I sure think is fun . . . be sure to take those grandkids to church!
I’m thinking our next stop will be ziplining at Mega Caverns ! Who’s with me?
Photos: Alice Robinson