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    So, school has resumed and my seventh grader is back to the daily grind. That means my four-year-old and I are out and about scouring our own places to go together as a parent/preschooler combo. Here's a late summer itinerary to check out together in the Louisville area!


    7:30 a.m. - Drop the seventh grader off at school. Run back home to change out of pajamas and brush teeth. Pour the remains of the morning coffee into the blender to make a mocha caffeinated "shakeo" drink for a snack later in the afternoon. Find something the preschooler will eat other than a few pieces of Honeycomb cereal.

    8:00 a,m. - Chase preschooler around the kitchen table ten times and finally get close enough to grab him to get him dressed. Look for some socks that match. Get him dressed then take him to go potty and start over. Do not find socks that match so go with the flow because we're ready to get the day started!

    8:30 a.m. - Tackle preschooler into his stroller to walk up to Louisville Coffee Company, a local coffee shop in the Jeffersontown neighborhood in which I live. I love that I can walk to this local shop through the newly renovated streetscape areas along Taylorsville Road and Watterson Trail. It's a great walk at a little over a mile and I love it in the morning with the little bit of bustle going on during the morning commute. Everyone who lives near Jeffersontown should get out and walk about to start driving more foot traffic to the area. It's lovely to walk around the downtown area of the historic Gaslight Square district.

    9:30 a.m. - After grabbing a coffee to go and a dessert treat by a local gal or some small batch ice cream by Bernoulli's, head to the Jeffersontown Veteran's Memorial Park. There are two great playgrounds and plenty of paved walking paths to explore together. One path leads down to a creek and runs through the city's recreational trail system. Stop and enjoy a snack together.

    10:00 a.m. - Hop in your car and head north on Taylorsville Road. One of the places I like to take my preschooler is to Bowman Field to explore the grounds some. You can park and get up close to the fence and watch for some of the smaller planes and helicopters taking off and landing, which he just absolutely adores. We spend a little bit of time here, but we have also been here on Thunder Over Louisville days with a blanket and a picnic and sit under a nice shady tree in the grass. It's lovely for little ones who love planes!

    10:30 a.m. - Hop back in the car and continue down Taylorsville Road toward Bardstown Road. You could veer to the right and drive to Seneca Park and explore there which has plenty of playing opportunities for preschoolers. We're going to drive to the upper Highlands area and check out the goings on at local store and community center Mama's Hip. It is located at 1559 Bardstown Road and almost every day of the week there is adventure waiting. Most Fridays of the week they offer a toddler art, crafting, music or yoga session which is a lot of fun for parents and preschoolers. Even if there isn't anything going on per se, stopping by and talking with shop owner Shannon Porter will brighten up your day. Shop this local gem and let your child play in the back room play area. There are tons of locally sourced items to choose from, especially neat recyclable toys. One day we picked up this toy helicopter that was made from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs. Cool stuff!

    11:30 a.m. - It's getting close to lunch time, and one restaurant along Bardstown Road that is definitely suited for my restless preschooler is Tom+Chee. It's located at 1704 Bardstown Road. I love grilled cheese as does he, and I can get mine all crafted and dolled up while he can get the more basic version, and we'll both be grinning!

    12 p.m. - Hit up another local park nearby. Some that come to mind are Tyler Park, Cherokee Park, and Breslin Park. Travel a little further and head toward downtown to Waterfront Park and the Big Four Bridge, or go toward the Frankfort Avenue area and find the Crescent Hill Reservoir. You can walk around there together and then play at the sprayground and playground at Mary T Meagher Aquatic Center.

    1 p.m. - We'll be heading back home for a fingers crossed nap to occur then off to school carpool line to get antsy while we wait for older sister. Have a great day whatever you and your preschooler decide, and comment and let us know what you do!

    Other areas of town you could check out that offer a variety of programming for younger children:
    Local Speed in NuLu - offers free drop in family art activities on most Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    Good Garbage: Center for Creative Reuse in Clifton area offers a Kids Make and Take on the 3rd Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Shine Studio in Clifton Center offers Music Together classes for parents and children to experience together
    Side by Side Art Studio in Clifton/Crescent Hill offers Toddler Create and Explore and Preschool Art and Tinkering classes on a varied schedule
    Louisville Free Public Library branches offer storytimes and other children's programming daily; Carmichael's Kids also has storytimes on Thursday mornings plus other children's-related events
    Idlewild Butterfly Farm at 1100 Logan Street is a unique place to explore butterflies and other insects in a natural habitat

    Have fun exploring together!

    Cover photo courtesy of Idlewild Butterfly Farm, Facebook; other photos by Erin Nevitt
     

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    About Erin Nevitt

    Longtime Louisvillian, I am a children's librarian at heart and have a passion for children's lit. I am most recently a stay-at-home mom who is always on the move, searching for family fun in Louisville. If it's free, it's preferable!

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