Yay! We had our first, official, family vacation! No extra grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, or the like….just our little family of four. And it was a huge success!
First we spent a few days in Louisville. I know it’s not necessarily a sought-after vacation destination….but it worked for us. It was drivable, had stuff for kids to do, was reasonably priced, and most importantly, was close enough to Santa Claus, IN to justify spending the end of the vacation there! Not that I think Santa Claus, IN is any more of a destination, but we wanted to take the boys to Holiday World for a few days.
Louisville’s first stop was the Churchill Downs. We took a quick tour of the track, moseyed through the museum, (pretend) bet on old races without knowing the outcomes, and saw a retired racehorse.
While in Louisville we also managed to fit in a horse and carriage ride around downtown and a trip to the Louisville Zoo. Thanks to our STL Zoo membership we got into the Louisville Zoo for free courtesy of a reciprocal agreement. The boys loved the zoo and their super cool zoo key that told the kids about each animal as they wandered the grounds (seriously – it was $4 well spent!).
Now – for Holiday World! It’s a great amusement park complete with water park inside. Admission prices are based on height (because that’s what determines how many of the rides you can ride!) and soft drinks, sunscreen and shows are all free once you’re inside the park. Everything has a holiday theme – so you wander from Christmas to Halloween to Fourth of July to Thanksgiving as you enjoy the day.
Nathan just barely made the 36in mark (we’re talking cm to spare here!) so he could even ride a few of the big kid rides. We got the boys on the log flume, two of the big water rides, and enough kiddie rides to last a lifetime. The first day we arrived at opening and left 30 minutes before they closed. Nathan actually fell asleep while cruising one of two lazy rivers – so we just carried him to a shady spot and made a bed out of beach towels for a few hours!
If you buy your “next day” ticket before you leave the park – it’s half price! So back we went for day 2. Although our second trip was much shorter – we had to drive home that evening – we did manage to fit in a visit with Santa Claus during one of his daily story times.
We had a great time celebrating our little family! No work had to be done, no speech therapy sessions to attend, no doctor appointments or the like. Just some fun and relaxation for the four of us! Priceless!