Collins Bowling Centers continues a tradition that began more than 50 years ago with spacious lanes primed for open-bowling sessions, league play, and inclusive children's birthday parties. Aside from offering pin-blasting action throughout the week, the center encourages guests to sign up for bowling lessons at the pro shop, grab a drink at the lounge, or reunite tokens with their estranged relatives in the onsite arcade.
Through informative lectures and thought-provoking exhibits, Lexington History Museum assists all age groups in interpreting and internalizing the city's storied past. A family membership grants you and your kin unlimited access to the exhibits, including Play Date With History, an interactive display inviting children and overanxious history majors to dally around with toys, such as tree branches and miniature tea sets, that Abraham Lincoln's children might have played with in the 1800s. Track the history of key plunking with the Antique Typewriters exhibit, which offers a glimpse into the word processor's lifespan, from its heyday in 1872 to the Great Typewriter Rebellion of 2002. Members also receive The Bluegrass History, a quarterly publication, unlimited free ketchup packets from the place down the street, The Vidette newsletter, and a 10% discount on any additional merchandise.
Real-life attractions permeate the museum’s nine discovery zones, where youngsters enclose themselves in giant bubbles, groom life-sized horses in a stable, and use their hands and feet to play virtual pianos or pop virtual balloons projected onto the floor. Whereas older children can build their own adobe wall in the Homes Around the World area, kids aged 3 and younger can watch wild birds from an observation window or don woodland-creature costumes in the Wonder Woods.
Along with its hands-on exhibits, the nonprofit museum stimulates youngsters with a slew of outreach programs. It keeps the art studio stocked with supplies that kids can use to unleash their creativity and invites more than 100 artists younger than 18 to exhibit and sell their work in the annual Museum Go Round. The museum’s summer camps and weekend programs cover kid-friendly subjects that range from performing drama to breaking down the tax code clause by clause.
Located at Blue Grass Airport, the Aviation Museum of Kentucky pays tribute to the Commonwealth’s rich history of aviation with its impressive squadron of rare and restored aircraft, aviation memorabilia, interactive educational displays, and active aviation restoration shop. Inside the museum, a flock of steel birds suspended on wires hangs from the hangar’s expansive ceiling. A replica of Matthew Sellers’ 1908 quadraplane—the first aircraft built and flown in Kentucky—headlines the museum collection, extending its majestic wings to shake the hands of awestruck visitors. Other exceptional designs include a Skyhawk once flown by the Navy’s Blue Angels, an F-14 Tomcat jet-fighter as seen in the film Top Gun, and a high-bypass turbofan used to propel modern jumbo jets.
Guided tours and interactive exhibits delve into the science and history of flight, while the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame honors the lives of those who have soared among the clouds, whether in planes or wrapped around the waist of Michael Jordan. Young ones, meanwhile, can learn more about the variety of aviation careers and set their sights on following the tailwinds of famous pilots and designers.
Bluegrass Riding Academy’s owner and director Dr. Sally Haydon schools pupils of all ability in the art of English-style saddle-seat riding atop american saddlebred steeds. During the 30-minute group lessons, equestrians ages 7 and older will cover riding basics, as well as horse care, preparation, and determining which oats are for feeding and which are for wild sowing as they travel around the academy’s indoor arena. Dr. Haydon earned her Ph.D. in equine studies, and her renowned full-service horse-care and -training facility imparts equine knowledge through a broad range of college courses, camps, and lessons that teach casual riders about the breed and prep more serious horsefolk for competition.
Head instructor Sandra Middleton cares for neglected and unwanted horses at Paddle Stone Equestrian Center and trains young riders to ride and respect the animals. Since the ranch’s inception in 2000, instructors have introduced beginners as young as 4 years old to horseback riding and helped intermediate riders along the path to mastery through private and group lessons. As hooves beat staccato time, riders learn hunter/jumper techniques, a classic style pioneered by English fox hunters. Western lessons introduce methods developed by cowboys, who needed to stay near steers during long rides or the scary parts of Jurassic Park. The center is home to more than one dozen equines, allowing each pupil to ride a well-rested mount before learning the subtleties of proper handling and care when not in the saddle. Once a student has demonstrated the ability to trot, the center encourages him or her to travel to shows for further improvement.