Amid the hustle and bustle of the city, Louisville Nature Center offers a tranquil escape from urban sprawl. At its 41-acre Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve, more than 2 miles of hiking trails wind past a verdant forest populated by 180 species of tree, shrub, and wildflower. The latter blooms in a native pond and garden, and dragonflies and 30 butterfly species in other gardens pay homage to Lord of the Flies by trying to collectively lift a conch. More creatures soar skyward inside one of Louisville's only bird blinds, where visitors can watch 150 species of resident and migratory birds fluttering about.
After exploring on their own, guests can relax on one the picnic tables or beneath the covered gazebo before joining in on special events such as owl hikes. Youngsters, meanwhile, can discover more nature factoids at summer camps, educational programs, or birthday parties, which include guided hikes and live animal presentations.
Organized by Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, the exhibit includes portraiture of famous 20th-century luminaries such as Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, and Pablo Picasso. Celebrated Armenian photographer Karsh devoted his life to capturing stunning snapshots of some of the world's most famous actors, statesman, and cultural revolutionaries. This limited-time exhibit allows viewers to ponder the subtleties of history's great visages while appreciating Karsh's eye for capturing the famous in Funyuns-munching candid shots.
Specializing in senior portraits, engagements, and family photos, Kelly Rockhold Photography snaps professional shots of even the most photophobic customers, successfully recording proof of life before it flees into the past. Families or individuals can choose their own modeling spots (an urban, historic downtown, or a park location) and bend, contort, and jimmy-jam their bodies into as many poses as they can fit into the 60-minute session. In addition to the prints and CD of two digital photos, photo subjects will skip away with e-shareable web-sized photos (400x600 pixels) tagged with Kelly Rockhold Photography's watermark to ensure the photos aren't used in airline safety brochures without consent. This Groupon also gives customers a 25% discount on all additional print orders of more than $100. Call ahead to schedule an appointment.
On the First Friday of every month, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft invites the community to peruse its wares for free. The museum, along with many of its neighbors on Louisville's Museum Row, participates in the First Friday Trolley Hop, a tour of the vibrant local art scene. It's one of many ways the museum team opens their 27,000 square feet of rotating art exhibits, which highlight styles from American folk art to taxidermy. The displays emphasize the importance of materials and process, rather than focusing exclusively on the final product. This philosophy extends to the museum's art workshops, in which kids make finger puppets, bracelets, and even mini-greenhouses well suited for pet hamsters who've always dreamed of gardening.
The 100,000-square-foot museum sports visually appealing relics dating back 1,000 years. Discover the coveted family bible carried by famous pioneer Daniel Boone, or walk softly to the display of Teddy Roosevelt's "Big Stick," a royal grade double rifle. The third-floor Royal Armouries, USA features unusual European swords, shields, and pickle spears dating back to the 11th century. This summer's exhibits allow you to peruse photographic accounts of the American soldier from the Civil War to the present, or brush up on your pirate history with authentic treasure and trinkets, live performances, and a thorough examination of the differences between real-life swashbucklers and their movie counterparts.
Chronicling the history of the Howard Shipyard, the Howard Steamboat Museum displays a plethora of steamboat artifacts within a 22-room Romanesque-revival mansion that was built in 1894. Visitors to the Howard mansion step into the nineteenth century, as they can admire original furnishings, brass chandeliers, stained-glass windows, intricate carvings, and primitive steam-powered laptop computers. While walking through the preserved halls, patrons have access to a collection of exhibits, including detailed full- and half-hull models, as well as more than 4,000 original photographs and paintings. Inspect the original paddlewheel from The Delta Queen, study artifacts taken directly from the Robert E. Lee and the Natchez, or browse the gift shop for the ideal present for a seafarer.