Thursday, December 17, 2015

Ways to give back and help others during the holidays

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Let's help make this amazing community even better by showing love and kindness to all those in need- not just this holiday season, but all year long! Here's a few places to donate toys, clothes, or time!

The Shelby County Fire Department is collecting toys for their annual toy drive until December 17 (today!) at Fire Station 1. There are also several Toys for Tots boxes set up around town to collect new toys for children in need.

Help a child or family in need through the Angel Tree. There are several angel trees around the county that still have angels that need to be adopted. Kroger has a tree full of angels looking for food donations or gift cards. Call local churches to see if they still have angels or families in need of assistance. 

The Teen Advisory Board at the SCPL is sponsoring a Christmas Blanket Drive for Northside Early Childhood Center preschool children. They need new small, fleece blankets. There are boxes set up in the library if you would like to participate.

Crestview Care and Rehabilitation is looking for volunteers to help residents through arts, crafts, games, music, reading, and other activities. Crestview will also host small groups to include interested residents for community or religious involvement. Call Brittany Mitchell at 633-2454 to volunteer today!

Therapeutic Riding Association Inc. of Louisville (T.R.A.I.L) is located in Simpsonville and is looking for individuals who enjoy horses and working with special needs children and adults to help assist with therapeutic riding lessons. Call Nathalie Green at 876-7844 if this sounds like something that you could assist with. 

Do you knit or crochet? If so, A Place to Sleep, needs volunteers who can knit or crochet blocks for blankets. Free yarn and hooks/needles are available if needed. Contact Lynn Whittaker at 321-7116 if you can help out with this great ministry.

Ink to Skin Tattoo Studio is having a toy drive. If you bring in a $20 toy you will be given a $50 gift certificate towards a tattoo done by Joe. The deadline to donate is December 20th. 

You can donate your gently used items to Operation Care or Centro Latino on Main Street.

Shelby County Animal Shelter is looking for volunteers to walk, play with, and socialize with dogs and cats. Call 633-0009 to volunteer today! Tyson's Chance Animal Foundation is always looking for donations of various items. Like them on Facebook to keep up with what they are in need of the most.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby County is accepting donations for the families in need that they serve. They are always looking for mentors and community leaders to serve on their advisory board. They have mentors waiting to be matched with youth ages 7-16. If you want to be a Big Brother or Big Sister call 753-3745 or visit today!

An easy way to give back is to make sure your Kroger card is linked up to your local school, church, or nonprofit through their Community Rewards program. It's an easy way to raise money for your organization, just by shopping at Kroger and swiping your card!

I'm sure there are many other great ways to give back in Shelby County. If you know of any that you would like to add to the list, please email me at and I will gladly add it! Thank you!

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles!

If you're from Shelby County then you are probably familiar with the 'Bubble Man' who sells bubble wands that create gigantic bubbles! My family has seen him in several parking lots and at the farmer's market selling his creations, and watching in awe as the huge bubbles float high into the sky.

The weather the next few days will be perfect to get outside and blow some bubbles! You may even be able to find the Bubble Man around town to purchase some of his wands (great Christmas gift!). A friend of mine bought some wands this summer, and was given the award winning bubble soap recipe!

The Bubble Man's Guar Gum Recipe:
  • 2 tablespoons guar gum powder (xanthan gum substitute can be found at Kroger and will work too)
  • 2-4 tablespoons rubbing alcohol (you must make a guar slurry, before adding it to the water)
  • 3 gallons of HOT tap water
  • 2 tablespoons of baking powder
  • 18 oz. Dawn Power Clean Platinum dish soap
In a bucket, pour 3 gallons HOT tap water and add the baking power. Mix it well, until there are no lumps. Set mixture aside. Measure the guar gum powder into a small bowl and add enough rubbing alcohol to blend it into a smooth, lump-free slurry that will pour easily. Start stirring the water in the bucket until it’s moving quickly enough to create a slight vortex in the center. At that time, pour the guar/alcohol slurry into it and continue to stir for two minutes to allow it to thicken slightly and allow the guar to hydrate. Next, gently mix in the dish soap (try to avoid foaming). Let the whole thing sit for about 15 minutes. When the bubbles are popping prematurely, the addition of a pinch of Polyethylene Oxide can have a profound effect. A small amount of sediment at the bottom is normal.

The wand can be created with pvc pipes, caps, and cotton string. I recommend purchasing some from the Bubble Man next time you see him around town! Have you seen how big those bubbles are?!

Get ready to start popping.......

*These directions were given to P. Farris by the Bubble Man. 
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Winter Break Fun in Shelby County

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It's Winter Break! Here's a few ideas of things to do around town for those needing to burn off some energy or get out of the house for a bit!

Spend the day at the Family Activity Center in Shelbyville. Who says you can't go swimming in the summer? They have a great indoor lap pool and indoor kiddie pool!  Check out their daily fees here.

 photo 0312151436_zpsnpvretj4.jpgHike! It may be Winter Break, but that doesn't mean it's going to feel like Winter everyday. The temperatures are supposed to be in the 60s and 70s. If that's the case, hit the trails. We have some great ones in the area, especially the new Clear Creek Greenway Trail. If the weather's nice you could also try geocaching! It's free and fun!

Let the kids burn off some steam at Kaleidoscopes Indoor Playground. Kids are $6 each, and parents are free now! They can play all day for that price. They have great little areas set up for parents to relax or hook up to the wi-fi and get some work done. They also have a cute little restaurant! (I saw on their Facebook page that they are creating new exhibits and installing a new play feature this week- woohoo!)

Go watch a movie at Great Escape 8 Shelbyville. Did you know if you sign up to be a Regal Crown Club member (which is FREE to do) you can get popcorn for $2 every Tuesday!

Don't forget about Family Night at Baskin Robbins. From 5 to close on Tuesdays, kid's scoops are $1 and regular scoops are $1.50! It's never too cold for ice cream!

Check out the library's calendar! They will be open several days during Winter Break. Whether you're going to story time, using the computers, letting the kids do some puzzles/games in the children's area, or checking out books- there's always something to do at the library!

If you're looking for somewhere to drop the kids off for awhile (or most of the day) check out The Discovery Gym. They are having big kid camps and little kid camps before and after Christmas! You can register here. Don't forget to sign up starting after the New Year for their next session of gymnastics classes!

Give back to others in Shelby County! Here's some ideas on what you and your family can do to help others!

Here's our list of 50 FREE things to do in Shelby County! You may be able to find a few things on the list to do during Winter Break!

You may also be interested in our Kids Eat Free list!

Whatever you and your family decide to do, enjoy each other's company and have fun! Shelby Family Fun wishes you a very joyous and safe holiday season! We'll see you again in 2016! 

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Photos with Santa in Shelby County

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It's time to bring out those cute Christmas outfits! 
Santa is making several photo-op stops in Shelby County!

Metzger's Country Store (Simpsonville)
December 5, 12 &19,  9:30-1:30
Bring family, friends, and pets to have pictures with Santa
Bring your own camera!!

Wal-Mart Pictures with Santa
December 5 & 6, 11-4
December 12 & 13, 11-4

Shelby County Library
December 6, 1-3:30
Free pictures with Santa, refreshments, music, stories, and more!

Breakfast with Santa
University of Louisville Golf Club
December 12, 9:30-11 am
Call 852-8958 for reservations or more info

Strolling Santa at The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass
December 12 and 19, 4-9 pm

Kroger (Shelbyville)
December 19, 11-2

Cookies and Milk with Santa
Wakefield Scearce Galleries
December 20, 1-4 pm
*Donations accepted to benefit Montgomery Family Adoption

We will continue to update our list as we learn of more places where Santa will be posing for pictures. There are a few places that haven't finalized dates/times yet. Please check back for more info! If you know of any, please email and we will gladly add it to our list. Thanks!

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