Exploring Kentucky Bourbon Trail: A Family Perspective

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Family Adventure Day

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Mayor Greg Fischer recently declared he wanted Louisville to become the bourbon tourism capital of the world. Bourbon is Kentucky’s native spirit and our
bourbon heritage is rich, but is it family-friendly? Can you really take your kids to a
distillery?
 photo d30c6980-e721-47db-b05d-03e577a10476_zpsa14564ec.jpg photo 2df96100-056b-44b0-9237-c744456ee1b4_zpsd74991b8.jpgThe answer is absolutely yes. There is so much more to Kentucky’s Native
spirit than Manhattans and Mint Juleps. For starters, early settlers started making bourbon so their crops
wouldn’t spoil during the long and arduous transport through the mountains of
Appalachia. It was a way to preserve the
harvest more than anything. And
Kentucky’s natural limestone deposits, also responsible for our world-famous
bluegrass, are the main reason Kentucky bourbon is the gold standard.
 photo a5255c2d-026f-4285-9dcd-0d842a62858b_zpsdc83ed87.jpgBardstown, KY is a great place to start learning about
Kentucky’s history, both bourbon and non-bourbon related. In addition to Bardstown’s historic Main Street and My Old Kentucky Home State Park,
Bardstown is also home to a high concentration of bourbon heritage. Visit Heaven Hill’s Bourbon Heritage Center and take your kids on a trolley ride tour of the distillery and downtown
Bardstown while you learn about local history. Visit the Oscar Getz Whiskey Museum and view bourbon artifacts and historic documents such as Abraham Lincoln’s
liquor license.
Another great destination for families is Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort. At only an hour from
Louisville this is a totally easy day trip for most of us. Their Trace Tour lasts an hour and is open to
all ages. In addition to these awesome
tours, Buffalo Trace also hosts numerous family-friendly events throughout the year.  There’s an Easter
Egg Hunt, a 5k, and Disturbia at the Distillery for Halloween, among many others.

 photo 259957ad-3a33-4927-9e00-40af33311f51_zps1d5687ee.jpgI recently attended a panel discussion in which Freddie
Johnson of Buffalo Trace talked about taking groups of 4H kids on distillery
tours.  They get to see the crops their
parents grow turned into a premium product, while learning about the science and
business that go into bourbon.
 photo IMG_2321_zps8f15bc2e.jpg photo IMG_2317_zps9f99c189.jpgDistillery tours are fun for all ages. I’ve taken kids in strollers to the Maker’s Mark Distillery,
where we learned about bourbon production from start to finish, visited a rack
house full of bourbon barrels, and learned about the angel’s share. Check the Kentucky Bourbon Trail’s website for all eight
member distilleries. Each distillery may
have different rules about kids, so be sure to check before you plan your
visit.
By guest contributor: Maggie
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