How to family fun in Winchester
That family that plays together . . . well, you know the rest. Winchester has lots of ways for families to play, stay and spend the day together. Here are nine of them:
Rainy day fun is hands-on fun at Created By You, Winchester’s professional ceramic studio. Choose a piece of pottery and spend a pleasant morning or afternoon painting your own designs—and creating family memories. Want to bring the good times home? Purchase your choice of Pottery-To-Go kits, complete with pottery, paint and brushes—everything needed for each family member to create a masterpiece.
A tent, that is. Family-friendly Red River Boat Dock and Campground offers tent sites, RV hookups and a few air-conditioned cabins for camping at the historic ferry crossing where the Red River meets the Kentucky River. Camping, fishing, hiking, live music, kayak rentals, cornhole tournaments, lots of food—there’s always something happening at this peaceful campground stretching out along Red River’s shoreline.
EVENT: On Saturday, July 8, Red River is planning its annual fireworks show. Bring a lawn chair and watch the sky light up while Renegade plays. Check Facebook page for updates.
Rent a canoe or kayak from Three Trees Canoe-Kayak Rental and RV Park for a day of exploring the ancient geologic formation, the Kentucky River Palisades. In the evening, settle in for the night at the RV Park, with full hook-ups, picnic tables and clean restrooms and showers. Three Trees is located just a mile from Fort Boonesborough State Park.
Play at a park, but not just any park—one that comes alive with the sound of music, courtesy of a one-of-a-kind climbing musical instrument. The Dulcimer Climber pays tribute to the Appalachian string instrument created in the 1800s and Kentucky’s most renowned dulcimer-maker, Winchester’s own Homer Ledford. Ledford handcrafted more than 6,000 musical instruments (many of them dulcimers) during his lifetime. This unique feature anchors the fun at Legacy Grove, a 30-acre accessible park with adventure play area with swings, spinners, slides, fort and an Exploration Creek kids can splash in, plus nature trails, walking paths and more.
EVENT: The park’s Legacy Nights series, featuring family fun, food trucks and music by NVRMND with Sydney Norman (5:30-8 p.m.) takes place on Tuesday, July 11.
Grab provisions for a day of hiking the Red in Winchester and then make the 35-minute drive to Red River Gorge. Gas, Ale-8, water, chicken and biscuits, assorted snacks—make one stop for everything at Winchester’s Clark’s Pump-n-Shop (famous for its Ale-8 “cave”)—and you can call ahead to place your food order.
See an operating room from a century or so ago at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum. From 1927 to 1971, this building was the Guerrant Mission Clinic and Hospital and remained in use as a clinic until 1989 when the hospital closed. On the third floor, in the Guerrant Clinic and Hospital Rooms exhibit, see an operating table, sterilizing machine, surgical tools and supplies and more from way back when. The gallery is among exhibits, including Homer Ledford’s workshop, a hotel’s barber shop, Civil War-era bullets, buckles and buttons and vintage phones – with one that goes back nearly 140 years. (How on earth does that fit into your pocket?)
Although very little remains of the earthen fort at the Civil War Fort at Boonesboro, it is well worth a visit for the Insta-worthyviews. Follow the 1-mile loop trail for panoramic sweeps of the Kentucky River Valley. Then dial into a cell phone tour at 859-592-9166 and learn about this fort built and defended by Union Soldiers during the Civil War.
Take a mid-week break and celebrate National Hot Dog Day on Wednesday, July 19 with a family picnic at a Winchester/Clark County park with shelters and playground, like Wiseman, Massie or Lykins park. P.S. July 19 is also National Daiquiri Day, so parents, steal away to DJ’s Steakhouse Bar & Grill or Hall’s on the River and order one of these frosty concoctions. (Need a picnic hamper? Poke around Winchester antique stores—Eve’s Uniques, the Old Red Barn Mall—for hamper, basket or bag to tote picnic supplies.)
Head to the countryside for an overnight surrounded by acres and acres of rolling farm and pastureland beneath the open sky above. How many constellations can you find? The stars shine brighter in the country, making for ideal stargazing at these getaways: Franklin Ridge Farm sits on 150 country acres and features a guesthouse with front porch swings and outdoor firepit; Mt. Folly Farm’s Historic Log Cabin is perched in the midst of 1,000 acres where families can enjoy hiking, birding, and biking around the property; and the Basin Springs House, located in a private storybook setting at the Peacock Ranch.