Horseback riding and riding lessons, live concerts and food truck dining at a distillery, an unhurried brunch, a dip in a pool or hot tub – Shelby County pairs well with couples looking for an adventure that’s a little bit different and a lot more exciting than your average date night.

Ride off into the sunset

Spend the day together, enjoying nature’s raw and quiet beauty on a horseback ride into densely forested Shelby Trails Park. Twenty-one wooded acres of groomed hiking and horseback riding trails are within this former 462-acre farm that is now an equestrian and nature preserve, a haven for birds and other wildlife.

Looking for a hobby to share? The Red Fern Riding Center at Shelby Trails Park offers English riding lessons and teaches horsemanship from the ground up. Would-be equestrians can learn how to brush and tack a horse up. Of course, there is ample riding time provided to practice your new skills. See more info and rates at

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Relax and Relish

Munch on brunch in the charming gallery-like dining rooms at Bell House in downtown Shelbyville. Built in 1902 as a private residence, the restaurant celebrates the joy of good food by the daily ringing of a bell that dates back to the mid-1800s when it was used as a city fire bell and now sits in the restaurant’s front yard.

Saturday’s brunch is a leisurely repast that lasts from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and includes such delectables as eggs Benedict, steak and eggs, a chef’s plate arrayed with eggs, sausage or bacon, toast and country potatoes. Mimosas may be ordered from the bar and prices are a la carte. Have tickets for Shelby County Community Theatre? Located mere steps from the award-winning theatre, Bell House is also the perfect place to grab pre-show dinner.


Rock out at a spirits distillery

Recipe for the perfect date? A one-of-a-kind guided tour and spirits tasting at beautiful Jeptha Creed Distillery to sample vodka, moonshine and/or bourbon made from the intriguingly named heirloom Bloody Butcher corn. Head through the back patio and to the warehouse area for a behind-the-scenes look at where the magic happens.

Plan your JC outing for a Friday evening when the distillery hosts Jammin’ at Jeptha, featuring live music on the patio, local food trucks and craft cocktails at the bar. Bands perform 6-9 p.m. Food trucks are available 5-9 p.m. and the bar remains open until 10 p.m. Check the website to see the lineup of bands and food trucks:


Round up a keepsake

Head to the Jeptha Creed gift shop to pick up a souvenir. Fan faves include the bottles of moonshine ($24.99) and vodka ($27.49), but there are items ranging in price from 25 cents (matches) to $99.99 (a barrel head) and everything in between: cocktail shakers, bar spoons, jiggers and other accessories for making cocktails at home; a cocktail recipe brochure listing all the ingredients needed, which can also be purchased at Jeptha; and more.

Couples seeking a perfect date night in will find it in the distillery’s cooking gift basket ($84.99) that includes cornmeal, Apple Pie Moonshine, an apron and utensils.


Rest and refresh

Stretch out for the night at the Ramada Shelbyville/Louisville East, featuring comfortable rooms with updated décor and including some with jetted tubs. Amenities include a fitness center and an indoor pool complex with hot tub and plenty of seating. A free hot breakfast bar and Wi-Fi are also included.