Family Adventure Guide to Shelby County
Farms and fresh fruit, petting zoos and canoes. Sound low- or no-tech? Yes, and that’s exactly the point. Shelby County has lots of fresh-air fun and adventure for families looking to connect with each other – not their electronics. Kids may want to keep their phones for snapping selfies, but they’ll happily unplug to feed baby the baby animals, climb aboard a hay wagon, paddle across a lake, toast s’mores at the fire pit and dig into a fried fruit pie washed down with an apple cider slushie.

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Share in fresh-air fun

Gallrein Farms offers an assortment of family-friendly activities spring through fall (and especially in September and October), sure to please every member of the family. Hop aboard the hayride and set off in search of the perfect pumpkin. Take a stroll through the petting zoo and get up close to some of the adorable critters that live on the farm. Wind your way through the corn maze and test your skills at launching pumpkins.

Up for a challenge? Someone has to be king of the hay stack! Next, tackle the obstacle course or pick a design and get your face painted. From the corn pit and play straw activities to pedal tractors and the bounce house, there are tons of activities for all age groups.


Mulberry Orchard offers fresh local produce, including 17 varieties of peaches and 16 varieties of apples. Visitors can also treat themselves to hayrides through the orchard, a visit with the animals and a kids’ play area. In addition to the market, the scenery is breathtaking spring, summer and fall, and worthy of a view from a porch-side rocking chair. After you’ve sat a spell, grab a bite to eat at the Mulberry Kitchen before heading out to pick your own pumpkin. Don’t leave before taking on the challenging corn maze.


For more outdoor adventures, try kayaking at Guist Creek Lake, the largest lake in the county. With more than 300 acres, the lake is primarily used for fishing, but it’s the perfect size for canoeing and kayaking. The lake bottom is only about 15 feet deep on average, and there are over 25 miles of shoreline to explore as you paddle along. Keep an eye on the rural scenery and you might spot wild turkey, deer and other wildlife meandering through the area.


Show off your souvenir

What better way to capture memories of your adventures than by creating a souvenir yourself? A visit to Gogh Crazy on Main will help you do just that. Schedule a paint party with your family, and you’ll each create a work of art that you can hang on your wall and admire for years to come. From symbols of the season to horses – this is the American Saddlebred Capital of the World, after all! – there are plenty of options to choose from, so be sure to check out the schedule before you go.


Slide up to the table

There are a ton of great dining options in Shelby County, and one of the most well-known is Claudia Sanders Dinner House. For almost 50 years, diners have been enjoying the southern hospitality and family-style service of this popular restaurant. Opened by Colonel Sanders and his wife, Claudia, in 1968, just four years after they sold their 600-restaurant Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise, Claudia Sanders serves locally-sourced ingredients on their menu, which includes Claudia’s award-winning fried chicken and soft, warm yeast rolls.


Shop ‘til everyone drops

Everyone needs to bring their shopping A game to The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass. With a dizzying array of high-end shops – about a 100 at last count – Mom, Dad and kids will all have their own ideas of which places to hit first: Coach, Saks, Gucci, Brooks Brothers, The North Face, Charlotte Russe, Toys “R” Us and so many more. And when hunger sets in, nine restaurants (including two sit-down eateries) will tempt you with their goodies. Be sure to treat yourselves for a shopping trip well done at Ghirardelli Chocolates. With so many ice cream flavors on the menu, everyone can choose their favorite.

Slumber party in Horse Country

If you have a large group or family, or just a family that likes to have a lot of space, Chandler Ridge is a great option for overnight accommodations. The rural location adds to the charm of this 3-story cabin in the woods. When you come up the drive, you’ll find a picturesque gazebo made even more beautiful by the surrounding landscape. The living area and kitchen are on the main floor, as is access to a spacious deck overlooking a good-sized yard and pond. Fishing equipment is located by the basement door, and there’s a fire pit in the yard, perfect for campfire stories and making s’mores. There are also several game tables available for indoor entertainment.