The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) was first formed in Louisville, Kentucky in 1989. Though its programming has since spread across the country, affecting more than 4.5 million parents and children, Louisville still remains the site of NCFL’s headquarters. As the national nonprofit celebrates 30 years of education solutions for families this year, its Families Learning Conference returns to Louisville—the place where it all began—this November.
From the Kentucky Derby to Muhammad Ali, Louisville is known for its world-famous people and events. Beyond these global icons, though, the city is home to many more attractions, museums, and cuisine, including a very popular beverage.
Rich with limestone, fertile soil, and temperature extremes, Kentucky has become the perfect place to manufacture bourbon, and approximately 95 percent of all bourbon is made in Kentucky today. As the state’s largest city, this makes Louisville a destination for fans of the spirit across the world. Downtown Louisville is home to a bevy of distilleries, including Evan Williams, a tour of which is part of the Main Ticket—a package that includes admission into multiple downtown attractions.
Your trip to Louisville is bound to make you hungry, too, so be sure to sit down for a Hot Brown. This classic southern dish was invented in Louisville in the 1920s, and includes turkey, bacon, cheese and mornay sauce. It was, of course, invented at the Brown Hotel, which is one of several famous hotels in downtown Louisville. The Seelbach Hilton, another, was frequented by many colorful characters in the past, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, who took inspiration from the hotel for his novel The Great Gatsby, and Al Capone, who often visited the hotel to play clandestine poker games.
Today’s visitors may not win as much money as the famed gangster during their trip, but they can surely try at historic Churchill Downs. Home to the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs is perhaps the most famous horseracing track in the world. Live racing is scheduled during the Families Learning Conference on Nov. 3 and Nov. 6, with first post each day set for 1 p.m. The Kentucky Derby Museum, located just next door, offers visitors a detailed history of “the fastest two minutes in sports” as well.
It is one of a variety of unique museums located within a short proximity of the downtown area. The Louisville Slugger Museum features the largest baseball bat in the world, while the Frazier History Museum boasts one of the largest collections of toy soldiers on permanent display in the world. Other popular downtown museums include the kid-friendly Kentucky Science Center, the Muhammad Ali Center, KMAC Museum, and 21c Museum. Just down the street from “Museum Row” is the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, where Disney’s The Lion King will be showing from Oct. 30 to Nov. 17. Other live acts include Chris Stapleton on Nov. 2 and the Chainsmokers on Nov. 6 at the KFC Yum! Center. Does it all sound appealing? Those interested in seeing multiple attractions can save big by purchasing the Main Ticket.
Of course, there are plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs (and arms) in Louisville as well. The Big Four Bridge is a 0.5-mile-long scenic walking bridge that connects Louisville to Jeffersonville, Indiana. Lit by multicolored lights at night, the bridge is accessible any time of day. Nearby Climb NuLu and Butchertown CrossFit offer fitness opportunities for the more ambitious, and the Downtown YMCA sits just a few blocks away as well. Nearby, the 134-acre Louisville Zoo is home to more than 1,500 animals.
Home to a rich history and an exciting present, the city of Louisville offers fun and fulfillment for visitors of all types. The 2019 Families Learning Conference promises attendees the latest industry knowledge, valuable networking opportunities, and new family engagement teaching methods, all amidst the backdrop of a thriving southern metropolis.