Big Bone Lick State Park
Cost: Free, unless you play miniature golf which costs a couple bucks a person
Time: 2 hours
Located in northern Kentucky, Big Bone Lick State Park is home to a herd of wild bison! Matthew and Jordan especially loved watching the new calves roam with their mommas. It’s not quite the Yellowstone experience (where there are no fences and they really do run wild), but you can still get up close and personal to these amazing creatures. We also stopped by the nature center and Discovery trail which taught about the history of the area during the Ice Age. Honestly, it was really small and not much to it, but we did learn a few things. Afterward we moved on to the playgrounds but didn’t stay long because it was simply too hot to play (the playgrounds aren’t much to write home about anyway – really old and worn out). However, one thing we did really enjoy here was the miniature golf. The course itself was so-so, but the view was outstanding. The course is set at the top of a hill and it offers a gorgeous view of the tree-filled landscape below.
Garden of Hope
Nestled at the top of a hill in Covington, KY, you will find a replica of Jesus Christ’s garden tomb in the Garden of Hope. Years ago, the minister who owns the property took a sabbatical to Jerusalem and walked where Christ did. He wanted to give the opportunity to see the sacred tomb to those who would not be able to journey to the actual tomb in Jerusalem, so he decided to bring the tomb home. He was picky about materials used and ensured that the tomb was built to the exact dimensions of the tomb in Jerusalem. He was also gifted various trees, boulders and other plants by the country of Israel (there are a few rocks there that came from the Jordan River where Christ was baptized). The Garden of Hope is so peaceful and you can feel the sweet Spirit that the minister had intended to be there. You can visit the Garden of Hope at any time, but if you call in advance, then you can book a free tour. The tour will allow you to see things that you would otherwise not be able to, including the recreated carpenter shop (made to look like the shop Joseph and Christ would have worked in together) and the inside of the tomb (although you can see inside the tomb through the gate at other times, you can’t walk into it). I did like being able to see these added places, but I was not very impressed with our tour guide. He was a bit eccentric and kind of rambled on about irrelevant topics. We have visited the Garden without the tour and I would say that it was more peaceful and pleasant to be there by ourselves. We didn’t get to see inside the carpenter shop that time though. Note that if you bring a picnic lunch, there are tables and you’ll have a beautiful view of the city.