If I Weren’t Stuck at Home Today: Free Museum Day

Today’s date has been circled in my planner for weeks now–Smithsonian Magazine’s 2017 Museum Day Live!

Monument to the Confederate dead at the Perryville Battlefield, one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War

Twelve museums in Kentucky are participating; I’ve been to four of them so far:

Those sites are all within an hour’s drive of Lexington and they’re all places I’d like to visit again.  I decided I’d go for a two-fer to take advantage of free admission and planned to hit White Hall AND the William Whitley house, both really special places historically and architecturally.

Other participating sites on Kentucky’s list require more time to get to, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I’ll save those for another day.

The Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington (across the Ohio River from Cincinnati) is 1-1/2 hour north.  My houseguests sometimes fly into the Cincinnati airport since Lexington is a smaller market and has higher airfares (my Kansas friends should think Wichita, and will understand what I mean–often a drive to Tulsa or KC is the best option in that region).  I could force my guests to stop at this museum with me before we head back to Lexington.  😉  And if you’re looking for a coffee shop, I recommend Velocity Bike & Bean in nearby Florence.




Also 1-1/2 hours away in Louisville are the Kentucky Science Center, the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind, and the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.  Louisville is the other airport that my friends and family fly into on visits to Lexington.  Ditto what I said about Covington.  🙂  A good friend lives in Louisville, so I don’t really need much of an excuse to go there.  And for coffee while you’re there, definitely go to Heine Brothers!



Maysville is another Ohio River town about 1-1/2 hours due north from Lexington.  I love river towns and I love Maysville!  The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center there is participating.  Be on the lookout for Lil Jumbo Coffee Truck when you’re in the area.  Excellent coffee!


maysville olli

Downtown Maysville



Also just 1-1/2 hours away is Hodgenville, southwest of Lexington.  I REALLY need to visit the Lincoln Museum there.  Every Lincoln site I’ve visited since I moved to this part of the country has been very special.  (Random factoid:  My mother’s Tower ancestors came over on the same ship as Lincoln’s ancestors from Hingham, England, in 1637.  Both were founding families of Hingham, Massachusetts.)



KyArtsCouncil photo

I hadn’t heard of Cadiz before, but my GPS shows that it’s WAY east 3-1/2 hours.  It’s on past Hopkinsville and Bowling Green–site of that infamous massacre  ;-)–and almost to Paducah.  So basically within a stone’s throw of Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee!  The  Janice Mason Art Museum in Cadiz is one of the participating museums.  (Another random factoid:  Cadiz is also close to Greenville, where my father’s Martin ancestors finally settled after helping settle Lexington in 1780.  When I moved to Lexington from Kansas, I had no idea we had family connections in Kentucky, let alone in Lexington itself!)

Speaking of Lexington, the International Museum of the Horse at the Kentucky Horse Park is offering free admission today, too.  The Kentucky Horse Park has been opening its grounds for their KHP Run/Walk Club on Monday evenings during the summer, totally free. It’s a beautiful place.  I haven’t visited the museum yet though.



McCreary County Museum is housed in the old Stearns Coal and Lumber Company Corporate headquarters that was built in 1907 (courtesy photo)


Finally, two hours south in Historic Stearns, the McCreary County Museum is offering free admission.   I’ve heard about Stearns and its coal mining and railroad history and have long wanted to visit.  You can ride the Big South Fork Scenic Railway through the mountains of southern Kentucky and stop at the historic Blue Heron Mining Camp.  Must.Go.Soon!


Anyway, it’s a moot point.  I’m not going to visit ANY of these places today, but will have to settle for being an internet tourist.  Yesterday my mechanic (Kool Breeze of Lexington–you can read my NPR CarTal00-sick-car-cartoon-31-01-14k review here) alerted me to a potentially dangerous problem with my car and advised me to only drive if I have to until he can do the repair on Monday morning.  Yikes!  I’m sure glad I stopped in to ask him about that “funny noise” my car was making!






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