Science and Baseball Bats in Louisville, Kentucky (By Jess)

posted in: Blog, North America | 47
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Last week, I spent a week in Louisville, Kentucky as part of the VEX IQ International Robotics Finals, which was a very exciting seven days indeed! We had a spare day in the city before the competition, so we decided to visit the Kentucky Science Center and the Louisville Slugger Museum, where the famous baseball bats are manufactured.

The Kentucky Science Center

Louisville Science Center
I visited the Louisville Science Museum in the morning

We rushed into the Science Center first to escape the pouring rain, and quickly saw something which shocked us:

No Guns
We spotted a very unusual (and worrying) sign outside the museum

There was lots to see and do inside the museum, and we starting by walking upstairs into an exhibition on the human body. This was a large room, full with information about the different functions of organs and organ systems. There were displays about the digestive, respiratory and circulation systems, and we enjoyed finding out our heart rate by holding on to a bar. There were lots of interactive exhibits, such as one where we had to team up with each other and press buttons to destroy viruses, and another where we had to mimic the human heartbeat. I knew most of the facts in the room but I am sure that my brother Robert wouldn’t, and would have learnt a lot. Sadly, many of the exhibits were out of order and some were quite old.

Enjoying ourselves in the museum
Standing inside a bubble, building a bridge and finding out about muscles!

There were lots of other exhibits taking place in the museum, which we all liked. One of my favourites was pulling a rope which created a bubble – this was extremely exciting, especially as I managed to get it up to my shoulders before my backpack popped it! We also created a bridge out of blocks, which took countless tries to finish. We were surprisingly proud to finally manage it…

Before we left, we decided to watch the 3D Film “Journey To Space” in the museum’s cinema. The film was around 45 minutes long and was fascinating, talking about life in space and the challenges of reaching Mars. Although I am not a major fan of space exploration, the film was certainly interesting, and allowed me to think about the engineering challenges that a trip to space presents. The rest of the museum was aimed at younger children, so it was nice to have something aimed at the older members of the family.

The Louisville Slugger Museum

The Louisville Slugger Museum
The tallest baseball bat in the world outside the Louisville Slugger Museum

After a pizza lunch just opposite the Science Center, it was a short two minute walk to the Louisville Slugger Museum, where the famous Louisville Baseball Bats are made. It was dangerously close to closing time so we had no chance to walk around the museum, but we had a walking tour around the factory instead.

None of us knew anything about baseball, but our tour guide was wonderfully useful at answering any questions we had. We walked through the factory, stopped at certain machines and watched videos. We were told that the factory produces 1.8 million baseball bats a year, and that they first arrive at the factory as billets (cylinders) of wood. When the factory was started, every bat was hand carved – taking up to half an hour to shape each one! Nowadays, there are machines which have countless of bat models saved, and each one can be made in 30 seconds. It only takes a click of a button to switch designs!

We got to see bats being dipped to get distinctive colours, and were shown how each bat gets the Louisville Slugger logo pressed onto it. My highlight of the tour was being given full-sized bats to hold, which was enthralling. At the end of the tour, we were given an opportunity to ask questions, and were all given a free mini bat to take home with us. The tour was quite short at only 30 minutes long, but our guide was really friendly and knowledgeable so we learnt a lot and had a great time.

Overall, we had a really exciting day visiting the Kentucky Science Center and the Louisville Slugger Museum. Our highlight of the day was definitely going on the walking tour of the Slugger Museum factory, and we wish that we had more time to visit the rest of the museum and go to the batting cages. I thought that the Science Center was quite old and not advanced enough, but I’m sure that younger children would really enjoy playing with the exhibits.

Despite the fab museums we visited in Louisville, my favourite part of the trip was eating at all the American chains, such as Applebee’s; the portion sizes were gigantic!

To see the exhibits and the movie at the Science Center, adults are $20.00 and children (aged 2-12) are $15.00. Full pricing information can be found here.

To visit the Louisville Slugger Museum, adults are $12.00, seniors (aged 60+) are $11, kids (aged 6-12) are $7.00 and kids five and under are free.

 

More by us about science:

Churchill’s Scientists: An Exhibition at The Science Museum (By Jess)

Enjoying an educational day out in Winchester

We are so happy to have been shortlisted for the Bibs (Brilliance in Blogging Awards) for 2015, but we really need your help to get through to the final 5. Please could you visit this link and then scroll down to travel and then us (Family Travel Times)? We’d be so grateful. You don’t have to vote in all categories, though there are lots of great blogs in there!

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47 Responses

  1. Erica Price

    I’m always a bit shocked at firearms in the states. In the Uk such a sign would be unthinkable wouldn’t it. These look like really interesting places to visit though and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many baseball bats together.

    • Jess

      The sign definitely creeped us out. It’s incredible to think that we were walking past people who may have had guns in their bags… Regardless, we had a fantastic day out and we loved going to the Slugger Museum! 🙂

    • Jess

      We really were surprised by the sign, as guns are rarely used in the UK. We had such a great day, and learnt a lot.

    • Jess

      We really had a great day. I loved seeing the baseball bats being produced, and really enjoyed the 3D film!

  2. Globalmouse

    I would love to visit Kentucky – a shame the displays weren’t well looked after in the museum but great that it was so interesting. The baseball museum also looks fascinating.

    • Jess

      I had such a great day, and loved the baseball museum. The science museum was also exciting, but the baseball museum definitely trumped it 😉

  3. Mellissa Williams

    I’ve never thought about going to Kentucky but it looks an interesting place. The science centre seems a great place to take all the family too

    • Jess

      Kentucky certainly isn’t the first thing that “holiday destination” springs to mind, but I know that my friends and I had a fab time!

  4. Liz Burton

    That looks like a really fascinating and educational museum (glad no guns are allowed!)

    Wow to that giant baseball bat, it’s HUGE!

    • Jess

      It was a really good museum 🙂 The baseball bat is actually the largest bat in the entire world and it was massive!

  5. Lucy Zelazowski

    These museums look fantastic, Kentucky Science Center looks really entertaining, I always like doing things rather then just looking around. I know nothing of Base Ball either, I used to play Rounders. The bats are beautiful too. Fab post thanks x

  6. Jess Howliston

    It sounds like you had a fantastic day. I think my son would love some of the things you mentioned in the science museum and I am pretty sure I would have to drag him away from that giant baseball bat as he would be pretty amazed lol!

    • Jess

      We really did have loads of fun. The science museum had lots to do and we all had a great day!

  7. Sarah Bailey

    What an interesting place to end up in. It is always amazing to think that in some places it is the normal to walk around with fire arms as well. x

    • Jess

      We were really shocked – it is unimaginable to think of that happening in Britain!

  8. Jade Lewendon

    Oh I love museums, I unfortunately just do not understand science what so ever! Like you, I’m not a big space fan, but it does amaze me and I do wonder if there are other’s out there who believe we’re the ones who are aliens! I’d never be brave enough to ‘fly’ to the moon, nor would I be brave enough to visit space, but I’d love to see an advancement before my time on Earth is over as I do believe in alien life! xx

  9. kara

    This sounds like a great place to visit, would love to visit the states although that sign is a little scary, why would anyone need to carry a gun anyway

    • Jess

      I totally agree! It really scared us – it was weird knowing that we were walking past people who may have had guns in their bags…

  10. Mary Louise

    Kentucky is on my list of places in the states to visit.
    What a great day out you had! I love the picture of all the baseball bats. Not a regular sight for us here in the UK! X

    • Jess

      There were loooads of baseball bats, and it was amazing to see the machines shaping them. 🙂

  11. ninjacat

    I am shocked by the sign but when I checked out the signs the museum info for Washington found it was common

    Great blog post

  12. Kathryn Burrington

    That signs seems so bizzare to me. Thought it was some kind of a joke at first but then remembered what country you are in. Sounds a fun museum to explore though.

  13. Tamara

    The first time I visited Kentucky I saw a similar sign on an office door of the company I was going to interview with and was shocked. Not something we see in the Northeast US either. I love exploring Science Museums and the baseball bat museum sounds cool too.

    • Jess

      We had a brilliant day and a fantastic holiday, but I was definitely on edge whenever we walked around.

  14. Jolanta aka Casual Traveler

    Our family tries to go to a science museum whenever there is one where we travel. We have seen some great ones, and some small ones, but still entertaining. Looks like you had a fun trip!

  15. Tonya

    I’ve not spent a lot of time in Louisville, but that giant bat is hard to miss! They’re is also a giant bat down the street- they flying, nocturnal type that hangs from the side of a costume store. It’s certainly eye-catching as well.

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