kangaroosWant to tour the Australian Outback without ever leaving the states? I recently spent a fun-filled day at Kentucky Down Under with my 8-year-old and I was able to cross three items off my bucket list: petting a baby kangaroo, or joey, petting an Emu named Priscilla, and touching (does one really pet a reptile?) an Australian Rainbow Snake. There was tons to do for the whole family and you won’t be disappointed to make Kentucky Down Under your next family outing.

Kentucky Down Under has a wide array of animals, from dingos and kookaburras to sheep-herding border collies and blue-tongued skinks. An on-site restaurant and gift shop make it a fun, reasonably priced family day trip easily accessible from Middle Tennessee or central Kentucky as it’s located half way between Nashville and Louisville.

Here are 5 family favorites at Kentucky Down Under:

Outback Walkabout

Get up close and personal with Emus, Kangaroos, and beautiful black swans. Learn about the amazing habitats of these animals native to the Australian Outback.

Camp Corroboree

Want to be serenaded by a didgeridoo and learn about the fascinating Aboriginal culture? During this 45-minute presentation we learned how incredibly adaptive the Aboriginees are, how they used the boomerang to hunt, and the strong role women play in their culture.

Kentucky Caverns

One of the coolest attractions (literally) at Kentucky Down Under is underground. Kentucky Caverns is considered one of the most beautiful and easily accessible caves in the United States. Discovered in 1799, it was open to public tours in 1922. Tours of Kentucky Caverns are scheduled throughout the day; no prior reservations are necessary. This is an active cave, meaning that rainwater drips through the ground and into the cave to continually create new formations. This is a fascinating first look at cave formations that’s ideal for younger kids since the tour is less than one hour.

Land Of Lories

This large enclosure houses beautiful, colorful lorikeets. These brilliant, inquisitive birds will land on your head, shoulders and arms while you feed them with a cup of nectar. My 8-year-old had three Lories land on her at once and yes, she loved it!

Dog Herding Demo

Watch as the Kentucky Down Under border collies herd sheep and respond to the commands of experienced handlers and learn how sheep play an important role in Australian farm life.

Kentucky Down Under offers an amazing look at Australian wildlife and culture, all in the heart of Kentucky. Have you been before? What are you favorite things to do?