In 2012, the Kentucky Horse Park celebrated the grand opening of our newest barn, designed specifically for youth ages 13 and under. The Kids Barn is an interactive facility with daily educational and fun activities that are guaranteed to capture even the youngest child's attention. Kids will get the opportunity to help our friendly staff groom horses, go on scavenger hunts, meet miniature mares and foals, and jump their own course of fences in the "Champion's Arena" located in the grassy area right beside the barn. Included with park admission, the Kids Barn activities are sure to keep the young (and young at heart!) engaged and entertained all day long.
Daily Presentation Schedule (March 15 - October 31):9:45 a.m. Pony Tales: A 15 minute reading time geared towards elementary age children that gives them the opportunity to get up close and personal with their favorite horse stories. Each week a book will be chosen for reading time, and, while sitting on straw bales in our reading stall, horse stories old and new will come to life! Visitors will not only be able to listen to different stories, but will also be able to share their own horse story experiences. Genres will include mystery, action, suspense, and fairytale, but all will revolve around horses. Books will change weekly, so come often for a new adventure!
11:45 a.m. Guided Tour of the Kids Barn: A 15 minute guided tour of the Kids Barn with an emphasis on visitors' interests. Topics presented in the Kids Barn will be discussed more in depth, as well as information about all of the educational booths and interactive exhibits on display in the barn. The Guided Tour will be replaced by the Mare and Foal Show from Memorial Day through July 31, and will resume on August 1.
11:45 a.m. Mare and Foal Show (Memorial Day – July 31st): A presentation in which the adorable foals and their beautiful moms are brought out for visitors to see up close and to learn about the basics of gestation, mare and foal care, and the early life of a horse.
2:30 p.m. Groom and Shine: The equine residents of the Kids Barn need your help! After playing in their paddocks all day, they're in need of some TLC to make their coats shine. Here, children spend 30 minutes learning about grooming tools, their uses, and the techniques used to groom a horse or pony. Once a general understanding of the practice has been established, the children help park staff clean up the ponies. This is a great hands-on activity for children of any age!
Additional Daily Activities (March 15 - October 31):
Breeds of the Day: Two breeds of horses or ponies are on display in the Kids Barn on a daily basis. Accompanying these horses is a description of the breed, its origin, uses, and characteristics to show visitors the variety of horse and pony breeds in the equine world, and to educate them on the value of finding a good mount for their child.
Scavenger Hunt: A list of scavenger hunt items is listed on pieces of paper available for taking at the end of the barn. The object is for children to take their time finding the items around the entire park while visiting with their family.
Jump a Course: Located just outside the Kids Barn, "Champion's Arena" is a place in which children can expend some energy over a miniature scale show jumping course (jumps donated by USHJA). Courses are posted and changed weekly to give children an ongoing challenge as well as some much needed exercise.
Bath Time: The equine residents of the Kids Barn almost always need a bath to get ready to meet the public, so visitors are welcome to watch as we clean and prep our ponies for action. Staff will discuss the importance of proper grooming and cleaning as it pertains to health care and coat maintenance, as well as also how to introduce bath time to youngsters.
The Kids Barn is located behind the International Museum of the Horse and beside the loading dock for the Horse Drawn Tours.