Outstanding Things To Do In Louisville Ky: Bourbon Country
Louisville Kentucky, the largest city in the state, is a Southern town that blends its history of horse-racing, bourbon distilling and its love for baseball all in one cosmopolitan center. Winter, summer, spring or fall: there are so many things to do in Louisville KY that appeal to all ages, including museums, a zoo and parks that appeal to kids, as well as whiskey tastings, horse racing and art museums for adults.
The bourbon will draw you inbut the art, museums, outdoor adventures and community spirit will have you returning again and again.
See Whats Happening At The Kentucky Exposition Center
Home to a sleuth of events year-round, the Kentucky Exposition Center is the perfect place to go for a day of family fun.
With over 1,300,000 square feet of space, its one of the largest facilities of its kind in the country and plays host to a variety of events throughout the year, including conventions, trade shows, sporting tournaments , the National Farm Machinery Show, North American International Livestock Expo, and so much more.
But the real draw for visitors is the Kentucky State Fair, an 11-day festival extravaganza that celebrates local and statewide heritage held here every August.
This massive event attracts hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world and features rides, games, food vendors, live music, and agricultural showcases, and thats just the tip of the iceberg.
If you find yourself in Louisville during the fair season , be sure to meander 15 minutes south of Downtown to check out this one-of-a-kind facility and once youre done, the University of Louisville campus and Hurricane Harbor waterpark are just around the corner.
Outdoor Activities In Louisville For Kids
Mega Cavern is a great adventure place for kids. Take the tram tour or zipline through part of a 17-mile man-made cavern under Louisville. Its a great tour for all ages whether you want to learn about science and history, or simply want to experience being in a giant man-made cavern. If you are visiting during the holiday season, be sure to check out Lights Under Louisville at the Mega Cavern: The Worlds Only All Underground Holiday Light Show. Just be sure to bring candy to bribe your kids into being quiet for the tour. My son screamed bloody murder throughout our cavern tour and take my word that the last place you want to be is in an echoing cave of screaming hell.
Kentucky Kingdom is a great day out if rides and water slides are your thing. This 63-acre amusement park includes a number of rides and a water park. They also do special shows and have a 5D cinema, so those who are little more on the nervous side when it comes to amusement rides
Hubers Family Farm is another must-see. Although Hubers is actually North of Louisville in Indiana, the trip is worth every penny. In fact, you would be doing yourself and every Louisville visitor a disservice if you didnt make a visit to Hubers Farm. The barnyard experience is a blast for the whole family. The activities include a 40-foot barnyard tunnel slide, giant inflatable slide, Billy Goat Walk, Cow train, pony rides, and more. Dont forget to stop in the gift shop and buy some homemade Hubers jam .
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Start Planning Your Trip To Louisville
There are all kinds of fun things to do and places to visit when youre in Louisville.
This isnt a city thats just resting on its reputation as the biggest city in its state.
So many Louisville attractions are fairly new and the city consistently feels fresh.
Come to Louisville, Kentucky for a southern city that has charms and thrills in every imaginable way.
Get To Know Louisville On A Historic Old Louisville Walking Tour
The tour will interest both kids and adults and allows you to see the citys landmarks. Youll be taken around the Victorian Mansion District and your guide will offer background on all the historic places you see.
Picnics are always a perfect family activity. But you can make your meal even more memorable by enjoying it with goats!
When you book a picnic with goats, youll be treated to a delicious meal and a charming picnic setup, complete pretty tableware. Best of all, cute goats will be hanging out all around.
If youre in Covington, one of the exciting things to do in Kentucky for families is trying new dishes on a food tour. On this tour, youll stop at eateries in Covington and neighboring Cincinnati, Ohio.
Dishes to try include pizza, chicken and waffles, and lots of sweet treats. Kids under five can join for free if they share food with the adults.
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The Bard’s Town Louisville Kentucky
The Bards Town brings together great food, excellent theater, and a relaxing lounge to offer diners an evening like no other. The Bard’s restaurant offers diners a Shakespearean-themed menu that includes delicious delights like Tybalts Tomato Bisque, the St Francis BBQ Bacon Burger topped with bacon, cheddar, onion rings, and BBQ sauce, and the First Folio Fish of fresh Atlantic cod served on marble rye with savory remoulade sauce.
Try the Lord Chamberlains Fin fresh fish tacos of cod stuffed into soft tortillas with remoulade sauce and freshly prepared salsa before ending with something sweet from the dessert menu such as Triple Chocolate Cake or Key Lime Pie.
Vegetarians can happily tuck into the “To Bean, or Not to Bean” Black Bean burger while kids can enjoy a special childrens menu for smaller appetites. An array of fountain drinks, iced teas and coffees are also available.
1801 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY, Phone: 502-749-5275
Best Attractions In Louisville For Kids
The Louisville Zoo dinosaur exhibit is really something to see, and an awesome treat for the whole family. Walking through the wooded path, youll encounter dinosaurs from over 12 species, including the popular Tyrannosaurus Rex. Using animatronics technology, the dinosaurs are eerily life-like as they move and roar which makes it fun for the whole family. Just dont watch Jurassic Park with the kids before you go.
Waterfront Park is great for the whole family. Its a beautiful urban park that offers everything from play grounds for kids , biking trails, lawns to sprawl out on, swing gardens for a quiet place to read, an amphitheater, and an amazing view of the river wherever you go. Simply put, its a peaceful retreat in the hustle and bustle of the busy city. Did we mention the swing garden? Plus, its free!
Renaissance Fun Park has laser tag, go karts, mini golf and more. If you have kids and youre in Louisville, do yourself a favor and go to the Fun Park. This place never fails to disappoint and by the time you leave your kids will be thoroughly exhausted . In addition to the go karts, laser tag, and mini golf, there are video games, food & drink. Trust us, you wont want to leave either.
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Take A Hike And Swim In Ep Tom Sawyer State Park
E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park contains the largest public swimming pool and splash park in Louisville. But that’s not all it offers. This 554-acre park, just outside of city limits, contains rolling farmland and nature trails. Take a hike along the Goose Creek Nature Trail, go on an interpreter-guided hike, or attend a family-centric educational program, then kick it poolside while the kids enjoy the splash park. The park also contains a Supercross BMX track, one of only six in the nation. You can watch the bikers do their thing or, for the adventurous, take a spin on the track yourself.
Things To Know About Louisville Kentucky
Most Louisville residents have a slew of facts about Louisville that theyre ready to rattle off at a moments notice. Its one of those unspoken things that we all do, like asking every other Lousivillian we meet what high school they went to before any other question, or taking pictures every time theres a particularly stunning sunset and posting them all over Facebook and Instagram
Here are some of my favorite things you should know about Louisville, Kentucky. For more random Louisville facts, this list is fantastic.
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Pop Into The Frazier History Museum
A crowd favorite among local and traveling history buffs, the Frazier History Museum, another one making its grip on Museum Row in downtown Louisville, is a state-of-the-art museum that provides a wonderful and rich overview of the culture, traditions, and way of life in Kentucky today and in decades gone by.
Dedicated to preserving and celebrating the states unique history, the Frazier Museum houses tens of thousands of artifacts across three floors of exhibitions diving into everything from the Civil War to the Bourbon and tobacco industries, clothing and old-school textiles, locally-created works of art, and insights in the lives of Kentuckians as well as hosting regular talks, events, and educational programs throughout the year.
A genuine highlight, the Charles W. Stewart Historic Miniatures Collection showcases one of the finest collections of rare historic toy soldiers on the planet, with no less than 30,000 figurines on display!
Dont miss The Spirit of Kentucky exhibition divided into three themed rooms, it explores the states love affair with Bourbon. Feeling thirsty yourself? As the official starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a tipple is never too far away either! With guided tours aplenty, its a wonderful spot to follow an hour of education with a drink or two.
With a focus on hands-on and interactive displays, the Frazier Museum is the perfect place to spend a few hours if youre looking to learn more about Louisvilles past.
Fun Things To Do In Louisville With Kids Family Friendly Activities
- Tanner Wilkes
Many fried chicken, baseball, boxing, and derby champions were born in Louisville, so fans of any of the four will have lots of fun visiting this city.
This Kentucky metropolis just has so many fascinating places to visit, like museums and parks.
Other attractions for kids and adults that are super enjoyable are local restaurants, go-kart courses, and the zoo.
Really, this city is a place you shouldnt miss when youre down South.
Dont believe us? Heres a list of the fun things to do in Louisville with kids.
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Take A Tour Of The Cathedral Of The Assumption
Louisville’s mother of Roman Catholic churches, the Cathedral of the Assumption was built in 1852 and restored completely in 1994, after nearly 100 years of disuse. This church now accommodates 966 people for masses and ceremonies and is a spectacle for those wanting to view period architecture. Some highlights include the baptism immersion pool, crafted of red granite, bronze, and marble from the original communion rail, the stained-glass Coronation Window, one of the oldest American-American-made stained-glass windows, and a jeweled ceiling fresco that depicts cherubs and was painstakingly restored during the church’s overhaul. Visitors can attend a noon mass, Monday through Friday. Weekend Masses are held at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 9:30 a.m., noon, and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Guided tours are available free of charge and by appointment only.
Fun First Date Night Ideas
Georgetown Drive-In If you ask a local, one of the most popular first date ideas in the area is the iconic Georgetown Drive-In. This is a super romantic, and quite an affordable date. One of the best date ideas for teens, when you first get your license, if you ask me!
Go for a night-time stroll past the Big Four Bridge One of the best night-time date ideas, especially for couples on a budget, is to go for a walk past the Big Four Bridge. This is definitely one of the prettiest views of Louisville at night, especially when it is lit up with color.
Louisville Zoo A fun place to go on a first or second date with someone special as there are a lot of animals to see. There used to be a popular train ride but sadly it recently shut down.
Kentucky Derby Museum The next best thing to actually being at the Derby is this museum. This museum is the official tour provider of historic Churchill Downs. General admission includes two levels of family-friendly interactive permanent & temporary exhibits. Dont miss The Greatest Race,a 360-degree immersive sound and visual experience that is particularly popular with visitors.
Frazier History Museum Another fun place to go for a nerdy date idea in Louisville is the Frazier History Museum located in the West Main District of downtown Louisville, a part of Museum Row on Main.
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Watch Drag Racing On The Raceway At Beech Bend
Beech Bend is a unique family attraction in Kentucky that houses an amusement park and a dragstrip raceway. Inside the amusement park, you can enjoy rides, games, attractions, and shows, as well as cool off in a seasonal water park. Events at Beech Bend Raceway are exciting and family-friendly, with multiple weekly racing events that are free for kids 12 and under to attend.
Things To Do In Louisville: Day Trips
- Visit distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
One of the best day trips from Louisville is to go bourbon tasting on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail! Although there are plenty of distilleries in Louisville, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a whole different experience.
As you drive out of Louisville and into the rolling hills of Kentucky horse country, youll see what I mean.
Hands down, our favorite distilleries to visit are Woodford Reserve and Makers Mark: if you have to limit yourself to just one single day trip from Louisville, those are the bourbon distilleries we recommend.
But if you can swing it, give yourself some time to pick up a passport and complete the whole trail! You can book a tour with Louisville-based Mint Julep Tours who will take care of the planning for you.
- Spend a day at the beach at Deam Lake
Deam Lake is the best and closest beach to Louisville, and makes a fantastic summer day trip. The water is warm and perfect for swimming, and the lake is sandy and wonderful. Pack a picnic lunch and a swimsuit and plan to spend the day!
Located a scenic 30 minutes from downtown Louisville, Deam Lake State Recreation Area is located in Carr Township, Indiana. In the cooler months, this area is also a wonderful place to go hiking.
- Rent a boat and enjoy a day on the water at Taylorsville Lake and Green River Lake State Park
There are two huge, beautiful lakes near Louisville that are perfect for a day of fun on the water! Bring a picnic lunch and plenty of sunscreen.
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My Old Kentucky Home State Park
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock
The My Old Kentucky Home State Park is among the places to see in the state that has plenty of things to do.
It houses a campground with 39 spots, the Kenny Rapier Golf Course with 18 holes, a conference space, a wedding space, and The Stephen Foster Story, a touching outdoor musical with 50 years under its belt.
Of course, the top famous spot in the state park is Federal Hill, which has the titular My Old Kentucky Home.
It was once the home of John Rowan, the US Senator, and is now open for tourist visits.
It is a very crucial political site in America, and its architecture is a sight for sore eyes.
The home has a garden house, a stable, windowsills, and mantels that are meticulously carved by hand, a brick exterior, and more.
In addition, the staff there dress in period outfits and spout interesting facts as they bring you around on tours.
Address: 501 E Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
Play Games And Enjoy Rides Indoors At Malibu Jacks
If the weather forecast calls for indoor kids activities in Lexington, KY, Malibu Jacks indoor theme park is a great all-weather attraction. Malibu Jacks games, rides, and attractions are all a la carte, so entry is free and youll only pay for the specific activities youre interested in. Inside, youll find everything from a kids’ zone and bounce house for young kids to mini golf, virtual reality, bowling, rides, go-karts, games, and laser tag. Food and snacks are also available in-house if you get hungry while playing.
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Watch College Football At Cardinal Stadium
The ever-packed and ever-exciting stomping ground of the University of Louisvilles football team, the Cardinals, Cardinal Stadium is an impressive 63,000-seat arena that opened back in 1998.
If youre not around during football season , dont worry the stadium also plays host to several other events throughout the year, from concerts where the bass thumps and the lights light up the skies of Louisville to soccer matches to Nitro Circus and the Bands of America Louisville Regional Championships.
And, of course, it wouldnt be a day of college football without a bit of tailgating, right? As per tradition in many American cities, tailgating is taken very seriously in Louisville, with fans arriving hours before the game to set up grills and coolers full of food and drink in the parking lot.