Whether you are on a tight budget or are simply interested in spending an afternoon about and about without spending a wad of cash, Louisville is a great city to be in. There are plenty of cheap (even free) things to do in and around Louisville.
Cave Hill Cemetery
Strolling through Cave Hill Cemetery is a must for Louisville history buffs and it will not cost you a dime. The land was originally a farm and still has plenty of outdoorsy charm. Many famous names can be found on graves, including Colonel Harlan Sanders and George Rogers Clark.
There are plenty of places to play in Cherokee Park—tennis courts, basketball courts and water play for kids, go name a few—but most runners and bike riders head to Cherokee for the scenic loop, a 2.4 mile stretch of road that is light on traffic. If you are adventurous, check out Big Rock. Big Rock is in Beargrass Creek and is a pleasant spot to have a picnic and hang out. People also tend to wade in the water and there is a spot to jump in the creek, but the water is shallow and Big Rock is not a sanctioned swimming hole.
For those who are looking to get their feet—or whole body—drenched during warm weather months there are plenty of waterparks in Indiana and Kentucky.
Iroquois Park has panoramic views, an open-air amphitheater, and much more. After all, the park is 739-acres of hills, woods and paths. People even head to Iroquois to watch Thunder Over Louisville. The high vantage point is a great place to watch the Thunder Over Louisville fireworks, free of charge. Oh, and on hot summer days there is a spray ground for the kids and there is typically an ice cream truck parked nearby supplying sweet treats.
Did you know that most of the Louisville Zoo is on top of a huge cave? It’s a man-made cavern, originally a limestone quarry. The attraction has been open to tourists since 2009. Adventure seekers will be happy to find an underground zipline and adventure tour while history buffs can learn about the attraction, and what is used for today, on the historic tram ride tour.
Louisville Slugger Field
This baseball field is a low cost way to enjoy the outside, watch a sunset and take in a Louisville Bats game. The Louisville Bats are a minor league team and the field is named after the famous baseball bat. If you want to learn more, head to the Louisville Slugger Museum, tours are available daily and you can see bats being made and learn baseball history. The Slugger Museum is impossible to miss, there is a 120-foot replica of Babe Ruth’s bat in front!
Kentucky Derby Museum
If you are visiting Louisville, chances are you'll want to catch a glimpse of Churchill Downs, the race course where the annual Kentucky Derby takes place each May. The Kentucky Derby Museum is at Churchill Downs and tells the story of this famous horse race. Plus, if you take a tour, the track is included.
The new and improved Speed Art Museum is free on Saturdays! Before the expansion the museum was free every day, but times have changed. Thankfully, there is more to see and enjoy now that museum admission is the norm. The free Sundays are called “Owsley Sundays” in honor of Owsley Brown II, who was CEO of Brown-Forman from 1993 to 2005. The free “Owsley Sundays” are possible due to a gift to the museum. The free Sundays will continue until March of 2021.