Top 5 Free Things to Do During Summer

How to enjoy summer without breaking your budget

Looking for free things to do in Louisville, KY? Especially summer activities? Well, here ya go! Here are five free activities, all featuring destinations within or close to Louisville. If you want it broken down further, here is a list of things to do in Louisville by season.

Along with the free summer suggestions below, remember to take advantage of local libraries, parks (including scenic walks over the Ohio River), and family picnics. 

If you are budget conscious, keep in mind that there are many opportunities to save a few dollars here and there for special events, too. For instance, dads receive free admission to the Louisville Zoo on Father's Day

01 of 08

Free Movies

Family movie night in Louisville.
Nick White/Getty Images

Every summer, venues such as Iroquois Park and University of Louisville host free movies nights. There are new releases to take in on a date night as well as family favorites. For families, there are even opportunities to catch a free show in a comfortable air conditioned theater on Wednesday mornings in Corydon, IN.  Of course, if you are willing to spend a bit of cash, taking in a movie at the Georgetown Drive-In is a summer night standard.

02 of 08

Free Summer Bowling for Kids

Family bowling day in Louisville.
Photo: Ryan McVay/Getty Images

Want to save money and have a fun family outing? You are in luck, because this summer, kids can bowl for free in Louisville. Kids Bowl Free is a program offering free bowling for kids throughout the country. It's a great opportunity to get out of the sun and participate in a classic indoor sport.

03 of 08

Free Concerts

Iroquois Amphitheater
Courtesy of Iroquois Amphitheater

Singers and musicians performing on a clear Kentucky night? What could be better? Oh, how about if every concert was FREE! Louisville is full of opportunities to sit by the river, go to the fair or head to the mall and see a concert, free of charge. Pack a picnic and grab a blanket to sit on for an easy and cost-effective date night. 

04 of 08

Free Distillery Tours

Maker's Mark Distillery in Kentucky.
Image © Mali Anderson

Since Kentucky is bourbon country, there are several ways to learn about the American spirit. The destinations on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail are, for the most part, free. A stand out is touring the Maker’s Mark distillery, surrounded with beautiful countryside the tour is an ideal day trip. Keep in mind there are plenty of destinations that are open for free tours without being official trail participants, too. Popular distilleries such as Buffalo Trace. Call ahead for more details.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Free Fireworks

Fireworks after Bats game in Louisville, KY.
Image © Mali Anderson

Fans of color bursting in the sky on dark summer night will be thrilled to note there are several pyrotechnic display options around town throughout summer. On July 4, there are numerous ways to enjoy fireworks while celebrating Independence Day. Also, the Louisville Bats have fireworks after home games on Friday nights and in recognition of summer holidays. Special Bats firework nights include Memorial Day Eve, a pre-July 4 celebration, and Labor Day Eve. Watch from a nearby park to keep it completely free, or pay a small admission fee and score a seat in Slugger Field.

06 of 08

Summer Season for Kentucky Shakespeare

Kentucky Shakespeare in Old Louisville.
Image courtesy of Kentucky Shakespeare

Every summer, Kentucky Shakespeare hosts Shakespeare in Central Park, the oldest free Shakespeare festival in the United States, from June to August. Central Park is located in Old Louisville, the largest Victorian district in the United States. There are benches to sit on and many families bring blankets and relax in the grass.

07 of 08

Restaurants Offer Free Meals for Kids

Ok, admittedly this will come at a cost, but it will cut down on the price for a family night out. You see, these restaurants offer free kid meals with the purchase of an adult meal. Days and rules differ from restaurant to restaurant, but the results are the same. Dinner out and the kids eat free!

08 of 08

Flea Off Market

Flea Off Market in Louisville, KY.
Image © Mali Anderson

Head to the Flea! A social event, Flea Off Market is full of booths to peruse, music to listen to and food trucks to dine from. It's a lively event, with some families and some rowdy young professionals, depending on when you go and what time.