Looking to entertain the whole family? There is plenty to see and do in Louisville. Here is a list of the top 10 things to do with kids in Possibility City. The first five listed are free. The second half of the list includes activities requiring admission, but keep an eye out, many of these have promotional days with free entry, too.
And if you are hungry after running around town, check out one of the many Louisville restaurants offering free meals for kids.
With 120 parks covering more than 14,000 acres, you are sure to find a park that you’ll love. There are the historic parks designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted (Central Park and Cherokee Park), parks with horseback riding (Seneca and Long Run), places to swim (Algonquin and Camp Taylor Memorial) and tons of opportunities to bike, play, experience nature, get fit and relax. Search for a park near your home or by amenities with the Metro Parks park finder.
Louisville Free Public Library
There are tons of free events for children of all ages going on every day at Louisville Free Public Library. Many branches also feature exhibits.
With trails open to the public, from sunrise to sunset, the Louisville Nature Center offers the community a chance to experience nature in the heart of Louisville. In addition to the trails, there is a wildflower garden, a pond, a watershed exhibit, a library and a charming gazebo to enjoy a picnic lunch in.
Since 21c is a hotel, the gallery area on the ground floor is open to the public, for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are varying art exhibits; some video installations, sculptures, paintings and a permanent interactive piece near the elevator that kids love. Even the bathrooms have interesting enhancements, like one-way mirrors. It’s fun and exhibitions change a few times per year. In addition, standing in front is David (inspired by Michelangelo), a huge gold statute drawing the 21c building to the attention of all on Main Street.
Visit Farmers' Markets
Farmers' markets are wonderful places for families to discuss arithmetic, food preparation and see the bounty of our great state. With friendly vendors, live music and occasional craft booths, the market is a perfect place to spend a day exploring. The experience is free, but if you get hungry, which is often the case, you may need to splurge on a muffin to nibble while you walk or a bag of greens to cook up for supper.
Open every season, the Louisville Zoo has an aquarium, a gorilla forest, tigers, giraffes, a new bear exhibition and so much more. In addition to the animals, visitors will find a 4D theater, where movies are not only watched but also felt. Spectators sit in seats that move with along with the action of the film. During Halloween season, expect to find The Louisville Zoo Halloween Party. Children can wear costumes and trick-or-treat in the zoo. There are also stops along the golden yellow brick road to meet characters from famous children stories.
The Speed Art Museum is closed but does have kids events happening throughout the city. For instance, their summer camps take place at the Frazier Museum. In addition, they have a temporary location on Market St. called Local Speed. Every Saturday there are free art activities for families.
With four floors of interactive learning, the Louisville Science Center has displays to introduce children to biology, chemistry, physics and technology. On the first floor is an area designed for kids under seven and a special area for rotating exhibits. There is also an IMAX theater in the center. Some of the exhibitions are broken on occasion, but kids seem to love the center anyway, wanting to return as soon as they leave.
Both a museum and functioning factory, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is easily spotted. A 120-foot replica of Babe Ruth’s bat is installed at the buildings entrance. There are tours and rotating exhibitions within the museum. It’s easy to spot who has taken the tour when walking down Main Street, visitors to the museum are given miniature Louisville Slugger bats to take home as a souvenir. The Slugger Museum is an ideal day out for kids, and families, who love baseball.
Address515 Marriott Dr, Clarksville, IN 47129-3053, USA
A quick ride across the Ohio River from Louisville, Atlantis Water Park is located in Clarksville, Indiana. With four water slides, a wave pool and a shallow pool with small slides and fountains for younger kids, Atlantis is a great way to enjoy a hot day. The park is on the small side, but that means affordable admission and short lines compared to the larger theme water parks. Atlantis provides a low-key relaxing day, with jolts of excitement on slides, for those who want it.
Need a winter option? Try the Frazier History Museum. There are often print outs for kids to follow while walking through exhibits. And, added bonus, there are frequently live shows.