FREE and Fun Summer Activities Around Kentucky

FREE and Fun Summer Activities Around Kentucky

It’s only a week in to summer and some kids are saying “I’m bored!” So we decided to compile a good list of FREE and fun activities around Kentucky for families to enjoy this summer. Enjoy!!!

Here’s a good chart/guideline to start with when your kids say they are bored:


FESTIVALS-There are many festivals around town, most have arts & crafts, food, and music. Follow this link for a list of festivals all around Kentucky for the next year.

Parklands-We are blessed to have these 5 connecting parks that provide an education center, fishing, biking, hiking, picnic pavillions, playgrounds, spraygrounds, canoeing, and daily free events for children.

Idlewild Butterfly Farm-is a relatively new butterfly garden in downtown Louisville, that features butterflies, spiders and insects of all kinds. Admission is absolutely free. You can also purchase your own butterflies, cages, and plants to take home for a small price.

Louisville Waterfront and Big Four Bridge-this area continues to grow and get better every year. It offers walking & biking trails, playground, splash park, bike rentals, and a full calendar of events going on. The Big Four Bridge now has a lightshow from twilight to 1 am every night also.

Dr. Hughes' children on the Big Four Bridge

Dr. Hughes’ children on the Big Four Bridge

21C Museum Hotel & Gallery-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-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. 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.

Louisville Nature Center-This nature center is in the heart of Louisville and offers trails, wildflower garden, pond, watershed exhibit, bird blind, library and a picnic area.

Museum at the American Printing House for the Blind-has galleries filled with displays, which allow kids to explore the history of the education of blind people in a fun setting. The gallery is full of hands-on exhibits that children are encouraged to enjoy. Admission is free to museum, as well as the factory tour (at 10:00 and 2:00).

Local Speed-Is the satellite location of the Speed Art Museum, which is under renovation until 2016. Every Saturday morning, Local Speed offers a free arts & crafts project for kids, anything from printmaking to painting. There is also a gallery for both children and adults to tour. They also boast the popular “Before I Die” wall.

Cave Hill Cemetery-It may be a little strange to take children to a cemetery for fun, but this place is more like a park. It is filled with lakes with ducks and swans to feed, a cave, 24 species of the largest trees in Kentucky. They offer walking history tours for a small donation. This cemetery is also the final resting place of Colonel Harlan Sanders and George Rogers Clark.

Cherokee Park is one of the original parks designed by the famous Frederick Law Olmsted. It features a 2.4 mile scenic loop for biking, hiking, and running. Beargrass Creek passes through the park. There is also a playground, spray ground, fishing, golf, dog run, and picnic area.

Red River Gorge-is designated a Geological Area, National Natural Landmark and National Archaeological District and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Natural Bridge State Park is in the same region. They both contain spectacular rock features, including sandstone arches and towering cliffs. A few of the activities available are hiking, camping, canoeing, zip-lining, rock-climbing, and wildlife viewing. ***Sidenote-this is one of Dr. Hughes’ favorite places to visit.***

Dr. Hughes and Husband at Red River Gorge

Dr. Hughes and Husband at Red River Gorge

Bernheim Arboretum and Forest-has free admission Monday-Friday and is $5 per car on weekends. Bernheim is a 14,000 acre arboretum, forest, and nature preserve. It offers many walking and hiking trails, lakes, birdwatching, fishing, and an education center.