When you hear the word Louisville, what is the first thing that comes to mind?? Horse racing during the Kentucky Derby? How about a little baseball with the Louisville Slugger bat? While those two things are pretty synonymous with Louisville, you will be amazed at how many other things there are to do available in the city. You can easily plan a vacation in this city and create an itinerary filled with things to do with the family in Louisville, KY. However, be prepared, because your list of things to do in Louisville today is going to be longer than you think. Therefore, you may need to leave some of those items on your things to do in Louisville list for the next time you visit.
22 Things to Do with Family in Louisville, Kentucky
1. Visit the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory
Since we mentioned the Louisville Slugger above, you had to have known that this was going to be at the top of our list of best things to do in Louisville! You will know you arrived at the museum, because there is a one hundred twenty-foot bat waiting to greet you. On the inside, you will learn all about this baseball bat, including how it is made. There are many other baseball artifacts as well, so you should plan to stay for at least a couple hours.
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2. Visit the Kentucky Derby Museum
If you are looking for one of the top things to do in Louisville, the Kentucky Derby Museum will fit the bill. The Kentucky Derby has been taking place since 1875 and the museum covers the entire history of the race. There are many displays inside this museum, but the favorites will be those of the most popular racehorses like Man O’War and Secretariat.
3. Wander Around E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park
When you need free things to do in Louisville, E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park will be waiting for you. There are hundreds of acres within this park, so you will have plenty of options when it comes to relaxing with a picnic lunch or hiking one of the many trails. There is even a swimming pool if you want to get a few laps in during your visit.
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4. Enjoy a Night Out at The Bard’s Town
Hopefully, you can bring a sitter with you during your family vacation in Louisville. If you can, then you will have the chance to enjoy all the things to do in Louisville, KY for couples. One of the best things to do in Louisville, KY at night is enjoy a meal and performance at The Bard’s Town. While you can take the kids with you for this night out on the town, it is quite special if you get to enjoy it as a couple. The entire menu has a Shakespearean theme, as does the name of the building. As for entertainment, it is always changing. Therefore, you never know what live performers you will see during your visit.
5. Get Some Chills at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium
The Waverly Hills Sanatorium is an abandoned building that is known to be haunted. A visit to this building is one of the scariest things to do in Louisville today. This may not be a kid friendly thing to do in Louisville, especially if you have young kids. However, older kids usually get a kick out of being scared. There are three different tours of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. The guided tours are the least scary of the three, so you might want that one if your kids, or you, scare easily.
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6. Take a River Cruise
You have a few options when it comes to taking a cruise on the Ohio River when you are visiting Louisville. The two steamboats that cruise up and down the river are the Spirit of Jefferson and the Belle of Louisville. The latter one is the oldest, having been first sailed back in 1914, while the former was built in 1963.
7. Have Some Thrills at Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay
There is a plethora of amusement parks around the world, so you might not think that Kentucky Kingdom needs to be on your list of things to do in Louisville, KY. However, with rides like Lightning Run, Eye of the Storm, and Scream Extreme, we think you will be more than ready to spend a day visiting and having fun!
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8. Check Out the Glass at the Flame Run Glass Studio and Gallery
Seeing how blown glass is made is as easy as visiting the Flame Run Glass Studio and Gallery. This is a favorite family thing to do in Louisville, because it captures the attention of kids of all ages. The best way to see everything in this building it to take a tour. That will allow you to see the exhibits and the hot glass demonstrations.
9. See the Views at Locust Grove
When you are looking for things to do with family in Louisville, KY this weekend, you must make sure Locust Grove is on your list. Seeing the views from this area is one of the top things to do in Louisville. You can explore this US National Historic Landmark and know that you are standing in the same places that Lewis and Clark did as they were heading west all those years ago.
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10. Dine at Jack Fry’s
You cannot travel to Louisville and not dine at Jack Fry’s. In fact, this is one of the must-do things to do in Louisville tonight. This restaurant was opened back in 1933 and it has long been a popular hangout. The menu includes foods for people of all ages, so you will never need to worry about someone not having what they like.
11. Visit the Louisville Zoo
One of the many kid friendly things to do in Louisville is visiting the Louisville Zoo. There are more than one hundred acres at this zoo, which opened back in 1969. At the moment, there are at least fifteen hundred animals waiting for you to visit them. All the animals are spread out into their own natural habitat exhibit areas. If you get tired of walking around the zoo, you can always hop onto the Zoo Train or the ZooTram Shuttle.
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12. Have an Adventure at Beckley Creek Park
While you can easily relax over at Beckley Creek Park, we guarantee you will find too much to do and can’t sit down! Down at the water, you can canoe or kayak, while the Egg Lawn will have you participating in soccer matches. There are plenty of trails to hike along in this park as well. Make sure you wear the proper shoes before tackling ones like Valley of the Giants Trail and Black Willow Trail.
13. Visit Old Louisville
Old Louisville is not as old as you would think, but it is one of the free things to do in Louisville. This area of the city is comprised of forty-eight city blocks. You must walk around Old Louisville to see all the Victorian architecture, as well as the numerous stained-glass windows within the buildings. Your kids might not be thrilled at first, but after a while, they will be so tired of walking that they will instantly fall asleep when you return to your hotel.
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14. Watch a Performance at the Louisville Palace
Watching a performance at the Louisville Palace is another excellent thing to do in Louisville, KY for couples. If you plan on adding this thing to do in Louisville tonight, you should have someone to watch the kids for you. This will ensure you enjoy whatever performance is being held when you are there. However, if you can’t find someone to watch the kids, you can always take them to one of the many children’s performances.
15. Wander Through the Frazier History Museum
Artifacts are everywhere inside the Frazier History Museum in Louisville. Yet nothing seems squeezed together, because it is all spread out between seventy-five thousand square feet of space. Your family will love seeing President Theodore Roosevelt’s Big Stick, as well as General Custer’s pistols.
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16. Relax at Louisville Waterfront Park
Picnics are possible when you are visiting Louisville Waterfront Park and it is one of the free things to do in Louisville. While you can spend your time visiting the Swing Garden, Lincoln Memorial, and the Adventure Playground, you can also simply walk around the promenade. This area is usually busy, but it gets busier when the numerous outdoor festivals are taking place there.
17. Catch a Game at Louisville Slugger Field
There are plenty of fun things to do in Louisville, KY, but if you plan your visit for baseball season, you can catch a ballgame. The Louisville Slugger Field didn’t open until 2000, but it is one of the best places to watch a game. If the baseball team is not playing when you are there, you may find that the Louisville City FC soccer team is.
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18. Visit the Muhammad Ali Center
Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville, so it is only appropriate that a cultural center and museum is dedicated to him in the city. This is one of the best indoor things to do in Louisville, KY. This building is six stories and includes a theater, interactive exhibits, and galleries. A favorite inside this museum is the mock boxing ring that looks like the one Ali used at his Deer Lake Training Camp.
19. Explore Science at the Kentucky Science Center
There are many different museums located where the Kentucky Science Center is located. That entire area is known as Museum Row and it is a popular choice for those who are looking for family things to do in Louisville. This science center was founded back in 1871 and it takes two buildings to hold everything. Three of the floors are interactive exhibits that are guaranteed to keep your family entertained for hours.
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20. Walk Across the Big Four Bridge
Only walkers and bicyclists are allowed to access the Big Four Bridge. This bridge was constructed back in 1895 and you can easily walk over it to get to a couple nearby cities. At the end of the bridge on either side, you will find amazing places to have a picnic lunch. There are also playgrounds there, so the kids can work off their excess energy, while you sit and recuperate from your walk over the bridge.
21. Watch a Horse Race at Churchill Downs
The Kentucky Derby is held at Churchill Downs every year, but that doesn’t mean it is the only horse race to see in Louisville. As long as you plan your Louisville vacation properly, you can watch a horse race at this infamous track.
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22. Visit the Louisville Mega Cavern
The Louisville Mega Cavern will have you underneath Louisville exploring history. This old limestone mine was discovered back in the 1930s. You must take a guided tour to see the inside and they are all family friendly.
These are the twenty-two things to do with family in Louisville, Kentucky. There are many other fun things to do in Louisville too, so you can always find something to fill your time if these are not enough.
However, we recommend starting with these kid friendly things to do in Louisville and then adding others onto your list as time allows. After all, you don’t want to pack your list with the best things to do in Louisville and then rush through them all without having any fun at all!