2014 Bucket List of the Best Activities for Louisville Families

Family Adventure Day
Grandmother Power at Ali Center
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– Ice skating at Jeffersonville Ice Rink – ends January 26th

– It’s not Derby time, but it’s probably not as crowded either. Winter is a
great time to explore Louisville’s museums, and the Kentucky Derby Museum is not to
be missed.

– Start off the New Year visiting an historic landmark that’s chock full of
education and learning – the Thomas
Edison House
in the Butchertown neighborhood. Or check out Portland Museum to learn about that unique area of Louisville.

– Head to the Muhammad Ali Center in
celebration of Black History Month. (A tip from previous years-visit this museum and many others on Museum Row during February when they have the $5 admission!)

– February is chilly around here, so stay warm indoors at the Derby Dinner Playhouse. They
offer great children’s shows at breakfast and lunch times and showcases two great shows this season: The Jungle Book and Princess Penelope’s Dragon. We love this place for family-friendly children’s theater shows and how great they are for younger children as well!

– Check out the season of children’s theater at Stage One Family Theatre at the
Kentucky Center for the Arts. The 2014 schedule includes the shows The Glorious Adventures of the Mighty Robin Hood and Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly.

– On the days when spring is trying to break free from winter’s grip, head to Waterfront Park to fly a
kite in the breezy days of March. Walk around the riverfront and play at the
playground. Grab a bite to eat at Joe’s Crab Shack and sit at a picnic table
outside and watch the river traffic. Check out our review here. Rent a bike, or bring
your own, and explore paths along the river

– Spend some time checking out the park system in Louisville.

– Walk Museum Row and spend
some time downtown on Main Street, Louisville. Visit the Kentucky Science Center, Louisville Slugger Museum, Frazier History Museum, and pop
into 21C Museum Hotel just to
look around. Visit in February to take advantage of their $5 admission. (Participating attractions: Frazier Museum, KentuckyShow!, Louisville Slugger Museum, & Ali Center).

-Most school breaks around here occur during the first or second week of April. If you’re not heading out of town, take a staycation here. Remember, Lonely Planet awarded Louisville one of the Top Ten
Tourist Destinations in 2013
 and ‘Best of World’ by Traveler Magazine. See why! 

-Enjoy the many family-friendly events that take place during the Kentucky Derby Festival
– The Kentucky
Reggae Festival
is a fun time for families, during the day time
hours of the festival. It occurs Memorial Day weekend every year. The music,
Jamaican fare and flair, and handmade arts and crafts are worth checking out.
It’s held on the grounds of the historic Water Tower on the river.

– Springtime is a gorgeous time in Louisville – check out the grounds of
historic Locust Grove during
this beautiful time. A friend of mine recently told me about exploring the river by starting at Riverside Farnsley-Moremen Landing as well!

Renaissance Family Fun Park is a great
place to head in the evenings or weekends when the kids are itching to get out
of school for summer break. Check them out if you haven’t yet, there is a lot
to entertain your crew for a wide span of ages.

-Each May, the city of Louisville puts on a Hometown Tourist Celebration! Check out the deals you can typically seize here.

Go to Henry’s Ark and feed the animals! It’s located in Prospect and is the only petting zoo in the area. It’s free to enter but they do appreciate donations. Read their Facebook page about what to feed and NOT to feed to the animals!

Louisville Free Public Library SummerReading Program – and all of the programming that goes along with
it. There is almost something to do any given day in the summer at almost every
library so don’t miss out!

– Head to the spray
ground at the Beckley Creek Park
, of the Parklands of Floyds Fork
– this is a must for outdoor spray time and fun in the sun.

– My family and I discovered lots of outdoor, family, FREE movies this past
summer – most start in early summer. We especially enjoyed the Cards
Under the Stars series

-Take a walking tour downtown on one of the city’s PossibiliTours, review here.

– Go trolley style this summer. If you haven’t taken your family on a ride on
one of the trolley hops, they are fun. The evenings are great for this, as you
can beat the heat of the day and make frequent stops inside A/C filled shops
and restaurants. There are two that run monthly: First
Friday Trolley Hop
in downtown and F.A.T. Friday Hop in the
Clifton, Crescent Hill, and Butchertown neighborhoods.

– Check out the outdoor music series that occur all over Louisville and
Southern Indiana. Two highlights on this list: Westport Village and
Jeffersonville’s River
-Experience the oldest, free Shakespeare festival in the U.S. in Central
Park, Old Louisville: Kentucky Shakespeare presents “Shakespeare
in the Park.”

– Sometime through the summer, visit this cool place from another reader’s tip! “It’s pretty low key, just a big open field, a picnic table, and a caboose to climb on, but my kids LOVED it. It’s called Buechel Depot, just off of the Buechel Bypass. (The old train station has been turned in to an event hall, apparently, but it wasn’t opened when we went by for a picnic.)”

– It’s just not August unless you head to the Kentucky State Fair!

– The St. Joseph
Orphans’ Picnic
is a staple in Louisville – go check out the family
fun during the daytime hours of this legendary family-style picnic complete
with games, prizes, fried chicken, and raffles.
– Summer isn’t complete without singing “Take Me Out to the
Ballgame” at a Louisville
Bats game at Louisville Slugger Field.

-Explore The Falls of the Ohio in Clarksville before the kids head back to school

– Head out to the Iroquois
for a play, free movie, or music festival in the
outdoor seating arena, sightsee around the south end, then
take a walk through Iroquois
for the day before settling down for some evening entertainment.

– Check out Blackacre
State Nature Preserve
at some point this fall. Often on Saturday
mornings, your family can help feed the animals early in the morning, then
stick around for a walk through the trails; pack a picnic lunch to be enjoyed
anywhere on the vast property – no spot will be disappointing.

– Check out a cruise on the Ohio River aboard the historic steamboat, the Belle of Louisville.

– You can’t spend fall in Louisville and Southern Indiana without heading to Joe Huber’s Family Farm to pick
apples or pumpkins. This place speaks to families; check out Huber’s Orchard & Winery for a
less crowded experience as well.

– Trek through Old
this fall. There are many awesome photo opps to be had, and kids love
the old cobblestone sidewalks and alley ways. Check out St. James Court Art Show during
the first weekend. Grab a bite to eat at Dizzy Whizz; enjoy a 50s style burger
and milkshake. 

– Can you swing a date day or parents day out? Check out the Louisville Food Tour in the Nulu district. It’s fantastic, read our review here.

– Check out a laser show or stargazers delight at the Gheens Planetarium on UofL’s
. They have many holiday themed light shows this time of year and are a
great option if you have older kids.

– Take your family on an unforgettable learning tour at the Museum of the American Printing
House for the Blind

– Thinking about getting some shopping done for the holidays? Check out our Top 10 locally owned stores in Louisville here.


– There are so many holiday activities to attend during this season in
Louisville. Check out Christmas
at the Galt House
, which has so many options you will not get bored
as a family. Spend time downtown and pretend you’re in the movie Miracle on 34th Street…window shop, adore the decorations, catch a horse-drawn carriage ride, explore the Galt House Hotel’s lobbies
and elevators, walk the Belvedere, head to 4th Street Live for ice
skating, and grab a bite to eat at so many places to choose from.

– Do not miss Toyland
for the enormous light display. It will get you in the spirit of the

– A fabuLOUs tip from a reader: Go to Schimpff’s Confectionery candy store in Jeffersonville. “It’s great any time of year, but we also have a family tradition to go the Friday after Thanksgiving. That is when they make their holiday ribbon candy & the Saturday after Thanksgiving they make candy canes.”

By guest contributor: Erin
Papa Johns Pizza
Louisville Zoo Halloween
KCD Open House


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