Skip to Content

Spending time in Louisville, KY

Spending time in Louisville, KY

 Spending Time in Louisville, KY

Louisville is a crossroads where the American South and Midwest meets the rest of the world and has a ton to offer for a great weekend. First, we can’t overlook the many festivals, many of which aren’t kid focused. But there is still a lot to offer the family!

The Kentucky Derby Festival

The Kentucky Derby Festival is one that family should be a part of at least once. Go ahead and put it on your bucket list!

Thunder over louisville

Photo Courtesy

The Kentucky Derby takes place the first Saturday in May and is preceded by a two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The kick off to the celebrations begins with Thunder Over Louisville, a complete air show followed by the largest annual fireworks display in North America, coordinated to music. It’s truly amazing! The Kentucky Derby Festival also features notable events such as the Pegasus Parade, The Great Steamboat Race, Great Balloon Race and the evening balloon glow. Esquire magazine called the Kentucky Derby “the biggest party in the south” and we totally agree.

More Things to do in Louisville

While not enjoying the Derby Festivities, we recommend keeping busy with a trip to Churchill Downs racetrack and yes you can take your kids (maybe not babies).  Louisville is also home to the Children’s Science Center,  The Muhammad Ali Center (maybe for older kids), the Derby Museum, the Louisville Slugger Museum for the baseball fans (Dad will love it), and of course Slugger Field stadium to catch a game.  You can also take a river cruise on the oldest operating paddlewheel steamboat in the nation, The Belle of Louisville.


Picture courtesy Louisville Mega Cavern

Picture courtesy Louisville Mega Cavern

Louisville Mega Cavern was ranked as the #1 attraction in Louisville by Trip Advisor and is definitely worth checking out, but it is definitely for older kids.  Awesome #1 is the underground zip lining. Awesome #2 is the only fully underground aerial ropes challenge course in the world! Awesome #3 is the underground bike park which includes over 45 trails, jump lines, pump tracks, dual slalom, BMX, cross country and single track, all in a former limestone cavern 100 feet sub-surface. Any kid over 8 will think Mega Cavern is the coolest place on earth!

If your kids are anything like mine they are going to need to burn off some steam, that is what the waterfront is for! Complete with a HUGE grassy area where you can let them run! The Big Four Bridge connects Louisville to Indiana, it is an old train bridge that has been converted into a walking bridge. The kids love being up so high over the Ohio River! This town seriously has so much to offer and we haven’t even told you about the food yet!
Louisville, KY, made Travel and Leisure’s list for America’s Best Cities for Food Snobs and they couldn’t have been more right.  The real challenge is a lot of the best restaurants are either very upscale or very adult oriented.  Louisville focuses on upscale dining and downtown restaurants that are bar-oriented (focusing on breweries and bourbon). So where to go with your kids that’s still good and not going to cost you hundreds of dollars?
If you are hanging out downtown for the day we recommend Feast, but when I went they didn’t have high chairs or booster seats so you might keep that in mind.  They have mac-n-cheese for your picky eaters and mom and dad can still get a bourbon slushy. Bonus!
Wild Eggs has several locations and is a fav for breakfast or lunch.  They have some lunch entrees, but here eggs are the main ingredient and we love it!
Please and Thank youPlease and Thank You, while not a restaurant is a fantastic locally owned coffee shop, with the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever eat!
What will be your first stop when you head to Louisville?

97 Free Things to Do in Kentucky | Family Vacations U.S.

Thursday 6th of August 2020

[…] Share with us your favorite thing to do while you are in Kentucky. If you are in Louisville, be sure to check out our article about what to do while you are in town. You can see that here. […]

How to have the best summer ever...even if you don't travel | Family Vacations U.S.

Friday 24th of July 2020

[…] take advantage of the fantastic things to do in your own town. In the summer months, my town, Louisville, Kentucky offers what is called a Cultural Pass. It is free for school-aged children and it offers the […]