Spring Fun for All Ages in Louisville, KY : GoToLouisville.com Official Travel Source

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Put Some Spring In Your Step in Louisville

Create memories of a lifetime with a week or weekend of adventure and exploration in Louisville. Check out one-of-a-kind attractions found nowhere else in Kentucky’s largest city. We’ve pulled together a suggested list of family-friendly attractions and hidden gems around town.

Boy rides a horse in an interactive exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum

The Younger Set

Enjoy a 90-minute guided trolley tour of Louisville to see all the sights aboard Trolley De ‘Ville. Afterward, sit back, let the kids run around the playground at Waterfront Park, and walk across the Big Four Bridge to watch the barges navigate the Ohio River.

The Speed Art Museum is the oldest and largest art museum in Kentucky. In the heart of Old Louisville, the Speed Museum showcases ancient, classical, and modern art from around the world, plus rotating temporary exhibitions throughout the year. For the young (or young at heart) artists in the groups, stop by Art Sparks, an interactive, hands-on art gallery for all ages.

Want to meet some four-legged friends around town? Stop by the Louisville Zoo, where over 1,700 animals call home. Some of the residents you’ll meet include Lee the Polar Bear, Fitz the African Elephant calf, and the newest residents who move much slower—the two-toed Sloths Sebastian and Sunni. Be sure to check out the annual larger-than-life lantern festival, Wild Lights, March 23-May 19 which begins each evening at dusk. Across town, goats, donkeys, and horses are waiting to meet you at Blackacre State Nature Preserve. Just north of Louisville is Huber’s Family Farm Park, with a train, slides, mazes, and animals.

There are plenty of spots around town for hands-on learning without the kiddos realizing they are learning. Along the banks of the Ohio River in Southern Indiana, budding geologists will enjoy hiking atop the 390-million-year-old fossil beds at the Falls of the Ohio State Park. As the largest hands-on science center in Kentucky, the Kentucky Science Center encourages all visitors to engage in science in their own way. From discovering science while playing to investigating science in the world around us to tinkering with science creatively to solve problems, there is so much to explore within the center's three floors. Follow the footsteps of westward explorers in the Lewis & Clark Experience at the Frazier History Museum as visitors of all ages are taken on an immersive adventure that includes rafting down a river, animal tracking, and exploring secret passages.

Tweens & Teens

See glass art come to life before your eyes with glassblowing at Flame Run. Artists turn glass into glowing bubbles that eventually become items like vases or glasses. You are the artist with the “Design Your Own” experience, where you work with one of the trained artists to create your own distinctive ornament. Become part of the art nearby at 21C Museum Hotel’s falling letter art installation near the elevators. Just hold your arms out to see where the letters land. Before leaving, take a selfie with one of the red penguins that “roam around” the lobby.

For indoor fun and games, check out Activate Games with high tech games that test your physical and code breaking skills (it’s almost like being a part of the movie TRON). Fulfill the need for speed up to 30 mph with indoor go-karts at Full Throttle Adrenaline Park. With wall-to-wall trampolines, Defy Trampoline Park, is bouncing with fun with basketball, dodgeball, foam pit and more. (For the little ones in your group—not to worry. There’s a kid’s court the perfect size for them.) Or check out Dave & Buster’s or the Main Event for additional indoor fun for everyone.

A former limestone quarry underneath parts of Louisville, including the Zoo, found a new life as the world’s only underground adventure park. Technically classified as Kentucky’s largest building, the Louisville Mega Cavern is home to a zipline course, tram tour, ropes course, bike tour, and more, so there is an underground adventure for all ages in your travel group. Or enjoy some outdoor thrills when Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay Amusement Park opens on May 11 with over 70 rides and attractions throughout the amusement park and over 25 water slides and a wave pool awaiting at the water park.

Take a hike at one of Louisville’s many parks from city views at Iroquois Park and the trails at the Parklands of Floyds Fork, the city’s newest park system. Or head across the river and back in time at Rose Island to explore the remains of a 100-year-old abandoned amusement park.

All Ages

There really is something for every age, like the ideas already mentioned, but here are a few more that are great for the youngest to the oldest traveling with you.

Many of Louisville’s parks were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of New York’s Central Park, in the early 1890s as part of Olmsted’s dream of “bringing nature into neighborhoods.” Many of these parks have multi-use paths and hiking trails that are perfect for exploring, with a few leading to incredible city views. Just south of Louisville is Bernheim Arboretum and Forest, where adventure awaits, and you can connect with nature. Guests are welcome to join the daily educational programs, grab lunch at the café, walk among the canopy tree tops, or meet the three Forest Giants that call the forest home.

Situated with the boundaries of one of the city's oldest areas, stop to smell all the flowers at the Waterfront Botanical Gardens, where there is always something new in bloom. Explore an urban farm with the tiniest livestock. Idlewild Butterfly Farm & Insectarium has been raising butterflies and other insects since 2009 and began welcoming guests to meet these unique creatures up close since 2015 with tours of their facilities.

Another unique spot to visit with over 600 species of plants and trees is also home to the final resting places for many prominent Louisvillians and Kentuckians. Cave Hill Cemetery began in the 1840s as a garden-style cemetery that has evolved over time to an award-winning arboretum. Both Colonel Sanders and Louisville’s own, Muhammad Ali, are laid to rest within Cave Hill. (Traveler tip: Once inside Cave Hill, there are two colored lines on the ground guiding you to these famous folks—Green for Muhammad Ali & Yellow for Colonel Sanders)

The Little Loomhouse
has been welcoming famous faces since the 1880s from Frank Lloyd Wright to Eleanor Roosevelt, but the Little Loomhouse is most famous for being where the “Happy Birthday to You” song was composed and first performed by the Hill Sisters.

Let’s not forget some of the city’s iconic attractions that you must visit before you head home like the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory where you get to see the famous baseball bats being made up-close and possibly hold a piece of history like Babe Ruth’s bat. A few blocks away you’ll find the Muhammad Ali Center that honors the life, legacy and philanthropy of Louisville’s native son with interactive exhibits on multiple levels. At the Kentucky Derby Museum you will discover the history of Churchill Downs while experiencing the thrill of the Kentucky Derby in a 360-degree movie and get to see the historic track up-close. Take a cruise (possibly lunch or dinner) aboard the oldest operating steamboat in the U.S., the Belle of Louisville, which is over 100 years old and still cruising the Ohio River. A quick walk from the Belle of Louisville is one of the city’s newest museums, Roots 101 African American Museum that explores the African American story in its entirety from Africa to all the ports in between.

Get ready to cheer on your favorite sports teams—the Louisville Bats, the Triple-A team for the Cincinnati Reds (season opener, March 29), at Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville City FC (men’s professional soccer team—season opener, March 23) or the Racing FC Louisville (women’s professional soccer team—season opener, March 16) at Lynn Family Stadium.

Keep your eyes peeled as you walk down the street, pass alleys, traverse through parking garages, and past the backdoors of businesses— or you might miss some unique artwork and sculptures. Alley Gallery turns downtown Louisville into an outdoor art gallery of sorts by featuring the work of local artists in one-of-a-kind locations. Or see how many Gallopalooza Horses created by local artists you can spot around town.

Louisville has no shortage of events happening throughout the city. Check out our calendar of events to see what is going on while you're visiting or sign up for our weekly Front Runners for the "best bets" for weekend fun.