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Louisville Kids Attractions

Things to Do with Kids in Louisville

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I often hear locals complaining about how there are hardly any Louisville kids attractions. I'm not sure why people are under the impression that there is nothing to do with kids in Louisville. There are a ton of things to do with kids in Louisville in every season, even if you're on a tight budget.

The Louisville Zoo

(c) 2007 Jessica Elliott
The Louisville Zoo is a great place to take your kids for a day of fun when the weather is nice. Obviously, the main attraction at the Louisville Zoo is the wildlife, but there are a lot of other fun things to do at the zoo that have nothing to do with animals. The Louisville Zoo is home to a splash water park, several playgrounds, a train, a miniature train garden, a carousel, and a motion simulator. Best of all, a year-long membership to the zoo for an entire family is less than $100.

Louisville Science Center

(c) 2008 Michael Maupin
The Louisville Science Center is an interactive learning center with more than 150 exhibits and a four-story IMAX Theater. Exhibits at the Louisville Science Center teach visitors about chemistry, physics, engineering, telecommunications, manufacturing, technology, health, and life sciences. I visited the Louisville Science Center many times as a kid, both on field trips and with my parents. I can remember having a great time every time I went. There was always something to do there that I hadn't done before, and the several floors of exhibits seemed endless.

Louisville Extreme Park

Photo Courtesy of Greater Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Louisville Extreme Park is a 40,000 sq. ft. concrete skate park where people of all skill levels can skate and bike 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some of the Louisville Extreme Park's biggest features include a 24 ft. full pipe, two 11 ft. bowls, two 8 ft. bowls, two 4 ft. bowls, a 6 ft. bowl, fun boxes, a street course, a 6 ft. flat bank, ledges, rails, and a 12 ft. wooden vertical ramp with a 13 ft. extension. If your kids are into skateboarding, rollerblading, or biking, a trip to the Louisville Extreme Park is a fun, free, local kids attraction.

Louisville Parks and Pools

(c) 2008 Michael Maupin
Metro Louisville is home to more than 100 parks covering more than 14,000 acres. No matter where you live in Louisville, you're probably just a few miles away from a park. Every park has different amenities, such as swimming pools, dog parks, amphitheaters, hiking trails, horseback riding, and ball courts, so regardless of what your kids enjoy doing, you should be able to find a park they can do it in within a reasonable drive from your home.

KentuckyShow!

(c) 2008 Michael Maupin
Kentucky Show! is a 32-minute long film that is shown in a 100-seat theater at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. Schools often take their students on field trips to see KentuckyShow! because it is historical, informational, and entertaining. It's also a good length for children with short attention spans. KentuckyShow! certainly isn't something that you and your kids can do to keep you busy for an entire day, but it's a great addition to a trip downtown that the whole family will enjoy.

Louisville Slugger Museum

(c) 2008 Michael Maupin
The Louisville Slugger Museum is a museum and factory where Louisville Slugger baseball bats are created and baseball's history is preserved. Visitors can tour the museum and watch as Louisville Slugger baseball bats are made. The Louisville Slugger Museum is also the location of the World's Largest Baseball Bat that leans against the side of the building. Every visitor to the Louisville Slugger Museum gets a tour of the museum and factory as well as a small Louisville Slugger bat as a souvenir.

Belle of Louisville

(c) 2008 Jessica Elliott
The Belle of Louisville is the oldest river steamboat in continuous use. Today she takes passengers on cruises up and down the Ohio River and races in the Great Steamboat Race every year on the Wednesday before the Kentucky Derby. Kids love to take the 2-hour cruise down the Ohio River to Six Mile Island and back, and they love the music that plays over the Belle's calliope.

Muhammad Ali Center

(c) 2008 Jessica Elliott
The Muhammad Ali Center is both a museum and a center for education and inspiration that was designed around the six values that have been most prominent in Ali's life: respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, and spirituality. The center is focused on presenting the life and values of Louisville-born Muhammad Ali, but, more fully, it is designed to show visitors how Muhammad Ali's life and values can be used to develop love for others, community, and compassion.

Churchill Downs

© Andy Lyons / Getty Images
Churchill Downs is best known for gambling and the Kentucky Derby. However, during the week when it's not too crowded, Churchill Downs can also be a fun place to take your kids. The cost of admission is low, there are plenty of places to eat, and kids can watch the horses parade around their stables as they're preparing to run their races. Kids will also enjoy watching the horses race, and you can pick you favorites amongst yourselves – no money required.
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