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Things to Do in Louisville, KY in the Summer

Updated on October 24, 2014

The kids are out of school and you need to find a place for rest and relaxation. Although Louisville is home to the Kentucky Derby in the spring, it is abound with a large variety of activities in the summer as well. Most of these activities are family oriented. Even if you do not have children, here are some places that are worth visiting.

Hours of Operation

Kentucky Kingdom (Summer Hours)

Sun-Thurs: 11a.m. - 7 p.m.

Fri-Sat: 11a.m.- 9p.m.

Hurricane Bay Hours (Summer Only)

Sun-Thurs: 11a.m. -6 p.m.

Fri-Sat: 11a.m.- 7 p.m.

Kentucky Kingdom

Louisville is home to a theme park that comes alive in the summertime. There are many features to this park that it is difficult to pack in all the fun in just one day. Many residents enjoy purchasing season passes so they may go back all season long.

Kentucky Kingdom has four focused areas to enjoy. There main park, Kentucky Kingdom, has thrilling rides and roller coasters as well as 5D cinema, bumper cars, and carousels. King Louie is specifically designed for the younger kids. From Mad Hatter Tea Cups to colorful train rides. Hurricane Bay is an adventure filled water park. Many residents spend all day cooling off from the hot Kentucky sun. There are several water rides and wave pools. There are rides designed entice and excite experienced swimmers but they also have rides and pools for the younger kids to enjoy as well.

Kentucky Kingdom also has several shows and events. Aside from the 5D cinema, which is a movie and ride all rolled into one, there is the sea lion show that is comprised of rescued sea lions that are sure to put a smile on your face and make you laugh. There is also King Louis' Jesters and beach parties.

Ticket pricing varies, so it is best to check their website but there are day passes and seasonal passes available. All attractions open at 11am. Kentucky Kingdom closes at 7pm daily and at 9pm on Friday and Saturday during the summer. However, Hurricane Bay closes at 6pm throughout the week and 7pm on Friday and Saturday. Hurricane Bay is only open during the summer months. Be sure to check the website for the opening and closing dates for each summer.

Louisville Zoo Entrance
Louisville Zoo Entrance

Hours of Operation

Summer Hours (June and July)

Sunday - Wednesday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (stay until 6 p.m.)

Thursday - Saturday: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. (stay until 8 p.m.)

Louisville Zoo

The Louisville Zoo has several activities during the day that are geared toward all ages throughout the day. Some activities include the Gorilla Program, Elephant Aerobics, Girafee Feeding, Tiger Training, and Keeper Talk. Aside from these daily activities, the Louisville Zoo has a 4-D ride theater, splash park, an adventure course, and robotic dinosaurs.

The zoo is open from 10:00 am and closes at 7:00 pm during the summer months. General admission is $11.95 for ages 12 and up, $8.95 for seniors and children ages 3-11, and kids ages 2 and under are free.

If you want to add the 4-D ride theater, unlimited carousel rides, the zoo tram, and robotic dinosaurs the admission fee is $23.45 for ages 12 and up and $20.45 for seniors and children ages 3-11.


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Other Things to Do

Shakespeare in the Park

Every summer Louisville’s Central Park is host to free Shakespeare plays. It is entertaining and fun for the entire family. The plays vary from year to year, but they typically put on around four plays on different dates.

There will be food vendors on hand to attend to your appetite, as well as a playground for the kids. You can also bring your pets. There is a police department located there, so safety is a top priority. They also accommodate those with special needs such as a disability.

Louisville Bats Baseball

What would the summer be without baseball? As an American pastime, you have to come to Slugger Field to see at least one game before the summer is over. The Louisville Bats are affiliated with the Cinicinnati Reds. Ticket prices vary depending on where you sit, but they typical cost $6.00 to $11.00.

Louisville Nature Center

The Louisville Nature Center is a beautiful nature preserve. There are several gardens available for you to walk through such as the native wildflower garden and the dragonflies and butterflies garden.

They also have hiking trails and indoor and outdoor exhibits to enjoy. If you have kids, the Louisville Nature Center offers a variety of summer camps for all ages.


Cherokee Park

Louisville, Kentucky is home to 120 parks but Cherokee Park is listed as one of the top 50 parks visited each year in the United States. Located at 745 Cochran Road, it has a scenic loop, a dog park, bird sanctuary, fishing, archery, baseball field, basketball, horseshoes, playgrounds, and even a spray fountain during the summer.

Louisville Extreme Park

Enjoy skateboarding, rollerblading, or BMX? Louisville has one of the best skate parks in the United States, the Louisville Extreme Park. It has several size bowls, ledges, rails, and an impressive 24-foot full pipe, along with many other features. They have even proposed a large indoor skate area with concession stands.

Kentucky State Fair

The Kentucky State Fair arrives in August. Admission ranges from $4.00 to $8.00 and children ages 3 and under are free. However, parking costs $6.00. There are a variety of rides and carnival games available along with various competitions.

Some of these competitions include livestock, arts and crafts, and homemade beer. Live concerts also occur at the Kentucky State Fair. There is so much to do at the State Fair that it is best to check the website for more details.

Louisville Ghost Tours

Learn about Louisville history and how some of the town’s resident might have loved it so much they still reside here even after death. Each ghost tour starts at 8:00 pm on the corner of 4th and Liberty with a tour guide dressed in period clothing.

The tour lasts about an hour and a half and you are more than welcome to bring your cameras. The cost of the tour is $15.00 per adult, $8.00 for children ages 7-11, and children under 6 years old are free. Reservations are required so visit the website for more details on attending one of these tours.

Jefferson Memorial Forest

Tired of the hustle and bustle of city life? Consider a weekend trip or even a day trip to Jefferson Memorial Forest. Get out and experience the quiet calm of nature in one of Louisville best parks. Jefferson Memorial Forest is over 6,000 acres and less than 20 minutes from downtown Louisville. It features several hiking trails, camping, and fishing. The park service even has summer camps available for children and teens ages 5 -15. The things to do in Jefferson Memorial Forest seem endless during the summer months.

Louisville, KY

© 2014 Linda Sarhan


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