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Louisville Kentucky Community Information

Louisville for Kids

Louisville is a great city for families with lots to do!  You read elsewhere about our great park system, but there are hundreds of things for your kids to do in Louisville. Many are free or low cost. Most of the major attractions have special kids zones, plus there are many programs set up especially for the younger set. Even Louisville’s many festivals have special activities just for kids. There are also plenty of summer programs.

Located on the river, with many lakes in the area, swiming is a wonderful family activity. The City of Louisivlle operates over 500 pools in the city. There are also pools at the YMCA branches throughout the city, plus private pools opeated by organizations and private clubs.. Here are some of the public options:

Louisville District Designated Swimming Areas and Beach Locations
YMCA
Public Pools

Here is a sample of what your kids can enjoy as young Louisville residents:

Major Attractions

Extreme Sports Park – Louisville’s Extreme Sports Park for skateboarding is part of the local park  system, but wins ravereviews by visitors. With a 24 foot full pipe, 5, 6, 8, and 11 foot bowls, fun boxes, ledges, rails, and a street track, there is plenty of variety to appeals to skateboards of all ages and levels.

Glassworks – Kids over 12 can learn cold glass fusing of a project made from cut glass and bonded in a kiln, while younger children can do projects involving gluing.

Kentucky Kingdom –The popular former Six Flags park is closed now, but will reopen in 2013 as Bluegrass Boardwalk with rides and a splash park.

Louisville Nature Center – Kids can explore and learn about nature as they view exhibits, hike through Beargrass Creek’s Nature Preserve, and enjoy special events.

Louisville Orchestra –Louisville’s award-winning orchestra offer workshop for families through the year plus special OrKIDstra concerts that mix classics with popular music.

Louisville Science Center Kids can enjoy a variety of interactive exhibits about science, while those under 7 can visit KidZone and do special projects.

Slugger Museum – If your kids love baseball, the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory offers kids a place to learn baseball history and, if you go on a weekday, see how bats are made. The museum is marked by a six story bat that weighs 68,000 pounds. After a trip to the museum, you might want to check out Slugger Field, where the AAA franchise Louisville Bats play.

Mohammed Ali Center - An array of boxing memorabilia and history from the great fighter (and native son) Muhammad Ali is on display here. Through interactive displays, exhibits, and videos, kids will learn the values he exhibited that work well in sports or life.

Louisville Zoo – The Zoo has a great collection of 1,300 animals on display year round, pus beautiful garden, many special exhibits, and lots of kids’ programming. All day long, kids can watch elephant aerobics, seals and sea lines in training, and other animals pursue their daily routines or enjoy 4-D movies, electronic dinosaurs, and other special features kids love.

Speed Art Museum – This great museum has ArtSparks, an interactive gallery that encourages kids to explore and enjoy art. (You may see ArtSparks on tour at local festivals too.) The museum also has a Hand-On Art Room where kids can create their own art projects and explore design. Planet Preschool for kids under 5 encourages kids to touch and explore textures, colors, and shapes.

Henry's Ark - A private zoo located in Prospect, Kentucky on a 600-acre farm, Henry’s Ark has over one hundred animals on display, and invites visitors to interact with the animals. 

More Special Fun for Kids 

Actor’ Theater – From mid-August through mid-May, aspiring actors from the theater’s Apprentice Company present free plays the whole family will enjoy.

All About Kids – AAK offers swimming tumbling, gymnastics, taekwando, and dance through classes for kids to 10 years old.

Barnes and Noble Story Time and Tales at Twilight - Two Barnes and Noble locations in Louisville that offer story times for kids. The one at the Summit offers a free story time on Saturday mornings at 11 AM, while the one at 801 South Hurstbourne Parkway offers Tales at Twilight at 7 PM on Friday nights.

Bluegrass Indoor Karting – This go kart park has junior carts sized for kids.  Kids can record their times on the 1,000 foot long course.

Build-A-Bear - Bears make great friends, so Build-A-Bear welcomes kids to design and build their own stuffed  buddy.

Carnegie Center for Art and History Family Fun Workshop – Located in New Albany, Indiana, the Carnegie Center for Art and History has cool exhibits about local history and workshops and classes for the whole family.

Corn-Toss USA – Located in Oxmoor Mall in St. Matthews, Corn Toss USA offers  a variety of beanbag and corn toss games

Home Depot Kid's Workshops - Held on the first Saturday of each month from 9 AM to noon ,Home Depot offers free workshops for children aged 5-12. Participants will create a project from a pre-fabricated kit. Each month there is a different theme.

Incredible Dave’s - Both adults and children will enjoy 65.000 square feet of fun like bowling, bungee jumping, bumper cars, video games, and more.

Little Big Horse Trails – Kids over 6 can ride horses through meadows and trails on this 500 acre farm in operation since 1790.

Lowe's Build and Grow Workshop - Held at 10 am on the second Saturday of each month, Lowe's Build and Grow Workshops holds free workshops for kids 4-12.  The theme and project differ each month.

Pottery Barn Kids Story Time - Every Tuesday at 1- am, Pottery Barn Kids in Oxmoor Mall holds a weekly story time that features a story and songs. Kids who participate receive a card is stamped each time so they can receive a prize after five stamps.

The Paint Spot - Kids can pick out a pre-made piece of pottery, ranging from plates to mugs, picture frames, teapots, bowls, animal sculptures, and piggy banks, then paint it with their own design at The Paint Spot. 

Summer Camps for Kids

Whether you want a summer experience for your kids or need daycare and babysitting services, Louisville offers a wide array of camps and summer programs. In March of each year, the Louisville Courier-Journal publishes a full list of summer programs, but here are a few options.

What type of time coverage do you need? Some camps like the Boys and Girls Clubs, the JCC of Louisville, or YMCAs throughout the area or the Holy Spirit Summer Program in St. Matthews, or the Trinity Learning Ministry in New Albany offer all day activities through early August and end at 6 pm.  The JCC even takes kids as young as 20 months through 12 years of age. These are good options if you need all-day care. Many other camps operate for a few hours a day or for select weeks throughout the summer. The Metro Parks and Recreation has a program that goes through late July.

What does your child like to do? Summer camps are a great way for your child to explore new interests or focus on specific activities like soccer or baseball, music or theater, or take up horseback riding. If your child likes animals, the Kentucky Humane Society offer camps that focuses on caring for them while Kentucky Zoo  familiarizes them with amazing animal facts.  For pure enjoyment, with some educational fun tossed in, there are Lego camps, innovative experiences at the Frazier History Museum, and several camps based at Louisville parks.

Do you want academics to be main focus? Whether you want your child to stay sharp or whether he needs some more extensive academic help, many summer programs include mental challenge in the agenda.  However, some programs like New Zion Community Development Foundation, Inc. run all day, all summer and focus on academic enrichment.  There are many other choices if you want your child to have a couple weeks of tutoring.

Does your child have special medical needs to consider?  The No Limits Diabetes Camp (diabetes), Camp Quality Kentuckiana (cancer), or Home of the Innocents  (medically fragile) are among the programs for kids with special needs. Regardless of what camp you choose, make sure to tell the camp of any health issues or food allergies you child has.

If you go online and search for kids’ activities in Louisville, you will find hundreds of things that are fun and interesting to do now, plus that will build them into the type of adults who appreciate nature, culture, sports, and fun.

  

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