Family Activities in Lexington KY
These are links to great family activities. Have fun! We have highlighted the ones April has visited.
(Click on any website link to be taken directly to the site.)
1. Crayola Web site- Great Coloring Sheets, Activities & Crafts
*** April and memaw download all sorts of fun activities and color sheets from these sites. Safe, easy to use and provides hours of fun!
**** Free Paper Toys. April loved making these toys. You simply print, color and glue or tape them together. Awesome activities. http://www.thetoymaker.com/2Toys.html
**** Great Printable Paper Crafts From HP Printers. April loves making crafts and this is a great site.
2. The State Arboretum: Free admission. Located by the University of KY.
*** April loves it here. Look for the calendar posted on the web site for all sorts of free adventures and craft activities. We had a great time and April loved coming home with her handmade treasures!
3. Explorium (formally children's museum)
Great family fun! http://www.explorium.com/
*** We took our 3 year old granddaughter to the Explorium and it was GREAT! She did not want to leave! They have this massive art room where you can spend hours creating all kinds of wonderful crafts. Don't miss the Bubble Room where you can create all sizes and shapes of bubbles..... you can even stand inside your own bubble! $6 admission, well worth it. $24 buys a yearly pass.
4. Horsing Around
Explore a big park for horse-lovers. Lexington's Kentucky Horse Park is a great attraction for all ages. Youngsters especially enjoy the interactive exhibits at the museum, the Parade of Breeds (daily, spring through fall) and the wide-open spaces. The holiday light show at the park, Southern Lights, Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve, is also a big hit with young visitors. Open year-round. 859-233-4303 or toll free at 800-678-8813
5. Visit a high-flyin' museum
Kids fly their own plane (simulated that is!) and enjoy other interactive aviation exhibits at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky, located at Blue Grass Airport. Two-day Aviation Camps are held in the summer for aspiring pilots ages 10 through 15. 859-231-1219
6. See stars at Hummel Planetarium
One of the largest and most sophisticated planetariums in the United States is located on the Eastern Kentucky University campus in Richmond (about a half-hour drive from Lexington via I-75 South). Future astronauts and other stargazers will enjoy the special family programs at 6:00 p.m on Thursdays and Fridays and at 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays. 859-622-1547.
7. The Great Outdoors Hit the trails at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary
Enjoy scenic hiking in the Kentucky River Palisades area, a getaway just minutes from downtown Lexington. Many special programs are offered, ranging from "insect walks" to orienteering. 859-272-6105.
8. Mellow out with a riverboat ride
Not all kids will be happy tromping through the restored buildings at Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill (about a 45-minute drive south of Lexington via U.S. 68), but we've never met one that didn't love the hour long Kentucky River cruise aboard Shakertown's Dixie Belle paddle cruiser. May 1 through October. 859-734-5411 or toll-free, 800-734-5611.
9. Paddle like a pioneer
Older children in particular will enjoy a canoe excursion along Elkhorn Creek, an historic and scenic Bluegrass waterway. Rent a canoe at Oser Landing, Great Crossing Park or Cardome Park in Scott County, or by calling CANOE Kentucky at 800-522-6631.
10. Follow in the footsteps of frontier explorers
In May of 1775 W William McConnell and company heard about the first battle of the American Revolution while camped at a natural spring. In honor of the battle, they named their future settlement "Lexington." (Kentucky, not Massachusetts!) The site, off Old Frankfort Pike, is now known as McConnell Springs. Kids will enjoy the boardwalk across the wetlands in this urban oasis.
11. Go fish (or paddle boating)
While the younger children are enjoying the Creative Playground at Lexington's Jacobson Park, anglers in the group can cast their lines into the park's 47-acre lake (fishing license required for over 16). In the summer you can rent a pedal boat.
12. Do something wild .
Although the closest full-fledged zoos are in Louisville and Cincinnati, you can see an interesting variety of native Kentucky animals at the Salato Wildlife Education Center, on U.S. 60 near Frankfort (west of Lexington). Deer, wild turkey, bison, elk and bald eagles live at the center. There are also snakes and aquariums full of native fish species, along with other nature-oriented exhibits. 502-564-7863 or 800-858-1549.
13. See some rock stars
Forget the ear plugs - we're talking about massive limestone bridges. These fascinating rock formations are part of the reason that Natural Bridge State Park and the Red River Gorge area.
14. Smile at a crocodile
If you're heading to Natural Bridge, reptile fans in the family will want to stop on the way at the Kentucky Reptile Zoo, which is chock full of snakes, lizards and other slimy creatures. 606-663-9160
15. Great Places to Play
Get creative. Lexington's Creative Playgrounds take swinging and climbing to new levels. The massive play structures at Jacobson Park, off Richmond Road and Shillito Park, off Reynolds Road, include wooden towers, bridges, cars, even a lighthouse. They're perfect for when the younger kids want to run - and you want to rest.
*** April loves Shillito Park. The playgound is awesome and we love to take a picnic lunch along. Bathrooms are located at the playgound area. Bring along a sand bucket and shovel to play in the huge sandbox.
16. Explore the great indoors
Kids Place is a two-story-high playground with slides, rope bridges, "ball baths" and other climbing and jumping activities. It's located in the Lexington Athletic Club at 3992 West Tiverton Court .
*** Great place for elementary age children. Lots of great fun climbing, jumping and arcade game play. They offer birthday parties in a special birthday room with access to the play area. April had a good time. It's also great for Sunday School field trips of your end of the year sports event.
17. Attend Bounce U.
It's O.K. if the kids are bouncing off the walls--literally! What child wouldn't enjoy warehouse-sized rooms filled with giant inflatable toys? Call ahead to reserve space at BounceU on Boston Road , and bring socks. (859)268-6238.
18. Tweak your Board
If words like ollie, nollie and melloncollie mean something to you, you'll probably want to head off to the skatepark in Woodland Park at the corner of East High and Kentucky Avenue. Bring your helmet. The park closes at 10:00 p.m. (859) 288-2900.
19. Take 'em down on the farm
The family that picks together, sticks together. Well, at any rate, even city kids will enjoy a trip to the country for fresh apples and apple cider, pumpkins, corn and other goodies at Boyd Orchard, located near Versailles (859-873-3097). Amerson Orchard (502- 863-3799) and Evans Orchard (502-867-3044), both near Georgetown, also have produce your kid's can pick themselves.
*** April had a wonderful time here. They have train rides, hayrides and a playground that is a child's dream come true. It features a big slide that you use feed sacks to slide down and a fort made from hay bales. The country store and restaurant are stocked with unbelievable goodies! April loved feeding the animals in the petting zoo and exploring the orchard.
20. Be sweet
How about a little treat to go with your farm-fresh fruits and veggies? Show your little sweeties how candy is made with a free tour at Old Kentucky Chocolates, 450 Southland Drive in Lexington (859-278-4444 or 800-786-0579); or at Rebecca Ruth Candies, 112 E. 2nd St., Frankfort (800-444-3766).
21. Where the Wild Things Are
Stop by Wolf Run Wildlife Refuge near Nicholasville on a Saturday between 12 and 5 (or call for an appointment) to visit with rescued animals. You never know what you'll see: coyotes, deer, lions, cougars, and wolves are all in residence. (859)887-9663.
22. Do the pioneer thing
Youngsters love the pioneer schoolhouse and other old-timey stuff at Old Fort Harrod State Park in Harrodsburg (859-734-3314) and Fort Boonesborough State Park near Richmond (859-527-3131). At Fort Harrod, there's also a huge Osage Orange tree, irresistible for climbing. Fort Harrod is open year-round; Boonesborough is open year-round as well.
23. Follow tracks of all sizes
Make tracks to nearby Woodford County (west of Lexington via US 60) for all kinds of old-time train fun. A fascinating collection of model trains and other playthings from the past is on display at Wanda and Winfrey Adkins' Nostalgia Station Toy Train Museum, at 279 Depot Street
24. Make an historic crossing
Valley View Ferry is a rare treat - an old-fashioned paddle wheel ferry that carries cars across the Kentucky River between Fayette and Madison County. There aren't too many ferries like this anymore, and there aren't very many businesses of any type that are this old: the Valley View started operating in 1785, seven years before Kentucky became a state. To find it, take Tates Creek Road (Ky. 169) south from Lexington. Just like in the old days, if the river is too high, the ferry doesn't run. Call 859-258-3611.
25. Watch others act up
26. Arts and sciences
Created in the late 1960s to promote arts and science education, the Living Arts & Science Center is a favorite place for young Lexington residents to take classes in everything from cartooning to nature study. However, young visitors to the city might be interested in stopping by to see what's on exhibit in the center gallery. It could be paintings, sculpture or something scientific. The center is housed in an historic mansion at 362 N. Martin Luther King Blvd. in downtown Lexington. 859-252-5222.
27. Putter about
What's a family vacation without a round or two of miniature golf? Check out the three 18-hole Biblical-themed courses at the Lexington Ice Center ( 560 Eureka Springs Dr. , 859-269-5681), or battle the traditional windmills and loop-the-loops at White Haven Miniature Golf and Driving Range ( 100 Yorkshire Blvd. , 859-263-5310).
28. Go around and around
Year-round, you can go roller skating at Champ's Rollerdromes, 297 Ruccio Way in Lexington, (859-268-3888). Fall through spring, you can take to the ice at the Lexington Ice Center, 560 Eureka Springs Drive , (859-269-5681).
29. Stay out of the gutter
Collins Bowling Centers has two Lexington locations; Southland (859 -277-5746) and Eastland (859-252-3429). You'll get a special rate if you take the family before 6:00 p.m. And if the kids are having trouble sleeping, maybe all night Cosmic Bowling is your answer.
*** April's papaw bowls on a league and April loves bumper bowling. This is great for all ages as they line the alley with a bumper which means you never have to worry about the ball rolling into the gutter. Great fun! Birthday parties and family get to together's add to the fun!
30. A real page-turner
If your children love to read (or you would love them to), plan to stop at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in The Mall at Lexington Green, also on Nicholasville Road . Joseph-Beth was named America's Best Bookstore by Publisher's Weekly and is one of the largest bookstores in the nation. Joseph-Beth Kids, located on the lower level, is like a store-within-a-store. There's a large selection of books and educational materials, with a seating area for those who want to read on the spot. The store sponsors many special events for readers of all ages. 859-273-2911.
2524 Nicholasville Road (859-277-2323) gives new meaning to "drive through."
They have bumper cars! Watch cartoons in the Fun Flicks room or sports in the Sports Room. Play video games in the Game Room. All this and a great pizza buffet, too.
*** April loves the pizza and of course the game room. The Merry Go Round is a fun treat for papaw and memaw to ride with her. There are games and activities for all ages and there are always movies playing in the kid's dining room or sports in the adults dinning area. Great fun, all you can eat... and all for a great price.
32. If you grew up cruisin' the local drive-in during the '50s, you can give your kids a real taste of those "happy days" at the Parkette Drive-In
1230 East New Circle Road (859-254-8723). Many restaurants re-create the '50s, but with its vintage sign, carhops and "Kentucky Poor Boy" double-decker cheeseburger, the Parkette remains much the same as it was when it opened in 1951. This is a deep-fried slice of pure Americana.
33. Railroad Museum Versailles, KY
The museum is housed in a renovated early 1900s railroad station. Open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. (859-873-2497). On weekends, spring through fall, the Bluegrass Railroad Museum runs vintage train excursions from Woodford County Park. The 5 1/2-mile ride takes you through scenic Bluegrass countryside. The schedule also includes a variety of themed excursions, ranging from a staged "Train Robbery" to a "Clown Train." Call for times and schedule. 859-873-2476 or 800-755-2476.
The tour takes about an hour and includes the following:
Architectural Glass Art (AGA) - an innovative cold-working/warm-working studio that was founded in 1875, is among the oldest stained glass art studios in continuous operation in the United States, and Glassworks founding studio. "Transformed by Light", a short video highlighting the history and origins of glass art, the studio movement, Glassworks, and AGA.
35. Payton Flameworks
Owned by Mark Payton, a self taught flameworker of 18 years. Watch the artists sculpt with glass using an oxygen/propane torch.
Glassworks/Hyland Glass Hot Shop - learn about the process and watch artists blow glass in its molten state.
SELF GUIDED TOURS
Monday - Friday 10 am - 4 pm
$4.50 Adults, $3.50 Students/Seniors
Complimentary tour admission for children ages 5 and under.
GUIDED TOURS - Saturdays
10:00, 11:00 am, 1:00, & 3:00
Call ahead to confirm!
$6.50 Adults, $5.50 Seniors, $4.50 Students
Complimentary tour admission for children ages 5 and under.
Special guided tours, for groups of 10 or more, are available by reservation (Monday - Friday). Special pricing for reserved groups of 20 or more: $5.00 Adults/Seniors, $4.00 Students http://www.louisvilleglassworks.com/tours.html
36. Civil War Museum
March 1 - December 15 Bardstown KY.
7:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm
7:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm
7:30am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm