101 FREE things to do with your kids in Kentucky!

photo 101 KFF Free_zpsafsrdisp.png

There are so many free things to do with kids in Kentucky! We are lucky to live close to historical sites, many parks, cities with rich culture, and natural sites for outdoor adventures.

We have updated this post and it is now housed on our sister site – LouisvilleFamilyFun.net – please click here to see the updated list

During the pandemic, some of these places may not be open or they may have different programming. Please check with them before you go to make sure they are open! Most events have not been taking place and in 2021, still many are being canceled. 

1. Visit Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace. Link here  – there’s a heritage trail!

2. Take a deep breath at the Patriot Peace Memorial.

3. See folk art in Kentucky’s Folk Art Center.

4. Tour the State Capitol Building in Frankfort.

5. Pay your respects to Daniel Boone at his gravesite.

6. Take a ride on the Valley View Ferry.

7. Take in the breathtaking views at Kingdom Come State Park

8. Eat a picnic lunch at the edge of Nolin Lake.

9. Plan a trip to see a moonbow at Cumberland Falls State Park.

10. Travel back to re-enact a battle at Perryville Battlefield – see our review here.

11. Get some energy out by hiking to the top of Natural Bridge.  See LouFamFun post.

12. Pay your respects to Thoroughbred Greats at Claiborne Farm.

13. Visit Boone Station in Lexington.

14. Marvel at the Flood Wall Murals in Paducah

15. Visit the Kentucky Dam and let the kids burn off some steam in the open areas.

16. Check out the Historic Apple Valley Roadside Attraction.

17. Get up close and personal with the planes at Aviation Heritage Park.

18. Bask in the beauty of Blanton Forest State Nature Preserve.

19. Take the dogs (and kids!) to romp at Pioneer Park.

20. Walk (or run!) across the Purple People Bridge.

21. Play on the playground at Old Fort Harrod.

22. Hike one of the trails at Bernheim Forest. Here’s a LouFamFun post.

23. Explore one of the many covered bridges of Fleming County.

24. Marvel at the beauty of Tioga Falls.

25. Go on a free guided Big Blue Traditions tour on the UK campus.

26. Go see how candy is made at Old Kentucky Chocolates and get a taste too!

27. Splash in Yahoo Falls, Kentucky’s tallest waterfall.

28. Go see the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

29. Tour the Ale 8 One Plant.

30. Stop for a picture opp at Weisenberger Mill.

31. Tour the 21C Museum Art Gallery.

32. Tour the Louisville Nature Center.

33. Get locked up in the historic Scott County Jail.

34. Check out Toyota’s Manufacturing Plant.

35. Hike through the Arboretum in Lexington.

36. Check out the Daniel Boone National Forest.

37. Go back in time and visit the Dr. Thomas Walker Historic Site.

38. In April, check out the Kite Festival in Lexington.

39. Stretch your legs on the Big Four Bridge.  Read this LouFamFun post.

40. In October, take a look at the trains at the Railroad & Bluegrass Festival  

41. Hike and make memories, then stop at the playground at The Parklands.

42. Take in the beauty of Kentucky at the Raven Run Nature Sanctuary.

43. Brush up on your history at the Lexington History Museum.

44. Leave the rat race behind at Jacobson Park.

45. Pay your respects to the fallen men and women at Camp Nelson National Cemetery.

46. Stroll through the art galleries in Paducah.

47. Get in touch with your inner Daniel Boone at Fort Boonesborough State Park.

48. Camp at Red River Gorge.

49. Get closer to the clouds at Natural Bridge State Park.

50. Visit the Bluegrass Scenic Railroad and Museum. Tour the museum!

51. Go for a hike at the Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park.

52. Walk the scenic loop at Cherokee Park.

53. Explore the Freeman Lake Park.

54. Go for a drive along the country roads in Meade County and look at the quilts painted on barns.

55. Visit Anglin Falls.

56. Cool off in the Torrent Falls.

57.Tour the governors mansion in Frankfort.

58. Count the love locks on the bridge at the RiverWalk in Bowling Green.

59. See the waterfall Cumberland Falls State Park is named for.

60. Hang out at Thoroughbred Park, get in the race and an awesome picture!

61. Find the hidden waterfalls of McCreary County

62. Explore EP Tom Sawyer Park.

63. Hang out in Basil Griffin Park.

64. Be a skateboard pro at Roland Bland Park.

64. Picnic at Reservoir Hill Park.

65. Strike a pose in front of the fountains at Fountain Square Park.

66. Pull over and check out the monuments on the side of the road.

67. Learn a little bit about Whiskey at the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey.

68. If you like gardening you’ll love the Hillbilly Garden!

69. Peek in at all of the treasures at Jerry’s Junk.

70. Try out the slides at Legion Park.

71. Pay your respects to the king of fried chicken, at Colonel Sanders Grave.

72. If it doesn’t creep you out go visit the Vent Haven: Ventriloquist Museum.

73. Stop for pictures in front of the worlds largest bat.

74. Check out the 30 ft statue of David.

75. Visit the beautiful grounds of Gethsemani.

76. Check out the Bardstown Art Gallery and Thomas Merton Books Collection.

77. Play the day away in the Bardstown Community Park.

78. Go in to the Why Louisville Store and check out Colonel Sanders!

79. Write on the Before I die…wall in NuLu.

80. Go see the world peace bell.

81. Check out Big South Fork National River.

82. Get in the trenches at Camp Wildcat Civil War Battlefield.

83. Immerse yourself in culture at the Godbey Appalachian Cultural and Fine Arts Center.

84. Go on the Hatfield – McCoy Family Feud driving tour.

85. Play around at the John James Audubon Park.

86. Relax in the butterfly garden at Panther Creek Park.

87. Play at the super awesome playground at Smothers Park.

88.Visit the Jesus swingset sculpture.

89. Hike at Berea Pinnacles.

90. Watch the barges go by at the Newport Levee.

91. Tour the Kentucky Artisan Center.

92. Take a peek inside the Cane Ridge Meeting House.

93. Tour the historic Duncan Tavern.

94. Learn something new at Wrather West Kentucky Museum.

95. Pull over and take your family’s Christmas card photo in front of Mother Goose.

96. See the sights while hiking the Osborne Bend Trail.

97. Brush up on your Native American History on the Trail of Tears.

98. Hike to the top of Carrington Rock.

99. Tour a working farm set in the 1850’s.

100. Explore the Big Bone Lick discovery trail.

101. Learn some local history at Fitchburg Furnace.

In Louisville?  See this list from LouisvilleFamilyFun.net about 50 FREE things to do in Louisville with kids!

In Shelby County?  See ShelbyFamilyFun.net for fun ideas!

In Oldham County?  See OldhamFamilyFun.net for fun ideas!

We also recommend this article: 50 Free Fun Things to Do in Central Kentucky