35 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Kentucky for All Ages


11 min read
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A city skyline with high rise buildings and a body of water in front of it
Louisville is one of many places in Kentucky to explore with your kids

One of the best places to visit in the southeast United States is Kentucky. This charming state is known for its bourbon, love of horses, and namesake fried chicken. The Bluegrass State has something for all groups of travelers to enjoy, including families.

If planning a family vacation, you may be interested in learning about all the fun things to do with kids in Kentucky. Child-friendly activities range from going to zoos and dinosaur theme parks to visiting historical attractions and museums.

To discover the array of things to do in Kentucky with your family, keep reading!

  • 35 Kentucky things to do

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35 Fun Things to Do in Kentucky with Kids

Kentucky Things to Do Map

A map of Kentucky. Use the map to explore all the things to do.

A stone building with columns with steps and greenery in front of it
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park is an interesting attraction

Visit the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park

A significant state historic site in Kentucky is the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park. Located in LaRue County, the attraction includes the birthplace of the 16th president of the United States.

At the park, you can see the cabin where Lincoln was born. You can also see a memorial to the president and The Sinking Spring, the Lincoln family’s water source.

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Go on a train ride at the Bluegrass Scenic Railroad and Museum

Located in Versailles, Kentucky, the Bluegrass Scenic Railroad and Museum includes 5.5 kilometers of train track. When in the area, you can go on a scenic train ride along the route.

You can choose between first-class seating and a standing section. There are also themed train rides, including Easter and Mother’s Day journeys.

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One of the fun things to do with kids in Kentucky is discovering Cumberland Falls
Discovering Cumberland Falls is one of the fun things to do with kids in Kentucky

Marvel at Cumberland Falls

Cumberland Falls is one of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Kentucky. Known as the “Niagara of the South,” the 125-foot-wide falls attract thousands of visitors each year.

You can simply view the falls, or you have the option to stay in the area at Cumberland Falls State Resort. The resort features cute cabins and cottages with views of the falls.

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Relax on the shore at Green River Lake State Park

One of many fun family activities in Kentucky is relaxing on the lakeside at Green River Lake State Park. The park is in Campbellsville and covers 1,331 acres.

At the park, you can enjoy a picnic on the shore, boat, or follow hiking trails in the surrounding forests. There’s also a kids’ playground.

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Venture underground at Hidden River Cave & American Cave Museum

A great family-friendly attraction in Horse Cave is the Hidden River Cave & American Cave Museum. You and your family can venture underground to explore a vast limestone cave system. After exploring the caverns, your kids can also go on a zipline.

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A wooden bridge in a forest with greenery and trees
There are many hiking trails in Natural Bridge State Resort Park

Hike in Natural Bridge State Resort Park

Natural Bridge State Resort Park is a vast park that’s surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest. It also features a natural sandstone arch, which is where the park gets the name “Natural Bridge.”

After seeing the natural bridge, you can hike around the park and appreciate the pretty forests. Be sure to look out for wildlife too.

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Explore Louisville Mega Cavern

An interesting natural landmark in Kentucky is the Louisville Mega Cavern. The limestone cave system today houses a selection of adventure activities.

During a visit, your kids can zipline and tackle multi-story courses built within the caves. Notably, Louisville Mega Cavern has the world’s only underground ropes course.

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Two horses in a green field under a blue sky
A horse tour allows you to interact with horses and visit different farms

Experience a horse farm tour

Kentucky is known for its love of horses. As such, one of the fun things for kids to do in Kentucky is going on a horse farm tour.

This experience will take you to three prestigious horse farms. At each stop, you can meet the horses that live there and learn more about the different breeds you see.

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Ride roller coasters at Kentucky Kingdom

Kentucky Kingdom is an amusement park that was formerly a Six Flags location. The park has an array of rides for all ages. Your kids can choose from various roller coasters and more laid-back rides, like carousels and spinning tea cups.

After enjoying the rides, you can also dine and shop at a selection of outlets.

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Splash around at Hurricane Bay

Hurricane Bay is a water park that’s on the same site as Kentucky Kingdom. The park has multiple swimming pools, water slides, and a surf pool.

There’s also a wave lagoon and the Splash Zone, an adventure playground for younger children. If you’re after a day of family fun, a trip to Hurricane Bay is a must!

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A sign within a forest that says "Mammoth Cave National Park"
Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the best parks in the US

Wander around Mammoth Cave National Park

Located in an area known as Cave City, Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the best national parks on the East Coast. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Like many outdoor attractions in Kentucky, the park features a vast cave system. You and your family can explore the caves on a tour and explore the area surrounding the caverns.

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See old cars at the National Corvette Museum

Another of the attractions for kids in Kentucky that’s in Bowling Green is the National Corvette Museum. This fascinating venue was opened in 1994 and houses many models of Chevrolet Corvette.

Adults will enjoy viewing exhibits and learning more about this all-American brand, while the kids will have fun looking at all the cars on display. To ensure you get in, purchase tickets to the National Corvette Museum in advance.

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Learn about horses at Kentucky Horse Park

Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington allows your kids to learn about horses and interact with animals. First, your family can find out more about equine history and different breeds of horses.

You can then walk through the barns and fields, interacting with the animals that live at the park. If your children like to ride horses, you can go on guided treks too.

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A forest full of green trees under a blue, cloudy sky
Red River Gorge Geological Area is a great place to explore with your kids

Follow trails at Red River Gorge Geological Area

Found next to Natural Bridge State Resort Park, the Red River Gorge Geological Area is another outstanding outdoor attraction in Kentucky.

When visiting, you can follow trails, go kayaking, and appreciate the surrounding views. Your kids can also look out for the multitude of wildlife that lives in the area.

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Travel back in time at Old Fort Harrod State Park

Known as the first American settlement in Kentucky, Old Fort Harrod State Park offers a look at life in 18th and 19th century Kentucky. Things to do here include visiting the Mansion Museum, Fort Harrod, and Kentucky’s oldest cemetery. You can also follow trails around the park and do some bird watching.

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Discover sea life at the Newport Aquarium

If your children like animals, the Newport Aquarium is one of the attractions in Kentucky for kids that you must visit. The venue features an array of sea creatures and a sea life tunnel to walk through. Creatures to see include tropical fish, sharks, penguins, and stingrays.

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An orange, green, and blue lorikeet with green trees in the background
Your kids can see Australian animals, like lorikeets, at Down Under Adventure Zoo

Hang out with kangaroos at Down Under Adventure Zoo

Transport your children to Australia with a trip to Down Under Adventure Zoo! The zoo has many Australian animals that roam free, like kangaroos, kookaburras, and colorful parrots.

You can also go to a petting zoo with goats, sheep, and horses. After interacting with the animals, there’s a cave to explore, plus a gift shop to pick up some souvenirs.

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Treat your kids at Crank & Boom Craft Ice Cream

All kids love ice cream, and treating them to some desserts at Crank & Boom Craft Ice Cream is a must. The outlet offers a vast array of flavors to please kids of all ages.

Your children can choose from waffle cones or waffle bowls. Sampler flights are available if they can’t decide on a flavor. There are also sundae bowls, including a peanut butter cup sundae and a S’mores sundae.

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Spot all types of animals at Louisville Zoo

Kids of all ages will enjoy a trip to the Louisville Zoo. The 134-acre park is home to an array of animals from across the globe.

Creatures to see include lions, giraffes, elephants, and snakes. There are also fun events to attend, like the Wild Lights display.

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A lake with ducks on it and a bridge and city skyline behind it
Enjoy the views at Waterfront Park

Picnic at Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park is an urban park located on the waterfront in Louisville. One of the fun things to do in Kentucky with family is packing a picnic and heading to the park to eat by the water.

As you enjoy your meal, you can take in the stunning surrounding views. The park also has scenic paths to walk along and playgrounds.

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Pedal boat at Jacobson Park

Jacobson Park is a great family-friendly attraction to check out in Lexington. The park has lakes, open playing fields, basketball courts, and more.

An exciting activity for kids is renting a pedal boat to take out on the water. You can rent two and four-person boats depending on the number in your group. Kayaks are available too.

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Have fun at Malibu Jack’s

Malibu Jack’s is an indoor theme park with three locations across Kentucky. Activities to enjoy here include bowling, laser tag, go-karting, and mini-golf.

There’s also a kids' play zone designed for children under ten. If your kids get hungry, you can go to the on-site Jack’s Sandbar & Grill, which serves many kid-friendly dishes.

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A brick building with a large baseball bat statue in front of it
If your kids like baseball, take them to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

Look around the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

An interesting attraction to visit is the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. The museum covers the history of Slugger baseball bats, which are produced in Kentucky and are known as the number one baseball bat in the US.

Your kids can look around alone or take a guided tour. You’ll learn more about the history of the brand and the use of the bats in Major League Baseball.

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Visit the Mary Todd Lincoln House

One of the educational places to go in Kentucky with kids is the Mary Todd Lincoln House. This landmark was the childhood home of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln.

You and your family can take a self-guided tour of the Mary Todd Lincoln House, on which you’ll learn more about the wife of one of the US’ most important presidents.

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View beautiful quits at the National Quilt Museum

One of the most unique attractions in Kentucky is the National Quilt Museum. The museum displays intricately designed quilts in a range of sizes and patterns.

Your kids can also learn more about the quilting process and how to get started on a quilt of their own. Booking National Quilt Museum tickets in advance is recommended.

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Three dinosaur statues in a green forest area
Your kids can search for dinosaurs at Dinosaur World!

Walk amongst dinosaurs at Dinosaur World

Dinosaur world is one of the most fun and kid-friendly attractions in Kentucky. The open-air venue has dinosaur sculptures and interactive exhibits.

Children can wander around the park, discover all the different dinosaurs. You can also take some unique family photos, and there’s a dinosaur-themed playground for little ones.

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Stop by Fort Boonesborough State Park

Fort Boonesborough State Park is a notable historical site in Kentucky. The area was originally established by Daniel Boone when crossing the Kentucky River in 1775.

Today, you can learn more about Kentucky during the 1700s and Boone’s expedition. There are a few indoor exhibits, but most of the park is outdoors, allowing your kids to run around and explore.

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Try an underground boat tour at Lost River Cave

One of the memorable things to do in Kentucky with children is going on a boat tour through Lost River Cave. The attraction is in Bowling Green and is the only place you can go on an underground boat tour in the state.

After sailing through the impressive cave, your kids can zipline, follow nature trails, and visit a butterfly habitat.

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A stone church with a road and trees in front of it
Walnut Street Baptist Church is one of the places to see in Old Louisville

Get to know Louisville on a historic Old Louisville walking tour

Louisville is a fascinating area of Kentucky. A great way to get to know the city is by taking a historic Old Louisville walking tour.

The tour will interest both kids and adults and allows you to see the city’s landmarks. You’ll be taken around the Victorian Mansion District and your guide will offer background on all the historic places you see.

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Have a picnic with goats!

Picnics are always a perfect family activity. But you can make your meal even more memorable by enjoying it with goats!

When you book a picnic with goats, you’ll be treated to a delicious meal and a charming picnic setup, complete pretty tableware. Best of all, cute goats will be hanging out all around.

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Eat your way through a food tour

If you’re in Covington, one of the exciting things to do in Kentucky for families is trying new dishes on a food tour. On this tour, you’ll stop at eateries in Covington and neighboring Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dishes to try include pizza, chicken and waffles, and lots of sweet treats. Kids under five can join for free if they share food with the adults.

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A lake with a cliff face that's covered in greenery behind it
You can see the Kentucky River Palisades from a zipline course

Tackle a zipline course

Adventurous kids will love tackling a zipline course in the forest. The course features six ziplines, three bridges, and a floating staircase.

As your family makes their way across the course, you can take in the views of the Kentucky River Palisades below.

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Play at Monkey Joe’s

If you’re traveling with very young children, one of the fun things to do in KY with toddlers is taking them to Monkey Joe’s. The indoor play area in Lexington has lots of amusements, like an inflatable playground. There are also some arcade games for older kids in the group to enjoy.

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Get creative at the Living Arts & Science Center

At the Living Arts & Science Center, kids can attend fun crafting events. Many of these events are art-focused and allow kids to create paintings, drawings, and sculptures. There are also arts and science exhibits to check out.

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An old-fashioned steamboat on the water with a "Belle of Louisville" sign
Your family can go aboard the Belle of Louisville on a kids' cruise

Hop aboard the Belle of Louisville

You and your children can get out on the water by hopping aboard the Belle of Louisville riverboat. These old-fashioned steamboats will take you down the city’s river, allowing you to enjoy the views and relaxed atmosphere.

You can book dinner and sightseeing cruises, plus kids' cruises that feature many child-friendly activities.

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In Summary

If you're traveling to the Bluegrass State soon and want to know what to do in Kentucky with kids, this list should have provided numerous ideas. No matter what ages your children are or what they like to do, you'll find activities to please all the family in Kentucky!

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!


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