|MORE THAN JUST GORGE-OUS. THE ULTIMATE KENTUCKY SUMMER BUCKET LIST
School is out, the weather is hot and the kids are probably already bored.
With COVID-19 restrictions loosened and many places open and running at usual capacity, there seems to be plenty of things to do and it can get overwhelming. Luckily, we've assembled the perfect summer bucket list of things to do around Kentucky.
Whether it be outdoorsy, food-centered or kid-friendly (or a combination of the three), we've got you covered.
Ready to get out and explore the best of what Kentucky has to offer? Here's our unofficial ultimate Kentucky summer bucket list.
Summer outdoor (and underground) activities in Kentucky
Big Bone Lick State Historic Site: 3380 Beaver Road, Union.
The park's name comes from the fossils found there, Pleistocene megafaune (also known as mammoths.) Admission to the park, museum and visitor center is free to all visitors. Big Bone Lick's website recommends visiting the bison herd, touring the museum and diorama pit, seeing the salt springs along the Big Bone Creek trail, camping overnight and, of course, grabbing a souvenir t-shirt.
More information: parks.ky.gov.
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area: Golden Pond.
Situated between Kentucky and Tennessee between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake, this national recreation area offers a great setting for camping, hiking, boating, fishing and more.
You can also visit Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake on the same trip.
More information: landbetweenthelakes.us.
Louisville Mega Cavern: 1841 Taylor Ave., Louisville.
This former limestone mine is home to an underground aerial ropes course and zip line experience, perfect for a rainy day outdoor activity. In addition to zip lining and aerial ropes, the cavern also offers a historic tram tour and a 90-minute walking tour.
More information: louisvillemegacavern.com.
Mammoth Cave National Park: 1 Visitor Center Parkway, Mammoth Cave.
Need more caves? Mammoth Cave is Kentucky's only National Park and is home to the largest known cave system. There are a variety of cave tours, ranger-led programs and accessible activities.
Tour space is limited, so reservations are strongly recommended.
There are also three campgrounds and over 13 backcountry sites for campers to enjoy a more above-ground experience.
More information: nps.gov/maca.
Red River Gorge: Near Stanton.
The geological area has much to see and do, including hiking, camping, canoeing and wildlife viewing. There's no fee for trail use, so bonus!
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources allows hunting and trapping in the gorge, so visitors should take safety precautions to protect themselves and pets during hunting and trapping season.
More information: www.fs.usda.gov.
Festivals and events
Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival: 955 Elm St., Eminence.
This year's festival is June 4 to July 17, weekends only from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The festival is open to all ages, and tickets are available now.
More information: kyrenfaire.com.
Kentucky State Fair: Kentucky Exposition Center, 937 Phillips Lane, Louisville.
The state fair runs this year Aug. 18-28, and it's filled with plenty to see, eat and do.
More information: kystatefair.org.
Want more to do?:Here are your 'can't miss' Cincinnati events for June and July
Family-friendly things to do
Dinosaur World: 711 Mammoth Cave Road, Cave City.
This prehistoric playground has hundreds of life-sized dinosaurs and is the perfect afternoon activity for kids. The attraction also features a dinosaur-themed playground with slides and swings.
More information: dinosaurworld.com/kentucky.
Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo: 3700 L and N Turnpike Road, Horse Cave.
The Australian-themed animal park allows visitors to walk through the "Outback," where kangaroos and emus roam freely. You can visit the "Land of Lorries," where visitors can go into a cage filled with the birds. There's also gem mining, a petting zoo and educational programs available.
More information: kentuckydownunder.com.
Kentucky Horse Park: 4089 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington.
Lexington boasts that it's the horse capital of the world, and the Kentucky Horse Park is on a mission to celebrate the relationship between horse and human. The park offers live shows, horseback rides, a 260-site campground and the International Museum of the Horse.
More information: kyhorsepark.com.
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory: 800 W. Main St., Louisville.
This museum and factory tour shows the use of Louisville Slugger bats throughout history. Plus, you get your very own free mini souvenir bat after finishing the factory tour. Purchasing tickets in advance is highly encouraged.
More information: sluggermuseum.com.
Louisville Zoological Gardens: 1100 Trevilian Way, Louisville.
The zoo is open daily and features animals from Africa, Australia, South America and various islands around the globe.
More information: louisvillezoo.org.
Riverboat cruise: Queen City Riverboat, Belle of Louisville.
To experience Kentucky by river, there are a number of riverboat cruises available at every price point, including tours on Queen City Riverboats in Cincinnati and the iconic Belle of Louisville in Louisville.
Minor league baseball: Including the Florence Y'alls, the Lexington Legends, the Wild Health Genomes, the Louisville Bats and the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
There is no major league baseball team in Kentucky, but minor league teams offer more than a good time, with cheaper tickets and hilarious mascots to enhance the experience.
Original Source : https://www.cincinnati.com/story/entertainment/2022/06/23/things-to-do-kentucky-bucket-list-summer-2022/7529823001/