The rural state of Kentucky, also known as the Bluegrass state, is known for its authentic bourbon, an abundance of horses, the Kentucky Derby, bluegrass music, and of course, Kentucky Fried Chicken. Additionally, attractions like the Frazier History Museum and a collection of national parks are dotted across the state with a mission to exhibit all that Kentucky has to offer. In this blog, we will introduce some fun and cheap things to do in Kentucky. Let’s dive into it without further ado!
Fun and Cheap Things to Do in Kentucky
Who says you can’t have fun with a small budget when Kentucky offers thrilling and affordable activities? Listed below are our top contenders for the best fun and cheap things to do in Kentucky. If you’re planning for a more extended trip, the neighboring state Tennessee has fun and cheap things to explore; you can also check that out.
If you check out the below slides, you will not face any money blues while exploring the Bluegrass State:
Explore Mammoth Cave National Park
Be amazed by the natural wonder of Mammoth Cave, a famous limestone cavern located in the heart of Kentucky. It is the longest cave system in the entire world, with more winding tunnels being discovered every year. Currently, we know it’s at least 400 miles long. This fascinating cavern is open for picnics and offers visitors with pets an exciting and enjoyable outdoor experience. Entry to the National Park is free of charge and includes access to a plethora of gorgeous hiking trails of varying levels of difficulty. However, you will have to pay their corresponding fees if you wish to tour the caves, reserve a picnic shelter, or stay overnight on their campgrounds.
Participate in a Scavenger Hunt
Looking for a fun activity for the whole family? Try a local scavenger hunt! Several Kentucky cities offer these time-limited activities that allow you to freely roam and investigate the city. The scavenger hunt takes place over smartphone where you are provided with a list of challenges to complete and riddles to solve. To complete a challenge, simply send in a picture of the object you’re supposed to find, and soon you’ll be on your way to the next task! If you have questions or get stuck, don’t worry! You will be provided with your very own remote guide to help you on your way. If you’re looking for a fun, family friendly way to be active and explore the city, a scavenger hunt is the right choice for you!
Check Out Dinosaur World
Dinosaur World is labeled as one of the most visited amusement centers in Kentucky. Most visitors who experience their life-sized dinosaurs and fossil dig sites mention it as one of the most relaxed and fun and cheap things to do in Kentucky. It’s not only a fun activity but also an excellent educational opportunity for both kids and adults alike. Dinosaur World is a great experience for the entire family, including your favorite doggy family member.
Visit the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
The world’s largest baseball bat is located at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, weighing in at 68,000 pounds and towering 120 feet into the sky. It is a sight to see! This museum is for baseball enthusiasts and non baseball fans alike. If you’re lucky enough, you might even get to hold one of Babe Ruth’s own bats and you’re sure to see how bats are made. The informative tours offer a one-of-a-kind interactive experience that you’re sure to enjoy. Don’t forget to check out their sports merchandise on your way out, and enjoy your free souvenir bat with any tour.
Enjoy the Outdoors? Make sure to Visit Cherokee Park
Cherokee Park is one of the most famous municipal parks in the United States. It’s an exciting place for your four legged friends and anyone interested in outdoor activities such as walking, jogging, fishing, hiking, and biking. Make sure to check out the Scenic Loop, a 2.3 mile trail around the park. If you enjoy sports, there’s room for frisbee, soccer, archery, and basketball. After a nice afternoon in the park, we recommend bringing a blanket to watch the sunset or enjoy a picnic with the entire family.
Tour Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park
The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park was built in honor of Abraham Lincoln, the famous 16th president of the United States. The park contains two farm sites where President Lincoln was born and spent his early childhood years. Further, scenic hiking trails and picnic areas are also available on the site. Make sure to speak with a park ranger! They’re known to be very friendly, helpful, and full of interesting knowledge about our early president’s life.
Have Fun in Kentucky Horse Park
The Kentucky Horse park is a famous tourist attraction known for its massive barns, beautiful, thoroughbred horses, and large campgrounds. Rich in history, it is filled with friendly people, horse shows, horseback riding activities, and fun-themed horse barns. It’s open for travelers who want to interact with horses and experience life at the barn. If you have any interest in horses at all, this is a must visit!
Go 10 Stories Underground in the Louisville Mega Cavern
A former limestone mine, the Louisville Mega Cavern is now host to a wide range of fun activities for the whole family. You can try a walking or biking tour, the historic mega-tram tour, an aerial ropes course, or zip lining in the world’s only fully underground zip line! There’s an exciting activity for everyone at the Mega Cavern!
Get Fast at Bluegrass Indoor Karting
Most travelers mention that trying out Bluegrass Indoor Karting is one of the best fun and cheap things to do in Kentucky. At Bluegrass Indoor Karting, you’ll have the perfect afternoon if you love go-karts, racing, and of course, being competitive. Go-karting isn’t your speed? No problem! You can check out their axe throwing room or enjoy some pizza and hot wings.
Dive into the Newport Aquarium
The wide variety of sea life at Newport Aquarium is a must see if you are an animal lover traveling in Kentucky. This gigantic museum houses different kinds of animals, exhibits, and exciting activities. Make sure to walk through their five glass tunnels and be immersed in a world seldom seen by humans. If you wish, the aquarium offers an up close and personal experience with a variety of sea life, including touching starfish, horseshoe crabs, and even small sharks if you’re brave enough!
Gallop into the Kentucky Derby Museum
Are you a fan of horses or horse racing? If yes, then galloping into the Kentucky Derby Museum is the right thing for you. Ticketed admission includes a guided walking tour of the main grounds and a variety of interactive exhibits and activities that are even enjoyable for those not captivated by the sport. They also offer a 360-degree movie experience where you are literally surrounded by a horse race. It is said that you can even feel the pounding of the hooves in this unique movie setting. Make sure to arrive early in the morning so you can see real race horses training on the track!
Take a Trip to the Creation Museum
Have a kid who loves dinosaurs? This is the place for you! The Creation Museum has lots to offer, from life sized dinosaur exhibits, live animals, a special effects theatre, planetarium, and a beautiful botanical garden to explore. There’s lots to enjoy for the entire family! The museum showcases the events of the Bible from Genesis 1-11 and is a perfect spot for travelers who want to experience creation and extinction from a biblical perspective. Plus, if you’re visiting in 2021, the museum is offering free admission for children 10 and under!
Stop by the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
Known as the Niagara of the South, Cumberland Falls is a gorgeous place to spend the day or even longer. If you book a stay, make sure to visit the falls at night and see the moonbow – a rainbow made from the light of the moon instead of the sun. Cumberland Falls is the only place to see a moonbow in the entire Western Hemisphere making it a very special place indeed! If you enjoy hiking, explore the 17 miles of hiking trails throughout the park. If water is more your speed, check out the park’s white-water rafting, canoeing, swimming, and fishing opportunities. For our fellow horse lovers out there, don’t miss the daily horseback trail rides and make sure to enjoy your stay!
Enjoy the Muhammad Ali Center
The Muhammad Ali Center is one of the most popular highlights in Kentucky. It allows you to get to know the legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali, in a way unseen before the museum’s opening. Enjoy five stories of exhibits, galleries, artifacts, and films presenting his life and contributions. If you are a lifelong fan or you are curious about the boxing legend, then journey over to this highly recommended Lexington favorite.
Entice Yourself with a Bourbon Tour
What is your visit to Kentucky without a taste of their classic bourbon, right? Luckily, you can join several bourbon tours in Kentucky. Bourbon tours are an enjoyable experience for bourbon lovers and novices alike to learn about the drink’s history, distilling process, and proper tasting methods. Many tours include a free walkthrough of a distillery and offer free bourbon tastings, so you’ll be sure to have an authentic Kentucky bourbon experience.
Take an Expedition to the Lost River Cave
If you are looking for something simultaneously exciting and informative, then the Lost River Cave might be the answer. It features a variety of interesting activities such as hiking, guided historical tours, and an underground boat tour. They have a host of other amazing activities as well, many of which are ideal for travelers of all ages, like the Butterfly Garden, Scarecrow Exhibit, zip lines, and a unique gem and fossil mining experience. Taking an expedition here is sure to be worthwhile and fun for the entire family!
Experience the Valley View Ferry
The Valley View Ferry is the oldest running ferry in the state of Kentucky, dating back to 1780, nearly 12 years before Kentucky became a state! Best of all, it’s free! Drive over with your car or stand on the deck and enjoy the scenic views this short ferry ride has to offer.
Explore Daniel Boone National Forest
Last, but certainly not least, one of the most recommended fun yet cheap things to do in Kentucky is to visit the Daniel Boone National Forest. This 2.1 million acre forest is open for all visitors who enjoy outdoor activities and wish to experience the Appalachian Mountains. You can try hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, rock climbing, boating, and more. You won’t regret joining the more than 1 million visitors that come to the park each year.
The above mentioned activities are our highly recommended fun and cheap things to do in Kentucky. However, lots of other amazing, affordable activities are still out there! We encourage you to explore the beauty of Kentucky on your own whenever possible.
Here we go through a list of fun and cheap things to do in Kentucky. To ensure an enjoyable and stress-free trip, set apart time to plan your vacation’s activities and destinations before you leave home. Taking a road trip to Kentucky might also reveal some nice surprises, natural beauty, and captivating tourist attractions.
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