Hotspots in Louisville, KY
Five different walking/driving tours are available for your enjoyment but if you want to bond with your pooch, insiders suggest taking the Central Park South Tour. This 2-1/2 hour self-guided tour includes plenty of Old Louisville flavor highlighting mansions and townhouses that entertain both locals and visitors alike. You will see the lovely St. James Court and Belgravia, the city’s first walking court. Want an added bonus? This tour takes you to Central Park, another favorite for those with four-legged friends. For an illustrated tour brochure visit Old Louisville Information Center.
Sure you can watch the game at home on your big screen, but that hardly compares to sitting in the stands with your trusty pup and a cold brew. Twice a year, Louisvillians jump at the chance to head down to Dog Days at the Park, where you and your pooch can cheer on the Louisville Bats from the VIP (Very Important Puppies) section. Early arrivals get a special doggie bag. Meet other pet owners, take a romp through the dog agility course and munch on a giant pretzel -- really, what’s not to love? Game dates are April 26 and June 1 and the ticket cost is $6 per human, $3 per dog.
An evening romp in the woods with your dog might be the single best way to enjoy a Friday night. Just 15 miles from downtown Louisville, Jefferson Memorial Forest boats 6,218 acres of towering oak trees and beautiful woodland surroundings. Bring your dog anytime, but specifically on April 15 when this urban forest will be hosting Howl at the Moon, a special guided tour for you and Rover. Be sure all dogs are on non-retractable leashes and their best behavior. Meet up is in the Horine Reservation and the fee is $6 per dog.
O Fido, Fido, wherefore art thou Fido! Well, it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but that doesn’t mean man’s best-friend can’t enjoy Shakespeare too! So take advantage of the next beautiful midsummer night, grab your puppy’s leash and water bowl and head down to watch some free top-notch Shakespeare in Central Park with your trusty companion. The summer performances run from June 7 through July 24.
Don’t leave the most important family member at home when you visit Louisville, just book your stay with Inn at Woodhaven bed and breakfast. Your fluffy friend will thank you! Enjoy southern hospitality, lovely gardens, beautiful rooms and large porches where you can relax and read while your puppy relishes the scenery. Or for an extra treat, schedule an in-room massage for yourself from a licensed massage therapist. Be sure you ask for the dog-friendly Derby Room or Rose Cottage. You can bring up to two dogs of any size for $10 per animal. The house pup Phoebe is waiting to welcome you!
Indulge your inner speed demon at Bluegrass Indoor Karting. Challenge your man or your teens to a race around the 1,000-foot-long road course rife with straightaways for speed and tight corners that test your technicality skills. An elaborate timing system records the individual lap times of each kart, so there’s no doubt as to who gets the bragging rights. Bluegrass uses top-line Sodi GT5 karts capable of speeds up to 40 miles per hour, but outfitted with a slew of safety features including 3-point safety belts roll bars, bumper systems, adjustable seats and peals, and a patented high energy absorption system that helps protect riders from harm in an impact situation. Junior carts for kids ages 7 to 15 have all the same safety features as the adult carts, but are smaller and top out at about 25mph.
With all the hustle and bustle of life, it’s great to get back to the basics now and then. Hidden Hollow Orchard and Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect place to unwind and get a little fresh air. Depending on the variety, apples are prime for picking between late June and November, so bring a bucket. Be on the lookout for a few feathered and four-legged friends. Hidden Hollow’s wild residents include nearly 300 species of birds, plus deer, beaver and groundhogs. Back home with your gathered apples, be sure to check Hidden Hollow’s website for yummy recipes that you and your kids and whip up together. Apple brown sugar tarts are always a hit.
Take a tour of Kentucky’s manmade cavern. Created between the 1930s and 1970s when the area was mined to build limestone bridges and roads, it once served as a bunker during the Cold War era. Today, this 100-acre cave is now open for tours and features 17 miles of corridors beneath Louisville. The Louisville Mega Cavern is actually classified as a building by the State of Kentucky and is the largest building in the state. Learn these and other interesting facts on the cave’s 60-70 minute driving tour.
Science matters at the Louisville Science Center where children of all ages are invited to participate in a variety of hands-on, interactive exhibits exploring the laws of science. Since the museum opened in 1977, more than 8 million people have visited, playing and learning amongst its 150 different stations and exhibits. Families with children under age 7 will enjoy KidZone, where kids can play, design, divert, create and influence their environment with exhibits like Splash! – where making and racing boats and manipulating the race routes are the lessons of the day.
“Go nuts!” is only one of the mottos kids will hear at the Speed Art Museum. Founded in 1925, the Speed Art Museum is the oldest and biggest museum of art in all of Kentucky; it also provides some of the most interactive and hands-on activities for kids. From the museum’s eco-friendly, family-friendly Art Sparks gallery to its Hands-on Art Room where kids are invited to make their own art, kids are the center of the creative universe. Design a world at Architexture Station and or play at the Planet Preschool.