Turning a business trip into a family vacation is always a good idea. Spending quality time with your spouse and children is irreplaceable, and they’ll remember each trip fondly many years down the road. Louisville has museums, attractions and special events to suit just about every personality.
Horse-lover or not, Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, is a must-see National Historic Landmark. If you stick around until Sunday, you can experience live racing at opening day of the fall meet. If that doesn’t fit your schedule, visit the Kentucky Derby Museum, where you can immerse yourself into the Kentucky Derby – from the fancy hats to the jockeys, from the rowdy infield to the Winner’s Circle.
Louisville has a history of game-changing originals, and true sports fans will want to get to know Ali and Slugger. Louisville Slugger bats are used by over 60 percent of all baseball players, including the game’s best hitters. Experience the history of the sport and iconic bat, and see how it’s made at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.
Much more than a boxing museum, the Muhammad Ali Center is an inspirational, interactive experience (and you can still see all the great knock-outs).
Imagine hurtling through nearly total darkness 25 feet underground at 35 mph, dangling 70 ft in the air, fastened to a ½-inch steel cable! For thrill-seekers, MEGA Zips at the MEGA Cavern has become a popular destination. Billed as the world’s first and only adventure tour totally underground, MEGA Zips has five zip lines and three challenge bridges. On weekdays the last tour begins at 7 p.m., so make an early evening reservation if you want to go. It’s a quick trip – 4 miles – from the Kentucky Exposition Center.
For the more risk-averse, a crisp fall day at the Louisville Zoo is the perfect place for some family fun. At the Glacier Run exhibit you can imagine yourself on the edge of the arctic wilderness coming face-to-face with one of the most imposing creatures in the world – the polar bear. The fall temperatures will have these cold-climate animals up and moving about. A spectacular 50-ft. aviary featuring rare sea eagles, stunningly colorful mandarin ducks and more opened this summer.
History and weapons enthusiasts will enjoy the Frazier Museum – the exclusive home of the Royal Armouries USA. A special exhibit beginning in October, “The Eye of Napoleon,” will examine Napoleon Bonaparte’s extraordinary influence on the creative arts.
It can also get spooky in Louisville come October. Haunted houses are plentiful, and even neighborhoods turn ghostly. Take a drive down Hillcrest Ave. during the weeks leading up to Halloween. These residents don’t hold back with festive decorations that are sure to “trick and treat” your senses. You can also take a frightening tour of Waverly Hills – a decrepit sanatorium that is touted as one of the scariest places on earth! For something a little less frightful and more family-friendly, check out the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. This inaugural event will feature 5,000 illuminated pumpkins on a 1,500-ft. trail with over 100 carved into veritable works of art, providing entertainment for the whole family.
To make planning easy for you, the Louisville Visitors Bureau has created a variety of tour itineraries that include all the must-see places you can only find in Louisville. From sports to arts to gaming, there’s something for everyone.