List of attractions and events in the Louisville metropolitan area facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Louisville Clock
The Louisville Clock, featuring various elements of Louisville and Kentucky culture as well as a mechanical horse race

This is a list of visitor attractions and annual events in the Louisville metropolitan area.

Annual festivals and other events

Louisville fireworks
Thunder Over Louisville fireworks during the Kentucky Derby Festival

Spring

  • Abbey Road on the River, a salute to The Beatles with many bands, held Memorial Day weekend. 2016 is set to be its final year in Louisville.
  • Cherokee Triangle Art Fair, held the weekend before the Kentucky Derby
  • ConGlomeration, a multigenre convention held in April
  • Festival of Faiths, a five-day national interfaith gathering featuring music, poetry, film, art and dialogue with internationally renowned spiritual leaders, thinkers and practitioners, held at Actors Theatre of Louisville in May
  • Highland Renaissance Festival (Eminence), festivities that reproduce aspects of Scottish life during the Renaissance period, along with highland games, held from late May through early July
  • Hillbilly Outfield: Kentucky Derby party (Middletown), held in early May to coincide with the Kentucky Derby
  • Humana Festival of New American Plays, held in the Spring
  • Kentucky Derby Festival, Kentucky's largest single annual event; includes Thunder Over Louisville, Great Steamboat Race, Great Balloon Race, Pegasus Parade and the Marathon/miniMarathon, and is held for two weeks from late April through early May, leading up to the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby thoroughbred races
  • Kentucky Reggae Festival, held Memorial Day weekend
  • Machine Gun Shoot, the first of two events for machine gun enthusiasts held at Knob Creek Gun Range in Bullitt County; usually on the second weekend of April
  • Starlight Strawberry Festival (Starlight, Indiana), held during Memorial Day weekend
  • WHAS Crusade for Children, fundraiser held over the first weekend in June

Summer

Forecastle Louisville
View of the Forecastle Festival on the Belvedere
  • Jane Austen Festival, a three-day event and the largest Jane Austen event in North America, held third weekend of July at Locust Grove
  • Derby City Comic Con, held in late June
  • Fandom Fest Comic Expo, held in mid-Summer
  • Forecastle Festival, a three-day nationally renowned music, art and environmental activism festival, held in July
  • Fright Night Film Fest, held in August
  • Jeffersontown Gaslight Festival (Jeffersontown), held in September
  • Kentucky Art Car Weekend, held in August
  • Kentucky Bourbon Festival (Bardstown), held in September
  • Kentucky Shakespeare Festival (commonly called "Shakespeare in Central Park"), with the main productions being a series of plays presented free to the public at Central Park during the Summer
  • Kentucky State Fair, Kentucky's official state fair, which runs for 11 days at the Kentucky Exposition Center; includes amusements, exhibits, competitions, concerts and the World's Championship Horse Show, held in August
  • Kentuckiana Pride Festival, series of events in June (around start of Summer) in support of LGBT pride and rights
  • Lebowski Fest, held in July
  • Louisville Zombie Attack, where thousands of locals dressed and made up as zombies walk down Bardstown Road to a set location. Annual event traditionally held on August 29 at 8:29 p.m., but the 2016 event was instead held on August 27 at the same time.
  • Oktoberfest, held in September (late Summer)
  • St. Joseph Orphans Picnic, held the second Saturday in August
  • Steamboat Days (Jeffersonville, Indiana), three-day festival held in early September
  • Street Rod Nationals, held in mid-Summer
  • WorldFest, a four-day international festival, held Labor Day weekend

Fall

  • Asylum Haunted Scream Park, the subject of the documentary Monsters Wanted, this is five haunted attractions in one location; held from mid-September through Halloween
  • Cropped Out, a multi-venue music festival, held in early Fall
  • Danger Run, from the end of September through the end of October
  • Farmington Harvest Festival, held the second Sunday in October at Farmington Historic Plantation
  • Garvin Gate Blues Festival, held in Old Louisville in October
  • IdeaFestival, a three-day conference that seeks to engage attendees with novel ideas and innovative thinking, held in early Fall
  • Light Up Louisville & 40 Nights of Lights, begins the day after Thanksgiving
  • Machine Gun Shoot, Knob Creek Range's second machine gun-centric event of the year, typically held on the second weekend of October
  • National FFA Organization Convention & Expo, previously held in Indianapolis, Indiana, was moved to Louisville again in 2013 after a 14-year absence, held in late October/early November
  • North American International Livestock Exposition, held in November
  • Spirit Ball, a Victorian-inspired masquerade ball held annually the Saturday before Halloween at the Conrad-Caldwell House on St. James Court
  • St. James Court Art Show, one of the top-ranked shows of its kind in the country; held in Old Louisville the first weekend of October
  • The World's Largest Halloween Party, Louisville Zoo, held 14 nights in October

Winter

  • Carl Casper's Custom Auto Show, held in February at the Kentucky Exposition Center
  • Kosair Shrine Circus, held in February
  • Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow, held in January
  • National Farm Machinery Show, held in February

Distinctive locales

Conrad Historic Home, Old Louisville KY
The Conrad-Caldwell House at St James Court and Magnolia Avenue in Old Louisville

Louisville Metro

  • East Market District (NuLu), featuring many art galleries and restaurants, prominently featured in the monthly First Friday Hop
  • The Highlands area, which features:
    • Distinctive shops, restaurants and nightlife along Baxter Avenue and Bardstown Road
    • Cherokee Triangle and Original Highlands historic neighborhoods
  • Frankfort Avenue, including the Clifton and Crescent Hill neighborhoods—another area with distinctive shops and restaurants
  • Louisville Urban Bourbon Trail
  • Old Louisville, the third largest historic preservation district in the U.S., which features:
    • the highest number of buildings of Victorian architecture in a U.S. neighborhood
    • Louisville's Central Park
    • St. James Court, famous for the annual St. James Court Art Show.
  • The West Main District of downtown, including "Museum Row" and featuring some of the oldest structures in the city

Southern Indiana

  • Corydon Historic District
  • Mansion Row Historic District (New Albany)
  • New Albany Downtown Historic District
  • Old Jeffersonville Historic District

Historic properties

Belleoflouisville
The Belle of Louisville still serves as the symbol of Louisville. She celebrated her 100th birthday in 2014.
See also: History of Louisville, Kentucky
  • Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral (Bardstown), the first Roman Catholic cathedral west of the Appalachian Mountains
  • Belle of Louisville, the oldest Mississippi-style steamboat in operation on the inland waterways of the U.S. (Built 1914-1915 in Pittsburgh for service in Memphis as the Idlewild, renamed Avalon in 1948, purchased by Jefferson County and renamed Belle of Louisville in 1962.)
  • Bray Place, the land and 1796 home, now called the Bashford Manor Bed and Breakfast, one of the oldest houses in Kentucky
  • The Brennan House
  • Brown Hotel, where the Hot Brown was invented
  • Cathedral of the Assumption
  • Colgate Clock (Clarksville, Indiana), the fourth largest clock in the United States
  • Colonial Gardens, a local landmark in the Kenwood Hill neighborhood, now undergoing redevelopment
  • Conrad-Caldwell House
  • Crescent Hill Reservoir
  • Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site (New Albany, Indiana), most noted for its annual haunted house located in the mansion's carriage barn
  • Farmington Historic Plantation, including the Thomas Jefferson-designed home of the Speed family, visited by Abraham Lincoln
  • The Filson Historical Society, a historical society and research library housed in the Ferguson Mansion, a Beaux-Arts style mansion built in 1906
  • Fort Duffield, a Civil War fort
  • Fort Knox, including the U.S. Bullion Depository and General George Patton Museum of Leadership (Bullitt, Hardin and Meade Counties)
  • Fort Nelson Park, located in the same spot as the second on-shore fort in Kentucky.
  • Historic Locust Grove farm, home of George Rogers Clark and site of the homecoming of Lewis and Clark
  • Hogan's Fountain Pavilion, a large gazebo and picnic shelter of mid-century modern architecture located within Cherokee Park
  • Little Loomhouse
  • Louisville Stoneware, making pottery since 1815
  • My Old Kentucky Home State Park (Bardstown), featuring the Federal Hill mansion (inspiration for Stephen Foster's My Old Kentucky Home) and Stephen Foster - The Musical
  • Peterson-Dumesnil House
  • Riverside, The Farnsley-Moremen Landing
  • Scribner House (New Albany, Indiana)
  • Seelbach Hotel, the famous hotel written about by F. Scott Fitzgerald and frequently visited by Al Capone
  • Spalding Hall (Bardstown)
  • Thomas Edison House
  • Union Station
  • United States Marine Hospital of Louisville
  • Vogue Theater, a movie theater in St. Matthews that closed in 1998, known for showing The Rocky Horror Picture Show for 25 years. Its sign is being refurbished as a historical landmark.
  • Waverly Hills Sanatorium
  • Whiskey Row, located in the first block of West Main Street, a collection of Revivalist and Chicago School-style buildings with cast-iron storefronts built between 1852 and 1905
  • Whitehall House & Gardens
  • Whitney Young Birthplace and Museum

National Register of Historic Places listings

Museums, galleries and interpretive centers

LouisvilleSluggerMusem
A giant baseball bat adorns the outside of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in downtown Louisville.

Art

  • 21c Museum Hotel
  • Carnegie Center for Art & History (New Albany, Indiana)
  • Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft
  • Speed Art Museum

Regional history

See also: History of Louisville, Kentucky and History of Kentucky
  • Falls of the Ohio State Park interpretive center, a museum covering the natural history related to findings in the nearby exposed Devonian fossil beds as well as the human history of the Louisville area
  • The Filson Historical Society, features a museum and extensive historical collections, currently undergoing major expansion
  • Historic Locust Grove Visitors Center, which includes a museum
  • Howard Steamboat Museum (Jeffersonville, Indiana)
  • Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Kentucky Railway Museum (New Haven)
  • Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
  • My Old Kentucky Home State Park (Bardstown)
  • Portland Museum
  • Riverside, The Farnsley-Moremen Landing Visitors Center, which includes a museum
  • Thomas Edison House
  • Whitney Young Birthplace and Museum

Bourbon

Spalding Hall
Spalding Hall in Bardstown, which houses both the Bardstown Historical Museum and the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History
  • Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, located on Louisville's Whiskey Row, featuring bourbon history and tastings, and interprets Louisville's wharf history in the 1790s
  • Heaven Hill Distilleries Bourbon Heritage Center (Bardstown)
  • Jim Beam American Stillhouse (Clermont)
  • Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History (Bardstown)

Cities

Counties

More regional historical collections can be found at the Louisville Free Public Library and the University of Louisville.

U.S. and world history

FIHM
Front facade of the Frazier History Museum
  • Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind
  • Civil War Museum (Bardstown), including the Civil War Museum of the Western Theater, Pioneer Village, Women's Civil War Museum, War Memorial of Mid America and the Wildlife Museum
  • Frazier History Museum, features war weaponry and related historical artifacts, especially focusing on British and U.S. conflicts
  • John Hay Center
  • Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, showcases the history of the Louisville Slugger and baseball in general
  • National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, features a historical museum and a genealogical collection
  • General George Patton Museum of Leadership (Fort Knox)

Other subjects

  • Kentucky Science Center, hands-on science museum featuring a four-story digital theater
  • Louisville WaterWorks Museum, located at the Louisville Water Tower
  • Muhammad Ali Center
  • Schimpff's Candy Museum (Jeffersonville)
  • Thomas Merton Center

Parks and other outdoor attractions

Thunder Run Kentucky Kingdom
Thunder Run, a wooden roller coaster at Kentucky Kingdom
Louisville waterfrontpark
The Louisville Waterfront Park exhibits rolling hills, spacious lawns and walking paths on Louisville's waterfront in the downtown area
See also: City of Parks and List of parks in the Louisville metropolitan area

Louisville is home to many spacious city parks, several designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, as well as forested areas, trails and other outdoor attractions; distinctive examples include:

  • Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve
  • Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest (Bullitt County)
  • Big Four Bridge, a pedestrian and bicycle bridge connecting Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana
  • Blackacre Nature Preserve and Historic Homestead
  • Bridges to the Past (Fort Knox), closed indefinitely due to work on railroad bridge
  • Camp Carlson (Fort Knox)
  • Cave Hill Cemetery
  • Central Park
  • Cherokee Park, includes the Hogan's Fountain Pavilion and Cherokee Golf Course, and many other landmarks and features
  • Falls of the Ohio National Wildlife Conservation Area (Clarksville, Indiana), which includes Falls of the Ohio State Park and features the oldest exposed Devonian fossil beds in the United States
  • Huber's Orchard, Winery and Vineyards (Starlight, Indiana)
  • Iroquois Park, includes the locally popular Iroquois Amphitheater, scenic overlooks and the Iroquois Golf Course
  • Jefferson Memorial Forest, in southwest Louisville, the largest municipal urban forest in the United States
  • Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay, previously known as Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, a 63-acre (25 ha) amusement park with 50 amusement rides and a water park. Named by MSN Travel as one of the top ten amusement parks in America for 2015.
  • Louisville Clock, at Theatre Square
  • Louisville Loop, a partially completed 110-mile (180 km) bike and pedestrian trail encircling Louisville, including:
    • Riverwalk
    • Levee Trail
    • Mill Creek Trail
  • Louisville Water Tower Park
  • Louisville Waterfront Park, features annual Thunder Over Louisville fireworks and air show during the Kentucky Derby Festival
  • Louisville Zoo
  • McAlpine Locks and Dam
  • Mega Cavern
  • Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area (Meade County)
  • The Parklands of Floyds Fork
  • Patriots Peace Memorial
  • Renaissance Fun Park (Middletown)
  • Riverfront Plaza/Belvedere, adjacent to Downtown Louisville and Louisville's wharf
  • E. P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park
  • Seneca Park, includes the Seneca Golf Course
  • Shawnee Park, includes the Shawnee Golf Course
  • Squire Boone Caverns (Mauckport, Indiana)
  • Tioga Falls Hiking Trail (Fort Knox), closed indefinitely due to work on railroad bridge
  • Waverly Park, includes the 9-hole Bobby Nichols Golf Course
  • Zachary Taylor National Cemetery

Shows and performing arts

Louisville Kentucky Centre
The Kentucky Center in Downtown Louisville
LouisvillePalaceFullSign
The Louisville Palace
See also: Performing arts in Louisville, Kentucky, Theatres of Louisville, Kentucky, and Theater in Kentucky

Venues

  • Actors Theatre, producing the Humana Festival of New American Plays, among many other productions
  • The Alley Theater
  • Baxter Avenue Filmworks, with a monthly audience participation showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Horseshoe Southern Indiana (Elizabeth, Indiana)
  • Derby Dinner Playhouse (Clarksville, Indiana)
  • Fourth Street Live!, a downtown entertainment and retail complex
  • Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium (University of Louisville)
  • Headliners Music Hall
  • IMAX theaters at the Kentucky Science Center and Showcase Stonybrook Cinemas
  • Iroquois Amphitheater
  • The Kentucky Center
  • KFC Yum! Center
  • The Laughing Derby at Comedy Caravan
  • Louisville Gardens
  • The Louisville Palace
  • Mercury Ballroom

Performers

  • Kentucky Shakespeare Festival
  • Little Colonel Players (Pewee Valley)
  • Louisville Chorus
  • Louisville Orchestra
  • Louisville Thoroughbreds
  • Mind's Eye Theatre Company
  • Pandora Productions
  • Squallis Puppeteers
  • StageOne Family Theatre
  • Theatre [502]
  • Voices of Kentuckiana
  • Wayward Actors Company

Sports-related attractions and venues

AliCenter
The Muhammad Ali Center
See also: Sports in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Alpine Ice Arena
  • David Armstrong Extreme Park
  • Churchill Downs thoroughbred racetrack and the Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Freedom Hall
  • KFC Yum! Center, home of University of Louisville basketball
  • Kentucky International Convention Center
  • Knob Creek Gun Range (in Bullitt County near West Point), famous for its twice-yearly machine gun shoot
  • Lindsey Golf Course (Fort Knox)
  • Louisville Champions Park, a park that "offers flexible space for a variety of field sports", including soccer
  • Louisville Metro Parks public golf courses
    • Cherokee Park (9-hole)
    • Crescent Hill Park (9-hole)
    • Iroquois Park
    • Long Run Park
    • Seneca Park
    • Shawnee Park
    • Sun Valley Park
    • Charlie Vettiner Park
    • Waverly Park (Bobby Nichols) (9-hole)
  • Louisville Slugger Field, the baseball stadium that is home to the Louisville Bats and Louisville City FC
  • Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
  • Lynn Stadium, home of University of Louisville soccer
  • Muhammad Ali Center
  • Owsley B. Frazier Stadium, home of several outdoor sports at Bellarmine University, most notably men's lacrosse
  • Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, home of University of Louisville football
  • Jim Patterson Stadium, home of University of Louisville baseball
  • Valhalla Golf Club, designed by professional golfer Jack Nicklaus

Miscellaneous

  • Rooster Run (Nelson County), a general store well known for baseball caps featuring its logo and a 13.5-foot (4.1 m)-tall fiberglass rooster statue standing in front of the store. According to The Kentucky Encyclopedia, it is "one of the best-known general stores in the country and one of Kentucky's best-known unincorporated businesses".

List of attractions and events in the Louisville metropolitan area Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.