Family Fun in Lexington: Attractions and Activities for All Ages

family fun Lexington

In Lexington, there’s no shortage of things to do with the whole family. From the picturesque beauty of the Kentucky countryside to the rich history of this region, there’s so much to explore. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, interactive art activities, or educational experiences, Lexington offers a wide variety of attractions and activities that cater to all ages. Read on to discover the best family-friendly spots in Lexington!

Key Takeaways

  • Lexington offers a diverse range of family-friendly attractions, from historical tours to interactive art activities.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy exploring nature trails, parks, and sanctuaries in and around Lexington.
  • The city boasts several kid-friendly museums and learning centers, including the Explorium of Lexington and the Aviation Museum of Kentucky.
  • Families can enjoy unique animal encounters at places like the Salato Wildlife Education Center and Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo.
  • Seasonal festivals and events, such as the Bluegrass Balloon Festival and Keeneland Racecourse Family Days, provide additional fun-filled activities for all ages.

Exploring Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is the perfect place to enjoy the natural beauty that Kentucky has to offer. Located just a short drive from Lexington, this historic site offers a variety of activities that cater to all ages, making it an ideal destination for a day trip from Richmond to nearby attractions and towns like Lexington, Staunton, and Busch Gardens. Explore history, arts, and family fun in these charming destinations.

Kid-Friendly Museums and Learning Centers

family fun Lexington museum

Explorium of Lexington

Learning can be fun! The Lexington Children’s Museum (formerly Explorium) creates a fun, interactive learning experience for kids of all ages. There are nine galleries with over 100 hands-on activities, and even a special play area for toddlers. Kids will remember getting to fulfill their career dreams and pretend to be a doctor, newscaster, and more.

Aviation Museum of Kentucky

The Aviation Museum of Kentucky offers a fascinating journey into the world of aviation. Families can explore various aircraft, learn about the history of flight, and even try out flight simulators. It’s an educational experience that will leave both kids and adults in awe.

Kentucky Horse Park

At the Kentucky Horse Park, families can immerse themselves in the world of horses. From interactive exhibits to live horse shows, there’s something for everyone. Kids can learn about different horse breeds, watch blacksmith demonstrations, and even enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride.

The Kentucky Horse Park is a must-visit for any family with a love for animals and the outdoors.

Outdoor Adventures in Lexington

Lexington offers a variety of outdoor adventures that cater to all ages and interests. Whether you’re looking to explore nature, enjoy a day at the park, or take a scenic trail, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Interactive Art and Craft Activities

Lexington offers a variety of interactive art and craft activities that are perfect for families looking to get creative together. Let your children’s creative minds run wild at these fantastic venues.

Artworks at the Carver School

Located in the heart of Lexington, Artworks at the Carver School provides a range of art classes for all ages. From painting to pottery, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Kids will remember releasing their inhibitions and getting as creatively messy as they please.

Create Art Studio

Create Art Studio is another excellent spot where families can explore their artistic side. The studio offers workshops in various mediums, including drawing, painting, and sculpture. It’s a great place for children to develop their skills and express their creativity.

Lexington Art League

The Lexington Art League hosts numerous family-friendly events and workshops throughout the year. Whether it’s a weekend art class or a special event, there’s always something happening to inspire and engage young artists. The center is housed in a historic mansion at 362 N. Martin Luther King Boulevard in downtown, making it a unique and inspiring place to visit.

Be prepared to shop some of our favorite kid-friendly essentials to keep the whole family happy, hydrated, and ready to make memories.

Animal Encounters and Petting Zoos

Salato Wildlife Education Center

Do something wild. Although the closest full-fledged zoos are in Louisville and Cincinnati, you can see an interesting variety of native Kentucky animals at the Salato Wildlife Education Center, on U.S. 60 near Frankfort (west of Lexington). The center is home to deer, wild turkey, bison, elk, and bald eagles. There are also snakes and aquariums full of native fish species, along with other nature-oriented exhibits. Kids will remember learning how to handle seeing baby animals in the wild.

Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo

Take a quick drive on I-75 to explore everything needed to know about Kentucky’s wildlife. Kids will remember meeting and learning how horses prepare for shows. Depending on their ages, visitors can either take a short pony ride around the pen or a trail ride (age 7+) around the park perimeter. More mature visitors will also love the International Museum of the Horse which has some really amazing historical exhibits – and air conditioning in case it’s a hot day.

The Kentucky Castle Farm

Only in Lexington can you come face-to-face with a Kentucky Derby Winner. Take your kids on a scenic drive to nearby Harrodsburg and experience life like the shakers of Pleasant Hill did. Kids will remember walking through the on-site garden and running into furry friends on the farm.

Fun Indoor Playgrounds and Activity Centers

When the weather isn’t cooperating, Lexington offers a variety of indoor playgrounds and activity centers that are perfect for burning off some energy and having a blast. Explore the great indoors with these exciting options for family fun.

Monkey Joe’s

Monkey Joe’s is a fantastic indoor playground where kids can jump, slide, and bounce to their heart’s content. The facility is filled with inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and bounce houses, making it an ideal spot for a fun-filled day. Parents can relax in the designated seating area while keeping an eye on their little ones.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Bounce to the Moon at Sky Zone Trampoline Park, where kids can enjoy warehouse-sized rooms filled with giant trampolines. This trampoline park offers a variety of activities, including dodgeball, foam pits, and freestyle bouncing. Remember to call ahead to reserve space and bring socks for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Kids Place Adventure Playground

Kids Place Adventure Playground is another excellent option for indoor fun. This facility features a variety of play structures, including climbing walls, slides, and interactive games. It’s a great place for kids to explore and let their imaginations run wild. The playground is designed to be safe and engaging for children of all ages.

If the kids have too much energy and need to burn some off, then a physical activity is the perfect option. One fun option is the Lexington Ice Center, where there are two rinks for kids to practice their skating skills.

Family-Friendly Dining Options

When it comes to family-friendly dining in Lexington, there are plenty of options that cater to both kids and adults. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, you’ll find something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Local Favorites

For a truly local experience, head to Ramsey’s Diner. Known for its comfort food and welcoming atmosphere, it’s a hit with families. Another great spot is Poppy and Olive, a relaxed, judgement-free restaurant-within-a-restaurant located inside Epping’s on Eastside. They offer kid-friendly table activities, including house-made play-doh, and the waitstaff are well-versed in the ins and outs of dining with little ones.

Themed Restaurants

If your kids love a bit of adventure with their meal, check out the themed restaurants in Lexington. These spots offer not just food but also an experience that will keep the little ones entertained. From pirate-themed eateries to jungle-inspired dining rooms, there’s something for every imagination.

Sweet Treats and Dessert Spots

No family meal is complete without dessert! Lexington boasts some amazing spots for sweet treats. Crank & Boom is a must-visit for craft ice cream that will delight both kids and adults. For a variety of options, you can also explore the kids menu at local favorites like Smithtown Seafood and Athenian Grill, where you can end your meal with some delicious fried pickles or other unique treats.

Pro Tip: Many of these restaurants offer a neat little kids menu that lists the kids options from all of the restaurants, making it easier to find something for even the pickiest eaters.

Seasonal Festivals and Events

family festival Lexington

Lexington is a vibrant city that offers a variety of seasonal festivals and events perfect for families. Whether you’re visiting in the summer or winter, there’s always something exciting happening in central Kentucky.

Lexington Ice Skating Rink

During the winter months, the Lexington Ice Skating Rink becomes a hub of family fun. Located in the heart of downtown, this rink offers a magical experience for both kids and adults. Don’t forget to check out their special holiday events and themed skating nights!

Bluegrass Balloon Festival

The Bluegrass Balloon Festival is a must-see event that takes place every summer. Families can enjoy watching colorful hot air balloons fill the sky, and there are plenty of activities for kids, including face painting and games. It’s a spectacular sight that you won’t want to miss.

Keeneland Racecourse Family Days

Keeneland Racecourse offers special Family Days during their racing seasons. These events feature pony rides, face painting, and other kid-friendly activities. It’s a great way to introduce children to the exciting world of horse racing while enjoying a day at one of Lexington’s most iconic venues.

For a complete list of what’s happening in Lexington this weekend, be sure to check out the local event calendars. Central Kentucky has festivals and free family-friendly events that cater to all ages.

Unique Shopping Experiences for Families

Lexington Farmers Market

The Lexington Farmers Market is a vibrant spot where families can explore a variety of fresh produce, handmade goods, and local delicacies. Kids will especially enjoy the interactive experience of picking out their own fruits and vegetables. The market often features live music and entertainment, making it a fun outing for all ages.

Joseph-Beth Booksellers

Joseph-Beth Booksellers is more than just a bookstore; it’s a community hub. Families can attend story time sessions, author events, and even participate in craft activities. The cozy reading nooks and extensive children’s section make it a perfect spot for young readers to discover new books.

The Square Shopping Center

Located in the heart of downtown, The Square Shopping Center offers a unique blend of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Families will find something for everyone, from trendy boutiques to delicious eateries. The center’s convenient location makes it an ideal starting point for a day of exploring Lexington.

Educational Library Programs for Kids

Story Time Sessions

Lexington’s public library system offers engaging Story Time Sessions that captivate young minds. These sessions are designed to foster a love for reading from an early age. With six branches across the city, there’s always a convenient location nearby. Check the library’s calendar for themed story times that might include puppets, music, or interactive activities.

Creative Workshops

Kids can unleash their creativity through various Creative Workshops offered at the library. From art projects to photography workshops, there’s something for every interest. These workshops provide a fun and educational way for children to explore new hobbies and skills outside the classroom.

Summer Reading Programs

The library’s Summer Reading Programs are a fantastic way to keep kids engaged during the school break. These programs often include reading challenges, special events, and prizes to motivate young readers. It’s a great opportunity for children to discover new books and maintain their reading habits year-round.

The Lexington Public Library is a treasure trove of activities for kids of all ages, ensuring that learning is always fun and exciting.

Planning Your Family Trip to Lexington

Accommodation Tips

When planning your family trip to Lexington, choosing the right accommodation is crucial. Consider staying at family-friendly hotels that offer amenities like swimming pools, complimentary breakfasts, and spacious rooms. Some popular options include:

  • Embassy Suites by Hilton Lexington Green
  • Hyatt Regency Lexington
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton Lexington University/Medical Center

Travel Itinerary Suggestions

To make the most of your visit, plan a balanced itinerary that includes a mix of educational, outdoor, and fun activities. Here’s a sample 3-day itinerary:

Day 1:

  • Morning: Visit the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
  • Afternoon: Explore the Kentucky Horse Park
  • Evening: Dine at a local family-friendly restaurant

Day 2:

  • Morning: Discover the Explorium of Lexington
  • Afternoon: Enjoy outdoor activities at Jacobson Park
  • Evening: Treat yourselves to sweet treats at a dessert spot

Day 3:

  • Morning: Hike the trails at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary
  • Afternoon: Visit the Aviation Museum of Kentucky
  • Evening: Relax at your hotel or explore downtown Lexington

Packing Essentials

Packing smart can make your trip more enjoyable. Here are some essentials to consider:

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • Sunscreen and hats
  • Snacks and water bottles
  • A small first-aid kit
  • Camera for capturing memories

Remember, the key to a successful family trip is flexibility and having fun together. Enjoy your time in Lexington!


In Lexington, there’s no shortage of things to do with the whole family. From the picturesque beauty of the Kentucky countryside to the rich history of this region, there’s so much to explore. Whether you’re staying at a family-friendly hotel, dining at one of the many kid-friendly restaurants, or engaging in one of the numerous activities designed for children of all ages, Lexington offers endless opportunities for family fun. So pack your bags, gather the kids, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this charming city. We hope this guide has inspired you to discover all the wonderful attractions and activities that Lexington has to offer. Happy travels!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some must-visit attractions in Lexington for families?

Some must-visit attractions in Lexington for families include the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, the Explorium of Lexington, and the Kentucky Horse Park.

Are there any kid-friendly museums in Lexington?

Yes, Lexington has several kid-friendly museums such as the Explorium of Lexington and the Aviation Museum of Kentucky.

What outdoor activities can families enjoy in Lexington?

Families can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, picnicking at Jacobson Park, and biking on the Legacy Trail.

Where can we find interactive art and craft activities for kids in Lexington?

Interactive art and craft activities can be found at Artworks at the Carver School, Create Art Studio, and the Lexington Art League.

Are there any animal encounters or petting zoos in Lexington?

Yes, families can visit the Salato Wildlife Education Center, Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo, and The Kentucky Castle Farm for animal encounters and petting zoos.

What indoor playgrounds and activity centers are available in Lexington?

Indoor playgrounds and activity centers in Lexington include Monkey Joe’s, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, and Kids Place Adventure Playground.

Can you recommend family-friendly dining options in Lexington?

Family-friendly dining options in Lexington include local favorites, themed restaurants, and sweet treats and dessert spots.

What seasonal festivals and events are fun for families in Lexington?

Seasonal festivals and events for families in Lexington include the Lexington Ice Skating Rink, Bluegrass Balloon Festival, and Keeneland Racecourse Family Days.

Recent Posts