Things to do in Lexington

Written by Andrea

Last week, I heard from a great friend of mine who lives in West Virginia. I don’t think she and I have actually really talked in a few years, but we keep up with each other (of course) through Facebook.

Well, she had a question for me… “We are thinking about coming to Lexington for a long weekend. Can you tell me the must-do’s for kids while we are there?”

And, well, naturally, I started thinking about all the awesome things that Lexington has to offer. And, seriously, I realized that I need to be doing some more “touristy” things in my own town. I also started thinking about all the times that my family has come to Lexington and we’ve piddled around and wondered what we should do. I know I’m not alone in this. I know that there are tons of people who live here who forget the wonderful things that Lexington has… or that there are readers who would like to visit and need some pointers.

This is (a slightly modified) version of what I sent to Melissa. If you are looking for a fun weekend in Lexington this weekend, maybe you’ll want to do some of the things on this list. Of course, this is assuming that you have all the money, time, and patient children in the world. I’m also giving this to you in itinerary form… but you could totally switch this around to meet your own needs. And, as always, if this were a different weekend in Lexington, my list would probably totally change… there are UK games, Keeneland, and a long list of arts events and concerts that I would pick on any given weekend.:)

A Long Weekend In Lexington

Let’s assume you have a long weekend, meaning that you are here and ready to go on Friday morning. I would start out at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary for a nature walk with the kids. It’s beautiful country, with a path that leads to an overlook at the Kentucky River. You could pack a lunch to eat at the picnic tables or you could just go walk and head back to town for lunch (or dinner, depending on when you go). What’s even nicer? It’s FREE!

On Friday night, I would suggest going to see Annie at the Lexington Children’s Theatre. It’s an amazing theatre geared completely to children. Here’s the link to their page.

Photo compliments of


On Saturday, I’d suggest getting up and taking a walk through the fabulous Farmer’s Market downtown, and then I’d suggest doing a Distillery Tour. Kentucky is known for its bourbon. The distilleries in the area have some wonderful tours and are kid-friendly. Plus, depending on the one you select, you get to drive through horse country. I’d probably recommend going to Woodford Reserve. It will probably take a 20-30 minute drive to get there, but it’s worth it. It’s gorgeous. Here’s the link to its website:

Assuming you get back from the distillery tour and still have energy for more, I’d suggest one of the following:

  • Woodland Park Pool – I’ve never been, but I hear it is awesome for the kids. Apparently there’s a pirate ship.:)
  • UK Arboretum, State Botanical Gardens of Kentucky – They are open from dawn until dusk, everyday. They have a new children’s garden. It’s apparently wonderful… I know that the rest of the garden is. The children’s garden has special times, so check the website before you go.
  • Explorium – Lexington’s children’s museum. The kids would love this. LOVE this.

If you aren’t exhausted on Saturday evening (or if you take an afternoon nap and then want to go out late at night) and want to go see a movie, there are tons of good movie theaters. But nothing compares (at least in my mind) to going to the Drive In at Winchester. Here’s the link: It’s a ton of fun and a great experience to have. On a Saturday, I’d plan to get there at 7:30 or 8 if you drive a truck or SUV. If in a car, you could get there later… the show won’t actually start until dark, though, so you’ll probably want to bring toys for the kids to play with during that time. Be sure to wear your comfy clothes, pack a few pillows and a couple of blankets or lawn chairs and watch not one, but two movies for $5 per adult. Kids under 7 (I think) are free.

Then, on Sunday, you could swing by The Kentucky Horse Park. If you come to the horse capital of the world, you should see horses, right? I think they have pony rides for $5 or if you want to actually do some horseback riding, it costs like $22 per person per ride for an hour or so. There are plenty of historical displays and museum-style exhibits, but there are also horses grazing and playgrounds for the kids. Oh… and I think there is a horse-drawn carriage ride, too. Check out their website and see if you think they would enjoy it.

There is so much to do here in Lexington and in the surrounding area. I could probably give you a whole other list of things to do, but I’m trying to think about what you could fit in and what I would want to see if I was only coming here one time. You should definitely check out the links and prices and all that to see what works for you.  And… if none of this is that appealing (or if you want to exhaust your resources), here’s a great place to find info for visiting Lexington…

So, tell me, Lexingtonians… what have I missed? I am certain there are plenty more fabulous things that I’m forgetting. Trust me, old age is taking its toll on this brain.:)Plus, I didn’t even include the list of restaurants that I suggested to my friend. Oh. My. Goodness. The restaurants could be a post all their own. As a matter of fact… that could totally happen some time in the very near future.

Enjoy your weekend!

Sarah - July 25, 2011 - 3:06 am

I loved the Kentucky Horse Park when I was a kid. I begged my mom to go all the time. I still enjoy it, and I can’t wait to take my son. I miss the bluegrass!

Andrea - July 20, 2011 - 11:43 pm

Wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading!

Traci Todd - July 20, 2011 - 10:51 am

thank you so much for posting this!!
we live about an hour from lexington. I have told my husband we need to plan a weekend and do the tourist stuff in our area. I will defintely be coming back to this post!

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