15 Best Family Day Trips in Kentucky

Looking for a day trip with family in Kentucky? Here is a list of 15 best family day trips in Kentucky that are an absolute must-do. While there are hundreds more options to choose from village, city, river, park, hill, or cave, these 15 are great places to visit and these are unique destinations in Kentucky. 

Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill

Best family day trips in Kentucky Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill
Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill

This is a historical place. During the twentieth century, about two hundred and sixty buildings were built. We can have about 34 buildings standing. It is a National Historic Landmark now.

This is the 19th century’s largest collection of original structures in the United States. People who visit the place used to go to the Historic Center. The center is one kind of museum that represents the ancient history of the village.  

For looking at animals, visitors go to the barn. After that, they can go to the preserve. Among varieties of activities, it offers seasonal exhibitions, hands-on activities,  talks,  a local artists studio, adventure visits, hayrides and much much more.

Red River Gorge

Red River Gorge Kentucky
Red River Gorge

Red River Gorge is one of the best family day trip places in Kentucky. If you are looking for outdoor recreation, then you can consider this place. 

You can have kayaking in the water, hiking in a cool aisle, climbing on safe rock, backpacking for a long time, ziplining over exotic places and much much more. You can find a gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest. It is also well known for its rock formations, cliffs and sandstone arches.

In the place, there is a mini-golf playground for the visitors. Children and grownups can go to the Reptile Zoo. At Natural Bridge State Park there is sandstone arches that is one of the most famous in the World.

You can hire guided services to climb the Southeast Mountain Guides. There are places to eat in Red River Gorge. 

Rivertown Paducah

Rivertown Paducah Kentucky
Rivertown Paducah

Rivertown Paducah was founded in the nineteenth century by William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It stands on the Four Rivers Region. Water recreation can be enjoyed with Land within the Lakes.

Visitors will enjoy an arts scene that has many galleries & theaters. Downtown murals are also available. Many histories include the Lloyd Tilghman House with Paducah Railroad Museum, Civil War Museum and the William Clark Market House Museum.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park Kentucky
Mammoth Cave National Park

Travel to Mammoth Cave National Park by day to watch so many exotic natural caves, hiking to many short and long paths by foot or cycle, canoeing with multiple colored boats, picnicking with baskets full of previously made or cooked food, camping with backpacking tents, horseback riding by the help of experienced riders, or cycling to village roads with natural views.

It’s Visitor Center is uphill from the Historic Entrance that is the endpoint for different cave tours. They will meet rangers and get maps to hike and teach your children about cave history by exhibits.

It also shows us how the cave is like a home to seventy species. Some individual events visitors will have to visit Mammoth Cave National Park. It includes guided walks and workshops with preservation.

Louisville Mega Cavern

Louisville Mega Cavern
Louisville Mega Cavern

Louisville Mega Cavern possesses a large cavern in the US. It is found at Louisville in Kentucky that is created by a company that mines for creating a limestone quarry. It was blasted in for over forty years. It then came under private property.

The cavern is underground. This is the largest building in Kentucky that has a tram, zip lines and several attractions. Mega Quest is inside the cavern. It has a series of aerial rope challenges.

In the holiday season, enjoy Lights Under Louisville that is an underground Christmas light that is visible for several miles.

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area for family day trips in kentucky
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area

This is a large recreation area between lakes that has a visitor center. For welcoming outcomers, there is a welcome station with many facilities. You can have a nineteenth century Farm, Woodlands Nature Center, a Planetarium and Bison Prairie.

Enjoy all the facilities like backpacking with friends and families, camping at several different sites, fishing with or without boat, hiking in many different destinations, different types of water fun like fishing in the water and boating in different places. You can have shooting fun in some spots and target practicing for learners. And you can have parking through drives. 

Kentucky Horse Park

Kentucky Horse Park for family day trips in Kentucky
Kentucky Horse Park

It is some kind of theme park based on horses. People get together with different kinds of horses. A total combination of funny activities with safety and educational stuff for people is available here. We know that horses are like people’s friends.

They have been serving people for thousands of years in many aspects like agriculture, battle field and transportation. Some presentation shows are arranged for young learners. Walk through the natural environment alone or with friends and family.

Guides are also available for those who want to learn more about the place. If you are fond of horses, then you are going to love this place. Different kinds of horses are available here for both adults and children.

Trainers can teach your kids about how to write a horse. Have a picnic in different exotic places with your own food. It is like living in your own house but with natural sight. Teach your children about how to release a horse and maintain them in a practical way.

The Center provides educational experiences through exhibits. Some gift shops sell replicas about different kinds of horses. 

Town Irvine

Town Grand Rivers
Town Grand Rivers

This little town is located on the river Kentucky. The place represents historical issues. Its natural beauty attracts the visitors. Coming to this place people visit some other places too. Visitors can cover up Estill Springs, Red Lick Valley and Sweet Lick Knob.

You can hire a boat for sailing in the river. Windows country stylish students can have American foods and some local ones.

If you want, shopping is also possible. Visit some art studios, bourbon museums, distilleries, wineries, breweries, art studios, golf courses, farms, horse stables, historical sites, nightlife, sports and spiritual attractions. This happens all year around. 

Town Grand Rivers

Town Grand Rivers
Town Grand Rivers

If you are looking for a smaller time, then Town Grand Rivers could be a good choice. Population over there is nearly five hundred. It is part of the Paducah micropolitan area. 

You can have so much fun with your friends and family in different locations. The Grand river covers about two miles long. A couple of festivals go around all year like the Fish Fry Festival, annual Arts & Crafts Festival and Hunter’s Moon Festival. Have some shopping in The Chandlery Ship Store, Patti’s 1880’s Settlement. Both usual and uncommon stuff you can have here.

River water can be used for boating, walking along the riverside, fishing in the lake, accessing marinas and even swimming.  

Home of the State Capitol Building Frankfort

Home of the State Capitol Building Frankfort
Home of the State Capitol Building Frankfort

It is the home of the State Capitol Building and historical site. Here we can see Chuck Bogart’s Free Railroad Tours, the Governor’s Mansion, the Capital City Museum, the Berry Hill Mansion, Daniel Boone’s Grave at Frankfort Cemetery and so on. To be honest, it is the combination of various important buildings to teach to the children. 

Breweries and distilleries are famous here. Besides buildings, there are Sig Luscher Brewery, Glenn’s Creek, Goodwood Brewing, Castle and Key, West Sixth Brewery Farm, Three Boys Farm Distilleries and Buffalo Trace. For wine lovers, there are Winery and Vineyards. For fun, there are art centers, parks, playgrounds, shops and restaurants.

City Elizabethtown

City Elizabethtown
City Elizabethtown

The small city is worth it to travel. People visit the Axe Play and the Bourbon Barrel Tavern to have a nice quality of beers. They also can throw axes as a play and contest.  

In downtown Elizabethtow, there is a building where daily shows can be seen.  

American Legion Park has a huge playground for kids. You can also have a picnic over there. For entertainment, there are other parks too. The Nature Park has hiking trails, play areas and creeks. Freeman Lake Park offers hiking on a long trail.

You can hire a boat and have fun in the lake. Fishing is also possible. For visitors, there are The Brown Pusey House, the Elizabethtown Aquatic Center, Hardin County Veterans Tribute, Greenbelt Parks and Trails, the Hardin County History Museum, Lincoln Heritage House in the city.

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park for Best family day trips in kentucky
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park

The real attraction is the DuPont Lodge that has a total of 51 room resort. Besides that, there are special events, a board, a gift shop, rental spaces, a big observation deck and different rooms.

All of the different activities are entertaining for the whole family. Visitors used to go fishing and kayaking on the river Cumberland. You can have country style dining and a family friendly atmosphere in the Riverview Restaurant. Cumberland Falls is very attractive to look at. It’s community pool is open during the warmer months.

Beside the Cumberland River, biking and hiking is possible on the trails. Hunting expeditions and Horseback riding are possible in some private businesses within the park.

Cave City

Cave City family day tirp
Cave City

There are many adventures in Cave City below and underground. Visit State park, the Mammoth cave and other exotic places. In Mammoth Cave, you can have hiking, ziplines and biking trails, open areas for picnics, cave tours, playgrounds and so on. Enjoy the places like two archery and gun ranges, Big Mike’s Mystery House, Treasure Trove Park, 

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Mammoth Cave, dining of all kinds,  Froggett’s Guntown Mountain, Kentucky Action Park, antique shops, three golf courses,  unique shopping, Ravens Cross Haunted Village and J.B. Haunted Mansion. 

Big South Fork Scenic Railway

Big South Fork Scenic Railway
Big South Fork Scenic Railway

It is located in Stearns, Kentucky that is at the foot of the large mountain range that runs the beautiful Appalachian Mountains and passes whitewater rapids and cliff sides that give a view of the countryside.

At Stearns Depot, there are concessions, a gift shop and picnic tables. At the Barthell Coal Camp and Stearns Company Mines, thousands of people worked. Heron Mining Camp is at the end of the track. It has a gift shop and concessions.

Town Bardstown

Town Bardstown family day trip in Kentucky
Town Bardstown

It is famous for bourbon and a large part of that culture industry. You can visit Preservation Distilleries, Willett, The Lux Row and Maker’s Mark. Travelers go on the My Old Kentucky Dinner Train to watch the Kentucky countryside that travels along the hills. Passengers have fun with country style dining and drinks of their choice.

Other beautiful sights are My Old Kentucky Home State Park, Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History, a Trappist Monastery, Basilica of St. Joseph Proto Cathedral, Bernheim Arboretum, Jim Beam American Stillhouse, Research Forest and Old Talbott Tavern and Kentucky Railway Museum.

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Justin M. Neal
Justin M. Neal

Justin is a freelance writer specializing in adventure, camping, hiking, home improvement, pet and technology. He is an avid animal lover since he was a little boy. He lives with his wife Malina, son Oliver, and their purrfect angel cat, Fifi.

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