A night out with the girls or a fun day around town doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, Louisville is chock full of activities and destinations that don’t cost anything at all. So now that sun is out and the weather’s warm, take a look at some of our favorite free things to do in Louisville. Who says summer fun has to be expensive?
10 Free (and FUN!) Things To Do in Louisville
If you’re looking to take things a little higher than ground level, take a walk across one of Louisville’s most historic monuments, the Big Four Bridge. Designed as a convenient walkway straight across the Ohio all the way to J-Town, Louisville’s structural marvel is more than just a pretty landmark. At night, grab a few friends and soak up the radiant rotating lights that paint the bridge in a dozen different colors, and enjoy the simple sounds of quiet classical music filling the air through hidden speakers strategically placed up above. If you’re lucky, you might stumble across a young pianist working on his tunes late into the evening on the public keyboard that marks the halfway point. Bring a camera, bring your friends or just come alone — the Big Four Bridge is a Louisville gem you can’t afford to skip out on.
Louisville’s highbrow arts scene is anything but locked behind an ivory tower. Trade out stuffy expensive galleries for a tour-de-force of Louisville culture right along bustling Main Street. Walk into 21C Museum Hotel any time, day or night, for an experience that’s sure to rock your world. From interactive exhibits and performance art-fueled works to incredible paintings and tactical sensations, 21C is sure to delight art aficionados and walk-ins alike. The best part? This priceless experience is just that — “price-less”!
WFPK Waterfront Wednesday Concert Series at Waterfront Park
Come summertime, if the heat’s got you beat, cool off with a refreshingly free night of music at the Waterfront Park, where the last Wednesday of every summer turns the sleepy vistas into a popping festival featuring renowned local musicians and special guests from across the country. If you’re looking to experience the best of what Louisville’s jamming rock and roll scene has to offer, strap on some festival beads and head downtown to WFPK’s Waterfront Wednesdays. Trust us — you’ll know when you get there.
If you think a world-renowned theatre company that draws the best new works the American Theatre scene has to offer shouldn’t come for free, we’re here to let you in on a little secret and tell you that, just sometimes, it does. The Actors Theatre of Louisville occasionally puts on one acts and plays by up-and-coming local playwrights free of charge. If you can find a showing, this is truly a one-of-a-kind of experience, especially considering that some of these developmental pieces won’t see the light of day again for years. So, grab your tickets while you can for one of Louisville’s most exclusive artistic experiences.
Louisville’s oldest Victorian neighborhood is a treat for the eyes and a delight to the senses. A stroll down 3rd and 4th Streets in Louisville’s premier university neighborhood is a walk through a simpler time where the buildings were grander and rent was slightly more agreeable. Lovers of architecture and history, Historic Old Louisville is the one’s for you!
Take a stroll through the KMAC Museum for some of the best modern art and culture Louisville has to offer. With its wide range of rotating exhibits, you’re sure to find something to stir your imagination or touch your soul, whether you come alone or with your friends. Stop in for a workshop or just a look around anytime during business hours for an experience you won’t soon forget.
Get in touch with Mother Nature, and a take a walk through Cherokee Park, one of Louisville’s iconic and beloved getaways from the hustle and bustle of city life. Fresh air and inner peace may feel far away, but, really, they’re just a couple of turns off Eastern Parkway. Let the worries of the world wash away for just a little while and relax.
Stop by UofL on Sundays for a free walk around the campus’ impossible-to-miss Speed Art Museum, a modernist glass masterpiece packed to the brim with exhibits from all over the world. In the past, the Speed has played host to first runs of foreign films and circulating Van Goghs, as well as original pieces from the artists who call the River City home. Come on in and take a peek on a lazy Sunday afternoon. You might be surprised at what you find.
For the history buffs among you, an afternoon spent in Cave Hill National Cemetery is sure to be right up your alley. Absolutely teeming with intriguing history, a walk through Cave Hill is both an opportunity to find some quiet and to learn something new along the way. Generations of Louisvillians are buried in its rows, and, for those looking to gain insights into their ancestry, there’s no better place in the 502 than Cave Hill.
Louisville is more than its bustling neighborhoods and quaint downtown; it’s also a haven for nature lovers. If leaving the stress of city life behind is more to your fancy, take a stroll through the Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest free of charge, and enjoy more than 35 acres of preserved wilderness. Immerse yourself in the gentle sights and sounds of nature.
No money, no problem! Get out on the town and have fun anyway!