Don’t be an April fool! Put away your winter wear and celebrate the fact that spring is officially here. With Easter Sunday, Earth Day, and the kick-off of Derby season on the docket, there’s lots to do and see this month. Here’s our roundup of top Louisville events happening in April!

23 Louisville Events & Happenings: April 2022

Through June 5, 2022: Wild Lights at the Louisville Zoo

One of the largest lantern festivals in the nation is back for another year. Featuring thousands of handcrafted silk-covered lanterns with more than 50,000 LED light bulbs, Wild Lights at the Louisville Zoo boasts dramatic cultural displays celebrating the rich heritage and craftsmanship of lantern artisans. Advance tickets are required and start at $17. Children ages 2 and younger are free. The event begins nightly at 6:30 p.m. louisvillezoo.org

April 1 – 30, 2022: Mayor’s Give a Day

Presented by Mayor Greg Fischer in partnership with Metro United Way, this annual city-wide celebration of service is a month-long event where residents make time for volunteering, service, and compassion. Volunteer and donation opportunities are available at metrounitedway.org.

April 1 – 30, 2022: Party for the Planet 2022

This month-long celebration of the earth at the Louisville Zoo includes everything from compost sales, tree giveaways, panel discussions about conservation, community eco-partner displays, discounted admission on select days, and more. Visit louisvillezoo.org for more information.

April 1 & 2, 2022: Sleeping Beauty

Louisville Ballet Resident Choreographer Adam Hougland brings a vibrant, reimagined vision to this ballet classic with an all-new production inspired by stylized mid-century glamour, mixed with a dash of humor and fairytale romance. Showtimes vary by date, and tickets start at $35. my.louisvilleballet.org

April 2, 2022: Louisville’s Triple Crown of Running

After years away from in-person racing, runners were finally welcomed back to this trio of races in 2022. The series kicked off with 5K and 10K races in March, and concludes with a 15K on Saturday, April 2, on the South Great Lawn at Waterfront Park. Registration is $79. rivercityraces.com

April 6 – 10, 2022: Wizard Brunch

Morning Fork hosts a Harry Potter-inspired, wizard-themed brunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for five consecutive days. In addition to the full menu, wizardly favorites, including butterbeer and treacle tarts, are available for purchase. This brunch is kid-friendly, and there is no additional cost to attend. Reservations are recommended. facebook.com

April 7 – 10, 2022: Disney on Ice

Disney On Ice is back at the KFC Yum! Center with Mickey’s Search Party, a colorful performance and cultural celebration. Embark on a quest with Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Moana, Aladdin, and more. Showtimes are at 2 p.m., 6 p.m., and 7 p.m., and tickets start at $23. kfcyumcenter.com

April 8, 2022: Friday Night Speaker Series with Dr. Maegen Rochner

Dr. Maegen Rochner leads this interactive lecture about the basics of tree-ring science and its various applications. Attendees follow along with a hands-on examination of tree ring samples from Kentucky trees and structures, leaving with a deeper understanding of how trees inform the past. The event begins at 7 p.m., and tickets start at $25. waterfrontgardens.org

April 8, 2022: Four-Course Vegetarian Italian Meal with Chef Lauren Schoen

Local chef Lauren Schoen prepares a vegetarian Italian meal at MESA, A Live Dining Show at 6 p.m. The menu includes mushroom and creamed leek arancini with grated Parmigiano, spicy broccolini with freshly made garlic ricotta cheese and herbed breadcrumbs, cauliflower piccata served with handmade pasta and crispy shallots, and handmade cannolis made with a peanut butter filling and banana compote. Tickets are $80 per person. mesa-54-square.site

April 9, 2022: The Fillies Derby Ball

Tickets to The Fillies Derby Ball, presented by Dillard’s and Total Wine & More, include an evening of dinner, dancing, and live entertainment at The Galt House Hotel in the East Grand Ballroom. Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $250 each, and a portion of proceeds benefits the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation. discover.kdf.org

April 13, 2022: The Whiskey Files with Peggy Noe Stevens

Hermitage Farm’s monthly bourbon series, dubbed The Whiskey Files, continues in April. This month, Peggy Noe Stevens — Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame inductee, founder of the Bourbon Women Association, and the world’s first female master bourbon taster — leads the discussion alongside selected whiskey samples. The event begins at 7 p.m. and is $50 per person. hermitagefarm.com

RELATED: Meet the World’s First Female Master Bourbon Taster

April 16, 2022: Easter Egg Hunt at Hermitage Farm

Hermitage Farm’s annual Easter egg hunt is back with multiple egg hunts for kids of all ages. There are also box lunches and pastries available for purchase, as well as springtime cocktails from the mobile bar, an exclusive Hermitage pop-up shop, and a visit from the Easter Bunny. The event begins at 10:30 a.m., tickets are $10 per child, and all proceeds are donated to the Humane Society of Oldham County. hermitagefarm.com

April 16, 2022: Frankfort Avenue Easter Parade

Louisville’s only Easter parade returns at noon on Saturday, April 16. Free and open to all ages, the fun begins in front of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and heads down Frankfort Avenue to Pope Street. Arrive early to reserve a spot and bring candy to throw! facebook.com

April 17, 2022: Easter Brunch at LouVino

LouVino at both the Highlands and Douglass Hills locations offers a special prix-fixe menu for Easter brunch. For $25, adults can enjoy fresh-baked croissants with butter and fruit; their choice of pancake tacos, a farmers’ market breakfast scramble, biscuits and gravy, a Brussels sprouts salad with grilled or fried chicken, or a croissant BLT; and biscuit doughnuts with anglaise. A kids’ menu of pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon is also available for $12.50.

April 22, 2022: Earth Day Dinner with Wendell Berry

Celebrated writer and environmentalist Wendell Berry is the guest of honor at this Earth Day event, which begins at 6 p.m. Each $200 ticket includes a cocktail hour and book signing, as well as a four-course, farm-to-table dinner featuring local purveyors that’s prepared by Barn8 Executive Chef Alison Settle. Proceeds benefit the Berry Center. hermitagefarm.com

April 23, 2022: Bernheim Run for the Planet

Benefitting Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest’s mission of connecting people with nature, the Bernheim Run for the Planet features several steep slopes and road crossings that wind through forests, valleys, and streams. The run through Bernheim’s 13.75-mile Millennium Trail is $100 per person and begins promptly at 8 a.m. All participants receive a 10% discount at Isaac’s Café after the race. bernheim.org

April 23, 2022: Thunder Over Louisville

Kick off Derby season with the nation’s largest annual fireworks event. Free and open to the public with the purchase of a 2022 Pegasus Pin, the event includes viewing areas that stretch from 8th Street to Clay Street north of Main Street in Kentucky, and along Riverside Drive from Ashland Park in Clarksville, IN, to Spring Street in Jeffersonville, IN. thunderoverlouisville.org

April 23, 2022: Thunder at the Center

Enjoy Thunder Over Louisville from the comfort of The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to views from all three levels of The Kentucky Center building, attendees can enjoy convenient access to The Center’s restrooms, activities for the kids, as well as food service and concessions. There are also multiple bars with a variety of beer, wine options, and specialty cocktails available. Tickets start at $25 for children and $50 for adults. tickets.kentuckyperformingarts.org

April 26, 2022: Taste of Derby Festival

From 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Louisville Slugger Field, festivalgoers can enjoy samples from more than 50 celebrated local restaurants, bourbon distilleries, and beverage companies. Guests also have the chance to leave with their favorite spirits from the bourbon and wine pull. The event is open to ages 21 and older, and tickets are $90. daretocare.org

RELATED: 5 New Louisville Restaurants to Try (Updated March 2022)

April 27, 2022: Plant Health Monitoring Workshop

This free workshop helps attendees recognize signs of new pests invading North America, threats they post to trees, and how to react. Presentations from Andrew Hagerty — lead horticulturist at Waterfront Botanical Gardens and a diagnostic lab expert — cover national, regional, and garden-specific efforts in plant health monitoring. Guests leave with a tote and horticultural supplies. Registration is required, and the workshop begins at 3:30 p.m. waterfrontgardens.org

April 28 – May 6, 2022: Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville

Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront is back for its 16th year. Admission is free with a 2022 Pegasus Pin, and includes access to the Waterfront Jam Concert Series, family fun, food, a kids’ inflatable playground, midway rides, and more. This year, the annual Great Balloon Glow is also be held at Fest-a-Ville on Friday, April 29. Fest-a-Ville hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m. (Note: The festival is closed on Derby Day — Monday, May 2.) discover.kf.org

April 30, 2022: Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon & Marathon

Runners are welcome to sign up for the 13.1-mile or 26.2-mile in-person or virtual versions of this event. There is also a marathon relay for fun with friends. The miniMarathon is open to ages 12 and older; the Marathon to ages 14 and older. Registration starts at $45, and races begin at 7 a.m. runsignup.com

April 30, 2022: Great Balloon Race

Spectators of all ages can view boundless colors and shapes as the Kentucky Derby Festival Great Balloon Race starts at 7 a.m. Balloons are released from Bowman Field in this hare-and-hound style race. discover.kdf.org

Have an amazing April, Louisville! 

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