Between phones, tablets, and video game systems, it’s harder than ever to get kids away from their screens and enjoy what the sun and nature offer. Outdoor activities for kids offer many benefits, including positive impacts on both physical and mental health.
Living near the intersection of Kentucky and Indiana provides many opportunities for the whole family to get out and enjoy the fresh air, but your kids might not appreciate what’s available to them. Here are the top five outings to get your kids excited about the outdoors in Kentucky.
- Getting on the Trails
There are so many hiking opportunities around the Louisville area that you could spend weeks exploring new ones. Many parks and recreational areas are designed for kids to join in on the experience.
The Louisville Loop is an over 100-mile trail system that encircles the city. It’s a great option to get everyone from one location to another while enjoying the local greenery. The main loop is paved, which provides accessibility for strollers and wheelchairs and is an excellent way to explore the city.
Also in Lousiville is its nature center, which provides several trails and includes interactive areas where kids can play and explore.
Across the river in Clarksville is Falls of the Ohio State Park, with a rich history and family-friendly opportunities. Your kids can walk the trail around the park and explore 390-million-year-old fossils. They can even stop at a collecting pile to choose a personal keepsake.
The Kentuckiana area is filled with trails to explore, creating many opportunities for your kids to explore their environment.
While there are many trails that are kid-friendly for walking, there are also many kid-friendly biking opportunities in the area.
The path at Seneca Park is a great place for beginners to learn their skills. The scenic loop at Cherokee Park is another paved trail where families can bike.
The Parklands of Floyd Fork also offer paved trails with minor hills and wonderful views. You can also rent bikes if you don’t have your own, so the whole family can enjoy the fun.
The Louisville Loop is also a great way to explore the city by biking and Waverly Park is great to take older kids who are interested in racing.
Biking is a great way to exercise while covering more ground than you’d be able to when walking. You can even rent electric bicycles to explore the city.
- Horseback Riding
Horses are amazing creatures and there’s nothing like the view from one. Horseback riding has both physical and mental benefits the whole family can enjoy.
Kentucky is famous for horses and riding them helps keep the time-honored tradition alive. Most ranches offer trail riding experiences for kids and pony rides for toddlers. Each gives your kids the ability to connect with the animals and learn a new skill.
Not far from the Louisville area are many opportunities for your family to go horseback riding. The Whispering Woods Riding Stables in Georgetown offers beginner-friendly trails through 250 acres.
You can make a day out of visiting Double J Stables in Mammoth Cave, which provides guided tours through Mammoth Cave National Park. In nearby Cave City, you can visit the Jesse James Riding Stables, which provides over 500 miles of trails for your family to explore.
Going canoeing is a fantastic way to connect with nature on the water.
Long Run Park is known for its still lake, making it a perfect spot for canoeing with the family. Just outside Louisville is Deam Lake, where you can canoe before relaxing on the nearby beach.
Of course, you can canoe along the Ohio River and visit the unique areas along the way, including Six Mile Island and the Falls of the Ohio.
Being on the water is both fun and relaxing, and canoeing is a great skill to teach your children that they can use throughout the rest of their lives.
- Visiting the Zoo
The Lousiville Zoo is an excellent place for your family to learn about animals and the importance of wildlife conservation.
Not only does the zoo let your kids connect to animals like polar bears and camels, but it also hosts several outdoor kids’ activities throughout the year.
The zoo also focuses on preserving the species it hosts and serves as a tremendous educational opportunity. If you join the zoo as a member, your family can visit throughout the season and have unique, members-only experiences.
Enjoy Outdoor Recreational Activities for Families
There are a lot of things that keep kids inside these days. Many are missing out on the wonderful opportunities available to them through the outdoors.
Kentuckiana is full of natural wonders and activities the whole family can enjoy outside together. From biking and horseback riding to exploring the zoo, there are many choices for your kids to explore and get excited about.
Doing outdoor activities can provide physical and mental benefits and help you bond as a family.
Beth is the Managing Editor at Body+Mind. She is passionate about writing about parenting, nutrition, mental health and fitness. In her spare time, Beth enjoys going for runs with her dog and trying out new recipes.