How to take advantage of free, fun summer activities that promote learning in Louisville

How to take advantage of free, fun summer activities that promote learning in Louisville
It's summer and the city of Louisville is providing free and low-cost summer programs for children to promote learning. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Opportunities for kids to learn and experience news things over the summer months are available for free to Louisville families and some who live in neighboring counties.


The 2019 Cultural Pass includes free, one-time general admission to more than 50 arts and cultural institutions in and around Louisville. They are valid from June 1 to August 10 for children and young adults up to age 21.

Participating Cultural Pass institutions include Frazier History Museum, Rauch Planetarium, Kentucky Derby Museum, Kentucky Science Center, Louisville Zoo, Muhammad Ali Center, Speed Art Museum, Kentucky Shakespeare and many, many more. To see the full list of opportunities, click or tap here.

Louisville residents can sign up here or pick up program materials at any Louisville Free Public Library branch.

A kickoff celebration at the main branch of the library (301 York St.) is Saturday, June 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is free, with activities, performance and crafts available for kids.

This year, children living in Floyd County, Clark County, Harrison County and Bullitt County can also participate in Cultural Pass through their local libraries.

Cultural Pass holders who visit five or more venues over the summer will be entered for a chance to win prizes.


Hand-in-hand with the Cultural Pass is the Summer Reading Program, which aims to prevent summer learning loss in Louisville children.

The free, 10-week program offers prizes and incentives for reading. Children from infants through 12th grade can participate.

Completing the program earns kids a pencil pouch and free passes to attractions like the Kentucky Science Center, Squire Boone Caverns and a Louisville Bats baseball game, as well as free McDonald’s ice cream, and more.

Sign up for Summer Reading and get more information by clicking or tapping here, or calling 502-574-1620.


The Louisville Zoo and Metro Parks and Recreation provide summer camps for children for a cost.

At the zoo, there are weekly camps for students from pre-K to 8th grade. Very few spots remain for the camps, which range from $212 to $515 for members.

Nature summer camps are offered at Jefferson Memorial Forest.

The one-week camps are $150 and include topics like wilderness survival and water wonders. Click here to see the available list of camps and to get registration info.

Community centers with Parks and Recreation offer summer camps at the following sites: Beechmont, Cyril Allgeier, Douglass, South Louisville, Southwick, and Sun Valley.

The park summer camps vary from $65 to $80 per week, depending on location.

Programming outside of summer camps happens at the following sites: Berrytown, Parkhill, California, Portland, Newburg, and Shawnee Community Centers. Its cost is $20 per month.

Get more information by clicking or tapping here.

High school and college-aged students looking for a summer job should reach out to Parks and Recreation if they’d like to help with summer camps. Call 502-574-7275 for more information about applying.


There are several free and fun things to do across the city for visitors and residents alike.

Iroquois Amphitheater offers free movie nights throughout the summer. Click here for a schedule.

Jefferson Memorial Forest has hiking trails to explore with the whole family.

There are more than 30 spraygrounds and splashpads at parks and playgrounds across the city. Here’s a complete list.


The city’s resource for finding educational Out of School Time (OST) programs is available by calling 211. Online, visit this site and then click on the 211 link.

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