Land of the Free: 5 Fab Freebies in Lexington
Free Things to do in Lexington with Kids By Laurel Smith
Laurel Smith of MomsMinivan.com knows how to keep kids busy on road trips, and here she shares five fun and free things to do with kids in and around her hometown of Lexington.
Keeneland Race Course: You can watch the race horses take their early-morning workout at this historic course. This is first class all the way, and lets fill your senses with the power and beauty of world class race horses they streak by. The workouts go on year-round, and you can also take a self-guided track tour. If you visit during the spring and fall racing seasons (April and October), you can also enjoy watching the workout from one of the restaurants while you have breakfast.
Thoroughbred Park: This small downtown park at Main and Midland streets features seven life-sized bronze statues of racehorses and their jockeys galloping toward the finish line. More bronze horses graze in a nearby field. Kids love being able to get up close and personal to the action and pretend to pet and race with the horses, and then snap a photo finish. It's a wonderful tribute to horse racing.
The Arboretum: This state botanical garden, located on University of Kentucky's campus, is one of our favorite places to visit in every season of the year. Walking trails take you through the beautiful gardens and fountains, and there are lots of activities throughout the year. We like to bring a sketch pad to draw or paint while we enjoy the scenery.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Plant: If you zip over to nearby Georgetown, you can take this free tour to see how cars are made. It's amazing to see how the big sheets of metal and buckets of parts end up all together as a completed new car. My kids loved riding on the tram which takes you on an hour-and-a-half trip through the factory where you can see the workers building the cars on the line right before your eyes. Reservations are needed, and for safety reasons, children must be in the first grade or older to take the tour.
Ale-8-One Bottling Plant: This soft drink is unique to Kentucky, and has been bottled in Winchester since 1926. School children especially love this tour and it is a popular classroom field trip. Free plant tours are given on Friday mornings. Reservations are needed, so call ahead or request a tour online.