2018 Louisville summer youth activities


“Lifelong learning means year-round learning. And with our Summer Reading Program, Cultural Pass, and other programs, parents and children have plenty of fun options this summer to keep kids’ minds active so they’re prepared for success in school and beyond." — Mayor Greg Fischer

Louisville parents have plenty of options to keep young people active and engaged with learning during summer break from school. Here are just a few of the possibilites for Louisville summer youth activities in 2018: 

Cultural Pass

The Cultural Pass supports and encourages lifelong learning by providing free access to more than 40 of Greater Louisville’s arts and cultural institutions for children and young adults to age 21. The Cultural Pass, presented by Churchill Downs, is valid from June 1 to August 11 for one-time general admission at each of the participating institutions. Visit any Louisville Free Public Library, or Jeffersonville or New Albany libraries to pick up your free pass. Go to FundfortheArts.org/CulturalPass to learn more.


Summer Reading:  Join the LFPL S.T.E.A.M. Team this summer!

  • Presented by the Library Foundation, the Library’s annual Summer Reading Program is a free 10-week program that encourages kids and teens to read for fun over the summer by offering prizes and incentives. Every child—from infant through 12th grade—who completes the program will receive a backpack or earbuds, along with passes to local attractions like the Kentucky Science Center, Squire Boone Caverns, a Louisville City FC soccer game, a Louisville Bats baseball game, and more. Summer Reading materials are available now at any Louisville Free Public Library — register online.
  • The Library also offers more than 450 free programs and activities for kids, teens, and families this summer. Find a complete list of events visit here.

Louisville Zoo 

The Louisville Zoo is a living classroom with something to learn all year long. When kids are  out of school, it’s the perfect place to keep minds active and  engaged with amazing animal species from around the globe or one of the Zoo’s many summer camps. Weekly camps are available for ages from pre-K to 8th grade. All Zoo camps include Zoo walks, large animal presentations, attraction rides, and up-close encounters with live animal ambassadors. Events are happening all summer, from the Friday Night Movie Series to the ever-popular Storybook Character Day.

Find evens and camp listings.

Louisville Parks & Recreation

Four community centers – Beechmont, Douglass, Southwick and South Louisville – will have summer camps with structured programming, games, field trips and other activities. Fees range from $65 to $80. Additionally, most other park community centers will be offering open programming, so kids will be able to drop in, shoot a game of hoops, use the computer or quietly read a book.

The Reds’ Rookie Success League is back this year. For more than a decade, this successful partnership with the Cincinnati Reds has introduced kids to the game of baseball with a focus on character development. The program will be offered at Petersburg Park and Wyandotte Park. Call Louisville Parks athletics at 574-4515 for more information.

Metro Parks’ four outdoor pools – at Camp Taylor, Nelson Hornbeck (Fairdale), Algonquin and Sun Valley parks – opened Memorial Day weekend. Metro Parks also offers 30 spraygrounds and spraypads at parks throughout the community.

Parks and Recreation is also offering free movies nights for the whole family at the Iroquois Amphitheater and Joe Creason and Des Pres parks. And, don’t forget, there will be a free World Cup watch party coming to the front steps of Metro Hall during the month of July with food trucks, vendors and a huge TV screen in front of the building where families can check out the action. 

Learn more about these programs. 


Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods

  • The office is sponsoring and working with community partners to host several activities to keep teens engaged and elevate youth leadership this summer. Learn more.
  • “Youth Rights” Conference during I Am Ali week – in partnership with the Muhammad Ali Center: Teens can build leadership skills, network with other teen leaders, and have their voices heard during a series of interactive workshops. June 6, 2:30pm to 6:30pm at the Muhammad Ali Center. For more information call 502 992 5311 or email [email protected]
  • Wear Orange Day – in partnership with Mom’s Demand Action Against Gun Violence: Join us for a walk, lunch, and festival at Sheppard Park, June 2nd from 11:30am to 3pm with music, games, face painting, group exercises, and more. There will be information available to help keep families safe from gun violence.
  • Family game nights at local community centers with music, games, and activities for youth.
  • One Love Louisville Ambassador Training – June 23, 9:30am to 2:30pm. Sponsored by YMCA Safe Place. Free to attend with a light breakfast and full lunch served. For more information, go to onelovelou.org or call 502 574 1903.
  • Regular community walks to connect citizens with resources that can help with employment, housing, health, youth programs, and more. Just look for our One Love Louisville T-shirts, say hi and ask us how we can help.