Family-Friendly Activities in Bourbon Country: What to Do Beyond the Distilleries

Welcome to Bourbon Country, where the drinks are strong and the memories are even stronger! While many visitors come to this region for its world-renowned distilleries, there is so much more to explore beyond the bourbon tastings. In this blog post, we will guide you through a list of family-friendly activities that will make your trip to Bourbon Country unforgettable. So grab your loved ones and get ready for some fun-filled adventures in Kentucky’s most spirited destination!

Bourbon Country Fun for All Ages

Bourbon Country

  1. Visit a Farm or Animal Sanctuary:

One of the best ways to experience Bourbon Country’s rural charm is by visiting a farm or animal sanctuary. Kentucky is home to many working farms where visitors can learn about agriculture and interact with animals like horses, cows, and pigs. For a hands-on experience, head to Old Friends Farm in Georgetown where retired racehorses now live out their days in peace. Or take a tour of Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort, which features native Kentucky wildlife such as bears, bobcats, and deer.

  1. Explore Nature at State Parks:

Kentucky boasts 45 state parks that offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun. Take a hike through the lush forests at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont or go fishing and swimming at Barren River Lake State Resort Park near Glasgow. If you’re feeling adventurous, try ziplining at Red River Gorge Zipline Tours or horseback riding at Big Red Stables in Shelbyville.

  1. Immerse Yourself in History:

Bourbon Country has a rich history dating back centuries, making it an ideal destination for history buffs young and old alike. The Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville offers interactive exhibits that teach visitors about the famous horse race while the Civil War Museum in Bardstown delves into one of America’s most pivotal moments. You can also visit historical sites like My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Bardstown or Fort Boonesborough State Park near Richmond.

  1. Indulge in Local Cuisine:

No trip to Bourbon Country would be complete without trying some of the region’s famous dishes. Take a break from touring and enjoy a meal at one of the many family-friendly restaurants that serve up traditional Southern cuisine. From hot browns to fried chicken, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert – you can’t visit Kentucky without trying a slice of decadent bourbon pie.

With these family-friendly activities, Bourbon Country is truly fun for all ages. Whether your kids are animal lovers, adventure seekers, or history enthusiasts, there are plenty of options to keep them entertained and engaged during your trip. So go beyond the distilleries and explore all that this charming region has to offer! Learn more about the rich history of bourbon and plan your distillery visits.

Non-Distillery Attractions

While the distilleries may be the main draw for many visitors to Bourbon Country, there are plenty of other family-friendly activities to enjoy in this beautiful region. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, here are some top non-distillery attractions that you won’t want to miss.

  1. Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest:

This 16,000-acre forest is a nature-lover’s paradise. It offers hiking trails, fishing spots, picnic areas, and even a canopy walk through the treetops. Kids will love exploring this natural wonderland and learning about conservation efforts at the education center.

  1. Kentucky Horse Park:

As one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations, the Kentucky Horse Park has something for everyone. Families can enjoy horseback riding lessons, pony rides for younger children, and interactive exhibits at the International Museum of the Horse. Visitors can also catch live horse shows and tours of famous racehorse stables.

  1. The Louisville Zoo:

With over 1,500 animals from around the world, this zoo is sure to delight both kids and adults alike. In addition to traditional animal exhibits, there are also unique attractions like a ropes course and a splash park for hot summer days.

  1. Belle of Louisville Riverboat Cruise:

Take a relaxing cruise down the Ohio River on this historic steamboat that dates back to 1914. While onboard, families can learn about its rich history or simply take in views of downtown Louisville from a new perspective.

  1. Muhammad Ali Center:

For those interested in sports history or human rights advocacy, this museum dedicated to boxing legend Muhammad Ali is a must-visit attraction in downtown Louisville. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to learn about his life story while reflecting on their own values and beliefs.

  1. Bourbon Barrel Food Tours:

Get your fill of delicious food while experiencing some local flavor with one of these guided food tours. Sample traditional Southern cuisine and learn about the history of bourbon in Kentucky while strolling through charming towns like Bardstown or Lexington.

  1. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill:

Step back in time at this living history museum where visitors can experience life in a 19th-century Shaker community. Take a guided tour, participate in hands-on workshops, or simply enjoy the beautiful countryside views.

No matter what your interests are, there is something for everyone to enjoy beyond the distilleries in Bourbon Country. So be sure to add some of these non-distillery attractions to your itinerary for an unforgettable family vacation.

Distillery Features for Families

Distillery tours and tastings are a must-do activity when visiting Bourbon Country, but there is so much more to explore beyond just the distilleries. For families looking to experience the true essence of Kentucky’s bourbon culture, several family-friendly distillery features offer something for everyone.

First and foremost, many of the distilleries in Bourbon Country have made it a priority to cater to families. This means providing options for younger visitors while still offering an authentic and educational experience for adults. One such example is Maker’s Mark Distillery, which offers a designated “Kids Corner” with interactive games and activities designed specifically for younger guests. This allows parents to fully immerse themselves in the tour and tasting without having to worry about keeping their children entertained.

Another popular feature among family-friendly distilleries is the opportunity for hands-on experiences. At Jim Beam American Stillhouse, visitors can participate in a “Bourbon 101” class where they get to blend their own signature bottle of bourbon, complete with custom label designs. This not only adds an element of fun for adults, but also serves as a unique souvenir from their trip.

For those looking for an outdoor adventure, Buffalo Trace Distillery offers guided horse-drawn wagon tours through its picturesque grounds. Visitors can also take part in barrel rolling competitions or try their hand at cornhole on the lawn while sipping on some of Kentucky’s finest bourbon.

Many distilleries also offer non-alcoholic options for younger guests or those who do not consume alcohol. Wild Turkey Distillery has a special “Barrel Room Soda Shop” where visitors can enjoy homemade root beer floats or choose from other delicious soda flavors like black cherry and ginger ale.

In addition to these specific features, most family-friendly distilleries also have spacious picnic areas where visitors can relax and enjoy a meal together after completing their tour. Some even allow guests to bring their own food or provide on-site food options like food trucks or BBQ stands.

The distilleries in Bourbon Country have recognized the importance of catering to families and have successfully integrated family-friendly features into their tours and experiences. So whether you’re a bourbon enthusiast traveling with your family or just looking for a unique outing, these distillery features are sure to make your visit to Bourbon Country one that everyone can enjoy. Discover more family activities in Bourbon Country and local culinary delights.

Local Eats and Treats

  1. Hot Brown Sandwich:

One cannot visit Kentucky without trying the famous Hot Brown sandwich. This open-faced sandwich is made with toasted bread, turkey, bacon, and a creamy Mornay sauce, all topped with melted cheese and broiled until golden brown. It was first created in Louisville’s Brown Hotel in the 1920s and has since become a beloved dish in the state.

  1. Burgoo:

Another must-try dish in Bourbon Country is burgoo. This hearty stew dates back to early settlers who would make it using whatever meat they had on hand, such as beef, pork or lamb. Today, it’s typically made with a variety of meats along with vegetables like corn, potatoes, and lima beans. It’s often served at community events and festivals throughout Kentucky.

  1. Derby Pie:

If you have a sweet tooth, then you must try Derby Pie during your visit to Bourbon Country. This chocolate nut pie was first created at the Melrose Inn in Prospect and has become synonymous with the Kentucky Derby. The traditional recipe includes pecans or walnuts mixed with chocolate chips and bourbon – a true taste of Kentucky!

  1. Ice Cream from “The Sweet Spot”

For some cool treats on a hot day, head over to “The Sweet Spot” in Bardstown which offers homemade ice cream made from locally sourced ingredients. They have unique flavors like bourbon ball (made with real bourbon) as well as classic favorites like vanilla bean and chocolate.

  1. Woodford Reserve Chocolate Truffles

For those looking for a more sophisticated treat, be sure to stop by Woodford Reserve Distillery where you can purchase their famous bourbon-infused chocolate truffles. These decadent treats are made with Woodford Reserve bourbon and come in a variety of flavors including bourbon ball, mint julep, and honey.

No trip to Bourbon Country is complete without indulging in some of the local eats and treats. From savory dishes like Hot Brown sandwiches and burgoo to sweet treats like Derby Pie and Woodford Reserve truffles, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So be sure to add these delicious options to your itinerary while exploring beyond the distilleries with your family.

Discover the heart and soul of bourbon country with Bourbon Town Tours. Experience exclusive tours that offer a deep dive into the rich history, culture, and, of course, the exquisite taste of America’s native spirit. Whether you’re a bourbon aficionado or new to the world of whiskey, our expert guides will ensure an unforgettable journey through the most iconic distilleries and hidden gems of bourbon country. Ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime? Book your tour today and let Bourbon Town Tours show you the true spirit of bourbon.


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