What should you do with a toddler in Louisville? Sure, there are baseball bats and horse museums galore but there is also the Kentucky Science Center. I would argue it should be your number one destination when you are in town with a toddler. Why? Because it is hands on fun!
What to do while you are there
The first floor could be nicknamed the toddler zone. While some of the higher levels had displays and books that interested my daughter, the first floor is where the fun is at.
When you walk in you will be greeted by a rather fun and gigantic bubble tube. Who hasn’t wanted to know what it is like to be inside a bubble? Fun tip, this is exactly before you pay to get in! So if you are downtown and you need a chill out moment or have a melting toddler you can always plan in the Science Center’s lobby for a minute. But good luck trying to get your toddler out of there once they realize how cool it is!
Our next stop is the vertical maze. As a slightly cautious toddler, my daughter hasn’t ventured above the first floor but there are tons of sensory elements on the ground floor to entertain her. We then typically move on to the mirror maze, pool noddle dash, and car tracks. I said this place was awesome already, right?
Other stops typically include the air pipes blowing out scarves, a gigantic lite-brite wall (that’s right stuff from the 80’s is still cool), and their creation station (beach themed during our summer in Louisville).
Then it is on to the real showstopper. The water table. I am pretty sure my toddler will never accept her $20 backyard water table again. This water table has a tornado, pulley systems, a plinko board (we aren’t friends if you don’t know what plinko is), and build your own canal systems. I’m not sure who enjoyed the water table more – my daughter or the adults who brought her.
In addition to the standard exhibits, there are classes and demonstrations. During one of our visits, we were able to watch a liquid nitrogen “explosion” that had my toddler enthralled.
By the time we have hit all of those sites it is been about four hours and we are all ready for lunch and a nap. Which is exactly how I like my toddler 🙂
Know Before You Go
The KY Science Center is $13 for adults and $11 for children 2-12 (not including the movie option). So this isn’t necessarily a cheap way to spend your day. HOWEVER, the membership starts at $79/year and there are zoo combination options. If you are visiting like I was, you can use your science center membership from another city for free. You can check to see if your science center has reciprocity, here. The staff at the KY Science Center was great about the reciprocity deal. We went quite a few times over our summer in town and they got to the point where they were happy to just stamp our hands and wave us in.
The KY Science Center is located downtown. This is great if you are hoping to combine the trip with a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum (which has an amazing tour but is probably too loud for little guests). However, it is not the best for parking. There is a museum row lot with parking for $6/day. I felt it was a little far when trying to transport a toddler to a science center without a stroller (its not like she would use it once we were inside and then its just one more thing to keep track of while I am trying to dominate water table plinko). Street parking is metered and got pretty crowded. One plus is that on Sundays street parking was free!
Toddler Friendly Rating
10/10! This place is made for young kids. It took multiple visits for us to even explore the higher floors there was so much action happening right when you walk in. I have to say it also gets a 10/10 for adult fun. My husband and I had a blast launching balls at the water table and trying to build the best car tracks. Overall this is really great family fun!
Have you been to the KY Science Center with a toddler? Share your experience and photos with us!