The river city of Louisville is blessed to have a bustling downtown to explore. One fun thing you can do downtown is to explore its treasured museums. The museums of downtown Louisville are located in the West Main District. The district contains some of the oldest structures in the city. It houses a neat collection of buildings containing cast iron facades.
In fact, this downtown district has the largest collection of such buildings outside of New York City’s SoHo district. The West Main District is also known as Museum Row because of the concentration of downtown’s museums within the district. If you are heading downtown for things to do in Louisville, Kentucky, here are some museums you will want to check out.
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is located on West Main Street in downtown Louisville. The museum is remarkably easy to spot thanks in big part to the huge replica of a baseball bat that leans against the museum building. This is the largest baseball bat replica in the world.
It stands at 120 feet high and weighs 68,000 pounds. It is a replica of the Louisville Slugger baseball bat that legendary New York Yankees baseball player, Babe Ruth, once batted with. His baseball bat measured at 34 inches long.
This museum is dedicated to a group of baseball bats called the Louisville Slugger. Believe it or not, this museum is actually also a working factory that has been making the Louisville Slugger baseball bats since 1884. You can even take a tour of the factory in order to witness the world-class baseball bats being made. You can find an impressive 17-ton sculpture of a baseball glove at the museum.
This sculpture is made of Kentucky limestones that are 450 million years old. Be sure to visit the Signature Wall within the museum. This is where you can go to view the names, in both print and signature forms, of all the baseball players who had signed a contract with the Louisville Smuggler in order to use their baseball bats during their games.
You will then want to make your way to the museum’s treasured Bat Vault. This is where you can check out more than three thousand original baseball bat models. Some of these models are at least one hundred years old. As you hold these baseball bats, you can learn about the baseball players who had used these models during their games and careers, from Ted Williams to Babe Ruth.
It is now time to actually try out these baseball bats including these used by baseball greats like Bath Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and Derek Jeter. You can bat with these baseball bats at Bud’s Batting Cage within the museum. As you visit the museum, you will eventually receive a free Louisville Slugger baseball bat to take home with you as a souvenir.
After you visit the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, it will be easy to see why Forbes called this museum one of the greatest sports museums in the world. The admission prices for the museum are $16 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $9 for children aged from 6 to 12. Those who are aged 5 and under will get free admission. You can go here to buy your tickets. The museum also contains an onsite store.
Kentucky Science Center
The Kentucky Science Center is located across West Main Street to the northeast from the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. This is the largest hands-on science museum in the US state of Kentucky. The museum is divided into six fun hands-on exhibits. The first one is called Science in Play. This is an especially fun exhibit for children.
The exhibit allows them to basically investigate and play around with things in order to see how and/or why things work the way they do. It is divided into nine activity zones. Some of them include Science Depot, Color & Light, Shapes and Stuff Store, and Cityscape. The second hands-on exhibit is called The MakerPlace.
This is basically the exhibit where children aged 8 and up will try to invent things using many tools available to them. This is a chance for them to have fun while at the same time, developing problem-solving skills that are particularly useful in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Uniquely Human is the third hands-on exhibit.
This is the exhibit where you can learn about human beings, their unique characteristics, and how they operate. The World We Create hands-on exhibit is the place where you can learn about and experiment with some of the inventions of man such as rockets, bridges, wind tubes, and construction cranes. The Discovery Gallery hands-on exhibit veers into natural history territory.
This is the exhibit where you can check out cool gems and fossils, get up and personal with two real, life-sized polar bears, and soak yourself into an ancient Egyptian mummy. In the final hands-on exhibit, The World Around Us, you will learn about the planet that we live on – Earth.
The ticket prices for the Kentucky Science Center are $17 for adults and $13 for kids aged from 2 to 12. Free admission is available for those aged under 2. You can head here to purchase your tickets for the museum.
the KMAC Museum neighbors the Kentucky Science Center to the east on West Main Street. This is downtown Louisville’s premier museum for art. This is the museum where you can check out gorgeous contemporary artworks, especially these coming from regional artists.
The artworks at the museum take on different forms including pen and ink drawing, ceramics, woodworking, painting, photography, glassmaking, film, video, and found objects. The museum houses a collection of 300 pieces of artwork that explore Kentucky’s geography and culture with themes including agriculture, domestic life, economy, class, religious belief, and rural-influenced pastimes.
The museum currently hosts two main exhibits. They are Julie Baldyga’s Heavenly People and Where Paradise Lay. These exhibits will run through November of 2020. The admission prices for the KMAC Museum are $6 for adults and $5 for seniors and military members. Those who are under the age of 18 will receive free admission to the museum.
You can go here to buy your passes for the museum. It is worth noting that the passes are good through November 8th, 2020. Also, if you get hungry during your visit to the museum, you have the option to head to KMAC Cafe which is located onsite.
These are some museums for you to visit downtown for things to do in Louisville, Kentucky. Also, if you are into boxing, I would suggest you to check out this post from last month. That is because it contains a few key attractions in Louisville that are related to boxing legend, Muhammad Ali.
If you are in need of a hotel to stay at during your time in Louisville visiting these downtown museum, I have got your back. Here is a hotel that I would suggest for you.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Louisville Downtown
This hotel is located on West Market Street just south of all three of the downtown museums I mentioned. It is extremely close to the museums which are located just one street north on West Main Street. You could walk up to them from this hotel in just five minutes or under. There is free breakfast available at the hotel.
Should you get hungry, there surely are plenty of restaurants around the corner including Mussel & Burger Bar Downtown, Proof on Main, and Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant, just to name a few. The hotel houses a fitness center for your workout needs. All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi, Keurig coffee makers, microwaves, and mini refrigerators.
The average rate for a standard room range from $105 to $260. You can head here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.
What are your thoughts? Are you looking to visit these downtown Louisville museums? Feel free to leave a comment below.