Summer in the City

Illustration By Rachael Sinclair

Illustration By Rachael Sinclair

We all know that Louisville is a pretty place to be year-round. But surely summer is the best time of year to fill up your time here. When the sun is out, it seems the city truly lights up, and activities are aplenty.

Music alone is a huge part of outdoor life. Yes, Abbey Road on the River may have just concluded, but look ahead and you can see that the Forecastle Festival – an event that attracts more than 50,000 each day – is right around the corner. Aside from Forecastle, Jeffersonville’s RiverStage concert series with the Louisville skyline in the background is also quite a gem in the calendar. And don’t forget the Mayor’s Arts and Culture Series. There are plenty elsewhere, of course.

Maybe if movies are your thing, stopping by Fourth Street Live! or Iroquois Amphitheater is an option. And if the great outdoors is your real love, then why not stop by the stunning and ever-growing Parklands of Floyds Fork, or go to see the botanical wonders of Yew Dell Gardens or the Bernheim Arboretum.

Whatever your thing is, get out there and enjoy our amazing city. Take a look at our Ultimate City Scene Guide to help you make your decision.


WFPK Waterfront
Wednesday Concert Series

One the city’s favorite summer traditions is rocking the Big Four Lawn at Waterfront Park. Why? Because, thanks to the good folks at WFPK, monthly Wednesdays are the time when a huge handful of bands play in front of thousands of eager music lovers. While the names are kept under wraps until closer to the select date, you might as well go ahead and pencil in June 24, July 29, Aug. 26 and Sept. 30, with performances scheduled to start at 5 p.m. each night. May 27 already saw the likes of Civil Twilight, Jukebox the Ghost and local favorites Small Time Napoleon, strut their stuff. The music is likely to only get better, the crowds bigger. And everyone is assured a phenomenal time mid-week. How could you say no?

June 24: Pokey LaFarge, Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn and T. Hardy Morris

For information about WFPK Waterfront Wednesday Concert Series, visit


Mayor’s Music
and Art Series

While a lot of live music this summer will be outdoors, there is one set of shows that will unquestionably benefit from being indoors. The location, Mayor’s Gallery and Listening Room, in the heart of Metro Hall, is about as unique as they come. The Mayor’s Music and Art Series is all about highlighting different styles of music in the city and offering them free of charge for all, on a first-come, first-served basis on the first Thursday of every month. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., and the show starts at 12:10 p.m. and runs for 45 minutes. This can only mean one thing: you’ll have one heck of a lunch break. Shows confirmed so far are:

June 4: 30 Spokes

July 2: TBA

Aug. 6: Flamenco Louisville

Sept. 3: Bonnie “Prince” Billy

Metro Hall is located at 527 W. Jefferson St., Louisville, KY, 40202. For more information on the concert series, visit



Shakespeare in the Park

Kentucky Shakespeare is the oldest running free Shakespeare festival in the United States, which can only mean that they’re pretty good at putting on the works of The Bard. For the past 55 years, organizers have chosen Old Louisville’s Central Park as the setting for classic and new interpretations of the world’s most famous playwright. So if live music is not your thing this summer, then maybe a little thespian action is your flavor?

This year’s festival, which runs from June 3-Aug. 9, will feature performances of “The Tempest,” “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Macbeth.” During a special Bard-a-Thon event on July 25, all three plays will be performed in a single day. Aside from the classics, there will also be productions from local theatre companies, featuring works inspired by the great man himself – including local playwright Doug Schutte’s comedic offering, “Chasing Ophelia,” which runs Aug. 4-9.

Central Park is located in the heart of Louisville at the corner of Park Avenue and South Fourth Street. For information about the festival, visit



Iroquois Amphitheater

Aside from the fact that Iroquois Park is one the prettiest parks in the city, its amphitheater takes things up a notch by consistently delivering world-class acts in a beautiful covered outdoor arena. This summer, renowned bands like The Decemberists and Alabama Shakes will stop by to play shows. But if you’re looking for something a little more relaxed, look no further than the series of movie nights and concerts the stunning venue is hosting. Ranging from the gore of classic flicks like “Jaws” to the retro family fun of “Back to the Future II,” Iroquois is the place to be for free evenings of musical and cinematic delights. Free events at the Iroquois Amphitheater are as follows:

May 31: The Louisville Winds

June 8: “Jaws”

June 13: “The Lego Movie”

June 15: “Jurassic Park”

June 22: “The Birds”

June 26: Louisville Philharmonia Concert

June 29: “Back to the Future II”

July 4: July 4th Community Musical Celebration

July 6: “Muppets Most Wanted”

July 11: “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

July 13: “Monster House”

July 20: “Aresenic and Old Lace”

July 27: “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”

Aug. 3: “Brave”

Aug. 8: “Planes – Fire and Rescue”

Iroquois Amphitheater is situated at 1080 Amphitheater Road, Louisville, KY, 40214. For more information, call 502.368.5865 or visit



Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft

The museum has unveiled its summer exhibit,  “Food, Shelter, Clothing, Oh My,” which runs until Sept. 6.  The exhibit features numerous artists’ pieces, all representing “themes embedded in the ideas of food, shelter, and clothing.” It’s all designed to “extend the conversation to consider different social, political and cultural dimensions.”

Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft is situated at 715 W. Main St., Louisville, KY, 40202. For more information, call 502.589.0102.


Jeffersonville RiverStage

Want to combine the wonders of live music under the stars with the stunning backdrop of the Louisville skyline? Well, take a quick drive across the river into Indiana and enjoy Jeffersonville’s RiverStage – a floating performance venue anchored along the majestic banks of the Ohio River. Take a seat in the beautifully cultivated amphitheater on the terrace lawn and enjoy a summer-long concert series. Bring along your lawn chairs, blankets and coolers, enjoy a drink at the beer garden and grab a bite to eat as well. Best of all, the music is totally free. Bands scheduled to play so far are:

May 29: Louisville Brass & Electric w/ guest Honkywood

June 5: Caribou w/ guest Lefty & the Lunatics

June 12-13: Smokin on the River

June 19: Culture Night: The Ark Band w/ guest Cosa Seria & Roots Vibration

June 26: Velcro Pygmies w/guest The Big Phatty Band

July 3-5: RiverPops featuring The Wizard of Oz

July 10: Unlimited Show Band w/guest Night Breeze

July 17: The Newbees w/guest Nervous Melvin & the Mistakes

July 24: The Monarchs w/guest Personnel Only

July 31: The Wulfe Bros. w/special guest The Doo-Wop All Stars and Munch

Aug. 1: Jeffersonville Goes Country  Maddie & Tae w/special guest Love & Theft

Aug. 7: Endless Summer Band w/guest TimeSquare

Aug. 14: Juice Box Heroes w/guest The Hiding

Aug. 21: Tony & the Tanlines w/guest Blues and Greys

Aug. 28: 100% Poly w/guest Muji Fuji

Sept. 4: The Louisville Crashers w/guest Derby City Rockers

Sept. 6: Steamboat Days Dance-A-thon/ Kidz ROCK the Stage!

Sept. 12: Zumba Glow Party!

Sept. 13: Rock on Water Jason Gray w/guest Carrollton & Hush Harbor

For more information on Jeffersonville RiverStage, visit


Forecastle Festival

Founded in 2002 by Louisville native JK McKnight, the Forecastle Festival has grown each year to become one of the Midwest’s premier music events – and one of the hottest tickets in town. Taking place this year July 17-19, it’s expected to draw tens of thousands of fans, once more, from across the world to Louisville’s scenic 85-acre Waterfront Park. This year’s lineup is as star-studded as ever, with Sam Smith headlining Friday night’s outing, Louisville’s own My Morning Jacket on Saturday and Widespread Panic on Sunday.

For more information about the festival, lineup and ticket information, visit



Frankfort Avenue Trolley Hop

Want a fun way to experience all that Frankfort Avenue has to offer this summer? Well look no further, because on the last Friday of every month, the Frankfort Avenue Trolley runs up and down this unique street, allowing passengers to both board and hop off at numerous shopping and dining locations along the avenue. There is also plenty of free parking nearby, if walking is more your style. Enjoy drink specials, discounts and a whole lot of entertainment along the historic route as business owners get into the swing of things, now that summer is nearly here. Upcoming dates are May 29, June 26, July 31, Aug. 28 and Sept. 25.

For more information visit



First Friday Trolley Hop

If you’re hoping to indulge your more artistic side, then stopping by the First Friday Trolley Hop should do the trick. On the first Friday of each month, Louisvillians can hop aboard the new eco-friendly ZeroBuses running along Main and Market streets and check out all the eclectic shops, art galleries, live music and restaurants the streets have to offer. Upcoming Trolley Hops are June 5, July 3 and Aug. 7. The June 5 Trolley Hop is titled “Throwback to the Gallery Hop” and will celebrate the Trolley Hop’s devotion to local art galleries. The evening will feature openings and refreshments at numerous galleries along Main and Market. And like all First Friday Trolley Hops this summer, it will include free bus rides and take place 5 p.m.-11 p.m.

For more information, visit



Louisville Bats Baseball

What’s better than chowing down on a hot dog, pretzel or a bag of nuts and hearing the sound of ball crack on wood? Well, the Louisville Bats’ season is well underway, so make your way down to Slugger Field and get into the mood for the nation’s favorite pastime. Who knows, you may even catch a ball off a home run. Keep an eye out on the calendar,  as the Bats regularly host $1 hot dog nights, while also staging plenty of giveaways to add to the fun. And during the summer, be sure to check out the Bats Baseball Friday Night Fireworks, a dazzling display of pyrotechnics immediately after each Friday night game. So be sure to get your tickets.

Slugger Field is  situated at  401 E. Main St., Louisville, KY, 40202. To check out the season’s schedule, visit; to purchase tickets, call the box office at 855.228.8497.


The Frazier History Museum

Fancy traveling back to 1930 and leaving the summer of 2015 behind? Well, why not stop by the Frazier’s “Love, Shirley Temple” exhibit. Set to run July 3-8, the exhibit features “movie costumes, dolls, and childhood memorabilia from the personal archives of the iconic actress Shirley Temple.” The Frazier is the only museum in the Midwest selected to host this exhibit, so it’s a must for local fans of the iconic actress.

The Frazier History Museum is located at 829 W. Main St., Louisville, KY, 40202. For information about the summer exhibit or for hours, call 502.753.5663 or visit


Louisville City Football Club

Now that our city has its very own professional soccer team, you too can experience the excitement of the world’s most popular sport live in the flesh, and all without having to leave The Ville. Throughout the summer, Louisville City Football Club has numerous home games for you to enjoy. So get into the spirit of Louisville’s latest sporting phenomenon by bringing along your scarf, painting your face and cheering loudly at their home in Slugger Field.

Slugger Field is situated at 401 East Main Street, Louisville, KY, 40202. To check out the season’s schedule or purchase tickets for upcoming games visit



The Kentucky Science Center

The Kentucky Science Center has created a packed schedule for the summer, including its annual film nights, which this year will include the Harry Potter series, “The Lorax,” as well as more educational fare such as “Flight of the Butterflies” and “Pandas: The Journey Home.” A perfect family night out. But for those who want overnight adventure, the museum is hosting a sleepover on June 6. From 6:00 p.m to 9:00 a.m., families are invited to a fun night where adventures will include “program activities, exclusive after-hours exhibit exploration, flashlight scavenger hunt, an exclusive movie, snacks, breakfast, and admission to all exhibits.” This event is not to be missed and is only $30 per person.

The Kentucky Science Center is situated at 727 West Main Science Center, Louisville, KY, 40202. For information call 502.561.6100 or visit


Muhammad Ali Center

Come learn more about Louisville’s favorite son – The Greatest – Muhammad Ali at the Muhammad Ali Center this summer. With a constant stream of guest speakers coming to talk at the center, as well as the main exhibit itself, which is packed full of Ali memorabilia from his storied life and career, it’s not to miss.

The Muhammad Ali Center is situated a 144 North Sixth Street, Louisville, KY, 40202. For more information call 502.584.9254 or visit


Derby Dinner Playhouse

What’s better than a spot of dinner and live theatre all under one roof? A perfect date night as well as fun for the whole family, Derby Dinner Playhouse has packed a summer season full of exciting musical and theatrical shows. Upcoming performances at the historic playhouse are as follows:

May 12 – June 21: Social Security

May 16- June 13: Sleeping Beauty

June 8: The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra

June 24- Aug. 9: Peter Pan

Aug. 12 – Sept. 27: Church Basement Ladies in The Last Potluck Supper

Derby Dinner Playhouse is situated at 525 Marriott Drive Clarksville, IN, 47129. For more information or to purchase tickets call 812.288.8281.


Louisville Slugger Museum & 21c Museum Hotel

If you’ve been to a Louisville Bats game then why not stop by the Louisville Slugger Museum? See how one of the most-used pieces of sporting equipment is made. If you’re in the mood for art though then there’s good news here as well. Louisville Slugger and the 21c Museum Hotel have teamed-up for the first time to present a joint exhibition featuring baseball-themed contemporary art by Cuban-born artists. “Stealing Base: Cuba at Bat” is open now and runs through mid-June at both venues. The exhibition is largely drawn from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection.

Louisville Slugger Museum is situated at 800 West Main Street, Louisville, KY, 40202. For more information on the exhibit or to plan a trip call 877.775.8443 or visit


Kentucky Kingdom

Want to ride some rollercoasters in the city? Good thing Kentucky Kingdom is back, right? Re-opened to great fanfare last year, the famous theme park is better than ever and is a great place to take the kids or to just be a kid again yourself. Thrills, spills and screams are just a quick drive away. Seniors and children get in for $34.95 while adult price is $49.95 (or $39.95 online). But perhaps the smart move is getting a season pass for $109.95 which gets you 20% off all food and merchandise, while ensuring unlimited entry to Kentucky Kingdom as well as Hurricane Bay.

Kentucky Kingdom is situated at 937 Phillips Lane, Louisville, KY, 40209. For more information on tickets, passes and opening hours, call 502.813.8200 or visit



The Parklands

The Parklands is a systemic, world-class addition to Louisville’s parks system that includes four major parks linked by a park drive, a first-rate urban trail system, and a remarkable water trail, all tracing Floyds Fork, a classic Kentucky stream. This public/private project is unique in the region and unlike anything currently in development across the country—truly a city-shaping model which ensures no two visits are ever going to be the same, especially as just a few of the activities include; walking, hiking, playgrounds and spraygrounds (water parks), fishing, canoeing, paddling, mountain biking, cycling, community gardens, science camps, interpretive hikes, scout programs and even dog parks.

For information on The Parklands project call 502.584.0350 or visit


Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

Want to be outside rather than in a museum? Well look no further than the stunning natural woodland habitat of Bernheim a vast area featuring Kentucky native trees and wildlife. Explore groomed trails, gardens and fields. A great day out with the family or just if you want some alone time surrounded by the sights, sounds and smell of nature. For those on a budget, there is no fee for visitors Monday-Friday. While on Independence Day and Labor Day the fee ranges from $5-10.There is no charge for members.

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is situated at 2499 Clermont Rd, Clermont, Ky. 40110. For more information call 502.955.8512 or visit



Yew Dell Botanical Gardens

Searching for an idyllic locale to escape the city for a bit this summer? Well look, no further than The Yew Dell Botanical Gardens. This expanse of gorgeous gardens feature countless plants and beautiful grounds, allowing visitors to both stroll past colorful flower beds and experience numerous educational programs and community events. Additionally, Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, along with Slow Food Bluegrass, will host Brown Forman’s “Farm to Table Dinner” on June 14 at 6pm. This event will feature an outdoor meal complemented by melodious Bluegrass music.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens is located at 6220 Old LaGrange Road, Crestwood, KY 40014. For more information call 502.241.4788 or visit