- Downtown Cruise In
The Downtown Cruise In is a fun, FREE, event for any young car enthusiast. Cars of all makes and models will line Third Street in Downtown Owensboro—a sight that is sure to wow your little car lover. Just a block from the beautiful downtown riverfront, your family will be close to great shopping, family restaurants and of course, Smothers Park! The Cruise In is the first Saturday of the month through October from 3-7 p.m.
- Farmers Market
Every weekend at the Farmer’s Market is a great place for families to visit and shop together. You can enjoy food trucks, exercise classes and family entertainment most weekends. It is just a nice way to spend a Saturday morning! Check out our calendar for specific events.
- Diamond Lake
This hidden gem on Owensboro west wide, is perfect for summer adventure. Your family could camp, swim, fish, play a number of sports including disc golf, ride go karts, play mini golf, ride bumper and pedal boats, enjoy a show and much more. Take a step away from your daily routines and get outdoors with your family this summer!
- Lincoln Pioneer Village
Just a short drive across the bridge, the Rockport Lincoln Pioneer Village & Museum Heritage Days on May 19 and 20 is a unique, fun event for families. The village comes alive with two days of reenactors, period demonstrations, candle making for kids, music, food, and more. Other summer events at the Village include Celebrating Rockport’s Bicentennial on June 2 where visitors can enjoy a parade, music, food and more and the Abraham Lincoln Freedom Festival on July 7 where visitors can enjoy a car show, music, food and fireworks!
- Live on the Banks
Live on the Banks is a FREE outdoor concert series at Overlook Stage at Smothers Park in Downtown Owensboro, which will feature some of the finest local and regional performing arts and entertainers, every Saturday evening, May 19 through September 29. Live on the Banks is a FREE family event, open to the public, for all ages, and is presented by the City of Owensboro.
- Make a Lemonade Stand
Your kids are bored already and it’s only a few days into summer break? Encourage their creative and entrepreneurial spirit by helping them make a lemonade stand. You will need some type of stand, or just a table will do. Your little ones can make signs advertising your menu items as well as prices. Use this as a teachable moment and encourage them to think of how they could help others with their profits. But of course, the main component of any lemonade stand – the lemonade! Rather than using a cheap mix, why not make good, old-fashioned lemonade? Here is a recipe that we think will bring your little businessmen and women lots of sales and repeat customers:Ingredients:
5 lbs lemons
2 cups water
2 cups sugarInstructions
Cut lemons in half. Juice each lemon through a strainer into a large measuring cup. Keep juicing until you have 2 cups of lemon juice.
Pour water into a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in sugar. Continue cooking over heat until sugar is dissolved and liquid looks clear again.
Combine sugar solution with lemon juice. This is a lemonade concentrate. When ready to serve, add water to taste.
The lemonade concentrate can be frozen for later use. Just pour it into a gallon-sized ziploc bag and lay flat in the freezer. When ready to serve, thaw, and add water to taste.
- Create a Summer Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are the perfect way to get kids away from the TV or device and enjoying the outdoors. Take a look around your surroundings and see what your kids could ‘hunt’ for and collect in a basket. Outside it might be as simple as a twig, bark, stone, or acorn. This is the perfect rainy day activity too. Inside, you can have kids hunt for either household items—so they learn where the broom goes, and what drawer the tin foil is kept—or you collect items and hide them like Easter eggs.
Trunnell’s Family Fun-Acre includes activities to keep active toddlers happy, school-aged youngsters intrigued, and adults amazed. Every weekend this summer, Trunnell’s offers something fun and exciting at either their Hwy 431 or Hwy 54 markets. Check our calendar for full details!
- Camp Wheeze-Away
This is an educational day camp aimed at empowering children with asthma—and their parents—to develop the skills needed to manage their own asthma, make healthy choices and lead normal, physically active lives. During Camp Wheeze-Away, children participate in interactive educational activities, disguised as fun and games, which teach them how to manage their asthma. Educational classroom sessions regarding asthma and disease management are taught by volunteers including a physician, nurses, respiratory therapists and other health professionals. Exercise physiologists teach children how they can be physically active with asthma. This year’s camp will be held June 14-16 in a medically supervised environment at the Owensboro Health Healthpark. If you are interested in sending your child to Camp Wheeze-Away, please visit owensboroallergy.com to download the Camp Wheeze-Away Registration Packet.
- Movies on the River
The RiverPark Center’s Movies on the River event is always a family favorite—bring a lawn chair or comfy blanket, and enjoy the FREE movie outside on the RPC balcony. The movie begins at dusk and will be moved inside if bad weather occurs. Concessionswill be available; please do not bring coolers or pets. This year’s line up includes:
Coco – May 27
The LEGO Batman Movie – June 24
The Emoji Movie – July 29
Cars 3 – September 2
- Slip and Slide Into Summer
Create a slip and slide in your own backyard. Best on a slight hill or incline, you simply lay down a tarp and stake it down. Soap up the tarp with baby wash and the water hose – instant slip and slide!
- Wendell Foster Summer Autism Program
Now accepting applications, the program supports the refinement of social skills, life skills and community involvement for school age children through young adults.By using positive reinforcement techniques, our staff teaches students the skills necessary to be successful in everyday activities such as behaving properly in a restaurant, making friends, conversing with others, problem solving, and being a “good loser.” Instruction is individualized for each person by agreement among the student, family, and staff and occurs in our afterschool program and during our summer day camp. New skills are practiced in both classroom and community settings.For additional information, or if you have questions, contact Kristen Coomes, Autism Program Manager at 270-663-1460 or [email protected]
- Reid’s Orchard
Make a day of it at Reid’s Orchard this summer! Shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers and you have to get an apple slushie! Then your kids can play to their heart’s content at Reidland—ride on the Apple Express Train, ride a horse or pony, feed and pet a number of animals, mine for some precious gems, jump on the giant berry bouncer and more! Be sure to check out the Reid’s Orchard website for activity dates.
- Water Balloon Fun
There are lots of things kids can do with water balloons! Draw a target in the driveway and have them try to hit the bulls eye. Use beach towels to toss the balloons back and forth, trying not to bust the balloon. Hang the balloons from the swing set and have kids hit them like a piñata. Or just let them throw them at each other for an all-out water balloon war!
- ROMP Music FestivalCelebrating its 15th year, ROMP Festival will return to Owensboro’s Yellow Creek Park, a 150-acre facility famous for its nature trails, winding creek and fishing lake, and sweeping tree-lines, plays host to ROMP each year.A full line-up of artist-led instrument workshops takes place throughout the day, as ROMP artists interact with fans and players of all ages and skill levels. Other workshops and forums include songwriting, clogging and flat-foot dancing, yoga (all levels), and bluegrass jamming 101.
Additional offerings at ROMP Festival include organic and farm-to-table food vendors, craft vendors featuring Kentucky Proud products, and art installations.
What parents may not realize is that ROMP is a family-friendly festival! Kids 12 and under are free and stay entertained with our free activities, spray park and kids zone.
The Kids Zone this year will feature performances from The Melody Garden, a nature-based music and movement class for children. Kids can also enjoy crafts and harmonica and kazoo lessons from Art the Dude with a free instrument. Kids will love to meet Hootie the owl from Western Kentucky Raptor Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of birds of prey through public education. And they will enjoy an instrument petting zoo and dance lessons with Barry Lanham. Western Kentucky Medical Reserve Corp will host a build-your-own first aid kit lesson, and kids can take fiddle lessons with Owensboro’s own, Randy Lanham.
Festivalgoers are encouraged to camp, including families. Bring the kids and have a fun-filled family festival experience! Specific family-friendly campsites are available, which includes quiet hours from 10 p.m.-7 a.m.
ROMP Must Bring List for Kids:
• swim suit
• sandals (something they can be comfortable in and get muddy)
• hula hoop
• clothesline for towels and suits (if camping)
- Central City Lu-Ray Park
Central City’s Lu-Ray Park and Amphitheater opened last year and is already bringing in top-selling artists to the small Kentucky community. This open-air facility with its park-like setting includes a paved walking trail, outdoor amphitheater with seating of up to 7,500, a structured concession stand and restroom facilities, a Veterans memorial and a covered outdoor pavilion complete with water and electric.The walking trail, stretching .4 miles, was sponsored by Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital and has become a particular focal point of the park. On a warm day you will find people walking their dog, kids learning to ride bikes and elderly community members staying active. There is also two acres of open land where kids can just run, says Lu-Ray Executive Director, Melissa Recke.It was Mayor Barry Shaver’s vision for this $1.5 million facility to provide a place for families to come together for wellness with the new walking trail and to provide an atmosphere of unity within the community by offering events that bring family and friends together. He and the formed committee worked tirelessly to get this project for Lu-Ray going so that this gift is left for the next generation.
Last season, Lu-Ray opened with Sundance Head, a country and soul singer, and the season 11 winner of NBC’s “The Voice.” And while that was the biggest event Lu-Ray has seen, that is sure to be surpassed by contemporary Christian music artists Tenth Avenue North and Colton Dixon who will perform on June 9 at Lu-Ray.
“It’s going to be one big night of worship,” said Recke. “We are drawing concertgoers from six counties and they are going to see a world-class show, from the lighting and stage production to the talent the artists.”
Recke hopes that this concert will set a precedent for Lu-Ray, allowing the community and surrounding areas to become acquainted with the facility and look forward to future concerts that will be offered.
But concerts are not all Lu-Ray is offering the community. Central City’s Rods & Ribs event on June 2 will be moved from its downtown location to its new home at Lu-Ray. BBQ vendors, car exhibition, kids activities, inflatables and a BBQ competition will all take place in the park, culminating in a concert that night – The Beat Daddys with Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones.
A popular family event, Movies in the Park, begins June 29 with eight movies in this season’s line up. Concessions are always available at the movie and families are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair to watch new and classic family movies on the 30 x 60 ft. screen.
The amphitheater sits on the old property of the Lu-Ray Hotel, which was built in 1912 and was a major stopping point for travelers and workers on the railroad between Paducah and Louisville. Mirroring the design of the Lu Ray Hotel that once stood on the grounds, the front facade of the amphitheater has arches that are reminiscent of the historical building. According to Recke, during its heyday, the Lu Ray Hotel was a bustling place that hosted a lot of famous people who were traveling on the passenger trains that ran near the building. When planning the park and amphitheater, it seemed only fitting to return to the name that once drew crowds of people. It seems as though Lu-Ray is already living up to its namesake.
- Malco Summer Film Fest
Mark your calendar for Tuesdays in June and July for Malco’s Summer Film Fest. All movies are $2 per person and start at 10 a.m. Here is a list of this summer’s line up:June 5 – Boss Baby
June 12 – Chronicles of Narnia
June 19 – Captain Underpants
June 26 – Prince of Egypt
July 3 – Trolls
July 10 – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Long Haul
July 17 – Ferdinand
July 24 – Horton Hears a Who
July 31 – The Princess Bride
- Holiday Drive-In
The Holiday Drive-In, just across the blue bridge in Reo, Indiana, opened its first screen in 1955 and is now one of the oldest American drive-in theaters still in operation. Now with six screens, Holiday Drive-In offers 12 movies per night. Adults are $10 and kids ages 4 – 11 are $5 (cash only). You are welcome to bring your own coolers packed with your favorite snacks and soda, or a concession stand is available with hamburgers, hot dogs, soda, candy, ice cream and of course, popcorn!
- Museum School’s Out Summer Camps
Looking for a unique summer experience? Your kids will love the School’s Out Summer Camp hosted by the Kentucky Science Center and held at the Owensboro Museum of Science and History from June 11–15 and July 16–20, where they can explore a variety of engineering topics from LEGOS to projects-based engineering challenges! Camp costs $175 for the week and hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
- Summer Piano and Voice with Cathy Mullins
Have you or your child always wanted to learn to play piano but are concerned about the years and years required for such an endeavor?Why not try a short, five-week series of lessons designed for beginners from ages 8 to 80? Students can truly learn to play hundreds of songs by using just a few simple tricks of the trade along with some theory and basic technique strategies. Call 270-316-9203 or email [email protected] for details.
- Owensboro & Daviess County Parks
Owensboro is home to dozens and dozens of parks—27 to be exact and five of those have spray parks. Make it a point to visit all 27 this summer. This is free fun right in your own town! Have a picnic, fish in the stocked lakes, enjoy the variety of playgrounds—fun for your kids doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive!
- Annie, Jr. Presented by TWO
Based on “Little Orphan Annie,” this is the youth version of the delightful musical, ANNIE. Performed by local actors of grades 3-12, we know everyone will enjoy the show! Show times at Empress Theatre are: Friday and Saturday, June 22, 23, 29, 30 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, June 24 and July 1 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for students.
- Star Gazing 101
Learn about stargazing and spend a summer night identifying as many constellations as possible. Check out books from the library or research apps on your phone that help you identify constellations. Grab some blankets and lay in the back yard—we bet you lose track of time while taking in the beauty of a summer night sky.
- Dazzling Daylilies Festival with Balloons Over the Garden
Your kids will be in awe of the hot air balloons over the beautiful scenery at the Garden. Kids can enjoy a balloon glow, lots of activities, food, and music. The festival runs from June 22–June 30, but the Balloons over the Garden will take place 22–24.
- Visit Beaver Dam
Just 25 minutes south of Owensboro sits the city of Beaver Dam, the largest city in Ohio County, but a town that definitely still carries that small town feel. With over 130 businesses located within the city limits the downtown area still consists of mainly family owned restaurants, shops, and boutiques.“Because of tourism expansion, we have a real growth in local business,” said JoBeth Embry, Tourism Director for Beaver Dam. “Our community has embraced ‘shop local, stay local.’ They are spending their money here and as a result Beaver Dam is a booming small town.”The tourism expansion that Embry mentioned is in large part to the Beaver Dam Amphitheater. The theater can accommodate shows for up to 1,600 people on the main level with lawn-chair seating and the ability to expand to 5,000 with second-tier hillside. This amphitheater was a natural fit for Beaver Dam, as music is a major component of the community’s heritage. Bluegrass legend Bill Monroe and Grammy-winning Christian performer Jason Crabb and the Crabb Family were all born in Ohio County. Not to mention, Beaver Dam’s location is centrally located to several larger populated areas like Owensboro and Bowling Green, which has proven to draw large crowds.This summer, the Beaver Dam Tourism Commission has set out to hold an event every weekend. With a variety to offer, they encourage Owensboro to check out their 2018 summer line up.
Kicking off the season is two-time Grammy winner, singer-songwriter, John Prine, who will take the stage on May 11. The Prine concert has garnered the highest ticket sales for the amphitheater, selling to over 80 counties in Kentucky, nearly 40 states in the US and even ticket sales in Canada and Australia.
The Oak Ridge Boys, a community favorite with their four-part harmonies and upbeat songs, will be returning to Beaver Dam on June 1 as well as hometown hero, Jason Crabb, who will take the stage June 23.
With something for everyone, Beaver Dam hopes to make their July 28 event, ‘80s Rocks the Dam, an annual event. This year’s concert will feature SKID ROW, Great White and Vixen.
Kentucky artist Tyler Childers, who will open for John Prine on May 11, will return to headline a show on August 18, with Aubrie Sellers opening. And country artist Lee Brice with Morgan Evans and Dylan Schneider will take the stage August 25.
But Beaver Dam will be offering more than just concerts this summer. The annual Strawberry Festival is a Memorial Day weekend celebration that kicks off the summer season for the Ohio County town. Festivalgoers can expect a parade, car cruise in, carnival rides and an old-fashioned baking contest with—you guessed it—strawberries, and this year’s big event, a Nascar Experience.
Sparks in the Park is the town’s Independence Day celebration and will be held the first Saturday in July. Night Shift, Jericho Woods and Andy Brasher will perform that evening, followed by fireworks. The Back to School Bands Bash on August 11 will end the summer event list, with inflatables and lots of great music.
And rounding out the summer lineup is Beaver Dam’s Sounds on Second, a concert series that will alternate Friday nights in downtown until local high school football season begins. Free concerts will be played in the downtown area until 9:30 p.m. and local businesses will stay open late to accommodate the concertgoers.
“With the resurgence of downtown Beaver Dam, Sounds on Second will be an awesome event to look forward to every other Friday,” JoBeth said. “We are a small town with big things happening.”
- Joe Ford Nature Center Camp
If you love learning about and being surrounded by nature, then this nature camp is for you! All Nature Camp programs are offered at no charge; however, a $5 donation per child, per class session is requested to be able to continue Joe Ford’s wish of offering nature-related programs to our community. Sessions are every Wednesday in June and July. For ages 7 – 10, sessions are from 9 – 11 a.m. For ages 11 – 14, sessions are from 1 – 4 p.m. Session topics include planting a garden, pond life, pollution and animals, butterflies, animal tracking and more. Register for the Nature Camp by filling out the form online or by contacting Deborah at (270) 344-0596 or email to [email protected]
Sing into summer with Kindermusik at the Owensboro Symphony Academy! Kindermusik is the world’s leading provider of music-based education for children from birth through age 7. Join licensed educator, Dedra McDole, and a community of parents and children who use the power and joy of music-making to help children learn and grow during the years most critical to brain development. You will watch your little ones blossom and grow as they interact with other children and engage in movement, rhythm, and vocal activities that develop far more than just music skills. Classes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and big kids through age 7! Register online at Kindermusik.com.
- Tiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies Traveling Exhibition at Owensboro Museum of Science & History
Bring your little ones to OMSH to learn about how dinosaurs raised their tiny titans. Tiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies is a hands-on dinosaur experience for the whole family. Kids can dig for eggs, dress up like a parent dinosaur to brood their nest, and feel the texture of dinosaur eggs. Cute babies and fun dino facts will keep everyone entertained on your next trip to the museum. Babies grow fast so make sure you catch them while they are here, through September 2, 2018! Free with Museum admission and always free to Museum members.
- Soap Box Derby
The Soap Box Derby is a youth racing program, which has run nationally since 1934. World Championship finals are held each July at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. Owensboro’s Lions Club holds its own Soap Box Derby at a track at Ben Hawes park. A Spring Rally Race will be held on May 26 – 27; local race on June 9; and a Summer Rally Race on August 11 – 12. This is a fun event to for your little race enthusiast! The Lions Club even has extra cars if your child is interested in participating.
- Owensboro Parent Kids Triathlon
The kid’s triathlon, presented by Independence Bank, has proven to be one of our favorite events here at Owensboro Parent. It is inspirational to see such young kids complete a task that many adults have never even attempted. I have found myself getting emotional watching on race day or even watching footage after the event.This summer, we want to invite all families to come out and cheer on your child as they complete a three-part event – trust us, you are sure to be inspired! At Owensboro Parent, we don’t care about speed or what place you finish. We want to promote health in a way that the whole family can benefit. For those of you who have never been to a triathlon, we hope to provide you with an overview of the event so that you will know what to expect on race day.Chip Timing
We are excited to announce that Gateway Urgent Care has provided chip timing for this year’s race. This means that each racer will wear a strap on his/her leg to track their progress and provide their finish time in the race. This will provide immediate feedback as to the racer’s finish and split times. At the end of the race these results will be available immediately and then available online. There will be a touch screen kiosk on-site and a print out with the racers information for them to take home.
The swim is the official start of the race. Swimmers will be given numbers and lined up in a single file line. The swim will be a stagger start, meaning that they will start in five-second intervals. Their official start time will not begin until they enter the water.
Swimming can seem a little scary to those who don’t do it regularly. Our event is designed for all levels. We encourage you to bring your life jacket, floaties, or borrow one of our kickboards if that helps. We will have lifeguards available in the pool as well. The 4 to 6-year-old participants will just do one length of the pool. The 7 to 10-year-old participants will do three lengths. At each end they will duck under the lane or climb over to head back down the pool. The 11-14 year old participants will complete 5 lengths.
When they finish the swim, they will leave the pool and head to the transition area. This is where they will prepare for the bike portion of the course. They will put on their helmet (required to participate), shoes and head out on their bike.
The bike course will be manned with volunteers and color-coded arrows directing racers on the course. Course maps and videos can be found on owensboroparent.com/triathlon.
Ryan Clark from Legends shared with Owensboro Parent that “it is important to inflate tires to the recommended pressure and to always check your brakes before riding your bicycle.”
After completing the bicycle course, participants will enter the transition area, park their bike, and head out to the run course. Again, there will be volunteers and colored arrows directing runners on the course.
We hope to see you there on July 21 for the third annual Owensboro Parent Kid’s Triathlon. Until then, get outside, take a bike ride, jump in the pool and take a walk or a jog with your child.