So, the kids are on summer vacation. You want to plan outdoor activities to enjoy the sunny weather but now we are in the midst of a heat wave. If you don’t have a pool in the back yard, it can be tricky to find family outdoor activities to enjoy with these temperatures. That is why we have put together this post, to share a few ideas of fun things you can do with the kids, without breaking the bank.

1. Splash Parks

If you don’t frequent your local parks often, you may not realize that many parks have added splash pads or other water park features. This is a fun (and free) way you can keep cool while enjoying the sunshine!

You can find a list of splash parks in and around Louisville here.

If you reside in the east end of Louisville, you might want to check out The Maples Park in Crestwood. They have a beautiful playground and a very nice splash pad.

(image of Beckley Creek Park)

2. Public Swimming Centers

Some parks have swimming pools on site. Generally, there is a small admission fee, but it generally is not much, and you get to spend the whole at the pool!

In Jeffersontown there is Plainview Swim Center which includes amenities like:

  • 15-meter junior Olympic size pool
  • Adult pool
  • Children’s playground
  • Children’s pool
  • Concession

Plus, children 2 and under get in free!

Another park with a great pool and an amazing new splash pad is E.P. Tom Sawyer Park.

(image of Rough River Lake)

3. Lakes

Not everyone knows that there are quite a few beaches in Kentucky. We may not have the ocean, but we have plenty of beautiful lakes! The Kentucky State Parks website has even listed which parks have swimming access.

Granted, taking a trip to the lake takes a little more planning than a trip to the pool, but it is fun to try something different every now and then. If you wanted to make a weekend out of it, many of the parks offer camp grounds or lodging!

Parks with Beaches

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park
Lake Barkley State Resort Park
Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park
Barren River Lake State Resort Park
Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park
Lake Malone State Park
Nolin Lake State Park
Carr Creek State Park
Green River Lake State Park

Rough River Dam State Resort Park


So, there are a few ways that we have found that you can beat the heat for cheap! We would love to hear from you, do you know of any hidden gems?

Please connect with us on Facebook and Instagram and tell us your thoughts!

Check out some of our other blog posts here, for tips and tricks for single parents, budget hacks, inspiration and more information about what we do here at SPARC Hope.