Supplement to “Visit for Free”
The next best thing to travel freebies: travel cheapies—those B1G1 (buy-one-get-one, or more) free bargains, online discounts, rehearsals that are priced down but dressed up, and the unexpected deal that in some way goes the extra mile to save you money while providing lots of fun.
Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum in Bardstown’s Museum Row comprises five attractions: the Civil War Museum, Women’s Civil War Museum, Pioneer Village, War Memorial of Mid America Museum, and the Wildlife/Natural History Museum. See all five for $10 (a savings of $12 over combined individual ticket prices); children (ages 7-12) pay $4 (under 6 free). www.Civil-War-Museum.org, (502) 349-0291
Catch the splashy musical The Stephen Foster Story at the amphitheater in My Old Kentucky Home State Park during a dress rehearsal production and pay just $9 adults, $5 children. (The regular ticket prices are $23 adult preferred seating, $18 adults standard seating, $10 children.) Children age 5 and under are always free. This year’s dress rehearsal is scheduled for Friday, June 8. A second family-friendly show is always offered; this summer it is Seussical, a musical featuring Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination. There is also a combo ticket for show and tour of My Old Kentucky Home, $22.50 adults, $13 children.
www.StephenFoster.com, (800) 626-1563
Get the “All Access Pass” and save nearly 30 percent off the total admission to the National Corvette Museum, Beech Bend Park, Lost River Cave, the Kentucky Museum, the Historic RailPark and Train Museum, Riverview at Hobson Grove, and South Union Shaker Village. Enjoy one action-packed weekend or go at your own pace. Passes are good for one year from the date of purchase.
www.VisitBGKy.com/trip-planner/coupons-discounts, (800) 326-7465
The National Corvette Museum offers Dollar Days every December when Kentucky residents receive $1 museum admission—a savings of $9 off regular admission. NOTE: Plant tours must be arranged with the plant and there is a $7 fee. www.CorvetteMuseum.org, (800) 53-VETTE
The dinos are discounted during special days at Dinosaur World—the only place in the state where you can see 150 life-sized dinosaurs lumbering about: May—Moms are free on Mother’s Day with a fully paid child admission ($9.75); June—Dads are free on Father’s Day with a fully paid child admission; August—Double Dino Days (when you pay full admission price in August, you get a ticket to come back any day in December except Christmas Day). This is the only place in Kentucky to marvel at these beasts—some up to 80 feet in length and all poised in a lush landscape. www.DinosaurWorld.com (click Caves and Dinosaurs), (270) 773-4345
Russ Hatter’s Guided Downtown Walking Tour, covering the origins of Kentucky’s capital city and spiced up with tales of early historical figures and their homes, departs from in front of the Capital City Museum at 325 Ann Street. Tickets $5 age 12 and over. Advance reservations required. E-mail RussH@mis.net, (502) 696-9127
It’s free to enter the grounds of Kentucky’s oldest settlement at Old Fort Harrod, a full-scale replica of the fort built by James Harrod in 1775. There’s a free Picnic in the Park—bring a sack lunch and enjoy live entertainment—from noon–1 p.m. Fridays in June and July. It’s very affordable to take the experience to the next level and tour the fort ($5 adults, $3 children), a living-history museum with costumed interpreters going hands-on with pioneer crafts mid-April through October. Adding to the fun: the best climbing tree east of the Alleghenies, plus the oldest cemetery in the state, the Lincoln Marriage Temple housing the cabin where Abraham Lincoln’s parents wed, and the Mansion Museum (included with fort admission). www.HarrodsburgKy.com, (800) 355-9192
Pack the kids and their blankies and pillows into the family sedan and head to the Twin Hills Drive-In for a weekend double feature of first-run movies. Admission $5 adults; $2.50 children—just $10 per carload. The drive-in plans to be open by late April.
www.MyTwinHillsDriveIn.com, (800) 734-8011
KENTUCKY STATE PARKS
Besides free admission to and parking at Kentucky’s 51 state parks, there are deals and discounts to be had. Check the “deals” page at www.Parks.Ky.gov/deals for these and others: Spring Camping Discount, April 1-26, for guests who book online and enter the promo code “APR12,” or present the coupon found on the site at check-in. The savings? Twenty percent off camping fees.
The Golf Discount Card, sold at all 18 courses at Kentucky State Parks for $20-$25, provides substantially discounted fees that include cart. Cardholders get four discounted rounds, including cart, with the fifth round free and can make tee times up to five days in advance. The discounted rates are available weekdays and weekends. The card saves more than $50 for 18-hole courses and $30 for 9-hole courses—plus you get a 20 percent pro shop discount on merchandise.
Many of the parks have specific deals and discounts. For example, Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site, Wickliffe—comprising mounds, Mississippian Indian village archaeological site, visitor center, walking trail, gift shop, picnic areas, and a museum featuring exhibits of excavations, artifacts, and artwork. There’s a Family Fun Day on Saturday, June 9, with admission of just $5 adults and $4 children. www.Parks.Ky.gov, (270) 335-3681
Admission to The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky is free, but there is a nominal charge of $3 for the Kentucky Children’s Garden. Special events are a great bargain, too: the Tomato Festival, 2-4:30 p.m. August 12, admission $1, fetes America’s most popular homegrown food with tomato tastings and food samplings from local restaurants and culinary students. Trees, Trails, and Creatures, 4:30-6:30 p.m. October 13, admission $2, takes place at the Kentucky Children’s Garden with different creatures talking about their ecology and environment. Other activities: face painting and pumpkin painting.
www.ca.uky.edu/Arboretum, (859) 257-6955
See a model train layout at the Paducah Railroad Museum along with lots of railroad equipment, including tools, lanterns, train-dispatching controls, and a Thomas the Tank engine kids can operate themselves. Admission $3 adults, $1 ages 12 and under. www.PaducahRR.org, (270) 442-4032
The Lloyd Tilghman House & Civil War Museum is in the 1852 Greek Revival-style home that was once the residence of Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman. Exhibits, which highlight western Kentucky’s role in the war, include those on Tilghman’s military career, plus artillery, soldiers’ letters, and more. Admission $3 adults, $1 ages 6-12. www.Paducah.Travel, (270) 575-5477
To read the Kentucky Living April 2012 feature that goes along with this supplement, go to “Visit for Free”