You don’t have to break the bank to have fun in the unofficial capital of the Bluegrass. On the contrary, there’s a wealth of things you can do without cracking open your wallet– and we’ve compiled ten of them below.
Both the University of Kentucky Art Museum and the 21c Museum Hotel are free to enter. You can peruse some incredible local art in the downtown area, whether you’re on campus or on Main Street. There’s also the Living Arts and Science center, which hosts multiple art galleries free to the public (although if you’re willing to part with just five dollars, you’ll get admission into Lexington’s only planetarium.)
Classes and Workshops
Both one-time and recurring opportunities to learn a new skill or hobby (or simply connect with like-minded community members) are available in Lexington. Perhaps you’re interested in an online painting workshop, meditation instruction, or learning to speed read.
There are plenty of great music venues to go around in Lexington, and attendance at many of them won’t cost you a cent. At Central Bank’s Thursday Night Live, for instance, you’ll be treated to free live music from a variety of artists from spring to autumn (although bringing some cash along for tasty food and drinks is worth it.) In Castlewood Park near the Loudoun House is Northside Nights, and at the Moondance Amphitheater on Monarch Street is the Southland Jamboree concert series. You’re liable to find free local music at places like Lynagh’s Irish Pub and Tin Roof, although supporting local businesses by treating yourself to refreshments is always a plus. And while we may associate libraries with quiet, Central Library hosts events such as Jazz at the Library and Classical Music Sundays at the Farish Theater.
Lexington has over one hundred public parks, and those who enjoy hiking will find themselves at home on the trails at Raven Run, McConnell Springs, and Veterans Park; if you enjoy looking at all the native flora and fauna here in central Kentucky, consider a visit to the University of Kentucky Arboretum.
Speaking of parks– in early summer you’ll also find Free Friday Flicks at Jacobson Park, where you can view a free outdoor movie and enjoy other fun activities. A trip to Triangle Park at dusk will bring you to Fountain Films on Friday, and during the Halloween Season, the Freaky Flicks series takes place across various parks. Of course, you can also have a free movie night in courtesy of your local library thanks to services such as Kanopy and Hoopla.
Lexington Walking Tours
The Lexington Public Library has your back once again with its award-winning series of downtown Lexington audio walking tours. The tours vary in length and span multiple topics– there’s a Historic Sites tour, an African American Heritage tour, a tour focusing on local LGBTQ history, and more. Each audio tour comes with its own accompanying downloadable map and lists each of the spots you’ll be exploring.