N1601P37003COWENSBORO, Ky. (3/24/16) — A working farm where kids can climb on the tractors, one of the nation’s largest handicap-accessible playgrounds and a performing arts center with summer camps are the many reasons why being a kid in Owensboro is fun.

Owensboro is known for its seasonal festival season—more than 20 are on the calendar from May through September—and there are plenty of things for kids to do when coming here with family.

Here are 10 ideas for kid-friendly entertainment that are uniquely Owensboro.

1. Smothers Park: A $120 million waterfront redevelopment set aside 5 blocks for this park on the Ohio River. There are multiple performance venues, a riverside promenade for quiet strolls or more serious exercise, benches and swings for watching the river traffic and a cascading fountain from the designers of the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

2. Lazy Dayz Playground: The centerpiece of Smothers Park and one of the largest fully handicapped-accessible playgrounds in the country. The playground’s walking surfaces feature a special soft ground material for safety. Water plays a big role with fountain shows, a waterfall and Ohio River views. A 30-foot elevated walk offers a route through trees inspired by the city’s record-size sassafras tree, while a splash area offers a chance for cooling off.

3. RiverPark Center: At one end of Smothers Park is this regional performing arts and civic center. RiverPark entertains and educates nearly 200,000 people, including 25,000 children, through almost 800 events each year. A special treat for kids is Summer Camp at RiverPark, a series of four week long, all day camps from June through August that inspire kids to be creative in the performing arts. Learning the secrets of magic, writing a play, acting classes and creating visual art are camp themes. Info: http://riverparkcenter.org/education-2/summer-camp-2016/

4. Owensboro Museum of Science and History: Across the street from RiverPark are this gathering spot, learning center and family-friendly entertainment experience. Kids enjoy unique hands-on exhibit areas and displays depicting local history. Learn about government in the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center or experience Owensboro's NASCAR connection with a cruise through The Speedzeum motorsports gallery. The Coal Mine Gallery lets you tour inside a replica of a local mine and learn about how miners spent their days. Info: http://www.owensboromuseum.org

5. Trunnell’s Family Farm: The fourth generation of the Trunnell family operates a 1,600-acre farm that has grown into a family entertainment destination. A Family Fun Acre and special events nearly every weekend from spring through fall make this working farm an entertainment attraction, too. There is enough to do for an entire day and into the evening with live entertainment and one of the region’s largest corn field mazes and pumpkin patches. You can even rent a bonfire for a family weenie roast. Just bring the songs to sing and have fun. Info: http://www.trunnellsfarmmarket.com/index.php

6. Western Kentucky Botanical Garden: More than a dozen gardens are spread across 13 acres with much of it focused on kids learning experiences. A butterfly garden, pizza garden and a raised vegetable garden make up the Moonlite Children’s Garden. Kids can play games in The Playhouse while learning about cooking with freshly picked vegetables from the Moonlite garden. Info: http://wkbg.org

7. Yellow Creek Park: Nestled along the wooded banks of Yellow Creek, the 152-acre park features hiking trails, multi-purpose sports areas, a Pioneer Village, and several outdoor pavilions. Other kid friendly features include a swinging bridge, a refurbished one-room schoolhouse, a 7-acre lake, and multiple walking trails. Info: http://www.daviesscountyparks.com/YCAmenities.html

8. Edge Ice Center: Kentucky’s only municipal ice arena and open year round for public skating. Lessons and rental skates are available. So are full concessions and a pro shop. The Edge has over 42,000 square feet with an ice surface of 17,000 square feet. Info: http://www.owensboroparks.org/?page_id=7924

9. Friday After 5: Smothers Park, the Owensboro Convention Center and RiverPark Center are locations for six venues of entertainment occurring each Friday for 16 weeks. The Kroger Street Fair venue hosts a different family-fun event each week. The fun begins at 5 p.m. and admission is free. Info: Fridayafter5.com

10. Parish Picnics: From May through the end of September, the area’s Catholic churches celebrate tradition and raise a bit of money, too, at 22 parish barbecue picnics that serve tasty chicken, pork, mutton and burgoo to all comers. All are within a 45-minute radius of downtown Owensboro. The cooking teams erect pits that can be 50 feet or more long and the cooking starts before sunup. Near the pits are bubbling vats of burgoo, another signature dish of Daviess County that is part of the tradition. Info: http://visitowensboro.com/category/listings/what-to-do/signature-attractions/

Find out more about Owensboro and Daviess County at visitowensboro.com or call (270) 926-1100. Stay informed of Owensboro events and happenings through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VisitOwensboro.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Beck Glenn | Visit Owensboro

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