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How to have Family-Friendly Fun in Kentucky

Skip the bourbon and horse races: explore a labyrinthine wonder and spend the night in a teepee in the Bluegrass State

A family roasts marshmallows and warms up around a campfire at Wigwam Village in Kentucky, two wigwams behind them

Yes, Kentucky is known for its bourbon, tobacco and horse races, but behind all those adult vices there are a ton of family-friendly adventures to be had. We explore a few fun, sometimes unexpected, options in and around Bowling Green, KY, each with its own claim to fame. 

Explore Mammoth Cave

Only about a 10-minute drive from Cave City is Mammoth Cave National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in central Kentucky. The world’s longest known cave system stretches more than 640 kilometres—hence its name. It’s gloomy, compelling and impressively massive. Explore its labyrinthine wonder on one of the many tours offered, with varying difficulty levels and durations. The easy Frozen Niagara Tour is perfect if you’re with younger children or simply not sure how you feel about deep, dark underground caverns. Or, if you’re up for it, embark on the very strenuous but rewarding Grand Avenue Tour, a four-hour adventure that takes you into the dramatic depths of the system—narrow canyons, huge underground hills and beautiful sulfate mineral-lined passages.

Stay in a Wigwam Village

After a day exploring Mammoth Cave, why not retire to “the most unique motel in all of Kentucky”? (Self-appointed, but seeing as you spend the night in a teepee, who are we to argue?) Wigwam Village Inn #2 in Cave City was completed in 1937 (the first village was built in Horse Cave, KY, in 1935, but sadly is no longer). The 15 wigwams, complete with their original 1930s hickory and cane furniture, are arranged in circular formation on the grounds surrounding a large playground for the little ones. And with A/C and heating, cable television and in-room coffee, you don’t have to abandon comfort for uniqueness.

Witness the Corvette Empire

Watch “America’s favourite sports car” being assembled from start to finish at the GM Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, KY—the exclusive home of the vehicle for more than 30 years. Then spend a couple of hours exploring the memorabilia, beloved models and overall nostalgia on display within the many exhibits in the National Corvette Museum. Take a whirl in the driving simulator, test your knowledge in a series of interactive quizzes and tour the Skydome that houses more than 30 of the beauties along with the Corvette Hall of Fame. Across the street, you can check out the 200-acre Motorsports Park, the new high-performance facility owned by the Museum, and (depending on the facility’s schedule and availability) perhaps take a ride around the track.