Things to du in the 502: Spring edition

Douglass Loop hosts one of Louisville’s busiest and most popular farmers’ markets. Photo courtesy of

Kaelin Gaydos

The weather is finally getting warmer and the upcoming daylight savings is yet another signal that spring is here. With this comes the reopening of many outdoor events and activities. Here are some top seasonal picks to check out.

Louisville Zoo Wild Lights

Wild Lights Louisville, one of the nation’s largest Chinese lantern festivals, will be returning again this spring. More than 70 creations will be on display, featuring 50,000 LED light bulbs, glowing moonlight swings, a gigantic kaleidoscope and more. The festival will be open Thursday-Sunday and will run from March 18 until June 5. Tickets (ranging from $17-$20, with children two and under free) must be purchased on their website beforehand. 

Thunder Over Louisville

Thunder Over Louisville will take place on Saturday, April 23 for the 2022 year. The theme for the event is “The Legend Returns.” The air show will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force. Later that evening, after the sun goes down, the city will be basked in the light of the iconic fireworks once more. Thunder Over Louisville is just one of the many activities that will take place as part of the Derby Festival this spring, although it’s arguably one of the more family-friendly and popular events. You can purchase your Pegasus pin or find more information on their website.

Dawn at the Downs

Churchill Downs will be continuing the popular Dawn at the Downs tradition, so far with only two attendee dates available (May 1 or May 2), although more may be added. Gates open at 6:30 a.m. (sunrise) and the event lasts roughly two hours. Attendees get the opportunity to watch the Derby and Oaks horses conduct their morning workout and train for the big race, all while listening to expert commentary and enjoying a gourmet breakfast. Tickets start at $41 each and can be purchased on their website.

Farmers’ Markets

Spring is perfect for farmers’ markets; fortunately, Louisville has variety. The most popular farmers’ markets are on Douglass Loop, St. Matthews and Westport Road Baptist. They all feature a variety of vendors, from produce stands, baked goods, handmade crafts and more. The majority of markets open Saturday mornings, with a few hosted on Sundays afternoons as well. This is a great opportunity to support your neighbor, local small business and your own health/well-being. You can find more information about exact times and dates here.

Berry Picking

Fruit and berry picking is a fun and classic spring activity. Huber, Gallrein, and Eckert’s Farm are some of the more popular orchards in the area. Eckert’s reopens April 9 and will kick off the season with some fun Easter activities. They will offer strawberry and blackberry picking in the spring, with more options to come in summer. Gallrein Farms will reopen mid-April with strawberry picking and a variety of seasonal vegetables. Their hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday and from 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. Huber’s will offer “U-Pick” strawberries starting mid-May, but they have other spring activities such as live music and art shows beginning earlier on.

There are an abundance of events going on across the city, for those with all sorts of interests and various ages. Be sure to check out local websites such as Louisville Family Fun and pay attention to various postings about Louisville for other happenings. There is so much to see, do and appreciate in our city!