Welcome to summer, where baseball is king! Unfortunately baseball can be an incredible slog until after the All-Star Break. Summer is also typically one of the most boring times for tv shows. At least this year we have American Gods and Game of Thrones to get us through, especially if you’ve already breezed through House of Cards. The summer movie outlook is good so that’s something to look forward to. As much fun as movies and tv shows are, summer is about being outside and enjoying the great outdoors before we get shut in by the miserable cold of winter. Sometimes the normal outdoors stuff can become monotonous, so here are some potentially different things you can do to enjoy the great outdoors this summer:
Do an obstacle course race.
This past weekend the Tough Mudder was in Sparta, KY. I participated in my third one and believe me when I say that if I can do one of these, you can do one. The training isn’t really that much fun, but once you’re out on the course and start doing the obstacles it becomes a lot of fun. The feeling you get when you cross the finish line, especially on the first one, is one of the best feelings you’ll get. Even though Tough Mudder KY has come and gone there are still plenty of opportunities to participate in other mud/obstacle course races. Here are a few, of varying difficulties and lengths, relatively close to places in Kentucky:
Tough Mudder: Nashville- 5K August 12, Full and Half September 16,17
Spartan Race: Louisville Race- July 22, Nashville Race- September 23
Rugged Maniac: Southern Indiana- September 2
Urban Trials: Louisville, KY-July 22, Cincinnati, OH- August 5
Insane Inflatable 5K: Louisville, KY- June 17, Cininnati, OH-September 2
Go to a music festival.
Music festivals are just great. Even when the majority of the bands are one you may have never heard of, there are few things better than just hanging out and listening to a day’s (or two or three) worth of good music. There is usually some pretty good food at these festivals too. In Kentucky we are fortunately situated near a number of good music festivals. Here are a few that can help fill up a weekend or two:
W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival: Henderson, KY June 14-17
Forecastle: Lousville, KY July 14-16
Moontower Music Festival: Lexington, KY August 26
Go for a hike.
Kentucky has, for my money, one of the best state park systems in the country. Admittedly I’ve only hiked in eight states so my sample size isn’t all-inclusive. Regardless, I love hiking in Kentucky. I grew up in the western part of the state so I started hiking the nice flat terrain of the Pennyrile Forest State Park and Land Between the Lakes. In the central part of the state you have great hiking at Natural Bridge State Park and even locally in Lexington at Raven Run. Over in the eastern part of the state there are much more hilly areas to hike such as Carter Caves State Park and Pine Mountain State Resort Park. The point is, there are tons of great places to go hike and it doesn’t cost anything to get out and enjoy the scenery. While you’re at it, you might want to rent a kayak or canoe and enjoy the water. To find some good hiking near you check out the Kentucky State Parks site and there’s also a handy app called AllTrails which shows trails near you.
Go to a baseball game
Yeah I know I said earlier that baseball is a slog until after the All-Star Break, but baseball games are enjoyable and reasonably affordable. Kentucky has some fun minor league teams to check out: Lexington Legends, Louisville Bats, Bowling Green Hot Rods, and Florence Freedom. There are also two really great ball parks to check out with Great American Ball Park (Cincinnati Reds) and Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals). Grab some peanuts, cracker jacks, and whatever other snacks you want and head out to enjoy the American pastime.