By Colleen Cornelius, Doctoral Candidate, School Psychology program
Ahhh, summer – the perfect time to sit back, relax, and rejuvenate after a busy school year punctuated with stressful days and long nights of homework and school activities. While it’s certainly relaxing to get caught up on this season’s reality TV shows or playing video games, getting a little Vitamin D from the sun and some physical activity are actually ways to boost your energy, lift your spirits, and offer you a way to socialize with friends – a trifecta for washing away the school-year stress! Even if ocean waves or rocky mountain hideaways aren’t nearby, there are some hidden gems in Central Kentucky offering fresh air and plenty of steps per day this summer, with little-to-no cost to your piggy bank.
- Big Band & Jazz Series on Tuesdays in June at the Moondance Amphitheater or in July and August at Ecton Park (https://www.lexingtonky.gov/big-band-jazz)—Bike there and enjoy some great music under the stars.
- Free Friday Night Flicks at Jacobson Park (https://www.lexingtonky.gov/free-friday-flicks)–Walk about the festivities (petting zoo, games, etc.) and lay out a blanket for a good movie every Friday in June.
- Woodland Art Fair at Woodland Park (https://www.lexingtonky.gov/woodland-art-fair). This free annual event will happen August 18th and 19th and includes more than 200 local, regional, and national artists’ work on display to walk about and enjoy.
- Living Arts and Science Center Bike Prom (https://lasclex.org/event/sgt-peppers-bike-prom/)—This year’s event will be on August 18th and the theme is Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Attendees are encouraged to don their groovy duds while biking point-to-point downtown for rewards and giveaways at local businesses.
- Ravens Run Nature Preservatory (https://www.lexingtonky.gov/raven-run-nature-sanctuary) —This nature sanctuary offers walking trails through wooded terrain covering 734 acres and 10 miles. It’s located just outside of Lexington and is a perfect spot for hiking and wildlife viewing.
- The Legacy Trail (https://www.lexingtonky.gov/legacy-trail)— This 12-mile paved trail is ideal for biking and walking and stretches from the North Side YMCA to the Kentucky Horse Park Campgrounds.
- The Arboretum (https://arboretum.ca.uky.edu) —This setting offers opportunities for a a brisk walk, a self-guided nature tour, or a duck into a shady grove right by UK’s campus.
- Veterans Park (https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7000473/veterans-park) —Designed for hiking and beginner mountain biking, this almost 7-mile loop is located off of Tates Creek Road and is perfect for a sunny day when shade is in order!
- Jacobson Park Pedal Boats (https://www.lexingtonky.gov/jacobson-park). Pedal boats can be rented at a minimal price for two- and four-people. It’s a relaxing way to enjoy the sunshine and feed the Lexington ducks!
- If you are into trails, check out this local list. There are enough to choose one a week this summer to try! (https://www.lexingtonky.gov/trails)