Memorial Day Weekend Road Trip Idea – The Louisville Slugger Museum
Even if you're not a baseball fan, a trip the Louisville Slugger Museum can be a unique and enjoyable trip for the whole family.
My family and I took a tour of the museum over spring break back in March. The weather, at the time, was anything but spring-like which left us looking for something that would get us out of the house and prevent us from tearing each other's hair out. My wife suggested the trip to Louisville based on information she received from a friend whose family had recently taken (and enjoyed) the tour.
One of the great things about the trip is that it's just the right distance, far enough to feel like you're getting out of town (which you obviously are), but not so far that it's longer than the kids attention span. From Evansville, you're there in roughly an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes (depending on how closely you obey the speed limit on I-64).
The museum offers a gift shop where you can buy various knick-knacks like keychains, shirts, hats, or even have your own personalized Louisville Slugger made, along with a screening room where a short film plays on a continuous loop that features various baseball players both past and present describing the feeling they get when they make perfect contact with a pitch and send the ball sailing across the field.
There's also a couple of indoor batting cages where you can use the same type of Slugger bat your favorite player uses and test your skills against 50 mile per hour pitching machine. Based on my performance in the cage, my skills are sorely lacking.
The real draw of the museum is the factory tour, where a tour guide takes you on a stroll through the actual part of the factory where the infamous bats are made. While you're free to stroll through previously mentioned portions of the museum free of charge, the following admission fees are required for the tour:
- Adults (13-59): $11
- Seniors (60+): $10
- Kids (6-12): $ 6
- Kids 5 and under are FREE
Tours take place every 30 minutes beginning at 9am Louisville time (Eastern) Monday's through Saturday's until 5pm, with Sunday tours beginning at 11am and running until 5pm. I'm one of those people who enjoying finding out how things are made, and this tour was a fascinating glimpse at how workers craft these iconic bats that have been used by everyone from Babe Ruth and Ted Williams to Derek Jeter and Josh Hamilton.
Without giving too much away, the bats come from white ash and maple trees grown in New York and Pennsylvania and begin their journey to becoming a homerun hitter looking like an extra large rolling pin. From there, they're formed into the recognizable bat shape we know today using lathes that spin the wood at lightning speed while another part of the machine files it down into shape. A much quicker way than the company started making bats in 1884, when they shaped each bat by hand. The remainder of the tour shows how the bats are sanded and stained before having the famous Louisville Slugger logo literally burned into them.
If you're itching to get out of the house during the upcoming, three day, Memorial Day Weekend, a trip to the Louisville Slugger Museum will be well worth it. For more information on the museum including a special exhibit featuring several major league ballparks replicated out of Lego's, visit them online.