I’m always looking for the most affordable things that I can do with my family. Whether it’s a Kids-Eat-Free promotion or discount day at the movie theater, I’m constantly on the hunt for good deals that help save our family money and give us the chance to do some fun things in and around the area. So here are five free(ish) things to do with the family in Owensboro.


I personally think we have one of the best libraries around, and I've had out-of-town friends say the same thing. The Daviess County Public Library has been my go-to spot for family activities since my kids were little. It started with the Baby/Toddler Storytime and has now evolved to us going to Lego Building events, Pokémon Trivia nights, and Mario Kart Tournaments. There is always something going on at the library, and best of all, it's free! In the month of July, they'll be having "The Quest for the Master Sword" event for ages 4-12 and "Magical Minute to Win It" for teens, and so much more. For more information, check out their website here. And of course, you can always sign up for a free library card where you can check out the latest family films or video games. Oh, and definitely check out the books, too!


Photo by Jorik Kleen on Unsplash
Photo by Jorik Kleen on Unsplash

Kids Bowl Free

The next best thing to free is free-ish, or things so close to free that you likely won't balk at the price tag. Most recently we discovered kidsbowlfree.com, which has partnered with over 1,500 bowling alleys to provide two free games of bowling to kids during specific days/hours throughout the Spring and Summer. You still need to rent the shoes, but it's one of those things where I say to myself, "Yeah, I'm spending a little bit, but I could be spending a whole lot more." And seeing my kids lose their minds over getting a strike is worth a few bucks, and I'm sure they'd tell you seeing me roll a gutter is worth even more.

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Midweek at the Malco

If you're a movie-theater buff like me but find the prices tough to swallow sometimes, Malco has you covered with their Midweek at the Malco promotion. Already a month into it, they'll continue showing family-friendly films through July on Wednesday mornings to the cost of $3 per ticket. Going to the theater for under $20 for a family of five is almost unheard of nowadays, so these types of promotions are absolutely awesome and much appreciated.

Kids Workshop

Another fun promotion put on is the Kids Workshop from Home Depot. On the first Saturday of the month from 9AM-noon, you can take your kids to in-store kids workshops where they'll be able to participate in a building activity. Getting to see your kids put their creativity to the test is a fun (and free) way to spend a Saturday morning and chances are, they'll want to go back the next month.


It couldn't be an article about free(ish) things to do in Owensboro without mentioning the parks. All you have to do is type in, "Things to do in Owensboro" and you'll see that we've got a lot of them. Whether it's down at the riverfront at Smothers Park or out and away from the city at Panther Creek, Owensboro has some really great parks to go and spend the afternoon at, where your kids can take in the splash area or the swings, or maybe even get some fishing done. All in all, you can't go wrong with any of the parks that Owensboro offers to families.


Photo by Ronan Furuta on Unsplash
Photo by Ronan Furuta on Unsplash

Sometimes you've just got to get into nature, and the hiking trails in Owensboro are some of the best around. Taking an afternoon to walk the Rudy Mines Trails with the family or heading to the Joe Ford Nature Park is a fun way to get out of town for a bit and breathe in the outdoors. As always, make sure you pack enough snacks and water for your family. And be sure to take your time and enjoy the hike!


Josh Corum
Josh Corum

Owensboro does a really great job of incorporating events that are free to attend like Friday After Five or the annual BBQ & Barrels Festival. Friday After Five is a lot of fun with different vendors set up and activities from different organizations, as well as live music and energy you won't find anywhere else on a Friday night. You don't have to spend a penny if you don't want to, and if you love people, you'll find plenty at these events.

There is no shortage of fun and affordable things to do in Owensboro, so get out there and experience any or all of them with the family and enjoy making some memories!


The long-awaited musical lineup is taking shape, as Friday After 5 prepares for a great 27th season with amazing bands, a couple of historic announcements, along with new community and tourism partnerships.
To keep up to date, visit www.fridayafter5.com and download the free app to follow the full lineup of events times, and stages for this wonderful family fun-filled “Art of Music” season from May 19, 2023 – Sept 1, 2023.


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