25 Best & Fun Things to Do in Ashland (KY)

Ashland is a beautiful city located in the northeast part of Kentucky in Boyd County in the United States.

It is recognized as the most populous city in Boyd County after having a population of twenty-one thousand, six hundred and twenty-five after the 2020 census.

The city forms the Tri-state Territory with Huntington, Ohio, and Ironton. Ashland is a perfect destination for a memorable getaway with friends and family.

There are quite some fun things to do in Ashland, KY. Ashland features attractions like Central Park, Port of Ashland, Historic Walking Tour, Garden Roller Rink, Poage Landing Days, Avalon New Age Shop, and more.

Planning a trip to Ashland? Check out the best things to do in Ashland, KY.

Things to do in Ashland, KY

1. Visit Garden Roller Rink

Garden Roller Rink
Credits: Annette Shaff / Shutterstock

Garden Roller Rink is one of the top attractions to visit in Ashland with your family and friends.

The Garden Roller Rink is a family-owned and operated business founded in 1986, which has become a favorite place for several families.

The skating rink is characterized by several mirror walls and disco lighting, which contributes immensely to the appearance of the place.

There are numerous private spaces available for rentals for gatherings and parties; you can hang out here with your loved ones on a Friday night.

Address: 5656 US-60, Ashland, KY 41102, United States

2. Explore Downtown Ashland

Downtown Ashland
Credits: Corey Graese [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia Commons
Downtown Ashland
Ashland comprises an active and vibrant downtown region that is backed by Winchester Avenue.

This region has an exceptional mix of historic architectural structures and numerous independently owned restaurants and shops.

Commonly referred to as the Ashland Commercial Historic District, the downtown extends over twenty acres featuring more than eighty structures built between 1850 and 1940.

Downtown Ashland is a venue for the First Friday Fair held during the summer season with lots of children’s activities, a unique car cruise, and live music. You can also join the mindblowing Historical Walking Tour; it is worth the time and effort. This destination is one of the best places to visit in Ashland, KY.

Address: Ashland, KY 41101, United States

3. Highlands Museum & Discovery Center

Highlands Museum & Discovery Center
Credits: Dennis Adams / Public Domain
Highlands Museum & Discovery Center

Highlands Museum & Discovery Center is an eclectic attraction that is made up of different museums.

You can begin by learning about the fascinating past of the Tri-State region, starting from the era of Prehistoric Native Americans to the World Wars.

There is a special hall for the rich history of the area’s country music, including US Route 23 and famous local artists like The Judds and Billy Ray Cyrus.

Highlands Museum & Discovery Center features an extensive collection of exhibits like the Discovery Cavern, local aviation history, ancient medical artifacts, and satellites & aerospace.

The Center offers classes, tours, and activities for both children and adults, allowing everyone to participate in one thing or the other.

Address: 1620 Winchester Ave, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

4. Port of Ashland

Port of Ashland
Credits: TeodorLazarev / Shutterstock

Port of Ashland is a waterfront park. The city solely depended on its stream for survival, but now the territory is a quiet and peaceful place.

This spot is suitable for various activities such as fishing, so if you like casting lines and waiting patiently to make a great catch, this place is for you.

The famous Summer Motion Festival of Ashland is held at this spot, attracting many famed stars to come and perform here.

Later in 2020, a duplicate of monumental sculptures was displayed at Port of Ashland and designed by Ginés Serrán-Pagán, a world-class Spanish artist.

It includes Vulcan, symbolizing the industry and the function of metals in the city’s history; Genesis, representing the river and the rebirth of Ashland and Venus, the culture and people of the city.

The Port of Ashland offers a soothing atmosphere with a pavilion, making it an excellent location for picnics with loved ones.

Address: 50 15th St, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

5. Poage Landing Days

Poage Landing Days
Credits: Poage Landing Days / Facebook
Poage Landing Days

Poage Landing Days are one item that shouldn’t be absent on your list of top things to do in Ashland, KY. It is a popular festival in the town.

This fair is usually held annually on the third weekend of September, extending for three consecutive days.

The festival was awakened in 1990 to mark the coming of the Poage Family in 1786 to what is currently known as Ashland after departing from the Shenandoah Valley through the Cumberland Gap.

Poage Landing Days involves live music presentations on the 16th Street stage, a vintage car cruise, and Carnival rides.

The festival features performances by talented circus entertainers, the Southern Fried Cone Fest, and free activity tents for kids. You can stop by any of the numerous vendors for some delicious traditional meals or drinks.

Address: 10699 US-60, Ashland, KY 41102, United States

6. Paramount Arts Center

Paramount Arts Center
Credits: Ashland CTC/ Flickr
Paramount Arts Center

Paramount Arts Center is strategically located numerous blocks from Winchester Ave, but it is also easy to spot from afar.

As an important performing arts center, Paramount Arts Center was established in 1913, making it one of the oldest movie theaters in the region.

The Center claims a simpler scale due to the Mighty Depression; the initial plan for a gigantic theater was not carried out.

Paramount Arts Center shut down in the early 1970s. The Greater Ashland Foundation later acquired it before it was transformed into a multipurpose performing arts facility.

The Center offers terrific entertainment activities such as dramas, music concerts, Broadway, community performances, and ballets.

Paramount Arts Center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of the best places to visit in Ashland, KY, as it’s popular among lovers of musicals and plays.

Address: 1300 Winchester Ave, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

7. Central Park

Central Park
Credits: Dan Thornberg / Shutterstock

Several attractions offer visitors many fun things to do in Ashland, KY, and Central Park is a perfect example.

Central Park is located at the bottom of a ridge made of wood just beside the downtown district; the community purchased it in 1900 by a Coal and Manufacturing Company, the Kentucky Iron. About forty-seven acres were used for a horse racing trail in the 1920s.

Central Park is a true treasure of the city, also known as “Ashland’s Crowl Jewel.” The Park is of great significance to the town with hardwood trees and a beautiful pond in the shape of Kentucky State.

There is a bundle of six burial mounds dating back to 800BCE and 100CE; the prehistoric Adena culture reportedly left them behind.

Central Park offers dozens of sports and outdoor activities through its large open area, which is ideal for golfing, soccer, running, and so on.

There are baseball fields, a dog park, fitness centers, and a beautiful environment perfect for picnicking.

Address: Ashland, KY 41101, United States

8. Sbarro

Credits: www.petrovvladimir.ru / Shutterstock

Sbarro is a restaurant founded by Carmela and Gennaro Sbarro in 1956. Sbarro began when Carmela prepared delicious slices of pizzas for workers who needed a fast meal. Slowly, it became popular within the region, creating a second branch.

Initially, the restaurant specialized only in pizzas, but the most delicious salad, pasta, and the famous XL NY Slice were added and brought to six hundred & thirty eateries in about twenty-eight nations.

They offer a menu featuring meals like Spaghetti & Meatballs, Baked Ziti, Caesar Salad, Garden Salad, Ny Pepperoni Pizza, Supremo Pizza, Sausage Pizza, Pepperoni Stromboli, Chicken & 4 Cheese, and more.

Address: 500 Winchester Ave, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

Kentucky holds some cool attractions and activities. Check out our guides on things to do in Bardstownthings to do in Berea, and things to do in Bowling Green for a memorable time in Kentucky.

9. Ashland Town Center

Ashland Town Center
Credits: michaeljung / Shutterstock

If you want to go on an excitingly stress-free shopping spree, shopping at Ashland Town Center is one of the best things to do in Ashland, KY.

Ashland Town Center is an indoor mall established in 1989. It houses over seventy outlets offering various goods and services.

This mall caters to all your needs through products from popular brands like Victoria’s Secret, TJ Maxx, JCPenney, American Eagle, GameStop, Claire’s, Kay Jewelers, and more.

You will find booming small companies in the mall, such as the Superhero Creamery offering a wide variety of frozen yogurt and ice cream, plus custom t-shirt prints, toys, collectibles, and comics.

After a long time of shopping, you can stop by any of the restaurants in the mall, such as China Max, Charley’s Cheesesteaks, and Sbarro, or catch a movie at Cinemark Movies 10.

Other popular stores include Finish Line, American Eagle Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret, The Children’s Place, TJ Maxx, Buckle, BELK, and more.

Address: 500 Winchester Ave Ste 136, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

10. The Charles and Betty Russell Park Hiking Trail

Charles and Betty Russell Park Hiking Trail
Credits: BalanceFormCreative / Shutterstock

The Charles and Betty Russell Park Hiking Trail is a location that doesn’t get the kind of attention and recommendations it deserves.

It is a chain of trails that travels for 2.5 miles along the ridge made of wood soaring behind the town. The area comprises fifty acres given by the Russell family to Ashland City with the main aim of conserving this charming natural region for the public.

Visitors can reach the major trailhead without stress through Central Park, featuring recently launched stairways to assist them as they climb.

Through this trailhead, you can get to eight marked trails, including a few point-to-point and loops, with all not exceeding 1.2 miles.

The Charles and Betty Russell Park Hiking Trail is lined by trees that serve as shade during summer. This Trail is a perfect place for some outdoor activities such as running, hiking, walking, etc.

Address: 925-999 Ashland Ave, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

11. Malibu Jack’s Ashland

Malibu Jack’s Ashland
Credits: Boris Medvedev / Shutterstock

Whenever you are in the mood to have a scintillating time with your family and friends, visit Malibu Jack’s Ashland in Ashland.

Malibu Jack’s Ashland offers families numerous fun activities in one facility without moving from one place to another.

You will find an 18-hole miniature golf course, a karting track, a 16-lane bowling alley, inflatables, and an arcade section.

There is an indoor play area with lots of exciting, fun equipment for small children to explore with numerous indoor rides.

Malibu Jack’s Ashland is a perfect place for birthday parties as a spacious party area is available for rentals. Exploring this destination is one of the fun things to do in Ashland, KY.

Address: 10699 US-60 Suite-102, Ashland, KY 41102, United States

12. Camayo Arcade

Camayo Arcade
Credits: Seicer [CC BY-SA 1.0], Wikimedia Commons
Camayo Arcade
Camayo Arcade is a place every professional and emerging architect would love to visit in Ashland, especially if they’re a fan of historic architecture.

Camayo Arcade is highly identical to a shopping passage in Europe as a preserved shopping arcade with twin levels.

It was founded in 1926 as Kentucky’s first indoor shopping center and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

The structure was refurbished more than ten years ago. It is open for visitors to come in and browse through the timeless features, such as the terrazzo flooring, lighting, stuccoed ceiling, and more.

Camayo Arcade features a snack stand right at the entrance with many businesses and offices in the retail areas.

The attraction is a place you visit with high optimism of having an amazing experience that helps bring back sweet old memories.

Address: 1530 Winchester Ave, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

13. Summer Motion

Summer Motion
Credits: Ashland CTC / Flickr
Summer Motion

Summer motion is a traditional event consistently held annually since 1989 as a multi-day festival.

The festival’s origin dates back to the Tri-State Fair & Regatta of 1977. It is usually held in July.

This celebration is popular for its free entertainment presentation of different genres of music, including contemporary, rock, Christian music, Motown, country, and so on.

Summer Motion features famous artists such as Kenny Loggins, Billy Ray Cyrus, the Gang, Micky Dolenz, Styx, and Grand Funk Railroad.

The festival always involves inflatables, games, motorcycle & car rides, fireworks, and food vendors offering delicious meals and drinks.

Address: Ashland, KY 41101, United States

14. Gr8r Gaming

Gr8r Gaming
Credits: Gr8r Gaming / Facebook
Gr8r Gaming

Gr8r Gaming is a standard video game center/lounge located in the middle of southern Ashland in Ashland.

Visit this Center with your friends and explore their modern arcade using any of the systems such as PC’s, Xbox series, Playstation 5, Nintendo, and Switch.

The game center features signature slushies that adopt the themes of Video Games and video game characters.

Gr8r Gaming is open to everyone with fifty thrilling games on every PS5 at the Playstation Game library, which is constantly increasing.

Here, you get to show some off your keyboard and mouse skills while playing your most cherished shooters, battle royales, and survival games.

The Center is a venue for private events such as tournaments, corporate meetings, birthday parties, and more.

Address: 2826 Holt St 1st Floor, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

15. Ashland Tennis Center

Ashland Tennis Center
Credits: Ivana P. Nikolic / Shutterstock

Ashland Tennis Center features all the facilities and amenities a premier tennis center is supposed to carry.

The Center consists of eleven outdoor and four indoor courts for players to choose from according to their preferences.

Camp sessions help train beginners in this sport, teaching them everything they need to know.

Ashland Tennis Center offers various programs for players of different ages, including private lessons with the supervision of professional instructors.

Aside from the numerous competitions and leagues, Ashland Tennis Center also hosts family fun nights, match play, and more.

Address: 1300 Oakview Rd, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

Also, check out our guide on things to do in Covingtonthings to do in Richmond, and things to do in Elizabethtown for a fun Kentucky trip.

16. Charley’s Cheesesteaks

Charley’s Cheesesteaks
Credits: Charleys Cheesesteaks (Ashland Town Center)/ Facebook
Charley’s Cheesesteaks

On one of your free days when you’re clueless about what to do in Ashland, KY, consider dining at Charley’s Cheesesteaks.

Charley’s Cheesesteaks was founded by Charley Shin, who had his first ever Philly Cheesesteak while still in school at The Ohio State University in 1985.

He was only a young undergraduate who desired to share his unique sandwich experience with the world in a special way.

Charley explored many ingredients in a bid to perfect his recipe. In 1986, his dreams came to actualization when he founded his first eatery, Charley’s Steakery, located next to the campus of Ohio State University.

With immense support, Charley’s Steakery brand grew widely amongst students who wanted a piece of freshly made Philly cheesesteaks with gourmet fries.

Address: 500 Winchester Ave Ste 154, Ashland, KY 41102, United States

17. The Children’s Place

Children’s Place
Credits: Black Salmon / Shutterstock

How about buying new stuff for your little ones?! The Children’s Place is the number one destination for everything that has to do with children’s clothing.

The Children’s Place offers trendy clothing. It is housed in the popular Ashland Town Center.

They offer attire for different seasons, including the summer and winter; whatever you need, there is something for you.

You can purchase pants, sweaters, hoodies, outwears, jeans, sunglasses, flip-flop slippers, long-sleeved shirts, swimsuits, hats, and more.

Address: 500 Winchester Ave Space 450 A, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

18. Festival of Trees and Trains

Festival of Trees and Trains
Credits: Festival of Trees & Trains – Paramount / Facebook
Festival of Trees and Trains

Have you ever heard of the Festival of Trees and Trains? If not, this is your opportunity to not just learn about it but participate as well.

Festival of Trees and Trains is an annually organized event in Ashland that lasts for ten days during the holidays.

Funds are raised during the festival for the Paramount Women’s Association to support the education department of the community of the Paramount Arts Center.

The event goes according to a laid down plan featuring activities for children, local shopping advertisements, and massive entertainment.

Festival of Trees and Trains consists of beautifully designed Christmas trees and food vendors offering traditional meals.

Address: 1300 Winchester Ave, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

19. Tri-State Escape

Tri-State Escape
Credits: Reddogs / Shutterstock

Tri-State Escape is located a few distances from the Paramount Arts Center. It is a highly recommended escape facility.

You and your group would be locked in an escape room where you get to solve puzzles & riddles and search for ideas to help you all escape the room in time.

The game requires lots of teamwork and logical thinking, plus the ability to make quick decisions to help solve problems.

Tri-State Escape features six escape rooms, each of them having unique themes such as jailbreak, escape from Egypt, and so on.

This place is also perfect for special events such as get-togethers, family reunion birthday parties, corporate events, etc.

Address: 1327 Winchester Ave, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

20. Cinemark Movies 10

Cinemark Movies 10
Credits: Syda Productions / Shutterstock

Cinemark Movies 10, one of the best cinemas in the state, was constructed in 1990. However, during its inception, Cinemark Chain took over.

Cinemark Movies 10 has gone through numerous remodeling with the addition of a modern roof, new concession stand, new carpets, doors, and so on.

The Cinema is managed by Cinemark Holdings Inc., which has its headquarters in Plano, TX, a prominent company in the exhibition industry with exactly 507 theatres & 5,746 screens throughout the United States and Latin America.

They also offer curbside popcorn pickup; you can check out their website for more information about the movies available, Curb-site pickup, snacks, and so on.

Cinemark Movies 10 is an exceptional cinema with ten screens offering visitors a 3D experience with great sound systems.

Address: 400 Winchester Ave, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

21. Aladdin’s Art Gallery

Aladdin’s Art Gallery
Credits: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Here is something for art lovers in Ashland. Aladdin’s Art Gallery is a beautiful combination of a gallery and a gift store.

Aladdin’s Art Gallery is commonly referred to as the ” artsy-fartsy’s art, ” solely focused on framing artworks.

Located in the historic downtown area, the moment you visit this gallery, you will be engulfed by its display of the city’s local culture.

This family-owned and operated gallery was founded in 1965; Aladdin’s Art Gallery is a perfect place for art viewers and artists.

Aladdin’s Art Gallery offers a large collection of decorative items offering visitors who come to purchase unique gifts an awesome time.

They frame all kinds of artworks irrespective of their sizes for an affordable price and create customized frames for photographs and paintings.

Address: 728 13th St, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

22. Historic Walking Tour

If you want more profound insights into the city’s long history, add Historic Walking Tour to your list of top things to do in Ashland, KY.

Historic Walking Tour features thirty stops which start at Central Park and ends at the Paramount Arts Center.

During the tour, you get to walk by historic buildings from the 19th century on Bath Avenue and Lexington Avenue, including commercial structures and general amenities within Winchester Ave.

Address: Ashland, KY 41101, United States

23. Superhero Creamery

Superhero Creamery
Credits: Diana Macias / Shutterstock

Kids are always excited when visiting this store, so if you’re traveling with children, ensure to visit Superhero Creamery.

Superhero Creamery is a popular ice cream and frozen yogurt shop which offers a wide variety of unique merchandise.

The store offers an extensive selection of comic books, collectibles, and toys. Superhero Creamery features a creative studio offering banner and custom T-shirt printing, including pottery painting.

The store offers delicious milkshakes, toppings, frozen yogurt, and ice cream; Superhero Creamery was listed among Kentucky’s top 10 Best Ice Cream parlors.

They offer Praline Pecan with Caramel Turtles, Strawberry Cheesecake, butter pecan, Blue Raspberry Swirl, Raspberry Sorbet, Peanut Butter Bon Bon, and more.

Superhero Creamery is open from Monday to Thursday from 10 am-9 pm, Friday & Saturday from 10 am-10 pm, and Sunday from 11 am-8 pm.

Address: 500 Winchester Ave STE 406A, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

24. Avalon New Age Shop

Avalon New Age Shop
Credits: PH888 / Shutterstock

Avalon New Age Shop is a lovely shop in Ashland that offers an assortment of items such as crystals, ritual items, custom blades, books, decor, jewelry, candles, spell components, and herbs.

The shop provides a quiet and relaxing space for visitors to sit, relax, play games, read books, hang out, and chat with people.

They offer workshops and classes based on astral travel, reading tarot, and Asatru & Wicca.

Avalon New Age Shop is the site for Black oak Forge, creating unique pieces, including axes, sheaths, knives, etc. The shop offers organic and natural balms and beard oils, mostly for men.

Address: 8112 US Route 60, Ashland, KY 41102-9522 United States

25. China Max

China Max
Credits: Alex Beckett / Facebook
China Max

China Max is a one-of-a-kind restaurant in Ashland known for serving the public deliciously prepared meals they can’t get elsewhere.

The restaurant is committed to using fresh and locally grown ingredients sourced from local farmers in making every meal.

They provide a comfortable and vibrant ambiance with beautiful and unique decor, which offers a homey feel and make guests feel relaxed.

Some of the meals served include Fried Scallops, Boneless Spare Ribs, Fried Chicken Wings, Chicken with Garlic Sauce, Chicken Lo Mein, Beef with Broccoli, Sesame Shrimp, General Tso’s Chicken, Scallop & Beef, and more.

China Max staff is nice and polite, always focused and attentive when receiving orders from their customers, offering them the best services. Before deciding what to do in Ashland, KY, stop by this restaurant for a refreshing meal.

Address: 500 Winchester Ave Space # 136, Ashland, KY 41101, United States

Planning a trip to Kentucky, don’t miss our checklist of fun things to do in Williamstownthings to do in Owensboro, and fun things to do in Cave City.

Plan Your Trip to Ashland

Ashland is a fantastic city with lots of things to offer; you certainly cannot get bored in this city.

Visit with your entire family or friends, and be sure of having an unexpectedly incredible experience. Don’t hesitate to make it your next vacation destination.