Henderson, Kentucky, is located on the Ohio River and its residents take part in a lot of riverfront activities. The city is famous for one of its early residents, James John Audubon, and it offers several things to do for children focusing on the world-famous naturalist. Throughout the city there are sights related to Audubon's presence 200 years ago.
For those hot Kentucky days, the Riverfront Fountains (no website; N. Water Street, Henderson; 270-826-3128) is an ideal place for families to play. Henderson's Riverfront Fountains on the Ohio River has two play areas: one containing 45 jets that shoot up to 15 feet and the smaller one with jets that shoot up to about 2 feet for smaller kids. There is plenty of seating around both areas. Also on the banks of the Ohio River is the Atkinson Park and Swimming Pool (no website; 1805 N. Elm St., Henderson; 270-831-1274), which has trails, playgrounds, disc golf, a skate park and picnicking areas besides a pool.
Henderson's Park and Recreation Department (no website; 920 Madison Street; 270-831-1274) offers many parks, ball fields and sports courts where families can learn sports, but the city also has Todd's Gymnastic Academy, where children as young as toddlers can learn gymnastics and cheer. There is a charge for the activities, but the 8,500-square-foot facility has a lot of equipment and a lot of programs for different ages, including Mommy and Me opportunities. Another learning activity for children is art. Pem's Art for Kids has Summer Session Art Camps for children 6 through 12 where kids learn watercolor, acrylics, pen and ink, pastels and charcoal. Families gather to view the children's during special evening events.
Many children in Henderson are excited to learn more about the world-famous naturalist to whom their city was once home. All over Henderson are reminders of John James Audubon, but the Audubon State Park in Henderson has the largest collection of Audubon artifacts in the world. The park has camping sites and lodging cabins for longer stays. It also has a museum and a Nature Center with a wildlife observation room and a Discovery Center and a Learning Center where parents and their children can share the experience of watching and studying wildlife.
Henderson is about 10 miles from Evansville, where children can visit Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden or the Children's Museum of Evansville. Mesker Zoo has more than 700 animals and offers activities such as a children's safari, where parents and children answer riddles and win prizes. The zoo also has an indoor rainforest. The Children's Museum of Evansville has four galleries. One is a multimedia theater called the "Freedom Gallery," and focuses of the other three galleries are engineering, human bodies and self expression.
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