As warmer days draw nearer each day, here are just a few things to look forward to about spring in the heart of the Bluegrass.

March Madness

Even if you’re not an NCAA fan– or a sports fan at all– it’s hard not to get drawn into the spirit of championship excitement in the Cats’ hometown. There will be no shortage of speculative brackets being handed around town, for starters, and local businesses often get in on the enthusiasm, too. There’s nothing like gathering with friends and family to watch a UK basketball game, whether you’re enjoying the food and time with loved ones or deeply invested in the sport.

Flowers and Greenery

Central Kentucky is a great place to appreciate the beauty of nature, even in the city. Taking a walk through the Raven Run nature sanctuary, located in the outskirts of Lexington, is a great way to take a break from the stress of day-to-day life and appreciate the natural landscape. Or, you might stop by one of Lexington and central Kentucky’s various plant nurseries and pick out some lovely spring flowers– after all, even if you’re unable to start a garden, tending to plants of your own can be a relaxing and therapeutic experience.

Exploring Downtown

Taking leisurely strolls down the street is hard to do when it’s below freezing. But on a warm, sunny spring day there’s nothing better than getting out and about even if it’s just to take in the colorful surroundings of downtown Lexington. You can get a close-up view of the city’s many impressive murals throughout the area, as well as iconic local landmarks like Triangle Fountain or the “Walking Man” on South Broadway; you can even stop to relax at Gratz Park near the Carnegie Center and Transylvania University, or check out Midland Avenue’s Thoroughbred Park with its famous bronze racehorse statues.

The Kentucky Derby

Ah, who could forget one of the state’s most celebrated events? While Louisville and the famous Churchill Downs are just a short drive away, there’s no shortage of derby-related celebrations in Lexington every first Saturday in May. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to sip on top-notch mint juleps, show off your derby hat, and watch the most exciting two minutes in sports. For the more devoted horse racing enthusiasts, the festivities take place all day long, as the various other races throughout the day begin in the morning and last up until the Derby that evening.

Local Events

With warmer weather comes more outdoor and indoor events alike– for information on local activities in Lexington, check out this community calendar from VisitLex.