gazebo with santa

Holidays in Kentucky

Holidays In Kentucky

Holiday family fun is around the corner with many opportunities for festive experiences and light displays all around our beautiful state. Check out the listings below for the best holiday experiences around the Bluegrass. 

aerial view of lights

November 6 - January 16 Festival of Lights at Patti's, Grand Rivers: Each year at Christmas time, Patti’s 1880’s Settlement and the town of Grand Rivers transforms into a magical light display.  Patti’s Festival of Lights opens on the first weekend in November. The lights are visible daily after dusk through the first weekend in January. Please note, in November and December you will need reservations to dine at Patti’s Restaurant. In Grand Rivers, the Christmas celebration also includes Musical Christmas production at the Badgett Playhouse, one-of-a-kind gifts at unique shops, and cozy lodging choices.

November 15 - January 4Lights Under Louisville at Louisville Mega Cavern: This season, visitors can remain in the comfort of their vehicles and drive through a self-guided tour of the only underground light show in the world. Made up of over 17 miles of underground passageways, this show features over 850 characters with more than 3 million lights. Visitors also have the option to enjoy the cavern during the day onboard the Christmas Express, an open-top trailer tour.


November 16 - January 1Winter Wonderland of Lights Festival,  Ashland: You are invited to join in celebrating their five-week Winter Wonderland of Lights festival! Stroll through their 52-acre park ablaze with 60 magical holiday displays containing over 800,000 lights. 

drive thru Christmas lights entrance

November 20 - January 6Merry & Bright at My Old Kentucky Home, Bardstown: Guides in Victorian hoop skirts and gentleman in tailcoats sing the song “My Old Kentucky Home,” on your tour of Kentucky’s most famous landmark decorated for Christmas, My Old Kentucky Home! The mansion is adorned and decorated with six beautiful 12′ tall Christmas trees, each with a unique Kentucky theme, including the Commonwealth Tree, Meadows in the Bloom, Birds Make Music All the Day, & more! 

November 20 - January 3Winter Illuminations Trail Walk, Louisville: New this year, visitors can enjoy a premier holiday experience at Beckley Creek Park. Winter Illuminations takes guests on a 1-mile walking tour through the illuminated forest which features 10 artistic light installations complimented by festive music. The attraction is open-air and touch free to ensure the safety of all guests. Tickets must be purchased online, and timeslots are reserved ahead of time. 

drive thru Christmas lights

November 22 - December 31Southern Lights at Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington: Celebrating its 27th year at the Kentucky Horse Park, Southern Lights presented by Friends of Coal is a magical holiday tradition for thousands of families from throughout the Bluegrass and beyond. See over a million twinkling lights from the safety of your own car. After the tour, guests can enjoy a free petting zoo, train ride and meet-and-greet with Santa.

November 25 - December 31Christmas in the Park, Paducah: The charming town of Paducah always makes the holidays special. This year they will start the season with a holiday light display at Noble Park. Visitors can make a reservation for a horse-drawn carriage ride to experience the light spectacular in a magical way. The first Saturday of the festival is Small Business Saturday, when Paducah Main Street encourages guests and residents to shop local. The local businesses celebrate the holidays with sales and specials throughout the cheery, historic downtown.

November 25 - January 1, Christmas in the Park, Elizabethtown: This vibrant city invites visitors to the 30th annual Christmas in the Park, at Freeman Lake Park. Travel along an illuminated roadway to enjoy more than 100 brilliant displays. Freeman Lake acts as a stunning backdrop as the lights glimmer off the water. Elizabethtown also opens an artificial Ice Rink for guests and residents to skate around.

drive thru Christmas lights

November 27 - January 1Twinkle at the Track, Bowling Green: Wendy’s Twinkle at the Track presented by U.S. Bank is a drive-through holiday light experience on the west track of the NCM Motorsports Park open the day after Thanksgiving through New Years’ Day. Vehicles can drive through more than 25 scenes totaling more than one million bright lights on a 2-mile stretch of racetrack.

November 27 - December 31Christmas at Panther Creek, Owensboro: Owensboro continues their holiday tradition to raise money for local non-profits. This annual holiday festival offers a drive-through light display with over 400,000 lights through Owensboro’s Panther Creek Park. The display is $5 per vehicle, and all proceeds go to support various Daviess County non-profit organizations. 

November 27 – December 30Christmastime at Ark Encounter, Williamstown: You’ll enjoy a life-size ark and gardens illuminated in rainbow-colored lights, Ararat Ridge Zoo, festive food and drinks, traditional Christmas carols, a massive fair trade market and gift shop for Christmas shopping, and so much more. 

November 27 - December 31Santa's Lookout, Scottsville: Pack up the family for a night of fun. Santa’s Lookout is an interactive holiday lights experience. The first leg of the venture features a drive-through where you’ll see decorated scenes… Christmas lights.. holiday displays and costume characters all from the warmth of your car. In the second half you’ll get out of your car and come inside the park to visit our Holiday Pavilion to meet costume characters, a live reindeer display… decorate cookies… write a letter to Santa, and much more. Call for tickets at (270) 622-8171.

November 27 - January 17th weekendsThe Reindeer Farm, Bowling Green: Visit the reindeer barn to see and learn about Santa's magical reindeer! Play at the indoor playground or visit the gift shop. Letter writing to Santa, holiday themed games, story time with friends from the North Pole. Corn hole available and food trucks so you don’t have to leave for lunch. Cozy up by the fire pit if weather permits! Don’t forget your camera there will be many photo opportunities. Pay online with card or cash in person.

Lights in the woods

November 28 - December 31Winter Woods Spectacular, Louisville: Experience the twinkling of millions of lights along a winding road, nestled in the majestic woods of historic Iroquois Park. Winter Woods Spectacular is a magical drive of lighting, artistry, and sounds that will delight the senses and transport you to a winter wonderland, where you can explore and celebrate the holiday season.

December 3 - January 1Lights at Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort: This award-winning distillery combines the best of Kentucky’s bourbon country with holiday festivities. Welcoming guests from all over the world to learn about its history, Buffalo Trace Distillery features complimentary tours and tastings year-round. For the holidays, Buffalo Trace Distillery decorates its grounds with a festive display of more than 145,000 lights. Guests can drive through the kaleidoscopic light display all season long.

An Old Kentucky Christmas Carol

December 4, 5,11,12,18 &19,  An Old Kentucky Christmas Carol at My Old Kentucky Home, Bardstown: This will be presented in the mansion. The tour will end with cookies and cider in the carriage house where you'll meet Santa and take photos with his sleigh! For tickets visit

Greenery with lights

December 5, 12, 19Illuminated Evenings at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Harrodsburg: During the holiday season, Shaker Village will bustle with light-hearted moments that remind us of long-ago winter days filled with wonder and laughter. Make time to delight in life’s simple gifts with family and friends, as lively music, merriment and candlelight illuminate the Village. In addition to their regular Holiday festivities, Illuminated Evenings will feature holiday music, roaring fires, twinkling lights and an appearance by Mrs. Claus!

December 19th 12-8pm Christmas on the Farm at Ashford Acres Inn, Cynthiana: Mark your calendar for this fun and festive annual event! Shop local vendors, grab a hot chocolate or a holiday cocktail and enjoy lunch and dinner. You'll find Christmas lights, a petting zoo, and carriage and wagon rides around the farm. 

Our Kentucky State Parks have numerous holiday experiences on schedule. Breakfast with Santa, holiday ornament workshops, Christmas teas, just to name a few. Visit their schedule of events here

Don't forget to check out your local Convention and Visitors Bureau office for any additional holiday activities in your area.