Five Kentucky holiday events you won’t want to miss

By Cory McCauley, Building Kentucky

Kentucky has several festive events sure to spread holiday cheer! We’ve put together a list of holiday events happening across the state. Make plans soon, or yule be sorry!

Winter Woods Spectacular

For the third year, Parks Alliance of Louisville is transforming Iroquois Park into a winter wonderland. The spectacular features millions of twinkling lights integrated into dazzling holiday displays, set to music, while guests weave their way through the woods. Highlights of the half-mile drive include an ice castle, gingerbread houses, Bavarian villages and, new this year, an epic drive-through light tunnel.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Parks Alliance, and the more than 120 public parks and community centers across Louisville. The event runs through December 26. Purchasing tickets at in advance is strongly recommended.

Where: 4800 New Cut Road, Louisville, KY 40214 at the intersection of New Cut and Southern Parkway

Times: 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Prices: Tickets are $35 per car/SUV/minivan/truck, $50 per passenger van/RV/limousine, and $100 per limo-bus.

Southern Lights Holiday Special

For the 28th year, the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington is presenting Southern Lights. This holiday tradition for thousands of Kentucky families offers more than one million twinkling lights in a drive-through experience to be enjoyed from your car.

In addition, families can take photos with Santa, pet and feed animals in “Animal Land’” enjoy model trains and so much more. Southern Lights runs through December 31 (closed Christmas Eve). Tickets can be purchased at

Where: 4089 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511

Times: 5:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday

Prices: Tickets are $25 per carload

Christmastime at Ark Encounter

One of the most unique attractions in the state becomes a holiday experience with Christmastime at Ark Encounter. Bring the family to enjoy festive lights, live music, camel rides, holiday dining, gift shopping and so much more. Guests can take in the life-size Noah’s Ark and experience the Rainbow Gardens illuminated in a sea of rainbow-colored lights. Christmastime at Ark Encounter runs through December 30 (closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Tickets can be purchased at

Where: 1 Ark Encounter Drive Williamstown, KY 41097

Times: 5 to 8:30 p.m. on select days

Prices: Tickets range from $14.95 to $49.95 (prices vary by age)

Billie Jean Osbourne’s Kentucky Opry Christmas Show

If you are looking for a live show featuring musicians playing some crowd-favorite Christmas songs and carols, look no further – the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg is sure to warm your heart.

Since 1990, Billie Jean Osbourne’s Kentucky Opry Troupe has been entertaining audiences from all over. For two special nights, December 17 and 18, you can enjoy performances of universally loved carols, Christmas themed chart-toppers and sacred hymns. Tickets for the show can be purchased at

Where: Mountain Arts Center located at 50 Hal Rogers Drive, Prestonsburg, KY 41653

Times: Showtime at 7 p.m.

Prices: Tickets are $18

My Old Kentucky Home Christmas Carol Tour

One of the oldest and most iconic landmarks in Kentucky is the Christmas Carol Tour. For two nights, December 17 and 18, My Old Kentucky Home’s talented musical cast will perform Charles Dickens’ novel, “A Christmas Carol,” the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas performed in the mansion.

Enter the mansion’s decked halls where you’ll encounter Charles Dickens, who will set you on your path as the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future lead you from scene to scene while singing songs of Christmas. COVID-19 guidelines will be observed during the tour. You can purchase ticket at

Where: 501 E Stephen Foster Avenue, Bardstown, KY 40004

Times: Shows run between 6 to 9 p.m.

Prices: Tickets are $18 for adults (16 and up) and $14 for children (ages 4 to 15)

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