Department of Parks
Plenty of Holiday Events At Kentucky State Parks
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky State Parks are hosting many holiday events this time of year, including open houses, children’s activities and tours of historic homes.
State parks are a great place for holiday gatherings in December. All 17 resort parks have restaurants and state parks gift shops that offer unique gift ideas. That includes Kentucky Unbridled Spirit gift cards that are good at Kentucky State Parks, the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
And don’t forget New Year’s Eve! Many resort parks plan special events for Dec. 31. For more information about events and how to purchase a gift card, visit www.parks.ky.gov
Below is a listing of state parks with dates and event information for the holiday season.
Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas
Brunch with the Grinch
The "Who's" have invaded Barren River Lake State Resort Park. Join them and everyone's favorite Who, The Grinch for brunch, crafts, pictures and more. Put on your favorite "Who" attire and join our "Who" costume contest. The event begins at 10 a.m. CST. There will be a $5 fee per child. Pre-registration is required. Contact Lisa Deavers at 1-800-325-0057 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, Mount Olivet
Santa & Mrs. Claus to Visit Blue Licks
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be taking time during their busy holiday schedule to visit the boys and girls in our area. Bring your children to the park from 9-11 a.m. to visit Santa! Don't forget to bring your camera! For more information call 800-443-7008.
Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, Buckhorn
Holiday Open House
Have lunch with Santa from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Lunch specials will be offered. The Open House will feature holiday festivities, a cozy fire in the lobby and homemade cookies with hot apple cider. The gift shop will have a sale with a gift basket to be given away. 1-800-325-0058.
Carter Caves State Resort Park, Olive Hill
Christmas Open House
Get into the holiday spirit at the Carter Caves Christmas Open House on Sunday, Dec. 6 from 1-4 p.m. The Carter County Homemakers will provide beautiful Christmas trees and seasonal decorations. Munch on fresh baked cookies and other goodies while listening to seasonal music by local singers and musicians. The Wizard of Dance cloggers will also perform. We are helping Santa out by having tables of holiday and gift items for sale -- and the author of “What’s Cooking in Kentucky” will be signing her books. 1-800-325-0059.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Corbin
Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18,19
Enjoy a holiday hayride through the park to visit Santa Claus. $4 per adult, $1 per child. Hayride is free with paid meal at Riverview Restaurant inside DuPont Lodge. 1-800-325-0063.
On Dec. 12 from 6-9 p.m. children’s author Leigh Ann Florence of the “Woody” series will be reading and book signing in the great room at DuPont Lodge at Cumberland Falls.
Fort Boonesborough State Park, Richmond
Winter Trade Days
18th Century merchants and traders will "set up shop" in the cabins and blockhouses of the fort. This is the perfect opportunity to do your 18th Century holiday shopping. Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Free admission to the fort for this event. 859-527-3131.
General Butler State Resort Park/Butler-Turpin State Historic House, Carrollton
Christmas At Two Rivers
Nov. 20-Dec. 15
Period dressed guides interpret the traditions of a 19th century family at Christmas time. Experience what it was like to live at the confluence of the Kentucky & Ohio Rivers during the winter. Explore the surprise cargo that has arrived by river just in time for Christmas. Offered as the daily tour during the holiday season. Great for school groups too. 1-866-462-8853.
Butler-Turpin State Historic House
Holiday English Tea & Tour
Join The Friends of Butler for their First Holiday English Tea & Tour. Enjoy a sampling of delightful holiday treats served in the cozy stone kitchen after touring the beautifully period decorated historic house. $5 per person presale, $7 at the door. Ticket Locations: Carroll County Tourism Office, State Farm Insurance and General Butler State Resort Park - Front Desk Services
Festival of Trees & Winter Wonderfest Day
Dec. 5-Dec. 31
Christmas Trees decorated by local schools, churches, organizations and businesses will adorn the Butler Lodge, to help ring-in the holiday season. Winter Wonderfest Day is full of surprises for the young and young at heart! Santa will be featured for Breakfast on Saturday morning; along with morning activities in the Lodge Lounge and an evening holiday concert.
Greenbo Lake State Resort Park, Greenup
Christmas Open House
Experience the joys and happiness of the holiday season with our Greenbo Lake open house. There will be Christmas caroling, bazaar, many beautiful Christmas trees, and decorations, all provided by the Greenup County Homemakers. A festive time and joyous occasion for the entire family with lots of Christmas treats to sample. 1-800-325-0083.
Lunch With Santa
Dec. 12, 13, 19, 20
Lunch with Santa at Greenbo Lake will be served 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Don’t forget to bring your Christmas list with you! 1-800-325-0083.
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Prestonsburg
Breakfast With Santa and Frosty
Dec. 18, 19, 20
Come and join us for this Holiday celebration with a couple of well known wintry friend, Santa and Frosty. You will be able to have breakfast with our friends at the Music Highway Grill located in the May Lodge and they will have a present for every child. Also, you will have the chance to have your picture taken with Santa and Frosty before they go back to the North Pole. From 8-10:30 a.m. 1-800-325-0142.
John James Audubon State Park, Henderson
Santa's at the Park
Bring the whole family to visit Santa at the Museum, Saturday, Dec. 12th. Children ages 3-7 are invited to participate with mom or grandma in our holiday party. Class is 10:30- to 12; photos with Santa 10-10:30 a.m. Art projects, holiday snacks, story telling and a visit from Santa will make the day. Program fee is $5. Students must pre-register with Kim McGrew. 270-827-1893.
Kenlake State Resort Park, Aurora
Holiday in the Park/Open House
Enjoy a cool crisp December day at beautiful Kenlake for Holiday in the Park and Open House. For information on this event, contact Recreation Supervisor Cathy Clark at 270-474-2211 or email CathyJ.Clark@ky.gov.
Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, Gilbertsville
Breakfast with Santa
Start a new tradition or continue one by having breakfast with Santa this morning. Visit with Santa and have your picture made and receive Candy Cane from Santa himself! After breakfast, make a craft, visit our gift shop or make a family portrait by our holiday displays. 1-800-325-0146.
My Old Kentucky Home State Park, Bardstown
Nov. 27-28, Dec. 4-5; Dec. 11-12
Sample the elegant past during "My Old Kentucky Home" annual Christmas Candlelight tours. The glow of candlelight will adorn the mansion in splendid 1800's fashion. Elaborate period holiday costumes, music and traditional refreshments nightly. Visit the gift shop with Kentucky handmade crafts. 5:30-8:30 p.m. 502-348-3502.
My Old Kentucky Home State Park, Bardstown
Christmas with the Classics Story-time Hour
Nov. 27-29; Dec. 5-6; Dec. 12, Dec. 19
Young ones may celebrate Christmas with a reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" in the grand home's nursery. Children will receive a coloring book and treat. Story-times are at 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. Pre-registration is requested. $10 per child, admission includes a tour of the home for one accompanying adult. 502-348-3502.
Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Dawson Springs
Santa Visits the Park
When Santa visits our park he spreads holiday cheer everywhere. Come and enjoy the festivities at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park. At 3 p.m. come to the lodge lobby to make a free holiday craft. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. – free pictures with Santa in the Lodge Lobby. 1-800-325-1711.
Rough River Dam State Resort Park, Falls of Rough
Rough River's Holiday Open House with SANTA!
Santa Clause is on his way to Rough River to visit all the boys and girls! Come on out and kick off the season with us and Santa! Activities available for the kids and refreshments will be provided! This event starts at 6 p.m. CST in the lodge lobby and is free. 800-325-1713.
Waveland State Historic Site, Lexington
19th Century Christmas Traditions
Nov. 30-Jan. 6
Candlelight Tour Dec. 12-13
Waveland will be decorated in all its Christmas finery to welcome visitors to the Christmas traditions of the 19th century Kentucky. Included in the price of the tour. 859-272-3611.
White Hall State Historic Site, Richmond
A Victorian Christmas
View the mansion decked out for the holidays and learn about how the Victorians celebrated Christmas. This is a special, self-guided tour with light refreshments at the end. Evening tours only 6-8 p.m., call the park for details, (859)623-9178.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov