Department of Parks
State Park Holiday Events Across The State
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky State Parks will be hosting a number of holiday and seasonal events across the state during late November and through December this year.
They include candlelight tours at historic mansions, open houses, special light and tree displays, events for children, special meals, decorations, and much more.
State parks are a great place for holiday gatherings. All 17 resort parks have restaurants and state parks gift shops offer unique gift ideas.
Here is a listing of state parks with dates and event information for the holiday season:
Barren River Lake State Resort Park (Lucas)
Holiday Open House
Barren River Lake State Resort Park will be hosting a holiday open house Dec. 3 from Noon-3 p.m. Guests are invited to browse the gift shop which will offer refreshments, special gift shop discounts and Kentucky Hand Crafted vendors. Enjoy lunch in the dining room as the live musical sounds of Brushfire rings in the air. For more information call 1-800-325-0057.
Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park (Mount Olivet)
Holiday Dinner Theater
Join Blue Licks for an evening of food and entertainment! Visitors are treated to an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring roast beef carved on the line, catfish, and many more of the Blue Licks favorites. Then sit back and enjoy a performance that’s sure to entertain the whole family. Bil Lepp, five time champion of West Virginia’s Liars Contest, is this year’s featured entertainer. Two performances available, Friday or Saturday night. Seating begins at 6:30 p.m. for dinner with the performance starting at approximately 7:30 p.m. Prices are $29.95 for adults, $14.95 for children 6 – 12, $5.95 for children under 6. For information, call 800-443-7008.
Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park (Buckhorn)
Holiday Open House
Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park will have a Holiday Open House with Santa, refreshments, 25 percent off selected gift shop items, crafts for guests, and a door prize of a Holiday Gift Basket with items from the gift shop. Call the park for times. 800-325-0058.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park (Corbin)
A Homespun Holiday
Historic DuPont Lodge will be a winter wonderland this holiday season. The Whitley County Homemakers' Clubs have decorated every corner. Join us for dinner and a night of wonderment of the moonbow, a unique natural phenomenon, may be seen Dec. 1-5. Observance of the moonbow is dependant upon several meteorological factors. This weekend will feature nightly guided walks to the falls, plus daytime field trips to several other spectacular natural features. Contact the park for a schedule of activities and reservations at 800-325-0063.
Dale Hollow State Resort Park (Burkesville)
Holiday Open House
Welcome the holidays at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park. A visit with Santa and sounds of the holiday will be part of this afternoon open house. Also help yourself to cookies and punch, then make your own holiday craft to take home with you. The open house will be Santa visits, crafts at . For information, call 800-325-2282.
E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park (Louisville)
Parents Night Out
Dec. 7, 14
For parents who need to get out for holiday shopping, E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park will entertain your kids ages 5-10 with crafts, games and snacks while you shop. Drop off at , pick up no later than $15 per child, per night. For information, call 502-429-7270.
General Butler State Resort Park (Carrollton)
Festival of Trees
Visit Butler Lodge for the first viewing of Holiday trees. Festival of Trees is a partnership with local schools, churches, businesses and civic organizations. Trees remain on display through December. For information, call 866-462-8853.
Butler-Turpin House Tours
Tours of the house, built in 1859, decorated in 19th century holiday splendor. For information, call 866-462-8853.
Activities include breakfast with Santa (); Toyland workshops (); a Children’s Holiday Musical Show at and the Family Holiday Concert at with David Hepler. Also a Toyland workshop and horse drawn carriage rides. All events except breakfast are free. For information, call 866-462-8853.
Greenbo Lake State Resort Park (Greenup)
Holiday Open House
Experience the joys and happiness of the holiday season with our Greenbo Lake Holiday Open House. There will be caroling, bazaar, many beautiful trees, and decorations, all provided by the Greenup County Homemakers. A festive time and joyous occasion for the entire family with lots of treats to sample. The trees the homemakers decorate will be available for viewing throughout the holiday season. For information, call 800-325-0083.
Holiday Festival of Lights
Dec. 2-Jan. 9
Come and enjoy the wonders and excitement of the holiday season as you view the Holiday Festival of Lights in the park campground. Co-sponsor is Argillite Community Team. Local merchants, schools, and organizations are welcome to set up a light display as we celebrate this joyous season. Visitors may view displays nightly, from Free. For information, call 800-325-0083.
Lunch With Santa
Dec. 9, 16, 17
Visit Santa for lunch and have that list ready as we spend a holiday afternoon with Santa. Hours are Santa's Buffet is $5 (tax & drink included) 11 years and under. Adult price $5.95 (12 years and older). For information, call 800-325-0083.
John James Audubon State Park (Henderson)
Tiny Tots Art – Holiday Pottery
Moms, dads, or grandparents will be creating their favorite holiday plate just in time for Santa. For ages 3 – 5. From Fee is $15. Contact Kim McGrew at 270-827-1893 or email@example.com.
Holiday Decorating Day
Join us as we ring in the holidays. We will create and decorate holiday crafts, and maybe make something for our wildlife friends. Contact: Julie McDonald at 270-826-2247 or firstname.lastname@example.org Program fee is $5 per person.
Kenlake State Resort Park (Hardin)
Holiday in the Park
Bring the kids out to enjoy the lighted displays throughout the park and see their eyes light up in delight. Crafts for the kids, cookies-n-punch, and a visit with Santa spread the holiday cheer. All activities are from For information, call 800-325-0143.
Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park (Gilbertsville)
Breakfast With Santa
Start a new tradition and get into the Holiday spirit by having breakfast with Santa this morning. Visit with Santa and have your picture or button made. After breakfast, make a craft, visit our gift shop, or make a family portrait by our 8-foot Holiday wreath. For information, call 800-325-0146.
My Old Kentucky Home State Park (Bardstown)
Nov. 24-25; Dec. 1-2; Dec. 8-9
Tours conducted by guides dressed in Christmas period clothing. The house is decorated in Christmas splendor as it would have been in the 1800s. Guests are served hot apple cider, cake or cookies after the tour. Tour hours Admission fee of $5.50 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $3.50 for children. Groups are welcome. Groups rates (10 or more) -- $5 adults, $3 children. For information, call 502-348-3502.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park (Slade)
Old Fashioned Holiday Dinner
Natural Bridge State Resort Park will host an Old Fashion Holiday Dinner featuring baked ham, roast beef, roast turkey and fried catfish, plus all the trimmings. Local area church groups will be singing carols in Hemlock Lodge Lobby throughout the day. For information, call 800-325-1710.
Old Fort Harrod (Harrodsburg)
15th Annual Historic Homes Tour
The Mansion Museum at Old Fort Harrod State Park will participate in the 15th Annual Historic Homes Tour in conjunction with the Harrodsburg Historical Society. The museum will be professionally decorated and a Festival of Trees also will be featured with more than 500 luminaries. For information, call 859-734-3314.
Key Ingredients: America by Food
Dec. 9-Jan. 20
Come see a Smithsonian Exhibit called “Key Ingredients: America by Food” at the Black Box Theater building behind Old Fort Harrod State Park. Call the park at (859) 734-9614 or Harrodsburg First at (859) 734-6811 for viewing times.
Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park (Dawson Springs)
Santa Visits the Park
Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park's will give you lots of Holiday spirit. Create a variety of Holiday crafts from to , and then get your child's free picture taken with Santa in the lodge lobby from A buffet dinner will be served in the dinning room from Those who register by Dec. 5 will pay only $15 to make all the crafts. For information, call 800-325-1711.
Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site (Perryville)
Visit Perryville Battlefield’s museum shop for great holiday gifts for children, books and t-shirts. Goody baskets available. For information, call 859-332-8631.
Rough River Dam State Resort Park (Falls of Rough)
Holiday in the Park
View our tree lighting, lighting of over 50 different displays in the campground and through out the park, and of course, Santa Claus for the kids! Local choirs will be present singing Holiday music and we will have a bonfire and will be cooking hotdogs and other goodies over the grill. Coffee and hot chocolate will be served to keep you warm! The event is free of charge although donations will be accepted for the lighting displays and a canned food box will also be on site for donations for the needy of the local area. For information, call 800-325-1713.
Waveland State Historic Site (Lexington)
Historic Candlelight Tours
Waveland's Historic Christmas Candlelight Tours take people back to the Mid-19th century from each night. Life on the plantation in the Bryan Mansion was filled with holiday foods, family, and song. Come join us for an evening of good old-fashioned Holiday cheer. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for children. Group rates are available upon request. Entertainment and refreshments will also be provided. For information, call 859-272-3611.
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 Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov