Department of Tourism
Magical Holiday Activities Abound in Your Own Kentucky Backyard
FRANKFORT, Ky. – There’s a lot to discover in your own backyard to make your holidays sparkle. From one end of Kentucky to the other, you can find entertaining and fun travel ideas for this holiday season that the whole family can enjoy. Here’s a list of just some of the activities to consider for your holiday enjoyment.
Holiday Lights Spectacular, Beech Bend Park, Bowling Green
December 5, 2008 – January 3, 2009
Over two miles of dazzling animated lights, plus WBKO's Christmas Village, North Pole Express hay ride, ice skating, visits and pictures with Santa. Visit Santa’s Barnyard with live animals, amusement rides including the Kentucky Rumbler, Christmas gift shop, HoHo Golf, bonfires and food and drinks. Hours: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $15 per car, $35 for a commercial van, $100 for a bus. Rides and ice skating cost extra.
Lighting of the Distillery, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort
December 4 – December 31, 2008
Everyone is invited to the gardens of Buffalo Trace for the annual Christmas Lighting. Don’t miss this magical evening of holiday cheer, festive lights, refreshments and a visit from the man of the hour—Santa Claus! It’s free, and you can come see the lights any night through December 31.
Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Artists Collaborative Theatre, Elkhorn City
November 24 - December 10, 2008
A wonderful play for the holiday season. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. For ticket information, go to:
A Christmas Carol, Actors Theatre, Louisville
November 26 - December 23, 2008
Louisville's biggest and best holiday tradition - The classic story of Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the "spirits" of Christmas told with warmth and visual splendor. For ticket information, go to:
The Nutcracker, Lexington Ballet Company/Lexington Philharmonic
December 19 - 21, 2008
The Lexington Ballet is collaborating with The Lexington Philharmonic to bring to life the cherished fairytale of The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker is perfect to include in any holiday plans.
For ticket information, visit:
Festival of Trees and Trains, Paramount Arts Center, Ashland
November 22 - 30, 2008
Each year the Paramount Arts Center and hundreds of community members and volunteers transform the historic theater into a magical wonderland filled with sparkling trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, trains and entertainment.
Christmas in the Park, Freeman Lake Park, Elizabethtown
November 26, 2008 – January 1, 2009
Come and experience the glow of Christmas! This holiday season, treat you and your family to the brilliant display of lights by taking a driving tour of Freeman Lake Park. Free, but a donation box is on site. Download a map at for this driving tour at:
Christmas Village & Skating Rink at Lee's Ford Resort Marina, Nancy
November 28– December 31, 2008
A festival of lights, ice skating, crafts and fun at exciting Lake Cumberland.
Noble Park Holiday Light Display, Paducah
November 28 – December 31, 2008
The region’s premiere lighting display is sponsored by Paducah Power System. Free admission, but monetary donations or canned goods accepted for local charities. Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 6-9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 6-10 p.m.
Christmas in the Valley, Renfro Valley
November 7 – December 21, 2008
Travel back in time to a nostalgic country Christmas. Experience Santa Land, cloggers, twinkling lights, shopping with a country flair. Top off your evening with the original production, Christmas in the Valley. For show times, log on to:
For more details on these and other holiday events and activities around Kentucky, visit www.mykentuckybackyard.com/seasonal. This web site of the Kentucky Department of Travel maintains an extensive list of things to do right here in the commonwealth. Listings change frequently.
The Kentucky Department of Travel, an agency of the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky’s economy.