We’re halfway through November, and you know what that means… it’s time to start celebrating Christmas. If you’re looking for something a bit more exciting than blaring Christmas music, drinking egg nog, and watching
A Christmas Story for the thousandth time, then check out some of these magical light displays in Kentucky for 2016.
1. Lights Under Louisville at the Louisville Mega Cavern - 1841 Taylor Avenue, Louisville, KY 40213.
Head to the Mega Cavern to see the world's only underground light show. Lights Under Louisville runs from November 18 through December 31. It's open from 6pm-10pm Monday through Friday, and 5pm to 10pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $30 per car.
2. The Winter Wonderland of Lights Festival, Ashland - Central Park and downtown Ashland.
Ashland puts on an impressive holiday festival every year, complete with a beauty pageant, parade, train rides, and of course, spectacular Christmas lights. The light display will be illuminated November 14 through January 8, from dusk until 10pm Sunday through Thursday, and until 11pm on Friday and Saturday.
3. Southern Lights Holiday Festival at the Kentucky Horse Park - 4089 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511.
This driving tour of spectacular lights attracts more than 120,000 visitors each year. Tickets to see the three miles of lights are $15 per car (Monday-Thursday), or $25 per car (Friday-Sunday). The route is open nightly from 5:30pm until 10pm, starting November 18 and running until December 31.
4. Grand Rivers Festival of Lights - Patti's 1880 Settlement, 1793 J H O'Bryan Avenue, Grand Rivers, KY 42045.
This fun restaurant in downtown Grand Rivers has over 700,000 lights to get you into the holiday spirit. The lights have been up since November 4, but will remain sparkling until the first weekend of January. Patti's is open until 9pm, but they are closed December 23-25.
5. Light up Louisville - 4th & Jefferson Streets in downtown Louisville.
Light Up Louisville has been a holiday tradition since 1981. This year, the event takes place on November 25, starting with the Run, Run Rudolph 5K at 5pm, followed by the Lots of Light Parade at 7, the arrival of Santa Claus, and finally the "light up" moment, when Mayor Greg Fischer and Santa light up the city. There is also a 40-foot tall Christmas tree and a pop-up ice skating rink. A "Holiday Market" with vendors and food remains open from Jefferson Street to Liberty Street November 25 through December 23. The pop-up ice skating rink at Holiday Square (the plaza at 4th and Jefferson Streets) stays open until January 15.
6. Light Up The Levee Grand Illumination at Newport on the Levee - 1 Levee Way, Newport, KY 41071.
This festival to kick off the holiday season is located in Newport, right across the river from Cincinnati. The Grand Illumination will happen on Tuesday, November 22 from 6pm to 8pm, with the lighting ceremony happening at 6:50pm. Come listen to live music, watch artists create amazing ice sculptures, meet Santa, and admire the sparkling 50-foot tree. The lights will continue to glow until January 2.
7. Christmas at Panther Creek Park - 5160 Wayne Bridge Road, Owensboro, KY 42301.
Drive through this amazing illuminated tour that has more than 400,000 lights. The tour is open every night from 6 pm to 9pm starting November 25 and continuing until January 1. It costs $3.00 per car to take the tour.
8. Christmas In The Park - Noble Park, 2915 Park Avenue, Paducah, KY 42001.
For the month of December, come see Paducah's Noble Park glow with Christmas Lights. Moving light displays will be dancing from 6 to 9pm Sunday through Thursday, and 6 to 10pm Friday and Saturday. You can bring non-perishable food items or cash to be donated to local charities.
9. Light Up Bardstown - 1 Court Square, Bardstown, KY 40004.
Bardstown will light its Christmas tree and decorate downtown this year on November 25. The lighting happens at 6pm, but you can enjoy the whole evening as you watch Bardstown get transformed into Christmas Town. The shops downtown are open late, there is face painting for the kids, and delicious hot cocoa and Christmas cookies all around.
10. Lighting Of The Trace - Buffalo Trace Distillery, 113 Great Buffalo Trace, Frankfort, KY 40601.
On December 1, Buffalo Trace will kick off their month-long celebration of lights. There will be a candlelight tour at 5:30pm, carol singing and holiday stories at 6, and Santa will make his appearance at 6:30. This is a free event. You will be able to drive around this distillery's beautiful property and see it all lit up until January 2, from dusk until 11pm.
11. Ruley's Santa Clause Land - 165 Stringtown Road, Loretto, KY 40037.
This farm in Marion County boasts more than a million lights covering four acres. The light show is put on by the Ruley family every year, who started doing it simply to have something fun for the local children to do around Christmas time. Entry is free, but donations are accepted.
12. Bardstown Road Aglow - Bardstown Road in the Highlands of Louisville.
Bardstown Road is the place to be on the first Saturday of December in Louisville. This year it falls on December 3, with festivities kicking off at dusk and continuing until 10pm. Participating businesses up and down Bardstown Road compete in a holiday decorating contest, so it's fun to walk around and see who is the brightest and most creative with their displays. Many of the businesses will have special sales, and free trolley rides from Douglass Loop to Lexington Road will also be offered.
If you’re not in the Christmas spirit yet, you certainly will be if you visit one of these bright and magical exhibits.
Has anyone ever seen one of these displays in person before? Are there any other awesome Christmas light shows in Kentucky that we missed?