I love Christmas, and if you are like me and have children, you look for every way possible to make this time of year special and magical. As December is kicking off, I took to the computer to compile a list of things I want to take my two little boys to, and I thought I would share them with my fellow bloggers. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and that you make it magical, especially for your children!
1: The Polar Express Dinner Train: Lexington or Bardstown
Climb aboard the Bluegrass Scenic Railway’s Santa Claus Special for a scenic holiday train excursion past holiday scenes, elves and Bluegrass countryside. The 45-minute excursions leave from Woodford County Park on December 13-14 and 21-22. Departure time is 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with an added 11 a.m. excursion on December 22. Tickets are $13.50 adults, $12.50 seniors and $11.50 ages 2-12. You can purchase tickets online at www.bgrm.org. (859) 873-2476.
This year you can board the Lexinton Dinner Train behind Rupp Arena enjoy the North Pole Express. On December 7, 14 and 21, Santa and Mrs. Claus will welcome you and your little ones to ride with them. On board you will enjoy a delicious meal, crafts and Christmas carols. Each guest will receive a special gift to remember this special journey. (866) 801-3463.
2: Christmas at Whitehall in Richmond: A Victorian Christmas.
The holidays are off to a festive start when you visit White Hall State Historic Site’s A Victorian Christmas. Costumed interpreters will be on hand to answer any questions as you stroll through the holiday bedecked rooms and learn about the Christmas customs celebrated today that were first made popular by the Victorians. Goodies and hot apple cider round off this wonderful family event. Tickets are $10.00 per person, children ages 5 and under are free.
3: Christmas Lights at Archer Park: Prestonsburg.
I always love driving through Archer Park’s christmas decorations. It is just close enough to be a single trip and I can’t wait to take G and River this year! It is just beautiful!
4: Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland: Newport Aquarium
Here you can meet Santa, and be on hand for his dive shows. They also offer overnight tours with special animal interactions, and breakfasts with Santa. Your children are also able to take their letters to santa and mail them there!
Meet and Greet Times:
- 12:00pm and 12:40pm on Weekdays
- 11:40pm; 12:20pm; 2:20pm and 3:00pm on Weekends
5: My Old Kentucky Home Candlelight Tours
My Old Kentucky Home is decorated for Christmas in the antebellum style beautifully accented by the glow of candles everywhere. Guests walk thru the Home with guides available for questions, refreshments are served in the Kitchen behind the house.
Adults $7, Seniors $5, Children 6-12 $3.50, under 6 free. (Group Rates available)
Evening tours are available November 29 and 30, December 6 and 7, and December 13 and 14. 5:30 pm thru 8:30 pm. If you can’t make it to our evening tour, we are open 9 am to 5 pm for guided tours.
6: Southern Lights at The Kentucky Horse park.
At Southern Lights: Spectacular Sights on Holiday Nights at the Kentucky Horse Park, horses of light “race” in front of a cheering crowd, clear a steeplechase fence, and graze in Bluegrass pastures. The unique horse scenes help make Southern Lights one of the most distinctive lights festivals anywhere and a time honored tradition among the locals. And with tens of thousands of shimmering lights, it’s Kentucky’s largest lights festival. You’ll also enjoy animated scenes featuring Santa and his reindeer, elves, snowflakes and other traditional holiday characters as you drive along the four-mile route through the park.
7: Santa’s Safari at Louisville Zoo
Santa is making a special stop at the Louisville Zoo and he’s bringing some of his North Pole friends along too. Enjoy a visit and photo with Santa, plus meet Mrs. Claus, Frosty the Snowman ─ and special guests, a sun loving snow man and two icy cold princesses. Includes yummy refreshments, a fun holiday craft, special animal encounter stations, festive sing-alongs and more.
Be a part of Santa’s workshop where elves help families create a wonderful holiday craft. And of course, no visit would be complete without Mrs. Claus serving her famously delicious holiday treats and beverages (and hot chocolate or coffee too for the grown-ups). A complimentary photo with Santa will be provided to each child.
Then grab your special Santa Safari Passport and begin your journey through the Zoo’s heated buildings to experience one-on-one interaction with Zoo animals and Zoo educators. Bring your cameras!
8: Christmas at The Galt House: Louisville.
Kyle and I stayed here while attending an Eagles concert a few years ago and we absolutely loved it. The place was beautiful and I can’t imagine how fabulous it is with Christmas decorations. It’s right in the heart of downtown and connects to the YUM center. There are several options to choose from at the Galt House. Breakfast with Santa, Christmas Tea with the Snow Fairy Princess, The Great Mouse Dinner Mystery, and Pam Tillis dinner shows, Kaleidoscope tickets, overnight packages. It’s honestly too much to even write down. I enlisted the website so you can go and see for yourself, but it all looks really beautiful.
9: Antebellum Christmas: Waveland State Historic Site
At Waveland State Historic Site, you can see what the holiday season was like on a Bluegrass plantation. Antebellum decorations, music, refreshments and costumed historic presenters will be featured at this year’s Christmas Candlelight Tours from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. December 5-6 and December 12-13. Refreshments will be served in the plantation’s 200-year-old log cabin. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for students. (859) 272-3611.
10: Christmas on the Estate: Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate.
This year the Henry Clay Estate will open its doors for two Holiday Candlelight Tours on Sunday, December 7 from 5:30 p.m.to 8:00 p.m. and December 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with the last admission at 7:00 p.m. Enjoy live music on self-guided tours of the mansion and refreshments in the Keeper’s Cottage. This year’s theme is “A Currier and Ives Christmas at Ashland.” Mistletoe from the Ashland Estate will be on sale. Reservations are not required. $15 for adults, $7 for young adults 17 and under and a family rate of $40.
11: Ice Skating at Triangle Park.
The Unified Trust Company Ice Rink at Triangle Park opens for the season November 7. Bring your own skates if you’d like, but skate rentals are included in the price. The rink is open from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Kids feeling chilly? Grab some hot chocolate at the café beside the rink. And no worries, there are plenty of places to sit and observe if you don’t want to venture out onto the ice yourself.The rink stays open through January 11.
BONUS ACTIVITY (FOR ADULTS) Hint-Hint Kyle Hall.
Woodford Reserve: Enjoy a Kentucky gourmet lunch at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery in Woodford County during Holidays at Woodford Reserve, November 23 through December 22, as well as December 28 and 29. Enjoy a traditional Kentucky holiday buffet with a contemporary twist prepared by Chef Ouida Michel. In the past guests have enjoyed selections such as roasted loin of pork, bourbon-glazed chicken, slow-roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon, pumpkin cheesecake and Woodford Reserve cake. Lunch will be served Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Sundays 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Cost is $25.00 plus tax per person. Reservations recommended. The gift shop will be open and full of holiday gift ideas. (859) 879-1921. (Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.)