Sabah Drabu

6 mins read

Feb 15, 2024

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Top Family-Friendly Christmas Activities to Enjoy in Lexington, KY

‘Tis the season to be merry, and there’s no better place to revel in the holiday spirit than Lexington, Kentucky. Nestled in the heart of the Bluegrass State, this charming city knows how to deck the halls and turn every corner into a winter wonderland. Whether you’re a local looking for festive fun or a visitor seeking holiday magic, Christmas in Lexington, KY, has something special in store for you.

Magical Light Displays

Our journey begins with a drive through a twinkling wonderland courtesy of Southern Lights. This enchanting three-mile driving tour takes you on a luminous adventure perfect for the whole family. As you wind through the dazzling lights, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of holiday cheer.

But that’s not all! Your admission ticket includes access to the Holiday Village, where you can cozy up to Santa himself. Stroll through Animal Land, hop aboard a Mini Train, and be mesmerized by the Bluegrass Miniature Train Display.

Check out the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop for unique holiday finds. And, of course, adventure is only complete with delicious holiday treats.

For ticket information and more, visit khpfoundation.org/southern-lights.

Mustard Seed Hill Christmas

Just a 30-minute jaunt north of Lexington lies the breathtaking Mustard Seed Hill. This holiday tradition in Millersburg, Kentucky, will transport you to a world of enchantment. As you stroll through the twinkling lights, you’ll be serenaded by festive music and surrounded by the warm company of friends and family.

However, the true stars of the show are the gingerbread house displays. Kentucky boasts the most stunning gingerbread houses you’ve ever seen, each a work of art. These edible creations are a feast for the eyes and a testament to holiday creativity.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The three-acre Christmas light display boasts a 30-foot ribbon tree, a glowing 32-foot ribbon arch, a dazzling 20-foot starburst, and even a Christmas sleigh for that perfect holiday photo. Take advantage of the 14-foot illuminated walk-through ornament, an ideal spot for a family snapshot or a romantic engagement proposal.

For more information and to purchase tickets, head over to mustardseedhill.events/christmas.

Ice Skating at Triangle Park

Lace-up your skates and glide into a winter wonderland at Triangle Park in Downtown Lexington. This urban park transforms into a snowy haven beneath star-filled skies from late October through January.

Skate rentals are available by the hour to twirl, spin, and make frosty memories with your loved ones. Afterward, cozy up with hot beverages and snacks at the Triangle Park Café to warm your rosy cheeks.

For more details, including dates and hours of operation, visit triangleparklexington.org.

The Kentucky Castle

What could be more magical than spending your holidays in an actual castle? At The Kentucky Castle, fairytales come to life. This iconic landmark is a year-round marvel but takes on an extra layer of enchantment during the holiday season.

Imagine sipping cocktails in regal surroundings or sharing brunch with Santa Claus himself. Kentucky Castle offers many unforgettable events that will leave you feeling like royalty.

For a closer look at their events, visit thekentuckycastle.com.

Special Santa Encounters

Book a Chef

Christmas in Lexington, KY, is only complete with a visit from Santa, and Lexington offers many unique opportunities. On December 10 and 17, children can join in the merriment at Waveland. There, they’ll listen to holiday stories, play games, dance the “Snowy Pokie,” and even write heartfelt letters to Santa.

They’ll craft a bag of magic reindeer food to ensure Rudolph’s Christmas Eve visit goes off without a hitch. For a different kind of holiday experience, La Petite Delicat hosts a gingerbread decorating extravaganza on December 3.

Each ticket includes a gingerbread house, a snowman macaron, a gingerbread cookie, icing, sprinkles, coffee, and hot cocoa. It’s a sweet way for kids six and up (and adults) to celebrate the season. Sharing is caring, so you can decorate a house together!

Shaker Village Illuminated Evenings

Saturdays in December are transformed into magical moments at Shaker Village during their Illuminated Evenings events. Step aboard the Jingle Bell Shuttle and embark on a journey of holiday delight. Write a heartfelt letter to Santa, savor a cup of hot chocolate, enjoy soul-soothing music performances, get creative with crafts in the Elf Shop, and join the joyful caroling around the beautifully lit tree.

Plus, there’s a heartwarming twist: you won’t have to give a $5 admission fee if you bring donations of new gloves, hats, scarves, or non-perishable food for the Shaker Village Giving Tree.

Candlelight Tours at Shaker Village

For a deeper dive into the history of Christmas celebrations, take advantage of the Candlelight Tours at Shaker Village. Held on Fridays and Saturdays in December, these guided strolls trace the evolution of Christmas traditions in Shaker communities.

These tours perfectly complement the festive atmosphere of Illuminated Evenings, making your holiday experience more prosperous and more meaningful.

Travis Clark Photography Santa Photos

Santa’s all over Lexington! At Lexington Green, you can get your photos with Santa courtesy of Travis Clark Photography. Appointments are available, but you can also opt for a spontaneous walk-in visit.

Santa Train

All aboard the Santa Train! From December 3-4 and 7-11, head to the Bluegrass Railroad Museum in Versailles for a 90-minute train ride that includes a visit with Santa. Even a holiday train is available for an extra dose of Christmas magic.

The Nutcracker

Experience the timeless enchantment of The Nutcracker on multiple dates at EKU and the Lexington Opera House, starting December 3. This Christmas classic is a cherished tradition that captivates audiences of all ages. Like my grandmother did with me, you’ll fall in love with the holiday magic again.

Christmas Lights and Santa at Buffalo Trace

Embrace the holiday season with a picturesque drive through a route of magnificent light displays. Running from December 1 to January 1 between 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., this event is free and open to the public.

And for a double dose of holiday joy, visit on December 8-9 from 6–8 p.m., when Santa himself will be there, spreading cheer and taking photos. It’s a festive and free way to create cherished memories.

Downtown Lexington Christmas Parade

Mark your calendar for December 3 at 11 a.m., when the Downtown Lexington Christmas Parade takes over Main Street. With local businesses, organizations, marching bands, and fellow Lexingtonians, this parade embodies the season’s spirit. This celebration is too joyful to miss.

Friday Flurries at the Summit

On December 9 and 16 from 6–9 p.m., head to the Green of the Summit for Friday Flurries. Enjoy the magic of faux snow, a picturesque holiday setup, and meet-and-greet opportunities with Santa and Elsa. This event is free to attend, and a photographer will be on hand to capture your memorable moments.

Holiday Drinks and Shopping

Quench your holiday thirst at the cutest coffee shop in downtown Versailles, The Amsden. They offer a delightful array of holiday drinks, from gingerbread lattes to peppermint mochas and decadent hot chocolates. While sipping, enjoy the festive decor and explore their fun shopping options.

Santa at Wilson’s Nursery

From December 10-11, go to Wilson’s in Frankfort. Santa Claus is coming to town, and the invitations are out to visit with the jolly fellow. It’s free and open to the public, so no tickets are necessary. While there, grab a steaming glass of hot cocoa or a candy cane mocha from Sage, their delightful cafe, and let the holiday spirit wash over you.

Christmas at LexCity Church

From December 16-17 at 7 p.m., experience a beloved Lexington family holiday tradition at LexCity Church. Dive into a Christmas adventure filled with dance, story, and song, all while discovering the true meaning of Christmas in Lexington, KY. Tickets are free, but reserve them in advance for this heartwarming event.

Dog Photos with Santa

Furry family members, here is the fun! On December 4, head to Pivot Brewing for a paw-some time with Santa. Sponsored by Lex Pit Crew, this event is perfect for capturing festive moments with your four-legged friends.

Christmas Party at Home with Loved Ones

Hosting a private Christmas party is the perfect way to celebrate with your nearest and dearest. And the best part? You can elevate your celebration to a new level by hiring a private chef from CookinGenie.

Picture your loved ones’ delight as they walk into your beautifully decorated home, where the scent of gourmet delights wafts through the air. You can tailor the menu to your preferences with a private chef, from traditional holiday feasts to creative culinary adventures.

Let the personal chef in Lexington, KY, take care of the cooking while you mingle, toast to the season, and create cherished memories with your family and friends. It’s a Christmas party like no other, where the focus is on joy, togetherness, and the exquisite flavors of the season.

Local Open Houses

Lexington’s local stores are pulling out all the stops with “open houses” and special shopping events that promise discounts and unique finds. Keep an eye out for more around the Christmas season.

Martine’s Pastries Open House on December 10 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. offers complimentary hot chocolate, bakery samples, and a full menu. Santa will appear from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., making dreams come true for children and adults alike.

Paxton Home Warehouse Sale, running December 10-11, is your chance to snag furniture, home decor, and gifts at a great value. This gem only opens its doors once a month, and they’ve got some of the cutest holiday decor around.

Conclusion

There you have it, a sleighful of festive delights waiting for you in Lexington, KY, this holiday season. Lexington is bursting with holiday spirit and family-friendly activities, from twinkling lights to gingerbread houses, ice skating, Santa sightings, and much more.

So, mark your calendar, gather your loved ones, and immerse yourself in the enchantment of Christmas events in Lexington, KY. May your holidays be merry and bright!

Sabah Drabu

Co-Founder & CEO

Sabah Drabu is a foodie, engineer, and the Co-founder & CEO of CookinGenie. She created the platform in 2019 to connect local chefs with at-home diners, making hiring personal chefs more accessible. Sabah's idea has evolved into a service people use for parties, vacation rentals, and family gatherings.

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