Whether you’re coming to visit friends and family or in the mood for a little wintertime magic, Lexington is the perfect place to experience the joy of the season. Here are eight special Holiday happenings that you can count on enjoying year after year here in the Horse Capital of the World.


1. Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park

Kentucky Horse Park - Southern Lights v2
Southern Lights is a three-mile driving tour of twinkling lights for the whole family. Included in the cost of admission is the option to park and explore the Holiday Village where visitors can meet with Santa, trek through Animal Land, take a Mini Train ride, marvel at the Bluegrass Miniature Train Display, and shop the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop. Food is also available.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit khpfoundation.org/southern-lights


2. Christmas at Mustard Seed Hill

Mustard Seed Hill

Christmas at Mustard Seed Hill is a spectacular holiday tradition in Millersburg, Kentucky, just 30 minutes north of Lexington in the heart of Bourbon County. Stroll the magnificent three-acre light display, enjoy music and s'mores kits with personal fire pits, shop for the perfect gift, and don’t miss the most stunning gingerbread house displays in Kentucky.  There's also an incredible 14-foot illuminated walk-through ornament—the perfect family-photo spot and a beloved location for engagement proposals!    

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit mustardseedhill.events/christmas

3. Holiday Events at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

Shaker Village at Christmas

During the Holiday Season, Shaker Village bustles with light-hearted moments that remind us of long-ago winter days filled with wonder and laughter. Make time to delight in life’s simple gifts with family and friends, as lively music, merriment and candlelight illuminate the Village. Tours, hay rides, bonfires, and opportunities to indulge in unique seasonal treats abound at Kentucky's largest National Historic Landmark.

For more information, please visit shakervillageky.org

4. Luminate Lexington

Holiday lights along main street.

Every winter, Luminate Lexington dazzles Downtown Lexington with Holiday spirit. Join us as we officially kick off the Holiday Season with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Triangle Park. And find a spot on Lexington’s revitalized Main Street to catch the always entertaining Christmas Parade. Make an evening out of it with dinner and drinks before or after the festivities at one of Lexington’s amazing independent bars and restaurants.      

For more information—including dates, times and parade route—please visit downtownlex.com/signature-events/luminate-lexington/

5. Seasonal Ice Skating Rinks

Ice Rink at Triangle Park

From early November through January, Triangle Park in Downtown Lexington is transformed into a winter wonderland perfect for a family outing or romantic date night. Rent a pair of skates by the hour and glide the night away under star-filled skies.

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

Starting November 25th and continuing through December 31st, Greyline Station is turning into a winter wonderland, complete with a sprawling ice rink in the heart of the building. Community members will be able to rent skates, shop, eat, drink, and more all in one place… while staying warm indoors. 

Head to greylinestation.com/winterfest-2023 for this year's festive events!


6. The Kentucky Castle

Front of the Kentucky Castle in the snow

What could make your Holiday more magical than a visit to a real life castle? The Kentucky Castle is a famous landmark that looks like it has been pulled straight from the pages of a fairytale. It’s fantastic all year round, but during the Holidays it gets an undeniable extra twinkle. From elegant cocktail hours to brunch with Santa, there’s always something unforgettable going on at this distinctive destination. 

For more information about specific events, please visit thekentuckycastle.com


7. Kentucky Ballet Theatre presents The Nutcracker

Detail of a dancer in The Nutcracker

Another can’t-miss Holiday performance at the historic Lexington Opera House, this beautiful ballet is the traditional large-scale production with a cast that includes the ever-popular Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Rat King, soldiers, mice, fairies, snowflakes, candy canes, little mice and, of course, Clara and Drosylmeyer. The Kentucky Ballet Theatre Professional Company Dancers along with over 50 ballet students will wow you during this annual tradition set to the timeless music of Tchaikovsky. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit lexingtonoperahouse.com


8. Candlelight Tours of Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate

Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate at Christmas

Every December, the historic estate of famed Kentucky statesman Henry Clay is “dressed to the nines” with decorations for the Holiday Season. The grounds are free to visit year-round and standard guided tours are conducted regularly. However, for a few select nights during the Holidays, guests can book a special candlelight tour of Ashland and experience this meticulously preserved mansion just as its original inhabitants once did. Availability is limited and dates are subject to change.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit henryclay.org/events/