You don’t have to put your travel plans on hold just because winter is here to stay for a while. There are plenty of sightseeing opportunities available during the cooler months, and you’re likely to find the cost of hotels, dining, and activities at lower prices as well.
Kentucky has a lot to offer to people looking for true winter experiences but who are not interested in traveling somewhere with sub-zero temperatures. The seven activities described below are sure to create memories that families and friends will talk about for years to come.
Bardstown has earned the designation of the most beautiful small town in the country for good reason. Visitors can meet Santa’s elves at Bardstown Community Theater or catch a glimpse of him during a Santa Express ride at the Kentucky Railroad Museum.
Since the town goes all out with holiday decorating, visitors may want to drive around and take in the sights from the comfort of their own vehicles.
Garden of Lights
You can’t beat free when it comes to finding vacation attractions in the winter. The Creation Museum in Petersberg, located at 2200 Bullitsburg Church Road, decorates its outdoor garden with thousands of bright, cheery lights.
A frozen Caperton Swamp
Caperton Swamp, usually teeming with life and natural activity, transforms into a serene, frozen landscape during the colder months. The swamp’s waterways and marshes, typically bustling with birds and other wildlife, become still under a blanket of ice and snow. This seasonal freeze casts a quiet, almost ethereal beauty over the area, creating a stark contrast to its usual verdant vibrancy.
Light Up Bardstown
The beautiful little town of Bardstown bustles with so much activity at this time of year that it needs two listings. One event that Kentuckians always look forward to is the annual Light Up Bardstown Event.
For most of December, the streets of Bardstown turn from busy modern streets into a quaint, charming village. Visitors can pick up a map to make sure they don’t miss any holiday sights or events that Bardstown has to offer.
Maysville has long had a reputation as one of the most decorative towns in all of Kentucky over the holidays. Wreaths adorned with red bows line each pole and tree on every street, and the garland stretches from one side of the street to the other.
This quaint Kentucky town also hosts a Christmas market and the Downtown Twilight Christmas Parade each year. Along with enjoying the many festive floats, visitors can grab a bite to eat on-site while also enjoying crafts and live music.
My Old Kentucky Home Museum
The Federal Hill Mansion, located at 501 Stephen Foster Avenue, takes visitors back to the mid-1800s through decorations and staff dressed in period costumes. Carolers are also on hand to get people in the holiday spirit.
Residents of the state will love the six Christmas trees in this 200-year-old mansion, each decorated in themes unique to Kentucky.
Lexington Downtown Triangle Park Ice Rink
The Lexington Downtown Triangle Park is a cherished winter attraction, bringing a splash of seasonal joy to the heart of the city. As the temperatures drop, this outdoor rink invites locals and visitors alike to lace up their skates and revel in the pleasure of ice skating.
Tree Lighting in Louisville
On Sunday, December 3, Jefferson Square Park hosts an annual tree lighting ceremony, but this isn’t just any tree. The Norway Spruce chosen for this event is as least 45 feet tall.
The festival celebrates all winter holidays, including Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Live entertainment takes place throughout the event from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Santa will be there to flip the switch that turns on millions of lights.
Every year, the Church of Latter-Day Saints in Crestwood hosts a display of over 500 nativity scenes at 6401 Westwood Way. The event is the talk of the town due to live models and animals that make the displays come alive.