Kentucky Tourism

Holiday Events

The Kentucky State Parks will be ready for the winter holidays this year with special meals, decorations, candlelight tours, entertainment and other special events planned.

State parks are a great place for Christmas and holiday gatherings. The resort parks have restaurants, meeting areas and gift shops that offer unique gift ideas. That includes Kentucky Unbridled Spirit gift cards, which are valid at Kentucky State Parks, the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

Many state resort parks will also hold New Year’s Eve parties and dinners Dec. 31. For more information about these and other events, call your favorite park.

Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas
Breakfast and the Grinch, Dec. 10
Barren River Lake State Resort Park invites you to Breakfast and the Grinch. Enjoy green eggs and ham, visit with the Grinch, story time of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and make a holiday craft. Limited seating; registration required. Registration fees apply. Afterwards, stop by and visit with Santa in the holiday villa to give him your wish list. Don’t forget your camera to take pictures with the Grinch and Santa! Choose from two sessions: 7:15 - 8:45 a.m. or 9-10:30 a.m. Tickets are $15 for ages 13 & over, $10 for ages 4-12; 3 and under are free. Santa's House hours: 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. Click here for registration form (Adobe PDF) Call 270-646-2151.
Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, Mount Olivet
Dinner Theater, Dec. 9-10.
Patrons will dine from a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet featuring Kentucky State Park favorites as well as a dessert buffet. Afterwards, be treated to world-class entertainment from the Action Bros. and their special brand of comedy! Tickets are $35 (includes tax) per person for dinner and entertainment. Overnight packages available for $140 (tax included) that include an overnight stay in the lodge, two dinner theater tickets, and breakfast for two the following morning. Call 800-443-7008 for reservations.

Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park
, Mount Olivet
Holiday Dinner & Movie, Dec. 17
Bring the entire family out for a special holiday buffet at Hidden Waters Restaurant. After dinner, make a new memory as a family with a take home craft. Then grab a bag of popcorn and a big mug of hot chocolate and settle in for a screening of a holiday family favorite. Help Blue Licks continue a new holiday tradition with your family with good food, good memories, and a good movie! The cost is $10 per adult , $5 per child. (Price includes special buffet, drink, craft, movie tickets popcorn and hot chocolate!) The evening begins at 5 p.m. with dinner and movie at 7:30 p.m. For additional information, call 800-443-7008.

Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, Buckhorn
Holiday in the Park, Dec. 3
Begin your holiday season at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park with the celebration of "Holiday in the Park." The day will include making a Christmas craft and popcorn balls.  Santa will be at the lodge (don't forget those cameras for pictures).  There will be a rendition of "The Night Before Christmas" in the lobby by the fire place. Activities will be from 1-8:30 p.m. Call 606-398-7510.

Butler-Turpin State Historic House
, Carrollton
(At General Butler State Resort Park)
Christmas Tour of Homes, Nov. 26-27, Dec. 3-4 
The Friends of Butler will be offering weekend holiday tours of the Butler-Turpin State Historic House from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for children, and under 6 years is free. 
The Butler-Turpin State Historic House is operated and managed by the Friends of Butler. This antebellum home, built in 1859 features an 18th and 19th century collection and archaeological exhibit from the 1790 Butler cabin.  The house is a three-bay, two story structure built in the Greek revival style, and was once a site of political rallies, encampments, and a working farm. 
Whether you are staying at the park, save time to take this historic holiday tour and learn more about this very historic family. Call 502-732-4384.

Carter Caves State Resort Park, Olive Hill
Christmas Open House, Dec. 11
Carter Caves State Resort Park will host a Christmas Open House at the Welcome Center Gift Shop on Sunday, Dec. 11, noon to 4 p.m. Enjoy refreshments and Santa will be there, so bring the kids and a camera! Call 606-286-4411.

Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park, Burkesville
Breakfast With Santa, Dec. 17
Bring the family and come have Breakfast with Santa from 8-10:30 a.m. Then let the little ones sit around the fireplace as Mrs. Claus reads "The Night Before Christmas"
Don’t forget the camera to capture those special memories! Call 270-433-7431.

Fort Boonesborough State Park, Richmond
18th Century Christmas, Dec. 9-10
Visit the fort to see and hear the differences in the holiday celebrations of the season during the early settlement of Kentucky. The fort will be lighted by candlelight, with decorations in keeping with the traditions of the time. There will be living history interpretations of the traditions of various ethnic groups and nationalities during the season. Candle lanterns, bonfires, the Christmas guns, food and refreshments, music and dance, will all add to the atmosphere. Refreshments are included! This is a special program sponsored by the Fort Boonesborough Foundation. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12 and ages 5 and under are free. Visit for more information.

General Butler State Resort Park
, Carrollton
Frozen Wonderland Day and Festival of Trees, Dec. 3
Spend the morning with your favorite Frozen and holiday characters: Elsa, Anna, Krisoff, Olaf, Grinch, Buddy Elf, Cat in the Hat, Ralphie, and of course Santa Claus all joining us for breakfast from 8 - 10:30 a.m. inside Butler Lodge. Two Rivers Restaurant. regular breakfast pricing (+tax) will apply. 
Then come upstairs in the mezzanine from 8 a.m.-noon for viewing the array of Holiday Trees decorated by local businesses, civic organizations, and schools. Note: Trees will stay on display for the month of December. Along with the beautiful trees, special entertainers will be on hand to top off your Frozen Wonderland experience while visiting General Butler State Resort Park.  Event activities are free, and open to resort guests & general public. Call 502-732-4384.

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Prestonsburg
Breakfast With Santa, Dec. 9, 10, 17, 18
Visit Jenny Wiley State Resort Park for Breakfast with Santa and his friends from 7-10 a.m. Bring everyone for a delicious breakfast buffet and take pictures with Santa, Mrs. Claus, Frosty and Rudolph. Breakfast is $9 plus tax for adults and $6 plus tax for children. A drink is not included. Call 606-889-1790.

Kenlake State Resort Park, Aurora
Santa and Mrs. Claus Visit, Dec. 11
Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit Kenlake State Resort Park on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 1-3 p.m. Bring the kids and enjoy making reindeer food, crafts, and coloring pictures! Bring your camera and get a great photo with Santa. There will be lunch specials in the Aurora Landing Restaurant from Noon until 3 p.m. Buy one adult meal and get one child's meal for free. (for children 12 and under; special available Dec. 11, 2016 only) Canned good accepted for local food bank. Call 270-474-2211.

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park
, Calvert City
Breakfast with Santa and Frosty, Dec. 3
Join Santa and his friends at the Convention Center for a conversation, pictures, and a child-friendly buffet. This annual event is from 8-11 a.m. and also includes cookie decorating and a small gift (while supplies last). Adults $8.75; Children (6-12) $5.75; Children 5 and under free. For more information please call 1-800-325-0146.

Kingdom Come State Park, Cumberland
Run Santa Run 5K and Reindeer Trot, Dec. 17
Registration is 9-9:45 a.m. at the park gift shop. The race starts at 10 a.m. The 5K run is $20 and for walkers it’s $10. Get a $5 discount if you wear your Santa suit. For more information, call 606-589-4138 or email

My Old Kentucky Home State Park
, Bardstown
Merry and Bright Victorian Christmas Tours, Nov. 26-Dec. 31
Guides in Victorian hoop skirts and gentleman in tailcoats sing the song “My Old Kentucky Home,” on your tour of Kentucky’s most famous landmark decorated for Christmas, My Old Kentucky Home! The mansion is adorned and decorated with beautiful 12′ tall Christmas trees, each with a unique Kentucky theme in every room, including the Commonwealth Tree, Meadows in the Bloom, Birds Make Music All the Day, & more! Garlands, mistletoe, stockings full of toys, the annual gingerbread model of the historic mansion made by our pastry chef, and nutcrackers stand guard over the mansion’s many rooms! As you move forward to each room, experience a different era of Christmas, starting from colonial times, the early and late Victorian periods, all the way to the roaring 20’s when the mansion was last owned by the Rowan family. Admission is $10. Discounts available for seniors, military and groups. Call 502-348-3502.

Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Slade
The Holidays at Hemlock Lodge, Dec. 10
We’ve decked the halls of Hemlock Lodge for the holiday season!   Enjoy a day at the park with Santa Claus, meals inspired by holiday traditions, and other activities. Call 606-663-2214.

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Dawson Springs
Santa Visits the Park, Dec. 3
Enjoy the park gift shop all day with an open house and discounts. A buffet dinner will be served 4-8 p.m. Free photos with Santa will be offered 5-7 p.m. in the lobby. Call 

Rough River Dam State Resort Park
, Falls of Rough
Supper With Santa, Dec. 3
Kick off your holiday season with a trip to see Santa at Rough River Dam State Resort Park.  While you are there, treat your family to a kid-friendly buffet at the restaurant.  The Jolly Fellow should arrive around 5:30 p.m.  There will be activities and crafts for the kids. Call 800-325-1713.

Waveland State Historic Site, Lexington
Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Dec. 2-4, 9-11
Relive Christmas of the past with scenes from the Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol” at Waveland State Historic Site. Since this Christmas classic was written in 1843, it only seems fitting to celebrate Christmas of the past in a historic home that was built in the same time period. Follow from room–to-room as the drama plays out right in front of you.  A magical Christmas experience! 
Santa will be in the barn each performance an hour before the first scheduled performance. He will be reciting a story and provide parents with a photo moment.
Santa Schedule:
December 2nd and 3rd - Pictures with Santa and a story from 4-5:30 p.m.
December 4th – Pictures with Santa and a story from 12–1:30 p.m.
December 9th and 10th - Pictures with Santa and a story from 4-5:30 p.m.
December 11th – Pictures with Santa and a story 12–1:30 p.m.
Performance Schedule:
December 2nd and 3rd – 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
December 4th – 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Matinee
December 9th and 10th – 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
December 11th – 2 p.m. and 3p.m. Matinee
Stop by the log cabin gift shop for a gift for that special someone! Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children, and ages 6 and under free. Call 859-272-3611.

White Hall State Historic Site, Richmond
Victorian Christmas, Dec. 2-3, 9-10
The holidays are off to a festive start when you visit White Hall's Victorian Christmas for a Victorian Christmas. Costumed interpreters will be on hand as you stroll through the holiday bedecked rooms and learn about the Christmas customs celebrated today that were first made popular during the Victorian era.  Baked treats and hot apple cider complete this wonderful family event.  Tickets are $10 per person, children aged 5 and under are free.  Child and group rates are available, call the park at 859-623-9178 for more details.

William Whitley House State Historic Site, Stanford
Christmas at the William Whitley House, Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18
Tis the season at the William Whitley House State Historic Site.  The late 1700s home is decked out for the holidays awaiting guests to celebrate a mix of colonial and modern day Christmas.  Learn a bit of history about where our modern traditions came from and how the pioneer William Whitley and his family of 11 children may have celebrated the season. The Christmas tours will start Dec. 3 through Dec. 17 (Sat. & Sun.).  Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under.  Call the park at 606-355-2881 for more information or special hours.

William Whitley House State Historic Site
, Stanford
Christmas Tuesday Tea, Dec. 20
A low tea will be served in a Christmas atmosphere and period attire in the William Whitley House parlor. The event includes tea etiquette and a tour of the late 1700s Georgian-style home. Enjoy an afternoon with friends during one of the most wonderful times of the year.  Cost is $20 per person and reservations must be made in advance by calling the park at 606-355-2881.