Get your fuzzy socks and hot cocoa ready, Lexington. From light displays to holiday performances and festive shopping opportunities, winter is just around the corner for the Horse Capital of the World.
Gather the family and friends and celebrate what makes the holiday season special with this guide featuring 30 winter events happening December-February.
💡 Light displays
Holiday Lights at the Distillery | Now through Sunday, Jan. 1 | 5:30-8:30 p.m. | Buffalo Trace Distillery, 113 Great Buffalo Trace, Frankfort | Free | Illuminate your holiday spirit by driving through a special route of colorful light displays.
Christmas at Mustard Seed Hill | Begins Thurs., Dec. 1 | Times vary | Mustard Seed Hill, 1122 Main St., Millersburg | $15 | This is the perfect place to bring your out-of-town visitors. Find a gift at the artisan’s market, drool over the gingerbread house displays, and stroll along the three-acre holiday light display.
Southern Lights | Now-Saturday, Dec. 31 | 5:30-10 p.m. | Kentucky Horse Park, 4075 Iron Works Parkway | $30 per car | Named one of Kentucky’s Top 10 Winter/Holiday Festivals and Events by Kentucky Travel and Tourism, this magical Bluegrass tradition is celebrating 29 years at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Lunch at the Glitz | Wednesday, Nov. 30-Saturday, Dec. 31 | 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | The Glitz Restaurant, 4205 Fords Mill Rd., Versailles | $34.95+ | This glammed-out, glitter-filled holiday dining experience offers a three-course, prix fixe menu with local, seasonal ingredients with a side of unique antique shopping.
A Kentucky Christmas at Ashland | Saturday, Dec. 3 | 12-7:30 p.m. | Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate, 120 Sycamore Rd. | Free | Stop by to shop the Christmas market, take Santa selfies, and stick around for the Illumination ceremony around sunset. Be sure to check out the estate in all its illuminated glory on a candlelight tour available next week.
Downtown Lexington Christmas Parade | Saturday, Dec. 3 | 11 a.m. | Downtown Lexington | Free | See the city’s annual holiday parade where you’ll see a variety of organizations, bands, floats, and of course, Santa Claus cruising down Main Street from Midland Avenue to Mill Street.
Michler’s Christmas Market | Saturday, Dec. 3 + Sunday, Dec. 4 | 11 a.m. | Kentucky Native Cafe, 417 E. Maxwell St. | Free, Price of purchase | Wander through the beautiful grounds of Kentucky Native Cafe while enjoying live local music + shopping from a variety of vendors including Pysanky egg ornaments, Alpaca woven scarves, ceramics, and watercolor lettering.
Children’s Tea Time with Mrs. Claus | Saturday, Dec. 10 + Saturday, Dec. 17 | Don we now our gay apparel for afternoon tea + storytime with Mrs. Claus. Spiced cider, cookies, and small sandwiches will be provided. Bonus: Don’t forget to check out the gift shop for one-of-a-kind Shaker-style reproductions and seasonal-inspired gifts.
West Sixth Holiday Market | Saturday, Dec. 10 | 1-5 p.m. | West Sixth Farm, 4495 Shadrick Ferry Rd., Frankfort | Free, price of purchase | The event will feature local vendors selling handmade goods, craft beer, hot cocoa, and a special holiday menu from the West Sixth Cantina food truck.
Martine’s Pastries Santa Open House | Saturday, Dec. 10 | 8 a.m.-4 p.m. | Martine’s Pastries, 400 E. Third St. | Free, price of purchase | Stop in and enjoy delicious complimentary hot chocolate + bakery samples and stick around for photos with Santa.
Kids’ Gingerbread Workshop | Saturday, Dec. 10 | 10 a.m. | La Bonne Vie, 1060 Chinoe Rd. Ste. 108 | $45 | All edible decorations are included to build the perfect gingerbread house + enjoy hot cocoa and marshmallows at your own workspace.
Funkmas Holiday Party | Saturday, Dec. 10 | 11 a.m. | Blue Stallion, 610 W. Third St. | Free, price of purchase | Don your tackiest apparel for a day of fun + funk cheering the UK Wildcats and grooving to the sounds of Boogie G & The Titanics
Illuminated Evenings | Saturdays, Dec. 10 + 17 | 5-8 p.m. | Shaker Village, 3501 Lexington Rd., Harrodsburg | $5 or giving tree donation | Discover the holiday spirit by taking a ride on the Jingle Bell Shuttle, making a craft in the Elf Shop, singing carols + so much more.
Christmas Karaoke | Friday, Dec. 16 | 6-9 p.m. | Chevy Chase Inn, 833 E. Euclid Ave. | Free, price of purchase | Support Operation Secret Santa (they’ll receive 20% of sales for the night) by singing, drinking + being merry with surprise guests joining in on the fun.
It’s the Last Minute Maker’s Market | Sunday, Dec. 18 | 2-6 p.m. | Rock House Brewing, 119 Luigart Ct. | Free, price of purchase | If you saved your shopping for the last minute, you’ll find plenty of local, handmade gifts with a side of live music + delicious food.
Christmas on the Farm | Saturday, Dec. 17-Sunday, Dec. 18 | 12-8 p.m. | Ashford Acres Farm, 1801 KY-36, Cynthiana | $5 | Experience all things holiday including carriage rides, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Clause, shopping with local vendors, fire pits with s’mores + more.
Holiday Brunch | Saturdays + Sundays, Dec. 10-Dec. 18 | 10 a.m. | Marriott Griffin Gate, 1800 Newtown Pike | Price of purchase | Grab the family for festive fun featuring Jingle Bell juice, Vixen’s biscuits, and Donner’s delicious deviled eggs.
Party for a Purpose Pajama Party | Thursday, Jan. 26 | 6-9 p.m. | The Signature Club, 3526 Lansdowne Dr. | $75 | The ultimate girls’ night —complete with food, cocktails, games + giveaways, with proceeds benefiting Sunrise Children’s Services.
BourbonCon | Friday, Jan. 20-Saturday, Jan. 21 | Marriott Griffin Gate, 1800 Newtown Pike | $75-$350 | The weekend will feature 30+ bourbon and culinary partners who will be offering tastings, cooking demonstrations, panelist discussions + live, interactive entertainment.
Yoga in the Ballroom | Tuesdays, Jan. 3-31 | 6 p.m. | The Kentucky Castle | $15 | Start 2023 on the right foot by connecting your mind, body, and soul at this all-levels yoga series.
🎶 Holiday performances
Alltech Celebration of Song | Sunday, Dec. 11 | 4-5:30 p.m. | Kentucky Horse Park, 4089 Iron Works Pkwy. | Free | Celebrate the magic of the holiday season with the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and winners of the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition.
The Nutcracker in One Act | Friday, Dec. 16-Saturday, Dec. 17 | 7 p.m. + 2 p.m. | Singletary Center, 465 Rose St. | $20-$24 | The Bluegrass Youth Ballet is gracing the stage with a shortened, family-friendly, single act of the enchantment of The Nutcracker.
A Cathedral Christmas: Dress Rehearsal | Friday, Dec. 16 | 7:30-9 p.m. | Cathedral of Christ the King, 299 Colony Blvd. | Pay what you want | Since the main performance is already sold out, the Lexington Philharmonic + the Lexington Singers are opening up their rehearsal for community members to enjoy this musical holiday tradition.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Ballet | Wednesday, Dec. 21-Thursday, Dec. 22 | 5 + 8 p.m. | Singletary Center, 465 Rose St. | Free, ticket required | Enjoy the ballet rendition of the C.S. Lewis story of the magic of Narnia.
The Nutcracker | Friday, Dec. 9-Sunday, Dec. 11 + Friday, Dec. 16-Sunday, Dec. 18|. Times vary | Lexington Opera House | $27+ | This holiday tradition features the enchanting production and performances of The Lexington Ballet Company.
🍾 NYE celebrations
New Year’s Eve: A Black Tie Affair | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 7 p.m.-12 a.m. | The Kentucky Castle | $200-$400 | Your ticket includes a night of dancing + hors d’oeuvres, a three-course dinner, three drinks, and a champagne toast.
NYE at 21c | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. | 21c Lexington, 167 W. Main St. | $100-$125 | The Scout Guide Lexington invites to ring in 2023 with live music from the Lauren Mink Band hors d’oeuvres, desserts + champagne.
New Year’s Eve Disco | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 7:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. | Wise Bird Cider Co., 1170 Manchester St., Ste. 140 | $100 | Bust out the bell bottoms for a 1970s disco party complete with cider jello-shots, a buffet dinner by Little Fork, and of course, champagne.
New Year’s Eve at West Sixth | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 7 p.m.-12 a.m. | West Sixth Brewing, 501 W. Sixth St. | $100-$200 | Bring your own camera for the photo booth wall + enjoy delicious bites like Artichoke-Parm-Jalapeno Dip with seasonal crudité courtesy of neighbor, Smithtown Seafood.
NYE Prohibition Party | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 8 p.m.-1 a.m. | The Melodeon, 200 W. Main St. | $50-$300 | Ring in the new year prohibition style with complimentary bites to eat, and a champagne toast at midnight — come dressed to impress.