Over the river and down the Interstate lies a Christmas attraction the Travel Channel calls “over the top.” New this year, Louisville’s Galt House unveils Kalightoscope: 12 Days of Christmas (christmasatthegalthouse.com). Children and adults enter the world of the classic song, brought to life by more than 200 luminaries formed through the ancient Chinese art of silk-wrapped lighting. Christmas revelers will see a partridge in a pear tree, pass through five golden rings, cross a bridge over seven swans a-swimming, and finally come upon 12 drummers drumming. Custom designed props, mechanization and magical sounds highlight the experience that’s worth the trip.
“There is no display of this magnitude anywhere in the world,” says Amanda Lambert, marketing communications manager of Galt House. A family owned and operated hotel, Galt House earned Bing Travel’s recognition as one of the “12 Most Decked Out Hotels” with its returning features. Visitors can Make a Flake with the Snow Fairy Princess at the Snow Fairy Castle. They can kiss a crush beneath the magical mistletoe in the gazebo on Winter WonderLane, or build a snowman in Snow Play. Little ones might want to mail a letter to Santa in the Christmas Village, or better still, jump in Santa’s Sleigh Green Screen Experience and deliver presents all over the world with the whole family.
After all these adventures, Galt House gives guests a chance to relax and take in a show. New this year, the Ladies for Liberty and the Soldiers of Swing present a big band and jazz Holiday Dinner Show. Other performances include a Holly Jolly Elf Show, a very Merry Magic Show and every night at 5 p.m. the Dancing Toy Soldier Bellman perform their Countdown to Christmas Dance.
Galt House isn’t Louisville’s only unique holiday attraction. Mega Caverns (louisvillemegacavern.com) offers “the only underground light show on the planet.” Created in the 1930s, Mega Cavern has more than 17 miles of underground passageways, and throughout December, Lights Under Louisville gives families a chance to pile in the car and take a half-hour tour of 850 lit-up characters and more than two million points of light.
See lights above ground at Louisville’s Holiday Square (louisville.gov/government/city-events/light-louisville). In addition to the city’s Christmas tree and a full-size skating rink, visitors can take the Gum Drop Trail to the Holiday Market where quaint vendor chalets offer unique hand-made gifts. Additionally, live entertainment brings holiday cheer every weekend. As Mayor Fisher says, “We’ve been working hard to create an unforgettable experience for people who come to spend some of the holiday season with us here in downtown Louisville.”
Also downtown, on Museum Row, the Frazier History Museum (fraziermuseum.org/upcoming-exhibitions), presents two Christmas exhibits. For Holidays Around the World, Louisville residents decorate trees and showcase the holiday celebrations and traditions of the city’s diverse ethnic communities. Additionally White Christmas: The Exhibition displays costumes, posters and memorabilia from the 1954 classic film starring Cincinnati’s own Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.
For more Christmas musical entertainment, get tickets for the Derby Dinner Playhouse (derbydinner.com), one of the oldest and largest continually operating professional dinner theatres in the country. Honky Tonk Angels Holiday Spectacular follows three friends who re-unite for a Christmas show at The Hillbilly Heaven Club. Enjoy classic Christmas songs and country favorites, along with a home-style buffet and desserts that are a specialty of the house.