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 with the Grinch, Dec. 12

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. Call 270-646-2151.

Buckhorn Lake State Park, Buckhorn
Holiday on the Park, Dec. 5

Enjoy getting ready for the holidays by visiting Buckhorn Lake. Start your visit with crafts at 1:30 p.m., followed by popcorn ball making at 3:30 p.m. Santa will visit at 5:30 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. enjoy a reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” Call 606-398-7510.

Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, Mount Olivet
Holiday Dinner and Movie, Dec. 19

Bring the entire family out for a special holiday buffet at Hidden Waters Restaurant. After dinner, make a new memory for this year’s Christmas tree by making a hand-crafted ornament. 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. Call 800-443-7008 or email

E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer State Park, Louisville
Holiday Wreath Workshop, Dec. 5

It's about that time to decorate for the Holidays!  There is no better way to create a festive look than to hang a wreath at your home or office.  Why not create your own custom holiday wreath that you will treasure for years to come?  Join our park staff as we teach you how to use vines and other natural materials to build your very own holiday wreath!  The park will provide all items needed to build and decorate the wreaths; all you need is your creativity! The fee is $10 per wreath. Open from 1-3 p.m. Registration is required; call 502-429-7270 or email Lora Sekeres at: for more information.

General Butler State Resort Park, Carrollton
Frozen Wonderland Day and Festival of Trees, Dec. 5 

The park will have your favorite “Frozen” and holiday characters: Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, Grinch, Buddy Elf, Cat in the Hat, Ralphie, and, of course, Santa Claus. Start with breakfast from 8-10:30 a.m. at Two Rivers Restaurant. Regular breakfast pricing (plus tax) will apply. Then come upstairs from 9 a.m.-noon for viewing the array of trees decorated by local businesses, civic organizations, churches and schools. (Note: Trees will stay on display for the month of December, but please check with the Lodge about holiday closing dates.) 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 and general public. Call 502-732-4384.

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Prestonsburg
Breakfast With Santa and Frosty, Dec. 11, 12, 13, 19, 20

Hey kids! Be sure to drop by Jenny Wiley State Resort Park to visit Santa and Frosty and their friends for breakfast at the May Lodge. Make sure to bring your camera for a picture! Breakfast will be served 8-10 a.m. Adults are $8.50 and children ages 6-12 are $5.50. Children 5 and under are free. Drink and tax not included. Call 606-889-1790.

John James Audubon State Park, Henderson
Little Rembrandts-Holiday Ornaments, Dec. 4

Get in the holiday spirit with your child, ages 3-5, as we design and decorate an ornament at the museum just in time for your tree. Paints, glitter, ribbon and more. Holiday Art at the Park is from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Dress for a mess. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required. Fee: $7. Contact: Kim McGrew-Liggett Audubon Museum 270-827-1893

Kenlake State Resort Park, Aurora
Santa and Mrs. Claus, Dec. 13

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Kenlake State Resort Park on Sunday, Dec. 13, from 1-3 p.m. Children can tell Santa their wishes, enjoy making reindeer food, crafts and coloring pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The Aurora Landing Restaurant will offer a special child-friendly lunch and will offer buy one adult meal and get one child’s meal free for children 12 and under.  Canned goods will be accepted for NEEDLINE, a community support group.  Bring your camera! Call 270-474-2211.

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, Gilbertsville
Breakfast with Santa and Frosty, Dec. 5

Join Santa and his friends 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 $8.50; children ages 6-12 are $5.50; children 5 and under are free.  Call 1-800-325-0146.

My Old Kentucky Home State Park, Bardstown
Candlelight Christmas Tours, Nov. 27-28, Dec. 4-5, 11-12

See My Old Kentucky Home glowing in candlelight and fully decorated in brilliant Christmas decor this holiday season! Rooms in the mansion will be decorated for the holidays. Some will have 12-foot-tall Christmas trees. Stroll through the ages of Christmas as we bring out the best of My Old Kentucky Home through decoration, music, and food. Enjoy the sights, hear the beautiful live acoustic music, and enjoy Victorian-era Christmas treats such as cider, cookies and more! Santa Claus will also be making a visit this year to read “The Night Before Christmas” for the kids, and will be waiting to hear what everyone wants for Christmas!  Children can make their own ornaments to hang on the wish tree in the mansion's children's bedroom. Tours are available 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children and are available by calling 502-348-3502 or sold at the door.

Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Slade
Breakfast With Santa and Craft Fair, Dec. 12

The park’s holiday breakfast starts at 8 a.m. followed by pictures with Santa in the Hemlock Lodge Lobby starting at 9 a.m. There will also be a build-your-own toy workshop in the Magnolia Room and a crafts fair in the Trillium Room starting at 9 a.m. Call 606-663-2214.

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Dawson Springs
Santa Visit and Open House, Dec. 5

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The stockings are hung by the fireplace. Holiday lights, festive attractions, spectacular events and family traditions are just a few ways to celebrate the season at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park. The park will host its annual Santa Visits the Park and Gift Shop Open House on Dec. 5. The gift shop open house will take place all day long with all items discounted 25 percent. A buffet dinner will be available 4-8 p.m. at the Clifty Creek Restaurant. Free photos with Santa will be offered 5-7 p.m. in the lobby. Music in the dining room available 6-8 p.m. Traci & Friends will play some holiday favorites and country classics. Then, Gail McEwen will perform some holiday music. (On Dec. 12, the park will again offer music from 6-8 p.m. with Chris Tolliver on piano followed by an encore performance by Gail McEwen singing holiday music.) Call 1-800-325-1711.

Pine Mountain State Resort Park, Pineville
Moonlight and Mistletoe, Dec. 3, 10, 17

The Moonlight and Mistletoe Dinner will include turkey or stuffed pork loin, mashed potatoes and gravy, your choice of green beans or corn and your choice of dessert, double chocolate mousse or banana caramel pudding. The dinner, served 5-8 p.m., is $11.99 per person and does not include tax, beverage or gratuity. Santa and the Grinch will be in the lobby on these dates for photos. On Dec. 3, the Middlesboro High School Choir will be caroling in the lobby from 5:30-7:30 p.m. On Dec. 17, the Bell County High School Choir will be caroling in the lobby from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Call 606-337-3066.

Rough River Dam State Resort Park, Falls of Rough
Supper with Santa, Dec. 5

Grayson’s Landing Restaurant will host Supper with Santa 4:30-8 p.m. This kid-friendly buffet is $9.99 for adults and $4.99 for children. Bring your camera for photos with Santa and create your own Christmas ornaments. Call 800-325-1713.

Waveland State Historic Site, Lexington
Dickens Christmas Carol and Candlelight Tour at Waveland, Dec. 4-5, 11-12

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the season at Waveland State Historic Site.  Relive Christmas of the past with scenes from the classic story, “The Christmas Carol.”  Santa will be in the parlor reciting the story, “The Night Before Christmas.” Remember to bring your camera!  Come enjoy cookies and hot cocoa while shopping for that special someone in our log cabin gift shop.  Open 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and children 6 and under are free. Call 859-272-3611.