Louisville is a great place for a (long) day trip, an overnight or a weekend away. The drive for Indianapolis families is less than two hours and a very pleasant drive on Interstate 65 South. Surrounded by farmland with the occasional break of gas stations, outlet shopping and of course, Bloomington, you’ll be in Louisville in no time.
For the last four or five years I’ve passed a billboard at least once a year that reminds me, I really need to get down to Louisville during the holidays to check out Lights Under Louisville! I saw it again this year and that is how our Christmas adventure came to be.
Accommodations in Louisville
We stayed in the beautiful Galt House Hotel which is on 4th street right on the river. The Galt House is within walking distance of many of the things we did during our stay as well as many of the attractions families can enjoy year round.Our family loved walking throughout the hotel to see the beautiful holiday decor and trees. At five o’clock every evening, children and their families gather in the lobby as “toy soldiers” dance and turn the page on the Christmas book with the countdown to Christmas.
Holiday Attractions in Louisville
Perfect location aside, Galt House is home to KaLightoscope, a gorgeous display of luminaries that are handcrafted by artisans from Zigong, China. Kids will love the magical feeling they get from their journey to the North Pole, checking out what toys are under Santa’s tree and deciding if their name belongs on the naughty or nice list. Adults will appreciate the beauty and the talent behind the unique displays. Head on to the Christmas Village and Candy Cane forest where the ultimate hands on fun holiday experiences await! Make a green screen video in Santa’s sleigh, ride the Peppermint Express (mini train), peek inside the doors of the Christmas Village and more! Cost: Adults $14.99 (18.99 Friday through Sunday), Child- Free with Adult Ticket Purchase (Child ages 12 & Under), Additional Child- $9.99
Downtown Louisville offers 40 Nights of Lights, brightly lit and colorful street decorations that line 4th street, hang overhead and are projected onto buildings, beginning near the Galt House and headed all the way to the 4th Street Live area. Along the way you’ll come across Aegon Plaza where lighted pillars and giant speakers share a delightful synchronized show on the hour 7pm-10pm 7 days a week through January 1st (extra show at 11pm) Fridays and Saturdays. The shows are about 5 songs in length and there are a variety of songs played throughout the night. Children will dance and clap and enjoy running around amidst the fun.
Fourth Street Live has a giant tree, visits with Santa and ICE SKATING! A covered rink of synthetic ice allows beginners and advanced skaters to enjoy the experience, no matter the weather outside. Adults can walk along the ice on tennis shoes with their children to assist new skaters with their balance and confidence. Ice skating is $5 an hour for adults, $3 for children 12 & under, skate rental is $2. There are child sizes but not toddlers sizes.
Lights Under Louisville is a 30+ minute drive (in your own vehicle) through underground caverns through light displays containing over two million lights! It’s the world’s ONLY fully underground drive through Christmas light show. Roll down the windows (it’s pretty warm underground) and enjoy the sights and sounds of the synchronized shows! TIP: Visit Monday through Thursday or the final hour of the show to avoid lines to get in (it gets REALLY crowded), pick up a $5 off coupon at Wendy’s. Hours: Monday through Friday 6pm-10pm, Saturday & Sunday 5pm-10pm. Cost: $25 (per carload) and up.
We’ll be heading back to Louisville in 2o14 for the reopening of Kentucky Kingdom and some other fun! Looking for somewhere to take the family for Spring Break? Consider Louisville, I’ll share our recommendations in February.
All opinions and stories are true to the best of my knowledge. I was not compensated to share this trip with you, however we were hosted as guests at several of the locations mentioned above. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me katy(at)indywithkids(dot)com