A family tradition in Kentucky, the Southern Lights holiday festival, presented by Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky Inc., returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Nov. 20-Dec. 31. More than 125,000 individuals in more than 30,000 vehicles attend Southern Lights annually from Kentucky and beyond, making Southern Lights a premier holiday event in the region and nation.
With all the family-friendly activities offered, Southern Lights has grown into a well-known Bluegrass tradition over the last 22 years. Kids of all ages delight in the holiday driving tour. Visitors take in the “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” Keeneland race track, the spires of Churchill Downs and a wide variety of holiday, equine-themed and pop culture iconic displays, comprising thousands of twinkling lights.
Following the driving tour, families are encouraged to park their vehicles and walk into the park’s main campus to visit the Holiday Festival attractions. This non-driving portion of Southern Lights features the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop, holiday craft merchants, seasonal entertainment, an exotic petting zoo, pony and camel rides, the Mini Train Express, model train and dollhouse displays, and photos with Santa. The Bit & Bridle Restaurant will be serving holiday fare as will other food vendors, including Papa John’s, Original Kettle Corn, High Horizons Coffee, and Bluegrass Concessions.
The Southern Lights driving route is open 5:30-10 p.m. nightly. The Holiday Festival attractions will be open every night except Nov. 26 and Dec. 24-31. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of shorter lines and lower prices by visiting Southern Lights Monday through Thursday evenings this year.
The cost per passenger car (up to 7 passengers) is $15 Monday through Thursday evenings, and $25 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The cost for an extended van, RV or limousine (up to 15 passengers) is $35, a minibus (up to 25 passengers) is $60, a school bus is $75 and a motorcoach is $125. Companies and organizations may pre-purchase discounted admission tickets to Southern Lights by contacting the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. No discounts will be available at the admission gate.
All proceeds from Southern Lights support the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. The 2015 Southern Lights Shining Star Presenting Sponsor is Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky Inc.; the Holly & Ivy Sponsor is Kerr Brothers Funeral Homes; the Ribbons & Bows Sponsors are Central Bank, Kentucky Utilities and Outdoor Lighting Perspectives; and the Thirsty Thursday Sponsor is Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated.
Breyer Nights, with giveaways by Breyer Model Horses, will be Monday-Thursday, Nov. 30-Dec. 3; Toyota Night at Southern Lights will be Wednesday, Dec. 9; Military Night will be Wednesday, Dec. 16, allowing all active and retired military and their families one free car admission by showing a military I.D. at the gate; and Thirsty Thursdays, with giveaways from the Coca Cola Bottling Company, will be every Thursday night during Southern Lights.
Information on Southern Lights may be obtained by contacting the KHP Foundation at 859- 255-5727 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s Note: Some electronic map services available on Apple and Android mobile and auto GPS devices are not providing accurate directions to the Kentucky Horse Park. We recommend that guests input directions to the KHP Campground, the entrance to Southern Lights, at 3785 Campground Road, Lexington, KY 40511. Additionally, we recommend that visitors use home computers to access a mapping service for directions, use the directions provided on the KHP website, www.kyhorsepark.com (available in the widget on the right-hand side under Address or at http://www.kyhorsepark.com/visit/plan-trip/directions), follow the brown highway signs or call ahead to double-check their route.
Insider Tip: Out-of-town visitors should use Interstate 75, Exit 115 (Newtown Pike) instead of Exit 120 (Iron Works Pike) to access the Southern Lights entrance at the KHP Campground from the east to help avoid congestion from the interstate to the west and a left-hand turn across traffic into the park.