Home Cover Story Lexington’s Ultimate Holiday Guide 2023, part 2

Lexington’s Ultimate Holiday Guide 2023, part 2

“Dad, you taught me everything I know about exterior illumination.”
Clark Griswold, Christmas Vacation


Christmas Vacation (1989) was scripted by John Hughes, just a little before he became extremely famous for Home Alone. 

The fictional Shermer, Illinois was the setting for most of his movies, but his parents called Lexington home for many years. His mother Marion’s country ham canapés were the star of every holiday party at the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation. 

We’re now coming into the homestretch of the holidays. Santa has settled in, and there are dozens of 5ks scheduled to melt away those added pounds if you want to freeze your baguettes off. Cousin Eddie is surely on the way. 

As always, confirm dates and times with the venue. 


DEC 1 Christmas at Mustard Seed Hill

DEC 2 A Kentucky Christmas at Ashland 

Guests for the holiday? Enjoy Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park, a three-mile driving tour of lights. Celebrating its 30th year at the Kentucky Horse Park, Southern Lights invites guests to view over a million twinkling lights on a drive-thru tour.  Enjoy the return of the Holiday Village which features photos with Santa, Animal Land, model trains, and so much more. 5:30 pm to 10 pm thru December 31. (Closed on Christmas Day.) Named one of Kentucky’s Top 10 Winter/Holiday Festivals and Events by Kentucky Travel and Tourism.

Ashland Illumination at the Henry Clay Estate begins at 5:30 pm on Saturday Dec 2 with the First Candlelight Tour 5:30 – 7 pm. Additional candlelight tours are scheduled for Thursday Dec. 7, and Saturday Dec. 9.

Holiday Music

DEC 1 An Oak Ridge Boys Christmas, Renfro Valley

DEC 1 Handel’s Messiah, 7:30 pm Christ Church Cathedral 

DEC 2 Celtic Women Christmas Tour, Norton Center (Danville)

DEC 3 A Vince Guaraldi Holiday 5:30 pm Kentucky Theatre 

DEC 3 A Classic Christmas with Maggie Lander & Chris Dennison, The Burl 

DEC 10 Alltech’s Celebration of Song, KY Horse Park 

DEC 14 Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s Creole Christmas, The Kentucky Center 

DEC 15 Christmas with the Beatles, The Kentucky Center 

DEC 17 J. Roddy Walston’s Christmas to the Bone The Burl 

DEC 18 Joyeux Noel, Crestwood Christian Church 

DEC 19 Darren Criss: A Very Darren Crissmas, Lexington Opera House

The Center for Old Music in the New World and Musick’s Company present Joyeux Noel, Monday Dec 18 at 7:30 pm at a NEW location – Crestwood Christian Church.  Join for a celebration of sacred and secular holiday music from the sixteenth through the 19th century including French traditional carols and works by Charpentier.  Admission by donation.  1882 Bellefonte Dr. Lexington, KY.


DEC 1 Season’s Screenings, Elf, Movie Tavern (thru Dec 7)

DEC 1 Season’s Screenings, It’s a Wonderful Life, Movie Tavern (thru Dec 7)

DEC 2 Disney’s A Christmas Carol Kentucky Theatre 

DEC 3 How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Movie Tavern 

DEC 5 Max Lucado’s Because of Bethlehem 7 pm Movie Tavern 

DEC 8 Season’s Screenings, The Polar Express, Movie Tavern (thru Dec 8)

DEC 13 A Christmas Story, The Grand Theatre (Frankfort)

Photo by Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images

DEC 16 It’s a Wonderful Life & Christmas Sing-a-Long 7 pm Kentucky Theatre 

Join the Kentucky Theatre for a special Christmas event on Dec 16, 2023. Take part in a Christmas Sing-A-Long with live organ accompaniment. Enjoy a glass of eggnog or a  holiday cocktail. Then sit back for Frank Capra’s Christmas classic, It’s A Wonderful Life.



DEC 2 Lawrenceburg Christmas Parade

DEC 2 St. “Nich” Christmas Festival, Nicholasville 

DEC 2 Lexington Christmas Parade 

DEC 9 Danville Christmas Parade 


DEC 2 Santa Shuffle 5k, Versailles 

DEC 3 Frosty 5k, Frankfort

DEC 8 St. Nich Ugly Sweater 3k, Nicholasville

DEC 9 Reindeer Ramble, Keeneland

DEC 9 St. Nicholasville Ugly Sweater 5k, Nicholasville

DEC 16 Frosty Feet Winter Mileage Challenge, Lexington

JAN 1 Frozen Rails 5k + 10k, Midway


DEC 1 Jingle & Mingle, Joseph Beth 

DEC 2 Pink Santa, Olive’s Apron 

DEC 3 Santa & Itty Bitty Betty, Mirror Twin Brewing 

DEC 3 Brunch with Santa, The Kentucky Castle 

DEC 9 Pancakes with Santa, Forcht Bank 

DEC 9 SantaCon 2023, Bourbon on Rye 

DEC 14 Visit with Santa, Louis Flower Power  


DEC 2 Christmas Market, Ashland Henry Clay Estate 

Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate hosts their Annual Christmas Market, Noon to 5:30 pm on Saturday Dec 2. Santa Selfies 3 pm – 5:00 pm Kentuckians Chorus 5 pm – 5:30 pm Ashland Illumination 5:30 pm First Candlelight Tour 5:30 – 7 pm, last entry at 7  pm (Additional candlelight tours on Thursday Dec. 7, and Saturday Dec. 9)

Stage & Theatre 

DEC 4 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Lexington Children’s Theatre 

DEC 8 Miracle on 34th Street Woodford Theatre 

The Bradley family’s church Christmas Pageant is always the same, year after year – until the Herdmans show up. Join the Lexington Children’s Theatre for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, through Dec 4, 2023. 


DEC 8 The Brown-Forman Nutcracker, The Kentucky Center 

DEC 9 Kentucky Ballet Theatre presents The Nutcracker, Lexington Opera House

DEC 15 Bluegrass Youth Ballet’s Nutcracker in One Act 

DEC 22 The Nutcracker, EKU (Richmond)

This article appears on pages 8-11 of the December 2023 issue of Ace. To subscribe to digital delivery, click here.