As the holidays draw nearer with each passing chilly day, you may be wondering what there is to do around the Lexington area to celebrate the season. Below are just a few iconic local events and Bluegrass traditions you can take part in this holiday season!

Luminate Lexington Holiday Tree Lighting 

It’s officially Christmastime in Lexington when the annual tree lighting ceremony takes place downtown. This year the festivities begin on November 28th, so be sure to catch a glimpse of the horse capital’s answer to the Rockefeller Center tree in New York City (with milder weather and better bourbon, that is.)

Holiday Markets

There are a few different markets that take place around town during the Holidays, such as the KY Holiday Market as well as the market at Manchester Music Hall, both in early December. If ugly sweater contests, unique local vendors, and delicious treats sound like a good time, then don’t forget to check these out.

DIY Workshops

Holiday-themed DIY and crafts workshops, such as those offered by Wilson Nurseries, make for one-of-a-kind holiday decor and gifts for those looking to get creative this season. There are tons of opportunities around Lexington to get in the spirit by getting crafty, many of which are already underway with December just around the corner, including workshops at The Summit at Fritz Farm and the Chase Bank Center.

Triangle Park  

Triangle Park is an iconic mainstay of the downtown area any time of year, positioned directly in the heart of Lexington– but in the winter months, the park is transformed into an equally iconic ice skating rink. Open through November, December, and January, the Rink at Triangle Park is well worth at least one visit as a Lexington tradition. If you’re looking for indoor skating opportunities, you can also check out the Lexington Ice Center.

Visiting Santa

This is one tradition that may not be specific to Lexington, but mall Santa visits still feature their own central Kentucky flair. With Covid-19 precautions in place, whispering your Christmas wish to Santa Claus might look a little different this year than in years past, but that doesn’t mean the opportunity has passed. Check online to see what stores are offering visits, as some are requiring appointments in advance.

Both Lexington and Kentucky as a whole are full of longstanding and cherished traditions, but there’s always a chance to make new ones– for instance, the Newport Aquarium features a scuba-diving Santa Claus swimming with sharks (if strange and wonderful Kentucky holiday traditions are your forte, check out this delightfully weird list.) No matter how you decide to celebrate the season, you can be assured that there aren’t many places better than the horse capital of the world.