It’s time to get your jingle on, Louisville. With so many holiday obligations this time of year, the jolly of the season often gets pushed aside. No more. Thanks to the Louisville Distilled’s Holiday Survival Guide, we narrowed down the city’s best tried-and-true events and newest attractions to make it both easier to navigate and celebrate the holidays this season.

If You Want to Play Dreidel and Eat Latkes
Go To: The Jewish Community Relations Council’s annual Interfaith Chanukah Party
Where: The J (3600 Dutchman’s Lane)
When: Sunday, December 11, from 3-4:30 p.m
Details: People of all faiths are invited to come celebrate the season with food, music and candle lighting. Attendees are asked to bring canned goods, and non-perishable food donations and money, which will be donated to the Janet and Sonny Meyer Food Pantry Fund and the Jewish Family and Career Services Food Pantry.
Price: Free
For more information: Visit here.

If Singing Christmas Carols Are Your Thing
Go To: Light Up Schnitzelburg
Where: Emerson Park (1100 Sylvia St.)
When: Sunday, December 11, 5:30 p.m.
Details: Join the Schnitzelburg Area Community Council, and Santa, to celebrate the holiday season. Meet up under the Jim King Gazebo at Emerson Park for hot chocolate, snacks and holiday cheer. Please bring non-perishable foods to donate to Dare to Care. Walk along Hickory Street and sing Christmas carols at the pubs and restaurants along the way.
Price: Free
For more information: Visit here or call 574-1110.

If You Want To See Santa, Mrs. Claus and Frosty the Snowman
Go To: Santa’s Safari
Where: The Louisville Zoo, 1100 Trevilian Way
When: Saturday, December 10-11 & 17-18 10 a.m., noon & 2 p.m.
Details: Enjoy a visit and a complimentary photo with Santa plus meet Mrs. Claus and Frosty the Snowman. Be part of Santa’s workshop where elves help families create a holiday craft. Mrs. Claus will serve some holiday treats and beverages (hot chocolate or coffee for the grown-ups). Then grab your special Santa Safari passport and journey through the Zoo’s heated buildings to experience one-on-one interaction with zoo educators.
Price: Louisville Zoo Members ages 3 and older: $15.95; Non-Members ages 3 and older: $20.95. Louisville Zoo Members ages 2 and under: $8.50; Non-members 2 and under: $11.
For more information: Visit here.

If You Want to Help Others
Go To: The 6th Annual Give-A-Jam to End Homelessness
Where: Clifton Center, 2117 Payne Street.
When: Tuesday, December 20, 6 p.m.
Details: Help the Coalition for the Homeless prevent and eliminate homelessness in Louisville by enjoying some great local music and food at The 6th Annual Give-A-Jam to End Homelessness. Appalatin, Billy Goat Strut Revue, Tanita Gaines, Small Time Napoleon, Bluegrass Meets Jazz – featuring Michael Cleveland, Craig Wagner, Steve Cooley, Stephen Couch and Danny Kiely -Tyrone Cotton, Relic (featuring the Bibelhauser Brothers), Hound of the Buskervilles and John Gage are scheduled to perform. Sample an array of soups and stews from Buck’s, Crave Cafe and Catering, The Irish Rover, Jack Fry’s, Lilly’s, Shady Lane Café, Uptown Café, and Volare.
Price: Admission is $20 in advance, or $25 at the door, and includes 10 food and drink tickets. Tickets can be purchased here, at Carmichael’s Book Store (2720 Frankfort Avenue), or at the box office on the evening of the event.
For more information: Visit here.

If You Want To Ice Skate
Go To: Holiday in the City
Where: Holiday Square, at Fourth and Jefferson Streets
When: Sunday-Monday, now through Jan. 15. Check here for Ice Rink hours
Details: Visitors can enjoy a full-size pop-up ice skating rink, featuring real ice and get a close-up view of the city’s Christmas tree.
Price: Tickets are $10 per person per 60-minute skate session (skate rentals included).
For more information: Visit here.

If You Want To Shop
Go To: Louisville Holiday in the City
Where: Holiday Square at 4th and Jefferson
When: Now through December 23, Holiday Market is open Thursday-Sunday. Visit here for times.
Details: At the Holiday Market, hosted by Fourth Street Live! visitors may browse through quaint vendor chalets and purchase unique hand-made gifts, while enjoying live entertainment each week. Then, from Holiday Square, visitors can follow the new Gum Drop Trail on South Fourth Street from Market Street to take advantage of special discounts and holiday promotions, as well as pick up stickers to attach to a promotional rack card. Rack cards are available at all local hotels and attractions, as well as at participating businesses along the Gum Drop Trail, that are identified by window decals and giant gum drops and snowflakes on their sidewalks. Completed rack cards can be turned in at the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse in Fourth Street Live! and are eligible for weekly drawings for prizes that include gift cards and Louisville swag.
For more information: Visit here.

If You Need to Make Some Wishes
Go To: The Wish Tree at Joe Creason Park
Where: Outside the Metro Parks and Recreation Administration Building, 1297 Trevilian Way
When: Now until Friday, December 30, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Details: Metro Parks and Recreation created a “Wish Tree” in Joe Creason Park for visitors to share their future hopes and dreams for themselves, their families and the world. Wish tags and pencils for the Dogwood tree will be provided on site. Participants are also encouraged to bring anything they wish to create tags. Wishes will be collected and sent to the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik, Iceland, and shared on social media. The Imagine Peace Tower is an outdoor work of art conceived by Yoko Ono in honor of her late husband, John Lennon, and symbolizes her continuing campaign for world peace dedicated to his memory.
Price: Free
For more information: Visit Metro Parks and Recreation.

If You Want to See Some Underground Lights
Go To: Lights Under Louisville
Where: Louisville Mega Cavern, 1841 Taylor Ave
When: Monday through Friday 6 p.m.-10 p.m., Sunday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m. through December 31
Details: Each year the Louisville MEGA Cavern is transformed into an underground holiday light spectacular. Load up the kids and enjoy a 30-minute ride through part of 17 miles of underground passageways, which features more than 850 lit characters with over 2,000,000 points of light. MEGA Cavern’s Lights Under Louisville allows the public to drive their own vehicles inside the cavern, during the Christmas season, to experience this one-of-a-kind holiday transformation.
Price: $30/per vehicle, $40 15-person passenger van (coupons available on web site)
For more information: Visit here.

If Seeing Lights In The Sky is More Your Thing
Go To: Waverly Hills Christmas Laser Light Show
Where: Waverly Hills Sanatorium, 4400 Paralee Dr.
When: Every Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. through December 24, show starts every 30 minutes.
Details: Drive up the newly decorated winding road to Waverly Hills, see the beautiful historic building, and enjoy a laser show, never leaving the warmth of your car.
Price: Standard Car (Max. 7 persons): $25 per vehicle. Larger Vehicles require higher admission. (Bring non-perishable food item and receive $5 off your admission.)
For more information: Visit here.

If You Want To Celebrate Kwanzaa
Go To: Celebrating Ujima – a Kwanzaa reception
Where: Ujima Neighborhood Place (3610 Bohne Ave.),
When: December 28, from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Details: In honor of Ujima, the third principle of Kwanzaa meaning collective work and responsibility, community members are invited to gather for networking opportunities and to explore ideas for community collaborations.
For more information:  Call 485-6145

If You Need New Year’s Eve Plans
Go To: Lou Year’s Eve
Where: West Main Street, downtown
When: December 31, from 2 p.m. until midnight; children’s activities will be held from 2 p.m.-5 pm in five museums between 7th and 9th Streets
Details: West Main Street in downtown Louisville will come alive with 40 performances and activities at 15 different venues and museums during the inaugural Lou Year’s Eve celebration. Activities will take place inside and outside on West Main Street, which will be closed to traffic between 4th and 9th Streets.
The new event will showcase the city’s vibrant arts and cultural scene while providing a fun and safe New Year’s Eve option for the whole family. Click here to view the schedule of events. Highlights include a concert by Louisville native and The Voice contestant “Dave Moisan,” performances by the Louisville Ballet and Actors Theatre of Louisville, and a series of interactive art pieces created by local artist and muralist Braylyn Resko Stewart. The finale of the event will include a countdown to midnight and the raising of Kentucky’s largest disco ball.
Children’s activities include a scavenger hunt, hands-on art projects, caricatures, face painting, magicians, puppet shows, balloon makers, storytelling, and a People’s Procession made up of everyone who wants to join in marching down West Main Street from 9th Street to 5th Street, ending at the Main Stage.
Price: Tickets are available online for $8 in advance/$10 at the door for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, and free admission for children 5 and under.
For more information: Visit here. Follow @louyearseve on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

A Cleveland native turned Louisville resident by way of Chicago, Melanie brings 20 years publishing experience to Louisville Distilled. After graduating from Indiana University Bloomington with degrees in English and Journalism, Melanie has worked as an editor on staffs at national magazines based in Chicago and Los Angeles. She moved to Louisville in 2004 where she launched a successful freelance editing and writing career. Her award-winning articles have appeared in Draft, Chef, The National Culinary Review, Pizza Today, Complete Woman, Louisville Magazine, Business First, Her Scene, Medical News and more. She lives in the East End with her husband, Sean, two children and dog. Passionate about the arts (and an adventurous foodie) Melanie loves eating her way through Louisville’s food scene and supporting the local arts and music scene.


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