Ho, ho, ho, here we go! December is undoubtedly packed as tight as the sacks on Santa’s ol’ sleigh — with lots of ways to have a very merry time, night or day! Whether you like to dance, hike, see a play or shop ’til you drop, we have it for you, right here. So, grab your hat and scarf and bundle up tight, grab your besties and let’s see what’s up in Louisville, just for you. Have fun!
Through January 5, 2019: Fête de Noel
Joyeuses Fêtes! Bundle up in your warm booties and take a brisk stroll through a winter village where you can ice skate, shop, decorate ornaments and watch family-friendly movies this holiday season. The magic happens in Paristown, a quaint little section of Louisville. Ice skating sessions are one hour and cost $9 to $12 per person. You can also catch a magnificent light show at the Holiday Laser Dome. You’ll be thrilled by this 36-foot geodesic dome and its amazing display of lights and animation, all set to holiday music. The laser show is presented on Thursdays through Sundays and runs every 30 minutes, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $8 to $12, and group rates are available. For full festival details, go to paristown.com.
December 1- 23, 2019: Fifth Third Bank’s A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’ prickly Ebenezer Scrooge, sweet Tiny Tim, and the haunting spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future are brought to life, thanks to the talents of director Drew Francher and the outstanding cast of performers at Actors Theatre Louisville. Reprising his role as the cantankerous Scrooge is John G. Preston, and joining him are John Tufts as Marley and Johann George as Bob Cratchit. This timeless production is presented at the Pamela Brown Theater. The Theatre offers an audio-described performance on December 1. Tickets start at $25. For more information and performance dates, check out ActorsTheatre.org.
December 1-23, 2019: The Santaland Diaries
Take a break from holiday prep at Actors Theatre Louisville and enjoy this witty play that keeps you laughing all the way. The story centers on a newly-hired elf as he encounters one of the worst places to work during the holidays — Macy’s Santaland! Crumpet the Elf (who is actually an unemployed actor) gives the audience a wildly humorous behind-the-scenes tour of the North Pole. This joyful romp is presented in the Victor Jory Theater and sponsored by BB&T. There is an open-captioned performance on December 7, an audio-described performance on December 8 and a sensory-friendly performance on December 14. Tickets start at $25. For further information, go to ActorsTheatre.org.
December 1-31, 2019: Winter Woods Spectacular
Experience the magic of mystical sights and twinkling lights as you wind your way through historic Iroquois Park during this nighttime spectacle. This inaugural holiday program comes from the imagination of the creators of the popular Jack O’Lantern Spectacular, partnering with the Louisville Parks Foundation. For this event, you’re able to drive through in your toasty warm car on this half-mile route. The Spectacular is open nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and open Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Cost is $25 per car or $75 per passenger van Sunday through Thursday, and $35 per car or $80 per passenger van Friday and Saturday. winterwoodsspectacular.com
Monday, December 2, 2019: KingFish Presents The Swing Street Big Band
Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and Benny Goodman were all into one thing — they liked to swing! Even though these band leaders were before our time, we can still jump, jive and jitterbug to some of their cool tunes today. The KingFish presents a monthly session with the popular 17-piece Swing Street Big Band from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. A buffet dinner is available, serving up fish, chicken, crisp salads, fries and other great sides. It’s a great evening of fun, food and East Coast Swing! Free admission to listen to the band, dinner prices vary. kingfishrestaurants.com
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December 5, 2019: Magic of Christmas Past Pipe Organ Concert & Silent Movie
Do you remember the good old days before “talkies” became popular? Probably not, but if you’d like to experience the fun and frivolity of silent films, head to the beautiful Memorial Auditorium where you can enjoy comedy duo Laurel and Hardy in their Christmas classic “Big Business.” Accompanying the movie are the beautiful sounds of the Auditorium’s Pilcher pipe organ, the largest one in the world. The movie starts at 7:00 p.m., and general admission is $10. tickets.vendini.com
December 5-8, 2019: Handel’s Messiah
The Louisville Orchestra performs this inspiring masterpiece at four separate performance venues throughout Kentuckiana. Their first stop is at the Cathedral of the Assumption on December 5; Second Presbyterian Church on December 6; St. Michael Catholic Church on December 7; and finally at Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church on December 8. The Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday performance is at 3:00 p.m. The program is led by conductor and Chorus Master Kent Hatteberg and features the Louisville Chamber Orchestra, along with Soprano Erin Keesy, mezzo-soprano Katherine Calcamuggiao Donner, tenor Ricky Lynn Case II, and baritone Chad Sloan. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door. kentuckycenter.org
December 6&7, 2019: Louisville Philharmonia-The Musicians’ Orchestra Presents: God Rest Ye Merry!
Enjoy a free holiday concert on Friday and Saturday, presented by this powerful, member-run orchestra composed of local part-time and full-time musicians who love sharing their enjoyment of playing music. Selections for the performances include Old Christmas Music by Philip Lane, Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 by Paul O’Neill & Robert Kinkel, and Mary’s Boy arranged by Philip Sparke. For further information, go to louisvillephilharmonia.org
December 7, 2019: Santa Sprint and Stroll 5K Run/Walk 2019
Strap on your jingle bells and have a merry time at the 24th Santa Sprint and Stroll 5k Run/Walk presented by the Frankfort Avenue Business Association. You’ll encounter a challenging course that includes both flat and fast courses running along historic Frankfort Avenue in the Crescent Hill and Clifton neighborhoods. The run takes off at 8:30 a.m. from Barrett Middle School, 2561 Grinstead Drive. Proceeds from this event benefit United Crescent Hills Ministries. $25 for adults, $15 for youth. On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer — and you! rivercityraces.enmotive.com
December 7, 2019: The Thoroughbreds Havin’ a Good Time
These aren’t Kentucky-bred horses that love to race; they’re Kentucky-born men who love to sing! Their 71st Annual Show and Holiday Spectacular will have your toes tapping and your heart humming as you listen to songs of yesterday and today, contemporary barbershop tunes, and a dash of modern a capella thrown in for good measure. The second half of this galloping show features the barbershop quartets Forefront, the Colts, and Cityscape. Fa-la-la-la — it’s fantastic. Tickets range in price from $15 to $20 through eventbrite.com.
December 7, 2019: Bernheim Forest Holiday Programs and Events
The forest is not only hopping with little critters, it’s also booming with activities during the chilly winter months. So, chase those chills away with crafts, an open house and a woodland hike. Start your day at 8 a.m. with ECO Kids Nature Ornament Making. Transform nature’s treasures like nuts, pinecones and seed pods into festive holiday ornaments. From 10 a.m. to noon, more experienced crafters can participate in the holiday wreath-making, using natural materials collected from the forest. Tools and supplies will be provided. The fee for holiday wreath-making is $40 for Bernheim members and $50 for non-members. Fees are due by 4 p.m. the day prior to the start of the program. Bernheim’s Open House is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., where you can do lots of holiday shopping while listening to live music. bernheim.org
December 11, 2019: Holiday Paint N Sip
Discover your budding inner Picasso or Monet as you go through the steps to learn how to paint a perfect holiday scene, great for decorating your own home or give to a friend. Delicious cupcakes and a free 30-minute wine tasting are included in this charming event. The paint party starts at 6:30 and lasts for three hours, courtesy of our friends at Paint it Sweet. The party takes place at Total Wine & More in the Paddock Shops. $40. Tickets can be found on eventbrite.com
December 13-15, 2019: Stewart Promotions Annual Christmas Gift & Decor Show
Now in its 31st year, this exciting three-day holiday shopping event is bursting with 750 vendors selling anything you need for the holidays, from cozy candles to life-sized Kris Kringles. You’ll find stuff to stick in your stockings as well as presents for everyone who’s on your “good” list. This is one of the nation’s finest, as well as largest, Christmas shopping extravaganzas. Show hours are Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There’s free admission for all. Kids can have their photos snapped with Santa for free, too! All-day parking is $10. The event takes place at the Kentucky Exposition Center in South Wing C. louisvillechristmasshow.com
December 15, 2019: A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage
Who doesn’t love the Peanuts gang? This timeless story is a treat for the whole family, no matter if you grew up with the classic characters by reading about them in the funny papers, or you’re experiencing them for the very first time. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is adapted from a 1965 animated TV special, based on the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz. You can have twice the laughs with two performances, one at 1:30 p.m. and the final performance at 5:00 p.m. The play is performed in the Brown Theater at the Kentucky Center. Tickets range in price from $71 to $99 for the 1:30 performance and $85 to $100 for the 5 p.m. show. boxofficeticket.center
December 21 and 22, 2019: Nutcracker on Ice
The Louisville Skating Academy brings this favorite holiday story to the ice! This is an abridged version of the classic ballet with all of your favorite characters, including Clara and the Rat King. You’ll witness awesome performances by mid-western sectional skating competitors, national solo competitors and U.S. figure skating gold medalists, as they whirl, twirl and execute breath-taking stunts right before your eyes. More than 1,000 tickets are already sold to this performance, so get yours before they melt away. Seating prices start at $12 for general admission. skatelouisville.org
December 23, 2019: Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Witness this beautiful, timeless fantasy, resplendent with world-class artists, dazzling costumes, whimsical puppets and soaring birds, accompanied by Tchaikovksy’s score, which includes the Nutcracker March, Dance of Reeds, Waltz of Flowers and the Sugar Plum Dance. There are two performances, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and ticket prices start at $39. nutcracker.com
December 28, 2019: Family Puppet Theater’s Winter Wonderland in Louisville
The gifts have been unwrapped, the relatives have headed home, now what do you do with your time? Take the family to the library! The Louisville Free Public Library always has great activities year-round, and this puppetry phenomenon is tops. This program is at the Main Library in downtown Louisville. Admission is free and the show runs for one hour, beginning at 2 p.m. Good for ages 3-12. facebook.com
We hope you enjoy these delightful December treats. We’ll be bringing you more great happenings in 2020. Have a happy new year!
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