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Southern Lights

Featured Event

Southern Lights
Holiday Festival

The Southern Lights Holiday Festival presented by Friends of Coal
is a three-mile driving tour through brilliant holiday lights!

Southern Lights
Southern Lights
Southern Lights
Southern Lights

Spectacular Sights on Holiday Nights

Celebrating its 28th year at the Kentucky Horse Park, Southern Lights presented by Friends of Coal is a magical holiday tradition for thousands of families throughout the Bluegrass and beyond.  See over a million twinkling lights from the safety of your car.  Enjoy the return of the Holiday Village which promises to be brighter than ever!  Featuring photos with Santa, Animal Land, model trains, and so much more, the Southern Lights Holiday Village is sure to delight guests of all ages.

Friendly – Affordable – Safe

Santa's List

Santa’s List

Download Santa’s list, fill it out, and then drop it off in the North Pole Mailbox at Southern Lights.

Plan Your Visit

Southern Lights is open nightly, November 26 -December 31 (Closed Christmas Eve). Thursdays-Sundays are very popular nights at Southern Lights. During these nights, long lines and wait times should be expected. We highly recommend purchasing tickets online. 

Named one of Kentucky’s Top 10 Winter/Holiday Festivals and Events by Kentucky Travel and Tourism, Southern Lights is a favorite holiday tradition throughout the Bluegrass and beyond. Southern Lights is a three-mile driving tour of lights that is a joy for the whole family!

At the end of the route, we invite you to park and explore the Holiday Village (included in admission).  The Holiday Village features photos with Santa, Santa’s North Pole Mailbox (where children can drop off their Christmas List), Animal Land, Mini Train rides, Bluegrass Miniature Train Display, and the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop.  Grab a quick snack in the village or sit down for dinner at Tootie’s Peppermint Café to complete your visit.

Public restrooms are available by the Campground Entrance and Visitor Center and restaurant.

Have more questions? Call us (833)-KY LIGHT (833-595-4448)

Southern Lights

Address & Directions

Kentucky Horse Park *Campground Entrance*
4089 Iron Works Pike
Lexington, KY 40511

The Kentucky Horse Park Campground Entrance is located approximately 4 miles north of Lexington’s New Circle Road and 9 miles from downtown Lexington, and 3 miles south of Georgetown on Iron Works Pike, at I-75, exit 120. The campground’s entrance is just east of the main entrance to the Kentucky Horse Park.

Please use “Iron Works Pike” (not “Iron Works Parkway”) when using GPS service, as this will take you to the park’s main entrance, and the campground is just a half-mile down the road from there.

From Louisville:

Follow I-64 E to KY-1973/Iron Works Pike in Lexington. Take exit 120 from I-75 N.
Follow Iron Works Pike for 2 min (0.6 mi) to the Kentucky Horse Park Campground Entrance.

From Cincinnati:

Drive from I-75 S to Lexington. Take exit 120 from I-75 S.
Follow Iron Works Pike for 3 min (0.9 mi) to the Kentucky Horse Park Campground Entrance.

Southern Lights
Tootie's Menu

Frequently Asked Questions

Attractions

What attractions are open this year?

Besides the driving route, the Holiday Village is open and includes: Visits with Santa, Animal Land, pony and camel rides, the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop, Mini Train Ride and Bluegrass Miniature Train Exhibit.  The Holiday Village is open every night from 5:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m. except for Christmas Eve. Santa’s last night is Dec. 23 before he heads back to the North Pole!

What is Animal Land?

Animal land is a live exotic zoo that is located under a tent.

What animals will be at Animal Land?

There will be a variety of animals, including baby camels, kangaroos, mini donkeys, mini Zebras, sheep, goats, and alpacas.

How much does it cost to feed the animals?

$1 feed cone, $3 cup of carrots.

How much does it cost to ride a pony or a camel?

$6 per pony ride, $10 for a picture & a pony ride, $6 picture on a pony only, and $6 per camel ride.

Is there an age requirement to ride a pony or a camel?

There is no age requirement to ride either a pony or a camel.

Is there a weight limit to ride a pony or a camel?

There is a 100-pound weight limit on the ponies. Weight limits are at the discretion of the camel caretakers.

Are there vendors this year?

The Kentucky Horse Park Gift shop will be open!

Will the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop be open?

The Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop will be open during Southern Lights hours.

Dates/Time

When does Southern Lights open/close?

Friday, November 26 – Friday, December 31 (Closed on Christmas Eve) from 5:30-10:00 p.m. each night.

How long is Santa at Southern Lights?

Santa is at Southern Lights nightly Nov. 26-Dec. 23., 5:30-10:00 p.m.

How long is Animal Land open?

Nov. 26- Dec. 31. (Closed Christmas Eve) from 5:30 -10:00 p.m. each night.

Directions

Where are you located (GPS address)?

Kentucky Horse Park
3785 Campground Road
Lexington, KY 40511

The Kentucky Horse Park Campground is located approximately 4 miles north of Lexington’s New Circle Road and 9 miles from downtown Lexington, and 3 miles south of Georgetown on Iron Works Pike, at I-75, exit 120.

Food & Beverage

Is there food available?

Yes, you can grab a quick snack in the village or sit down for dinner at Tootie’s Peppermint Café. Open the Café Menu!

Is the Park’s restaurant open?

Yes!  You can sit down for a bite at Tootie’s Peppermint Café. Open the Café Menu!

Payment/Pricing

How much are tickets?

$25 personal car, Extended van, RV, Limousine
$65 Mini Bus
$80 School Bus
$160 Motor Coach

How do I buy tickets?

We encourage you to purchase tickets online at www.southernlightsky.com.  You can also purchase tickets when you arrive at Southern Lights.

What form of payment is accepted for Southern Lights?

Cash, check or credit/debit cards are accepted for admission to drive through the lights. Online tickets are available this year and encouraged. You can purchase your tickets at www.southernlightsky.com  Pony & Camel rides are cash only.

Does your admission to Southern Lights include anything besides driving the route?

Yes, entrance to the Holiday Village is included with your Southern Lights tickets.

There are additional costs for pony rides ($6), picture and a pony ride ($10), picture on a pony only ($6), and camel ride ($6) and any food you may wish to purchase.

Are tickets refundable?

No

Can I exchange my ticket for a different time or day?

Yes, please call Etix customer service – open 9am-8pm Monday-Friday, 1-800-514-3849

How much is it to feed the animals?

$1 feed cone, $3 cup of carrots.

How much is it to ride a pony or a camel?

$6 per pony ride, $10 for a picture & a pony ride, $6 picture on a pony only, and $6 per camel ride.

Is there a will-call that I can leave a ticket for someone?

No, there is no will-call available.  We encourage you to purchase tickets online at www.sourthernlightsky.com.

Pets

Are pets allowed?

Leashed pets are allowed, but not in the Animal Land tent or in the Restaurant unless they are certified service animals. 

Restrooms

Are there restrooms available?

There are porta-lets located at the beginning of the route, along with restrooms in the Visitor Center, and restaurant.

Santa

Will Santa be at Southern Lights this year?

Yes, Santa will be available for photos this year Nov. 26-Dec. 23 from 5:30-10:00 p.m.

Will Santa be at Southern Lights after Christmas?

Santa’s last night at Southern Lights is December 23rd.

Can you visit Animal Land before seeing the lights?

No. The Southern Lights entrance is one way and begins with the light displays. You will enter Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park CAMPGROUND entrance for the driving tour, arriving at Animal Land at the end of the driving route.

Traffic

Will there be a wait?

Yes! Please come prepared to wait in line. On SOLD OUT nights the wait can extend to 3 hours. Bring dinner, snacks, a movie…whatever you need to keep folks entertained!

How long is the Southern Lights route?

There are 3 miles of lights to see at Southern Lights.

When is the best time to drive through the Lights?

Weeknights are typically slower than weekends. We do expect an increase of traffic this year. Historically our busiest times are from the second week in December through Christmas.

Miscellaneous

What are the dates for Military & First Responders Night?

Join us December 7 or December 15 for Military and First Responders night at Southern Lights – present any form of military/first responder ID and your vehicle receives free admission!

Can you ride your horse or bicycle through the lights?

No.  The Southern Lights Tour is a vehicle tour only for your safety, no other modes of transportation are allowed.

Is it possible to take a carriage ride through the lights?

Unfortunately, at this time we are not able to offer carriage rides.

Can we ride in the back of our pick-up?

Due to safety concerns, riding through Southern Lights in the back of a pick-up truck or in/on a trailer that is connected to a vehicle is prohibited.

Is the event wheelchair accessible?

Yes, we are wheelchair accessible. *We do not offer wheelchair rentals.

I would like to propose at Southern Lights, are there any areas where I could propose ?

Yes! Please contact the Southern Lights office by email foundation@khpfoundation.org for available options.

What is the clearance under the arch for R.V.s and large Motor Coaches?

14 feet 4 inches

Weather

Is Southern Lights open if it is raining or snowing?

Southern Lights is open rain or shine!  On very rare occasions, when driving conditions are deemed extremely hazardous due to ice or heavy snow, we might cancel the event.  Local media outlets would carry the closing on their list of weather-related closings in that event.

How should I dress?

The Holiday Village and its attractions are outside. Please dress for the weather.

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation is seeking partners to sponsor the 2021 Southern Lights Holiday Festival. Contact Elizabeth Bartlett at e.bartlett@khpfoundation.org for more information.