Celebrating its 30th 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.


2023 Dates and Information

November 24, 2023-December 31, 2023
Time:  5:30-10:00 pm.
Closed Christmas Day

Tickets on sale soon!

Tickets purchased online in advance are $35 per carload.

Tickets purchased at the ticket booth are $35 per carload. Cash or credit cards accepted.

*Southern Lights Stroll is November 18, 2023 – Click HERE for info. 
Kick off the season of lights with a 5K or stroll through the display

*Keeneland Kids Club Night – December 14, 2023
Keeneland’s Bucky the mascot will be at Southern Lights for photos and there will be giveaways!

Campground Entrance of the Kentucky Horse Park (3785 Campground Road, Lexington, KY 40511)

*Please note that you must access Southern Lights ONLY from Iron Works Pike through the Campground Entrance. LISLE ROAD IS NOT AN ENTRANCE TO THE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK.

Editor’s Note: Some electronic map services available on Apple and Android mobile and auto GPS devices are not providing accurate directions to the Kentucky Horse Park. We recommend that guests input directions to the KHP Campground, the entrance to Southern Lights, at 3785 Campground Road, Lexington, KY 40511.

Insider Tip: We suggest visitors use Interstate 75, Exit 115 (Newtown Pike) instead of Exit 120 (Iron Works Pike) to access the Southern Lights entrance at the KHP Campground from the east to help avoid congestion from the interstate to the west and a left-hand turn across traffic into the park.


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.

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


What is open this year?

Besides the driving route, the Holiday Village is open and includes: Photos with Santa, Animal Land – Petting Zoo, Pony and Camel Rides, Vendors: The Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop and The Cozy Mercantile, Food: Tootie’s Peppermint Cafe (sit down), Mack’s Candy Shack, The Original Kettle Korn, The Holiday Nut Hut, Mini Train Ride, The Bluegrass Miniature Train Exhibit.  If it’s not on the list it’s not open (i.e. the museum, additional vendors)

How long is Santa at Southern Lights?

Santa is at Southern Lights nightly Nov. 24-Dec. 24., 5:30-10:00 p.m.

Animal land is a live exotic zoo that is located under a tent. Animal Land is open Nov. 25- Dec. 31. (Closed Christmas Day) from 5:30 -10:00 p.m. each night.

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 from 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. There will be a rotation of vendors on select nights.

Yes!  It will be open during Southern Lights hours.


For more information visit their FAQ online

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