Southern Lights Holiday Festival

Southern Lights Holiday Festival:

Kentucky Horse Park
Nov 16-Dec 31, 2018


Driving route open nightly Nov. 16 - Dec. 31 (Non-Driving Holiday Festival activities closed Thanksgiving and Dec. 24-31)


5:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.


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 Parkway through the Campground Entrance. LISLE ROAD IS NOT AN ENTRANCE TO THE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK.


  • Monday-Thursday: $15.00 per car (up to 7 people per passenger vehicle)
  • Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: $25.00 per car (up to 7 people per passenger vehicle)
  • Extended Van or RV: $35 (up to 15 people)
  • Mini Bus: $60 (up to 25 people)
  • School Bus: $75
  • Motor Coach: $150

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. Additionally, we recommend that visitors use home computers to access a mapping service for directions, use the directions provided on the KHP website (available at, follow the brown highway signs, or call ahead to double-check their route.

Insider Tip: Out-of-town visitors should 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.

Southern Lights Holiday Festival

Over twenty years ago, the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation presented the first ever driving tour of holiday lights, aimed at attracting the local community. Today Southern Lights has evolved to attract over 120,000 visitors each year from across Kentucky and surrounding states and is regularly chosen as a Top 20 Event in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society.

Southern Lights Stroll

What to Expect at Southern Lights

Given record turnouts last year, we suggest you consider a weeknight - the lines are shorter and the ticket price is lower. Same great attractions! Another tip, arrive as close as possible to opening time (5:30 pm), the lines will be shorter and you will have more time to visit our Holiday Festival (non-driving) attractions in the park's interior!

Boasting over three miles of lights, Southern Lights continues to grow and improve each year, adding additional holiday displays along the driven route and expanding its Holiday Festival attractions to enjoy on foot.

After driving through the lights, guests are invited to park and enjoy the attractions in the park’s interior, which are designed to entertain every member of the family-from local crafts, model trains and mini train rides, visits with Santa, to the ever popular exotic petting zoo. These additional Holiday Festival attractions are open every night except November 24 and December 24-31.


Q: What form of payment is accepted for Southern Lights?
A: Cash or credit/debit cards are accepted for admission to drive through the lights. Pony & Camel rides, along with photos with Santa are cash only (ATM machines are located in the Visitor Information Center and the Bit & Bridle Restaurant).

Q: When is Santa at Southern Lights?
A: Santa is at Southern Lights every night, 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., except for Thanksgiving night and December 24-31.

Q: Are the Holiday Festival attractions open every night?
A: The on foot attractions (which include the craft fair, exotic petting zoo, Santa Claus, Mini Express Train, pony and camel rides, Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop, Bit & Bridle Restaurant (Friday-Sunday), food trucks (nightly), and Bluegrass Railroad Club Model Trains) are open every night, 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., except for Thanksgiving night and December 24-31.

Q: Does your admission to Southern Lights include the Holiday Festival?
A: Yes, the Holiday Festival attractions are included with admission. There are additional costs for pony/camel rides, photos with Santa and any food you may wish to purchase.

Q: Can you visit the Holiday Festival attractions before seeing the lights?
A: No. The Southern Lights entrance is one way, and begins with the light display. You will enter Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park CAMPGROUND entrance for the driving tour, arriving at the Holiday Festival attractions at the end of the driving route.

Q: Is Southern Lights open if it is raining or snowing?
A: 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.

Q: Can you ride your horse or bicycle through the lights?
A: No. The Southern Lights Tour is a vehicle tour only for your safety, no other modes of transportation are allowed. No walkers, runners, or bicyclists are allowed.

Q. Is it possible to take a carriage ride through the lights?
A. Unfortunately, at this time we are not able to offer carriage rides.

Q. How do you become a Southern Lights vendor?
A. Vendors can apply by filling out the following form and emailing it to or mailing it to 4037 Iron Works Pike, Suite 180 Lexington, KY 40511.


The 2018 Southern Lights are presented by Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky. Thanks to TMMK and all of our 2018 sponsors for making this event possible. For more information about the Lights call 859-255-5727.

Presenting Sponsor

Holly and Ivy Sponsor

Ribbons & Bows Sponsors





Chris Nentwick, Kentucky Horse Park Foundation

859-255-5727 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
859-259-4200 (5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.)