The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has begun, which means it’s easy to get overwhelmed and bogged down by obligations.
In hopes of easing some of your stress, we’ve compiled a list of some of Louisville’s top events that are sure to get you and your family into the holiday spirit.
From Christmas and Hanakkuh-themed musicals, to shopping extravaganzas and Santa Claus at the zoo, there’s a festivity for everyone in the family to enjoy this holiday season.
The Voice-Tribune will celebrate as well with a special holiday-edition of our monthly Third Thursday After-Work Party. Please join us from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown.
The countdown to the holidays is on, so get out and into the spirit of the season with these fun-filled activities around the city.
Third Annual Raq’n Around the Christmas Tree
The Third Annual Raq’n Around the Christmas Tree with Children’s Holiday Toy Drive, Taste of New Albany and Belly Dance Show will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, at The Grand Theater, 138 E. Market St. in New Albany.
Admission is one new toy or a $10 donation. This year, the toy drive will benefit the boys and girls of (AIM) AIDS Interfaith Ministries of Kentuckiana.
The evening will feature local food and spirits, entertainment and belly dancers.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/rachel.reich2 or call 812.989.0821.
Party at the Plaza
Party at the Plaza will be held at Chenoweth Plaza from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2. Guests can enjoy treats, drinks, Santa and carolers and enter to win prizes from participating shops, including Clara Belle’s, Cafe Fraiche, Circe, Celebrations, Animal Crackers, Primo, St. Matthews Jewelers and more.
Hollydays Art & Gift Market
The Junior League of Louisville will present its sixth annual Hollydays Art & Gift Market Friday-Sunday, Dec. 2-4. The three-day event will include gift items from such vendors as The Urban Farmhouse Market, Joey Eric, Two Chic Chicks, Digital Therapy and more.
Friday, Dec. 2: Girls Night Out: 6 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $10. Event includes a silent auction, wine by Chrisman Mill Vineyards, PAMA Liqueur, appetizers, goodie bags and shopping.
Saturday, Dec. 3: 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Admission is $5.
Sunday, Dec. 4: noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $4.
For more information, call 502.417.1260.
Norton Commons’ Holiday Festival
Norton Commons will host its holiday festival on Friday, Dec. 2, from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 3, from noon to 6 p.m. Guests who donate an unwrapped toy to Toys for Tots at the Norton Commons Sales Center will receive a free goodie shopping bag and a free carriage ride on Friday or free picture with Santa on Saturday. The event will include music, cider and cookies. For more information, call 502.412.5085 or visit www.nortoncommons.com.
A “Hanukkah Christmas” with Klurman and Goldstein
Bunbury Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Juergen Tossmann wrote the comedic play, “A Hanukkah Christmas,” which features two of his favorite characters, Klaus Klurman and Hyan Goldstein.
Due to harsh economic times, Klurman and Goldstein are forced to move into the home of Goldstein’s daughter and learn to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas despite their opposing holiday views.
The show will run Dec. 2-18 at the Bunbury Theatre, 604 S. Third St.
Tickets are $21 for general admission, $18 for seniors (65 +), $15 for students and $12 for children.
For more information, call 502.585.5306 or visit www.bunburytheatre.org.
Light Up Middletown
Light Up Middletown will be held Friday, Dec. 2, at the Community Building, 11700 Main St. Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. with tree lighting and Santa’s arrival by fire truck with a gift for the children in attendance. Free food will be served by the Lions Club courtesy of the City. Entertainment will include Eastern High Madrigal Singers, Hite Elementary Junkyard Hawks, Middletown Elementary Choral Group and the band Bluegrass Messengers.
For more information, visit www.cityofmiddletownky.org.
A Velveteen Rabbit Christmas at Derby Dinner Playhouse
Derby Dinner Playhouse’s Children’s Musical Theatre Series will present “A Velveteen Rabbit Christmas” on Dec. 3, 10, 17 and 23.
All performances include an optional breakfast at 9 a.m. and lunch at noon. Santa will also appear at each showing.
For tickets and information call 812.288.8281 or visit www.derbydinner.com.
Old Louisville Holiday House Tour and Festival
The 35th Annual Old Louisville Holiday House Tour and Festival will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3 and 4. Guests will tour The Woman’s Club of Louisville and nine neighborhood dwellings that have been decked in old-world finery and festive holiday décor.
Tickets are $20 in advance (before 5 p.m. Dec. 2); $25 day of tour. Complimentary parking can be found at Cochran Elementary School, on 5th and Lee Streets, with shuttle van transportation to the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum, 1402 St. James Court. Shuttles will run continuously between the tour homes and bed and breakfast inns and The Woman’s Club of Louisville.
Ticket sales, will-call tickets, and a Holiday Gift Boutique will be located behind the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum on Magnolia Avenue.
For more information, visit www.holidayhousetour.jpaul.us.
‘Old Tyme Christmas on Frankfort Avenue’
The annual “Olde Tyme Christmas on Frankfort Avenue” will be held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. The event will feature free trolley rides from noon to 5 p.m., free horse and carriage rides from 1 to 4 p.m., special retail sales, live music, holiday refreshments, and an appearance by Santa Claus.
The celebration will also include events such as the Santa Sprint and Stroll and the festive Dog Walk.
For more information, visit www.frankfortave.com.
Christmas in Anchorage Holiday Home Tour
The 31st Annual Christmas in Anchorage Holiday Home Tour will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 11400 Ridge Road. Guests will enjoy breakfast or lunch with Santa, a holiday boutique, secret Santa shopping, and a Holiday Home Tour from 1 to 5 p.m., with free shuttle service between homes, downtown Anchorage and the Bellewood entrance of Anchorage School.
Tickets are $18 in advance at Commonwealth Bank and Trust in downtown Anchorage or $20 at the door.
For more information and a complete schedule of events, call 502.418.7676 or visit “Christmas in Anchorage” on Facebook.
Bardstown Road Aglow
The 26th annual Bardstown Road Aglow will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, along the streets of Baxter, Barrett, Bardstown and Douglass Loup. Shops and restaurants along the streets will offer entertainment, food, drinks, discounts, live entertainment and more.
Two trolleys filled with holiday musicians will offer free rides. Four Roses Bourbon will also host the second annual Holiday Cocktail Contest inside the restaurants and bars.
For more information, visit www.bardstownroadaglow.com or call 502.721.8636.
Yew Dell Gardens Express
The first-ever Yew Dell Gardens Express will be open on Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11. The snow village and model train display was created by model builder Bob Irmscher. In addition to the display, kids can enjoy scavenger hunts and visits from Santa.
The Yew Dell Gardens Express will be on display in the Yew Dell Castle at Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, 6220 Old LaGrange Road. Santa will visit on Dec. 3 and 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event is free with regular admission at Yew Dell Gardens.
For more information, visit www.yewdell.org.
‘The Santaland Diaries’
The Bunbury Theatre, 604 S. Third St., will present “The Santaland Diaries” Dec. 7-18. Tickets are $21; $18 for seniors; and $15 for students.
For tickets and showtimes, call 502.585.5306 or visit www.bunburytheatre.org.
Louisville Christmas Gift & Decor Show
Stewart Promotions’ annual Christmas Gift & Décor show will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, at the Kentucky Expo Center. Admission is free.
For more information, call 502.456.2244 or visit www.stewartpromotions.com.
Santa’s Safari at the Louisville Zoo
Santa and his friends are coming to the Louisville Zoo on December 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.
Frosty the Snowman will be in attendance to lead children in a Christmas carol sing-a-long, while Mrs. Claus will serve milk and freshly baked cookies, as well as coffee for adults. Children will also have the chance to take a complementary photo with Santa.
Tickets are $17.50 for non-members ages 3 and up and $7.50 for non-members ages 2 and under; $12 for zoo members ages 3 and up and $5 for zoo members ages 2 and under.
For reservations and information, visit www.louisvillezoo.org.
Sanders Family Christmas at Derby Dinner
The Sanders Family Singers bring Christmas cheer to Derby Dinner Playhouse with festive holiday songs, old-fashioned hymns, and comical, yuletide stories. Songs include “Angels We Have Heard On High,” “I Wonder As I Wander,” “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” “Away In A Manger,” and other classic Christmas songs. Show runs through December 31.
For tickets and information, visit www.derbydinner.com.
The Voice-Tribune Third Thursday After Work Party
The Voice-Tribune will host a special holiday Third Thursday After-Work Party at the Louisville Marriott Downtown from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15. Guests will enjoy swag bags, giveaways, complimentary appetizers, drink specials, free valet parking and music by DJ Jaybird.
For information, call 502.897.8900 or visit www.voice-tribune.com.