Winter Activities Near Louisville, Kentucky

Last year probably wasn’t the winter you were expecting. Kentucky in the winter usually means gathering together with loved ones in your home, going to see a light show, or celebrating in classic Kentucky style: with live music and bourbon. But the pandemic prevented that and for many cabin fever set in. 

Winter Activities Near Louisville, Kentucky

Now another winter is arriving and life still isn’t back to normal. But with the advent of covid-19 vaccines, there are plenty of safe activities available in Louisville for those visiting on a Kentucky winter vacation and for locals. So, here are some activities to make the most of this winter! Or, if you’re looking for ways to spruce up your home, let us take care of your to-do list and check out our blog for other home improvement ideas

Get in the Holiday Spirit 

Feel the crisp winter air on your face, marvel at sparkling lights, and connect to the holiday season by seeking out one of the holiday shows, events, or many other Christmasy things to do in Louisville. 

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or something else, go see the Lights Under Louisville for a true one-of-a-kind holiday experience. You’ll see over 3,000,000 individual lights and 850 characters during your 30-minute drive through Louisville’s Mega Cavern. And it’s the only light show of its kind in the country! You can also check out Gardens Aglimmer at the Waterfront Botanical  Gardens or Winter Illuminations at the Parklands of Floyd Park for a self-guided walking light show. Additionally, Louisville is full of festive neighborhoods, like Hillcrest Avenue and Lake Forest, that host beautiful light displays — and they’re free!

You could also watch ballet dancers perform in “The Brown-Forman Nutcracker” at Louisville’s Kentucky Center between Dec. 11 and 23. With spectacular sets, costumes, and artistry the show promises its audience transportation to the magical realm of the Sugar Plum Fairy. 

For the history-lovers out there, one unique Louisville Christmas event is the Christmas Tour offered at the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum. The mansion, known as Conrad’s Castle, began construction in 1859 and is a historic landmark. You can take a candlelit tour through the mansion’s Richardsonian Romanesque architecture and learn how prominent Louisville families, like the mansion’s former owners, celebrated Christmas during the Golden Age. 

See a Show or Listen to Music 

Find respite from the cold and enjoy some entertainment at Louisville’s theaters, arenas, and entertainment venues. You can check out the Harlem Globetrotters, who combine basketball and theater, at the KFC Yum! Center, or see who’s performing at the Louisville Palace Theatre. Use this 2021 guide to see which shows Louisville theaters are playing this winter!

Louisville, like all of Kentucky, is a hotspot for live music. Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar is one such live music venue that offers blues, rock, and jazz music, as well as drinks, six days a week. The only vintage arcade in Louisville — the 1938 Zanzabar — is also an intimate, award-winning live music venue. It even puts on weekly pinball tournaments and Sunday trivia nights!

Holiday Blog Images

Stay Active 

If you want to be active this winter, spend a day meandering through one of Louisville’s museums. There’s the Muhammad Ali Center; the Kentucky Derby Museum; and the Smithsonian’s Frazier History Museum, where you can learn about local history. It’s also, incidentally, where the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center is located (wink, wink). 

Speaking of distilleries, stay warm in more ways than one by tasting some of Kentucky’s famous bourbon. Once you’ve left the Frazier History Museum, you can start your tour at one of the four distilleries located within a mile of the museum — or you can book a tour in advance. Check out the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Itinerary or explore distilleries on your own. 

Spend Time Outside

Soak in the season with ice skating and other outdoor things to do in Louisville this winter! The Fete de Noel Festival, located in the Paristown Arts and Entertainment District, is a winter village that features Louisville’s only authentic outdoor skating rink. If the skating tires you out, take a break to shop, eat, enjoy a holiday movie, or decorate ornaments in the village. The festival is open for six weeks from Nov. 27 to Jan. 3. 

While we’re on the topic of outdoor activities, you may be wondering: does it snow in Louisville? The answer is sometimes. Louisville on average receives about nine inches of snowfall annually while the national average is 28 inches. But, on the occasion that there’s enough snow for sledding or skiing, Kentucky’s rolling hills become the perfect winter playground!

Does being underground count as being outside? Either way, there’s no debate that exploring Kentucky’s underground cave systems — which stay at a pleasant 54 degrees Fahrenheit — will help you shake-off cabin fever. You can visit Mammoth Cave National Park, located an hour-and-a-half outside of Louisville, and take a tour through the world’s longest known cave system. You’ll see tall canyons, steep cliffs, tunnels sparkling with gypsum, and learn about early life!

Of course, there’s also the Mega Cavern, an underground theme park located right under Louisville, that offers ziplining, jeep tours, and other adventurous activities.

Winters in Kentucky can be magical or downright bleak depending on how you choose to spend the season. So, get outside, see a show, take a tour, celebrate the holidays — do whatever you need to — and make the most of this winter! And if getting out of the house doesn’t cure your cabin fever, it might be time to consider remodeling your kitchen, living room, or even the whole house. Take a look at our project spotlights and give us a call to see if we’re the right fit for you!