Kentucky Traditions: Southern Lights

Usually during the Kentucky wintertime, with its unpredictable weather, I spend a lot of time holed up in my house. I don't have kids, so there isn't a lot of incentive to head to parades or to see Santa. There is, however, one holiday tradition that I do brave the cold for: Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park. 

Photo by whenlostin on Flickr

This marks the 20th year of Southern Lights, which is a wonderland of oversized lighted holiday decorations that run through the Kentucky Horse Park. You get to stay in your car and "ooh" and "aah" at the over 1 million lights while running the heat at full blast. My favorite display every year is the "12 Days of Christmas" which is illustrated through twinkle lights. There are also animated displays, which are fun.

Photo by osubeav on Flickr

I don't stay in the car for long though. I always pop out at the end where they have pony and camel rides (for the youngin's), craft vendors, refreshments, and other fun things. But the real reason I get out in the cold? The petting zoo.

I mean really, who doesn't want to feed the goats?!

I'm not quite sure why my husband and I love the petting zoo so much. It's just a fun thing to do, and you can get your hand tickled by animal lips as they eat feed. They're just so darn cute. 

The lights are on each night (from 5:30-10:00 pm) through December 31, and the indoor attractions are be open each night, with the exception of November 28 and December 24 through December 31.

Southern Lights is a great family event and is budget-friendly since you pay per car versus per-person.
  • Personal Vehicle (Sunday - Thursday) $15.00
  • Personal Vehicle (Friday and Saturday) $20.00
  • Extended Van  $30.00
So, if you head out to Southern Lights, make sure to look for me at the petting zoo. I'll most likely be with the goats. 

Great Birthday Party or Greatest Birthday Party?

I'm kind of a birthday fanatic. I love them. I may not be the biggest fan of growing older, but I am most definitely the grown woman who announces her birthday to everyone she comes into contact with and may have worn an "It's My Birthday" sash everywhere I went on my most recent birthday (Kroger, dentist appointment, bus stop, etc.).

When it comes to birthday parties for my daughters, I go all out. I start months in advance, deciding on a theme, making decorations, designing the cake. (Thank God for Pinterest.)

What I'm trying to say is that I consider myself a Birthday Party Snob. I'm a control freak who only does parties at her house because nobody else could do it to suit me.

Dear Readers, I was wrong. So wrong. Ella was invited to a birthday party at CKRH Riding for Hope located at the Kentucky Horse Park. May I now present for your consideration, the pictorial evidence of my wrongness:

This is Happy Feet, one of the miniature ponies that the girls got to brush, adorn with tiaras and jewelry, and paint.


That's right. They painted ponies. Did you know this was a Thing?

I couldn't help but wonder about the ponies' feelings on the matter. (Look at your LIFE, Happy Feet. Look at your CHOICES.) In all seriousness, the miniature ponies were very sweet, and the perfect size for 3-year-olds. The girls had a ball. As soon as we got home, Ella grabbed her baby and told me that she was naming her Happy Feet.

I consider that a Win.

In Photos: Fasig-Tipton and Kentucky Horse Park

I wanted to share some photos from some of the land between the Kentucky Horse Park

and Fasig-Tipton near Lexington. When I think of what I am proud of about Kentucky, the beauty from these places can't be ignored. As a

reluctant Kentuckian

, I am ashamed to say I lived in Lexington for over 10 years and never saw this beauty. Shame.

These were taken while I was completing a half-marathon, and weren't all taken by my camera. They're in a jumble of photos from the event on my computer, mixed between my camera, my friend Amber's camera.

Seriously. How could you not think this is beautiful?

You don't see this everyday! (In Kentucky Horse Park)

In Fasig-Tipton

Entry to Fasig-Tipton

Look! The Lexington Police even made an appearance escorting my slow self down Newtown Pike!

It's amazing what you can see if you just break out of your little bubble!