There are only two days until Christmas, but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the Christmas festivities. Whether you are going to drive through the Lexington Horse Park to view Southern Lights, take a road trip and go to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, or enjoy your neighbors’ light displays in their front yards, the lights and sounds of Christmas are everywhere.
Lexington Southern Lights: For the past several years, visiting Southern Lights has been one of our family traditions. The lights are always spectacular. The kids love the anticipation of looking for the lights that have been added since last year.
Make sure you take the time to tour the International Museum of the Horse while you are there. This is a great place to get warm and see unique horse history. Details: Open from 5:30 to 10 p.m.; personal vehicle, Sunday through Thursday/$15; Friday and Saturday/$20. Ends Dec. 31. Website: http://kyhorsepark.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=619&Itemid=377.
Dollywood Smoky Mountain Christmas: Enjoy music, shows, lights, trees; ends Dec. 30.
My family had the opportunity to visit Dollywood this month for the first time. One of the highlights of our visit was “Christmas on Ice.” The mixture of lights, ice performers and music was a magical experience. We had the chance to see several different shows and make great memories. Christmas in the Smokies was a colorful extravaganza with amazing musical performances. Website: http://www.dollywood.com/themepark/festivals/Smoky-Mountain-Christmas.aspx
Tips for your visit:
n Map out your shows. You can print out the map of Dollywood from the website with program times. This allows you to plan your night so you will not miss your favorite shows and activities. It also will help you know how long you have between shows to get from one theater to the next.
n Plan to stay for the whole evening. You don’t want to miss the Carol of Trees. There are plenty of restaurants and vendors set up for food and meals. We chose to carry some snacks in a backpack so we could grab a snack between shows.
n Dress warmly in layers. You don’t want to freeze in the time between shows but you don’t want to be too hot during the musical events. We even put a small pop-up umbrella in the backpack so we could be ready for the rain.
n Don’t forget your camera and make sure your battery is charged. Part of the fun of the holiday displays is catching those candid shots that will help you remember the experience for years.
Your own neighborhood: Ever since the kids were babies, a few days before Christmas we put the kids in the van with their pajamas on, turn on the radio to listen to Christmas music, grab a cup of hot chocolate or coffee for me and my husband, travel mugs for the kids, and head out on a tour of our neighborhood. We count Christmas trees, ooh and ahh over all the lights, look for the blow-up Santa Claus or the plastic Nativity sets in people’s yards. This is a great way to enjoy being together and doesn’t cost anything but the cost of gas.
Don’t think just because Dec. 25 comes and goes that you have missed out on the opportunity to view some great light displays. Most light displays are open and lit up until Dec. 31. If you go after Christmas, the crowds may be smaller and the stress much less.
Do you have big plans for the next few days with your family and friends? Don’t forget to slow down and just spend some time enjoying your time off making memories. It does not have to cost a lot of money to have a very special Christmas. Have a great week! I’d love to hear how you plan to make memories this Christmas season.
Sharon Williams blogs about life, hobbies and saving money at Hobbies on a Budget. www.hobbiesonabudget.com