KaLightoscope, "Kentucky's Biggest Christmas Event" opened last Thursday for the second annual year at the Galt House Hotel downtown. For 2011 it has been expanded and attractions added. Christmas At The Galt House is expected to attract more than 80,000 people this holiday season.
My family and I went on Saturday to check it out. We had a good time and enjoyed the early glimpse of some Christmas spirit. This is a multi-million dollar exhibit with new attractions and activities this year. I must say that every elf/staff member/employee we were in contact with was not only helpful, but seemed happy to be there. This is important to me , especially when going to a fun activity and helped make our time there more enjoyable.
As soon as we walked in to the event we were greeted by Marie, one of the friendly elves previously mentioned. She was cheerful and told us about the activities in her area. She walked with us to see Santa Claus and have a picture taken. Santa was charming and spoke gently to the children. You are welcome to bring a camera and take pictures of everything. Photographers are stationed throughout and as you exit KaLightoscope you have the opportunity to see and purchase pictures of you.
We got to play "Find Santa's Key Game" in the "elf-size" village. This is an add-on to your admission ticket price. You will get a scratch-off card and have to look in all the little doors of the Christmas Village to find a number, to reveal a clue. Once you know where Santa lost his key you go there to finish your tour. Then take your game card to Santa's Workshop to pick a prize. My kids had fun running around opening the doors and they loved picking out prizes. The prize selection was pretty good, many choices of things/brands that kids like and want. "Find Santa's Key Game" is an additional $10 per person. Maybe a little pricey for this activity, but fun.
The elf-size village is neat to look into. It consists of lots of little shop-like buildings that adjoin. You can look in the little windows and see things being made and where the magic happens. They were careful to pay attention to the details. The WDRB Snow Fox also has a home at Christmas At The Galt House this year, keeping with the idea of all things snow. He is available for meet and greets and photo opportunities.
Next we visited the "Snow Fairy Castle Attraction" My kids really liked this one. The Snow Fairy is sweet and happily answered the questions she was asked. She has beautiful gowns, shoes and tiaras as well as a wall of potions. All of which you can see up close.
If your family writes letters to Santa there is an area set up just next to the castle for that with tables, stationary and pencils. You can write letters and drop them into a large Santa sack for delivery. And if you like gingerbread houses, there are some sweet ones on display.
KaLightoscope - this year they have set up a Learning Center where you can read about the development and building of the attraction and see pieces at various steps of the process. Take a few minutes to check this out, there are some interesting facts that you won't know otherwise.
Once we crossed the grand entrance into the actual KaLightoscope exhibit we were almost awestruck. It's just beautiful. The large lantern-like ornaments and figures are detailed and smartly displayed. Many shapes and colors placed ever so carefully around the large hall that has been blackened for effect is almost overwhelming at first. I wanted to run from one to another and on and on. We took the journey slowly, checking out each one. Some of these larger than life lanterns are made to walk through and climb on. We even had the pleasure of writing our names on the over-sized "Naughty and Nice List."
Our visit came to an end in the Mistletoe Marketplace where you can look at photos, shop for Christmas items and get some hot cocoa or coffee and sweets. We really enjoyed Christmas At The Galt House. I recommend it for families or for date night.
Christmas At The Galt House runs daily (closed Christmas Day) through January 2, 2012. Hours are: Monday- Saturday, 10am - 8 pm and Sundays and holidays, Noon - 8pm. Special offers on tickets: Kids 4 and under are FREE, Tuesdays are Family Day 4 for $40 and Military are FREE. Visit www.christmasatthegalthouse.com  or call 502-584-7777 for more information.
Photo credit: Roxane Haynes