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    Despite the cold and the threat of snow (maybe?), the holiday season gives everyone an excuse to celebrate. Here's what to do around Louisville this season if you're looking for...

     

    ...HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

    A Christmas Carol & The Santaland Diaries
    Actors Theatre, 316 W. Main St.
    Through December 23 | days and times vary

    Both holiday productions run until the day before Christmas Eve. Every year, Actors brings the beloved classic tale to the stage with A Christmas Carol. The Santaland Diaries, by David Sedaris, is perfect for those who are looking for something a bit more naughty than nice.

     

    Christmas at the Galt House
    Galt House Hotel, 140 N. Fourth St.
    Elfapalooza: December 14, 15, 21 and 22 | 6 p.m.
    Breakfast with Santa: December 15 and 22 | 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Every year, Santa heads down from the North Pole and opens a workshop in the Galt House for Elfapalooza. Meet Santa's elves, enjoy snacks and drinks, take a ride on the Peppermint Express and watch a holiday movie at 6 p.m. And don't forget to grab breakfast with Santa while he's here!

     

    Lights Under Louisville
    Louisville Mega Cavern, 1841 Taylor Ave.
    Open nightly through December 31 | Mon.-Fri., 6-10 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 5-10 p.m.

    Drive through the Mega Cavern and experience over 850 lit characters with over 3,000,000 points of light.

     

    Louisville Ballet's Brown-Forman Nutcracker
    Kentucky Center, 501 W. Main St.
    Through December 23 | days and times vary

    Featuring live music by the Louisville Orchestra, this holiday tradition brings all the magic and wonder of the Nutcracker to the stage.

     

    Waverly Hills Laser Light Show
    Waverly Hills Sanatorium, 8501 Standing Oak Drive
    December 14-15 & 21-22 | 6:30-9 p.m.

    Drive through the historical gates and up the brightly decorated drive for a light show unlike any other, projected on the sanatorium's facade.

     

    ...SOMEWHERE TO GET INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

    Decca Christmas Movie Extravaganza
    Decca, 812 E. Market St.
    Wednesday, December 19 | 5:30-11:30 p.m.

    Grab your free popcorn and a holiday drink special and enjoy classic holiday movies including Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Die Hard.

     

    End of the Year Bierhalle
    German American Club, 1840 Lincoln Ave.
    Saturday, December 29 | 6-10 p.m.

    Celebrate the holiday season with German food, beer and music at this free celebration.

     

    Holiday Brunch
    Brooklyn and the Butcher, 148 E. Market St., New Albany
    Sunday, December 23 | 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Brooklyn and the Butcher is offering a special, unique brunch experience for the holidays. Guests can partake in a brunch buffet, featuring an omelette station, a steak carving station and a Belgian waffle station, in addition to other brunch favorites.

     

    Miracle on Market
    Green Building, 732 E. Market St.
    Open through December 24 | 5 p.m.-2 a.m.

    This pop-up bar has taken over the Green Building until Christmas Eve. Enjoy inventive, holiday-themed cocktails in a decked out space, with Christmas movies projected on the walls and holiday karaoke on Wednesdays.

     

    Night After Christmas Karaoke
    Four Pegs, 1053 Goss Ave.
    Wednesday, December 26 | 8 p.m.-2 a.m.

    Wrap up the Christmas cheer with some karaoke and drink specials.

     

    'Twas the Brunch Before Christmas
    Naive, 1001 E. Washington St.
    Monday, December 24 | 9:45 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Enjoy a three-course, Christmas-themed brunch and drag show at Naive on Christmas Eve. They have seatings at 9:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

     

    Watch & Wine Down: Elf After Hours
    Old 502 Winery, 120 S. Tenth St.
    Friday, December 21 | 8:30-11:30 p.m.

    Old 502 is hosting a screening of Elf, where you can relax before the upcoming holiday rush with a class of wine or two…or three.

     

    Wine and Christmas Cookies
    Vines Wine Bar & Spirit Shop, 1985 Douglass Blvd.
    Thursday, December 20 | 6-11 p.m.

    What goes better with wine than Christmas cookies?

     

    ...PLACES TO PARTY

    The Annual Christmas Party to End All Christmas Parties
    Saints Pizza Pub and Sky Bar, 131 Breckinridge Lane
    Friday, December 21 | 5 p.m.-3:30 a.m.

    This yearly tradition kicks off with a happy hour at 5 p.m. and will feature all kinds of holiday insanity.

     

    Houndmouth After Party
    Jimmy Can't Dance, 119 S. Seventh St.
    Saturday, December 22 | 11 p.m.-2 a.m.

    After Houndmouth's holiday show at the Palace, head up the street for some funk from Casey Powell and his band.

     

    Mag Bar Xmas Party
    Mag Bar, 1398 S. Second St.
    Saturday, December 22 | 9 p.m.-4 a.m.

    Enjoy drink specials, an ugly sweater contest, Mag Bar ornaments, live music, giveaways and more at this Old Louisville dive.

     

    Pints & Union's Holiday Party
    Pints & Union, 114 E. Market St., New Albany
    Wednesday, December 19 | 7 p.m.

    Wear your ugly sweater to this holiday party at New Albany's newest pub, where you'll enjoy drink specials including Irish coffee and warm cider.

     

    Ugly Sweater Christmas Bar Crawl
    The Barrelhouse on Market, 1005 W. Market St., Jeffersonville
    Friday, December 21 | 8 p.m.-3 a.m.

    At the first annual Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl, you can hop from pub to pub through Jeffersonville, enjoying specials and giveaways all night. Participating bars include the Barrelhouse, the Alcove, Red Yeti, Parlour, Pearl Street Taphouse and Flat 12.

     

    Yule Ball
    Louisville Palace, 625 S. Fourth St.
    Friday, December 21 | 7-11 p.m.

    Witches and wizards are invited to this magical evening as the Palace is transformed into Hogwarts. Attendees can explore Diagon Alley, enjoy a Butter Beer or Polyjuice Potion and take part in formal waltz dance lessons.

     

    ...SOMETHING FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

    Holiday Laser Dome
    Big Four Bridge, 1101 River Road
    Through January 1 | 5:30-9:30 p.m.
    (December 20-30 | open daily with extended hours)

    Have you noticed the giant dome that's appeared in Waterfront Park? Inside, you'll discover a holiday light show unlike any other.

     

    Louisville Palace Holiday Movie Screenings
    Louisville Palace, 625 S. Fourth St.
    December 16 & 23 | 2 & 5 p.m.

    The Palace is screening holiday movies on Sundays leading up to Christmas. On December 16, enjoy Christmas Vacation and It's a Wonderful Life. And on December 23, watch The Muppet Christmas Carol and White Christmas.

     

    Magic at the Mansion
    Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site, 914 E. Main St., New Albany
    Friday, December 21 | 6:30-11 p.m.

    The Culbertson Mansion's house magician, Richard Darshwood, is hosting an interactive night of holiday magic. There will be a family-friendly show at 6:30 p.m., and then a 21+ show at 9 p.m.

     

    The Nutcracker on Ice
    Louisville Skating Academy, 1701 UPS Drive
    December 22 & 23 | 1:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.

    Experience this classic holiday tale adapted for the ice, as skaters retell the story of Clara and the Nutcracker with captivating choreography.

     

    StageOne Presents: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
    Louisville Memorial Auditorium, 970 S. Fourth St.
    Saturday, December 22 | 2 & 5 p.m.

    When the town's worst kids, the Herdmans, bully their way into the church’s annual Christmas pageant, it's expected to be the “worst pageant ever,” so the whole town gathers in anticipation, waiting to see if the Herdmans will ruin Christmas. 

     

    ...A MIX OF MUSIC AND MERRIMENT

    Bach & Brews
    Holy Grale, 1034 Bardstown Road
    Sunday, December 23 | 12:30-2 p.m.

    Enjoy a special peformance of Bach's works for violin by Scott Moore at the last day of Holy Grale's unique music series. Moore, who has collaborated extensively with Teddy Abrams and Rachel Grimes and toured the country with the 23 String Band, will be performing in Holy Grale's choir loft.

     

    Jimmy Can't Dance's A Charlie Brown Christmas — Three Nights
    Jimmy Can't Dance, 119 S. Seventh St.
    December 19-21 | 7 p.m.-midnight

    Christmas time is here, so why not celebrate with classics from Charlie Brown? Jimmy Can't Dance is hosting three nights of jazz from the Charlie Brown Christmas album. Tickets required; see the website.

     

    House is Home for the Holidays
    ALEX&NDER, 1121 E. Washington St.
    Sunday, December 23 | 4-7 p.m.

    Hosted by Rhythm Science Sound, get ready for some holiday house music and ALEX&NDER's seasonal cocktails.

     

    Krampus: A Holiday Houndmouth Show
    Louisville Palace, 625 S. Fourth St.
    Saturday, December 22 | 8 p.m.

    New Albany band Houndmouth is hosting a holiday show, joined by Louisville-based Boa — and maybe even Krampus. They ask that you bring a music-related item to donate to the Home of the Innocents music therapy program. See website for more.

     

    Strings & Drinks
    Gravely Brewing Co., 514 Baxter Ave.
    Wednesday, December 19 | 7:30-8:30 p.m.

    Escape the cold with this weekly series, featuring performances by the NouLou Chamber Players string quartet. Sit back and enjoy the music while sipping one of Gravely’s musically influenced beers.

     

    ...WAYS TO GIVE BACK

    8th Annual Give a Jam to End Homelessness
    Headliners, 1080 Lexington Road
    Thursday, December 20 | 6 p.m.

    Featuring Ben Sollee, Relic with Michael Cleveland, Tyrone Cotton, Appalatin, Craig Wagner and Carly Johnson, and more than a dozen other local artists, all playing to raise money for Coalition for the Homeless.

     

    Polar Express Pajama Party
    Liege and Dairy Ice Cream + Waffles, 2212A Holiday Manor Center
    Saturday, December 22 | 4-9 p.m.

    With a $5 golden ticket, you get a kid's hot chocolate, a jingle bell bracelet, story-time and pictures with Santa. And don't forget to stick around for the holiday movie at 6:30 p.m. $4 of every $5 ticket supports the Home of the Innocents and the Parkinson Support Center of Kentuckiana.

     

    ...THE BEST HOLIDAY LIGHTS IN TOWN

    Besides the spectacular light displays at the Mega Cavern and Waverly Hills and the new Laser Dome, a little elf whispered in our ear that these streets might be worth checking out:

    - Willow Avenue in the Highlands
    - Hillcrest Avenue in Crescent Hill
    - Lake Forest in the East End
    - The Parkridge neighborhood in the South End

     

    This article will be updated daily.

    Cover photo: Pexels.com

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