Photo by Keith Bridgman

Christmas in Bowling Green

Winter Holidays 2018 Events

(Updated 11/28/18. All events subject to change.)

Bowling Green certainly has a bustling holiday scene! You can jumpstart your holiday season by visiting the Holiday Ice Skating Rink at the SOKY Marketplace downtown for thrilling and festive fun beginning November 16 and continuing daily through January 6, including a special New Year's Eve event! And returning this year... Santa's Lookout Lights Display just across the county line and 13 miles out Cemetery Road. This drive-through lights and scenes display is the perfect "Christmas in the Country" activity for Bowling Green guests every Thursday-Sunday in December including.

Then officially kick things off November 30-December 2 on a weekend LOADED with family fun in 2018! Below you'll find a suggested itinerary for that weekend. 

After dinner on Friday, November 30, head to WKU's Van Meter Hall for the annual WinterDance performance with a Toyland theme for the young and young at heart, or catch some live music including Mo Pitney and local favorites Fat Box at one of Bowling Green's nightlife venues.

Christmas ParadeOn Saturday, December 1, hit the shops! For bargains and one-of-a-kind items, try the Fruit of the Loom Brand ShopFlea Land or Vette City Antique Mall. Then continue the holiday spirit at the Kentucky Museum’s Christmas in Kentucky event. Next, venture down Highway 68/80 to nearby South Union where you can select some unique Kentucky crafted gifts at the Christmas at Shakertown Holiday Market. A canned good is all you need for admittance to this great holidRock Garden Farmay tradition.

Finish up your afternoon with more shopping for Kentucky-made products at Chaney's Dairy Barn or 'uncommon goods' at Nest Mercantile. Wrap up the day listening to Diamond Rio Holiday & Hits at SKyPAC or Winterfest: A Choral Celebration at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. 

Enjoy a leisurely Sunday morning on December 2 with brunch from White Squirrel Brewery, then it's off to the catch the annual BG Christmas Parade through downtown Bowling Green at 2 p.m. around Fountain Square Park (rescheduled from the original Saturday morning date due to weather forecast!) Admire some of Bowling Green's finest homes while you take the Landmark Association's Christmas Tour of Homes.  One last stop takes you to the historic Eloise B. Houchens Center to view the Trees of Christmas display.

And that's just the first weekend of December! The following weekend, cruise to beautiful downtown Fountain Square Park on Friday, Dec. 7 to admire the winter wonderland it becomes with thousands of twinkling lights as Downtown Lights Up. While you're there, get a sense of the local arts scene with the Bowling Green Gallery Hop. If you are still feeling festive, head up to downtown Smiths Grove to watch the Smiths Grove Christmas Parade beginning at 6pm or catch Holidays on the Hill at WKU's Van Meter Hall. 

If yFestival of Trainsour travels have you visiting the few days before and after Christmas, dash downtown to the Historic Railpark & Train Museum for the annual Festival of Trains Dec. 22-23 and again Dec. 26-29. See the region's largest model train display, climb aboard restored railcars, and tour the interactive two-story museum.

More Christmas and Holiday activities last through the New Year, so be sure to search our Events section for more happenings that are geared for fun!

Live Shows

Santa with SymphonyIf performing arts are what you're looking for this Christmas season, a visit to Bowling Green in December offers The Best Christmas Pageant Ever as well as The Fisherman & His Wife and Elf: The Musical, Jr. Let the talented students in WKU's Department of Theatre and Dance entertain you during Last Chance to Dance '18.

On December 15, conjure classic Christmas memories with Orchestra KY's Christmas Spectacular at SKyPAC or hear a real Barbershop Chorus for their annual Christmas Show on December 8. 

Other Geared for fun Holiday Events

If you are still searching for some exciting and fun filled holiday activities, look no further! Bring your families and join in on the fun!

  • November 25-December 30, Celebrations for a Long Winter's Night- WKU Hardin Planetarium
  • December 3-6, Polar Express Storytimes- Historic Railpark & Train Museum (advance ticket required) 
  • December 13-16, Walk Through Bethlehem- Grace Baptist Church 
  • December 8, Christmas Candlelight Tour- Riverview at Hobson Grove
  • December 29, Jambodians Holiday Bash- La Gala
  • January 1, Cheers to New Years 5k- The Loops at Lovers Lane

These activities are perfect for a wintry day!

  • Warm up this holiday season by taking a tour of Bowling Green's Corsair Distillery! Tours with tasting are $8 per adult, or $10 with your choice of a glass to take home and are offered Tuesday- Saturday.

  • Turn the Holiday Tree Display at the Houchens Center into a scavenger hunt and get the kids searching for specific items, certain colors, special ornaments, and other holiday clues!

  • Did you know caves stay the same temperature year-round? Take an underground boat ride in Lost River Cave and enjoy the mild 55˚ climate!

  • The National Corvette Museum is open 7 days a week, 8am until 5pm offering exhibits and interactive fun with their KidZone! Of course, don't miss their HUGE gift shop for that special car lover in your life!

  • Fountain Square Park becomes a winter wonderland each December... stroll the park on that 'not-so-blustery' December evening!

  • For pieces of Kentucky history, why not visit the Kentucky Museum's 'Recommended by Duncan Hines' and Civil War exhibits?

  • If you like Trains, then you won't want to miss the Historic Railpark & Train Museum. They have a two-story interactive museum, and out back you can climb aboard real railcars!

  • Oh, and how could we omit SHOPPING! Bowling Green has tons of unique, locally owned shops, two flea markets, a mall, consignment district, and much more!