The holidays are the greatest time of year and one of my favorite holiday activities is looking at decorations! One of the most common decorations is huge, festive, themed lights. After exploring the Southern Lights in Lexington and My Old Kentucky Home in Bardstown, I decided to head west to Louisville to one of the most unique light experiences in the world: Lights Under Louisville. Lights Under Louisville is an annual holiday event at the Louisville Mega Caverns, a cave system nestled under the Louisville Zoo. It features over 850 lighted characters with over 3 million points of light and is the only underground holiday light show on the planet! Cool, right?
Obviously I cannot talk about Lights Under Louisville without getting right to the heart of the event: the lights. As I mentioned above, there are over 850 lighted characters with over 3 million total points of light. It’s wild, y’all! The caves are split into themed sections with music playing throughout. Turn off your headlights, roll down the windows, and enjoy the drive.
First, you’ll drive through a themed area with a dancing mascot, huge nutcrackers, and some general Christmas decor around a little corner. Once you’ve curved the bend, BOOM! It’s full-on Charlie Brown Christmas. You’ll see all of your favorite characters from this holiday classic, including the iconic Christmas tree.
Next, you’ll pass tons of North Pole-like characters. You’ll see elves, nutcrackers, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph and his reindeer friends, and even a zip-lining Santa. It’s super important that you just idle your car – you won’t want to miss any of these fun lights.
After the North Pole, you’ll drive through the 12 Days of Christmas, with the song led by the Muppets. You’ll then see tons of comic book heroes (they are even brave enough to mix the Marvel and DC heroes together) before moving into the religious area. A lighted menorah, dreidel, and a Star of David welcome visitors to this area before opening up to a lighted nativity scene.
Next, you’ll enter my favorite section: all things Kentucky! Lights dedicated to Derby, the Belle of Louisville, and (of course) basketball line the drive. You’ll also pass through a fairy tale area with displays portraying Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, and every dad’s favorite: Frozen.
After Disney, you’ll enter an area with internationally themed displays, including the Sphinx, before driving through a ton of Minions. We could hear kids squealing in the cars around us, proving that Minions are here to stay. You’ll then get to drive through Lights Under Louisville’s main advertising point: the tunnel of lights. If you have a sunroof, this would be the time to use it.
Next, you’ll be led through the Dr. Seuss themed area, comically labeled “Lou-Ville“. Cindy Lou Hoo, the Grinch, and even little Max head up this area. There are even Who houses decked out for the holiday. You seriously feel like you’ve been dropped into the middle of the cartoon.
After Lou-Ville, you’ll enter one of the largest displays: White Christmas. There are tons of white lighted displays and even some lighted ice skating rinks lining the drive. Finally, you’ll pass through the salute to the military area and exit the caves. It’s great.
Lights Under Louisville is open nightly through December 31. Visitors can enter the caverns from 6-10pm Monday to Friday and from 5-10pm Saturdays and Sundays. We got there right when Lights Under Louisville opened on a Saturday and waited about 30 minutes to enter the caverns. When we left, the line was insane. I cannot recommend getting there early enough.
Lights Under Louisville costs $27 per standard vehicle, but this coupon will get you $5 off if you visit Monday through Thursday (with a few exceptions). From start to finish, Lights Under Louisville is about 17 miles long and will take around 30 minutes to go through.
Lights Under Louisville was such an awesome experience (you’re in a cave, for goodness sake!) and mom and I already plan to visit again next year! What’s the coolest place you’ve ever seen Christmas lights? Let me know in the comments below!
PS: Want to read about more fun holiday activities? Check out my posts on Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park, Merry and Bright at My Old Kentucky Home, Holiday Lights at Cheekwood, and A Country Christmas at Opryland!