Traveler: Louisville’s Galt House Hotel

In Louisville, a holiday classic comes to life with stunning lanterns.
Galt house hotel

Charles Dickens once slept

at Louisville’s Galt House Hotel, so it’s no wonder the riverfront landmark celebrates A Christmas Carol on such a grand scale. Marking its sixth anniversary, the blowout holiday festival Christmas at the Galt House Hotel (Nov. 19–Dec. 27, from $179/night; 140 N. 4th St., 502-589-5200) decks the halls with ornamentation and festivities galore. You don’t have to stay overnight to walk through KaLightoscope: A Christmas Carol Experience ($15 adults, $5 kids), a 3-D storybook of sorts that stages the favorite holiday tale with a wow-worthy series of oversized silk luminarias. Chinese artisans use traditional lantern-making materials and methods to create the 130 showy masterpieces, some up to 30 feet tall.

This year sees the advent of a new Winter WonderLane that ushers guests along a lighted trail to a mistletoe-garnished gazebo perfect for selfies, and on toward a re-created English village and the Holly Jolly Elf show stage. Good luck tearing the Elsa-obsessed girls in your group away from Christmas Tea with the Snow Fairy Princess.

Galt house Hotel
Dancing Toy Soldier Bellmen

Lauded country-music artist Pam Tillis headlines the hotel’s Kentucky Christmas Dinner Show (Nov. 19–Dec. 12; $77), belting out holiday classics and new standards. Meanwhile, the Dancing Toy Soldier Bellmen—actual employees on duty—bust some moves of their own with choreographed hip-hop performances at regular intervals in the hotel’s main lobby. And to all, a good night.


Drive Time 2 hoursEat Bistro 1860’s (1765 Mellwood Ave.) Franco-American fusion fare (lobster hush puppies, hello!) is nothing short of le bombe.

See Take a drive through MEGA Cavern’s Lights Under Louisville, lit up with 2 million points of light.

Buy Boozy dark-chocolate bourbon balls from Muth’s Candies (630 E. Market St.) are like dessert and a nightcap all in one.