Last year I visited Christmas at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky, for the first time. I was so impressed that I wrote an epic post about it. This year they made a significant update to the KaLightoscope exhibit, so when they invited me back for a media preview, I jumped at the chance to see the changes. They invested over $2 million to completely redo the luminaries with a new theme. Now KaLightoscope tells the story of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
An interesting point to note here is that Charles Dickens once stayed at the Galt House. Cool, huh? I bet even Charles Dickens himself would be blown away by this exhibit.
Please read my post from last year for background information about the Chinese origin and history of these giant lanterns and how they are made. The first scene that you visit is a giant, I mean GIANT, Ebenezer Scrooge with a relatively small Bob Cratchit next to him.
It’s hard to comprehend the scale of this without seeing a person in the photo. Even though the lighting isn’t great, this next picture will help you understand just how BIG Scrooge is.
Incredible, isn’t it?
If you and your kids aren’t familiar with the story of A Christmas Carol, I highly recommend a refresher before you visit KaLightoscope. We encountered one man who was very confused about why there were ghosts in a Christmas-themed exhibit. Speaking of ghosts, here’s the first one: the ghost of Jacob Marley.
And here’s Scrooge’s reaction to seeing his dead business partner.
The next ghost, the Ghost of Christmas Past, isn’t so scary looking.
This ghost takes Scrooge back to some happy memories including Fezziwig’s Ball. This scene included some live characters who danced for us.
The Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to scenes where he sees people preparing for and celebrating Christmas.
Here’s where we meet Tiny Tim.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is another scary one.
But it is in this scene where Ebenezer Scrooge begins to have a change of heart.
The next morning we see a changed man.
We see the boy that Scrooge sends on an errand to deliver a turkey to the Cratchit Family.
This scene shows the famous line by Tiny Tim: God Bless Us, Everyone!
This final scene also includes a nativity scene depicted in a stained glass window.
My friend and I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED KaLightoscope this year. I highly recommend it. I’m telling you, the pictures don’t do it justice. You have to see it in person.
Of course, there’s more than just the luminaries. The giant gingerbread house is a must see.
The statistics on this house are impressive!
You’ll also get to see the entries in this year’s gingerbread house contest. Other kid-friendly activities include writing a letter to Santa and mailing in the Christmas Village, meeting the Snow Fairy Princess, making a snowflake craft, watching an Elf Show, and riding the Peppermint Express Kiddie Train. The Green Screen experiences are fun–go flying over Louisville in a sleigh (see the link here) and put your face inside a gingerbread man.
You can also get your photo taken with Santa (free!).
One thing was noticeably missing this year: the animatronics that used to surround the train.
The Galt House also offers Pam Tillis & Friends: A Kentucky Christmas Dinner Show. The tickets for this are pricey, but the kids at our table enjoyed the show. I wouldn’t call it a must-see. I think I’d rather spend the money on a nice dinner at the Rivue Restaurant on the top floor of the Galt House Hotel.
And last, but not least, I have to mention the hotel’s Dancing Bellmen. As a reminder, these are the actual bellmen from the hotel. They performed another very entertaining dance this year. I just love this!
Ready to visit?
Christmas at the Galt House
140 N. Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Event runs from Nov. 15, 2014 – Jan. 1, 2015.
KaLightoscope Admission – $12 Adults, $5 Children (4-12), 3 & under free, military free (active/retired with military ID)
Check website for information about dinner show, Snow Fairy Princess Tea, Breakfast with Santa, and hotel packages.
Disclosure: I received complimentary lodging, admission, and meals as part of the media preview weekend. I paid for my own transportation. All opinions are my own, as usual.