Kentucky Horse Park Winter Hours and Seasonal Highlights

LEXINGTON, KY (November 14, 2011) – The Kentucky Horse Park kicks off its winter season with new hours of operation and a new blockbuster exhibition.

From now until March 14, the park will be open Wednesdays through Sundays, 9am to 5pm.

The highlight of the winter season will be “The Horse” exhibition through Apr 6 in the International Museum of the Horse, in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History.  “The Horse” graphically portrays the horse’s impact on trade, transportation, labor, warfare, culture, and sports.  It showcases spectacular fossils, models, dioramas, and cultural objects from around the world, including many from the American Museum of Natural History’s world famous collections. “The New York Times” called this exhibition “charming and illuminating” and “an uplifting example of how horses enrich our lives.”  The “New York Post” said, “You absolutely must see it.”

This winter some of the park’s resident horses will take a few months off for some much-deserved “R&R” in the fields, while others will continue to work in the Breeds Barn.  Each horse’s breed information and biography will be posted outside of its stall, to allow visitors the opportunity to learn detailed information about the breeds in a self-guided tour.  There will also be a daily training demonstration when weather permits so visitors can see a few horses in action.

In addition, the celebrity horses in the Hall of Champions are available to meet and greet, and the American Saddlebred Museum and the Gift Shop are open throughout the winter season.  Several indoor horse shows and polo matches will take place as well.

Returning for the 18th season, the “Southern Lights” annual holiday light festival will be open Nov 18 – Dec 31, beginning with the “Southern Lights Stroll” on Nov 17.

The “Southern Lights Stroll” has become a popular, local tradition and a great way for individuals and families to get a preview of this year’s “Southern Lights.”  Participants are welcome to walk, run, stroll or roll their way through 3 miles of light displays on Nov 17, and are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to God’s Pantry Food Bank or a local animal shelter.

The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation presents “Southern Lights” annually in support of the Kentucky Horse Park.  Not only is this event a successful fundraiser, but it has also become a beloved family holiday tradition for people from throughout the Bluegrass and beyond.

From 5:30 until 10:00 p.m. each night, visitors driving through a winter landscape of lighted and often animated figures are awed by the dazzling display of more than a million lights.

Inside the park more fun awaits with a petting zoo, pony rides, camel rides, model trains, holiday and craft vendors, refreshments and the Mini-Train Express.  The lights are on each night through Dec 31, and the indoor attractions will be open each night with the exception of Nov 24 and Dec 24 to 31.  With a visit to Santa and dinner in the Bit & Bridle Restaurant, a family’s holiday outing will be complete.

Tuesday, Dec 7 will be Military Night at Southern Lights.  All active and retired military and their families will be admitted free of charge by showing military I.D. at the gate.

There will also be a Gift Shop Open House Dec 2-3, with storewide discounts and refreshments.

Admission from now through Mar 14 is $10/adults, children ages 7-12/$5, and children 6 and under are admitted free of charge.  Admission includes “The Horse” and the International Museum of the Horse, the American Saddlebred Museum and Gift Shop, and all of the live equine presentations. There is a separate fee for admission to “Southern Lights,” $15 per car.

For more information on “The Horse” call 859-259-4232 or click on

For information on “Southern Lights” call 859-255-5727 or click on

For information on the “Southern Lights Stroll” call 859-259-4200 or click on

For information on the Kentucky Horse Park, call 859-259-4200 or go to

The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse.  The park is an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet that hosted more than one million visitors and campers, as well as 15,000 competition horses in more than 100 special events and horse shows in 2010.  The park is home to the National Horse Center which comprises more than 30 national and regional equine organizations.   Located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is the place to get close to horses.

Cindy Rullman

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