“Welcome to the Candy Cane Forest.”
Was that pine tree talking to me?
But indeed it was. It’s Mr. Sugar Pine. He’s explaining what 90 new animated animals are doing to prepare for a big holiday party in the brand-new Candy Cane Forest.
The talking tree and his animated animal friends are one of the main attractions at the annual Christmas at the Galt House Hotel—which includes the KaLightoscope attraction, Christmas Village, and the Candy Cane Forest—in downtown Louisville.
“When guests walk through the brightly colored hallways of the hotel leading to KaLightoscope, it will seem like they are entering a giant kaleidoscope,” says Ashley Brauer, social media specialist with the Galt House Hotel. “Their senses will be treated to the colorful fabrics and materials of the sculptures while holiday music and sounds help complete the magical experience. Everyone will feel like a child while wandering through the massive landscape of larger-than-life themed holiday scenes.”
This year the one-of-a-kind attraction has a new Peppermint Express Kiddie Train Ride that transports children literally and figuratively through a magical wonderland. While on the train, they will see raccoons stringing popcorn and rabbits making raspberry cider while a frog roasts corn. The creations are even more interactive this year.
There are also more themed areas in the KaLightoscope attraction this year, including three new ones—Candy Cane Vortex, Welcome to the North Pole, and Under the Tree. In total there are now eight themed areas.
Brauer describes the new North Pole area as “a playful collage of traditional Christmas images that welcome visitors to the North Pole,” she says. “This is a new whimsical take on the North Pole, using bright lights and the energy of Las Vegas as inspiration. It is unlike any North Pole seen before, and it keeps with the palette of colors and shapes that make a kaleidoscope.”
Bringing back old traditions
While so much is new, Christmas at the Galt House Hotel is also bringing back longstanding traditions such as going downtown to see inside large department store windows.
World-renowned animator Lou Nasti has given new life to nearly three dozen long-forgotten characters found decades after their heyday as the featured attractions in downtown Louisville department store holiday windows.
“Mr. Nasti came last spring and looked at the collection,” Brauer says. “He took them back to New York and repaired 30 of them. He remembered some of them. He had even made a couple of them himself 40 years ago.”
The characters will now be part of elaborate windows with themes such as the Dickens era and the 12 Days of Christmas.
“For many parents and grandparents this will bring back many wonderful memories,” Brauer says. “Now they will be able to share these memories with their children and grandchildren.”
Bing Travel named the Galt House Hotel one of the 12 “Most Decked Out Holiday Hotels” in 2011. There’s even a life-sized gingerbread house.
Christmas at the Galt House Hotel runs November 17, 2012, to January 2, 2013. KaLightoscope hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday, noon-6 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days, but it is open from noon-6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
One child’s ticket is free with the purchase of an $18.99 adult KaLightoscope Christmas ticket, which includes the new Peppermint Express Holiday Train Ride and Candy Cane Forest; Christmas Village with characters; Gingerbread House and contest; Learning Center, Mistletoe Marketplace, and KaLightoscope. Military members are free with military ID; military family tickets are $9.99 when accompanied by military member. For more ticket options check www.christmasatthegalthouse.com.
Colors of the Season Holiday Dinner Show
This custom holiday dinner show features a holiday story, live music, a festive dinner, classical Christmas songs, and dancing. November 23-December 15. Tickets $46 adults; $20 children ages 12 and under; matinee $36 adults, $13 children.
Christmas Village and Snow Fairy Castle Attraction
Have your picture taken with the Snow Fairy, write your wishes down, draw on the wall, write a letter to Santa, and visit the new Winter WonderRoom.
Snow Fairy Princess Times
November 17-January 2
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday, noon-2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day,
noon-2:30 p.m.; 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m.
Christmas Tea with the Snow Fairy Princess
December 2 and December 16, 2-4 p.m.
Share your wishes with the Snow Fairy while you sip on tea. Tickets are $19.95 and include a KaLightoscope Christmas ticket.
Breakfast with Santa
Saturday, December 15, 10 a.m.-noon
Tickets $30 children ages 12 and under; $15 adults (includes KaLightoscope Christmas ticket).
Reservations are required and must be prepaid with no cancellation and no refund. Contact Mary Drury at (502) 589-5200 ext. 5181.
See how Chinese artisans create these amazing sculptures for an enriched educational experience. Parents and children will enjoy learning this amazing technique together.
Find unique and charming gifts and enjoy something to eat or drink at Santa’s Snack Shop and Candy Store. Located on the second floor of RIVUE Tower. Hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday noon-7 p.m.; Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day noon-7 p.m.
Gingerbread House Contest
Entries will be on display and open to the public throughout Christmas at the Galt House Hotel event.