Christmas at the Galt House Hotel Review!
This past weekend my family and I had an amazing holiday experience at Christmas at the Galt House Hotel, where the sounds and sights of the season are in full swing. The Galt House has many new experiences this year as well as some familiar ones that everyone in the family will enjoy! Below is my full review of our entire weekend experience! If you would like to see specific information on each offering the Galt House has, click here.
We began with lunch in the Waterford room in the Rivue tower. We always love eating at the Galt House restaurants. They serve wonderful tasty meals. We got a salad, stuffed chicken breasts, green beans, a potato and rolls. They had special plates prepared for little kids who sometimes may be pickier eaters! The Kids loved their chicken tenders with fries and fruit cups.
During our luncheon we heard several key speakers who told us about many of the updates both at the Galt House this year and around Louisville in general. Kelly Gream, Marketing Manager, told us about the fun updates to the overall Christmas at the Galt House experience, including the new The Great Christmas Mouse Mystery Game where participants can receive goody bags, and a 2015 Mommy Nest Egg Discount card that can be used all around town all year longs to receive thousands of dollars worth of discounts! This is one of the only places in town where a Nest Card can be obtained! We also heard Pam Tillis herself tell us about her new dinner show experience and how much fun the process of building this show has been for her. I interviewed Pam personally and found out that she has been performing since the age of 8 when she made her debut at the Grand Ole’ Opry singing Amen. She has performed on Broadway and the CMAs and she said she wanted to find a way to bring those two things together for this all-new stage spectacular running at the Galt House through Dec. 13th. For a full review of the show click here.
After lunch, we were taken on an exclusive first look at the all new KaLightoscope Christmas Carol experience. We were lucky enough that the Snow Fairy princess herself took us through! She led us to the 2nd floor of the Rivue tower to the hall where you enter for KaLightoscope. One thing I love about the Galt House is that there are signs everywhere making it very easy to find your way around. Even if we hadn’t had the Snow Fairy leading us, we could have easily found our way towards the box office/entrance.
We have always enjoyed going through this awesome spectacle of lighted luminary sculptures, but this year it is all new with the themed story of Scrooge, as shown in scenes from a Christmas Carol. With this year’s KaLightoscope Luminaries you experience A Christmas Carol as told through larger-than-life handcrafted luminaries, made with silk and wrapped around new LED lighting. You will be charmed by the magical interactions with luminaries, performers, and 3D projection. Upon entering the candy cane swirls hallway, you are greeted by a costumed Dicken’s-era character. There are several of these amazing actors throughout this attraction. They stop to interact with the kids and ask you in their best English accents how you are enjoying your holiday!
Most all of the scenes in KaLightoscope are brand new this year, and I suggest telling your children about the story of Ebenizer Scrooge and his journey towards finding love in his heart. My children have seen the Mickey Mouse animated version and could easily equate the scenes we saw with that movie! They love to hear about how Scrooge visits his past, present and future to find Christmas can be wonderful! They even got to interact and dance with the Fezziwig’s at the “Christmas Past” party scene.” The actors stay in character and will tell the children about the different scenes. if they have questions about Scrooge. They even sing Christmas Carols in the last scene, encouraging everyone to leave with Christmas in their hearts!
Once you exit the KaLightoscope attraction, you are led into the English Village. As you enter, you see a Letters to Santa
Station! Here the kids can sit and write their own letters to Santa on very fun themed paper and with help from some of Santa’s elves. The elves are wonderful actors who never break character. They encourage the kids to put their wishlist on their paper and help them with spelling or drawing pictures. I was amazed at the patience Elf Chip had with my youngest! The kids can then drop their letters into the Post Office to go straight to the North Pole!
Before we left, we were treated to an all-new Elf holiday-themed performance by Santa’s elves on the stage area in this same room. There are comfy benches for everyone to sit and watch a 15 min. show brought to you by 4 of Santa’s best elves. The quality of their singing and dancing is so professional and fun. They bounce, sing, giggle and tumble, all while making the kids smile.
As we proceeded through the rest of the fun-holiday filled areas, we looked in all of the tiny windows in the houses of the English Village and we played the Great Christmas Mouse Mystery. The Christmas mice are scurrying around the village to gather items for their Christmas party and you're invited, but the location is a secret to keep the village cat away!!! Find the Christmas mice to discover the location of the party! Everywhere you look you will find tiny little fake mice with Christmas hats on and little letters next to them! The kids had a great time putting the letters together to find out where the party is! Tickets for this portion cost an additional $10. You can also view the enormous Gingerbread house they have on display along with all of the entries to their Gingerbread House Contest!
We stopped to say hi to one of the kids’ favorites, Mr. Sugar Pine, the Talking Tree. We watching as window display animals and dolls moved and danced around. We then came upon the Snow Fairy Castle. This year they have moved the Snow Fairy out near the exit of her castle which is nice as it is more open and well-lit. Inside the castle children can take a seat and Make a Flake! It is here that guests can learn the art of crafting intricate snowflakes with birds, dogs, stars, trees, and so much more inside. The Snow Fairy then takes photos and makes wishes with the kids.
On down the hall there is a place for Snow Play, where kids can create their own Snowman! They were able to build, dress, decorate and take pictures with him! They enjoyed the white stuff without having to go outside in the cold! Santa’s Sleigh Green Screen Experience. We all picked out our favorite warm weather accessories for fun and then jumped in the sleigh and helped Santa deliver presents with the magic of a green screen. You will receive video of your family inside Santa’s sleigh in your email and can share it on social media. Click Here to see our super fun video!
The Peppermint Express Kiddie Train has been moved to a much larger, more open room this year. It is nice because it doesn’t get too hot and children can stand all around while waiting for their turn. Ernie the Engineer is there to greet the kids and he has elf helpers, all of whom are hilarious in character! The kids can take a ride through the Candy Cane Forest, a playful area full of enchantment that will fascinate guests from young to old. This room also displays the Christmas at the Galt House Hotel’s charity of choice is the Heuser Hearing Institute. The not-for-profit organization provides comprehensive quality hearing services from birth through adulthood to help people maximize their potential. (http://www.christmasatthegalthouse.com/charity-of-choice/)
Once you exit the overall KaLightoscope and English Village area, you come upon several great gift shops and a café in the Mistletow Marketplace where yummy treats and warm beverages can be purchased to keep you in the holiday spirit! Cookies and milk are Santa's favorite but my kids love them too!
The prices on everything were really reasonable and we let the kids pick out an ornament to commemorate their trip! The best part? You get your hand stamped at the beginning of your tour so if your children are like mine and want to go back in and see it all again, they can! You can return on the same day as much as you would like!
Tickets for KaLightoscope are:
Adult Ticket: $12* (*Adults ages 13+)
Child Ticket: $5* (*Child Ages 12 and Under)
Children Ages 3 & Under: Free
Military Active/Retired with Military ID: Free
We proceeded down the hall to find Santa. The Galt House has the BEST SANTA in town, in our opinion. And visits with him are absolutely FREE! Did you know you can’t even visit with Santa at the mall for free? You have to pay for a photo to see him there. So, forget that! Come to the Galt House instead. You can visit with Santa anytime he is there and use your camera to take all sorts of fun photos!
Next we headed to the hotel lobby which is in the adjacent building to see the Dancing Bellman! A favorite of hotel guests and community members alike, the Dancing Toy Soldier Bellmen show off their new dance moves in the Countdown to Christmas Dance! This is nightly from November 28 through December 24 at 5pm to keep Santa and his elves on track making their presents so the Jolly Old Elf can deliver them to all the good little boys and girls on Christmas Eve.
We then took a quick break before Dinner Show. The kids went with my mom while we took a quick visit to the Down One Bourbon Bar and Restaurant. There was a free bourbon tasting experience with Bernie Lubbers and we found out a little about the latest trends in the bourbon industry which has grown to a huge popularity here in KY. Named one of America's 55 Best Bourbon Bars by The Bourbon Review, Down One Bourbon and Restaurant is an oasis from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Louisville. It is a unique joint with some 100 Kentucky Bourbons, craft beers on tap, and an exceptional wine list. They also serve non-typical bar food, like tasty entrees, appetizers, salads and sides that will have you raving!
At 7pm we headed down to the 3rd floor Archibald Cochran Ballroom for the Pam Tillis & Friends: A Kentucky Christmas Dinner Show. I can’t say enough about how nice this experience was. Country Music superstar singer and songwriter Pam Tillis ushers in a new era of Christmas at the Galt House Hotel. Tillis’ beautiful voice inspires holiday cheer as she sings traditional Christmas songs, as well as some of her favorites. We first enjoyed a delicious Pot Roast dinner with some KY Christmas song performance in between salad-main-course-dessert offerings. Then, the show started and for nearly 90 minutes we were whisked away to a fairy-tale land with a cast that was phenomenal! The show runs through December 13, get your tickets now before it sells out! Tickets range from $21 - $77 and this is a show that is very family-friendly and the kids will enjoy just as much as the adult! Click here for my full review: http://www.themommynest.com/blog/entry/pam-tillis-friends-a-kentucky-christmas-dinner-show-review
We ended our evening with a special VIP Sneak Peek at Light Up Louisville & 40 Nights of Lights. Each night, the Aegon Plaza lights up for a special light show! The city’s annual celebration features a nightly light show set to music on 4th St. Along the corridor, tree and street lights will be synchronized with the main music and light shows at Fourth Street Live! and the Galt House Hotel. The nightly spectacle also includes light projections on buildings along 4th Street. This starts Nov. 28th for the public audience to see nightly.
If you want to experience all the Galt House has to offer without leaving the hotel, look into one of their great overnight packages. From the Holly Jolly Package to the Silver and Gold, to the Comfort & Joy Package, there is something to fit every budget and every need. Choose to stay in a Deluxe room or a Suite, prices range from $169 - $275. Click here for more info: http://www.christmasatthegalthouse.com/overnight-packages/