By Jesyka McKnight
Hopkinsville Christmas Parade
10 a.m. Dec. 5
Fun for the whole family, Hopkinsville’s annual
Christmas Parade begins on Glass Avenue, goes down Main Street, and then finishes on South 16th Street. The parade is free to anyone who can find a good spot to sit and enjoy the holiday music and decorative floats. Don’t miss Santa bringing up the rear, throwing candy into the crowd.
Clarksville Christmas Parade
5 p.m. Dec. 5
Beginning at Austin Peay State University, this lighted Christmas parade is positively a sight to see. With floats required to have a minimum of 1,000 lights and organizations competing for the Top 3 spots, this parade shines every year. It goes through historic downtown Clarksville and ends at APSU where it started. This lovely holiday display is at no cost to you and your family.
Christmas in Cadiz
4 p.m. Dec. 5
This evening event with numerous activities that both children and adults will love kicks off with The Festival of Trees and its display full of Christmas decorations. At the same time, Disney Downtown begins, with over 30 Disney characters mingling with the crowd until about 6 p.m. Cookies, s’mores and hot chocolate will be served. After that, the nighttime parade will begin from Trigg County High School, with bands and lighted floats sure to get you in the holiday spirit. End the evening with a lovely drive-thru viewing of holiday decorations at Christmas in the Park. The icing on top? The entire event is free. Even better.
From 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4 through 6
Grace Church of the Nazarene, 3135 Trenton Road, will tell the story of Jesus’ birth with a drive-thru nativity, complete with actors and live animals. The drive-thru is free along with free hot chocolate, coffee and cookies.
Christmas at the Bend
1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 5
Bring the kids to Jeffers Bend on Metcalfe Lane in Hopkinsville and participate in a fun-filled afternoon that the whole family can enjoy. There will be indoor holiday activities and crafts. Refreshments will be served. The event costs $5 per car or $10 per bus.
Ugly Sweater Fun Run
9 a.m. Dec. 5
We can always count on Clarksville to do a Saturday morning differently. Join the 5K Ugly Sweater Fun Run, which starts at Beachaven Vineyards & Winery. Put on your most hideous Christmas sweater and walk, jog or run the race to benefit the Humane Society. Registration is available online at www.uglysweaterfunrun.com or onsite the morning of the race.
Christmas on the Cumberland
5 p.m. Nov. 24 to Jan. 3
This gorgeous light display can be enjoyed all through the holiday season. It begins Nov. 24, with Christmas music, choirs, dancers and decorations lining the McGregor Park Riverwalk, 640 N. Riverside Drive, Clarksville. The park is open to the public (and family pets) at about 5 p.m., just enough time for the sun to go down. Vendors set up each weekend. It’s the perfect after-dinner stroll for the family to bask in the Christmas spirit.
Adults Only: Big City Nights Barkley Bash
8 p.m. Dec. 31 to 9:45 a.m. Jan. 1
An epic New Year’s celebration begins New Year’s Eve at Lake Barkley State Resort Park, 3500 State Park Road, Cadiz. As its name indicates, this party is like a night on the town in a big city, and a great way to ring in the New Year. It is strictly for adults 21 and older. It’s a bit pricey, but definitely worth it. Spend the evening dancing to live music from The Positive Movement Band, enjoy a delicious buffet and even an overnight stay complete with breakfast, if you so desire. What’s the harm in splurging every once in a while? Dinner and dance tickets are $120 per couple, dance-only tickets are $75 per couple, and the overnight special is $199.95.
Pennyrile Polar Express
4 p.m. Dec. 12
A free event in downtown Hopkinsville with train-themed activities and holiday vibes. It’s located on Ninth Street, between L&N Depot and Founder’s Square. Refreshments will be served as you view the “Polar Express” decorations, listen to Christmas music and mingle with other families in the community.
Christmas tree lighting
6 p.m. Dec. 12
Hopkinsville gathers downtown at Founder’s Square for live holiday music, decorating awards and the official lighting of the town Christmas tree. A continuance of festivities from the earlier “Polar Express,” this brings the town together for an evening of Christmas cheer.
Indoor Aquatic Center wintertime swim time:
Toddler Splash, 10 a.m. to noon every first Wednesday from November to May
One of the only things my family and I dislike about the winter is no more pool days. But at Clarksville’s Indoor Aquatic Center, 166 Cunningham Lane, you and your little ones can swim for $3 per person. Toddler Splash, for children ages 1 to 5 years, takes place on the first Wednesday of every month, November through May. There is play equipment for the children, and refreshments are served. The center also has regular hours, giving everyone a chance to splash around inside while it’s cold outside.
“Swim with Santa,” 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 12
A chance to swim with Santa is truly the best of both worlds. Indoor swimming complete with Christmas music, crafts and hanging by the pool with St. Nick himself. At $3 per person, you and the family can share a unique experience you won’t soon forget.
New Year’s Eve Splash, 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31 to 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1
Ring in the New Year splashing around with your family for $3 each. Enjoy the climbing wall, water slide, food and more. Don’t forget, anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian after 10 p.m.