Old Louisville Holiday Home Tour Review
A friend and I checked out the Old Louisville Holiday Home Tour in 2016. I’ve wanted to see the inside of some of these homes since my first visit to the St. James Art Show. This national historic preservation district boasts the largest collection of Victorian architecture in the country, and this tour gives you a peek inside. The tour features private residences and historic buildings in and around the St. James Court area, all dressed up for the holidays.
There were two shuttles that brought tour goers around to the different stops on the tour. But even in the rain, it was very easy walking to each. We only used the shuttle from the free parking area to the first stop.
You can buy your tickets online or in person at the Historic Old Louisville Visitors Center in Central Park. There is a discount for buying the tickets early. You can pick your tickets up at the Visitor Center where they give you a map and details about each home on the tour in a booklet, as well as a suggested route. The program acts as your entrance ticket to the historic homes.
In each home, there are volunteers in many of the rooms to provide information on the objects, owners, and history of the homes. We really enjoyed hearing stories of how the houses came to be, who owned them, and even the spirits who haunt them…but that’s for another tour!
There were a couple Bed & Breakfasts on the tour, including a special Bourbon tasting at the Louisville Bourbon Inn – that was my favorite stop! There were snacks at several of the stops (the Cabbage Patch House and Baptist Church were particularly yummy!), and they also offer a Victorian Tea at the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum for an extra charge. We didn’t do the Tea this year, but it definitely looks fantastic and worth the cost.
We saw each of the stops on the list, and it took us abut 3 1/2 hours (of the 6 hours available) to visit them all, but it could take you more or less time than that depending on how long you look at each site. A couple of the stops had shorter available tour times, so be sure to check your program and see them before they close.
While we did see a couple young kids on the tour, they did not look like they were having a good time. The babies did well in their wrap carriers (attached to mom), but strollers would never work.The homes are full of breakables and antiques, so young children may not be a good idea. One of the volunteers we met during the tour was a young girl in high school. She was very impressive in her knowledge and excitement for the past. Teens may definitely enjoy the tour and I think it’s great for them to learn more about this area’s history. I think a mother – daughter Tea date would be wonderful!
They say there are new things added, and new decorations to see each year, so I’ll look forward to going back again to see what is new! The 2017 Old Louisville Holiday Home Tour is scheduled for December 2 – 3.
By Guest Contributor: Caryn