Gathan D. Borden

Marketing guy working in the tourism industry, disguised under the title of "Director, Brand Marketing & Advertising" - I share my thoughts on a myriad of topics.


‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!

There’s nothing like the holidays to bring joy into our hearts and put our lives into perspective. It’s that time of the year where family comes home, college friends whom you haven’t seen in years stop in to pay a visit, and gifts are given…in abundance. While most of us take time off during the holidays, we tend to get stuck with the “what-to-do” syndrome. Luckily for you, Louisville is chock-full of things to do over the holiday season, and if you need some family fun, or just a night out, I’ve got a quick list to help guide you along the way.

Do the Urban Bourbon Trail. Yea, so I started with bourbon…you knew it was coming! In Kentucky, we are responsible for producing 95% of the world’s bourbon supply, and in Louisville, we make about one-third of the world’s bourbon supply! That alone gives us reason to celebrate America’s Native Spirit by raising a glass at some of Louisville’s world-famous bourbon bars. The Urban Bourbon Trail is a cocktail and culinary experience that takes you to 14 (and growing) bars and restaurants across the city that embrace bourbon as a lifestyle. All of these places have 50+ bourbons and cook bourbon-inspired cuisine. It comes with a Bourbon Country passport (that is free and can be picked up at any of the 14 participating locations or the Louisville Visitors Center), in which each stop will stamp your passport. Once you get 6 stamps, all you have to do is turn in your passport, and you get a free t-shirt along with your Official Citizen of Bourbon Country certificate. So if you’ve got bourbon fans in the house, it’s definitely worth a sip. MORE INFO.

Visit “Christmas at the Galt”. If you’re like me, and you’ve got kids, doing the Urban Bourbon Trail with your 4 year-old might be frowned upon. In that case, check out the Galt House. They’ve got a holiday experience there for all ages, and it features KaLightoscope Christmas as the main attraction. You can go see the world’s largest Gingerbread Village, catch the “Colors of the Season” dinner show filled with songs and dancing or check out some arts, crafts and other Christmas souvenirs in the Mistletoe Marketplace. It’s definitely an enjoyable time to spend with the kids - and bring the grandparents too. MORE INFO.

Take in the arts scene. One of the things I appreciate about Louisville is its love for the arts. For a city our size, we are blessed to have so many performing arts venues and museums at our disposal. The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory has the “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” exhibit on display that pays tribute to the classic television special. You get a behind-the-scenes history of the show, artifacts used in the production, and a look at all the winter sports that Charlie Brown and the gang played. You also can have some fun with the hands-on activities. Across the street, you can see some multi-cultural holiday celebrations at both the Frazier History Museum (where kids 17 & under are free until January 1, 2012) and the Muhammad Ali Center. Their displays highlight how different communities celebrate their holiday traditions. Actors Theatre and some other museums have activity going on too, so throw in a nice lunch or dinner and your day is set.

Dine at a new restaurant. And speaking of dining, restaurants just seem to be popping up every day in Louisville. I recently heard a statistic that for every 3 restaurants that close, there are another 5 that will open up! That is a staggering number for a city the size of Louisville. Most of us probably do the family dinner thing, but maybe you might want to switch it up this year and do something different. There really are too many restaurants for me to recommend; nevertheless, I’ve got a list of 6 spots for you to try. They are not on here by any other measurement than my “I think you should try it” scale. So here they are:

Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar: Southern/BBQ style coupled with classic seafood favorites.

Eddie Merlot’s: One of the best steakhouses around.

Hillbilly Tea: The trendy cafe in downtown.

 Troll Pub Under The Bridge: Classic pub food, located under the 2nd street bridge.

Garage Bar: Wood-fired pizzas and craft beer.

Ghyslain: A french-style bistro filled with chocolates, pasteries and breads.

And with that said, HAPPY HOLIDAYS people. Whatever religion you are, or however you celebrate the holidays, remember the most important thing is family and love, so be sure that you are spreading nothing but peace and positivity in Possibility City.