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With incredible lighting displays, family-friendly events, and high-end dining options, French Lick Resort is one of the best places to do an overnight stay this holiday season. And that's without even talking about the hotels, which are as majestic as they come. / Image courtesy of French Lick Resort

Head To Indiana's French Lick Hotel For An Enchanting Holiday Stay

Cincinnati Refined presents 12 Days of Christmas: All holiday season we’ll be featuring communities around Greater Cincinnati and the awesome Christmas events that set them apart. Today our focus is

French Lick Resort

It’s been all quaint this and rustic that since we started this series. Here, I have the privilege of venturing into far more sophisticated territory. Namely, Indiana’s French Lick Resort, which, in addition to being sophisticated, is also lavish, grande, and impressively Old World.

Nestled among the hills of the Hoosier National Forest, French Lick Resort comprises three golf courses, two spas, stables, a shopping promenade, and a Vegas-style casino with 1,300 slot machines, blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker. Still, it’s the two historic hotels—French Lick Springs Hotel and West Baden Springs Hotel (a National Historic Landmark, by the way)—that really stand out. Renowned for their majestic grandeur, they have the look of places that might’ve inspired a Fitzgerald novel or a Wes Anderson film.

French Lick is a family-friendly resort. It’s a good thing too, considering the resort’s Christmastime events are marvelous, and you wouldn’t want anyone to miss them. Here’s the best of what they have to offer:


A half-million Christmas lights illuminate French Lick Resort during the holidays, November 17 - January 7. They accompany delightful handcrafted holiday scenes and enormous Christmas trees at both hotels. So whatever you’re doing at French Lick, you’re sure to do it in a cheery holiday mood.


Worried about bringing kids to French Lick Resort? Don’t be. There’s plenty of kid-friendly events to get ‘em in that holiday spirit, including cookie decorating and a toymaker workshop:

  • Pictures with Santa: Grab a print of your kids sitting with Santa while they tell him exactly what they want for Christmas. 2-5 p.m. on Saturdays in December
  • Story Time and Cookie Decorating: Join Mrs. Claus to put the finishing touches on her Christmas cookies. Then indulge in a light Christmas story. 6:30-8 p.m. on Fridays in December
  • Holiday Movie Madness: Grab some popcorn and settle in for one of your favorite holiday movies—The Santa Clause, Elf, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and The Polar Express. 8:30-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays in December
  • Toymaker Workshop: Join Santa at French Lick Resort’s KidsFest Lodge to assemble toys for the holidays. 9-11 a.m. on Sunday, December 3, 10, and 17


There’s nothing like the sound of Christmas songs during the holidays. At French Lick Resort, you can hear them all December long, thanks to area high school choirs and one special caroling troupe. The carolers will be at West Baden Springs Hotel and French Lick Springs Hotel every Saturday and select Fridays during the holiday season. For a full list, go here.

As for that special troupe of carolers, they’re Dickensian cosplayers of the highest order. The women wear flowing velvet dresses while the men are attired in top hats and tails. And boy, can they harmonize. They’ll be at West Baden Springs Hotel 2-5 p.m. on Saturdays in December.


French Lick Resort is a study in sophistication, and its high-end restaurants—Sinclair’s at West Baden and 1875 The Steakhouse at French Lick—don’t disappoint. Neither does their three-course Christmas menu, which is offered December 15-25. Even better, dine at Sinclair’s Restaurant December 24 or 25 for the sublime experience of live harp music with your meal.

For reservations call 812.936.5579.


Shame we don’t have time to sink our teeth into the history of this beautiful place (more info here). But for now, get on your Christmas planning hat and mark a weekend to spend at French Lick Resort.

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French Lick Resort is located in the towns of French Lick and West Baden, Indiana, just a two-hour drive from Cincinnati. For more information about the resort, visit their website.