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Offbeat holiday events: Dine in a gingerbread house, and behold a lighted beer keg tree

Tired of the usual holiday haunts? From Kentucky to Morro Bay, Calif., here are four things to see and do (like dining inside a life-sized gingerbread house) that add a dash of quirky to the yuletide mix.

Lexington, Ky.

Southern Lights Holiday Festival
The lights festival in Lexington, Ky., continues through Dec. 31 Southern Lights Holiday Festival

Horses dominate the holiday lights at the Kentucky Horse Park, a working horse farm in the land that hosts the annual Kentucky Derby.

Through Dec. 31, you can tour the Southern Lights Holiday Festival where “horses of light” race or jump over steeplechase fences in park pastures. By day, the park offers equine displays and the International Museum of the Horse.

Southern Lights Holiday Festival
Visitors will see "horses of light" on a 4-mile drive in the Kentucky Horse Park. Southern Lights Holiday Festival

By night, visitors drive a four-mile route in the park that costs $15 to $30 per vehicle. At the end, there’s a petting zoo, Santa and model railway exhibit.

Tucson

Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
The inside of the Dine-In Gingerbread House at Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

This holiday treat involves a bit of spending money. You can eat dinner inside a real, life-sized dine-in gingerbread house set up in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain resort.

It’s made with 50 pounds of ground ginger as well as hundreds of pounds of sugar, honey, flour and spices. Anyone can visit the Tucson-area resort to take a peek (and maybe a selfie) for free.

It costs $200 to $250 for six people to dine in, plus the cost of meals, starting at $20 per person from now through Dec. 27. No nibbling on the gingerbread house, though.

Info: Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain or call (520) 572-3401.

Morro Bay, Calif.

Morro Bay Crab Pot Tree
The crab pot tree at Morro Bay, Calif., with the landmark rock in the background. www.morrobay.org

If you think Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree was humble, check out the crab pot trees around Morro Bay. A local couple started the tradition last year with one tree, inspired by New Englanders crafting trees from lobster pots.

Now there will be 15 crab pot trees around town made from buoys, netting and other nautical items to honor the spirit of the working fishing village. They’ll be on display through Christmas Day.

Also, check out Winterfest events in the town, which includes tall ships, a gingerbread house competition Dec. 9, and snow play (with real snow) in Tidelands Park on Dec. 10.

Rochester, N.Y.

Genesee Brewery
For four years, Genesee Brewery in upstate New York has constructed a beer keg Christmas tree. Genesee Brewery

Beer lovers and teetotalers alike may enjoy this Christmas tree made of empty beer kegs in Rochester, N.Y. For the last four years, Genesee Brewery has been stacking kegs in the shape of a tree.

The 27-foot-tall tree is made of 430 stainless steel kegs stacked in 11 layers. It will remain in place until the beginning of January. At the recent tree-lighting, beer was served.

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