Holiday Scenes from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in KY

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill has been a popular tourist destination for generations of families.

In fact, I remember visits to Shaker Village from my childhood. As an adult, I got to experience a visit with a fresh perspective and appreciation.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill Holiday

One of the first things you will notice when you step on the property is how peaceful it is there.

Holiday Scenes from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill KY

It looks like an old New England town with 34 of the 260 original structures still on the property.

The road between the buildings was once the main road that took travelers to Lexington into the 1970s.

Shaker Village has become a recent Discovery Destination because of all of the hands-on engagement opportunities available to visitors.

broom at Shaker Village

So who were the Shakers?

The 3,000 acres for the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill was the former site for the Shaker community, who at one point were the third largest Shaker community in the country with nearly 500 members at their peak, between the years 1805-1910.

I learned several interesting things about the Shakers during my visit. They were a celibate community which is why the community died out over time but they were not opposed to alcohol.

At the peak of its day, there were around 500 members. 3/4 of the kids in the community eventually left. They received an 8th-grade education and a trade. The Shakers believed that their work was worship and were known for their quality craftsmanship.

Brooms at Shaker Village
Seeds at Shaker Village

They were also known for their quality livestock, packaged seeds (which they invented) medicinal herbs, and brooms (they sold about 50,000 brooms a year).

The name “Shaker” was a description of how they moved during their services. Their official name was “United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearance.”

They were progressive for their time because they believed in gender and racial equality. They also avoided a lot of epidemics because they were so clean and lived on average 20-30 years longer.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill grounds
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Dining at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

Make sure that you don’t leave the property without enjoying a meal. The farm-to-table restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Lemon pie at Shaker Village

If you have never tried the lemon pie, I would highly recommend it.

They still use the original Shaker recipe and it’s unlike any lemon pie I’ve ever had before. It’s made with the entire lemon rind and has no seeds.

While you are dining, take note of the pegs in every room.

dining at Shaker Village

The Shakers were very practical in their simplicity and the pegs offered a lot of solutions for keeping areas clean and tidy.

They could even adjust the light in a room by adjusting their candleholder up or down on the peg.

Shaker Village Building

While you are on the property, there are several buildings to explore.

Red Stockings at Shaker Village

I encourage you to ask lots of questions when you encounter an employee.

ornament at Shaker Village

It is also a good idea to get a schedule of activities going on that day so that you don’t miss any of the hands-on demonstrations, performances, or tours.

Christmas Tree at Shaker Village
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stairs at Shaker Village
winding staircase Shaker Village
window view Shaker Village
Shaker Village loom
Loom at Shaker Village

If you are looking for a unique gift to remember your visit, there are two areas on the property where you can purchase gifts.

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Shaker Village 21
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That afternoon we took a tour of the property by hayride.

Drink at Shaker Village

We enjoyed a Bourbon Mulled cider, gorgeous scenery, an education on communal farming, and a beautiful Kentucky sunset.

drinks at Shaker Village
Drinks and hayrides Shaker Village
Barn at Shaker Village
Holiday Sleigh at Shaker Village
Shaker Village grounds
street at Shaker Village
sleigh at Shaker Village
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Shaker Village Sleigh
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Candlelight Tour at Shaker Village

That evening we took a candlelight tour led by visitor engagement coordinator, Elsa Wachter.

candletlight at Shaker Village

This experience gave us a unique perspective and the opportunity to ask as many questions as we could think of.

She was a wealth of information and made the tour very interesting.

Candlelight tour Shaker Village

That evening, I stayed overnight on the third floor of the Trustees’ office which gave me a nice view of the other buildings.

Guest room at Shaker Village

My room had a Keurig, a private bathroom, and a television.

window view at night Shaker Village

I decided to stay partially unplugged by keeping my TV turned off that evening. I really enjoyed the quiet.

chair with a view Shaker Village

There are 72 overnight guest rooms throughout the village. If you have younger kids, you might want one of the options that is more private.

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There are some buildings where you could be the only guests.

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The following day, I took a few final views of the grounds before we departed.

horses at Shaker Village
Horse at fence Shaker Village

I was sad to leave this charming destination but I definitely want to come back again to try out some of the more unique adventures that Shaker Village offers like the GLOW Paddle.

I really want to try their Paddle + Yoga Weekends too.  Shaker Village offers lots of opportunities to connect and explore for ages young and old year-round.

You can find out more about planning your visit to the 3,000-acre Shaker Village by visiting their website. 

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Thanks to Kentucky Tourism and Shaker Village for hosting my visit. 

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

Learn More About Why Shaker Village is a Year-round Destination

Why Shaker Village is the Retreat You Didn’t Know You Needed

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