Kentucky Homecoming 2022: Here’s what to know ahead of the Wildcats’ big game

Alex Slitz/aslitz@herald-leader.com

It might surprise you to realize that Homecoming Weekend is mere weeks away. The weekend of Oct. 13-16 will connect current Kentucky students with alumni on campus, as they celebrate the heritage of the university and cheer on the Wildcats football team.

If you’re an alumnus planning to return to Lexington for the first time in awhile, you probably have some questions about what campus life is like. We’re here to give you a guide to make the most out of your visit and make Homecoming 2022 a weekend you’ll never forget.

Who is Kentucky playing in the Homecoming game?

The Wildcats football team will take on Mississippi State on Saturday, Oct. 15. Kentucky is coming off a 2021 season in which they finished 10-3 overall (5-3 conference play), and capped off the year with a 20-17 victory over Iowa in the VRBO Citrus Bowl.

Mississippi State, meanwhile, finished 7-6 overall (4-4 conference play), before being blown out 34-7 by Texas Tech in the Liberty Bowl.

How do I get tickets to Kentucky vs. Mississippi State?

Tickets for the Homecoming game can be purchased through the UK Athletics website (which redirects to Ticketmaster). Prices range from $45 to over $200 for the game against the Bulldogs.

Tailgate packages are also available for the Homecoming game, with packages ranging from $750 (up to 10 people) to $3,550 (up to 40). For fans interested in groups of 75 or more people, contact the Revel XP directly at 859-141-1245 or kentucky@revelxp.com.

Where should I stay during Homecoming weekend?

The Lexington Visitor’s Center has put together a list of hotels near the University of Kentucky. The list of 8 hotels are all “within a 10-minute drive” of the UK campus.

If you’re looking to go the vacation rental route, there are house and apartment options through VRBO and Airbnb.

What should I eat while I’m in Lexington?

There are plenty of options around town that you should not miss during your trip back to the University of Kentucky.

What to eat where the locals eat? Grab a bite from some of the oldest restaurants in Lexington, from dinner at Columbia Steak House (where you can check out the “Mafia Room” in the back) to a classic burger, fries and milkshake combo at Burger Shakes. For even more restaurants with longevity, take a look at this reader-assisted list of some of the city’s best bites, from Stella’s Kentucky Deli to Charlie’s Seafood Restaurant.

If you’re looking for to try something new, get a taste of Chicago with an Italian Beef sandwich at South of Wrigley. Fans of “The Walking Dead” should opt for Nic & Norman’s for more Southern faire -- from meatloaf to chicken pot pies to brisket. The new restaurant is owned by a team behind the popular AMC show.

UK alumni won’t want to miss Big Blue Deli, which is a new sports-themed restaurant. Revel in all the Wildcats memorabilia as you eat, and if you’re lucky you can have lunch at one of two vintage bleacher sections that have been converted into tabletops.

For those who are looking to save a buck or two during the busy weekend, we’ve got you covered. Meredith Howard put together a list of Lexington’s top 10 “cheap eats,” which range from pizza to donuts.

Drinking in Lexington? What to know

Did you know that there are still counties in Kentucky that are completely dry? Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of options in Lexington, as Urban County is not one of those dry corners of the state. But if you’re a connoisseur of ales and spirits, test your knowledge with this quiz on alcohol in Kentucky.

Craving a cold, craft beer before (or after) the Wildcats take on the Bulldogs? Yelp reviewers have spoken and named West Sixth Brewing in Lexington as the best craft brewery in the state, with fans highlighting its “porters and stouts, as well as lighter beers too.”

For those looking to drink in the city views along with their cocktails, don’t skip our list of the best Lexington rooftop bars and restaurants. There are dog-friendly bars, romantic spots to have a date, and places to throw a party.