ST. LOUIS — It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I’m talking about the holiday season and if you’re a lover of all things Christmas, this story is for you.
With more people getting vaccinated against COVID-19, you may be looking for more things to do with the family this year.
Several holiday-themed events are being held around the St. Louis area. To make it easier for you to see your options, we’ve put this list together.
If you know of an event we should add to our list, send us an email.
Brewery Lights at Anheuser-Busch begin the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, and run through Dec. 30.
Guests can purchase tickets to a light show, fire pit package and an igloo package. Brewery Lights also offers the Love Beer Plaza where guests can indulge in different brews and a kids zone which includes a train ride, Munchkin DJ Radio and more.
Reservations are required to participate in Brewery Lights. The reservation includes free parking, a 16-ounce beer for those 21 and older, 30-minute light show and access to the Love Beer Plaza and kid zone.
To purchase tickets to Brewery Lights, click here.
The annual Christmas Wonderland light display will open for the season on Nov. 26.
The light display will be open nightly through Dec. 27 at Alton’s Rock Springs Park at 2100 College Avenue. Hours range from 6-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 5-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Every night, guests can turn off their car’s headlights and drive through the park to look at the lights. Returning light displays include Frozen, Snoopy and the 12 Days of Christmas.
Over the last three months, a group of retired volunteers called the “Grandpa Gang” has been hanging lights for the displays. The displays include more than 4 million lights, according to a press release.
The annual walk-through event is returning this year on Monday, Nov. 29. For $1, guests can walk through the park during the evening. The Enchanted Forest will also be open for visitors.
“We are looking forward to welcoming people to Christmas Wonderland again this year,” said head Grandpa Dick Alford. “The Grandpa Gang has worked hard to prepare the park and I think people are going to enjoy the experience.”
Admission to Christmas Wonderland is a suggested donation of $7 for cars and small vans or $1 per person for vehicles holding more than 10 people.
For more information, call 1-800-258-6645 or click here.
Krampus is visiting The Darkness for one night only in December.
The “horrifying” event will be held from 7-10 p.m. on Dec. 11. The event is limited to the first 1,500 tickets sold, according to a press release.
At the event, guests can take pictures with Krampus, get free Christmas candy and walk through The Darkness, which has been decorated as a “creepy Christmas nightmare.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
Eckert’s Farm is offering several different ways to celebrate the holidays.
Cut-Your-Own Christmas Trees and Holiday Wagon Ride
From Nov. 20 through Dec. 19, guests can take a wagon ride through the evergreen forest at Eckert’s.
The ride includes a trip through Eckert’s Christmas tree farm, a drive past Santa’s workshop and a stop along the way to cut your own tree.
Cut-you-own trees are available with field access passes. Field access passes are $2.20 per person and each tree is $55.
Visit Eckert’s website to purchase passes.
Breakfast with Santa
Guests can join Santa for breakfast the Eckert’s Country Restaurant on Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 20 through Dec. 19.
The meal will include scrambled eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, fruit, biscuits and gravy and a drink. In addition to breakfast, each child can tell Santa their holiday wish, take a photo with Santa and decorate a sugar cookie.
There will also be a holiday story reading during the event and each child will receive a special gift from Santa.
Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. until noon. Reservations are $22 per person and tickets can be purchased on Eckert’s website.
Gingerbread House Workshops
Families can head to Eckert’s Country Store on Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 20 through Dec. 19 to take part in gingerbread house workshops.
Guests will be seated at a table with all the supplies they need, and Eckert’s bakery staff will be there to teach attendees how to build the gingerbread houses.
The workshop is $16 per gingerbread house. Reservations are not required for this event. Guests can stop by the store between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Photos with Santa in a Snow Globe
Guests can get a photo with Santa at Eckert’s Farm Tuesday-Friday from Nov. 20 through Dec. 23.
Santa will sit inside of a decorated snow globe and guests will sit on a bench in front of it to take a picture.
A photo with Santa is $22 per family and additional photos can be purchase for $10. Visit Eckert’s website to make a reservation.
Newfoundland’s Draft Christmas Trees
The River King Newfoundland Club is returning to Eckert’s Farm to draft Christmas trees for guests.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 4, guests can cut their own tree and trained dogs will fetch the tree and bring it back to Eckert’s Garden Center.
Donations will be accepted to help support the River King Newfoundland Rescue.
Operation Cookie Drop
Eckert’s has pledged to donate one dozen cookies to military families for every dozen cookies purchased at Eckert’s Country Store.
Guests can purchase cookies online or in the store before Sunday, Dec. 5 and Eckert’s will donate the matching amount. Scott Air-Force Base will pick up the cookies on Dec. 8.
Visit Eckert’s website to place an order.
The Fabulous Fox
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical is coming to the Fabulous Fox Theatre this year.
The musical is based on the famous reindeer from the longest running holiday TV special – "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" – which debuted in 1964.
“The familiar story elements from the television special are addressed with a talented cast and puppeteers who help recreate the magic on stage,” producing partner Jonathan Flom said in a news release.
Performances of the musical will be held at the Fabulous Fox on Dec. 17 and 18.
Show times include:
- Friday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.
- Saturday, Dec. 18 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Grant’s Farm is offering a drive-thru holiday lights experience this year.
The experience will be held on select nights from Nov. 19 through Jan. 2. Tickets range in price from $39-49 and reservations are required. The experience lasts about 30 minutes.
The drive kicks off with a view of “Inspiration Hill” with Budweiser Clydesdales looking down at you from a distance. Next, guests will enter the Tiergarten, which has been transformed into the North Pole. Once there, guests will see a variety of animals including camels and llamas. From there, guests will go down a tunnel towards “a sight never before experienced by visitors” – the Busch Family Estate.
The drive-thru experience is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For more information on the holiday lights experience, visit the Grant’s Farm website.
Missouri Botanical Garden
Missouri Botanical Garden is hosting its Garden Glow through Jan. 8. The event opened to the public on Nov. 13.
The Garden Glow features s'mores, drinks and some photo opportunities. Guests can get their picture taken with an inflatable snow globe and holiday frames. There will also be an opportunity to meet Santa Claus.
Garden members who are ages 13 and up can purchase tickets starting at $14. General admission for ages 13 and up starts at $18. Ticket prices for kids 3-12 years old start at $3.
To purchase tickets for Garden Glow, click here.
Saint Louis Zoo
Wild Lights at the Saint Louis Zoo will kick off on Nov. 26.
The Polar Pointe Pathway, Gingerbread Valley, Holly Jolly Hangout and Candy Crossing are all returning this year, and there will be several new displays.
The new Meet Me in St. Louie zone is described as "a showstopper, complete with a 15-foot arch and firework-style lights in front of a St. Louis cityscape background."
The Wild Lights events will be held on the following nights from 5-8:30 p.m.
- Friday-Sunday, Nov. 26-28 — $10/Member; $11/Non-member
- Wednesday-Sunday, Dec. 1-5 — $10/Member; $11/Non-member
- Wednesday-Sunday, Dec. 8-12 — $11/Member; $12/Non-member
- Monday, Dec. 13, Sensory-Friendly Night for individuals with sensory sensitivities: $10/Member; $11/Non-member
- Nightly, Dec. 15-23 — $12/Member; $13/Non-member
- Sunday-Thursday, Dec. 26-30 — $10/Member; $11/Non-member
For tickets and more information, visit the Wild Lights section of the Zoo's website.
St. Louis Union Station
The Polar Express is returning to St. Louis Union Station this year.
Train departures will be held from Nov. 19-Dec. 30. Trains will depart Union Station at 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and on selected nights at 8:30 p.m.
According to the Polar Express website, guests will "take a real train ride from St. Louis Union Station to the 'North Pole' and discover the magical journey of one boy's search for the real meaning of Christmas."
If you'd like to purchase tickets for the Polar Express, click here.
Puppy Pics with Santa
Your furry friends can also get into the holiday spirit this year! Union Station is hosting "Puppy Pics with Santa" Nov. 19-21.
Tickets for the event are $10 and include meeting Santa and his elves, a photo with Santa with access to a digital download and dog treats.
The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19 and from 2-7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20 and Sunday, Nov. 21.
Dive into the Christmas spirit at the St. Louis Aquarium. Scuba Claus will make a special appearance in Shark Canyon.
Scuba Claus will dive each Saturday and Sunday at 1:15 p.m. and Dec. 24 at 1:15 p.m. Kids will be able to speak to Santa through his elf. They'll have on special masks that let them communicate with the children.
The Scuba Claus dive is included in your admission.
Winterfest kicks off at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis on Nov. 20.
To start the event, there will be an opening day 5K run/walk and a one-mile kids fun run through the grounds of the Gateway Arch. All proceeds will benefit the Gateway Arch Park Foundation.
Winterfest will include ice skating, holiday lights, igloos, winter markets, music and more. There will also be a New Year’s Eve celebration with a firework show.
Winterfest dates and times:
- Nov. 20, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
- Fridays 4 – 8 p.m.
- Saturdays and Sundays 12 – 8 p.m.
- Dec. 25 (Christmas Day): 2 – 8 p.m.
- Extended hours Dec. 27 –31 2021
- Open daily from 12 – 8 p.m.
For more information on ticket pricing, visit the Winterfest website.
Winter Wonderland is back at Tilles Park this year.
During the event, guests walk, drive or ride through several displays of holiday characters and winter scenes made up of more than 1 million lights. Organizers said dogs on a leash, cameras, strollers and wagons are welcome at the event on the nights when vehicles and carriages aren't allowed.
Winter Wonderland will be held from Nov. 19 through Jan. 1. It’s an all-weather event, rain or shine, so guests should always remember to dress for weather conditions.
Santa will also be visiting the park for photo opportunities.
Guests must pre-register for the event. Tickets are $8 and availability is limited due to capacity restrictions, according to the MetroTix website.
Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.