St. Louis Kicks Off the Holidays with Annual Favorites

Friday October 31, 2014

Holiday lights on December 28, 2013.

Every year St. Louis ushers in the magic of the holiday season with a flurry of activities. The city comes alive with a unique and captivating spirit, hosting festive displays, spectacular celebrations and an abundance of opportunities to create holiday memories. Don’t miss the two biggest events in St. Louis to help ring in the season!

Ameren Missouri Festival of Lights

Officially open this joyous season with Ameren Missouri’s Festival of Lights on Saturday, November 22. Bring the whole family to the newly renovated Union Station, and get in the holiday spirit with live entertainment, children’s activities and a variety of mascots. Be sure to stick around for the lighting of The Salvation Army’s Tree of Lights in Aloe Plaza. After Mayor Francis Slay lights the tree, sit back and enjoy a fireworks display at dusk. Then keep your eyes peeled for a special appearance by Santa, who will be arriving by train at Union Station.

Ameren Missouri Thanksgiving Day Parade

Begin your Thanksgiving Day downtown at the annual Ameren Missouri Thanksgiving Day parade. Be awed as fantasy-filled floats, marching bands, animals and giant helium balloons make their way down Market Street. The parade starts at 8:45 am and wraps up with a very special appearance by Santa Clause to wish all of St. Louis a Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas.

We’re Just Getting Started!

The holiday season in St. Louis offers something for everyone, including lights, music, shopping and live entertainment. Taking in the city’s local light displays is great way to jump-start your holiday spirit. A few top favorites are Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park, Santa’s Magical Kingdom at Jellystone Park in Eureka, MO, The Way of Lights at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine, Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo, Anheuser-Busch’s Brewery Lights and the Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. While you’re at the Botanical Gardens, be sure to check out the Gardenland Express, Deck the Halls Wreath Exhibit, Christmas Carols in the Garden, Chanukah Festival of Lights, and Kwanzaa Festival of the First Fruits.

The decorations lavished on the local St. Louis area malls are sure to get you in a festive mood. Shop til you drop in a wonderland of specialty shops, antique stores, boutiques and big name department stores. You can even celebrate an old-fashion Christmas on Main Street in St. Charles, where carolers dress in Victorian style and the past blends seamlessly with the present while you shop. Don’t forget your four-legged family members either. Get a special little something for them at Purina Farms’ Pet-acular Bazaar, December 13-14. You’ll be sure to find unique gifts for everyone on your list at any of the hundreds of stores in St. Louis.

What’s the holiday season without festive music? There are plenty of opportunities this year to experience the sounds of the holidays in St. Louis. Y98 is presenting the Mistletoe Show on Saturday, December 6 at the St. Charles Family Arena. The following Friday, December 12, WIL is hosting its 12th annual Jinglefest concert there as well. Mannheim Steamroller Christmas is at the Fox December 9-10. Enjoy a mix of winter and holiday music with Winter Wonderland at the Sheldon Concert Hall December 16-17. The St. Louis Symphony will perform various holiday concerts throughout the end of the year. And you definitely don’t want to miss the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s The Christmas Attic on December 26 at Scottrade.

No holiday season would be complete without the tradition of Christmas plays. On December 12, the Moscow Ballet is performing The Nutcracker at the Peabody. You can also see the St. Louis Ballet perform this holiday favorite at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on December 18-23. The Fox hosts the iconic play, A Christmas Carol on December 12-14, following it up with A Christmas Story – The Musical on December 16 – January 4.

Experience all of the sights, sounds and joyous times of the season in St. Louis this year. Your next great holiday memory is just waiting to be made.

 

Guest Blogger Jackie Tucker, a freelance writer contributed to this blog.

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