15 Things to Do in St. Louis This December
By Rachel Huffman
St. Louis has an abundance of festive light displays and jolly seasonal events for endless holiday fun, but if you’re looking for other things to do in December, check out this list. With all-you-can-eat candy, dirt track racing, a cappella music, ice skating and more, there’s no shortage of entertainment and excitement in the Gateway City this month.
For one night only, all your sweet dreams will come true. On Dec. 1, Third Degree Glass Factory will transform into a candy-coated land, where visitors can indulge in seasonal drinks and desserts – think cocktails with Baileys Irish Cream or Woodford Reserve paired with bites from Strange Donuts and The Blue Duck. In the local makers market, you can also shop for fantastic holiday gifts from the likes of Ciao Chow, LIT Cigar Lounge and This Little Piggery, which specializes in candied bacon – yum! For $70, general admission includes unlimited sweet and savory treats, unlimited beer and holiday cocktails, glassblowing demonstrations, live music and shopping opportunities. For $100, VIP tickets include early access to the event, exclusive tastings, a private glassblowing demonstration and a to-go gift.
December 1 to 3
Ready, set, go! The Gateway Dirt Nationals, an indoor racing event, features Late Model and Open-Wheel Modified classes. Held at The Dome at America’s Center, the 1/5-mile, semi-banked dirt oval results in tight-quarters racing – and excitement that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The winner and runner-up of season 20 of American Idol are touring together. Both classified as country singers, Noah Thompson and HunterGirl will perform at The Hawthorn, St. Louis’ hottest new event venue.
Do you prefer prints? You’re going to love the Print Bazaar on Cherokee. One of the largest print sales in the Midwest, the annual event showcases more than 100 local and regional artists whose work embodies the ever-evolving creative energy of Cherokee Street. Expect everything from lithographs to woodcuts and etchings to screen prints. Add a cup of hot coffee or a tasty taco and this might become a new tradition for you.
December 6 to 10
Wallace Shawn’s The Fever is an unconventional meditation on how our lives of comfort and privilege are celebrated at the expense of others’ poverty and oppression. Presented by Black Mirror Theatre Company, the play will be performed in the Strauss Black Box Theatre at the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center. It is intended for mature audiences.
When we say “male a cappella group,” do you think of college students in blue blazers, ties and khakis singing stale songs on ivied campuses? Think again. Although Straight No Chaser originated at Indiana University in 1996, the group is neither strait-laced nor straight-faced. In fact, they have emerged as a phenomenon, amassing a huge fan base and making a cappella, dare we say, cool. The group’s performances captivate audience members of all ages, bringing nine unadulterated voices together to make extraordinary music. Plus, their choreography is on point.
December 8 to 11
The Little Dancer, a beloved holiday tradition at COCA (Center of Creative Arts), has been reimagined as The Little Dancer: Moments in Time, a full-length classical ballet choreographed by Kevin Jenkins and performed by student dancers from COCA’s Ballet Eclectica. The original production was inspired by Edgar Degas’ sculpture. While The Little Dancer: Moments in Time will have hints of that, COCA takes the ballet to another level by incorporating stories from the students. What do they remember about their first dance class? What is it like to be a dancer at COCA? What was their first connection to movement? What moments in their personal lives have inspired movement? This year’s production will also feature original sound, sets and costume design.
Multi-platinum progressive rock group Trans-Siberian Orchestra will bring its winter tour, The Ghosts of Christmas Eve – The Best of TSO & More, to Enterprise Center for two shows on Dec. 10. The rock opera is a completely updated presentation of the unforgettable, multi-generational holiday tradition, featuring enduring fan-favorites alongside TSO’s greatest hits.
The largest indoor entertainment venue in St. Louis opens this month, and you’re invited to the VIP pre-opening party! The fun-filled night will include sensational live entertainment, sample menu tastings, expertly crafted cocktails and more than 40 interactive games. Guest must be 21 or older to attend.
December 16 to 18
Unpredictable and exhilarating, this family-friendly experience brings Jurassic World to generations of fans. Captivating scenery, thrilling projections and an unmistakable score will transform Enterprise Center into the dense jungles of Isla Nublar, where real Gyrospheres roll through the valley and scientists work to unravel a corrupt plan and save a new dinosaur from a terrible fate. The production features more than 24 film-accurate, life-size dinosaurs, which are operated by animatronics and performers. The original storyline, ferocious dinosaurs and pulse-pounding stunts promise to create memories that will last another 65 million years.
This year marks the 10th annual 12 Bars of Charity event, which features a friendly competition between eight local charities. The charities are divided into “teams” and assigned a team color; the largest charity team, with the most sign-ups, gets a $1,000 prize. All you have to do is sign up for the charity team that you want to join. Once at the event, you will have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want, with whomever you want. Participating venues include The Armory, Ballpark Village, Budweiser Brew House, El Burro Loco, Salt + Smoke, Sports & Social St. Louis and Tin Roof. 12 Bars of Charity is a great opportunity to get family, friends and co-workers together around the holidays for a super fun event that gives back to some of the best local organizations.
Want to end the year with a side-splitting show? On New Year’s Eve, Nikki Glaser will perform at Stifel Theatre. The stand-up comedian, actress, podcaster, radio host and television host is from St. Louis, and she knows how to show an audience a good time.
Until December 31
Escape the cold and enter the tropical conservatory at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, which will undergo a remarkable transformation during its Winter Jewels event. The enchanted celebration features elaborate fairy gardens and dozens of jewel-toned butterflies, showcasing the dazzling color spectrum that exists in nature.
Until January 1
Back for its seventh year, Gateway Arch Park Foundation’s Winterfest will have fan favorites such as ice skating, s’more stations and igloos positioned under 70,000 twinkling lights. The festivities kick off with the annual Winterfest 5K and Kids Fun Run, and on certain weekends, the St. Louis Blues will sponsor three-on-three hockey tournaments and hockey lessons. There will also be visits from princesses and superheroes and a family-friendly New Year’s Eve fireworks display. This year, the Winterfest Cafe will feature an entirely new menu with handcrafted pastries, a deluxe line of hot cocoa and more from chef Juwan Rice of JR’s Gourmet.
Until January 15
This featured exhibition in the Great Hall of the St. Louis Public Library – Central Library explores how iconic characters, from Wonder Woman to Luke Skywalker, both reflect and influence American culture from the 1960s to the 1990s. Comprised of more than 350 exceptional objects, America’s Monsters, Superheroes and Villains presents vintage toys, posters, packaging, TV commercials and movie trailers in a nostalgic visual survey of American identity in the 20th century.
Feeling festive? Check out our list of the best events for holiday fun in St. Louis.