Festive Holiday Light Displays in St. Louis
By Rachel Huffman
If you’re like us, twinkling lights have a way of putting you in the holiday spirit. So, gather your loved ones, bundle up and meander through these festive light displays in St. Louis.
November 11 to January 1
WonderLight’s Christmas at World Wide Technology Raceway features approximately 2 miles of LED Christmas lights synchronized to rocking Christmas music. Open nightly from Nov. 11 to Jan. 1, including holidays, the family-friendly event is one of the area’s largest drive-through Christmas light shows, featuring shooting stars, falling snowflakes, dancing candy canes and enchanting tunnels of lights. Pack your vehicle with family and friends and begin a new holiday tradition this season.
November 17 to December 30
The Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis consists of elaborate, red-brick buildings in the Germanic-Romanesque style, with rounded arches, embellished cornices and castellated rooflines. This time of year, the stunning architecture is amplified by more than a million twinkling lights. At the 37th annual Brewery Lights, guests can enjoy the remarkable holiday experience in a number of ways: Stroll down Pestalozzi Street arm in arm with your sweetheart, gather inside a VIP igloo with friends or explore the new ice maze with your kids. There will also be firepits, a 10-minute light show at specific times throughout the night, a festive parade at 7:30 p.m. each night – including a trolley, floats and, of course, Clydesdales – and a complimentary 16-ounce beer for those 21 and older. Tickets tend to sell out, so get yours today.
Cosmic Sleigh Ride
November 18 to January 1
Climb aboard your cosmic sleigh and take off on a holiday adventure that’s out of this world. Presented by World of Illumination, Cosmic Sleigh Ride at Six Flags St. Louis will rocket you around the sun, shoot you past the stars and plunge you into Kris Kringle’s celestial portal where toys prepare for launch. This will be one stellar ride that you won’t soon forget.
Santa’s Magical Kingdom
November 18 to January 8
Santa’s Magical Kingdom is unlike any other place on earth, and this year, it’s bigger, brighter and merrier! More than four million shimmering lights, electrifying special effects and whimsical worlds of animated scenes fill Jellystone Park next to Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka. Here, reindeer soar overhead, elves frolic in the trees and ice cream sundaes are as big as a boat. You can drive through the 35 acres of holiday magic or take an old-fashioned, open-air wagon ride with unobstructed, 360-degree views. Kids can also drop their letters to Santa in his mailbox at the North Pole. Santa’s Magical Kingdom is open every night from Nov. 18 through Jan. 8, including holidays.
Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park
November 18 to December 30
Whether you’re starting a new holiday tradition or continuing a favorite one, the annual Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park is worth a stop. More than a million gleaming lights bring displays of festive characters and winter scenes to life, and overhead, a canopy of lights glistens throughout the 75-acre park in St. Louis County. Enjoy the Winter Wonderland by foot, by car or by carriage.
Way of Lights
November 18 to December 31
The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois, sparkles in winter as its annual Christmas light display illuminates the grounds. All are invited to witness the breathtaking Way of Lights, which focuses on the birth of Christ and includes life-size biblical statues.
November 19 to January 7
Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden dazzles visitors with its exquisite light displays year after year. Come to celebrate the season with more than one million twinkling lights, beautiful projections and fun, new experiences. The lights adorn some of the Garden’s most iconic locations, including the Climatron, and while you’re here, you can enjoy s’mores and festive drinks. Add a delicious meal (your choice of entrée and fountain drink) to the experience for $16 or reserve a private fire pit for $250.
Grove of Lights
November 19 to December 25
Located approximately an hour from downtown St. Louis, Lost Hill Lake presents Grove of Lights on select nights in November and December. Holiday light displays will be strung throughout the Walnut Grove, and visitors can wander throughout the 4-plus acres, taking photos and making memories. The outdoor event will also feature hot cocoa and other indulgent beverages, gooey s’mores, cozy bonfires and an interactive play area and activity center for kids.
Holiday Lights at Grant’s Farm
November 25 to December 30
This year, there are four ways to experience Holiday Lights at Grant’s Farm: by car, on foot, over a meal or around the fire. The popular drive-through experience routes you around the Busch family home and through the Bauernhof courtyard, both of which will be decked out in holiday décor. You’ll get the chance to see some of your favorite animals, Santa and Mrs. Claus and the 50-foot, LED-lit Christmas tree, which will be synchronized to holiday music that you can hear on your car radio. If you would rather walk, you can take the tram to the German-inspired Bauernhof and then stroll around the grounds, enjoying the festive atmosphere and uplifting light displays at your leisure. In addition to meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus, you can also take a photo with the Clydesdales and savor seasonal food and drink offerings. Want to have breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus? Grant’s Farm also offers a breakfast buffet in the historic Carriage House, which includes VIP parking next to the Bauernhof and surprise animal appearances. If you want to make an evening of it, reserve a private fire pit on beautiful Mirror Lake. Accommodating up to 12 people, each fire pit includes firewood, s’more kits and beer or water. Hot chocolate, adult beverages and holiday merchandise will also be available for purchase. Reservations are recommended for all Holiday Lights experiences.
U.S. Bank Wild Lights
November 25 to December 30
Jingle Bears! Jingle Bears! This holiday season, escape to a wild wonderland at the Saint Louis Zoo. The U.S. Bank Wild Lights is back with brand-new twinkling light displays and festive family fun. A 40-foot walk-through lighted tree offers a dynamic photo opportunity, and the Meet Me in St. Louis display is a showstopper, complete with a 15-foot arch and a 17-foot steamboat silhouette backdrop. Other displays include the Frosted Forest, Butterfly Grove, Toy Town, Holly Jolly Hangout, Arctic Alley, Twinkling Tunnel and newly added Peppermint Pathway and Gingerbread Lane. While you’re here, look for holiday carolers and other strolling performers, roast s’mores over one of the fire pits and see Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4D at the 4D Theater. The highly anticipated holiday light display will be open on select nights from Nov. 25 to Dec. 30. On Dec. 12, the Saint Louis Zoo will host a sensory-friendly night for those on the autism spectrum and those with sensory processing disorders, PTSD or other sensory sensitivities. This special night will mirror the traditional Wild Lights experience, but it will also include sensory maps, quiet areas and trained zoo staff to assist individuals with sensory sensitivities.
We hope you and your loved ones enjoy these festive light displays in St. Louis. Happy holidays!