Holiday Fun in St. Louis

Monday October 25, 2021

As the holiday season approaches, we are rounding up all of the holiday festivities and memories for you and your family to cherish in St. Louis.  From parades, train rides, light displays, live entertainment, shopping and much more, St. Louis has a variety of classic holiday experiences that families have enjoyed for generations. Once again St. Louis is offering up an abundance of holiday magic that begins with the Ameren Missouri Festival of Lights and winds down as the New Year begins.  Here are only a few events you’ll want to attend this time of year.

Classic Events to Welcome in the Season

Ameren Missouri Festival of Lights (Nov. 20) – Bring in the holiday spirit right by attending the Festival of Lights! Look out for live performances, special appearances, ice skating, and tree lights along with fireworks! This event is jam packed with fun getting us ready for the holiday season. Join us at 4pm til 8:30pm at Kiener Plaza to have a good time!

Ameren’s Thanks for Giving Parade (Nov. 25) – Celebrating its 37th year, the 2021 Ameren’s Thanks for Giving Parade will step off at 8:45 a.m. from Broadway and Market Street and proceeds west towards 18th and Market in Downtown St. Louis. The parade will be broadcast live on KMOV-TV Channel 4! This emmy award winning parade is worth the early morning trip. There is expected to be over 130 parade units including musical floats, displays, giant helium balloon figures, and marching bands from all around the St. Louis region! As tradition follows, Santa Claus will be there at the end of the parade to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas. Gather the family to enjoy this special event!

Anheuser-Busch Brewery Lights

Twinkling Lights

One of the most enchanting things about this time of year is all of the captivating lighting displays. There are so many options in St. Louis that will fill your spirit with wonder and joy.

Way of Lights (Nov. 19 – Dec. 31) – Families from across the region will once again flock to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows for the annual Way of Lights Christmas display. This unique display features a mile-and-a-half drive of over one million lights and displays that include life-size biblical statues taking visitors on a journey to Bethlehem.

Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park (Nov. 24 – Jan. 1, Closed Christmas Eve) – Don’t miss your chance to see one of the most popular Christmas light displays in the area. For over 30 years, Tilles Park in St. Louis County has been making memories for families across the region with its Winter Wonderland. The park is filled with millions of twinkling lights and various holiday scenes.

Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden (Nov. 13 – Jan 8; Exhibit Closed Dec. 24 and 25) – Visitors will have the opportunity to stroll through the Missouri Botanical Garden at night surrounded by a spectacle of unique light installations. Hundreds of thousands of lights will adorn some of the Garden’s most iconic locations including the Climatron®, Kaeser Memorial Maze, the Central Axis and Tower Grove House. Walkways will be transformed into an explosion of visual magic, while more traditional displays will delight crowds of all ages.

U.S. Bank Wild Lights at the Saint Louis Zoo (Select Nights, Nov. 26 – Dec. 30) – Visitors are invited to walk through the world-renowned Saint Louis Zoo and take in a wonderland of spectacular light displays.

Holiday Lights at Grant’s Farm (Nov. 19 – Jan. 2) – Tune in your radio and twinkle into the night as you witness this exclusive lights display at Grant’s Farm. Enjoy the show with loved ones from the comfort of your own vehicle.Reservations are required. Vehicles with children will receive a complimentary bag of festive goodies.

Brewery Lights (Nov. 26 – Dec. 30) – Witness and experience the magic of more than a million twinkling lights during the 36th annual Brewery Lights at the Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Brewery. Guest can stroll down Pestalozzi Street to marvel as the brewery is turned into a remarkable holiday experience with something for everyone. Familiar favorites like the Fire-Pits remain with the addition of new, reserved VIP Igloos for groups up to 8 guests.

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Gracing the Stage

Theaters and concert halls across St. Louis come to life during the holidays, with magical performances that are sure to delight young and old. Here’s just a sampling of the many performances that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

A Magical Cirque Christmas (Dec. 9) Experience the enchantment of Christmas as Magical Hostess Lucy Darling takes you through an evening of dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed life.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Dec. 17-18) The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stages at The Fabulous Fox theatre this holiday season. Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life.

35th Anniversary Mannheim Steamroller Christmas (Nov. 20) – Join the celebration as Mannheim Steamroller makes history again – Celebrating 35 years of holiday magic as they bring their annual holiday tour to the Fabulous Fox Theater. Experience the performance of the #1 Christmas music artist in history and for the first time ever, hear the entire album that started it all, LIVE – “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas!”

A Gospel Christmas with Oleta Adams (Dec. 9) Ring in the holiday season with gospel renditions of holiday favorites. Returning to Powell Hall, guest artist Oleta Adams joins your SLSO and IN UNISON Chorus, directed by Kevin McBeth, to share this soulful celebration sure to warm your heart.

The Muppet Christmas Carol in Concert (Dec. 11-12) Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and all the beloved Muppets star in their adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale. Follow Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation on the big screen through Christmases past, present, and future, while your SLSO performs the music live. There will be no “bah, humbugs” after this!  

Mercy Holiday Celebration (Lindenwood University Dec. 15 / Powell Hall Dec. 17-19) Check laughter and cheer off your holiday list at the SLSO’s Mercy Holiday Celebration. Sing along to your favorite holiday classics performed by the orchestra and Denzal Sinclaire, plus, enjoy a special visit from Santa Claus himself! This unforgettable experience will put you in the holiday spirit and show you why thousands of St. Louisans make this concert an annual tradition.

Hip Hop Nutcracker (Nov. 26) Everything old is new again. Tchaikovsky’s 129-year-old ballet is reimagined as a holiday dance spectacle in The Hip Hop Nutcracker. The production features hip hop pioneer Kurtis “The Breaks” Blow, the first rapper to be signed by a major label in 1979. 42 years and a heart transplant later, this hip hop founding father is still performing as MC of The Hip Hop Nutcracker.

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical (Dec 16) – The beloved tradition that continues to capture the hearts of children and their families everywhere comes to the live stage for the first time ever in this all-new musical and premiere stage production. Don’t miss The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical at Stifel Theatre on December 16.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Dec. 30) – Music and the holiday spirit come alive again during the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert, “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve, The Best of TSO and More” a larger-than-life performance complete with symphonic-rock music, grandiose light displays and spectacular effects.

The Nutcracker (Dec. 17 – 23) St. Louis families flock to the Touhill every holiday season for the area’s most dazzling Nutcracker.  The cast of professional dancers from Saint Louis Ballet swells with guest actors and dancers and the talented students of the ballet school.  With striking sets, gorgeous costumes, beautiful dancing and magical effects, Saint Louis Ballet’s The Nutcracker has established itself as the one to watch. Now – there are even more opportunities to attend with Thanksgiving weekend previews as well as December performances.

Ambassadors of Harmony: Sounds of the Season Carol Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Charles’ (Dec 10 – 12) The Ambassadors of Harmony chorus will once again rekindle the joy and magic of the holidays with its always popular concert. Celebrate with the Ambassadors as the chorus puts on five heartwarming concerts filled with musical favorites that will get you in the spirit. The show has become a yearly tradition over the past three decades by combining comedy and the lighter side of popular holiday songs with classic carols and sacred music that tell the story of the season.

Seasonal Happenings & Family Fun

Polar Express Train Ride (Nov. 29-Dec. 30) – All aboard for The Polar Express Train Ride at St. Louis Union Station! Visitors to St. Louis this holiday season can book a trip that’s bound to create a Christmas memory they will treasure forever-a journey to the North Pole via the Polar Express.

Augusta’s Candlelight Christmas Walk (Dec. 3) – A corridor of over 1,500 glowing luminaries welcomes visitors to the Augusta’s Candlelight Christmas Walk  with sights, sounds and smells of ‘Christmas yesteryear’ in charming Augusta, Mo.

Grinchmas (December 4) – Not to let Santa have all the fun this Holiday Season the Grinch will be out spreading holiday cheer and joy to help raise funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children on Saturday, December 4.  For a $7 donation, participants can get their photo taken with the Grinch. Those who bring a toy donation can get a photo taken for only $5.

Holiday in the Park (Nov. 20-Jan.2) – This holiday season Six Flags St. Louis becomes a magical winter wonderland featuring thousands of colorful lights throughout the park, show stopping performances to get you into the Holiday spirit, and personalized meet-and-greets with Santa and his helpers.

Steinberg Skating Rink in Forest Park (Open) – Always a holiday and seasonal favorite is a visit to Steinberg Ice Rink in Forest Park. It is the largest outdoor skating rink in the Midwest and is open to the public every day of the week, including holidays.

Winterfest (Nov. 20 – Jan. 2) Celebrate the magic of the season in Downtown St. Louis with ice skating, holiday lights and music, cozy igloos, winter market, and so much more! This year’s festivities will also feature an inaugural Opening Day 5K presented by Caleres in partnership with Big River Running, as well as our annual New Year’s Eve celebration and fireworks show.

St. Charles Christmas Traditions (Nov. 26 – Dec. 24) This annual month-long festival celebrates the holiday season. See the legendary Christmas figures and listen to the singing of carolers along the festively decorated brick lined streets. Enjoy the santa parade, marshmallow roast, candlelight reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” roasted chestnuts, a gingerbread village and more.

Central West End Window Walk (Dec. 4, 11 & 18) The Central West End Window Walk is a month-long celebration, with holiday fun each Saturday in December. Visitors are invited to stroll amidst elegantly decorated windows, while shopping at boutiques and enjoying seasonal libations and delicious meals at local restaurants. Visitors can also enjoy FREE holiday festivities, including carriage rides, ice carvings, carolers, s’mores, gift wrapping, pictures with Santa, live music, street performers and more!

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Finding the Perfect Gift

The St. Louis area has some of the finest neighborhood boutiques and shops for holiday giving, from The Loop to Washington Ave. in downtown, or the quaint shops in Maplewood, Ferguson, Cherokee Street, Webster Groves, Kirkwood and old town St. Charles. If you’re searching for home furnishings, you must shop at IKEA St. Louis. The luxurious Plaza Frontenac provides the wonders of Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman-Marcus and other high-end shops. Bargain hunters won’t have to look far, Chesterfield is home to St. Louis Premium Outlets®, offering yet another great shopping experience for residents and visitors to the region. Gift shops within St. Louis’ renowned attractions and museums (many open free of charge) are treasure troves of great shopping. The Gateway Arch, Missouri History Museum, Saint Louis Art Museum and the Thomas Sappington House Museum not only offer an incredible selection of unusual gift items, but a quick tour of the museums’ galleries provide a refreshing break from the holiday shopping hubbub.

To see a full listing of all the wonderful holiday events taking place in St. Louis this holiday season, visit explorestlouis.com/events

 

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