There is a lot to do in the Greater St. Louis Area. Some of the activities are inside where it's warm, but there are a lot of outside activities, so bundle up and get your family out and enjoy all there is to do.
OLD ST. CHARLES CHRISTMAS
At Saint Charles Christmas Traditions, you have the opportunity to interact with some of the most famous figures in holiday history, literature, and folklore. From the majestic pageantry of their Santas from around the world, to the good humor and cheer of the Sugar Plum Fairy, to the mischievous antics of the Master of Revels and Ebenezer Scrooge - all of the Legends look forward to meeting you and your family. And with over 50 different characters wandering the street, there will be plenty of Christmas adventures awaiting you on your visit! To see a full list of Christmas events, click here.
Enjoy the special sounds of the season as Saint Charles' official Victorian carolers, the Cobblestone Wassailiers, serenade you with the familiar melodies of your favorite traditional Christmas carols. And for a different type of musical treat, be sure to enjoy the Sleigh Bell Singers and the Evergreens - quartets that specialize in the popular holiday standards from the 1940s and 1950s. Old St. Charles is a well-known tradition visited by people from all over the area.
Holiday Hours for the Gateway Arch Visitor Center & Old Courthouse
Christmas Eve: Closed early at 4:00 p.m.
Christmas Day & New Year's Day: Closed
Between the holidays, regular hours will resume - Old Courthouse will open at 8:00 a.m. and the Arch will open at 9:00 a.m.
Winterfest + Ice Skating at the Arch | December 27 - January 8
The CityArchRiver Foundation and St. Louis’ home hockey team have teamed up to bring an ice rink to Luther Ely Smith Square! Featured activities include ice skating on a synthetic ice rink (skates will be available to rent on-site), as well as an opening night celebration, Try Hockey for Free clinics, a street hockey tournament, whiskey tasting, and a New Year’s Eve family-friendly celebration.
Check www.archwinterfest.com for more information about the fun planned.
Reminder: Gateway Arch Trams Temporarily Unavailable
Due to planned maintenance and upgrade work, Journey to the Top tram rides are temporarily unavailable until the spring of 2017. During this time, the Arch Visitor Center, The Arch Store and Monument to the Dream documentary film remain available for visitors, and entrance to the Arch is free. Click here to learn more about all that is still going on at the Arch during the closure!
Take in the sights and sounds of the season at the Old Courthouse, which is decorated in authentic Victorian décor for the holidays. The historic building hosts free, seasonal events all month:
Final Holiday Concert | Old Courthouse Rotunda
Wednesday, December 21, noon: Mehlville High School Madrigal Ensemble
National Parks in Quilts Exhibit
Enjoy a 13-piece traveling art quilt exhibit created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The quilts were created by Fiber Works, a group of artists from Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. The artists were inspired by their favorite national park site. Located in the Old Courthouse rotunda, the exhibit will be on display through Monday, January 2, 2017.
1767 Twelfth Afternoon Ball | Old Courthouse Rotunda
Saturday, January 7, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.: Commemorate the end of the holiday season just how St. Louisans did in 1767. The ball features music by Dennis Stroughmatt et L’Esprit Creole. Deborah Hyland will teach visitors the most popular dances of the mid-18th century. Food historian Suzanne Corbett will present treats common to St. Louis dinner tables during the 1767 holiday season. King’s Cake will be served and the king and queen of Mardi Gras will be crowned. Historic clothing not required to participate.
VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS AT THE CAMPBELL HOUSE
November 15, 2016 through January 16, 2017
The Campbell House Museum is presenting its annual celebration of a Victorian Christmas, replete with elaborate displays of trees, wreaths, garland and Gilded Age elegance throughout the 1851 home of Robert and Virginia Campbell. Come and experience the holiday charm and ambience of one of the best-restored Nineteenth Century buildings in America. The Christmas display will be up through January 16, 2017.
The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. for regular tours to view the festive holiday finery. The Museum will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Beginning January 2, 2017 and continuing through February, Campbell House is open by appointment only. Call or visit the website to make an appointment.
More Sweet News from Campbell House...
Campbell House Museum and Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate Co. have partnered to recreate a special chocolate collection based on the Campbell’s favorite candy, Busy Bee, the renowned St. Louis confection company. The historic candy collection features turn of the century favorites boxed in a gold embossed reproduction of the original candy box from the Campbell House culinary collection. All of the proceeds will fund the ongoing preservation of Campbell House.
The eight-piece collection includes cherry cordials, sea salt caramels, chocolate caramels, vanilla caramels and peanut butter swirls, which were all popular candies in the early 1900s.
Busy Bee chocolate was Hugh Campbell’s preferred gift—spending in excess of $1,500 a year at a time when candy was 40-cent a pound. Campbell gifted Busy Bee chocolates for the boys at Father Dunne’s Newsboys Home, the inspiration of Old Newsboys Day.
A 1908 article from the St. Louis Republic described Mr. Campbell as the “Prince of Mystery Who Stuffs Newsboys,” and described “that feller” – as the newsboys referred to the donor—as a “distinguished-looking, hand¬some and a thorough aristocrat in his bearing” who watched as the 56 newsboys3 ate turkey, dressing, rolls, fruit, nuts, pie, cake, and ice cream, all served by waiters “who looked as if they might have stepped out of the Arabian Nights.” At each boy’s plate were a dollar bill, a box of Busy Bee candy, and a toy turkey. The anonymous benefactor would go on to spend approximately $1,000 every Thanksgiving for the next 25 years to provide a similar feast. It was only after the donor’s death in 1931 that Father Dunne officially identified the sponsor as Hugh Campbell, Jr., the millionaire son of Robert Campbell.
Busy Bee Chocolate is available through the Campbell House gift shop and is priced at $9.95 per box. Orders can be made online at www.campbellhousemuseum.org/shop or by calling 314-421-0325.
Since opening in 1943, the Campbell House Museum has served the greater St. Louis area as one of the nation’s premier historic property museums. The house, built in 1851, preserves not only the family home of Robert Campbell—a prominent figure in the history of St. Louis and of the American West— but also the family’s collection of original furniture, fixtures, paintings, objects and thousands of pages of family documents. In 2000, the Museum began a meticulous restoration project that returned the building to its opulent 1880s appearance, when the house was one of the centers of St. Louis society.
For more information, visit the CHM website at:
UNION STATION CHRISTMAS
Union Station has become St. Louis’ newest holiday destination. Built on the success of last year’s Polar Express, Santa’s helpers at Union Station expanded the train experience to include the entire Union Station complex. This year the train shed has been transformed into Glacier Park and North Pole Village and Lodge.
The North Pole Lodge housed in the Grand Hall is the setting for Twas Festive Feasts, a buffet dinner for children and adults featuring a Christmas-themed light show projected on the ceiling. The light show runs when the Santa Express trains are in operation. Yes you heard right - real trains leave Union Station bond for the “North Pole” and Santa’s House. The Santa Express travels past synchronized lights on the way to Santa’s House. During this interactive entertainment experience sounds of Santa’s reindeer landing on the train roof, steam train sounds and Santa’s sleigh “buzzing” the train along the way is heard. It’s a fun trip for both kids and adults who never outgrew the joys and magic of Christmas.
Inside Union Station is the North Pole Village featuring a variety of holiday-themed activities including Santa's office, Mrs. Claus' Kitchen, the North Pole Post Office, Peppermint Putt Putt Golf and Santa's Workshop. Nice, but I know I won’t be considered naughty by saying my favorite location is the more adult friendly Glacier Park located outside near Hark Rock Café where you can ice skate or take a ride down an ice slide.
Glacier Park’s show-stopper is the fire/water/light show (shown right), a $4 million installation boosting a 100-foot-long waterfall, eight "lotus" pods that shoot fire 25 feet into the air while the light, water and fire dances to synchronized holiday music. Show times for the Fire/Water/Light Show are 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. and runs through January 6.
Hard Rock Café’s outdoor patio is the perfect perch to watch the fire/water/light show along with the other Glacier Park activities. Here you can take a s’mores and hot chocolate break while taking in the ice tubing and skating.
As for me, I personally prefer to simply relax and sip one of the six new Hard Rock yuletide Mix It Up holiday mason jar cocktails.
Whiskey fans will appreciate the Bourbon Milk Punch made with Jim Beam Red Stag Bourbon, RumChata, Monin Spiced Brown Sugar and milk shaken together and topped with whipped cream, a caramel drizzle and spiced pecans. Yum.
Two specialties worth giving a try for a great cause are the Maria Sangria (mix of Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc, Havana Club Anejo Clasico, Lifewater® Yumberry Pomegranate and tropical juices shaken with fresh lime, orange and strawberries) and or the alcohol free Pomegranate Cooler (Monin Pomegranate, Lifewater® Yumberry Pomegranate, sweet and sour and fresh raspberries, rosemary and lime).
Now until January 29, 2017 for every Maria Sangria and Pomegranate Cooler purchased Lifewater® Yumberry Pomegranate and Pepsico will donate 50 cents to the Hard Rock Heals Foundation. Hard Rock Heals Foundation aims to improve lives through the power of music. It’s a great way to help contribute and gain extra goodie pints with Santa by helping others during this season of giving. So order up and remember to enjoy responsibly.
Saint Louis Ballet presents "The Nutcracker"
Saint Louis Ballet presents "The Nutcracker," Dec. 16-23, at the Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Call 314-516-4949 or visit touhill.org for tickets. For more information: http://www.websterkirkwoodtimes.com/calendar-83961.114137-Saint-Louis-Ballet-presents-The-Nutcracker.html
WEHRENBERG $5 TUESDAYS
See the hottest blockbusters
for ONLY $5 Every Tuesday* and enjoy
great concession specials too!
Includes Free 46oz Popcorn for Loyalty members
and the opportunity to purchase $2 hot dogs.
For more info: https://www.wehrenberg.com/presenting.aspx?pid=363
The Night The Toys Came To Life runs through Jan. 4 at Kramer Marionnette Theatre, 4143 Laclede Ave. in the Central West End. Ever wonder what happens when the Toymaker goes to sleep? Come and find out! Cost: $12/children, $14/adults. Call 314-531-3313 for tickets. For more information: http://www.websterkirkwoodtimes.com/calendar-84076.114137-The-Night-The-Toys-Came-To-Life.html
CHRISTMAS LIGHT DISPLAYS
Santa's Magical Kingdom
Drive through a spectacular holiday light display filled with animated scenes, dazzling special effects, and millions of shimmering lights.
Dates of Operation
Open EVERY night through Jan. 8, 2017 including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year's Eve.
Hours of Operation
5:30 pm to 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday
5:30 pm to 10:30 pm Sunday-Thursday
Admission Fees - One price entertains the entire family! Admission is CASH ONLY outside as you exit the park, or you may use the ATM inside the General Store.
$22.00 per family car, truck, mini van, up to 8 passenger van, or SUV
$30.00 per limousine
$30.00 per 12 or 15 passenger van
$30.00 commercial transport van
$30.00 small bus*
Click here for Train and Wagon Ride information
Maximum Vehicle Size
Maximum size of vehicle allowed is 12' high and 30' long.Due to the unique presentation of our display, large commercial buses will not pass through Santa's Magical Kingdom but we do offer options to enable groups from large tour busses to visit the Kingdom. Please call 636-938-5925 for details.
Propose to that special someone during a private wagon ride through the dazzling lights of Santa's Magical Kingdom.
Engagement package will include a private wagon wagon ride, photo with Santa, and a commemorative personalized ornament. Available on select dates only. Please call for pricing and availability.
Directions - Santa's Magical Kingdom is easy to find!
Santa's Magical Kingdom is conveniently located off I-44 just 10 minutes west of I-270 at Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Resort next to Six Flags in Eureka, MO at exit #261.
Take exit #261 off I-44 in Eureka and drive toward the lights.
You can see them for miles!
Detailed directions from Westbound on I-44
Take I-44 to Six Flags Exit #261 in Eureka, MO. Make a right at the 1st light as you exit the highway then left on Fox Creek Road at the next stoplight. Proceed 1/8 mile to the Santa's Magical Kingdom entrance on the right.
Detailed directions from Eastbound on I-44
Take I-44 to Six Flags Exit #261 in Eureka, MO. Make a left on Six Flags Road after you exit the highway then left at the stoplight on Fox Creek Road. Proceed 1/8 mile to the Santa's Magical Kingdom entrance on the right.
Detailed Directions to the Shell Station for Bus Nights
From St. Louis (Westbound on 44), take Six Flags Exit #261. Take a LEFT off the exit (away from all the other traffic), then turn RIGHT at the Shell Station.
Toward St. Louis (Eastbound on 44) take Six Flags Exit #261. Take a RIGHT off the exit, then the next RIGHT into the Shell Station.
NOVEMBER 25 – DECEMBER 30, 2016
Celebration of Lights is a holiday light display held at Fort Zumwalt Park. Each scene is designed and funded by local organizations, churches and businesses. Started in 1991, the event attracts more than 10,000 vehicles each year and more than 10,000 individuals during the Old-Fashioned Holiday Stroll.
Drive-through, no reservations needed:
Sunday, Tuesday through Thursday (except Tuesday, December 13), 6 – 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 6–10 p.m.
Mondays: Closed to vehicle traffic – Train, Wagon and Sleigh-hayrides by advance reservation only (see below)
Admission: $10 for cars; $15 for commercial vans and limousines; $1 per person on tour buses ($25 minimum)
Tuesday Night Special - $7 for all non-commercial vehicles
Wednesday – Sunday, bring a food pantry donation of canned or boxed goods and get a $1 discount per vehicle.
Please note, Celebration of Lights is closed on Christmas Day, December 25
WINTER WONDERLAND- TILLES PARK
Open now through Sun Jan 1, 2017
Closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve
Winter Wonderland is open for vehicular traffic and carriage rides Sunday thru Friday from 5:30pm – 9:30pm.
Saturdays are closed to vehicular traffic and reserved for carriage rides only.
Admission Fees (no credit or debit cards accepted)
$10.00 Family vehicle
$40.00 Commercial transport van
$90.00 Tour bus
No reservations are needed and admission is paid as vehicles exit the park.
RECYCLE YOUR CHRISTMAS LIGHTS THAT DON’T WORK: bring your old Christmas lights when you come to Tilles Park for Winter Wonderland from Nov 1 - Jan 15 and we’ll recycle them for you.
Winter Wonderland - Tilles Park 9551 Litzinger Road St. Louis, MO 63124.
All vehicular traffic to Winter Wonderland MUST enter from south bound McKnight Road.
From Interstate 40/64 head south on McKnight Road. Vehicular traffic should stay to the right and enter the park from the McKnight Road entrance gate. All traffic will exit the park from the Litzsinger Road exit gate.
LIGHTS AT THE BREWERY
From the complimentary walking ours to the s'mores stations to the new ice skating rink, there's something for everyone at the brewery lights in St. Louis.
FREE WALKING TOURS
Get into the spirit of the season with a self-guided walking tour of Pestalozzi Street and the historic Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Tours are complimentary and open to guests of all ages.
Guests 21+ will receive a wristband good for five 5oz samples of your favorite beers, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Stella Artois or Stella Cidre, Shock Top, Shock Top Seasonal and the Rita family.
NEW BUD LIGHT ICE RINK
Lace up some skates and hit the ice under the red glow of the iconic "Budweiser" sign on the Bevo Packaging Plant. The rink is 84x40 and open to guests of all ages with hot cocoa and kettle corn available for purchase. Skate rentals will also be available for a small donation to the St. Louis Blues 14 Fund.
STELLA ARTOIS MARKET
Get a taste of the holidays or get a jump on your holiday shopping at the Stella Artois Market. With a wide variety of local products like Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate artisan truffles, Tangible Treatshandmade wood ornaments and Across the Board handcrafted games, it’s truly a taste of St. Louis.
Participating vendors include:
MO Kettle Corn
Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate
Across the Board
The Normal Brand (12/15-12/18)
Arch Apparel (12/8-12/11)
Banner Road (12/1-12/4)
Irie Elements (12/22-12/23)
Cozy up with friends and roast some s’mores over an open fire. S’more kits are available on-site for $2.50 each.
FOOD STATIONS IN THE BIERGARTEN
Enjoy a variety of hot menu items, including a bowl of chili, chicken tenders and chips, bratwurst and chips, toasted ravioli, and a pretzel with dipping sauces. Food tokens can be purchased on-site for $6 each.
With sand sculptures in the Rita Zone, ice sculptures at the Patio on Pestalozzi and a photo opportunity with the Bud Light Snowman, there’s more than just the lights.
Don’t forget to check out all the exclusive, customizable gifts at the Budweiser Gift Shop in the Tour Center.
FIRE PIT FUN
Reserve your own private fire pit for a relaxing evening with friends. Each package includes seating for eight (8) guests, eight (8) s’more kits, wait service (does not include cost of food and drinks), plus two printed photos. Each night, one of 12 fire pits can be reserved for $125.
HOLIDAY CHEER PACKAGE
Enjoy it all with this package that includes one food item, a commemorative Brewery Lights tumbler, and a printed souvenir photo. Adult (21+) tickets are $20.00. Youth tickets include one food item and s’mores kit for $6.00.
If we've missed something you'd like to see listed, please email us at: STLSportsPage@gmail.com