Many people living in and around St. Louis have a tradition of getting into their winter clothes, heading out with the whole family, and looking at the holiday light displays. This cherished activity gets everyone in the festive spirit and creates lasting memories. It’s a great way to spend quality time with loved ones while enjoying all that the holiday season has to offer. There are plenty of places to see light displays in and around St. Louis, from downtown to the suburbs in Illinois. So grab your family or some friends and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season!
In many neighborhoods around St. Louis, you’ll find homes that are decorated for the holidays. They’re certainly worth taking a drive to see! Many of these homes go all out with their displays, making them a must-see during the holiday season.
The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes a host of beloved traditions. However, this year many holiday events have been modified or scaled back due to the ongoing pandemic. It’s important to stay up-to-date on any changes or new guidelines from event organizers before attending holiday gatherings. This way, you can enjoy the festivities while remaining safe and healthy.
The birthplace of the Budweiser beer is decorated for the Christmas holidays in St. Louis. The brewery features a huge Christmas tree, lights, and other holiday decorations. Visitors can take tours of the brewery and see how Budweiser beer is made. The annual lighting ceremony at the brewery is one of the most anticipated events in St. Louis during the holiday season. The brewery, which is one of the oldest and largest in the country, was designated a historic landmark in 1966. The event attracts people from all over the city who come to celebrate the start of the holiday season.
The tour of the brewery campus is still one of my favorites, despite being no longer a free tour. The full walking tour includes kid activities, hot cocoa, fire pits, beer, and s’mores. This year, new additions include the ability to rent igloos, a 22-foot digital tree, and a 30-minute light show. These exciting new features are sure to bring even more holiday cheer to everyone who visits!
The annual event features over two million lights set up throughout the brewery grounds. Admission is $10 for adults (which includes a free 16oz beer), $5 for minors, and kids under 6 are free. Free parking is available on-site.
Way of Lights in Belleville, Illinois
The Way of Lights in Belleville is a hugely popular Christmas display. The story of Jesus’ birth is told through more than a million lights, making it a beloved tradition for locals and visitors alike. The display is incredibly festive and really gets people into the Christmas spirit! You can drive your own car through the magnificent display of Christmas lights, or take a horse-drawn carriage ride to enjoy the view. The petting zoo is open for the kids to play in, along with camel rides, a puppet show, and a quilt auction. The event is the “Drive Thru Nativity” and it is open every night at the Our Lady of the Snows Shrine, except for Christmas Eve Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is free, but donations are accepted and appreciated. You will be able to drive through and see different scenes from the Bible that tell the story of Jesus’ birth.
Santa’s Magical Kingdom in Eureka, Missouri
Santa’s Magical Kingdom is a beloved destination for many during the festive season because it is filled with millions of lights and dozens of holiday scenes spread out over 35 acres. Seeing all the lights will take a lot of time, so be sure to plan accordingly! You can visit the Candy Cane Village, see Santa’s flying reindeer, or watch the waterfall of lights. Old-fashioned wagon rides through the display are a great way to have more fun. Once you’ve taken in the sights of the festive lights, why not do a little holiday shopping at Kringle’s General Store? You’re sure to find everything you need to make your holiday season complete. Santa will not have photos with him but you can see him waving from the park when you drop a letter off at the North Pole gift shop. Santa will be back home after Christmas.
Admission is $30 from Friday to Sunday and $25 from Monday through Thursday. The wagons cost$15 per person. Children under the age of 2 can enter for free if they ride on an adult’s lap. Your ticket fee will be tallied up at the end of the event, which will help to make the entry line smoother. There is an ATM in the gift store; however, the ticket booth is CASH ONLY.
Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park
For more than three decades, the dedicated employees of the St. Louis County Parks Department have been working tirelessly to transform Tilles Park into a Winter Wonderland. Every year, they painstakingly install hundreds of thousands of lights, as well as an assortment of other festive decorations. This breathtaking display brings joy to countless people who come from all over to admire it. Although you can get a glimpse of the lights by driving through the display, the best way to see them is up close in a horse-drawn carriage.
Cash only is accepted for the Car Tours at the door and MetroTix. Dogs are permitted to walk on the walking tour and so are your cameras, strollers, and wagons. There will be hot chocolates and desserts for sale. Tickets must be bought online at Metrotix in advance. You should also bring a tip for the driver when you take the carriage ride.
Winter Wonderland of Lights in Lebanon, Illinois
The Winter Wonderland of Lights in Lebanon, Illinois is another great option for holiday lights in the Metro East. This festive display features a variety of Christmas lights, as well as a wide range of holiday-themed activities for visitors to enjoy. From horse-drawn hayrides to hot chocolate and cookies, there’s something for everyone at the Winter Wonderland of Lights. Setup for the holiday display begins in Horner Park in Lebanon, approximately 30 minutes from St. Louis. The holiday show is created with an abundance of colorful lights and elaborately hand-painted scenes. The drive-through display is also set up so that viewers can enjoy the visual spectacle from the comfort of their own car. Although donations are accepted, admission is free.
Missouri Festival of Lights in Downtown St. Louis
The Missouri Festival of Lights is a much-anticipated annual event that officially signals the start of the holiday season. The Gateway Arch Park Foundation has co-hosted the Winterfest skating rink with the Salvation Army tree of lights. This beloved community event is a cherished tradition for many families and is a great way to get into the holiday spirit! This free, family-friendly event takes place in Kleiner Plaza, downtown. One of the most well-known holiday events in St. Louis is the choreographed show that runs every 15 minutes, and it’s under the Gateway Arch. You will not want to miss the chance to see this display.
Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden
The holiday season can be enjoyed at the Missouri Botanical Garden and Tower Grove House, which are both decorated for the Christmas season. This incredible light display is not to be missed! Garden Glow is a special event that not only has illuminated plants, but also holiday music, snacks, and shopping. You can stroll through the garden admiring the illuminated plants while listening to holiday music. There are also plenty of tasty snacks available, as well as unique gifts for sale. Garden Glow is open every evening during the Christmas season from 5–10 p.m., with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The price of admission to the garden varies depending on the date, but members of the garden get a discount.
Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo
This holiday season, why not add a little excitement to your life by visiting Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo? As you walk through the exhibits, you’ll be amazed at how more than 500,000 lights transform the space into something truly magical. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget! Kids can enjoy holiday stories while adults do a little shopping at the Holiday Zootique. This festive event offers something for everyone, with a wide variety of holiday-themed items available for purchase. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or just some seasonal decor, the Holiday Zootique is sure to have what you need. There will be fire pits set up for roasting marshmallows, s’mores kits available for purchase, carolers walking around singing Christmas songs, and lots of photo opportunities. Advanced tickets are required to attend the event, which cost $10.95 and are separate from general admission tickets to the zoo.
Christmas Wonderland is a holiday light display that is located in Alton’s Rock Spring Park. Every year, the display becomes even more extravagant, with new displays and lights being added. This year, there are three million lights adorning the park, making it a truly magical sight. You’ll see mesmerizing light waterfalls, towering lighted trees, and dozens of other beautiful displays when you visit Christmas Wonderland. Other than Santa, kids can also visit the Enchanted forest and get close to llamas, sheep, goats, pigs, and other animals at the petting zoo. This would be a great experience for them as they learn more about nature and its creatures. They can learn how to milk a goat, groom a llama, and even collect eggs from the chickens.
Christmas Wonderland’s price is $7 per vehicle. As you drive through the event, make sure to turn off your headlights so you can enjoy the full effect of the lights. With over one million lights, Christmas Wonderland is sure to be a magical experience for people of all ages.
Holiday Night Lights Walk Thru in Wentzville, Missouri
Every year, the Holiday Night Lights display is set up at Rotary Park in Wentzville, Missouri. The mile-long display features twinkling lights that you can enjoy from your car, on foot, or on a holiday sleigh ride. You’ll be able to see thousands of lights shining brightly as you drive or walk through the park. And if you’re feeling extra festive, you can even take a ride on a decorated holiday sleigh!
If you plan on taking a carriage ride during your visit, be sure to make reservations in advance, as there is an additional fee beyond the regular price of admission for each car. Admission for cars is $10 per vehicle.
Celebration of Lights in O’Fallon, Missouri
Visitors enjoy taking in the holiday lights at Fort Zumwalt Park each year during the event known as the Celebration of Lights. This festive event features a variety of Christmas scenes that are perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy the holiday season. Whether you’re strolling through the park or riding on a hayride, there’s something for everyone at this event. You’ll be able to take in all of the sights and sounds of Christmas while enjoying time with your friends and family. The Celebration of Lights is open every day throughout the holiday season. Admission is just $12 per vehicle, and tickets must be purchased online in advance to guarantee entry. So come on down and celebrate with us!