As Christmas nears, chances are your family is hustling and bustling to decorate the home, plan for visitors, and buy gifts. But it’s important to slow down and enjoy the pleasures the holiday season brings, because, after all, it only comes once a year.
The Ameren Missouri Thanksgiving Day Parade comes on (when else?) Thanksgiving Day, kicking off the Christmas season in style. For those who live on the east side and prefer entertainment a bit closer to home, Belleville, Il.’s Santa Claus Parade will arrive in downtown Belleville the day after Thanksgiving, if you’re willing to avoid the Black Friday madness for the coziness of the parade festivities instead.
For those preferring an old-fashioned Christmas, historic St. Charles is the place to be, with carolers, santas, a skating rink, and even dinner theater. Enjoy roasted chestnuts and kettle corn, and finish up with a real carriage ride – Merry Christmas!
The Missouri Botanical Garden truly has something for everyone, with the Gardenland Express train zipping through a festively decorated scene from November through the New Year, to the Chanukah: Festival of Lights celebration complete with Israeli music and dance, as well as a menorah lighting ceremony. Tower Grove House will be decked out in a Victorian Christmas theme, and the holiday wreath auction will cap it all off.
Can you come out and play? From Black Friday until December 30, our beloved St. Louis Zoo will come alive with the US Bank Wild Lights exhibit. For just $5 per person ($4 for members), enjoy the beautiful lights, live choir performances, hear storytellers, enjoy hot chocolate and snacks at the Lakeside Café, visit the penguins, ride the Conservation Carousel, and more.
Every year, Belleville Main Street Merchants host the annual gingerbread walk, where local residents create fantastic gingerbread structures (not just houses!) and display them in the windows. Take a walk (or stroll, or even jog) down Main Street and check out these works of art and step into the occasional store for a cup of hot coffee or check out the offerings of the other stores.
No Christmas in St. Louis would be complete without checking out the many area light shows, from the spectacular Way of Lights at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine to Santa’s Magical Kingdom in Eureka, from the Christmas Wonderland of Alton to the Winterwonderland display at Tilles Park.