It takes quite a while to see the 35 acres of Christmas lights at Santa’s Magical Kingdom in south St. Louis County. Millions of lights and dozens of holiday scenes fill Jellystone Park in Eureka. You can see Santa’s flying reindeer, travel through the Candy Cane Village or visit the Waterfall of Lights. For even more fun, take an old fashioned wagon ride through the display. After seeing the lights, head over to Kringle’s General Store for a little holiday shopping. Santa’s Magical Kingdom is open from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Admission is $20 per car or $12 for wagon or train ride tickets.
November 15, 2013 – January 5, 2014
Jellystone Park, Eureka
The holiday season begins in Downtown St. Louis with the Macy’s Holiday Festival of Lights. Crowds gather in Kiener Plaza to watch the lighting of the Christmas tree and downtown light display. The evening ends with fireworks and a special visit from Santa Claus. The event runs from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.
November 22, 2013
Downtown St. Louis
The Way of Lights at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine in Belleville is one of the area’s most popular Christmas displays (see pictures of the display). More than a million lights are used to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. You can drive through the display or take a carriage ride. There’s also a laser light show, camel rides, an indoor Christmas tree display and an interactive play area for the kids. The Way of Lights is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission to view the lights is free, but there is a small charge for the laser light show, camel rides and other attractions. Donations are also accepted.
November 22, 2013 – January 3, 2014
Our Lady of the Snows Shrine, Belleville
Garden Glow is new for 2013. Hundreds of thousands of lights will decorate the Missouri Botanical Garden for the holidays. Walk through the light display, then take in the Victorian Christmas decorations at Tower Grove House. Garden Glow also has live holiday music, snacks and shopping. Garden Glow is open most evenings during the Christmas season from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (until 10 p.m. after December 19). General admission is $16 for adults and $10 for children. The price for adults increases to $18 after December 19.
November 23, 2013 – January 4, 2014
Missouri Botanical Garden
For 28 years, employees with the St. Louis County Parks Department have turned Tilles Park into a Winter Wonderland. You can drive through the display, but the best way to see the lights is by horse-drawn carriage. Winter Wonderland is open daily from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., except for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Cars are welcome Sunday through Friday, but Saturdays are reserved for carriage rides. Admission is $10 per car. Tickets for carriage rides are available through MetroTix, and vary depending on the size of the carriage.
November 27, 2013 – January 1, 2014
Tilles Park, St. Louis County
Go a little wild this holiday season with Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo. If you’ve never been to the zoo on a winter evening, this is a real treat. Walk through the exhibits as they come alive with more than 500,000 lights (see pictures of the display). Kids can hear holiday stories and adults can do a little shopping at the Holiday Zootique. Wild Lights is open from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $4 for Zoo members and $5 for non-members. Children under two get in free. There is also free parking at the Zoo’s South Lot.
November 29 – December 15, 2013 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
December 20 – 30, 2013 (Daily)
Each year, Alton’s Rock Spring Park twinkles with more than two million lights during the holiday season. You’ll see cascading waterfalls, lighted trees and dozens of magical displays. Kids can also visit Santa in the Enchanted Forest or get up close with goats, llamas and other animals at the petting zoo. Christmas Wonderland is open Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $7 for cars and small vans, or $1 a person for vehicles with more than 10 people. You can also take a carriage ride through the display.
November 29 – December 29, 2013
Rock Spring Park, Alton
You find all kinds of Christmas scenes at the Celebation of Lights in O’Fallon, Missouri. Each year since 1991, visitors have enjoyed taking in the holiday lights at Fort Zumwalt Park. This is primarily a drive-though display, but you can also take a carriage, train or sleigh ride through the park. There is also a walk-through night on Tuesday, December 10. Celebration of Lights is open Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday is for train rides only. Admission is $9 for cars and $15 for large vans. Tuesday is discount night where all cars, vans and non-commerical vehicles are $7.
November 29 – December 30, 2013
Fort Zumwalt Park, O’Fallon, MO