It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We know there are so many things to do during the holiday season here in St. Louis, so we rounded up some great options for you and your family to experience this year. Each of these options is also accessible – and some even have special events or accommodations for those with disabilities – so everyone can enjoy them together.
Want to learn more about any of these events or attractions? Just click the link in the title!
US Bank Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo – Select nights through December 30, 2018
In addition to the beautiful lights spread throughout the Zoo, admission includes the Conservation Carousel, The Polar Express 4-D Experience, live entertainment and children’s activities. If someone in your family has sensory needs, the Zoo will also host a Sensory Night on Monday, December 10. It will be exactly like Wild Lights, but with added quiet areas and specially trained staff available to assist families.
Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden – Almost every night through January 1, 2018 (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas day)
See the Garden transform into a magical, twinkling light display at Garden Glow. Like the Zoo, this is a walk-through event, but all paths are accessible (the tram will not run during the event). Plus, admission now includes entrance to the indoor Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show, loved by all generations.
Santa’s Magical Kingdom – Every night through January 6, 2019
Located next to Six Flags in Eureka, MO, this drive-through holiday light display features animated scenes, dazzling special effects and millions of lights. That’s right – you don’t even need to get out of your vehicle to enjoy the fun! For added holiday magic, visit Six Flags St. Louis for their Holiday in the Park event on select evenings.
Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park – Almost every night through December 30, 2018 (closed Christmas Eve)
At Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park, you can choose the way you see the lights! Open to vehicular traffic on all days except Mondays and Saturdays, you can also choose to ride a carriage any night of the week or even walk (or roll!) through the park during Winter Wonderland Walks on Mondays.
Way of Lights at the Shrine – Outdoor display open nightly through January 1, 2019. Indoor activities closed Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day
The Way of Lights in Belleville, IL is not only beautiful; it is one of the few free light displays in our area! Plus, you can drive through the entire route in case you’d rather not unload from the vehicle. If you do want to step out, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities (some free) for families. We recommend visiting on Tuesday Family Nights, when there are discounts on many of the paid activities.
Christmas Wonderland in Alton – Every night through December 26, 2018
Drive through four million lights for just $7 a car! Each year, Rock Spring Park in Alton, IL is transformed with cascading waterfalls, lighted trees and hundreds of light displays sure to thrill kids and kids at heart. Plus, Santa will be in the Enchanted Forest through Christmas Eve!
Winter Celebrations at the St. Louis Art Museum – December 8 – 9, 2018
At Winter Celebrations, you’ll find ways to celebrate traditions both old and new. From story telling to crafts to live performances, kids of all ages will find plenty to do throughout the day. Plus, your family will learn more about winter celebrations from around the world!
Sleigh Bells Ring, Voices Sing Holiday Concert – December 13, 2018
Join Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis and get into the holiday spirit! This concert will feature festive tunes performed by the Gateway Ringers, the Junior League Larks and the inclusive Variety Children’s Chorus. Tickets are just $10 in advance for this event held at the Sheldon Concert Hall.
Supper with Santa at the Butterfly House – Select dates December 14 – 23, 2018
This is more than just a fun meal with Santa! Guests can also take a stroll through the accessible conservatory to see the beautiful butterflies, make fun crafts and enjoy a photo booth. Plus, cookies and hot cocoa will be available in Mrs. Claus’ Cookie Kitchen! Reservations are required.
Kwanzaa: Festival of the First Fruits at the Missouri Botanical Garden – December 26, 2018
Whether your family celebrates Kwanzaa or you are simply looking for a fun way to learn more about the holiday and the beautiful culture surrounding it, this is a great event! Featured will be a Kwanzaa ceremony, storytelling, craft and jewelry displays and African musical performances.
New Year’s Eve
Want to celebrate the New Year without staying up late? There are many New Years at Noon events throughout the St. Louis area! Noontime New Year’s Eve at the Magic House features noise maker and wish wand crafts, a photo booth and a dance floor. Many of the branches of the St. Louis County Library also have their own New Year’s events with crafts, activities and countdowns to noon.
We hope you all have a safe and magical holiday season!