This weekend starts the beginning of the most amazing part of the holiday season…2nd to Christmas presents of course!
Holiday Lights!…So Romantic, So Fun, So Festive!!
This weekend kicks off the start of the holidays in downtown St. Louis with the Ameren Missouri Festival of Lights. Sure you can go see the lights anytime but this Saturday, November 19th from 3:30-6:30pm in Aloe Plaza on Market and 8th is when the real show happens! There will be performances by Salvation Army Brass Band, carols sung by the St. Louis Carols Association, ice skaters performing ‘Nutcracker On Ice,” carriage rides, the tree lighting ceremony, fireworks, a surprise from the STLMPD Polar Cops truck, and more.
And this is just the beginning!!
People love putting on holiday light displays and I love seeing them. If you’re not into the whole outdoor, huge crowd shindig, here are some additional light displays where you don’t even have to get out of your car!
Never Enough Lights in St. Charles County: A neighborhood light show where you can tune your radio in to listen to a synchronized song list while driving through. And there’s no admission! It’s just spirited holiday goers decorating their homes for the love of the season and allowing us to enjoy their creativity. Begins November 25th at 5pm each night and runs until January 1st.
Way of Lights at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL. This well known holiday light display kicks off November 18th and runs through December 31st (If you’re looking for a romantic occasion, you can ride through this light show on a horse-drawn carriage). There’s also a laser light show, an indoor Christmas tree display, a petting zoo and more! This is definitely one of the best places to visit during the holiday season.
The Tilles Park Winter Wonderland in West County begins Wednesday, November 23rd. Another popular light display made even better by a romantic horse drawn carriage ride through a dazzling winter wonderland. The display is open 5:30-9:30pm daily, except Saturdays, which are for carriage rides only. There is a fee to drive through this light display: $10/car and prices vary for the carriage rides. It is not open on Christmas Eve.
The St. Louis Hills neighborhood puts on a great light display as well. It’s known as Candy Cane Lane. This holiday display begins Sunday, November 27th at 7pm with a kick-off party in Francis Park complete with Christmas tree lighting. Sure you could drive through this light display, but I think this one would be better seen with a group of friends, some hot cider, and a festive stroll down Candy Cane Lane.
Christmas Wonderland in Alton, IL may be a little farther than some want to travel, but this holiday light show boasts more than 2 million lights including a cascading waterfall! And your children can visit with Santa in the Enchanted Forest and play with the animals in the petting zoo. This light festival begins November 25th and opens at 5pm on weekends and 6pm on weeknights. Cost is $7/car. On Monday the 28th, there will be a special walk-through event for $1/person.
While there are clearly plenty of light displays where you can stay in your warm car and still enjoy the holiday festivities, sometimes you have to suck it up, bundle up and endure the chilling Winter weather to view some spectacular sights. And what better place to go than the St. Louis Zoo!
U.S. Bank Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo: This colorful, enchanting light display begins November 25th and is open every Friday-Sunday the first weekend, then Wednesday-Sunday starting on the 30th from 5:30-8:30pm. There is an $8 fee to attend on week days and $10 for weekends, however, it includes other activities such as fireside stories with campfire s’mores, live entertainment, and rides, and is well worth the visit!
While I can guarantee that I haven’t hit every light festival, I have done my best to give you the most fun, festive, and romantic displays that St. Louis has to offer you. If you haven’t yet joined in the St. Louis holiday spirit, Get it Together! It’s time! Happy Holidays!