For many people in St. Charles County, the holiday season means a visit to the Celebration of Lights in O'Fallon, Missouri. The drive-through Christmas light display at Fort Zumwalt Park is a top destination for residents and visitors alike, located just a few miles west of St. Louis.
The Celebration of Lights opens every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving and closes in late December. In 2018, the Celebration of Lights is open from November 24 through December 30 except on Christmas Day.
The display is open daily from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with extended hours until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Celebration of Lights is located at Fort Zumwalt Park in O'Fallon, Missouri. To get there, take Interstate 70 from either east or west to the Highway K exit (Number 217) and go south to the South Outer Road (Veterans Memorial Parkway), then go west on the South Outer Road to the park entrance.
Features of the Celebration of Lights
Since 1991, the Celebration of Lights has attracted over 10,000 vehicles each year to the display. No reservations are required for regular drive-through hours, but you will have to pay a flat per-car fee of $10 or $1 per person on a tour bus.
Although Celebration of Lights is a drive-through exhibit, there are other more interesting ways to see it: Monday nights are for train rides; you can take a carriage ride on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights; and sleigh rides are offered Tuesday through Thursday nights.
On December 10 and 11, you can take a wintry stroll through the display for an up-close-and-personal look. no cars are allowed, and no special rides are scheduled for those two nights. There will also be holiday music, food and gift booths, an appearance by Santa Claus, and fireworks at 7:25 p.m. on these two walk-through nights.
Other Nearby Christmas Displays
St. Louis tends to get quite festive during the holiday season each year, with several locations to choose from to view dazzling displays of Christmas lights or visit with Santa Claus. If you're looking for more ways to get into the Christmas spirit, there are also several events happening in the area this holiday season.
For another drive-through experience, you can head to the Holiday Night Lights at Rotary Park in Wentzville. Also, open from Thanksgiving through late December, this public drive-through display features more than a mile of holiday scenes throughout the park. On Saturday nights, Santa also visits the Kolb Building, where you can also check out the collection of trees decorated by businesses supporting local charities.
In Eureka next to Six Flags, you can visit Santa's Magical Kingdom, which is also open from Thanksgiving through late December. This drive-through display also offers train and wagon rides as well as Kringle's General Store, the Snack Shack, and Santa's Workshop where kids can get their pictures taken with Santa Claus.