Layering on your winter clothes and heading out with the whole family to see the holiday light displays is a favorite tradition for many people living in and around St. Louis. Not only is it a great way to jumpstart your holiday spirit, it's also a great way to spend time with your love ones and drink hot chocolate. There are plenty of places to see light displays from downtown St. Louis to the towns in nearby Illinois.
Neighborhood-wise, there are also plenty of local homes which will be lit up for the holidays around St. Louis. They're certainly worth taking a drive to see as well!
See the Anheuser Busch-Brewery in St. Louis all decked out for the holidays. Every year the brewery kicks of the holiday season in St. Louis with a public lighting ceremony in late November. The brewery is one of the largest and oldest in the country and was even dedicated a historic landmark in 1966, so it's easy to see why it's such a celebrated place in St. Louis.
The Way of Lights in Belleville is one of the area's most popular Christmas displays. 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 puppet show, camel rides, an indoor Christmas tree display, and an interactive play area for the kids. The event is open every night from November 19 to December 31, 2019 at the Our Lady of the Snows Shrine. Admission is free, but donations will also be accepted.
Santa's Magical Kingdom in Eureka, Missouri
It takes quite a while to see all 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 every night from November 15, 2019 to January 5, 2020 including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year's Eve.
For more than 30 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 November 22, 2019 to January 2, 2020, except for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Saturdays are reserved for carriage rides, Mondays are reserved for Winter Wonderland Walk only, and every other day of the week you can drive through with your car. A full calendar is available on the Winter Wonderland website.
Another option for holiday lights in the Metro East is the Winter Wonderland of Lights in Lebanon, Illinois. Colorful lights and hand-painted scenes are used to create a Victorian style holiday show for the whole family. The drive-through display is set up at Horner Park in Lebanon. That's about 30 minutes from downtown St. Louis. Winter Wonderland is open Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. The event runs until December 31, 2019. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
On November 23, 2019 the Ameren Missouri Festival of Lights officially ushers in the Holiday Season with entertainment, the lighting of the Salvation Army Tree of Lights, and the Winterfest skating rink in partnership with the Gateway Arch Park Foundation. The event takes place in Kleiner Plaza downtown and there will also be live reindeer and a fireworks show at the end of the night.
From November 23, 2019 to January 4, 2020 over one million 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, shopping, and is open most evenings during the Christmas season from 5 to 10 p.m. Admission pricing is dependent on the date, but is lowered for garden members. Note that the event will be closed on December 9, as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Go a little wild this holiday season with Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo. Walk through the exhibits as they come alive with more than 500,000 lights. Kids can hear holiday stories and adults can do a little shopping at the Holiday Zootique. Although the zoo closes at 4 p.m., Wild Lights is open from 5 to 8:30 p.m. You can catch the holiday display from November 29 to December 30, 2019. There will also be fire pits, s'mores, carolers, and lots of photo opportunities.
Each year, Alton's Rock Spring Park twinkles with three million lights during the holiday season. At Christmas Wonderland, 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 November 29 through December 29, 2019. Make sure to turn off your headlights as you drive through the event, so you can enjoy the full effect of the lights.
You find all kinds of Christmas scenes at the Celebration 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-through display, but you can also take a carriage, train, sleigh ride, or walk through the park. The Celebration of Lights is open every day during the holiday season until December 29, 2019. Admission price depends on the size of your vehicle, but there is a discount if you go on a Tuesday.
Holiday Night Lights is a walk-through display set up each year at Rotary Park in Wentzville, Missouri. The display takes you through a mile-long wonderland of twinkling lights. This year's display will be open on December 2, 2019 from 5 to 8 p.m. and there will even be photo opportunities with live reindeer!