Every year during the holidays, thousands of visitors make the drive to Tilles Park in west St. Louis County to enjoy its Winter Wonderland, one of the most popular Christmas light displays in the region. The park fills with more than a million twinkling lights and various holiday scenes throughout the Christmas season. Tilles Park's Winter Wonderland is a local legend and has been a favorite tradition for many years in the St. Louis area.
When to Go
Winter Wonderland opens each year the week before Thanksgiving and closes right after the New Year. This year, you can experience Winter Wonderland from November 20, 2020, until the closing date on January 2, 2021. It's open nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and is only closed on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. The busiest time is usually right after the sun sets from around 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., so you can avoid long lines by arriving earlier or later.
The only ways to enjoy the park for the 2020–2021 season is in your own vehicle or in a carriage ride, since the walk-through option is not available. On Saturdays, Winter Wonderland is closed to vehicular traffic and the carriage ride is the only option.
The cost to drive through the display is $10 for family cars, $20 for limousines, $40 for commercial vans, and $90 for tour buses.
Payments at the gate are only accepted in cash or check and are collected as the vehicle exits (no credit cards are permitted). However, you can use a credit card by buying your pass online before you arrive. You don't need a timed reservation to drive through the display and your pass is good for any day you choose.
Most people drive through the sparkling splendor of Winter Wonderland, but if you want to make your visit extra special, book a horse-drawn carriage ride. You can take a carriage ride every night, but on Saturdays, only carriages are allowed, making for a quieter and more intimate experience without other vehicles.
Reservations must be made in advance to ride in a carriage and the cost varies depending on the size of the carriage and the number of people in your group. Carriage ride tickets can be purchased online, and there are new guidelines in place for the 2020–2021 season. All guests in one carriage must reside in the same household and anyone aged 6 or older must wear a face mask. Blankets will not be provided this year, but riders are welcome to bring their own.
Winter Wonderland Walk
The Winter Wonderland Walk is canceled for the 2020–2021 season.
Guests also have the option to get up close and personal with the displays. The Winter Wonderland Walk allows for a stroll through the lights but is only on selected Monday dates. Visitors must pre-order walking tickets online at metrotix.com.
In addition, dogs must be on a leash, and regardless of age, anyone attending must have bought a ticket. Cameras, strollers, and wagons are allowed. Desserts, hot chocolate, and other beverages will be available, and the wee ones can expect a visit from Santa along the way.
Winter Wonderland is centrally located in Tilles Park in west St. Louis County. The easiest way for most visitors to get to the park is to take Interstate 64/U.S. Highway 40 to the McKnight Road exit. Go south on McKnight Road and the park is at the intersection of McKnight and Litzsinger roads.
All vehicles must enter Winter Wonderland from McKnight Road and exit via Litzsinger Road.
Food and Drink Nearby
After marveling at the lights, there are a variety of sumptuous eateries near Tilles Park to indulge in, many of which offer outdoor heated seating or take-out options. Warm your spirits and stomachs with classic Italian fare at Frank Papa's or Katie's Pizza Pasta, where the rustic ambiance and cheesy pies are neighborhood favorites. Raise a pint glass in a toast to the season at Global Brew or the TrainWreck Saloon, both serving up multiple types of beer on tap.