Top Things to Do in December in St. Louis

Holiday Celebrations, Winter Events, and Special Exhibits

Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri
Thinkstock / Getty Images

There's no shortage of holiday events in St. Louis in December. Winter kicks into gear at the end of the month, while the average temperature hovers just above freezing. From Christmas light displays to free holiday celebrations, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the season. And when you want a break from the festivities, there are some great non-holiday events too. Check out the top things to do in St. Louis in December.

01 of 11

Enjoy the Holiday Events

Santa arrives aboard the Polar Express
Stan White
St. Louis, MO 63103, USA

December in St. Louis brings with it the joy of the season. There are concerts, special events for children, light displays, tree lightings, and much more. You can climb aboard "The Polar Express," which departs from St. Louis Union Station for a 45-minute adventure to the North Pole filled with magic, songs, and cheer. Or, you can go to the St. Louis Zoo and reserve a seat at breakfast or dinner with jolly old Saint Nick.

02 of 11

Hit the Slopes

Polar Plunge at Hidden Valley Ski Resort
David O'Brien
17409 Hidden Valley Dr, Eureka, MO 63025-2213, USA
+1 636-938-5373

Usually, December's weather is cold enough for skiing in St. Louis. The snow experts at the Hidden Valley Ski Resort are busy making snow and grooming the runs for opening day in mid-December. Hidden Valley offers daily skiing, plus special events like midnight ski and holiday parties.

03 of 11

Cans Film Festival

Young boy at movie theater
Getty Images

Each year, local Marcus Theatres help out the Salvation Army food pantries by hosting the Cans Film Festival. Anyone who brings five cans of food to a Marcus Theater can see a holiday movie classic playing that day.  Also, all donors will receive a buy one, get one free voucher to return to see another holiday classic film any day for a designated week in December.

04 of 11

See a Show at the Fox

Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe in The King and I
Getty Images
527 N Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63103-1006, USA
+1 314-534-1111

In December, the Fabulous Fox Theatre features Rodgers and Hammerstein's production of "The King and I," the Nebraska Caravan Theater's production of "A Christmas Carol," "The Nutcracker" performed by the Moscow Ballet, and Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella."

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05 of 11

Celebrate Global Holiday Customs

Saint Louis Art Museum
Flickr/Creative Commons
1 Fine Arts Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
+1 314-721-0072

The Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park is hosting a Winter Celebration, a weekend-long, family-friendly event to learn about different winter holidays from all around the globe. The celebration includes art, music, and live performances. The museum staff is hosting crafts, such as making a seasonal card for those in need of cheer or making an art project based on cultural traditions from around the world.

06 of 11

Go on an Owl Prowl

Tawny owl
Nick Jewell/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
125 Bald Eagle Ridge Rd, Valley Park, MO 63088-2036, USA
+1 636-225-4390

Gear up for a night hike through the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park to see if you can call or spot an owl. "Owl Prowls" offer an exciting opportunity to learn more about the amazing life of owls. Hosted from November to March, a naturalist will teach visitors about owls and their unique calls. Then, you'll be guided through the grounds to find the wild owls in their natural habitat. Reservations are required; the event regularly sells out.

07 of 11

Watch a Free Movie

Busch Stadium
Marcia Frost
601 Clark Ave #103, St. Louis, MO 63102, USA
+1 314-241-5588

See a free movie on the 40-foot screen at Fox Sports Midwest Live! at Ballpark Village. The fun starts at 5 p.m. with movie-related activities. The movie starts promptly at 6 p.m. Saint Louis' Ballpark Village is a dining and entertainment district adjacent to Busch Stadium where the St. Louis Cardinals play in downtown St. Louis, occupying the site of the previous Busch Stadium.

08 of 11

Spot Some Bald Eagles

Bald Eagle Preening
Ingrid Taylar
13112 Visitor Center Ln, Grafton, IL 62037-2481, USA
+1 618-786-3323

December is the beginning of bald eagle spotting in the St. Louis-area. Every year, thousands of eagles build their winter nests along the banks of the Mississippi River. Pere Marquette State Park hosts a Bald Eagle Day in December. Beginning at 8:30 a.m., visitors will watch a short presentation, then take a guided drive through the park to view the wintering bald eagles. Reservations are required. Dress warmly and have a full tank of gas.

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09 of 11

Behold the Braggin' Rights

Kim English, Missouri Tigers
Getty Images / Ed Zurga
1401 Clark Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA
+1 314-622-5400

Annually, the Missouri Tigers and the Illinois Fighting Illini square off for a basketball showdown at the Scottrade Center for the Braggin' Rights Game. It is a heated rivalry steeped in tradition with loud, passionate fans holding the hottest tickets in town.

10 of 11

Party at Schlafly Brewery

Schlafly Brewery
Wikimedia Commons
2100 Locust St, St. Louis, MO 63103-1616, USA
+1 314-241-2337

Schlafly Brewery is celebrating its anniversary with a party for everyone including live music. The tap room will be selling beer at 1991 prices. 

11 of 11

Take a Break at the History Museum

Thomas Jefferson statue
Danita Delimont/Getty Images
5700 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63112-0040, USA
+1 314-746-4599

For five days at the end of December, the Missouri History Museum is hosting a Winter Getaway. Bring your family to the museum for a fun-filled winter break from school. You can enjoy live music, movement workshops, make-and-takes, and a Noon Year’s Eve Party on December 31. Admission is free.

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Top Things to Do in December in St. Louis