35+ Top Holiday Events and Celebrations in St. Louis

Great Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Season This Year

The holiday season is here and there are so many ways to get into the spirit in St. Louis. Sure, you may want to pick out the perfect tree, but below are other events just begging to become an annual holiday tradition. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanzaa, there's something for everyone this holiday season. If you're looking for ways to celebrate without spending money, check out The 25 Best Free Holiday Events in the St. Louis Area.

Please note:  Events in this list are in chronological order with the earliest ones listed first. Please see additional pages for information on events happening later in the holiday season.

  • 01 of 37
    Garden Glow at Missouri Botanical Garden
    ••• Photo by JJ Mueller, courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

    St. Louis has some wonderful Christmas light displays, from Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park to the Way of Lights in Belleville. Check out one or more this holiday season. 
    November 17, 2016 - January 8, 2017
    Various Locations

  • 02 of 37

    See one of the area's most popular Christmas light displays before it opens to vehicle traffic. Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park is hosting a Winter Wonder Walk for pedestrians only. For $6 a person, visitors can walk through the more than one million lights decorating the park. The event also includes food trucks and a visit from Santa Claus.  
    November 18-20, 2016
    St. Louis County

  • 03 of 37
    Holiday Wreath at Missouri Botanical Garden
    ••• Photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

    Local floral designers are showing off their best work at the annual holiday wreath exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The wreaths are on display each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit is included with the cost of Garden admission. You also have the chance to own one of the featured wreaths by making a bid during the silent auction.
    November 19, 2016 - January 1, 2017
    Missouri Botanical Garden

  • 04 of 37

    Santa Express Train Ride

    The Santa Express is coming to St. Louis Union Station. Kids can take a magical holiday journey featuring 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Hotel packages are also available.
    November 19 - December 30, 2016
    Downtown St. Louis

    Continue to 5 of 37 below.
  • 05 of 37
    ••• Photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

    It's all aboard for some holiday fun at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The Garden kicks off its holiday season with its "Gardenland Express" annual flower and train show. The show features model trains that wind their way though a miniature landscape filled with flowering winter scenes. The display is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 a person. Garden members get in free.
    November 19, 2016 - January 1, 2017
    Missouri Botanical Garden

  • 06 of 37
    Native American Market at Cahokia Mounds
    ••• Photo courtesy Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

    For a unique holiday shopping experience, head over to Cahokia Mounds for Native American Market Days. Dozens of Native artists will be selling their arts and crafts. Items include jewelry, blankets, paintings, books and more.
    November 25-27, 2016
    Cahokia Mounds

  • 07 of 37

    St. Louis area children are invited to dine with Santa this holiday season. The St. Louis Zoo, Magic House and other top attractions are all hosting Breakfast with Santa. Prices vary for each event, but they all include a meal, treats for the kids and pictures with Santa himself.
    November 26 - December 24, 2016
    Various Locations

  • 08 of 37
    ••• Photo courtesy Lindenwood University, Daniel Boone Campus

    Take a trip back to the 1800's this Christmas at the Daniel Boone Home in Defiance, Missouri. The Boone Home welcomes visitors for candlelight tours. Stroll through the historic property as thousands of candles light your way. There are nearly a dozen buildings decorated for a 19th century Christmas. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. A limited number of tickets are available and reservations are highly recommended. To make a reservation, call (636) 798-2005.
    December 2-3 & 9-10, 2016
    Daniel Boone Home, Defiance

    Continue to 9 of 37 below.
  • 09 of 37

    Florissant marks the holiday season with a Christmas celebration in historic Old Town. The festivities begin with the arrival of Santa Claus at just after 2 p.m., and end with the lighting of the town's Christmas tree at 5 p.m. There are also crafts, cookies and holiday music throughout the afternoon.
    December 3, 2016

  • 10 of 37

    The small town of Elsah, Illinois, is known as the "village where time stood still." Elsah's historic charm is certainly on display during the holidays. Visitors can tour homes decorated for Christmas, do a little shopping and attend the lighting of the village Christmas tree.
    December 3, 2016
    Elsah, IL

  • 11 of 37

    Skate with Santa

    Santa Claus will be lacing up his ice skates and taking a spin at Steinberg Rink in Forest Park. You can skate with Santa from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Skating fees are $7 a person and $6 for skate rental.
    December 3, 2016
    Forest Park


  • 12 of 37

    Celebrate the season at the Taste of Chocolate and Holiday River Walk in Grafton. Businesses along Main Street will be offering special promotions, music and entertainment, while the Grafton Winery serves up all kinds of chocolate treats. Tickets are $9 in advance and $10 at the door.
    December 3, 2016
    Grafton, IL

    Continue to 13 of 37 below.
  • 13 of 37

    It's a sweet shopping experience along Antique Row on Cherokee Street. Stores will be serving Christmas cookies to shoppers. There's also live music and holiday entertainment.
    December 3-4, 2016
    South St. Louis

  • 14 of 37

    This is the 41st year for the Holiday Parlour Tour in Soulard. Take a walk through historic homes decorated for the season. The event also includes a holiday bazaar, food and music. Tickets are $25.
    December 3-4, 2016
    Soulard, South St. Louis

  • 15 of 37

    Hermann, Missouri, is known for its German heritage, and it really shows through during the holidays. Visitors can buy crafts, decorations, food and more at a traditional German Christmas market called a Kristkindl Markt. Stone Hill Winery hosts its market on December 3 and 4, while Hermannhof Winery sets up shop the following weekend.
    December 3-4, 2016
    Stone Hill Winery Pavilion

    December 10-11, 2016
    Hermannhof Festhalle

  • 16 of 37

    The St. Louis Symphony is celebrating the holidays with a series of special concerts including Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker and A Gospel Christmas with Richard Smallwood. Then, there are the popular Holiday Celebration concerts featuring favorite carols and holiday classics.
    December 3-18, 2016
    Powell Symphony Hall

    Continue to 17 of 37 below.
  • 17 of 37

    Kids and pets can get their pictures taken with Santa at the Boathouse in Forest Park. Santa will arrive by boat at 11 a.m. Pictures are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Money raised from the event benefits Forest Park Forever.
    December 4, 2016
    Forest Park

  • 18 of 37

    The Holiday Brass Concerts are an annual tradition for many in St. Louis. The concerts will be at Manchester United Methodist Church on Woods Mill Road. Concerts are Monday, December 5, at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and Tuesday December 6, at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $26 for adults or $25 for students and seniors.
    December 5-6, 2016
    West St. Louis County

  • 19 of 37

    Local ice skaters of all ages put on a holiday show at the St. Peters Rec-Plex. Skaters perform to holiday classics and are also joined on the ice by Frosty the Snowman. General admission tickets are $9.50 for adults and $7.50 for children and seniors. St. Peters residents get a $1 discount per ticket.
    December 9-10, 2016
    St. Peters

  • 20 of 37

    Santa comes to visit children at the St. Louis Carousel in Faust Park. Children ages three to nine are invited to ride the carousel, make a reindeer ornament and enjoy some Christmas cookies. The cost is $15 per child.
    December 10, 2016
    Faust Park, Chesterfield

    Continue to 21 of 37 below.
  • 21 of 37
    ••• Photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

    The Missouri Botanical Garden is a beautiful sight any time of the year, but during the holidays you can also enjoy the sounds of the season during Christmas Carols in the Garden. Musicians will perform throughout the Garden from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is included with the purchase of a regular Garden ticket.
    December 10, 2016
    Missouri Botanical Garden

  • 22 of 37

    Gingerbread Cookie Walk

    Take a special holiday walk along Main Street in Belleville. Buy a gingerbread cookie bag at the start of the walk, then stop at dozens of stores along the way and get a different cookie to fill your bag. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    December 10, 2016
    Belleville, IL

  • 23 of 37

    Celebrate Christmas at the beautiful Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End. Christmas at the Cathedral concerts feature the Archdiocesan Adult Choir, Orchestra, Children's Choir and Handbell Choir performing favorite holiday songs. Tickets are $24 to $49.
    December 10-11, 2016
    Central West End

  • 24 of 37

    The Northwinds Concert Band performs its annual holiday concert at the Florissant Civic Centre Theatre on December 8, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors.
    December 11, 2016

    Continue to 25 of 37 below.
  • 25 of 37

    Tour some of St. Louis' finest Victorian homes all decked out for Christmas. The tour begins at Park House at 2023 Lafayette Avenue. All eleven of the homes on the tour are within walking distance, but there is also a trolley to shuttle visitors between homes. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the tour. Children younger than 12 are free when accompanied by an adult.
    December 11, 2016
    South St. Louis

  • 26 of 37

    A live performance by your favorite radio personalities from KMOX. Each year, the station puts on an old-time, live radio play for the holidays. Tickets are $11.20 to $50.
    December 12, 2016
    Sheldon Concert Hall

  • 27 of 37

    Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular is a holiday show like no other. It's an extravaganza of high-flying acrobats, aerialists and holiday cheer. The performances are choreographed to music from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are $28 to $88.
    December 15, 2016
    Family Arena

  • 28 of 37

    The Missouri Ballet Theatre is also performing the classic Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker. Shows are at the Edison Theatre at Washington University. Dozens of local children are participating in the performances. Tickets are $40-$60.
    December 16-18, 2016
    Washington University

    Continue to 29 of 37 below.
  • 29 of 37

    The Nutcracker comes to the stage at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The classic Christmas ballet is one the whole family can enjoy. Tickets are $25 to $69.
    December 16-23, 2016
    North St. Louis County

  • 30 of 37

    Y98 Radio is hosting a Mistletoe Show at the Family Arena in St. Charles. The show features performances from The Fray, O.A.R., Colbie Caillat, and Wrabel. The doors open at 6 p.m. The show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $9.81 to $79.95.
    December 17, 2016
    Family Arena


  • 31 of 37
    ••• Photo by Josh Monken, courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

    Experience the traditions of Chanukah at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The Garden will host "Chanukah: Festival of Lights" from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 18. The celebration begins with the symbolic lighting of the menorah, followed by Jewish music and dancing. There is also a traditional marketplace where shoppers can buy Chanukah items. Admission is included with a Garden ticket.
    December 18, 2016
    Missouri Botanical Garden

  • 32 of 37

    Enjoy a Celtic Christmas complete with a special visit from a Scottish Santa. Along with holiday music and fun, everyone is invited on stage to partake of tea and homemade cookies during the performance. Tickets are $15.
    December 20, 2016
    Sheldon Concert Hall

    Continue to 33 of 37 below.
  • 33 of 37

    The Bach Society Chorus and Orchestra performs its annual Christmas Candlelight Concert at Powell Symphony Hall. The evening features selections from Magnificat by John Rutter with solos by soprano Emily Birsan. Tickets are $30 to $75.
    December 22, 2016
    Powell Symphony Hall

  • 34 of 37

    The Compton Heights Concert Band is joined by Hugh Smith, Robert Ellison and Gina Galati for its annual Holiday Pops Spectacular. The concert will include an upbeat program of holiday favorites and Christmas classics. Tickets are $30 to $75.
    December 23, 2016
    Powell Symphony Hall

  • 35 of 37

    The JCC is hosting a Family Hanukkah Party this holiday season. This event is designed for families with children ages five and younger. The celebration includes Hanukkah songs, crafts, storytelling and a menorah lighting.
    December 25, 2016

  • 36 of 37

    Alien vs. Predator. Freddy vs. Jason. Now there's Santa vs. the Snowman, and you can catch it on the ultimate big screen, the OMNIMAX theater at the St. Louis Science Center. Luckily this holiday tale is lighthearted and suitable for kids. It tells the story of a curious snowman who challenges Santa and his workshop for control of the Christmas gift delivery business. Tickets are $9 for adults and $8 for children. Special group discounts are also available.
    December 2016
    St. Louis Science Center

    Continue to 37 of 37 below.
  • 37 of 37
    ••• Photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

    Celebrate African traditions at the Missouri Botanical Garden. This year's Kwanzaa celebration will include music and storytelling. There will also be a boutique selling Kwanzaa crafts and jewelry. Kwanzaa is a seven day holiday that takes its name from the Swahili term meaning "fruits of the harvest." The celebration is from noon until 3 p.m. at the Garden's Ridgway Center. Admission is included with a ticket to the Garden.
    December 28, 2016
    Missouri Botanical Garden