ST. LOUIS — Now that Thanksgiving is over, and you've had your fill of the turkey and pumpkin pie, it's time to start getting into the Christmas spirit.
If your favorite way to get into the spirit is taking in some world-class light displays, you're in luck. From the Missouri Botanical Garden to World Wide Technology Raceway, there are plenty of great options on both sides of the river in the St. Louis area.
If you are making your Christmas lights wish list, here are 12 great spots that should be on the list.
On Nov. 26, the Saint Louis Zoo's Wild Lights will return for another year. The Polar Pointe Pathway, Gingerbread Valley, Holly Jolly Hangout and Candy Crossing are all back, and there will be a number of new displays.
The new Meet Me in St. Louie zone is described as "a showstopper, complete with a 15-foot arch and firework-style lights in front of a St. Louis cityscape background."
Another returning option is the Sensory-Friendly Night, which will be held on Dec. 13. This special night will mirror the traditional Wild Lights experience, but also includes sensory maps, quiet areas and trained zoo staff to assist individuals with sensory sensitivities.
The Wild Lights events will be held on the following nights from 5-8:30 p.m.
- Friday-Sunday, Nov. 26-28 — $10/Member; $11/Non-member
- Wednesday-Sunday, Dec. 1-5 — $10/Member; $11/Non-member
- Wednesday-Sunday, Dec. 8-12 — $11/Member; $12/Non-member
- Monday, Dec. 13, Sensory-Friendly Night for individuals with sensory sensitivities: $10/Member; $11/Non-member
- Nightly, Dec. 15-23 — $12/Member; $13/Non-member
- Sunday-Thursday, Dec. 26-30 — $10/Member; $11/Non-member
For tickets and more information, you can visit the Wild Lights section of the zoo's website by clicking here.
Missouri Botanical Garden is hosting its Garden Glow now through Jan. 8, 2022.
The Garden Glow will have s'mores, drinks and some photo ops. Ticket holders can get their picture taken with an inflatable snow globe and holiday frames. There will also be an opportunity to meet Santa Claus.
Tickets for Festival+ Members are free and can be reserved now. Members ages 13 and up can get tickets starting at $14. General admission for ages 13 and up starts at $18. Ticket prices for kids ages 3-12 start at $3.
You can click here to purchase your tickets to the 2021 Garden Glow event.
Wednesday nights are family nights. Families can enjoy discounted prices on Nov. 17 and 24, and Dec. 1 and 8.
Tickets are on sale now and the festivities begin the day after Thanksgiving on Nov. 26. AB guests can buy tickets to a light show, a fire pit package and a new igloo package.
There's also the Love Beer Plaza where you can enjoy different brews. Anheuser-Busch even has a kids zone for family fun, which includes a train ride, Munchkin DJ Radio and more.
Reservations are required for Brewery Lights. Along with the reservation, guests will get free parking, a 16-ounce beer for those 21 and older, a 30-minute light show, access to the Love Beer Plaza and the Kid Zone. AB recommended booking in advance.
To purchase tickets to Brewery Lights, click here.
WonderLight’s Christmas is a fully synchronized holiday light show now open at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.
Tickets to the experience must be purchased online in advance. No tickets will be sold onsite. They are $7 per person weekdays and $30 per car on weekends. The car price includes up to seven passengers. Group pricing for eight or more passengers is available, as well.
The light show runs from Nov. 12 through Jan. 9. It's open Monday through Friday from 5-10 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 5-11 p.m.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit wonderlightschristmas.com.
Winter Wonderland is back in Tilles Park, and walk-through options are returning this year.
During the event, guests walk, drive or ride through several displays of holiday characters and winter scenes made up of more than 1 million lights. Organizers said dogs on a leash, cameras, strollers and wagons are welcome at the event on the nights when vehicles and carriages aren't allowed.
Winter Wonderland will be held from Nov. 19 through Jan. 1. It’s an all-weather event, rain or shine, so guests should always remember to dress for weather conditions.
Guests must pre-register for the event. Tickets are $8 and availability is limited due to capacity restrictions, according to the MetroTix website.
Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
Grant’s Farm is offering a drive-thru holiday lights experience this year.
The experience will be held on select nights from Nov. 19 through Jan. 2. Tickets range in price from $39-49 and reservations are required. The experience lasts about 30 minutes.
The drive kicks off with a view of “Inspiration Hill” with Budweiser Clydesdales looking down at you from a distance. Next, guests will enter the Tiergarten, which has been transformed into the North Pole. Once there, guests will see a variety of animals including camels and llamas. From there, guests will go down a tunnel towards “a sight never before experienced by visitors” – the Busch Family Estate.
The drive-thru experience is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For more information on the holiday lights experience, visit the Grant’s Farm website.
From lights to shows to rides, Six Flags has it all this holiday season.
Stop by Santa's house for a photo, visit with some of your favorite Christmas characters and say 'hey' to some animals in the petting zoo.
Tickets start at $25. Click here for more information.
Just down the road from Six Flags is Santa's Magical Kingdom at Jellystone Park.
More than 4 million lights are spread across the 35-acre facility that bring life to a "wondrous & whimsical world of animated scenes and electrifying special effects."
Train and holiday wagon rides are available for $15 per person, or you can drive yourself. Prices per car are as follows:
- $25 MON-THURS per family car, truck, mini-van or SUV
- $30 FRI, SAT, SUN per family car, truck, mini-van or SUV
- $40.00 per limousine
- $40.00 per 12 or 15 passenger van
- $40.00 per commercial transport van
- $40.00 per small bus - Please see max size below
For more information, visit the Santa's Magical Kingdom website.
The POWERplex is going to the reindeer again this year, specifically Dasher.
This drive-thru light show syncs up to the music over your car's radio and features about 25 minutes of festive displays.
Prices vary depending on what day you visit, and tickets must be purchased ahead of time.
For more information, Dasher's Lightshow website.
For the last three months, a group of retired volunteers has been busy turning Rock Spring Park in Alton, Illinois, into a winter wonderland. Now, they want you to see their handiwork.
The Grandpa Gang organizes and designs the cascading lights, tunnels and displays. The millions of glistening lights were all hung by volunteers and the “gang.”
Returning this year to Christmas Wonderland will be the annual walk-through event set for Monday, Nov. 29. People are allowed to walk through the park during the evening to enjoy the lights. Admission for the walk-through is $1 per person.
The drive-thru lights display continues through Monday, Dec. 27.
For more information, click here.
Since 1970, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate have invited one and all to make the Way of Lights a part of their family tradition in Belleville, Illinois.
In addition to a dazzling display, there are also auctions, Lego displays, live animals and community performances.
A ride through the display is free, but donations to keep the tradition going are accepted. You can also take a six-person carriage ride for $65 or a 10-person carriage ride for $100.
For more information, click here.
If you want to swap out your silent night for a starry night, the immersive 'Beyond Van Gogh' show might be just the place for you.
The show extended its stay in St. Louis through Jan. 30, 2022 and will be open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
Beyond Van Gogh is open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The exhibition will be closed on Mondays in January.
Four entry times will be available each hour. Ticket prices begin at $33.99 for adults and $19.99 for children ages 5-15. Children younger than 5 are free.
The immersive Van Gogh experience was created by French-Canadian creative director Mathieu St-Arnaud and his team at Montreal’s Normal Studio. It features more than 300 of Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic artworks and takes art lovers into a 3D world that “exhilarates the senses.”