For many of us, going to see local holiday light displays is a favorite yearly tradition. It’s a great way to jump-start your holiday spirit! So bundle up, jump in the car and spend an evening taking in some of these great holiday lights.
1. Way of Lights – Belleville, IL
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 Way of Lights is open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admisson is free, but donations are accepted.
November 20, 2015 – January 1, 2016
Our Lady of the Snows Shrine, Belleville
2. Santa’s Magical Kingdom
It takes quite a while to see the 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 from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Admission is $20 per car or $13 for wagon or train rides.
November 13, 2015 – January 3, 2016
Jellystone Park, Eureka
3. Brewery Lights
See the Anheuser Busch Brewery in St. Louis all decked out for the holidays. The brewery is hosting free walking tours, along with free samples of AB products during Brewery Lights. There are also food stations, a s’mores station and a special VIP holiday package. The display is open daily from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Walking tours are not available on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas or New Year’s Eve.
November 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016
AB Brewery, South St. Louis
4. Winter Wonderland – Tilles Park
For 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 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., except for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Cars are welcome Sunday through Friday, but Saturdays are reserved for carriage rides. Admission is $10 per car. Tickets for carriage rides are available through MetroTix, and prices vary depending on the size of the carriage.
November 20-22, 2015 – Walk through preview nights
November 25, 2015 – January 2, 2016
Tilles Park, St. Louis County
5. Festival of Lights – Downtown St. Louis
The holiday season begins in Downtown St. Louis with the Macy’s Holiday Festival of Lights. Crowds gather at Union Station to watch the lighting of the Christmas tree and downtown light display. The evening ends with fireworks and a special visit from Santa Claus. The event runs from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.
November 21, 2015
Union Station, Downtown St. Louis
6. Garden Glow – Missouri Botanical Garden
Hundreds of thousands of 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 and shopping. Garden Glow is open most evenings during the Christmas season from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. General admission is $16 for adults and $10 for children. The price for adults increases to $18 after December 18.
November 21, 2015 – January 2, 2016
Missouri Botanical Garden, South St. Louis
7. Wild Lights – St. Louis Zoo
Go a little wild this holiday season with Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo. If you’ve never been to the zoo on a winter evening, this is a real treat. 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. Wild Lights is open from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Weekday tickets are $7 for Zoo members and $8 for non-members. Weekend tickets are $9 for Zoo members and $10 for non-members. Children under two get in free. There is also free parking at the Zoo’s north and south lots.
November 27-29, December 2-6, 9-13, 16-23, 26-30, 2015, and January 1-3, 2016
St Louis Zoo, Forest Park
8. Christmas Wonderland – Alton, IL
Each year, Alton’s Rock Spring Park twinkles with three million lights during the holiday season. 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 Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $7 for cars and small vans, or $1 a person for vehicles with more than 10 people. You can also take a carriage ride through the display.
November 27 – December 27, 2015
Rock Spring Park, Alton
9. Winter Wonderland – Lebanon, IL
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 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
November 20 – December 31, 2015
Horner Park, Lebanon, IL
10. Celebration of Lights – O’Fallon, MO
You find all kinds of Christmas scenes at the Celebation 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-though display, but you can also take a carriage, train, segway or sleigh ride through the park. There is also a walk-through night on Tuesday, December 8. Celebration of Lights is open Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday is for train and segway rides only. Admission is $10 for cars and $15 for large vans. Tuesday is discount night where all cars, vans and non-commerical vehicles are $7.
November 27 – December 30, 2015
Fort Zumwalt Park, O’Fallon, MO
11. Holiday Night Lights – Wentzville, MO
Holiday Night Lights is a drive through display set up each year at Rotary Park in Wentzville, Missouri. The display takes you through a mile-long wonderland of twinkling lights. Holiday Night Lights is open from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. It’s open Thursday through Sunday from November 27 to December 13, then daily (except Christmas Day) from December 17 to December 30. Admission is $8 for cars with up to six people, and $1 per person for vehicles with seven or more people.
November 27 – December 30, 2015
Rotary Park, Wentzville, MO