If your favorite way to get into the holiday spirit is taking in some world-class light displays, then you’re in luck! The metro St. Louis area has so many amazing light displays to offer. Whether you want to take a carriage ride through Tilles Park or roast s’mores over the fire at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are just a few of our favorites in this handy holiday light display guide to help you plan a festive evening filled with holiday cheer.
Take your time strolling past over a million glimmering lights, fashioned into more than 100 displays of festive characters and winter scenes. Guests also enjoy the different transportation options that Winter Wonderland offers. Go on a carriage ride, drive, or walk through Tilles Park on select nights. For walking events, registration is required, and feel free to bring along your cameras, strollers, wagons, and dogs on a leash. This is an all-weather event that you can visit rain or shine.
St. Louis Zoo’s Wild Lights holiday event features brand-new light displays and themed areas and is a great place to stop for festive food and beverages. Gather around fire pits to warm up and roast some s’mores – kits are available for purchase. For individuals with sensory sensitivities, one night will mirror the traditional experience yet include sensory maps, quiet areas, and trained staff ready to assist. And, of course, what is a visit to the St. Louis Zoo without seeing some animals? Wish a holiday hello to the animals in Penguin & Puffin Coast and the Insectarium!
Celebrate the season with great photo opportunities among dazzling installations at the Garden Glow, where a million lights glow at iconic locations across the Missouri Botanical Garden. See the inflatable snowglobe, fun holiday frames, and other Christmas-card-worthy photo spots. You and your family can even meet Santa Claus on select dates! There are several opportunities to pick up drinks, hot chocolate, and s’mores along the path. Cafe Flora is also open for those who want a dine-in meal.
Drive through Holiday Lights at Grant’s Farm with your family to see countless festive scenes just outside your car windows. Register online for which night you’d like to attend, pack up the car with blankets and snacks, and, once you arrive, turn on the radio to holiday songs. You can see the Budweiser Clydesdales, the Busch Family Estate, and more along the 280 acres it spans across.
Experience the magic of more than a million twinkling lights at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Soulard! Brewery Lights offers a complimentary 16-ounce beer and chances to enjoy different brews at Love Beer Plaza for adults. This family-friendly outdoor event features a state-of-the-art light show with a 22-foot tall digital holiday tree and a train ride, a 40-foot tall snowman, and a DJ for the kids.
Six Flags transforms during the most wonderful time of the year with over a million lights and loads of festive decor. At Holiday in the Park, you can see the animals at the petting zoo, visit with Santa, and say hi to Bugs Bunny and his Looney Tunes friends. Limited-time-only treats, like peppermint funnel cakes and cinnamon sugar pretzels, and over a dozen rides are available for the whole family to enjoy.
Just down the street from Six Flags is another place to go! Jellystone Park Resort is hosting Santa’s Magical Kingdom with four million lights across 35 acres. These lights bring to life custom-designed animated scenes, making it appears that reindeer are flying overhead, elves are frolicking in the trees, and much more. Your family can drive the car or, for an even more unforgettable holiday adventure, book a ride aboard the Santa Express Train or the Old-Fashioned Holiday Wagon Ride. As you drive past the North Pole, the kids can put their letters to Santa in his mailbox.
Join the annual winter tradition at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, as they have a breathtaking display that focuses on the birth of Jesus Christ. Mondays and Tuesdays are particularly special at Way of Lights. Show your military ID on Monday to get a discount, and bring the family on Tuesdays to enjoy discounts on activities and avoid the large crowds. The church parking lot has live animals for camel, donkey, and pony rides. There are carriage rides every day except Saturdays. On one night, they will host the Way of Lights Run, a 5K competitive run and a 1.5-mile fun walk. Those not able to join in person are encouraged to join the 5K virtual run or walk, which has extended dates.
Walk through a holiday light display that covers four acres during this entirely outdoor event. Grove of Lights at Lost Hill Lake features special themes, artisan booth fairs, a charity toy drive, and Santa on certain nights, so be sure to check out their events page! Food and beverage vendors are on-site with tasty treats, such as hot chocolate and s’mores. Along with the holiday displays and photo opportunities, the kids will have fun in the interactive craft and game area.
POWERplex STL, a competitive sports facility, is bringing holiday fun to the community. Experience the magic of the holidays at Dasher’s Lightshow, where you can drive through light tunnels, see snowmen, and merrily listen to your favorite holiday tunes on the radio with your family. Continue the fun by hopping over to Dasher’s Christmas Experience. It’s here that you can take pictures with Santa and visit the children’s play area, indoor concession stands, and artisan market.
Right across the river into Illinois is another winter attraction! World Wide Technology Raceway set up over one million lights just down the street, synchronized to traditional and newer Christmas music played on the radio station 89.5 FM. Wonderlight Christmas is a great option to see holiday lights with family and pets from the comfort of your car. It’s open nightly, including the holidays, for those who want extra holiday cheer on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
A group of retirees and volunteers who call themselves The Grandpa Gang are responsible for transforming Rock Spring Park in Alton, IL into a massive holiday display. In fact, Christmas Wonderland has more than four million lights for visitors to see as they drive through the park! Perhaps the best part is the popular Enchanted Forest display, where visitors get to vote on their favorite decorated tree.
Visiting big commercial displays isn’t the only way to celebrate the season. It’s also nice to check out local neighborhoods spreading holiday cheer. Here are some of the best houses for Christmas lights throughout St. Louis and across the river into Illinois.
- Teddy Bear Christmas Land on Laurel Hill in St. Louis
- Geoff’s Christmas Lights and Trains on McKinley Ave. in St. Louis
- Dan’s Emerald Forest on Windom Ave. in Overland
- Never Enough Lights on Calamar Ct. in St. Charles
- 401 Chadwyck Drive in Glen Carbon, IL
One that stands out, in particular, is Candy Cane Lane. In the spirit of winning a holiday competition, the 6500 block of Murdock Ave. in St. Louis turns into a winter wonderland scene filled with holiday lights and festive decorations. Each year, the residents add to the display, drawing in more visitors. Other streets have joined in on the competition. Be sure to check out Snowflake Street, the 6500 block of Neosho Street, and Angel Avenue, the 4700 block of Prague Avenue, while you’re there! These friendly competitions bring merriment to those who set up the decorations and those who go to see them.
With all of the joyful experiences that metro St. Louis has to offer, it’s no wonder that people choose to move here. The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties helps people find the right home in the perfect neighborhood. Are you ready to get started? Simply view our current listings or call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298!