The Best Things to Do in St. Louis This Weekend, January 13 to January 15

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., painting love gnomes and much more

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click to enlarge A man paints a sculpture of a tree.
Courtesy photo
The Garland and Graffiti Display will be open at the City Foundry through the Saturday, January 14.

Find the best St. Louis things to do this weekend:

Friday 01/13

Honoring a Legend

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive, 314-721-0072, slam.org). The museum kicks things off on Friday, January 13, with the 2023 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration: Artistic Expression Uplifting the Movement. The event will feature original performances inspired by Moneta Sleet Jr.'s Pulitzer Prize-winning photography. Tabari Coleman, a community engagement moderator, will also speak about creating space for constructive dialogue in St. Louis. The event is free and runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m., but advance tickets are recommended. On Sunday, January 15, the museum will host Art for Justice: Family Sunday in honor of King, with hands-on art activities and a storytime featuring Goodnight Racism by Ibram X. Kendi. The event is from 1 to 4 p.m. Storytime starts at 2 p.m. Admission is free.

Twisty Turny

A young woman in peril. A child in peril. A stranger who can't be trusted — or is our protagonist's perspective somehow deeply flawed? Suspense novels can be fairly predictable in their setup, but the best authors working in the genre take the plot to places you never see coming. Is the young woman just paranoid? Is she too drunk/traumatized/sleep-deprived to remember if the child is actually hers? (Is the child even real?) There's a reason they call twisty books like these page-turners, and Stacy Willingham keeps fans riveted long past bedtime. The Charleston, South Carolina, author earned raves for her debut novel A Flicker in the Dark. Now she's back with All the Dangerous Things — and talking about it as part of the St. Louis County Library's Favorite Author series. Willingham's reading at the Grant's View branch (9700 Musick Road, 314-994-3300, slcl.org/authors) is sponsored by the St. Louis County Library Foundation and free to attend. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. event, and the library suggests you come early; you're not the only one who's addicted to this stuff. Admission is free.

Vroom Vroom

The largest automobile event in the St. Louis area is back again, and it's ready to show you 400 new cars, trucks and SUVs. Held at the Dome at America's Center (701 Convention Plaza), the 2023 Saint Louis Auto Show runs from Friday, January 13, through Monday, January 16, and it promises to let you not only preview new models but also to learn about the latest in vehicle safety technology. Buying a new vehicle is difficult these days, but the auto show lets you preview your favorite rides without the pressure of buying. For only the $12 general admission, you can also check out some other (very expensive) cars that you'd otherwise probably never get a chance to properly inspect up close — many car enthusiasts head to shows like this just hoping to get a peek at the latest sexy Lamborghini or luxury Rolls-Royce. Visit saintlouisautoshow.com to find more information or to get your ticket.

Saturday 01/14

Nostalgiafest

"Vintage collecting" used to mean gathering items from the '60s and '70s, but time has marched on (to a cruel degree), and now "vintage" items can refer to things from the '80s, '90s and even the Y2K years. Woof. But whether you're old enough to remember it the first time around or if you're keen to hop on flashback clothing trends, the Totally Rad Vintage Fest has you covered. Held from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Gateway Convention Center (1 Gateway Drive, Collinsville; 618-345-8998), this nostalgiafest is hosting more than 40 vendors who will be on site to sell you retro clothes, memorabilia, video games, toys, home goods and more from the 1980s and beyond. (Think grunge flannel shirts, Spice Girls accessories, Beanie Babies, Nintendo, etc.) Visit totallyradvf.com for more information or to grab your ticket, which will run you from $8 to $25.

Art in Blue

Anyone who sees the stark outlines of a white-and-blue cyanotype can't help but draw parallels to Blue Willow porcelain. It's a classic look. The vintage-style photos are made by mixing together iron compounds and coating paper or fabric with the solution. Then, an object is placed on the prepared surface and exposed to light. The part that's uncovered turns a bright, beautiful blue. You could try to make those at home with no supervision, but why do so when you can instead head to a cyanotype class by Perennial (3762 South Broadway, 314-832-2288)? The nonprofit's course will have participants reusing scrap paper, found objects and transparencies to produce unique designs. The $45 fee includes materials, and the class runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Goodwill to All

Just because Christmas is over doesn't mean the spirit of "goodwill to all" has to end. Next time you're at the City Foundry (3730 Foundry Way), check out the Garland and Graffiti Display, six seven-foot trees painted by local street artists. A QR code on each tree corresponds to different local charitable organizations and gives scanners information on how to donate. The trees were decked by artists including Peat "Eyez" Wolleager, Ariane O'Day, Jonny Xacto and others. Organizations benefited include United 4 Children, St. Patrick Center, St. Louis Diaper Bank, Perennial, the Women's Safe House and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Food Pantry. You may not want the holiday season to end, but alas, there comes a time when all trees must come down. Even though these are for a good cause, you only have until Saturday, January 14, to check them out.

Sunday 01/15

A Lovin' Spoonful

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than with some friends, a few cocktails, a little bit of art and a whole lotta love? This Sunday, head over to the 9 Mile Garden (9375 Gravois Road, 9milegarden.com) for Valentine Gnome Painting, hosted by artist Stacey Crump. Don't stress if you're short on art supplies or even shorter on talent. This event will supply you with everything you need, and Crump will walk you through painting your own beautiful 16-by-20-inch portrait of a Valentine's Day-themed gnome. By the end of the event, you'll have something to replace those Christmas decorations that you've hopefully taken down by now. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at paintingontherocks.org.

Have an event you'd like considered for our calendar? Email [email protected].

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