The Best Things to Do in St. Louis This Weekend, Nov. 17 to 20

Brewery lights, A Christmas Carol at The Rep and more

click to enlarge Anheuser-Busch Brewery turns on the holiday lights this weekend.
COURTESY PHOTO
Anheuser-Busch Brewery turns on the holiday lights this weekend.

Thursday 11/17

Bangers and Books
If your idea of a librarian is the shushing spinster depicted in "Marian the Librarian," you clearly need to get out more — or at least visit your local library. Today's St. Louis libraries are vibrant places that bring in famous authors for packed-house book talks, teach you how to use a 3D printer and even help you clear your warrants. Oh, and they also throw concerts — as evidenced by the St. Louis County Library's 75th anniversary party, which goes down this Thursday at the Sheldon Concert Hall (3648 Washington Boulevard).Rock Out with SLCL '80s Party features the uplifting soul singer Brian Owens, a local favorite whose outgoing persona exemplifies the spirit of today's county library. Guests are invited to wear their finest '80s attire, so find those neon scrunchies and legwarmers and prepare to hit the dance floor. Tickets range from $7.50 for library employees to $100 for VIPs, with most tickets set at $45. Come celebrate what the library is all about — or see what you've been missing. VIP tickets include a 6 p.m. pre-concert reception, with the concert at 7 p.m. Details at thesheldon.org/events/rock-out-with-slcl-80s-party.

Holiday Beer
Starting this Thursday, the world-famous Anheuser-Busch Brewery (1200 Lynch Street, brewerylights.com) Brewery Lights will be lit up brighter than the Griswold house, and the whole city is invited to come check it out. A million twinkling lights make for a beautiful walk down Pestalozzi Street, through the heart of the brewery. There is a limit to the number of guests allowed in every night, so buy tickets in advance. The St. Louis tradition runs 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, November 17, through Friday, December 30. Children five and under are free; $5 for guests ages 6 to 20; $10 for adults. Each ticket comes with a complimentary 16-ounce beer for guests 21 and up.

Sweet Tooth
When St. Louisan-turned-Bon Appetite-video-star Claire Saffitz put out her first cookbook, Dessert Person, the city collectively drew in a deep breath at the sight of her reimagined Gooey Butter Cake recipe. Here, we thought, is a real St. Louisan. She might live in NYC and work at a fancy Condé Nast property, but she knows her roots — and isn't afraid to shout them to the world. So when Saffitz put out her second cookbook we knew that our Midwest gal wouldn't disappoint. And, indeed, that feeling has been borne out in her latest, which is not only delicious but full of Midwest-inflected sweets. You can see for yourself and meet her during Left Bank Books Presents Claire SaffitzWhat's For Dessert at 7 p.m. at Clayton High School (1 Mark Twain Circle, Clayton). Tickets are $42.50 for one or $47.50 for two and include one signed copy of her new book.

Saturday 11/19

Bah, Humbug!

click to enlarge The Rep will stage A Christmas Carol again this year.
COURTESY THE REP
The Rep will stage A Christmas Carol again this year.

Ring in the spirit of the season with the most famous of yuletide tales. The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (130 Edgar Road, 314-968-4925, repstl.org), will host its second annual production of A Christmas Carol, the legendary account of London's most miserable miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, with a variety of evening and afternoon shows from Saturday, November 19, to Friday, December 30, at the Loretto-Hilton Center in Webster Groves. In Charles Dickens' iconic tale, the ghost of Scrooge's friend warns him he will soon have three visitors. The three spirits of Scrooge's past, present and future show the bitter London businessman a stark reality that he must conquer to become a better man before time runs out. If by some miracle you've gone through life without seeing this show, it's a guaranteed good time that won't leave you saying, "Bah, humbug!" Ticket prices range from $23 to $92 and are available for purchase online.

Glow Up
Even on its worst day, the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard, 314-577-5100, glow.missouribotanicalgarden.org) is, without question, one of the most beautiful places St. Louis has to offer — a sprawling 79-acre oasis of nature and horticultural wonder plunked down in the heart of the city. Each year around the holiday season, the great garden steps its game up with its Garden Glow celebration, creating whimsey and wonder through what is essentially the most grandiose nondenominational Christmas display most of us will ever see. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the popular attraction, and organizers have gone suitably all-out, with nearly 2 million twinkling lights powering the fun. Expect s'mores, festive drinks and plenty of photo opportunities throughout the grounds as well as enough beauty to give the garden's daytime good looks a run for their money. Tickets range from $3 for the kiddos to $22 for non-member adults, and the fun runs through Saturday, January 7.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland
Yeah, you can drive real slow through Tilles Park (9551 Litzsinger Road) to view theWinter Wonderland light display that runs through Friday, December 30. But if you're at all able, we recommend a walk through the lights. Nothing brings on holiday vibes faster than putting on all your winter gear, grabbing a thermos of a hot drink and gawking at lights with your loved ones. There are over 100 displays in the park perfect for an unhurried winter stroll. Tickets are $8 to walk, $17 to $160 for carriage rides, and $15 to $135 for vehicles. Check winterwonderlandstl.com for details.

Sunday 11/20

Ticket to Ride
All aboard! There is a train departing at midnight and heading to the North Pole! Well, that's the premise for the picture book (and movie) The Polar Express. Now families can head out to Union Station (1820 Market Street, 314-923-3900,stlpolarexpressride.com) and ride the Polar Express themselves. There are just a few modifications: The train does not depart at midnight. Instead, you can hop on at much more reasonable times between 4:30 and 7:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The ride also doesn't go to the North Pole. Instead, you take a loop and end up back at Union Station, but Santa does come on the train, and all the kids get cookies and hot chocolate while elves bring on Christmas cheer. The Polar Express runs Friday, November 18, to Friday, December 30. And just like in the book and movie, attendees are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the trip. Tickets are $35 to $95.

Group Run
Not every running race has to be a solitary slog through pain. It can be fun! And a collective activity! Imagine that! That's what will happen on Sunday, November 20, at Tower Grove Park for theSt. Louis Track Club Marathon Relay. This isn't your normal one-person marathon. This is a relay race that fits all. Not feeling a full 26.2-mile race? That's OK –– you can team up with three of your college buddies and finish it together. The race offers lots of options for people to participate. If you want, you can run it all by yourself. Or you can split the miles with up to four people. The race is divided into multiple groups, with age brackets ranging from 80 years of combined aging to 200-plus. People can also enter into a family or corporate category. The race costs $60 total for a four-person team, $45 for two people, $35 for solo and $70 for virtual. For more information visit stlouistrackclub.com/marathon-relay.

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

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