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St. Charles Christmas Traditions

Saturdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sundays, 12-5 p.m. and Wednesdays, Fridays, 6-9 p.m. Continues through Dec. 24
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With Thanksgiving officially out of the way, we progress on to (sigh) Christmas (look, I don't make the rules). If you're a fan, there's only one place you should be: St. Charles Christmas Traditions. Historic downtown St. Charles harkens back to an earlier generation's Christmas, with chestnut roasters, carolers and costumed Santas from around the world wandering its brick streets. Following the opening ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday, November 24, at Frontier Park (First Capitol Drive and South Riverside Drive; www.stcharleschristmas.com), the Santas partake in a parade with their seasonal friends (the parade is repeated at 1:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday 'til Christmas). The Cobblestone Wassailers sing after the parade, followed by the Land of Sweets dance party. You can get in a little shopping or just soak up the atmosphere. St. Charles Christmas Traditions continues from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through December 24. Those Wednesday nights are also Krampusnachts, when Krampus, the Mouse King and Belsnickel make their appearances — bring your naughty kids and it'll straighten 'em up quickly, before it's too late. Admission is free. free admission

U.S. Bank Wild Lights

Wednesdays-Sundays, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Through Dec. 23, 5-8:30 p.m. and Through Dec. 30, 5-8:30 p.m. Continues through Dec. 17

Last year readers of USA Today determined that the Saint Louis Zoo (1 Government Drive; www.stlzoo.org) had the third-best holiday light display in the country. Buoyed by that ranking, the zoo is determined this year to come out on top — so expect to be dazzled by U.S. Bank Wild Lights. This year's light installation is open from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (November 24 to December 17) and then goes nightly from December 18 to 23 and December 26 to 30. There will be carolers and costumed characters, fireside storytellers and children's craft projects in the Woodland Workshop. Penguin & Puffin Coast, Sea Lion Sound and the Monsanto Insectarium are all open during the evening event, as is the gift shop. Admission is $7 to $10. $7-$10

Saint Louis Zoo (map)
1 Government Dr
St. Louis - Forest Park
phone 314-781-0900
U.S. Bank Wild Lights

St. Louis's Largest Indoor Holiday Train Display

Fridays, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m., Sundays, 11 a.m.-3:45 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Continues through Dec. 28
phone 314-965-6885
museum@transportmuseumassociation.org
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The E. Desmond Lee Holiday Train Exhibit includes the former Famous-Barr/Macy's window train display from downtown St. Louis. See our website calendar at museumstlouis.org for all our holiday events. Varies on age

http://museumstlouis.org
Museum of Transportation (map)
2933 Barrett Station Road
Kirkwood
phone 314-965-6212
St. Louis's Largest Indoor Holiday Train Display

U.S. Bank Wild Lights

Fridays-Sundays, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesdays, Thursdays, 5-8:30 p.m., Through Dec. 21, 5-8:30 p.m. and Through Dec. 30, 5-8:30 p.m. Continues through Dec. 14

U.S. Bank Wild Lights offers light displays, campfire s'mores, ice carving demonstrations on weekends and special nighttime viewings of Penguin & Puffin Coast, the Monsanto Insectarium and the Sea Lion Sound exhibition. $7-$10

Saint Louis Zoo (map)
1 Government Dr
St. Louis - Forest Park
phone 314-781-0900

Magic of Lights

Mondays-Sundays, 6-10 p.m. Continues through Jan. 1, 2018
info@magicoflights.com

Magic of Lights is a dazzling 1.5-mile drive-through holiday lights show featuring more than 300 spectacular displays using the latest LED technology and digital animations. Experience Magic of Lights from the comfort of your own car as you wind through the sparkling path of St. Louis's newest favorite holiday tradition. One carload, one price. Magic of Lights is a great family entertainment value, and every ticket to Magic of Lights benefits Cardinals Care. Vary

http://magicoflights.com/stlouis/

Gardenland Express

Through Dec. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Through Jan. 1, 2018, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

It's unclear exactly when the holiday season and trains became entwined. Did Santa travel by rail before he got the reindeer? No one seems to know. What is known is that trains are now a major part of the Christmas experience, from children's horror movie Polar Express to Gardenland Express at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; www.mobot.org). Garden staff build a G-gauge train set-up every year that wends its way through a landscape of living flora filled with houses, buildings and tiny people. The display is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through January 1. Admission is $5 (plus regular garden admission), but free during Garden Glow evenings. $5 plus regular garden admission ($12)

Garden Glow

Through Dec. 23, 5-10 p.m. and Through Jan. 1, 2018, 5-10 p.m.

Once Black Friday rolls around it's officially the holiday season, and the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; www.mobot.org) is prepared. More than one million colored lights have been strung throughout the property in preparation for this year's Garden Glow, and now all that's needed is the crowds. This year's Garden Glow is open from from 5 to 10 p.m. daily from November 18 to January 1 (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), and your tickets now include admission to the Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show. The last entry each day is at 9 p.m., because if you come any later you won't get to see it all (and you won't get s'mores, either). Tickets are $3 to $18, and it's wise to purchase them in advance -- they go fast. $3-$18

Santa’s Wonderland

Through Dec. 24
phone 636-688-2500
Tcarlew@basspro.com
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Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops and St. Charles-area families are invited to enjoy this magical Christmas village offering free photos with Santa and free family holiday activities including fun crafts and games. Features include rustic Christmas cabins, holiday characters and live elves set amongst a dazzling backdrop of snow-covered hills and illuminated Christmas trees. Kids can also spend time at one of the activity tables where they can write a letter to Santa, color and do fun crafts, all for free.

http://www.basspro.com/shop/en/santas-wonderland
Bass Pro Shop (map)
1365 S. 5th St.
St. Charles
phone 636-688-2500
Santa’s Wonderland

Holiday Lights Tours

Through Dec. 31, 5-9 p.m.
phone 314-989-1500
reservations@besttransportation.com
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Create memories that will last a lifetime on a BEST Transportation Holiday Lights Tour! Enjoy 6 beautiful, historic light displays throughout St. Louis and Illinois. Whether you're looking to start a family tradition, spark an evening of romance, or throw a new kind of office party, Holiday Lights is the perfect opportunity. Tours are include a variety of vehicles & locations, like Anheuser- Busch Brewery, Rock Spring Park in Alton, IL, & more! Although some displays restrict vehicle size, our Special Events Coordinators are here to help you choose the BEST vehicle for your group's size, comfort, & style. Varies

https://www.besttransportation.com/holiday-lights-tours

Holiday Lights Tours

Through Dec. 30, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
phone 314-989-1500
reservations@besttransportation.com
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Create memories that will last a lifetime on a BEST Transportation Holiday Lights Tour! Enjoy 6 beautiful, historic light displays throughout St. Louis and Illinois. Whether you're looking to start a family tradition, spark an evening of romance, or throw a new kind of office party, Holiday Lights is the perfect opportunity. Tours are include a variety of vehicles & locations, like Our Lady of the Snows, Anheuser- Busch Brewery Lights, & more! Varies

https://www.besttransportation.com/holiday-lights-tours
Tilles Park (map)
9551 Litzsinger Road
Ladue Holiday Lights Tours

Holiday Lights Tours

Through Jan. 7, 2018, 5:30-11 p.m.
phone 314-989-1500
reservations@besttransportation.com
,

Create memories that will last a lifetime on a BEST Transportation Holiday Lights Tour! Enjoy 6 beautiful, historic light displays throughout St. Louis and Illinois. Whether you're looking to start a family tradition, spark an evening of romance, or throw a new kind of office party, Holiday Lights is the perfect opportunity. Tours are include a variety of vehicles & locations, like Our Lady of the Snows, Anheuser- Busch Brewery Lights, & more! Special Events Coordinators are here to help you choose the BEST vehicle for your group's size, comfort, & style. Varies

https://www.besttransportation.com/holiday-lights-tours
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park (map)
Six Flags and Fox Creek roads
Eureka
phone 800-861-3020
Holiday Lights Tours
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