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Best Bets: Festival of Lights, WonderLight's Christmas, Polar Express and more holiday events kick off

Best Bets: Festival of Lights, WonderLight's Christmas, Polar Express and more holiday events kick off

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‘Love and Kindness in the Time of Quarantine’

When 7 p.m. Nov. 20; available through Dec. 31 • Where; much Free; donations accepted • More info

Repertory Theatre of St. Louis playwright-in-residence Regina Taylor (“Crowns”) directed and curated this program of songs and monologues addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and performed by noted stage and screen actors. “Love and Kindness in the Time of Quarantine” features contributions from local and nationally known writers and will be available to stream through Dec. 31. Proceeds from donations benefit the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. By Calvin Wilson

Buzz Spector: ‘Alterations’

When Nov. 20-May 31; hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday • Where St. Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park • How much Free • More info

Ranging from drawings to altered books, postcard collages and printed images, this solo exhibition spans more than 40 years of Buzz Spector’s works on paper. The artist, a retired instructor at Washington University, alters books by tearing their pages, exploring the aesthetic aspects of language, paper and books. This is his first exhibition at a St. Louis museum. By Jane Henderson

Desi Banks

When 7 and 10 p.m. Nov. 20-22 • Where Helium Comedy Club, St. Louis Galleria, 1151 St. Louis Galleria Street, Richmond Heights • How much $60-$160 for tables of two, three and four • More info

Comedian Desi Banks, known for his short videos that have made him popular on social media, holds it down at Helium Comedy Club all weekend. The venue is also implementing new pandemic safety restrictions: No food or beverages are allowed, masks must be worn by patrons and staff at all times, and guests will complete a health screening form at the entrance. By Kevin C. Johnson

Festival of Lights

When Nov. 20-Jan. 2; 5-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday • Where Kiener Plaza • How much Free • More info

Enjoy whimsical holiday displays, an animated projection show, and the Salvation Army’s Tree of Lights against the backdrop of the Gateway Arch and surrounding downtown buildings. This will be a self-directed experience with plenty of photo opportunities. By Valerie Schremp Hahn

Lebanon’s Winter Wonderland

When Nov. 20-Dec. 31; 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday • Where Horner Park, 11113 Widicus Road, Lebanon • How much Free; donations accepted • More info

The display at Horner Park, which organizers describe as a “family-friendly, nostalgic look back in time with just a hint of modern day,” is run by volunteers who crafted many of the displays. A mile-long road meanders past scenes dedicated to the military and first responders, a penguin village and an animated light show set to music. This year’s display is drive-thru only. By Valerie Schremp Hahn

Santa’s Magical Kingdom

When Nov. 20-Jan. 10; 5:30-10:30 p.m. daily • Where Jellystone Park, 5300 Fox Creek Road, Pacific • How much $25 per vehicle, up to eight passengers; $40 for large vans and other vehicles • More info

The 35-acre Jellystone Park is transformed for the holidays with animated scenes, special effects and millions of lights, including a gingerbread village, a giant toy land, three tunnels of lights and hundreds of giant 3D starbursts, which are new this year. Santa will be waving from a distance, but children can still drop off letters for him. By Valerie Schremp Hahn

Way of Lights

When Nov. 20-Jan. 1; 5-9 p.m. daily (outdoor lights only Dec. 24-25 and Jan. 1) • Where Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, 442 South DeMazenod Drive, Belleville • How much Free • More info

Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the Way of Lights, a display organized by the Missionary Oblates of Mary, focusing on the birth of Christ. After you see the lights, visit the gift shop, and enjoy a snack and the indoor wreath and tree display. By Valerie Schremp Hahn

Winter Wonderland

When Nov. 20-Jan. 2; 5:30-9:30 p.m. daily (closed Nov. 24, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31) • Where Tilles Park, 9551 Litzsinger Road • How much $10 per vehicle, $90 for a tour bus • More info

Tilles Park will be decorated with holiday scenes and more than a million twinkling lights in a display that has drawn crowds for more than 30 years. On select nights, mostly Mondays, the park is closed to vehicular traffic for the Winter Wonderland Walk ($6 per person). Most Saturdays are reserved for carriage rides only. By Valerie Schremp Hahn

WonderLight’s Christmas

When Nov. 20-Jan. 3; dusk to 10 p.m. daily • Where World Wide Technology Raceway, 700 Raceway Boulevard, Madison • How much $30 per car, up to seven passengers; or $7 per person; free for children 3 and under • More info

See more than 1 million LEDs from the comfort of your vehicle while driving through this 2-mile-long route, which includes giant Christmas trees, five tunnels of lights, shooting stars and dancing candy. Listen to a soundtrack of holiday music on a special FM station. By Valerie Schremp Hahn

Believe! The Polar Express Experience

When Nov. 20-Dec. 30 • Where St. Louis Union Station, 1820 Market Street • How much $27-$45 • More info 314-942-6942;

Don your Christmas jammies: It’s time to board the Polar Express, which this year is a stationary train experience but still includes interactions with “Polar Express” characters, hot chocolate and cookies, and Santa. The experience is based on Chris Van Allsburg’s classic children’s book that became a movie. “The Polar Express” will be shown nightly at the St. Louis Wheel plaza, and a holiday market will be available during Polar Express hours. New this year in Union Station’s Grand Hall is Pancakes With Santa, on select Saturdays and Sundays in December. By Valerie Schremp Hahn


Holiday in the Park

When Various dates, Nov. 21-Jan. 3 • Where Six Flags St. Louis, 4900 Six Flags Road, Eureka • How much Free with park admission • More info

Six Flags St. Louis will be draped with more than 1 million twinkling lights for the holiday season. Visitors can ride the park’s usual attractions, plus take in a live, holiday-themed show, grab a socially distanced photo with Santa, listen to Mrs. Claus tell a holiday story from the train, savor holiday treats and pause for photos among several festive scenes. By Valerie Schremp Hahn


Celebration Day: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin

When 8 p.m. Nov. 24-25 • Where The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard • How much Sold out • More info

The Pageant presents its biggest pair of shows since reopening: local staple Celebration Day: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin. The shows, which already have sold out, are part of the venue’s Glimmer of Normalcy Series. By Kevin C. Johnson


St. Louis Thanksgiving Day Parade

When 10 a.m. Nov. 26 • Where KMOV (Channel 4) • How much Free • More info

Downtown’s Thanksgiving Day Parade goes virtual, with an hourlong TV broadcast that will feature holiday favorites and highlights of the area’s attractions and charities. By Valerie Schremp Hahn


‘2020 Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Exhibition’

When 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays • Where International Photography Hall of Fame, 3415 Olive Street • How much $5-$10 • More info

On display are masterworks from this year’s International Photography Hall of Fame inductees, including photographers Lynsey Addario, Henry Diltz, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Jay Maisel, Duane Michals and Carrie Mae Weems. Virtual tours will also be available online starting Nov. 23. The venue is closed on Thanksgiving. By Jane Henderson

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