A heated igloo village will soon pop up at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis, and you can rent one for two hours for $250.
The village, which will be available on Fridays and Saturdays through Jan. 25, is new this year and is part of the fourth annual Winterfest hosted by the Gateway Arch Park Foundation and the St. Louis Blues.
If the Blues are involved, that means there will also be an ice rink, which opens Saturday. The rink is free for anyone who brings their own ice skates, and skate rental is available. Thanks to the Blues, children’s skate rentals are free on Fridays.
The igloo rental includes comfortable seating with blankets, up to six ice skate rentals, free parking at Ballpark Village, and table service from the Sugarfire Winterfest Cafe, including $50 onsite credit for food and drink.
On Saturday, the lights also go on at the Salvation Army Tree of Lights during the Ameren Missouri Festival of Lights. The entertainment includes hometown singer Kennedy Holmes, a fireworks finale, free ice skating rental all day Saturday, 12-8 p.m. The festival is from 4-8:30 p.m.
Winterfest also includes a Winter Market on Saturdays and Sundays, free skate rental on Thanksgiving Day, and St. Louis Blues and Cardinals player and alumni appearances on Nov. 30 from 12-4 p.m.
Stock up on holiday spirit at winter carnivals, festivals and family events
Browse handmade gifts, and enjoy entertainment, visits with live reindeer, demonstrations and holiday treats at this annual shopping experience modeled after authentic German Christmas markets. While you’re there, visit Santa at his house on the square.
When Nov. 29-Dec. 23 • Where Public square, Main and Illinois streets, Belleville • How much Free • More info bellevillechristkindlmarkt.com
Bethalto Christmas Village
Walk through a winter wonderland of lights, festive cottages, Christmas trees and a live Nativity. Plus, visit Santa, enjoy live entertainment and buy a few gifts at vendor booths. The 75 live trees used as a backdrop for the village will be given to families in need.
When 5-8 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, Nov. 30-Dec. 22 • Where Central Park (behind the village hall), 213 North Prairie Street, Bethalto • How much Free • More info facebook.com/bethaltochristmasvillage
Bob Kramer’s Marionnettes
Bob Kramer’s Marionnettes have entertained St. Louis audiences for more than 50 years. Before each show, visitors can see the process of puppet-building. This year’s holiday show is “A Big Bear Christmas.”
When Nov. 29-Dec. 31 • Where Bob Kramer’s Marionnette Theatre, 4143 Laclede Avenue • How much $14, $12 for children and seniors; reservations required • More info 314-531-3313; kramersmarionnettes.com
Breakfast With Santa
Kids can watch a chef flip pancakes into the air, make a holiday craft to take home, explore the Magic House all day and tell Santa what they want for Christmas.
When Various times, Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 • Where Magic House, 516 South Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood • How much $22, $15 for members; reservations required • More info magichouse.org
Candlelight Christmas Walk and Christmas Market
Stroll Augusta by the light of more than 1,000 luminaries, and enjoy its shops and galleries at the 37th annual Christmas walk. Take a free ride on the antique trolley, sing with the roving carolers, visit a German immigrant home at the Augusta History Museum and chat with Santa on his throne in the Olde Wine Hall. While you’re there, shop the Christmas Market.
When 5-10 p.m. Dec. 6 and Dec. 13 • Where Augusta, Mo. • How much Free • More info augusta-chamber.org
Candlelight Stroll at Thornhill
Take a self-guided tour through the decorated rooms of Thornhill, the home where Missouri’s second governor, Frederick Bates, lived with his family. Costumed docents will provide more historic information.
When 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 13, 5-9 p.m. Dec. 14 • Where Faust Park, 15185 Olive Boulevard, Chesterfield • How much $10-$12, $5 for children 4-12 (cash only at the door) • More info 314-615-8328; stlouisco.com/parksandrecreation
Cherokee Street Cookie Spree and Print Bazaar
Shop one of largest print sales in the Midwest, featuring the work of more than 100 local and regional artists. While you’re there, participate in the 36th annual Cookie Spree on antique row, where guests can enjoy cookies, cider, a petting zoo, live music, pictures with Santa and more.
When Bazaar is 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 7; spree is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7 • Where Cherokee Street • How much Free • More info facebook.com/cherokeestreetusa
Christmas Candlelight Tours
Sip hot apple cider, listen to carolers and stroll through the candlelit historic village while learning about Christmas on the frontier in the early 1800s. “Daniel Boone” will visit to reminisce about winters past. Reservations are recommended.
When 6-10:30 p.m. Dec. 6-7 and Dec. 13-14 • Where Historic Daniel Boone Home at Lindenwood Park, 1868 Highway F, Defiance • How much $10-$15 • More info 636-798-2005; sccmo.org
Christmas Open House and Holiday Parade
Kimmswick will be decked for the holidays, carolers will stroll the luminary-lighted streets and shopkeepers will serve refreshments. Santa arrives to visit with children at the Christmas Parade at 11 a.m. At 4:45 p.m., he’ll light the visitor center Christmas tree. Complimentary horse-drawn trolley rides are available from 2 to 8 p.m.
When 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 23 • Where Kimmswick • How much Free • More info 636-464-6464; gokimmswick.com
Christmas With the Birds
Get your passport stamped by elves at each station as you make your way toward Kris Kringle and Owliver the holiday owl. Write a letter to Santa, decorate a cookie, make a holiday craft, enjoy treats and hot chocolate, and visit birds of prey.
When 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 14 • Where World Bird Sanctuary, 125 Bald Eagle Ridge Road, Valley Park • How much $10-$12 • More info 636-225-4390; worldbirdsanctuary.org
‘Disney Junior Holiday Party!’
Sing and dance with your favorite Disney friends, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, the Puppy Dog Pals, Vampirina and more — plus Santa Claus. Children under age 2 do not need a ticket to join the fun.
When 6 p.m. Dec. 4 • Where Stifel Theatre, 1400 Market Street • How much $22-$82 • More info ticketmaster.com
E. Desmond Lee Holiday Train Exhibit
The National Museum of Transportation gets festive by showing off the region’s largest holiday train display, plus the train display from downtown’s former Famous-Barr/Macy’s. Miniature train rides are also available, along with Santa on Saturdays and Sundays in December. (He arrives by helicopter at 10 a.m. Nov. 30.)
When Nov. 29-Jan. 5 • Where National Museum of Transportation, 2933 Barrett Station Road, Kirkwood • How much Free with $12 admission, $5 for ages 3-12 • More info tnmot.org
Holiday Christmas Festival in Ste. Genevieve
Musicians will perform at historic churches and other downtown venues at this event, which also includes an art show and sale, free pictures with Santa, a Christmas parade and open houses at historic sites.
When 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Dec. 7, 12:30-5 p.m. Dec. 8 • Where Downtown Ste. Genevieve • How much Free • More info visitstegen.com
Interactive ‘White Christmas’
Sing along at an interactive screening of “White Christmas,” the 1954 holiday classic starring Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. Audience members will get a bag filled with props to use during the movie. Arrive 30 minutes early to test your knowledge of Christmas movie trivia.
When 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 14, 2 p.m. Dec. 15 • Where Wildey Theatre, 252 North Main Street, Edwardsville • How much $10-$15 • More info wildeytheatre.com
Jingle and Mingle: A Holiday Dinner Cruise
All aboard the Becky Thatcher paddlewheeler for a buffet dinner featuring favorite holiday dishes, a cash bar and a DJ playing music to put you in the Christmas spirit. The boat will be decked in twinkling lights from top to bottom.
When 7:30-10 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays, Dec. 5-15; boarding at 7 p.m. • Where Riverboats at the Gateway Arch, 50 South Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard • How much $30-$53; reservations required • More info gatewayarch.com/riverboats
Kimmswick Christmas Festival and Cookie Walk
Stop by the visitor center or go online to buy a cookbook, which contains favorite cookie recipes from 27 participating shops. Visitors also get a map and a bag to collect cookie samples. Shops and restaurants will be open late, buildings will be decorated and luminaries will light the way. Carolers will be out, and carriage rides will help transport guests.
When 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 6-7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 8 • Where Kimmswick • How much $30 for cookie walk • More info 636-464-6464; gokimmswick.com
Maeystown Old Fashioned German Christmas
Visit with Sankt Nikolaus and take a carriage ride to celebrate a German Christmas in this charming town founded in 1843. The stone bridge, stone church, barns and outbuildings provide a picturesque backdrop for a strolling brass ensemble, hammered-dulcimer players and German carolers. The lighting of the village weihnachtsbaum (Christmas tree) happens at the end of the festival.
When 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Dec. 1 • Where Maeystown, Ill. • How much Free • More info maeystown.com
Native American Holiday Market
Buy jewelry, baskets, sculpture, pottery and other gifts made by Native American artists and craftspeople.
When Noon-5 p.m. Nov. 29, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 1 • Where Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, 30 Ramey Street, Collinsville • How much Free • More info cahokiamounds.org
Noontime New Year’s Eve
Ring in the new year a few hours early at the Magic House. Kids can make their own noise-makers and wish wands, pose for a keepsake photo with 2020-themed props and dance the day away.
When 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 31 • Where Magic House, 516 South Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood • How much Free with museum admission • More info magichouse.org
An Old-Fashioned Christmas
Two notable St. Louis homes, decorated for the holidays, will welcome guests for tours and to learn about their history. The Campbell House, now a museum, was built in 1851 for businessman and fur trader Robert Campbell. The Magic Chef Mansion, now a private residence, was built in 1908 for Charles Stockstrom, founder of the Quick Meal and Magic Chef Stove Co.
When 5-8 p.m. Dec. 13-14 • Where Campbell House Museum, 1508 Locust Street; Magic Chef Mansion, 3400 Russell Boulevard • How much $30-$40 • More info campbellhousemuseum.org
PJs and Pancakes With Santa Claus
Wear your comfy pajamas for a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River. A breakfast buffet will be served, and guests will enjoy special activities, great views of St. Louis and photo opportunities with Santa.
When 9:30-11 a.m. Nov. 23, Nov. 30, Dec. 7, Dec. 14; boarding at 9 a.m. • Where Riverboats at the Gateway Arch, 50 South Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard • How much $38 for ages 3 and up; reservations required • More info gatewayarch.com/riverboats
Polar Express Train Ride
Don your Christmas jammies: It’s time to board the Polar Express, which travels from St. Louis Union Station to the “North Pole,” where Santa and his elves will board the train for a visit. On the ride back downtown, singing chefs will lead Christmas carols. The excursion is based on Chris Van Allsburg’s classic children’s book that became a movie.
When Nov. 29-Dec. 30 (no ride Christmas Day) • Where Union Station, 1820 Market Street • How much $35 and up; meal packages sold separately • More info 314-942-6942; stlpolarexpressride.com
St. Charles Christmas Traditions
It’s the 45th season of St. Charles’ monthlong festival, where more than 50 costumed characters and Santas from around the world spread cheer in the streets. Visitors can mail a letter to Santa and visit his cottage, enjoy roasted chestnuts and get a jump on holiday shopping. Don’t miss the parade at 1:30 p.m. on opening day and on Saturdays and Sundays. A tree-lighting ceremony is at 5 p.m. on opening day.
When Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 29-Dec. 24 • Where Main Street in St. Charles • How much Free • More info stcharleschristmas.com
St. Louis Thanksgiving Day Parade
Downtown’s Thanksgiving Day Parade features more than 130 entries, including floats, giant helium-filled balloons, restored antique cars and firetrucks, and marching bands from across the region. And, as he does every year, Santa ushers in the holiday season at the end of the parade. The parade will be broadcast live on KMOV (Channel 4).
When 8:45 a.m. Nov. 28 • Where Starts on Market Street at 20th and travels east to Broadway • How much Free • More info christmasinstlouis.org
Santa Parade in Belleville
Belleville’s Santa Parade, sponsored by the Optimist Club of Belleville, began in 1952 and is the largest parade in Southern Illinois. It features floats, marching bands, dance groups, and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus. After the parade, visit Santa at his house at the town square.
When 10 a.m. Nov. 29 • Where Starts at North Third and West A streets, downtown Belleville • How much Free • More info bellevilleoptimist.org
Santa’s Holiday Avenue Parade
A holiday festival with pony rides, food trucks, vendors and a chili cook-off follows the Santa’s Holiday Avenue parade in downtown Granite City. Mr. Claus gets a coveted spot in the holiday carriage.
When 1 p.m. Nov. 23 • Where Begins at 27th Street and Madison Avenue; ends at city hall, 2000 Edison Avenue, Granite City • More info granitecity.illinois.gov
South Grand Grinchmas and Cocoa Crawl
Get your picture taken with the Grinch at Apotheosis Comics, and vote for your favorite decorated business window for a chance to win a $100 gift card. Participating shops will donate 10% of sales to Shriners Hospital for Children.
When 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 7 • Where South Grand business district • How much Free; $7 for photos • More info southgrand.org
A Spirited Holiday Past
On one day, 27 historic homes, museums and private residences will open to show off their holiday finery, and caretakers will discuss the buildings’ history. Customize a tour to see Civil War sites, African American sites, French heritage sites and others. This grand tour debuted in 2018.
When 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7 • Where Multiple locations • How much Fees vary by location • More info historicsaintlouis.org
Victorian Holiday in Lebanon
A lamplighter strolls St. Louis Street, lighting up shops and the town Christmas tree, to kick off Lebanon’s celebration of Victorian heritage. The 27th annual event includes a parade and photographs with Father Christmas, children’s activities, horse-drawn carriage rides, live entertainment and holiday treats.
When 5-9 p.m. Nov. 22, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 23 • Where Lebanon • How much Free • More info facebook.com/lebanonvictorianholiday
The St. Louis Art Museum celebrates cultures from around the world with performances, treats and family art activities daily. A Kwanzaa celebration noon-4 p.m. Dec. 29 includes an afternoon of performances.
When 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 14-15 • Where St. Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park • How much Free • More info slam.org
‘Winter Wonderland on Ice’
Solo skaters and synchronized teams from the St. Peters Rec-Plex glide through their original programs on a rink that becomes a winter wonderland. Holiday characters also join in the fun for the whole family.
When 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 5 p.m. Dec. 14 • Where St. Peters Rec-Plex, 5200 Mexico Road, St. Peters • How much $6.50-$9.50 • More info stpetersmo.net
Winterfest at the Arch
Once again, the Blues and the Gateway Arch Park Foundation bring an ice rink to Kiener Plaza for the holidays. And this year’s edition of Winterfest is the longest yet. It will coincide with NHL All-Star Weekend in St. Louis at the end of January.
When Fridays-Sundays, Nov. 23-Jan. 26 • Where Keiner Plaza, 500 Chestnut Street • How much Free; skate rental is $12, $7 for ages 3-15 • More info archpark.org/winterfest