St. Louis— The festive season kicked off this weekend with the glow of Christmas lights illuminating St. Louis. Here’s a roundup of displays starting in November, special December events, and family-friendly activities for all to enjoy. 

Hanging Christmas lights is a centuries-old tradition, dating back to the 17th century and gaining widespread popularity in the 19th century. This time-honored practice holds deep religious and cultural significance. 

While candles were once used to illuminate Christmas trees, the invention of electric lights revolutionized the tradition, making it safer and more convenient. 

Viewing Christmas lights has become a social tradition, with people coming together to create displays. Some neighborhoods even organize contests or tours to show off their light arrangements. 

Ameren Missouri Festival of Lights:  

Anheuser-Busch Brewery Lights

  • Downtown St. Louis,  
  • November 18 to December 30. 
  • At this event there are over a million twinkling lights at the 38th annual Brewery Lights at the Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Brewery

Christmas Candelight Walks:  

  • The Historic Daniel Boone Home, Defiance,  
  • December 1 and 2, 8 and 9. 
  • Step into history at The Historic Daniel Boone Home and witness Christmas traditions of the past while strolling through the enchanting village illuminated with thousands of lantern-lit candles. Meet “Daniel and Rebecca Boone” inside the Boone Home as they share memories of winters past. Explore the interior of the home and listen to various storytellers inside buildings across the historic village grounds. 

Christmas Wonderland:  

  • Alton, IL,  
  • November 24 to December 27. 
  • Drive through the park and witness over 4 million lights adorning the surroundings. The Enchanted Forest, where visitors vote for their favorite decorated tree, is back, along with the chance to meet Santa Claus. For those daring the cold, a special walkthrough night is scheduled for November 27, 2023, offering an up-close-and-personal view of the holiday light show. 

Garden Glow

  • Missouri Botanical Garden,  

Grove of Lights

  • 2300 Mill, St Clair, Lost Hill Lake events 
  • December 1 and 2, 16 and 17, 22 and 23. 
  • Experience the Grove of Lights with free hot cocoa, s’mores, face painting, and Santa visits from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Enjoy kids’ activities, shopping at vendor markets, and holiday drinks at the Lost Hill Lake bar.  

Holiday Lights at Grant’s Farm

  • Grants Farm 
  • November 24 to December 30. 
  • This year, enjoy Holiday Lights at Grant’s Farm in four ways: by car, on foot, over a meal, or around the fire. The drive-through option takes you past the Busch family home and through the festive Bauernhof courtyard, decorated with holiday decorations. 

Holiday Night Lights Drive-Thru

  • Rotary Park, Wentzville,  
  • November 24 to December 30; closed December 3, 11, and 25. 
  • Get into the holiday spirit with the annual Wentzville Holiday Night Lights display that is a one-mile light display showcasing large illuminated commercial scenes and enchanting tunnels of twinkling lights. 

Lebanon Winter Wonderland

  • Horner Park, Lebanon, IL,  
  • November 18 to 31. 
  • Lebanon’s Winter Wonderland started in 2008 as “Christmas in the Park” with handmade cutouts and substantial lighted displays. Today, they still feature those original cutouts and displays, along with more. 

O’Fallon Celebration of Lights

  • Fort Zumwalt Park, O’Fallon, MO,  
  • November 24 to December 21. 
  • Celebration of Lights is a festive holiday light display located at Fort Zumwalt Park in O’Fallon, Missouri. Since its inception in 1991, this holiday event draws over 13,000 vehicles annually and hosts more than 10,000 individuals during the Old-Fashioned Holiday Stroll. 

Santa’s Magical Kingdom

U.S. Bank Wild Lights

  • Saint Louis Zoo, Forest Park,  
  • November 24 to December 30. 
  • Explore a 40-foot walk-through lighted tree for a photo opportunity and see the Meet Me in St. Louis display, showcasing a 15-foot arch and a 17-foot steamboat silhouette backdrop. Other displays include the Frosted Forest, Butterfly Grove, Toy Town, Holly Jolly Hangout, Arctic Alley, Twinkling Tunnel, Peppermint Pathway, and Gingerbread Lane. 

Way of Lights

  • National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL,  
  • November 17 to December 31. 
  • The Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows has the annual Way of Lights Christmas display. Since 1970, everyone has been welcome to make it a family tradition. This display highlights the birth of Christ, the true light of the world. 

Whitmire Wonderlights

  • Shaw Nature Reserve, Gray Summit,  
  • December 7 to 9. 
  • Experience a unique chance for a self-guided walk (less than 1 mile) on a winter evening. Discover the art of crafting botanical-inspired luminaries and savor winter treats under the starlight, surrounded by the warm glow of hundreds of luminaries

Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park

  • Tilles Park, Ladue,  
  • November 22 to December 30. 
  • Since 1987, Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park has been a cherished St. Louis area holiday tradition. The lights can be enjoyed from a vehicle every day of the week. 

WonderLight’s Christmas