The cold is not stopping St. Louisans from going to holiday lights


ST. LOUIS, MO – The season of cold is upon us. But we don’t seem to mind if the calendar says December. We happily sing about dashing through the snow and frosted windowpanes.  

“People come out no matter how cold it is out here. They’re driving through in their cars so they are nice and warm and cozy,” says Sgt. Cheryl Fechter, a St. Louis County Park Ranger.  She is talking about visitors to Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park.  

In December, the mean average temperature in St. Louis is 36.5 degrees. Drive-through visitors are one thing but Winter Wonderland walk-through nights have become very popular and open-top carriage rides fill up despite the cold.  

“So, they don’t care how cold it is outside. It is a family tradition,” says Fechter. 

She says there is one type of weather that will really bring out the crowds.  

“It’s more if it snows. Then after that snow, if it stays on the ground, then we’ll have a lot of people come out to see the lights in the snow.” 

Over at the Saint Louis Zoo, final preparations are underway for Wild Lights.  

“It’s a holiday tradition for most families around the St. Louis area,” says Michael Jordan, the Zoo’s Director of Special Events. “And we’re just always ready to have them and excited for them to be here.” 

She admits that, before the pandemic, a mild December night would have brought out spontaneous St. Louisans. 

“Obviously, if it is a 50-degree day in December we get so many more people.  

But with limited reservations, the Zoo says families honor their booking no matter the temperature.  

“So we don’t notice too big of a difference with the cold with Wild Lights,” says Jordan. 

The walk-through only event has seen some very cold nights, but, like with Winter Wonderland, people seem willing to brave whatever comes.  

“There’s something special about it being chilly out and bundling up, roasting a s’more with your family, your significant other.” 

Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park kicks off on November 24 and can be enjoyed by walking, carriage, or car.  The Zoo’s U.S. Bank Wild Lights is open most nights starting November 26 

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