Some of us may be feeling a little uneasy about all the money we've been spending for the holidays. But, there are still ways to enjoy the season without opening your wallet. There are some great neighborhood Christmas lights in the St. Louis area that are worth a visit. There's no cost to see the neighborhood displays, though some do accept donations of cash, canned goods or toys for local charities.
If you're looking for something bigger, the Way of Lights display at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine in Belleville is free to drive through. The Way of Lights has more than a million lights and is one of the most popular professional Christmas displays in the area. Also, the light displays at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St. Louis and at Horner Park in Lebanon, Illinois, are free as well.
And keep in mind, I've also compiled a list of other free holiday events in the St. Louis area. I keep adding to the list as I find new events, so check back often.
(Photo courtesy of Chris Ipanis)
It looks like the folks at Hidden Valley Ski Resort picked a good time to open for the season. With the freezing temperatures and even a bit of snow on the ground, it certainly feels like skiing weather. So if you're ready to hit the slopes, Hidden Valley opens for the 2013 season on December 14, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Hidden Valley has day and evening skiing seven days a week, with midnight ski sessions on Fridays and Saturdays. The are also special discounts for families on Sunday nights. For lift ticket and ski rental prices, check out the Hidden Valley website.
Augusta is a popular destination during Oktoberfest, but the small town along the Missouri River is also a great place for holiday fun and shopping. On December 13, Augusta is hosting its 31th annual Candlelight Christmas Walk through town. The streets will be glowing with a thousand lights as visitors make their way to dozens of stores for holiday shopping. There are also trolley rides, a scavenger hunt, wine tastings and more. After the Christmas Walk, enjoy dinner at Mount Pleasant Winery.
Candlelight Christmas Walk
Friday, December 13, 2013
5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
The holiday season is a great time to visit Grafton and other communities along the Great River Road. Each year, Grafton celebrates the season with the Holiday Riverwalk. Shops along Main Street will be open and offering deals and free samples. Visitors can also tour many of the area's B&B's all decked out for Christmas. If you are looking to get away from crowded malls and discount stores, consider spending part of your holiday season in Grafton.
Grafton Holiday Riverwalk
December 14-15, 2013
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
More Holiday Events:
Take in a free movie this weekend at local Wehrenberg Theatres. The annual Cans Film Festival is Saturday, December 7, 2013. Bring 5 cans of food to any Wehrenberg Theatre and you can see a movie for free before 5 p.m. If you bring an additional 10 cans (15 total), you'll also get a second pass to see a free movie on another day. All of the food collected goes to the Salvation Army food pantries.
It's that time of year again. The holiday season is here and St. Louis is ready to celebrate with a wide variety of concerts, light displays, events and other activities. There's Gardenland Express at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Way of Lights in Belleville and Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park, to name just a few. Also, I've created a list of the best Free Holiday Celebrations for those of you who don't want to spend any more money.
Here is more more information on other local events:
I will be updating these lists throughout the holiday season, so check back often for new events. If you know of a great holiday event, leave the details in the comments section below. Happy Holidays!
Thousands of St. Louisans will begin their Thanksgiving in downtown St. Louis at the 2013 Ameren Missouri Thanksgiving Day Parade. Watching the parade has been a tradtion for many local families for decades. Dozens of marching bands, floats, balloons and more help kick off the holiday season in St. Louis.
The parade begins at Fourth Street and Washington, then heads down Market Street to 10th Street. If you can't make it downtown, you can watch coverage of the parade live on KMOV Channel 4 from 8:45 a.m. to 11 a.m.
If you're looking for something to do after the parade, check out my article on the St. Louis Area Restaurants, Stores and Attractions Open on Thanksgiving.
St. Louis Thanksgiving Parade
November 28, 2013
Downtown St. Louis
Each year, more and more stores are open for business on Thanksgiving Day. In 2013, many major retailers in St. Louis are open at least part of the day including Macy's, Walmart, KMart, Toys R Us and Old Navy. Some local malls like Mid Rivers, Chesterfield, West County Center, South County Center and St. Clair Square will also open at 8 p.m., on Thanksgiving night. For a complete look at store hours on Thanksgiving Day, see Store Hours on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.
If you don't plan on doing the cooking this Thanksgiving, now is the time to make reservations. There are plenty of St. Louis area restaurants that will be open on Thanksgiving to serve you. The wide variety of options include everything from gourmet, multi-course meals at Harvest and The Ritz, to more affordable, casual fare at Gas House Grill and Uncle Bills. For more information, check out my article on St. Louis Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving.
And so it begins... The holiday season is almost here. Time to shop, take in a light display, eat some good food and hopefully have a little time to relax with the family. I've put together some articles that I hope will help with your holiday planning.
Christmas Light Displays - The St. Louis area has some really nice Christmas light displays, including one that's free. Most open around Thanksgiving.
Holiday Events 2013 - Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa, there's an event for everyone in St. Louis.
Free Holiday Celebrations - Here are ways to celebrate the season without spending money.
There's so much going on in the next couple of months. I'll be writing about as many holiday events as I can. If you know of a great one that I've missed, please leave it in the comment section below.