You know it's Christmas time at the Missouri Botanical Garden
when the annual Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show opens. The show is one of the most popular Christmas events at the Garden for visitors of all ages.
When and Where:
The Gardenland Express opens each year around Thanksgiving and closes in early January. This year's show runs from November 21, 2012, through January 1, 2013. It's open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Orthwein Floral Display Hall. The show closes early at 4 p.m., on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. It's also closed on Christmas Day. Admission is $5 a person, but Garden members get in free.
What You'll See:
The Gardenland Express is a miniature holiday scene filled with plants, flowers and other decorations. At the same time, miniature trains travel along 900 feet of track through the wintery display. Each year the show has a different theme. In 2012, the theme is "Merry Botanical Traditions" featuring holiday plants, seasonal scenes and a fairy tale cottage. This year's display also has something a little extra. It showcases silk flowers from the Chinese Lantern Festival held over the summer.
More Christmas at the Garden:
The Gardenland Express isn't the only way to enjoy Christmas at the Missouri Botanical Garden. There's also Victorian Christmas at Tower Grove House
. Visitors can see Garden founder Henry Shaw's house decked out for the holidays. Tower Grove House is beautiful any time of the year, but it really shines during the Christmas season. The house is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is also storytelling for children at the house on Saturday at 11 a.m. Tours of Tower Grove House are included with the price of Garden admission.
For those who want to take home a bit of Garden beauty with them, there's the Holiday Wreath Auction. Local floral designers create dozens of holiday wreaths for display at the Ridgway Center. Visitors can bid on the wreaths through a silent auction during the holiday season. Money raised goes to the Garden and its outreach programs.
Other Holiday Events:
The Missouri Botanical Garden is worth visiting during the holiday season, and so are many other St. Louis area attractions. The St. Louis Zoo, Magic House, Fox Theatre and many others host special events during the holidays. For more information check out my Guide to the Holidays in St. Louis
. For those who love Christmas light displays like Winter Wonderland, the Way of Lights and Santa's Magical Kingdom, see Top Holiday Light Displays in the St. Louis Area