Twinkling lights and beautiful sights

A review of three holiday light displays in the St. Louis area


The Twinkling Tunnel of the Garden Glow invites visitors to take a stroll.

One reporter hits three light spectacles for the sake of the readership.

Hub reviews rate on a five-point scale. A five rating should not be missed, and a one rating is lame.

Tilles Park: Winter Wonderland

The Winter Wonderland is a spectacular display filled with a vast variety of lights in different arrangements.

Hub score: 5

With so many arrangements of lights it’s hard to pick a favorite. There was a long stream of blue lights with fish jumping over and a frog jumping in, a gingerbread house with gingerbread men, a happy holidays sign with a trumpet, and many more. With all the sights on both sides, I constantly kept turning my head to catch full glimpses of it all.

For a little over 20 minutes this grand display keeps visitors in awe as they observe the lights from their vehicle. This light show features a common theme of the winter and holiday season with lights in shapes of all kinds.

Visitors can also take a horse drawn carriage ride through the park, but the carriages tend to travel faster since they have their own lane for traffic and don’t have cars in front of them pausing for pictures. I traveled through the park by car and suggest doing the same because visitors are able to pause briefly and take pictures that way and the ride is slower due to the long line of cars.

This show is great for families and groups of friends. The price for admission is very low for such a display.

Address: 9551 Litzinger Rd. St. Louis, MO 63124.  All vehicular traffic to Winter Wonderland MUST enter from south bound McKnight Road.

Phone: 314-615-8911 to reserve

Hours Nov.27- Jan. 1: 

Vehicular traffic and carriage rides Sunday to Friday: 5:30– 9:30 p.m.

Saturdays are closed to vehicular traffic and reserved for carriage rides only. Closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Admission Fees: (no credit or debit cards accepted)

$10.00 Family vehicle

$20.00 Limousines

$40.00 Commercial transport van

$90.00 Tour bus

No reservations are needed and admission is paid as vehicles exit the park.

Distance from EHS: 20.42 miles

Distance around park: Approximately 1.5 miles


Missouri Botanical Gardens: Garden Glow

The new Garden Glow went above the average LED light show including interactive exhibits.

Hub score: 4

If people would rather walk around than be limited to a car, then the Garden Glow is a great choice. Visitors can walk through the garden on the designated course which is just under a mile or take a unique routes at their leisure visiting favorite parts displays. Of course, visitors must then be prepared for the weather and whatever it brings.

There are 18 creative exhibits along the path and are all unique from one another. The display at the Garden Glow strives to make each exhibit different from the others and in such a unique way that the lights themselves did not need to  portray a holiday theme to appeal to visitors. My favorite moment was the frosted forest of little conifers decked out with purple, pink or green LEDs with a mighty sycamore wrapped entirely in blue lights. So cool!

For people who think that the cold weather is a drawback, hot drinks and s’mores are available for purchase, fire pits and a visit inside the historic Tower Grove House are available to warm up as a part of the Candlelight Village exhibit. The Garden Glow  is a great family attraction but also a great place for couples to go on a date or friends to hangout.

Address: 4344 Shaw Blvd. St. Louis, Mo 63110

Phone: 314-492-4331

Hours Nov. 23 to Dec. 19: 

Wednesday to Sunday, 5:00- 9:00 p.m.

Admission Nov. 23 to Dec. 19:

$16 adults (ages 13 and older)

$12 Botanical Gardens members

$10 children (ages 3 to 12)

$6 Botanical Gardens member children

Hours Dec. 20 to Jan. 4: 

Nightly, 5 to 10 p.m.

Admission Dec. 20 to Jan. 4:

$18 adults (ages 13 and older)

$14 members

$10 children (ages 3 to 12)

$6 member children

Closed Dec. 24, 25 and 31.

Distance from school: 23.65 miles


Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Resort: Santa’s Magical Kingdom

Santa’s Magical Kingdom is an enchanting North Pole experience.

Hub score: 2

From the moment vehicles enter, lights are strung all over trees. A large portion of the show is centered around elves and the North Pole. From dinosaurs and the Arch with colorful fireworks to a nativity scene and cartoon characters Santa’s Magical Kingdom covered a variety of themes. I traveled by car through the park, but I suggest travel by the wagon because the ride offers a full 360-degree obstruction-free view. At the end of the show, however, I was left feeling like there should’ve been more to view for the price of $20.

Young children are sure to enjoy this show and the other opportunities offered like photos with Santa. There is Kringle’s General Store with unique holiday gifts like toys, apparel and decor. Visitors can also buy hot cocoa and coffee and Mrs. Clause’s chocolate chip cookies as well as other drinks and snacks. The wagon and train rides depart from the Kringle’s General Store and  photos with Santa can also be taken inside the store.

For someone old enough to not believe in Santa, the experience required being accompanied by a child still dazzled by the possibility of meeting Santa. So grab a younger sibling or neighbor  to relive the magic at Santa’s Magical Kingdom.

Address: 5300 Fox Creek Rd. Pacific, MO 63069

Phone: 636-938-5925

Hours Nov. 15- Jan.5: 

Friday, Saturday: 5:30- 11:00 p.m.

Sunday to Thursday: 5:30- 10:30 p.m.


$20.00 per family vehicle

$30.00 per limousine, commercial transport van or small bus

Train and wagon rides are also available. For information visit Santa’s Magical Kingdom.

Distance from EHS: 4.24 miles

Distance of course: Approximately 1.4 miles


Each of these shows allow people to spend time with their loved ones specific to the festive season. Incorporate a visit to a light display into Winter Break plans.