Lightening up the holidays


Tiffany Skaggs

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

Despite the 70-degree temperatures, Thanksgiving noted the start of a promising winter holiday season.

“The theme of the holidays puts me in the festive mood and gets me excited for the actual upcoming holiday,” Kaleb Henry (10) said.  

Families and friends have plenty of options to get into the holiday spirit.




The Onstage Dinner Show will be held in the large theater with two shows at 5 p.m. and at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2. The show includes a dinner, silent auction and n Onstage! show choir performance.

The Onstage! Dinner Show will involve rhythmic dancing and singing, all for the price of $20 per ticket.

“We’ll be doing different sets of some old songs that other people might know, and our last set is going to be a more Christmas-based set,” Keylan Kirby (12) said. There’s going to be one Pentatonix medley, and we’re also going to be dancing to Run Run Rudolph by Chuck Berry.Wwe also have in between acts and it’s going to be cool.”




Band will have their annual winter concert with Jazz Band playing first at 2 p.m. and the concert and symphonic bands starting at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10.

“It’s kind of a mix of holiday tunes,especially with Jazz Band with more traditional tunes from several decades,” Cassie Renner, band director, said. “We like that holiday cheer, so we enjoyed putting tunes together. We got some with the concert band, little excerpts from Christmas type movies, “Polar Express” for instance.”

  • Symphonic Winds: Celtic Carol and A Christmas Scrapbook
  • Symphonic Band: Hebraic Rhapsody and Christmas in the Round
  • Jazz Band: Hot Chocolate (from “Polar Express”), Remember Clifford and Night in Tunisia
  • Concert Band: Santa of Seville and Christmas at the Movies

Families can enjoy the band’s renditions of holiday tunes free of charge.

“We’ve spent so many months working on marching band and being outside,” Renner said. “It’s nice to change gears, come back inside and get geared up for the holidays.”



400 Jefferson Drive, St. Louis, MO 63110

Now open to the public, Steinberg Ice Rink offers fun all day, every day. The ice rink is open on holidays including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

“A couple years ago I went there with my family,” Adam Bailey (11) said. “We skated on the rink out there and it was chilly out, but we had a good time. It was a really happy moment because I felt together with my family.”

Steinberg offers family memories at the reasonable price of $7 and $6 skate rentals if needed.



4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110

The Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden offers the experience of holiday light attractions through a garden full of lights which patrons can enjoy on a leisurely stroll. The Botanical Gardens also has restaurant options, toasty snacks and speciality drinks geared towards the holidays.

“It’s cool to have a place you can go to during the Christmas time with anyone to look at pretty lights and do fun activities with like make s’mores,” Shae Katz (11) said. “Even if you just go for a little bit and see all the lights, it’s a cool experience because there’s so much to do.”

While the price of $18 a person is greater than average, there are numerous activities and lights to be seen to encourage a worthwhile stay.



9551 Litzinger Road St. Louis, MO 63124

The Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park takes  cars through a maze of millions of lights too pleasing to the eye to pass up. With the price of $10 per vehicle, it’s a low-budget option for families in need of some holiday cheer.

“Tilles Park was probably one of the coolest, most exciting Christmas events I’ve ever been to because it was just a bunch of decorations,” Avery Hanson (10) said. “We heard about it from friends and after going we established it was a family tradition. It’s probably the greatest thing I’ve ever been to in my whole life.”

With over 200 miles of lights that could stretch all the way from Springfield to St. Louis, Tilles Park Winter Wonderland has enough lights to hold any family over for the holiday season.



4900 Six Flags Rd, Eureka, MO 63025

Newly introduced at Six Flags only last year, Holiday in the Park offers activities and environments geared toward the holidays including s’more making, carolers and millions of lights to set the mood. The rides are still open and running during the holiday season for daring souls to ride  rollercoasters in the dark and cold (?) of December.

“I thought it was a good thing to do with friends because you can walk around, see all the lights, listen to the carolers and buy all kinds of different festive things,” Audrey Rollins (12) said. “It was cold but a lot of fun.”

Although the price may be a little high at $39.99 per person, the full Six Flags experience is still there with added holiday aspects and enough cheer to put a humbug in the mood for the holidays.



5300 Fox Creek Rd, Pacific, MO 63069
Thirty-five acres of lights and a radio station that tells a story and plays music along with the light show means family holiday fun. The Magical Kingdom continues to increase in size and keep the range of lights fresh with new themes every year.

“It was pretty how they added a bunch of new things, including a new half mile of lights and a really cool tunnel of lights,” Jenna Tojo (11) said. “I liked all of the lights. It was very colorful and it’s not that expensive compared to others.”

With Santa’s Magical Kingdom only being $22 per car and right next to Six Flags, it is the closest option for a world full of bright colors.

As December draws near , families and friends have several options to jump into the holidays with affordable prices and memories that last a lifetime.