While you’ll never forget the feeling of finding that new bike/doll house/videogame system under the tree, chances are, your favorite holiday memories involve time spent with family and friends.
Create more memories and strengthen bonds with those you love as you share experiences at Missouri’s myriad holiday festivals and events. From blow-out-the-budget affairs to community happenings, each is an excellent way to avoid a blue Christmas this year.
Holidays at Union Station – Santa Express train rides are a highlight of this event in downtown St. Louis. Other activities include the Elf Academy, where parents and children can work to create toys, and ice-skating and tubing at Glacier Park.
Old Time Christmas – This popular festival at Silver Dollar City in Branson features more than 5 million lights, more than 1,000 decorated trees, holiday parades, thrill rides (weather permitting), great food and drink, and live stage shows.
Christmas Traditions – The streets of downtown St. Charles come alive with appearances by beloved holiday characters and carolers during this multi-week celebration. Don’t miss the Santa Parade and the chance to stop by the Gingerbread Village.
Holiday in the Park - For the first time, Six Flags St. Louis is hosting this family friendly event, which features more than 1 million lights, holiday-themed shows and visits with Santa himself. The event runs select days from Nov. 25-Jan. 1.
A Look at Christmas Past
Le Reveillon – Celebrate a French Christmas in Ste. Genevieve as the Felix Valle State Historic Site shows you what the holidays were like for French settlers in the early 1800s. Traditional foods and music are part of the fun.
A Christmas Celebration at Missouri Town 1855 – The varied customs of English, German and French settlers are celebrated during this day-long festival in Lee’s Summit. Period décor and a visit from Belsnickle (a cantankerous gift-giver from German lore) round out the experience.
Christmas at the Glenn House – Take a post-Thanksgiving tour of this circa 1883 home in Cape Girardeau to get a glimpse into life in the Victorian Era. Candlelight tours are Dec. 9 and Dec. 17.
Christmas on the Farm – Life in the early 19th century is depicted at Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site in Lawson. During this event, you can visit with historic interpreters dressed in period attire, enjoy hot cider and Christmas carols, and help the kids with a craft project.
Downtown Living Windows – A tradition in Jefferson City, Downtown Living Windows features singers and performers who bring to life the storefronts of downtown merchants. Take a hayride and visit with Santa as you sip hot cocoa and stroll the streets of Missouri’s capital.
Carthage Historic Homes Tour and Tea – Historic homes in Carthage are decked out in their holiday best during these special tours, which include stopping for a spot of tea, along with other savory treats, at the Historic 1895 Phelps House. Reservations are required.
Dickens Christmas – Local artists are the featured players during this event in downtown Warrensburg. Take a ride on a horse-drawn wagon, enjoy songs from Christmas carolers, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and the city’s tree-lighting ceremony.