Illinois,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis

Best Christmas Light Displays around St. Louis

One our family’s favorite holiday traditions is to drive around and look at the colorful light displays. Some of these trips are through elaborate set ups in various parks with millions of lights. Other displays are put up by festive homeowners who go all out to celebrate the season. No matter which side of the river you are on, here is a list of some great spots to check out this year.

Lights in Illinois

Rock Springs Park Christmas Wonderland – Alton, IL
More than 4 million lights are on view at this drive through display at Rock Springs Park. View cascading waterfalls of lights and lighted trees and displays. Alton is also home to some beautiful old homes and worth a drive through the historic districts to see the grand homes in full Christmas decorations. (The Middleton Historic District usually does a lighted luminaire event on Christmas Eve. It is unknown at this time if it will occur in 2020. )
Where: 2116 College Ave., Rock Spring Park, Alton, IL 62002
When: Open November 27-December 27, Monday – Friday: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: Suggested donation is $7 per car of $1 per person for vehicles with 10 people or more. Due to COVID there will be no walk through event or Santa this year.

Winter Wonderland – Lebanon, IL
Lebanon’s Horner Park will once again light up with the Christmas Winter Wonderland. This park features a variety of handcrafted cut outs of various holiday characters, thousands of lights, and a huge waving Santa display. New surprises show up each year on this cute and fun display put on entirely by volunteers.
Where: Horner Park, 11109 Widicus Road, Lebanon, Illinois
When: Open November 20th – December 31.
Sunday – Thursday 5 p.m.- 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Cost: Free. Donations are welcome and normally collected upon entering.

Christmas in Carlyle – Carlyle, IL
While the usual fireworks and Santa visit’s are cancelled for this year, Carlyle will still kick off the holiday season with their lighted parade the day after Thanksgiving. That same evening, the beautiful light display will light up city park. We first visited this display last year and our kids loved the animated features and lighted dancing tree display set to music.
Where: 1096 Lake Road, Carlyle, Illinois
When: Parade is November 27th at 6:30 p.m. The light display is open November 27- Jan 3rd, 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Cost: Free. Donations are welcome and normally collected upon entering.

Way of Lights – Belleville, IL
Visiting the Way of Lights at the National Shrine of Our Lady Snows is a yearly annual tradition for many metro-east families. This beautiful drive through display features over one million lights depicting the “Journey to Bethlehem. Additional activites include a Christmas tree display, life size nativity, quilt display, camel rides, petting zoo, Lego display, and more.
Where: The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, 442 S. De Mazenod Drive, Belleville.
When: November 22- December 31.
Indoor Activities: 5 – 9 p.m. nightly, Outdoor Light Display: 5-9 p.m. nightly
Indoor displays are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Cost: Free for light display although donations are welcome. Camel rides are $6, Lego display $5 for anyone 4 and up. Carriage rides are also available for additional charge. Family nights on Tuesdays include discounts on activities.

Bethalto Christmas Village – Bethalto, IL
Bethalto Christmas Village is a free, family-fun event designed to share the Spirit of Christmas throughout the community and region. The Arboretum in Bethalto will have a 1/2 mile path past lighted trees, glass cottages filled with winter scenes, and more. The live nativity will not occur this year due to COVID but this is still a charming and fun display to visit.
Where: E Central St, Bethalto, IL 62010
When: Open daily from 9 am from November 27, 2020, through January 1, 2021.
Cost: Free

Coulterville Holiday Light Display – Coulterville, IL
This small town goes all out for Christmas. Coulterville’s City Park is filled with one million lights, 450 wooden figurines, 15 animated scenes, and a 300-piece ceramic village. Other highlights include a life size Candyland, Frozen ice palace, and Santa’s Playland. This 1/2 mile walk through display will have no-contact character visits each evening, light refreshments, and a goodie bag for the kids.
Where: 102 W Grant St, Coulterville, IL 62237
When: December 3rd – December 27th, Thursdays-Sundays 6-8 p.m.
Cost: Free

American Farm Heritage Museum Christmas Lights Wonderland – Greenville, IL
The American Farm Heritage Museum in Greenville is a great place to visit any time of year to learn about rural history and ride the miniature train. In December, the grounds light up with a beautiful display of light boxes filled with holiday scenes. Additional lights and displays will also fill the pathway of this drive thru event. While normally you can also walk along the path, this year the viewing is by car only. They are planning to have train rides available on Saturdays as well as possible socially distanced Santa visits.
Where: 1395 Museum Ave Greenville, IL
When: November 27th – December 31st, Daily 5-9 p.m.
Cost: Free, but donations welcome

World Wide Technology Raceway Wonderlight’s Christmas – Madison, IL
The largest synchronized light display in the St. Louis area will return to the metro-east this season at World Wide Technology Raceway. The Wonderlight’s Christmas display features more than 1-million lights each moving in sync to Christmas music. The show features things like floating snowflakes, shooting stars, giant dancing trees, and five immersive tunnels of light along a 2 mile drive through path.
Where: 700 Raceway Blvd, Madison, IL
When: November 20th – Jan 3rd. Daily 5-10 p.m.
Cost: $7 per person over age 3 or $30 per carload for up to 7 passengers.

Residential Light Displays

There are several homes throughout the metro-east that put on an impressive displays as well. Make an evening of it to check out these streets.
9 Barbarotto Lane, Maryville IL 62062
119 Pebblebrook Lane, Troy Illinois
55 Woodford Way Collinsville, IL
1904 Pinehurst Ct., Collinsville IL 
122 East Indiana Street, Trenton IL
160 Pine Dale Drive, Swansea IL
53 & 57 Dianne Drive, Belleville IL
You can find an up to date list and map of lights on the St. Louis Holiday Light Hopping site.

Looking for more holiday events around the metro-east? Check out a full list of Christmas activities at Madison County Mom.

Lights in Missouri

Garden Glow at Missouri Botanical Garden – St. Louis, MO
Garden Glow surrounds visitors with a spectacle of dazzling installations and over one million lights. The display features photo opportunities, traditional holiday music and festivities, and delicious food and drinks as the Garden is transformed around into a winter wonderland. Admission also includes a visit to the indoor holiday flower garden and miniature train display.
Where: 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO
When: November 11th – Jan 2nd. Doors open at 5 p.m., last entry at 8:45. Closed Christmas Eve and Day.
Cost: $3-$20 per person. Tickets available online.

Wild Lights at the Zoo – St. Louis, MO
Wild Lights are back this year at the St. Louis Zoo. Take a walk on the wild side past animal themed displays, fun photo opportunities, and over one million lights. A ride on the conservation carousel is included in admission.
Where:1 Government Drive    St. Louis, MO 63110
When: November 27-November 29, December 2-6, December 9-23, December 26-January 2. Two time slots are available each night, 5-6:30 and 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Cost: Monday-Thursday: $9.95/members, $10.95/non-membersFriday-Sunday: $11.95/members, $12.95/non-members
Children under 2 are free. Tickets are available online.

Santa’s Magical KingdomEureka, MO
Santa’s Magical Kingdom is one of the largest light displays in the area. Millions of lights are on view along with a tunnel of dancing lights, model St. Louis Arch, Toy Land, and 300′ tall lighted “waterfall.” Kids can drop off a letter to Santa in the North Pole mailbox. Kris Kringle’s general store will be open this year with a selection of gifts and personalized ornaments.
Where: 5300 Fox Creek Rd, Pacific, MO
When: November 20th – January 10th
5:30 pm to 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday
5:30 pm to 10:30 pm Sunday-Thursday
Cost: $23 per carload, payable when exiting. Admission is cash only, an ATM is available in the general store. Train and wagon rides are also available for $13 person and include admission.

Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park – St. Louis, MO
St. Louis County Parks transforms Tilles Park each holiday season into a Winter Wonderland. One of the most popular displays in the area, visites can view mor than a million twinkling lights, various holiday scenes, a tunnel of lights, a toy factory, holiday bells, a bubbling stream and Santa and his reindeer. The lights can be viewed by car or carriage ride. (The walk through event has been canceled for 2020.)
Where: 5300 Fox Creek Rd, Pacific, MO
When: November 20, 2020 through January 2, 2021 from 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Check the website for exact dates as there are some closed days.
Cost: $10 per carload, payable by cash or check only or by credit card in advance. Carriage ride costs varies by size of the household group and tickets are available online.

Holiday Fun at Grant’s Farm – St. Louis, MO
The Halloween light event at Grant’s Farm was so popular that they are holding their first drive through holiday light display. Guests start their holiday journey with a view of the Clydesdales at Inspiration Hill. Other spots on the drive include a gingerbread village, a winter wonderland and animals all viewed from your car on a 30 minute drive. Vehicles with children will receive a complimentary bag of goodies. Guests may purchase a Family Bundle which includes a photo, beverages, snacks, and merchandise for the kids. 
Where: 10501 Gravois Rd, St. Louis, MO 63123
When: Thursdays-Sundays, Nov. 27-Dec. 31.Closed December 24 & 25.
Cost: $40 per vehicle, reservations required online.

Holiday in the Park at Six Flags – Eureka, MO
Six Flags St. Louis will transform into a winter wonderland this holiday season with over a million colorful lights, carolers performing classic yuletide favorites, personalized meet-and-greets with Santa and his helpers (before Christmas), and everyone’s favorite Looney Tunes characters.
Where: 4900 Six Flags Rd, Eureka, MO
When: Select days November 21 – January 3
Cost: Tickets start at $24.99 for anyone over age 2.

Ameren Missouri Festival of Lights – St. Louis, MO
In collaboration with the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, thousands of lights will shine on Keiner Plaza downtown on Friday and Saturday nights. Visitors can expect a whimsical lighting experience, a fabulous animated projection show, photo ops, and the Salvation Army Tree of Lights.
Where: 500 Chestnut St, St. Louis, MO 
When: Friday and Saturday Nights from November 21 through January 2
Cost: Free

Lots of Lights – St. Charles, MO
Lot of Lights is an amazing display of more than 1.5 million lights and features holograms, lasers, and projection mapping. Visitors can drive through the world’s only drive-through laser tunnel. This drive-through holiday lights installation will be located at the Family Arena.
Where: 500 Chestnut St, St. Louis, MO 
When: Sundays through Thursdays –  5:30pm until 10:00pm
Fridays, Saturdays and Dec 24th Christmas Eve – 5:30pm until 11:00pmNew Years Eve- 5:30pm until 9:30pm
Cost: $25 per car. Food and drink concessions also available.

Holiday Night Lights – Wentzville, MO
The annual Wentzville Holiday Night Lights display is back this year at Rotary Park. Visitors can enjoy a one-mile light display that features large illuminated commercial scenes and tunnels of twinkling lights. On Saturdays visitors can enjoy a visit with Santa inside the Kolb Building which has been transformed into a winter wonderland. A walk through event is planned for Dec 14. Sleigh and carriage rides are also available.
Where: November 27-December 30th 5:30-9:30 p.m. , closed Christmas Day. Open daily for drive through, special dates for carriage and slight rides
When: November 27-December 30th 5:30-9:30 p.m. , closed Christmas Day.
Cost: $10 per car for up to 6 people, $1 for each additional passenger. Online registration is required for carriage and sleigh rides or for walk through event.

Celebration of Lights – O’Fallon, MO
Celebration of Lights is a drive-through holiday light display held at Fort Zumwalt Park. Each scene is designed and funded by local organizations, churches and businesses. Carriage, sleigh and train rides are available on select nights. Visitors can explore by foot during the Holiday Stroll Dec. 7-8. All tickets must be purchased in advance.
Where: 1000 Jessup Lane, O’Fallon, MO
When: November 27 – December 30, 2020, Sunday – Thursday, 6–9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6–10 p.m. Closed Christmas Day. Closed to vehicles November 30, December 7 and December 8.
Cost: $12 per vehicle. Walk through event is $5 per person. Specialty rides are additional cost.

Residential Light Displays

There are a huge amount of festive home to view around St. Louis. Here are a few must sees.

Candy Cane Lane-6500 Block of Murdoch Ave., St. Louis Hills, Mo
6500 Block of Neosho Avenue, St. Louis Hills, MO
4700 Block of Prague Ave., St. Louis Hills, Mo.
9537 Herpel Lane, St. Louis MO
31 Valley Gate Court, Lake St. Louis Mo
403 North Rock Hill Road, Webster Groves, Mo.
958 Kinsale Drive, Manchester Mo
12499 Marine Avenue, Maryland Heights, Mo
1748 Spring Forest Lane, Hazelwood MO.
9211 Laurel Hill, Crestwood Mo
4821 Viento Drive, Oakville, Mo
2546 Pioneer Drive, Oakville, Mo
4600 Byrnesville Road, House Springs, Mo.
788 Spring Crest Court, Fenton, Mo
1387 Green Elm Drive, Fenton, Mo
9 West Lakewood Drive, Fenton, Mo
1533 Westvale Drive, Festus, Mo
9912 Juniper Court, Affton Mo
8121 S. Laclede Station Road, Affton Mo
4008 Healy Court, Affton, Mo
2342 Lee Drive, Arnold, Mo.
2159 Dudler Dr. Arnold MO
128 Excalibur Boulevard, Troy MO
493 Olde Court Road, St. Charles MO
1024 North Duchesne Drive, St. Charles, Mo
3 Elmshadow Court, St. Peters, Mo
1555 Aspen Drive, Florissant, Mo
14805 94th Avenue, Florissant, Mo
19027 Old Manchester Road, Wildwood, Mo
502 Forest Run Drive, Eureka, Mo
1961 Old Gray Summit Road, Pacific, Mo

You can find many more residential displays and a map at Holiday Light Hopping.

Looking for other holiday events around St. Louis? You can find a calendar of upcoming events and a list of places to see Santa at Fun 4 Kids STL.

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