What to do in St. Louis: Holidays 2019

By Suzanne Corbett and STLSportsPage.com Editors

The holidays in the Greater St. Louis Area start out with the Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday Nov 28, 8:45-11:45 in Downtown St. Louis. It will be televised.

Happy thanksgiving with STLSportsPage.com2019 Ameren Thanksgiving Day Parade

Celebrating its 35th year, the 2019 Ameren Thanksgiving Day Parade will step off at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday, November 28 from 20th Street and Market Street and proceed east towards Broadway in Downtown St. Louis. The parade will be broadcast live on KMOV-TV Channel 4, awarded an Emmy for their production of the 2015 parade.

thanksgivingdayparade_0They expect over 130 parade units, including musical floats and displays, giant helium balloon figures, animal units, restored antique cars and firetrucks, and marching bands from around the St. Louis region. As always, Santa Claus will be present to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas at the end of the parade.

After the Thanksgiving Parade, the lights will be twinkling and the halls will be decked with greenery and ribbons. Time to make merry and enjoy the multitude of seasonal events designed to put the ho,ho,ho in the holidays.

Just hop in the car and take off down the road to take a hometown holiday tour.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy.  From dazzling light displays to train rides to the North Pole to  special events, concerts and tours. Don’t forget to sample all those wonderful savory and sweet treats you’ll find such as fire-roasted chestnuts, smore’s or hot chocolate And don’t forget to toast the Santa with that preverbal cup of cheer.

With Christmas and New Year’s only a few weeks away, it’s time to make a list. Not a gift list. Instead a list of sites and events you want to catch before Santa slips back to the North Pole and the 2019 fades away.  That list could get rather long considering all that’s happening in the Lou.

St. CharlesWe will include events being held in all areas around St. Louis, including St. Charles (shown left) which has a lot of annual holiday traditions, including the candlelight reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas onWednesdays & Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 pm.

Folks all around the St. Louis Area are getting ready for “the holidays.”  For St. Louis natives of a certain age December meant going downtown to see the window displays. Famous-Barr had marvelous Christmas decorations many that would move—including trains. Those trains and some of those decorations are available to be seen at the Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood this season. https://tnmot.org/

If you haven’t been to the Museum lately, it’s not ‘your father’s’ museum. Over the years, what many knew as “the Museum of Transport” has grown and kids of all ages will love going out there. They have their Christmas display set up and as a special way to promote it on “Giving Tuesday” The Museum of Transportation gave out thousands of free tickets to local children’s charities—including Rainbows for Kids.

Getting ready for the holidays means Hanukkah for Protzel’s Deli.

“We make special latkes,” said Erica Protzel, who along with her Brother Max Protzel own and run Protzel’s. “I start making them the week or two after Thanskgivig and they are usually ready around December 17-20 in time for Hanukkah.”

Hanukkah Begins at sundown Sunday Dec. 22 and ends Monday night Dec. 30 and people all over St. Louis know about Protzel’s and start placing their orders. Making the latkes is a process.

“I make them and Max fries them, Protzel said. “It’s a two to three-day process because they have to freeze before frying.

She makes the patties and then they have to be frozen before Max fries them.

“I usually make anywhere from 600-700 latkes and they will be gone by Christmas,” she said. As soon as they are made, they sell fast. We sell them fresh after he cooks them. I try and make enough to keep in the freezer after the holidays but it never works out.”

When the latkes at Protzels are gone, they are gone so get your order in.

There are all sorts of on-going events and one-day events, such as the Tenacious Eats “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Dec. 13 benefiting the Siteman Cancer Center Patient Care Fund. Chef Liz of Tenacious Eats does fun events for movie/foodie fans and this event will sell out so check the information in our list to make reservations.

Christmas Cookies are a big part of the holiday. Friends get together and hold cookie parties, kitchens all over smell like cookies at this time of the year.

For a special treat, cupcakes can bring just that touch that say you went the extra mile—and they can make great hostess gifts. Patty Cakes Bakery, right across the river in Highland, IL has long specialized in creating wedding, birthday, bridal shower, anniversary and other special occasion cakes, but recently they added the walk-in cupcake bar.

Pat Jacoby, who owns Patty Cakes has donated incredible cakes for the Rainbows for Kids Gala, so we can attest to her capability with cake making. She started the bakery and now her youngest daughter Chef Leah works with her in the business.

Her shop, which she opened in 1981 could be a holiday destination in itself for someone planning to meet a friend.

“We love having the walk-in customers and do have a couple little tables for sitting,” Jacoby said. “We have plain coffee, soda, and water.”

Now is the time to make your plans for how you will spend New Years Eve. Restaurant owners like Bill Kunz of Highway 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen in Webster Groves are taking orders already.

“We will be having two seatings,” Kunz said. “The first one is for those who just want to go out for a nice dinner and then a second one for those who want to ring in the new year with dinner live music and a midnight toast.”

Here are some events going on in and around St. Louis, please feel free to bring any others to our attention so we can add them:


Garden Glow Missouri Botanical Garden   $3 – $16

NOVEMBER 23-JANUARY 4 (CLOSED DEC. 24, 25) . 5:00 PM TO 10:00 PM

Winter Wonderland Tilles Park  $6

NOVEMBER 22-JANUARY 2 (Closed Christmas Eve)

6:30 PM TO 10:00 PM  Start a new holiday tradition or continue a favorite one at the 34th Annual Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park.

Santa’s Magical Kingdom- Jellystone Park (near Six Flags)

Open EVERY night Nov. 15, 2019- Jan. 5, 2020, including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve to help make fond holiday memories for you and your family.

Hours of Operation 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm Friday and Saturday; 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm Sunday-Thursday.  Admission Fees – One price entertains the entire family!  Admission is CASH ONLY and is paid as you exit the park. An ATM is available inside the General Store.  $23.00 per family car, truck, mini van, up to 8 passenger van, or SUV, $35.00 per limousine, 12 or 15 passenger van, commercial transport van, or small bus.  Click here for Train and Wagon Ride information

Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails! Magic House  $12

NOVEMBER 26, 11:00 AM TO 5:30 PM  All aboard! The world’s most beloved #1 blue engine will roll into The Magic House for exciting fun and adventure

Polar Express Train Ride (Union Station)

NOVEMBER 29- DECEMBER 30 (314) 621-5262. Tickets range from $30 to $84 

The Ameren Missouri Festival of Lights

Started Sat Nov. 23, 4:00 – 8:30 PM Kiener Plaza Park, 500 Chestnut St St. Louis, MO

Wild Lights at the Saint Louis Zoo

Select nights NOVEMBER 29-DECEMBER 30, 5:30 – 8:30 PM Saint Louis Zoo, Government Dr. St. Louis, MO

Holiday Pop & Shop 2019

Sun, 12 – 3 PM Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, 999 N 2nd St. St. Louis, MO

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

NOVEMBER 29, 30 . The Fabulous Fox, 527 N Grand Blvd . St. Louis, MO 

It’s A Wonderful Life- Grandel Theatre

NOVEMBER 17-DECEMBER 15 . Sundays 2 p.m., Fridays 7 p.m., Saturdays 4 p.m. Grandel Theatre. 3610 Grandel Square (MetroPlays.org)

Mercy Holiday Celebration


Powell Hall, 718 N Grand BlvdSt. Louis, MO

Brewery Lights


5 – 10 PM Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Brewery, 1200 Lynch St St. Louis, MO

Christmas Classic Movies at Ronnie’s Theatre:

Dec. 6 – 12

Dr. Seuss How The Grinch Stole Christmas – TICKETS

White Christmas – TICKETS


Dec. 13 – 19

It’s a Wonderful Life – TICKETS

The Polar Express – TICKETS

Christmas Vacation  TICKETS

PJ’s and Pancakes Cruise with Santa Claus

Saturdays, Nov. 23 – Dec. 14, 9 am–11:30 am (Board at 9 am) Gateway Arch Riverboats, 50 S Leonor K Sullivan Blvd St. Louis, MO

Cruise the Mighty Mississippi on a replica paddlewheel. Come dressed in your favorite PJs and leave the cooking to them. Your family will enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet, holiday activities, unique views of downtown and the Gateway Arch, and a photo with Santa.

Way of Lights: Now through January 1 

Our Lady of Snows The Way of Lights marks its 50th anniversary with its shimmering white light display, which focuses on the birth of Christ. Plan to park and tour the ground and enjoy the optional crafts, displays, programs. Don’t miss the life-size Nativity made of Legos or the chance to take camel ride.

St. Charles Christmas Traditions: now – December 24 

Celebrating its 45th year, St. Charles Christmas Traditions takes over Main Street with a variety of events, including carolers, street vending chestnut roasters and 50 historic and international Santas.  Wednesdays and Fridays from 6 – 9 p.m. at the KATY Depot is Krampus Karnival.

Steinberg Ice Skating 400 Jefferson Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110 SteinbergSkatingRink.com


Hip Hop Nutcracker- $25-65 . NOVEMBER 26, 7:30 PM

A holiday mash-up for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is back and better than ever.

A Spirited Holiday Past: December 7 

Twenty-seven historic sites, museums, and privately-owned homes are once again joining together to present a grand holiday tour.  Each venue will be decorated in a festive flair and serving refreshments. Many sites will also have special entertainment, whether it be a costumed skit, music, or seasonal activity.  A few of the sites included are The Thomas Sappington House, The Filed Museum and White Haven.

Christmas at the Cathedral- Concert at Cathedral Basilica

DECEMBER 7, 8 Christmas classics old and new.

Ambassadors of Harmony Christmas Concert  Touhill Performing Arts. UMSL Campus

Sounds of the Season 2019 

Each December, the Ambassadors of Harmony present one of the best attended holiday choral programs of the season. The show promises to warm your hearts and lift your spirits. Dec. 13 at 8 p.m., Dec. 14 at 2 and 8 p.m., Dec. 15 at 2 and 7 p.m.

VENUE: Touhill Performing Arts Center, UMSL campus. You can also call the Touhill ticket office at 314-516-4949.

Dec. 13 “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Dinner and a MovieTenacious Eats presents “The Nightmare Before Christmas” benefiting the Siteman Cancer Center Patient Care Fund. Friday, December 13th, doors open at 6:30pm. The festive “movies-for-foodies” event will certainly get you in the Christmas spirit and takes place at the Mahler Ballroom located at 4915 Washington Blvd.  Tickets are $75 per person and include five courses themed to the film, beer by Urban Chestnut, plus two other seasonal cocktails, live music by Coco Rico, movie trivia, prizes and a silent auction.  KMOX Radio’s Debbie Monterrey will serve as emcee. Tix available at BrownPaperTickets.com.

Dec 19- The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical

DECEMBER 19 Thu, 7 PM Stifel Theatre, 1400 Market SSt. Louis, MO

 Dec. 26- Trans Siberian Orchestra

Holiday Concerts – 3 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

Enterprise Center $80 tickets


Highway 61 Roadhouse & Kitchen- New Year’s Eve Party

First Seating 6-8. $29.    Second Seating. 7:30-12:30. $39 (Starting at 8:30 live music from Dave and Them) . (314) 968-0061

Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruise

As the clock strikes 12, you can cruise along the Mississippi River during the Gateway Arch Riverboat New Year’s Eve Cruise. There will be dinner, music, an open bar and a Champagne toast.

Orlando’s Event and Conference Centers

Orlando’s Annual New Year’s Eve Bash will be at their South County location at 4300 Hoffmeister Ave, St. Louis, MO 63125. Guests will enjoy a prime rib buffet dinner, open bar, entertainment, midnight champagne toast and party favors from 7:30 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Orlando’s is partnering with South County Holiday Inn (Lindbergh location) for discounted rooms and complimentary shuttle service. Please call ( 314)892-3600 for reservations before 12/30/18.

Bissell Mansion

A final performance of the comedy-mystery “A Christmas Sleigh-ing,” will take place on Mon. Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. at Bissell Mansion Restaurant and Dinner Theatre.

Magic House

New Year’s revelers of all ages (even those with a bedtime!) are invited to ring in the new year a little bit early with a special Noontime New Year’s Eve celebration at The Magic House on December 31 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Kids can dance the day away to some rockin’ tunes and participate in a variety of traditional festivities including making their own noisemakers, posing with fun props and 2019-themed accessories at a photo booth and participating in an exciting countdown to the new year! Noontime New Year’s Eve activities are free with Museum admission and no reservations are required.