St. Louis is a great place to be a kid – and a great place for grandparents to take their grandkids out for a bit of winter fun. Whether your grandkids are coming in for a visit from out of town, or live down the street, there’s plenty to see and do this December to stay active and take in the festivities that St. Louis has to offer.
Here are our favorite picks for kid-friendly activities this holiday season in St. Louis:
Gardenland Express Holiday Flower Train and Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanic Gardens
The Missouri Botanical Gardens holds its perennial holiday favorite, the Gardenland Express Holiday Flower Train, through January 3. With 900 feet of track, kids will love following the G-scale trains as they make their way through the gorgeous display of flowers. With festive decorations and poinsettias galore, this is a classic favorite for St. Louis families. Missouri Botanical Garden members enter free. For an extra special night, treat your grandkids to Garden Glow, which runs through January 6. On these evenings, there will be food, traditional holiday music, and unique light sculpture displays! For more information and tickets, www.missouribotanicalcarden.org
Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park
For the past 30 years, Tilles Park transforms into a winter wonderland in December, with a display of festive lights. This year, the display is open until January 2, daily from 5:30 to 9:30pm. Horse-drawn carriage rides add an extra element of magic to the event; on Saturdays, take a ride through the Winter Wonderland when the display is reserved only for carriages. For more information, visit http://www.stlouisco.com/parksandrecreation/thingstodo/winterwonderland
It’s one thing to build a gingerbread house with your grandkids – but what about walking through a town full of gingerbread houses? For the past 20 years, nearby Belleville, Illinois transforms four blocks of Main Street into a veritable town of gingerbread! Storefronts display their finest gingerbread houses – and the walk is jam packed with holiday festivity, snacks, and gifts. Take a stroll with your grandkids and check out the creative decorations. For more, visit http://cityguide.sheknows.com/directory/st-louis-mo/gingerbread-walk
Santa’s Magical Kingdom at Jellystone Park
Santa’s Magical Kingdom is an annual family favorite, and has been voted Best Holiday Light Display and Best Family Holiday Attraction in St. Louis. With lit-up animatronic characters, an old-fashioned wagon ride, the Santa Express Train, thousands of glittering holiday lights, flying reindeer, busy elves, a toyland, and gingerbread houses, your little ones will be enchanted with the holiday festivities here. At Kringle’s Store, you’ll find hot cocoa and Ms. Claus’s famous chocolate chip cookies – it’s her own secret recipe! For more information, visit http://santasmagicalkingdom.com/
Ice Skating in Forest Park and Skiing at Hidden Valley
Even though it’s cold out, there’s no reason to stay cooped up! Get some of that fresh winter air while ice skating in Forest Park or skiing at Hidden Valley – no snow required for either. Steinberg Skating Rink in Forest Park is the largest in the Midwest, complete with a café with snacks and hot drinks, and a fire to warm up after skating. Meanwhile, Hidden Valley makes their own snow for skiers with a series of different trails for all ability levels. Because the snow isn’t real, you won’t get too cold! Seven ski lifts take you and your grandkids over 30 acres of fun. For more information, visit http://www.steinbergskatingrink.com/ and http://www.hiddenvalleyski.com/
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