Saint Louis is a historic city known for its Gateway Arch, riverboats, blues music, and free attractions that draw many visitors each year. If you plan to visit Saint Louis at Christmas, you’ll find that there are plenty of things to do during the holiday season.
Check out these 10 things to do for Christmas in Saint Louis so you can have a wonderful holiday visit to this grand city!
1. Anheuser-Busch Brewery Lights and Clydesdales
Saint Louis is home to Anheuser-Busch, one of the largest and most storied breweries in the US. Famous across the country for its beer brands and the company mascot, its Clydesdale horses, visitors can tour the brewery and visit these horses throughout the year.
When the holidays draw near, the brewery becomes a festive family-friendly gathering place for the community. Locals and tourists will visit to see nearly one million magical lights covering the historic brewery campus.
This free event allows guests to stroll the grounds, go ice skating, roast s’mores over the fire pit, and of course, sample some beer. But a visit here wouldn’t be complete without seeing the brewery’s Clydesdales up close, where guests can snap holiday photos with these famous horses.
2. Sledding on Art Hill
As a midwest city, Christmastime usually brings snowfall to Saint Louis. One of the best ways to feel like a local this holiday is to head over to Art Hill after a snow to do some sledding.
Visitors can find this epic hill in the famous Forest Park, where the 1904 World’s Fair took place.
A relic of that historic fair, the beautiful Saint Louis Art Museum (which is free to visit), sits on top of this hill, making a majestic backdrop for a fun snow day.
Sledding at top speed down this hill will bring lots of joy and laughter and remind you of simpler times. Be sure to stop and ask a local for some restaurant recommendations while catching your breath!
3. Garden Glow at Missouri Botanical Gardens
The Missouri Botanical Garden embraces the holiday spirit each year with Garden Glow. This holiday spectacular draws visitors eager to see over one million Christmas lights throughout the garden’s grounds.
While enjoying this magical stroll, guests can partake in holiday food and drinks, music and festivities, and tons of Christmas photo-ops.
In addition, guests can view the Garden’s popular holiday wreath exhibit (and even bid on a wreath!), visit the historic Tower Grove House adorned in Victorian Christmas decor, and see the Kemper Center’s famous Christmas tree.
4. Steinberg Ice Skating Rink
An annual tradition in Saint Louis, the Steinberg Ice Skating rink opens to the public for ice skating every day during the holidays, even on Christmas Day. Dubbed as the largest outdoor ice skating rink in the Midwest, adding this to your Christmas in Saint Louis itinerary is a must.
Located in Forest Park, you’ll want to consider staying at the historic Chase Park Plaza Hotel nearby. This classy art deco hotel actually has a historic movie theater inside!
5. Holiday Riverboat Cruise
To really appreciate the history and culture of Saint Louis, visitors should take a riverboat cruise along the Mississippi River. Aboard a replica steamboat, guests can experience fantastic views of the city skyline and the famous Gateway Arch.
Over the holidays, guests can go on a special holiday dinner cruise, complete with a fancy dinner and festive drinks, holiday music, and a steamship covered in Christmas lights. Soaking in the city views at night during the holidays is a magical sight!
6. Ted Drewes and Candy Cane Lane
Saint Louis institution Ted Drewes has been providing tasty frozen custard to locals for over 80 years. At Christmastime, people still line up outside for these tasty treats.
Ted Drewes also sells Christmas trees in the parking lot from its own Nova Scotia farms each holiday season. A tradition for 50 years, customers look for “Dottie Trees,” a selection of trees from the lot that are considered Ted Drewes’ finest.
Behind the Ted Drewes Chippewa location is the famous Candy Cane Lane. This row of homes on Murdoch Avenue draws crowds every year for their festive Christmas lights.
Locals and tourists alike will grab frozen custard and then head over to view this local winter wonderland of lights each year.
7. Lafayette Square Holiday Parlor Tour
One of the oldest neighborhoods in Saint Louis, Lafayette Square brings visitors all year to explore its historic homes, shops, and Lafayette Park.
For over 50 years in December, Lafayette Square has hosted its annual Holiday Parlor Tour. Visitors can tour various historic homes decorated in the Christmas splendor of the Victorian era.
This festive celebration also includes a holiday market in fountain plaza and horse-drawn carriage rides. Be sure to visit Park Avenue Coffee for a warm holiday drink or some gooey butter cake, a famous local dessert.
8. Toasted Ravioli for Christmas
If you’re looking for a unique local holiday meal for your Christmas in Saint Louis visit, I recommend visiting the famous Italian-American neighborhood called The Hill.
Full of popular Italian restaurants and markets, visitors and locals will flock to The Hill in December for a fine Italian dinner to celebrate the holiday season.
If you plan to visit, make sure to enjoy some toasted ravioli, arguably Saint Louis’s most iconic local cuisine. Legendarily created in The Hill in the 1940s, you can eat at the 3 restaurants that all claim to have invented it – Charlie Gitto’s, Lombardo’s, and Mama’s On The Hill.
9. Christmas Performances at the Fabulous Fox
Located in the Arts district in midtown Saint Louis, the Fabulous Fox Theatre is a local gem that draws countless visitors each year. Originally built as a grand-style movie palace in the 1920s, the Fabulous Fox now provides live entertainment year-round.
With such beauty that offers regular theatre tours, you’ll want to visit the Fabulous Fox for its holiday performances during your Christmas in Saint Louis trip.
Opulent and classy, the Fox’s Christmas concerts and musicals will put you into the holiday spirit in a grand way.
10. Saint Charles Christmas Traditions Festival
The historic town of Saint Charles, a Saint Louis suburb, hosts its month-long Saint Charles Christmas Traditions Festival each year, bringing thousands of visitors to its downtown neighborhood.
Christmas Shoppers will love the town’s brick-lined streets of festive shops and restaurants.
This free festival has a famous reputation for its plentiful costumed Christmas characters, roasted chestnuts, and other festivities. Be sure to come on a weekend for the Christmas parade!
Did we miss any of your favorite things to do in Saint Louis at Christmas?
Let us know in the comments so we can add more to the list!