5 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays Around Saint Charles


Credit to Madison Abanathie

Christmas lights on the Saint Louis Botanical Garden’s Climatron, during the annual Garden Glow in 2017.

By Madison Abanathie, FHNtoday Managing Editor

The holidays are known for being stressful, from unwanted attention from family to the sheer amount of money spent on gifts for friends and family. In order to get a break from this unwanted stress, here are five different attractions to get your mind into the holiday spirit. A lot of these activities are things to be done as a group, so grab your closest group of friends and get ready to experience the holidays like never before.

Elf and Home Alone Escape Rooms ($28 per person)

  • Escape rooms have been becoming exponentially more popular in the past several years, so why not add a little holiday spirit to them? Mastermind Room Escape has locations in both Saint Louis and Saint Charles, both have the Elf and Home Alone escape rooms. Each location has different themed escape rooms, combined having a total of 10 escape rooms currently, letting each visit provide a unique experience. Each room can fit two to ten people, and each of the holiday escape rooms have a 32 percent escape rate.

Christmas Traditions on Main Street (Free)

  • “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” to walk around Main Street. Filled with characters and carolers, right now is the best time to visit Main Street. It’ll put you right in to the holiday spirit with the uniqueness of it all. The actors do amazing jobs, passing out trading cards of their characters to people as they pass by. At night, Main Street just brightens up, Christmas lights hitting their full effect. Also, since the stores are self-owned, they have more creative licences with their products. If you look in the right place, you could be in for an amazing surprise.

Ride The Polar Express at Union Station (Coach starts at $39)

  • ALLLLL AAAABOARD!!!!! You have to book tickets in advance for this one, but you get the chance to ride the living, breathing Polar Express. Train riders arrive at Saint Louis Union Station, in their pajamas, and ride 45 minutes to the North Pole. $39 is the starting price for a coach ticket and increases in each different seat section, meal packages can be added on as well. Even for the cheapest option, riders still get a: souvenir golden ticket, hot chocolate, cookies and the first gift of Christmas.

Visit the Light Shows Around Town ($10-$20)

  • The light shows that come to mind for me, the Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Gardens and Wild Lights at the Saint Louis Zoo. Even though I’m only discussing two, there are so many different light displays to check out too. Starting with the Garden Glow, it’s one of the best light shows I’ve ever seen. Lights cover every inch of the grounds with s’more pits and hot chocolate booths lining the way, to make up for the cold. The garden is separated into different holiday themed areas, each with their own special group of lights. This is a good place to go to, especially for Instagram pictures. Wild Lights has been nominated as one of the best zoo light displays in the country. That being said, the 4D theater is playing The Polar Express and the carousel is open every night, both for free. The zoo has over a million lights and has several fire pits scattered throughout the zoo, with s’more kits available for purchase. On the weekends, the zoo has live entertainment as well. This outing would be good for any occasion, a date, a night out with friends or family.

Drive Around the Neighborhoods in Saint Charles (Free)

  • This is probably the easiest one, grab some loved ones and crank the Christmas music. Some of the best light displays are going on right in the neighborhoods of Saint Charles. Pick up your group as soon as it gets dark, grab some hot chocolate and just cruise. Driving quickly is not that big of a deal in this case, take your time and just look at the lights. Let the lights calm you especially in the pre or post finals stress.