Call Newspapers Holiday Guide 2018

Check out our Call Newspapers 2018 Holiday Guide, with everything you can see and do this holiday season in south county and in a few other common holiday travel destinations like Chicago, Branson and Kansas City.

Our guide is so comprehensive this year that we had to split it into two sections, one overall guide with listings by date and this weekend’s many events and one with divisions by category.

First, we’ll highlight some unique events happening this weekend. Kicking off Christmas in style, this weekend, Dec. 1 through 2, there are many opportunities to meet Santa, shop a craft fair, tour some of the loveliest homes in south county for a good cause, attend a play or musical event or attend tonight’s Italian-themed holiday open house at Planthaven Farms in Oakville. All of these opportunities are detailed below.

This list will be updated with any new holiday events. To add your events to the list, email calendar@callnewspapers.com.

Tonight, Thursday, November 29

“Taste of Italy” Holiday Open House

Planthaven Farms (formerly For the Garden by Haefners), 6703 Telegraph Road, Oakville, 5 to 8 p.m. RSVP 314-846-0078. Adult only holiday open house at the new garden shop, featuring a wine tasting sponsored by Truffles Restaurant in Ladue and Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, plus live music by Trio Monoco and tasting of all the shop’s Italian specialty items from Ditalia. Discount with purchases this evening.

Saturday, December 1

Santa is Coming to Affton! 

Santa arrives at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 1 and Dec. 8, stays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. No reservations needed. Santa Claus rides to the Oakland House, 7801 Genesta St. in Affton, on a fire truck from the Affton Fire Protection District. Bring your camera for photos with Santa. Cost is $4.

Breakfast with Santa

Rogers Middle School, 7550 Mackenzie Road, Affton.

Christmas in Crestwood

Festivities start at 11:30 a.m. and run until fireworks at 7 p.m. Kick off Crestwood’s annual Christmas celebration and celebrate its fifth year by meeting Santa at City Hall, 1 Detjen Drive.

Crestwood’s own jolly fat man, also known as “Santa Ted” from the Crestwood mall, is celebrating his 20th year as the Crestwood Santa and will make his grand entrance at 11:30 a.m. on a fire engine to open the doors to City Hall. The first 200 children will receive a fun gift bag full of goodies from local businesses. Families are invited to join in the spirit of the season by bringing nonperishable food items to support the Prince of Peace Food Pantry, and/or bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for School Kids. New this year: All photos with Santa at this event require a prepaid phot package that can be obtained at cityofcrestwood.org. All proceeds from the photo packages benefit Toys for School Kids.

The prepaid photo packages should cut down on the typical long lines to see Santa at the event, organizers believe. Children can also tour the firehouse at the Crestwood Fire Department and meet furry friends to pet and adopt from the Crestwood Animal Shelter, along with enjoying cookies and holiday music.

After hearing all the children’s wish lists, Santa will leave City Hall in a Willy’s Jeepster convertible to make his way to the third annual Christmas in Crestwood Classic Car Show, 2 to 3 p.m. Dec. 1, sponsored and hosted by Fairway Automotive, 8750 Watson Road. Coats, hats and mittens will be collected for Toys for School Kids. Join Santa for fun, food, games and raffles.

At 7 p.m., head to St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, 1420 S. Sappington Road directly across the street from City Hall, for a “fantastic” holiday fireworks display by Brilliant Skies Fireworks. Overflow parking will be available at City Hall.

Saturdays with Santa

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Planthaven Farms (formerly For the Garden by Haefners), 6703 Telegraph Road, Oakville. Optimists tree lot is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends and Monday through Friday, 4 to 8 p.m.

Santa at National Museum of Transportation

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (also Dec. 15, same time)

Museum of Transportation, 3015 Barrett Station Road, Kirkwood.

Bring your camera for free photos. Museum admission of $10 for adults and $5 for children 3 to 12 required.

“The Christmas Skates” play

The Magic House, 516 S. Kirkwood Road, Whitaker Theater at noon and 2:30 p.m. Free with regular museum admission.

As part of the Visiting Artist Series, the Imaginary Theatre Company of the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presents this new musical adaptation of Mary Griggs Van Voorhis’ short story, “The Boy with the Box.”

Sunday, December 2

The Magic House’s Annual Breakfast with Santa

516 S. Kirkwood Road, 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. Same times Sunday, Dec. 9.  

Families can make their morning (or evening) sizzle with a yummy pancake breakfast cooked by a pancake flipper extraordinaire. This isn’t any ordinary pancake breakfast, as children will have the opportunity to catch pancakes tossed through the air by Chris Cakes Catering’s master chef. The children can also have a special photo taken with Santa, enjoy play time in the museum and even make a fun holiday craft to take home. The cost is $20 per person ($15 per person for members of the museum) and includes admission to The Magic House. Reservations can be made online at www.magichouse.org or by calling The Magic House at 314-822-8900. Tickets are sure to sell like hotcakes.

House tours: 

Sunday, December 2

The Lindbergh High School Parent Group will hold its 44th annual Holiday House Tour and Shopping Boutique. The tour is a fundraiser for Lindbergh High, but the boutique and food trucks, located at Dressel Elementary, 10911 Tesson Ferry Road, are free. The boutique is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, click here.

Saturday, December 1

“A Spirited Holiday Past” kicks off Dec. 1 at several historic sites in the area.

In conjunction with the Historic St. Louis’ “A Spirited Holiday Past,” 26 historic houses, museums and privately owned homes around St. Louis are joining together to present a splendid grand tour. Each venue will be decorated with a festive flair and may offer costumed skits, music, other seasonal activities and refreshments.

A Spirited Holiday Past

Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, 7400 Grant Road, 10 a.m.—4 p.m. 

Decorated for the holidays, numerous historic sites and houses in the St. Louis area will open their doors and welcome visitors to gaze back on earlier times. At White Haven, costumed interpreters will present historic skits in various locations at White Haven. Free. No reservations required.

Sappington House “A Spirited Holiday Past”

Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sappington House, 1015 Sappington Road, Crestwood.

Decorated with Christmas greenery, Sappington House is a window to the past where visitors can look back to the early 1800s. Through a whimsical yet historical skit, the costumed Sappingtons will enjoy the joyous season with other St. Louis families. Find the yesteryear connections during a house-to-house regional tour of 26 sites. Holiday treats will be served. $5 for adults and $1 for children.

Candlelight Stroll and Tours of Thornhill Estate, Faust Park

15185 Olive Blvd., Chesterfield. Come experience the beauty of the holiday season at the home of Missouri’s second governor in historic Faust Park on Nov. 30, 6-9 p.m. and Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Explore the customs of a 1860s holiday on this self-guided stroll through the festively adorned rooms with historically dressed docents in attendance. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 per adult and $5 per children ages 4-12 (under 4 are free) using cash or credit cards. Call the Faust Office at 314-615-8328 or visit our website at www.stlouisco.com/Parks to register. Tickets may be purchased at the gate with cash for only $12 per adult and $5 per children ages 4-12 (under 4 are free).

Craft fairs and cookie sales: 

Oakville Tiger Band Fall Craft Fair

Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Oakville High School, 5557 Milburn Road. Free admission, free parking, strollers allowed. If you like craft shows, you will love this one.

Lindbergh Parents Group Holiday Boutique, see above.

Cookie Sale and Mini Holiday Bazaar

Mount Tabor U.C.C, 4205 Watson Road, will have a cookie sale and mini holiday bazaar from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $8.50 per pound.

“Cookies to Go.”

Eden United Church of Christ, 8920 Eden Ave. in Affton, will hold its annual sale of Christmas cookies on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 8 a.m. to noon.

Box your own cookies, sweetbreads and candy. Cost is $8.50/pound. For more information or to donate baked goods, call 314-631-8930. Parking lot behind church.

Lighting contest this weekend:

The annual Holiday Decorating Contest for all of south county will soon be underway, co-sponsored by Call Newspapers, Coldwell Banker Gundaker Realtors-Telegraph and Handyman Hardware. Entrants always come from throughout south county and are awarded based on Most Attractive and Most Creative displays, two winners in each category. Winners will be featured in the Call. Call 314-849-2880 by Dec. 3 to enter.

Concerts:

Christmas at the Cathedral concerts by the St. Louis Archdiocesan Choirs & Orchestra will take place Saturday, Dec.1 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica St. Louis. Ticket prices for the performance are $24, $39 and $49. They are available online at CathedralConcerts.org or by calling 314-533-7662.

Now that this weekend’s many events are out of the way, here’s the main event — your Call Newspapers Holiday Guide 2018:

Ongoing events:

Letters to Santa.

Starting Nov. 22, drop off your letters for Santa in the special mailbox located at the Sunset Hills Community Center, 3915 S. Lindbergh Blvd., 63127. Drop off letters before Dec. 18 and make sure to include a return address, as Santa will send a letter back.

Recycle Christmas lights.

Starting Nov. 22, drop off your old holiday lights at the Sunset Hills Community Center, 3915 S. Lindbergh Blvd., 63127. Lights are being accepted through Jan. 15.

To find the best Christmas light displays in St. Louis, visit http://www.holidaylighthopping.com/. The website is created by Affton resident Laura Thake and her nephew Mitch Miller and lists all the best places to see Christmas lights around south county and the region.

Fifth Annual Crestwood Holiday Tree Decorating Contest

Dec. 1 to Dec. 25.

Celebrate the holidays with this fifth annual event by visiting some of the 120 businesses who are decorating and displaying trees as part of this fun annual event in Crestwood. Rate a business’s tree during your visit and be entered into a weekly drawing for a gift basket chock-full of goodies from Crestwood merchants. By rating the holiday trees, you are helping to choose which businesses will win the “People’s Choice” award. And you could possibly win the $5,000 Grand Prize gift basket.

Our Lady of the Snows Light Display.

Belleville. Enjoy a ride through one of the most beautiful and uniquely designed light displays in the area with over 1.5 million lights.

U.S. Bank Wild Lights at St. Louis Zoo.

A wild arctic wonderland with one million twinkling holiday lights and festive family fun awaits you. You’ll be enchanted by whimsical animal-themed displays throughout the Zoo, including a larger-than-life swan family, towering giraffes, an illuminated penguin colony, and much more. Wild Lights is open from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the following dates:

Wednesday-Sunday, Nov. 28-Dec 2; Wednesday-Sunday, Dec. 5-9; Monday, Dec. 10, is Sensory Night for individuals on the autism spectrum and others who may benefit from a sensory-friendly experience; Nightly, Dec. 12-23; Nightly, Dec. 26-30.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at stlzoo.org/wildlights, or at the door on nights of the event starting at 5:30 p.m. Ticket sales and event entrances will close at 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday: $8/members, $9/non-members. Friday-Sunday: $10/members, $11/non-members. Sensory Night: $8/members, $9/non-members (Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance).

33rd Annual Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park

5:30 to 9:30 p.m., intersection of Litzsinger and McKnight. Nov. 21-Dec. 30. Closed Christmas Eve. 

See over a million twinkling lights in a mile with over 100 display areas of festive scenes and favorite characters as well as a canopy of lights glistening throughout the park. Saturdays are reserved for carriage rides only. Mondays are reserved for Winter Wonderland Walk only. Cost is $10 per family, and carriage rides start at $12 per person plus service charges. Only cash and checks accepted. Carriage tickets can be purchased at MetroTix.com or by calling MetroTix at 314-534-1111.

Brewery Lights at Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Brewery and Tour Center 1200 Lynch St., St. Louis, Mo., 63118.

The brewery is adorned with more than a million holiday lights and dressed up in holiday decorations. Guests are invited to stroll down Pestalozzi Street to revel in holiday cheer and marvel as the brewery is turned into a remarkable holiday experience with something for everyone. Drive-throughs welcomed Monday through Wednesday, dusk to midnight. The Kids Zone, new this year, has a Brewery Express train and nightly screenings of a classic holiday movie on an outdoor big screen.

St. Louis Science Center Science Illuminated

See the holidays in a new light. Wednesdays through Sundays, Nov. 23 to Dec. 30, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Science Center, 5050 Oakland Ave.

This holiday season, the Science Center celebrates the science behind our favorite holiday decorations: lights! This brand new walkthrough experience in the beautiful outdoor Grow gallery presents a holiday lights display that’s never been seen before. Combining leading-edge light technology and science demonstrations, Science Illuminated showcases the science of light. Experience hundreds of thousands of cutting-edge LED lights on display in the outdoor GROW gallery and reflected spectacularly in the GROW Pavilion glass.

Watch Science Demonstrations and experiments.Taste and sip delicious food and drink specials at GROW’s Fermentation Station. See the holiday classic “Santa vs. the Snowman” every day at noon and at 5 p.m. on Science Illuminated nights.

One-time events:

Thursday, Nov. 29

“Taste of Italy” Holiday Open House at Planthaven Farms

(see above for full information)

2018 Boar’s Head Christmas Festival

at Peace Lutheran Church will be held Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 1 and 2 at the church, 737 Barracksview Road. Services on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are at 7:30 p.m. Sunday services will be held at 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Free tickets were offered to the public on a first-come basis starting Nov. 1. Tickets can be obtained by calling the church office at 314-892-5610.

Candlelight Stroll and Tours of Thornhill Estate, Faust Park

15185 Olive Blvd., Chesterfield.

Come experience the beauty of the holiday season at the home of Missouri’s second governor in historic Faust Park on Nov. 30, 6-9 p.m. and Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Explore the customs of a 1860s holiday on this self-guided stroll through the festively adorned rooms with historically dressed docents in attendance. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 per adult and $5 per children ages 4-12 (under 4 are free) using cash or credit cards. Call the Faust Office at 314-615-8328 or visit website at www.stlouisco.com/Parks to register. Tickets may be purchased at the gate with cash for only $12 per adult and $5 per children ages 4-12 (under 4 are free).

“A Christmas Story Live Play at Wildey Theatre”

Nov. 29 and 30, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wildey Theatre, 252 W. Main St., Edwardsville, Illinois, 62025, 618-307-1750.

Back by popular demand, Curtains Up Theater Company presents this family friendly classic that chronicles young Ralphie’s quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. These shows sold out last year, don’t wait to get your tickets. Adult admission is $15, senior admission is $12 and Children 12 and under are $10.

Friday, November 30

Holiday Classic Film Series kicks off at Marcus Theatres

Ronnie’s Cinema, Arnold Cinema, Des Peres Cinema, Chesterfield Cinema, Mid Rivers Cinema, St. Peters, St. Charles Cinema. From Friday, Nov. 30, through Thursday, Dec. 13, participating theatres will bring yuletide favorites back to the big screen for an admission price of just $5 per person. Whether seeing them for the first time or the 100th time, the whole family will agree that movies like “Elf” and “The Polar Express” are even more fun on the big screen. Titles and locations are below. For showtimes and to purchase tickets, visit: www.MarcusTheatres.com/HolidayClassics.

“A Christmas Story Live Play at Wildey Theatre”

in Edwardsville, Illinois (see above Nov. 29 entry for full information)

Saturday, December 1

See above for many events on this day.

Registration deadline for Sunset Hills Our Lady of the Snows trip

(see below under Dec. 11 for information).

Sunday, December 2

See above for many events on this day.

Holiday Decorating Demonstration

Planthaven Farms (formerly For the Garden by Haefners), 6703 Telegraph Road, Oakville, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. RSVP 314-846-0078.

Floral designer Rhonda Moeckel will be on hand to teach you how to design wreaths, make bows and create holiday tablescapes. Check out the Planthaven Facebook page for more details.

Tuesday, December 4

“Charlie Brown” Jazz Lounge with Vince Guaraldi Trio

Listen to music from the holiday classic “Charlie Brown Christmas” and finish writing your Christmas cards or just take a break from the holiday madness at the Oak Bend Branch of the St. Louis County Library, 842 S. Holmes Ave, 63122. The event begins at 2 p.m.

Wednesday, December 5

Polar Express Pajama Party

Join the Oak Bend Branch of the St. Louis County Library, 842 S. Holmes Ave., 63122 for a Polar Express pajama party and a viewing of “The Polar Express,” complete with hot chocolate and snacks at 6 p.m. For children. Visit https://www.slcl.org/events to register.

Santa House, Oakland House

7801 Genesta St., Affton, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Reservations required.

Also Dec. 6 and 7, same times.

Visit Santa at the 42nd annual Santa House in a Victorian parlor. Enjoy a story time and puppet show, visit with Santa, get cookies from Mrs. Claus and shop the craft sale. Bring your camera. Craft items available for purchase. For reservations, call 314-843-7530 and for information call 314-353-2636. Cost is $4 per person.

Thursday, December 6

Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Enterprise Center

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s annual holiday tour “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” hits St. Louis and celebrates 20 years of live performances. This year’s tour is carrying forward the legacy created by the founder of the rock band/orchestra, Paul O’Neill. Tickets are $86.50, $66.50, and $37.The story features founder/composer/lyricist O’Neill’s timeless story of a runaway who finds her way into a mysterious abandoned theater.

Pancakes and PJs with Santa at Rogers Elementary

5:30 to 8 p.m., Rogers Elementary gym/cafeteria

The Rogers Elementary PTO is sponsoring this fourth annual PJs and Pancakes event again this year.

Santa Shoppe and Pictures with Santa at Point Elementary

5 to 9 p.m. To receive multiple pictures on a disk, the cost is $15. Advance registration is required at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050544a5a92ea13-pictures4.  Proceeds go to the Point PTO.

Santa House

Oakland House, 7801 Genesta St., Affton, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Reservations required. See Dec. 5 entry for full information.

Saturday, December 8

Lutheran South Craft Fair at Lutheran South High School

9515 Tesson Ferry Road. The annual Lutheran South Craft Fair is Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Santa Saturday and Holiday Food Drive, Mehlville Fire Protection District, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

MFPD Engine House No. 5, 11020 Mueller Road, Green Park. Meet Santa! See fire trucks! Meet firefighters! A holiday food drive will also be sponsored by the Mehlville Fire Protection District. Canned foods and donations will be accepted through Dec. 20 for Feed My People to help those in need during the holiday season.

On Saturday, Dec. 8, children can meet and have their photograph taken with Santa. Firefighters and paramedics also will be available for photos and will teach children about fire safety. Educational material will be distributed. Parents also may bring their own camera to take photos.

Green Park 15th annual children’s holiday party with Santa

1 to 3 p.m., hosted by the city of Green Park, Green Park City Hall, 11100 Mueller Road, Suite 5 (Officer Blake C. Snyder Community Room).

Green Park residents’ children and grandchildren 12 years of age or younger are invited to attend. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Santa will be dropping by to chat with the boys and girls. There will be crafts, games, snacks and beverages. Bring your camera to take pictures of your child on Santa’s lap. Join in the festivities and make your reservations by contacting City Hall at 314-894-7336.

“Pictures with Santa”

at Re/Max Integrity, 9 to 11 a.m., 4418 S. Lindbergh Blvd., Sunset Hills. Bring your list and enjoy a morning with Santa. Photos will be taken with children of all ages. Enjoy a holiday treat while Santa learns about all your wishes for the holidays.

Living Nativity at St Paul’s UCC Oakville

5508 Telegraph Road. Live animals, music and refreshments. Same event happens Dec. 9.

Holiday Workshop

presented by Oakville High School FCCLA Kids Club. Saturday, Dec. 8, 9:30 to 11:45 a.m., Oakville High School, Room 242.

Gingerbread house and cookie decorating, games, crafts and fun. $30 per child, open to children grades kindergarten through fifth. You must preregister for this event so we have enough supplies. http://sites.google.com/msdr9.org/ohs-fccla/kids-club or contact daughadayj@msdr9.org for more information and to register.

Spreading Warmth: Free Coat Closet and Resource Day

presented by the Mehlville School District counselors and the Rotary Club for needy children in the district. Saturday, Dec. 8, 9 to 11 a.m., Bierbaum Elementary School, 2050 Union Road, Lemay.

Free coats, hats, gloves, book bags, school supplies and hygiene items will be available for Mehlville students in need. Items distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Student and adult must be present to receive item(s). Coat sizes range from child (small) to adult XL. Registration not required. Limit one coat per child. For more information, contact Jennifer Iverson at 314-467-6901 or iversonj@msdr9.org.

Santa and Live Reindeer at National Museum of Transportation

noon to 4 p.m. (also Dec. 22, same time)

Museum of Transportation, 3015 Barrett Station Road, Kirkwood. Bring your camera for free photos. Museum admission of $10 for adults and $5 for children 3 to 12 required.

Sunday, December 9

Skate with Santa

Kennedy Recreation Complex, 3:30 to 5 p.m. Join Santa Claus at the Kennedy Recreation Complex public session and enjoy candy canes, cookies and holiday music. Regular admission and skate rental prices apply.

Living Nativity at St Paul’s UCC Oakville

5508 Telegraph Road. Live animals, music and refreshments.

Santa Is Coming to Crestwood! Spectrum Eyeglass Pictures with Santa noon to 2 p.m. Also Dec. 16, same times

Bring the whole family to visit and have your photos taken with “Santa Ted” at Spectrum Eyeglass Repair, 179 Watson Plaza, Crestwood. Visit the website for more information: spectrumeyeglassrepair.com. Come take your picture with Santa Dec. 15 and 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. and Dec. 9 and 16 from noon to 2 p.m.  All proceeds from picture packages will go to Toys for School Kids. Donated toys are welcome as well. While you’re there, you can shop their unique selection of handmade jewelry and custom-made glass frames.

Choirs to Present “Sounds of the Season” at Jefferson College PACE Series, Hillsboro

In the spirit of the holiday season, the Jefferson College Music Department will present a free choral concert titled “Sounds of the Season” on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 3 p.m. in the Fine Arts Theatre on the Hillsboro campus, 1000 Viking Drive.

The concert is part of Jefferson College’s Performing Arts and Cultural Event (PACE) series and is suitable for all ages. There is no cost to attend. Reservations are not required. Performing groups will include the Chamber Singers, Concert Chorale and Community Chorale.

Monday, December 10

Forder Elementary Skating with Santa

from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Rollercade,11703 Baptist Church Road, 63128. Come join us for a fun night of roller skating with friends and family. Santa will be our special guest and will be available for photos. Families, please bring your cameras to capture photos. $6 per skater includes regular skate rental.

Tuesday, December 11

Sunset Hills Adult Day Trip – Our Lady of the Snows Light Display

Belleville. Enjoy a delicious buffet dinner at the Shrine Restaurant and after dinner enjoy a ride through one of the most beautiful and uniquely designed light displays in the area with over 1.5 million lights. Minimal spaces are available and preregistration is required by Dec. 1. Call the Sunset Hills Community Center for more information at 314-842-7265.

Deadline for registering for Crestwood Sappington House’s day trip to quaint Christmas churches

(see below under Dec. 14)

Friday, December 14

Third annual indoor Christmas light shows

First Baptist Church of Oakville, 6741 Telegraph Road, 7 p.m. Come to see thousands of lights synchronized to music at our light show, which is also presented at the same time Dec. 15, 21 and 22. The lights come to life! Fun for the entire family. Free admission and refreshments. For more information, call Tony of L.A. Design & Computer Services at 314-609-6165.

“Message at Midnight: A One Act Play”

Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, 7400 Grant Road. 2 and 7 p.m. 

It is Christmas Eve of 1864 and as midnight approaches Grant arrives to meet with the President at the White House. This one-act play was commissioned by the park and features Fritz Klein as Lincoln, Pam Brown as Mary Todd Lincoln, and Dennis Rendleman as General Grant. 

‘Twas the Night holiday concert by Gateway Men’s Chorus

Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union Blvd, Saint Louis, 63108.
Dec.14 and 15 – 8 p.m. GMC’s holiday program this year promises a great mix of traditional classics, family favorites, and timeless music of reflection and joy at this special season. Your evening will include popular standards you know by heart, but we also have performances that will pique your interest such as The Prayer, the hilarious Hanukkah in Santa Monica, and of course, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. General Admission – $25 per person. Student/Senior – $20 per person.

Day Trip to Quaint Christmas Churches with Sappington House

Friday, Dec. 14 from 9:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. To Apple Creek churches we go!

By motorcoach, join the tour of country churches adorned in Christmas finery sponsored by historic Sappington House. Enjoy a home-style meal and shop for handmade crafts, wine and fine meats. Cost $65; reservations required; deadline Dec. 11. Call Crestwood Community Center at 314-729-4860 to charge or mail checks payable to “City of Crestwood,” 9245 Whitecliff Park, 63126. Trip is weather permitting. Departure will be from the Community Center at 9:45 a.m.

Saturday, December 15

Sunset Hills Breakfast With Santa, 9  to 11 a.m.

Santa Claus will host a breakfast at the Sunset Hills Community Center, 3939 S. Lindbergh Blvd., and invites you to join him. Breakfast will be provided by Chick-Fil-A Sunset Hills Plaza. After breakfast you will have the opportunity to take pictures with Santa. The cost is $10 per person. Call the Community Center at 314-842-7265 to make reservations. All participants must register before Dec. 12.

Breakfast with Santa

presented by the Mehlville Majorettes and Tiger Twirlers, 8 to 10:30 a.m. in Mehlville High School’s gym, 3200 Lemay Ferry Road. Santa’s special guest will be Miss Missouri, Katelyn Lewis. Join us for breakfast with Santa and enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage from Chris Cakes. Cost is $10 pre-paid per person by Dec. 8 or $15 per person on the day of the event. No cost for children 2 and under. There will be twirling entertainment throughout the morning, and crafts and games will also be available for families to enjoy. Be sure to bring your camera for photos with Santa and with Miss Missouri. We appreciate your support at this holiday fundraiser. Contact Emily Wicks Hawkins with questions at emilyerinwicks@gmail.com or mail your check to her at 9444 Lodge Pole Lane, St. Louis, Mo., 63126.

Pet Pictures with Santa

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pet Supplies Plus, Oakville, presented by the FCCLA of Oakville High School as a fundraiser for Presents for Paws. Students will be collecting monetary donations as well as supplies for the shelters in exchange for the pictures. You will receive an electronic copy of your photo from the photographer. You may also take photos with your own device. For more details, visit the group’s website: https://sites.google.com/msdr9.org/ohs-fccla/home

Third annual indoor Christmas light shows

First Baptist Church of Oakville (see above under Dec. 14 for information)

Sunset Hills Holiday Pet Photo Contest starts.

Through Jan. 15. Residents can submit photos of their pets in holiday gear starting Dec. 15 for the Holiday Pet Photo Contest. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place. Submissions are accepted by snail mail or email. Submit your photo along with your name and contact number to the Community Center at 3915 S. Lindbergh, Sunset Hills, Mo., 63127, or by email to hpyne@sunset-hills.com, Attn: Pet photo contest.

“Message at Midnight: A One Act Play”

Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, 7400 Grant Road. 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

It is Christmas Eve of 1864 and as midnight approaches Grant arrives to meet with the President at the White House. This one-act play was commissioned by the park and features Fritz Klein as Lincoln, Pam Brown as Mary Todd Lincoln, and Dennis Rendleman as General Grant. 

The Sheldon presents “Home for Christmas” with Scott Kennebeck, Emily Truckenbrod & John Powel Walsh

Saturday, Dec. 15 at 11 a.m. in the perfect acoustics of the Sheldon Concert Hall. Tickets are $12 adult/$5 child, and are on sale through MetroTix at 314-534-1111, through The Sheldon’s website at TheSheldon.org, or in person at The Fox Theatre Box Office, 534 N. Grand Blvd. For more information, call The Sheldon at 314-533-9900 or visit TheSheldon.org.

Santa Is Coming to Crestwood! Spectrum Eyeglass Pictures with Santa

5 to 7 p.m. Also Dec. 22, same times

Bring the whole family to visit and have your photos taken with “Santa Ted” at Spectrum Eyeglass Repair, 179 Watson Plaza, Crestwood. Visit the website for more information: spectrumeyeglassrepair.com. Come take your picture with Santa Dec. 15 and 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. and Dec. 9 and 16 from noon to 2 p.m.  All proceeds from picture packages will go to Toys for School Kids. Donated toys are welcome as well. While you’re there, you can shop their unique selection of handmade jewelry and custom-made glass frames.

Santa and Live Reindeer at National Museum of Transportation

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Museum of Transportation, 3015 Barrett Station Road, Kirkwood. Bring your camera for free photos. Museum admission of $10 for adults and $5 for children 3 to 12 required.

Sunday, December 16

Puppy Pics with Santa

The Sunset Hills Community Center, Sunday, Dec. 16, 1 – 3 p.m. Grab your furry friend and head on over to the Sunset Hills Community Center to get their 2018 holiday picture taken! $5 per dog.

“Let Heaven and Nature Sing!” concert by Vita Cantus Chorale (formerly the We Are One Community Choir)

3 p.m. at Rickman Auditorium, 747 Jeffco Blvd. in Arnold. 

The choir is under the direction of Bruce Walker and the accompanist is Johanna Ballou. Featured guest performers will include Seckman Elementary Choir directed by Lauren Honz, Fox Middle School Girls Glee directed by Kevin Nicoletti and the Fox High School Band directed by Thomas Perry. The concert is free, but donations collected will go to support the participating Fox C-6 choirs and band. In addition, nonperishable food items will be collected for the Arnold Food Pantry. Santa and his sleigh will be available for photographs after the concert for a small donation.

Terry Barber to Present Christmas Presence Concert

Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1:30 p.m., Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Motherhouse Chapel, 6400 Minnesota Ave. 75 minutes. No intermission, children under 3 free.

With Kris Pineda, Piano. Amy Greenhalgh, Violin/Viola. Introducing: Tommy Wasiuta (Tap Dancer) and Maggie Kuntz (Musical Theater Award Winner). Back by popular demand, internationally-acclaimed countertenor, Terry Barber will present an intimate holiday concert in one of his favorite acoustic and visual settings. From classics to classical, carols and inspirational popular favorites, audiences have requested this program and can now be filled with joy. Barber will perform selections from his album considered for six Grammy nominations.

Brunch with Santa

Cedar Lake Cellars, 11008 Schreckengast Road in Wright City. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Santa will arrive at 11 a.m. and stay until 2 p.m. 

Reservations are required for the brunch, which is $21.95 per adult, $13.95 for children 12 and under, and free for children five and under.  The Brunch with Santa celebration is one of the few times during the year the winery is open to those younger than 21 years of age.  For reservations or more information, call Cedar Lake Cellars at (636) 745-9500 or visit http://www.cedarlakecellars.com.

Friday, December 21

Third annual indoor Christmas light shows

First Baptist Church of Oakville (see above under Dec. 14 for information)

Saturday, December 22

Third annual indoor Christmas light shows

First Baptist Church of Oakville (see above under Dec. 14 for information)

January 15

Deadline for Sunset Hills Holiday Pet Photo Contest (see above under Dec. 15 for full information)

Donate to good causes:

Mehlville Fire Protection District Holiday Food Drive, Mehlville Fire Protection District, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, and ongoing from Dec. 1 through 20 to benefit Feed My People. MFPD Engine House No. 5, 11020 Mueller Road, Green Park.

St. Louis County Library food drive through Dec. 31. Stop by your local St. Louis County library branch and donate to their holiday food drive benefitting Operation Food Search. The most  needed items are canned meats, fish, vegetables, beans, soup and low/no sugar breakfast cereal. No glass containers or expired items, please. Items are being collected through Dec. 31.

Closures:

Call Newspapers will be closed Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25, for the Christmas holiday, and Monday, Dec. 31, and Tuesday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s Day.

All St. Louis County Library branches will be closed Monday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 25 in observance of Christmas. All branches will close at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, and will be closed Tuesday, Jan. 1, in observance of New Year’s.

Bonus: Our readers are traveling near and far this holiday season, so if you will find yourself traveling around Missouri or to Chicago, read on.

If you’ll be in Branson, you can check out An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City. Be merry and bright as you bask in the glow of dazzling light displays including 1.5 million in hte Christmas in Midtown light spectacular. Enjoy over 6.5 million lights in the “brightest Christmas ever” at the “most illuminated park on Earth.”

If you’re planning a winter break trip to Kansas City this holiday, you may be interested in Great Wolf Lodge’s annual Snowland extravaganza. No reason to be a grinch this year, because from Nov.  24 to Jan. 4, the resort is celebrating all things winter this holiday season complete with daily snow showers in the Grand Lobby, visits from Santa Claus and a life-sized Gingerbread House. Once you’ve had enough of lugging your heavy winter layers around, come relax and warm up in Great Wolf’s indoor waterpark to top off the holiday fun, where it’s always 84 degrees with a 0-percent chance of frost.

If you’re headed up north this holiday season, check out these holiday events in Chicago’s Loop.

Chicago Holiday Guide:

Christkindlmarket

Time: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Date: Nov. 16-Dec. 24
Location: Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.
Cost: Free
Description: Each year, people from all over the world visit the Christkindlmarket. The outdoor market in the Chicago Loop has become so popular and loved that any Chicagoan will tell you that they could not imagine the city without it. The Christkindlmarket is no longer just a German tradition; it has become a Chicago institution. The unique shopping experience, typical German food and drinks, as well as diverse holiday entertainment make the Christkindlmarket Chicago a preferred and popular destination.
Website: http://www.christkindlmarket.com/

Macy’s State Street Holiday Windows

Time: Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Location: Macy’s, 111 N. State St.
Cost: Free
Description: Since the early 1870s, Macy’s has been stunning spectators with its famed holiday window displays and celebratory events. Macy’s was the first store to feature holiday windows created for the pure fun and joy of the season and, with that, began a tradition that still lives on today. Be sure to go inside the store to see the Macy’s Christmas Tree, too!
Website: https://www.macys.com/

Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon

Time: Mon-Thu noon-8 p.m.; Fri noon-10 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Date: Nov. 16-March
Location: Maggie Daley Park, 337 E. Randolph St.
Cost: Free (skate rental $12 Mon-Thu, $14 Fri-Sun and holidays)
Description: In the heart of the Chicago Loop, with the city’s skyline as a backdrop, a ribbon of ice winds through a rolling landscape, providing an ice skating experience unlike any other. The skating ribbon is dramatically different from typical civic ice rinks, creating a multisensory activity that is integrated into the landscape. Skaters can experience “alpine in the city” as they lace up their ice skates and follow a path twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink. Complementing the ribbon are places to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and rent skates.
Website: https://maggiedaleypark.com/things-to-do-see/skating-ribbon/

City of Chicago’s 105th Christmas Tree Lighting

Date: On view through the first week of January.
Location: Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St.
Cost: Free
Description: Topping the list of Chicago traditions is the 105th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. The Christmas Tree will be on view through the first week of January.
Website: www.cityofchicago.org/dcase

Wreathing of the Lions
Location: Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave.
Cost: Free
Description: Join us for the 27th annual Wreathing of the Lions.
Website: https://www.artic.edu/events/4101/27th-annual-wreathing-of-the-lions

Caroling at Cloud Gate (“The Bean”)

Time: 6-7 p.m.
Date: Nov. 30; Dec. 7, 12 and 14
Location: Cloud Gate (“The Bean”) in Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St.
Cost: Free
Description: Bundle up and belt out some holiday classics as local Chicago choral groups lead hundreds of celebrants in song at this iconic work of art in Chicago’s gorgeous Millennium Park.
Website: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/caroling_at_cloudgate.html

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

“A Christmas Carol” at the Goodman Theatre

Time: 2 p.m.; 6:30 p.m.; 7:30 p.m.; 8 p.m. (run time: 2 hours, 15 minutes with one intermission)
Date: Select dates Nov. 17-Dec. 30
Location: The Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.
Cost: $40-119
Description: Goodman Theatre’s classic “A Christmas Carol” is the heartwarming story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s discovery of kindness, compassion and redemption—a must-see Chicago holiday tradition enjoyed by 1.5 million theatergoers for over four decades. “Topnotch performances, spirited song-and-dance numbers” (Newcity), “amazing sets, gorgeous costumes and eye-popping effects” (Chicago Reader) bring to life “the best Christmas story ever told” (Time Out Chicago).
Website: https://www.goodmantheatre.org/carol

The Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Time: 2 p.m.; 7 p.m.
Date: Select dates Dec. 1-30
Location: The Auditorium Theatre, 50 Ida B. Wells Dr.
Cost: $35-174
Description: Journey to Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair with Wheeldon’s holiday masterpiece. Magic is on the horizon for young Marie and her mother, a sculptress creating the iconic Statue of the Republic. As they prepare for their annual holiday celebration, a visit from the charming but mysterious Great Impresario sets off a Christmas Eve dream of whirlwind romance and adventure. Wheeldon’s Nutcracker is a must-see tradition boldly reimagined for a new generation.
Website: http://joffrey.org/nutcracker