For first time ever, Grant’s Farm debuts a drive-thru Holiday Fun Experience

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By Gloria Lloyd, News Editor

Grant’s Farm is now selling tickets for its first-ever Holiday Fun Experience, a Christmas lights drive-thru experience similar to the Halloween Drive-Thru Experience the South County attraction debuted in October. The new holiday event kicks off Nov. 27 through Dec. 31.

Anheuser-Busch will also be debuting the first-ever drive-thru attraction at Warm Springs Ranch, the ranch in Boonville where most of its famous Clydesdales live. The Holiday Lights celebration will run from Nov. 27 to Dec. 30.

Tickets for the Holiday Fun Experience are $40 per vehicle, with the opportunity to purchase additional packages in advance online. Due to the nature of the experience, buses and RVs will not be allowed. Reservations are required and can be made ahead of time online at www.grantsfarm.com.

The Grant’s Farm Holiday Fun Experience is open every Thursday through Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m. from Nov. 27 through Dec. 31, with special openings Dec. 21-23 and Dec. 28-30. The Farm will be closed Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

To sweeten the Grant’s Farm experience, vehicles with children will receive complimentary candy canes. Guests can also make their visit even more special by purchasing the Family “Fa-La-La” Bundle for $40 which includes a photo, beverages, snacks and special goodies for the kids.

Tickets for the Warm Springs Ranch Holiday Lights will cost $20 per vehicle. Attendees at Warm Springs Ranch can upgrade to a bundle that includes a Clydesdale plush for an extra $10, a Clydesdale plush and one ornament for $20 or a Clydesdale plush, ornament and a dalmation plush for $30. Reservations are required and can be made ahead of time online at www.warmspringsranch.com. Hours for the experience are 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 27 through Dec. 30, Dec. 21-23 and Dec. 28-30. Warm Springs Ranch is located at 25270 State Highway 98 in Boonville, Missouri, 65233 — two hours from South County.

“Our Halloween Drive-Thru Experience was a huge success, selling out in record time and providing a safe, fun way for families to celebrate Halloween. We wanted to continue the seasonal excitement for guests from St. Louis and the surrounding region by inviting them to experience the magic of Grant’s Farm during the holidays,” said Jeff Knapper, director of heritage at Anheuser-Busch. “During the Holiday Fun Experience, guests will be able to drive through the property and, for the first time ever, enjoy the amazing scenery at Grant’s Farm all decked out for the holidays.” 

The Halloween Experience was the first time the public could drive through Grant’s Farm, and the Holiday Fun Experience is another opportunity to do something few have ever gotten to do.

No one’s ever driven through Grant’s Farm since 1954 when we opened it to the public and it just made sense this year,” Knapper told The Call.  

Visitors in four-wheel family sleighs, also known as cars, will kick off the Holiday Fun Experience with a view of Inspiration Hill, complete with a picture-perfect scene of the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales.

Next, they will enter the Grant’s Farm Tiergarten, which will be decorated as a Gingerbread Village. Once there, guests can view a wide range of animals such as Cheviot sheep, yaks, camels and llamas.

Finally, guests will drive through Deer Park, which will be transformed into a winter wonderland with light-up snowflakes and a larger-than-life tree of pixel lights dancing along with festive music. During the experience, guests can tune into cheerful holiday music playing on the radio and twinkle into the night as they witness the unique light display from the comfort of their own vehicle.

If inclement weather occurs during the event, the Holiday Fun Experience will be closed for that evening and guests will receive a full refund for their booking. Tickets will be available Monday through Wednesday on Dec. 21 through 23 and Dec. 28 through 30 from 5 to 10 p.m. as Grant’s Farm will be closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Visiting Grant’s Farm has been a beloved St. Louis tradition since it first opened to the public in 1954. The attraction, operated by Anheuser-Busch, is home to approximately 1,000 animals, including bison, camels, zebra, Budweiser Clydesdales, goats, deer and many more. Grant’s Farm offers family-friendly activities such as tram rides, Budweiser Clydesdales tours, and live animal shows. 

Grant’s Farm has stayed closed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the exception of the drive-thru experiences.

“Once we got into early summer and mid-summer, we just decided that we were going to continue spending a lot of time doing maintenance and recrafting some of our animal experiences and working on a lot of preparation for the upcoming season — we went into designing and planning and activating that,” Knapper said of the decision to stay closed.

The drive-thru experiences require very little interaction between Grant’s Farm workers and the attendees inside the car, since tickets are sold online. That makes the event a safe alternative to other holiday activities even as coronavirus cases rise in St. Louis County and the state.

Ahead of the Halloween Fun Experience, Knapper said, “We’re excited to do it for the St. Louis community, we’re excited to do it for the kids and the parents, give everybody something to do from the safety of their own car. I think everybody’s ready to get to doing things and have something fun and exciting to do.”

But there will be one Grant’s Farm tradition missing: Free beer. Since the drive-thru experience happens in the car with people driving, parents will not be provided with free beer as they would if Grant’s Farm were open.

“Responsibility matters here at Anheuser-Busch,” Knapper said.