Free family Thanksgiving events in St. Louis 2017
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The season of Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for feasts and gatherings for family and friends in St. Louis. There will be several festive and family-friendly events to enjoy with loved ones in 2017, including the Thanksgiving Day Parade, holiday decorations, light shows, and skating rinks.

2017 Ameren Thanksgiving Day Parade
Nov. 23 @ 8:45 a.m.
Downtown St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63102

The Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature over 130 parade units, including giant helium balloons, musical floats, animals, antique cars and firetrucks, and marching bands. Santa Claus will arrive at the end of the parade. The parade will step off at 7th St. and Market St. and will be broadcast live on KMOV-TV. Kids and adults will have fun at the festive holiday parade.

Winterfest at the Arch
Nov. 18-Jan. 1 @ 2 p.m.
Kiener Plaza, 500 Chestnut St., St. Louis, MO 63102

The family will have fun at the ice-skating rink, getting invigorating fresh air and exercise.  Rink enter will be free and guests will be able to bring their own skates. Skate rentals will be available for $7-$10.

Christmas in St. Louis Festival of Lights
Nov. 18 @ 3 p.m.
Kiener Plaza, St. Louis 63102

The entire family will have fun at the holiday kick-off at the St. Louis Festival of Lights. Ring in the holidays with children’s activities, musical entertainment, and the lighting of the Salvation Arvy’s Tree of Lights, followed by a show of fireworks.

Annual Way of Lights Christmas Display
Nov. 17-Dec. 31 @ 4 p.m.
Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, 442 S. DeMazenod Dr., Belleville, IL 62223

The beautiful light display will focus on the birth of Christ. Indoor activities will be available at 5-9 p.m., except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, & New Year’s Day. The outdoor light display will be open nightly. Family Night Tuesday is a great time to take the kids because discounts will be offered on some activities, such as $1 off on camel rides.

Anheuser Busch Brewery Lights & Ice Rink
Nov. 16-Dec. 30 @ 5 p.m. (Thurs.-Sun.)
Anheuser Busch, 1200 Lynch St., South St. Louis, MO 63118

Take a self-guided walking tour of the Historic Anheuser-Busch Brewery and Pestalozzi Street. Tours will be complimentary and will be open to kids and adults. Beer sampling will for adult guests 21 and over. Snacks, smores, and refreshment will be available for purchase. The Bud Light Ice Rink will be open to guests of all ages. Skate rental will be available for a small donation.

25th Anniversary Victorian Holiday
Nov. 17-19 @ 10 a.m.
221 W. St. Louis St., Lebanon, MO 65536

Visit the old-fashioned Victorian style holiday event, featuring Father Christmas, carolers, madrigal singers, and children’s activities. Kids of all ages will have fun as Father Christmas and his entourage parade on Brickstreet on Nov. 17 at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Lamplighter’s Opening Ceremony. Admission will be free, but there will be fees for some activities, such as horse-drawn carriage rides ($5).

NOT FREE BUT STILL FUN

Gardenland Express & Garden Glow at Missouri Botanic Garden
Nov 18-Jan 1 (closed 12/24-25)
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110

The Gardenland Express is the model train and flower exhibit, featuring model trains winding through a miniature landscape.  The Garden Glow light show will be a Missouri Botanical Garden for the holidays. Take the family a stroll through Garden Glow to see the 600,000 twinkling lights. The Gardenland Express is $5/person or included with admission to Garden Glow. See the website for ticket prices.

U.S. Bank Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo
Nov. 24-Dec. 30 (select nights) @ 5:30 p.m.
St. Louis Zoo, Government Dr., St. Louis, MO 63110

The Zoo will be an enchanting wonderland decorated with over half a million sparkling lights on select nights, offering fun for the family. Wild Nights will feature whimsical displays, live entertainment, storytellers by the fireside, crafts at the Woodland Workshop and more. Tickets will be $9-$10.