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What to do this weekend in St. Louis

Grab A Meal–Or Tea–With Santa In St. Louis

Breakfast with Santa at the Magic House St. Louis Children's MuseumThere are plenty of opportunities for families to catch a meal with Santa in St. Louis this holiday season. Here’s a sampling of what’s available:

  • Supper with Santa at the Butterfly House (Saturdays & Sundays) December 5-20, 2015. Santa is stopping by the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Faust Park December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20) where children and their families can enjoy a pasta dinner, complete with cookie decorating and hot cocoa. Also available: Night strolls through the Tropical Conservatory. Santa’s Workshop stations will offer children the chance to make fun crafts, including keepsake ornaments and act silly in the photo booth. Souvenir pictures will be taken with the guest of honor – Santa. Reservations required. Admission is $20 for the general public; $15 Garden members and their children; free for children 12 months and younger. The event will be from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Teddy Bear Tea, 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, December 5 and 6 at Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. It’s  a festive afternoon of storytelling, face painting and caroling with hot cocoa, tea, selection of mini-sandwiches and pastries, and a special gingerbread cookie-decorating station. Guests are encouraged to bring a teddy bear to donate to Friends of Kids with Cancer. All seatings begin at 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. For reservations, call 314-719-1433.
  • Breakfast with Santa at the Hard Rock Cafe St. Louis, 9-11 a.m., Sunday, December 6 at the Hard Rock Cafe St. Louis. Enjoy breakfast with Santa with reserved seating and a buffet style breakfast. Santa will be accompanied by his “Singing Elves,” The Hard Rock will be decorated for the holidays and will play holiday music as Santa visits every table. Each child will have the chance to have his/her picture taken with Santa. Kids will also be given a party bag filled with rockin’ holiday goodies to take home. Reservations are required. Call (314) 621-7625 and ask for sales.
  • Breakfast with Santa at The Magic House, 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., Sunday, December 6. Pancake flipper extraordinaire Chris Cakes Catering’s master chef will flip pancakes through the air for a special kids breakfast at the Magic House with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Activities include playtime in the Museum and a chance  to make a fun holiday craft to take home. Reservations are required. Admission is $20 per person for non-members; $15 per person for members.   Call 314-822-8900 for more information.

Top 6 Holiday FREE + Cheap Things To Do This Weekend In St. Louis

So many great FREE and cheap holiday activities this weekend and so little time!

Here’s our pick of the top 6 holiday-related things to do in the Lou this weekend:


Grinchmas on South Grand On Saturday

Grinchmas on St. Louis' South GrandThe Grinch will arrive in St. Louis’ South Grand neighborhood on Saturday, December 5 for “Grinchmas” to spread holiday cheer and joy and raise funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The Grinch will be  at South Grand’s Ritz Park at 3147-3149 S. Grand Blvd. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For a $7 donation to the hospital, participants can get their photo taken with the Grinch. Those who bring a toy donation for the children at Shriners Hospitals for Children can get a photo taken for only $5.

Clowns from Moolah Shriners will also be on hand to provide free face-painting and balloon animals. Photomaton a unique photo booth, will partner with South Grand this year to do Grinch photos.

Specials offered throughout the South Grand Business District, and The Vine Cafe will donate 5% of its sales that day to the Shriners Hospital for Children!

Specials to those who show their photo with the Grinch:

  • Bali Cargo Company of St. Louis, 10% off your purchase
  • City Diner (South Grand), free appetizer with purchase of two entrees
  • Lulu’s Local Eatery, 25% off your purchase
  • Mangia Italiano, free appetizer with purchase of two entrees
  • Parsimonia Vintage, 15% off entire purchase (non-consignment items)
  • Rooster South Grand, free hot chocolate with purchase as well as 10% of purchase will be donated to the Shriners Hospital for Children
  • T-Mobile (South Grand), 15% off any accessory and free activation on any line
  • Tower Grove Creamery, 20% off yogurt
  • Zee Bee Market,  10% of your purchase

Street parking is available, as well as a free parking lot located at 3500 Hartford provided by the business district.


The St. Louis Children’s Choirs Holiday Concert 2015

St. Louis Children's ChoirsSix ensembles of talented young singers—ages 6 to 18—of The St. Louis Children’s Choirs will perform Christmas carols and holiday favorites old and new at the St. Louis Children’s Choirs Holiday Concert 2015 at 2 p.m., Saturday, December 5 at Powell Symphony Hall.

Professional instrumentalists will collaborate with the young singers and there’ll be a moving candlelight processional. The concert finale includes all 450 young voices filling the hall.

Tickets begin at $20 and can be purchased online at

Powell Symphony Hall is in the Grand Center Entertainment District.

International Institute of St. Louis’ Holiday Bazaar

International Institute of St. Louis' Holiday BazaarHere’s your chance to make sure those gifts under the tree are unique–shop the International Institute of St. Louis’ Holiday Bazaar this weekend.

The bazaar will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, December 5 at the International Institute’s gym at 3401 Arsenal St., St. Louis.

Admission is FREE but you can support the Institute by donating $5 for a raffle ticket. For more information, call 314-773-9090.

Happy Holidays • Felices Fiestas • Joyeuses Fêtes • Eid Wanaagsan • Frohe Feiertage • Sretan Praznik • Buone Feste

FREE: Wonderful Winter At Saint Louis Art Museum Family Sunday

Wonderful Winter at Saint Louis Art MuseumFamilies can enjoy FREE hands-on wintery art activities as part of the Saint Louis Art Museum‘s Family Sunday program, Wonderful Winter from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, December 6.

Also included: a  lively 30-minute family tour through the galleries. The family tour leaves at 2:30 p.m.

The program repeats on Sunday, December 20.

The Saint Louis Art Museum is located in Forest Park at One Fine Arts Drive.

Saint Louis Zoo To Celebrate Cheetah Day With Activities

Cheetah, photo by Ray Meibaum, Saint Louis Zoo

Cheetah, photo by Ray Meibaum, Saint Louis Zoo

The Saint Louis Zoo will celebrate cheetahs on International Cheetah Day, Friday, December 4, and visitors can join in with activities for all ages.

Participants in International Cheetah Day will be able to:

  • Create their own cheetah mask, see if they can run as fast as a cheetah, and learn all about cheetah care and conservation programs from zookeepers.
  • Visit the cheetahs at River’s Edge (weather permitting) and step into the African Schoolhouse where Zoo educators will show biofacts and share hands-on activities about these amazing animals.

The fun happens from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at River’s Edge, African schoolhouse across from the cheetah habitat. The Living World will be the event site in case of inclement weather.

The zoo says Cheetahs are in trouble in the wild. In the last century, the cheetah population has declined from 100,000 to fewer than 10,000 individuals, while the species has become extinct in at least 13 countries.

From a zoo press release:

The Saint Louis Zoo is a leader in cheetah research and captive breeding. Unlike other big cats, the cheetah has very different breeding and behavioral needs. What began as an interest in discovering what makes these animals so selective in mate choice has now become an international cooperative effort to link captive breeding programs with research and protection in cheetah range countries.

Since 1974, when the Saint Louis Zoo opened the Cheetah Survival Center, a facility for research and captive breeding, the Zoo’s cheetah breeding program has successfully raised more than 35 captive-bred offspring. The Zoo coordinates its cheetah breeding efforts with other North American zoos as part of the Species Survival Plan® (SSP). These animals may provide assurance for wild populations in the future.

In the wild, the Zoo’s WildCare Institute Center for Conservation of Carnivores in Africa is focused on developing an effective cheetah census technique, efforts to reduce human/cheetah/livestock conflict, conservation of cheetahs outside protected areas, veterinary and health issues and education programs related to cheetah conservation in Africa. The Center has expanded its census and monitoring efforts to include all 35 carnivore species in Tanzania. In addition, the Center is teaming up with researchers in Kenya, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa to promote the conservation of cheetahs through research, awareness and community participation in these range countries.


Pet-acular Holiday Bazaar at Purina Farms With Kids’ Craft Corner, Breakfast With Santa, More

Visitors can shop, celebrate and commemorate the season at a kid-and dog-friendly festival at Purina Farms in Gray Summit near St. Louis from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, 13.

Admission and parking are FREE.

The event will include:

  • Santa Paws photos for kids and dogs ($5 charge)
  • Unique holiday gifts from more than 20 local vendors at Vendors Village
  • Canine flying disc demonstrations
  • Duck herding demonstrations
  • Games and activities for kids and dogs
  • Local animal welfare organizations  will be on hand with adoptable pets
  • Kids craft corner ($5; children two and under FREE)–kids can design an ornament, decorate a cookie & other fun projects. A portion of the proceeds will benefit animal welfare organizations at the event.
  • Breakfast & craft workshop with Santa (by St. Louis Sprout & About) 9:30-11 a.m. daily. (Tickets must be pre-purchased at Walk-ins not accepted; bring a camera for a Santa photos.)

Purina Farms is 10 minutes west of Six Flags on I-44.


Santa Parade, Santa House, More In Downtown Belleville Fri., Nov. 27

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 12.32.10 AMBelleville, Illinois kicks off the 2015 holiday season with the Optimist Club of Belleville Santa Parade at 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 27.

The parade route will begin at 17th and Main Street and will proceed east on Main Street to Forest Avenue.

Singalong & lighting of the fountain

Also on Friday, at 6 p.m. are a sing-a-long and official lighting of the fountain at the Santa House on the Square in downtown Belleville.

Optimist Club of Belleville Santa’a House

Kids can visit Santa’s House in downtown Belleville, IL starting Friday November 27 after the Santa Parade through Christmas Eve December 24. Get hours and info here.

Hours on Friday are 1 to 4:30 p.m.

The sing-a-long begins with caroling at 6 p.m., and the  downtown lights are officially turned onwith Mayor Mark Eckert. Santa Claus will then make his appearance to greet everyone before returning to his house to visit with children approximately 7 to 8:30 p m.

Calls from Santa

Kids can get a call from Santa via the Optimist Club of Belleville on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 7, 8 and 9.  The calls will be made from the North Pole (City Hall). Contact the club for details.


Camera Sale and FREE Creve Coeur Camera Expo

Creve Coeur Camera

Creve Coeur Camera’s twice a year sale and free expo happens Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20-21, 2015

The sale, which is good at all nine stores, offers freebies with purchase of a new camera. Buy a camera for $199-$399 during the sale and get a free 8-gig memory card and case; buy a camera for $400-$599 and you get a free lens cloth,  8-gig memory card and case; buy a camera for $600-999 and get a free UV filter, lens cloth,  8-gig memory card and case; buy a camera for $1000-1499 and get a free battery, UV filter, lens cloth, 8-gig memory card and case. Spend $1,500 or more and get a free D & S mono pod, battery, UV filter, lens cloth and  8-gig memory card and case.

Creve Coeur Camera is also offering 0% financing for one year. See store for details.

The FREE expo is held at the Creve Coeur superstore’s new location, 12747 Olive Blvd. in Creve Coeur from noon to 8 p.m. Friday  and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Manufacturer’s reps will be on hand to show you the latest models of cameras and lenses and answer your questions. Learn about the latest from Go Pro, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Canon, Sony, Sigma and others.

New this year are hands-on demo (try before you buy) and shooting stations. Hands-on demo hours are noon-6 p.m. and 7-8 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The demo is free but you are asked to register to secure a time and date.