(ST. LOUIS): Celebrate the holidays at the Missouri Botanical Garden! The Garden is sharing the spirit of the season with an abundance of festivities. Enjoy the annual Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show, a visit from Santa, traditional Chanukah and Kwanzaa celebrations and holiday décor. Garden Glow returns this season with the addition of hundreds of thousands of lights. For detailed information on the complete lineup of holiday happenings, visit www.mobot.org.
The Missouri Botanical Garden’s annual light exhibit, Garden Glow, opens November 21. Now in its third year, the expanded event features 1 million lights as well as additional interactive installations for guests. Garden Glow is open through January 2, 2016. More than 400,000 additional lights were added from the 2014 exhibit with an expanded footprint through even more of the Garden grounds. Twenty-eight installations will adorn the Garden’s most iconic locations. Garden Glow is designed to engage visitors of all ages. An expanded Family Fun Area will feature a “Reindeer Ring Toss,” “Glowmen Glen,” “Tree-dazzeled” photo opportunity and much more! For additional information or to purchase tickets in advance, visit www.mobot.org/glow. Garden Glow is presented by Wells Fargo Advisors. Signature location sponsorship by The Boeing Company, David and Lelia Farr and Monsanto. Special venue sponsorship by Ameren Corporation, Bunge North America, Maritz, Moneta Group – Dan and Peggy West and PNC Bank.Gardenland Express
Holiday Floral and Train Show, “Conifers of the World” Saturday, December 21 through Saturday, January 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; closes early at 4 p.m. Orthwein Floral Display Hall. In this year’s show, we’ll celebrate some of the most well-known plants of the season: conifers. Conifers are cone-bearing trees or shrubs within the plant division Pinophyta and include favorites such as pines, firs, yews, junipers, and spruces. During the 1800s, decorating a coniferous tree for Christmas became popular in Germany and spread into Europe, eventually coming to America. Enjoy the holiday spirit as you listen to festive music and wander a temporary landscape in the 5,000-square-foot Orthwein Floral Display Hall. Designed to mimic the German “Christkindlemarket,” where vendors traditionally gather to sell holiday food, gifts and decorations from open-air stalls. A large, lit tree is decorated for the season, and snowflakes suspended throughout the space complete the wintery German theme. Follow the Garden’s LGB G-scale model trains on a trip through a variety of tiny landscapes with traditional winter activities such as skiing and ice-skating. The Garden’s private train collection speeds around the snowy mountainous display of small building models on elevated tracks. Garden admission plus $5; daytime admission free for members. Open during Garden Glow from 5 to 9:30 p.m. admission of $2 with purchase of Garden Glow ticket. Free for Garden members. Presented by Wells Fargo Advisors. Made possible by the Berges Endowment for Flower Shows. Additional sponsorship by CBIZ and Mayer Hoffman McCann, P.C. Visit www.mobot.org/gardenlandexpress for more information.
Experience the traditional Jewish holiday celebration of Chanukah: Festival of Lights on Sunday, December 6 from noon to 4 p.m. The event begins with the lighting of the first candle on the menorah. Choirs will perform traditional Jewish and Chanukah music to delight crowds. Visitors will enjoy browsing through the “shuk” (marketplace) for Chanukah-themed treasures. Visit www.mobot.org/events for more information.
Enjoy Saturday with Santa: Christmas Carols in the Garden on Saturday, December 13 from noon to 4 p.m. Listen to traditional and secular holiday carols from local schools and choirs inside the upper level of Ridgway Center and roaming the Garden grounds. Whisper Christmas wishes to Santa, whose sleigh has made its way to the Garden thanks to Rudolph. Cider, cookies and hot cocoa available for purchase to keep visitors toasty and warm! Visit www.mobot.org/events for more information.
Kwanzaa: Festival of the First Fruits
Kwanzaa: Festival of the Kwanzaa: Festival of the First FruitsFirst Fruits. Wednesday, December 30 from noon to 3 p.m. Ridgway Visitor Center. Kwanzaa is a Swahili term that means “first fruits,” and this contemporary African-American holiday centers around the feast table of the harvest. A Kwanzaa ceremony highlights a day of storytelling, craft and jewelry displays, and authentic African drumming and musical performances. Included with Garden admission. Visit www.mobot.org/events for more information.
The Holiday Wreath Auction will be on display from Saturday, December 21 through Saturday, Jan. 3, and features creations by the region’s most talented floral designers, decking the walls of the Ridgway Visitor Center. Designs range from traditional to whimsical and are sold by silent auction bidding with proceeds benefiting the Missouri Botanical Garden. Visit www.mobot.org/events for more information.
Experience a Victorian Christmas at Tower Grove House, Wednesday, November 18 through Sunday, January 3 at the 19th century country home of Garden founder Henry Shaw. The estate is decorated for the holidays with wreaths, garland, floral centerpieces, greenery and a holiday tree. Children can enjoy storytelling on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. and visit the activity corner to color tree-themed holiday ornaments from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays, November 26 and December 25.
For general information, visit www.mobot.org or call (314) 577‑5100 (toll-free, 1‑800‑642‑8842). Follow the Garden on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/missouribotanicalgarden and http://twitter.com/mobotgarden.