Dating back to 1894, St. Louis Union Station was once the largest, most beautiful railroad terminal in the United States. This National Historic Landmark has returned to its former beauty and grandeur just in time for the holidays. Holiday Magic in St. Louis begins in grand fashion on Nov. 22 with the lighting of the Salvation Army Tree of Lights, located in the Market Street plaza across from St. Louis Union Station. The festivities spill over into Union Station, the epicenter for Holiday Magic and The Polar Express, with family activities on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 30.
The exquisite architecture of the Grand Hall in Union Station has been reinvented to showcase a spectacular holiday holographic light and music show. Prepare to have your breath taken away as you ascend the stairs to the magnificent Grand Hall and gaze upon the Panoramic Light Show. Colorful lights dance across the 65-foot barrel vaulted ceiling and wintery scenes give the illusion of snow falling from above. Families stopping in the Grand Hall can expect to see the free Panoramic Light Show display nightly from 5 to 11 p.m.
The hottest ticket in town this holiday season is the Polar Express Train Ride, based on the classic children's book "The Polar Express" by Chris Van Allsburg. Only a few coveted tickets remain as part of the St. Louis Union Station Hotel overnight package on Nov. 30, Dec. 24 and Dec. 30 (check availability).
Though single ticket train rides are sold out, families can still experience the enchantment of "The Polar Express" with themed holiday meals on select dates through Dec. 30. Meet the Polar Express Conductor and Santa's elves while dining in a magical Polar Express-themed setting in the Grand Hall. Images from the movie will be projected overhead as part of the Panoramic Light Show while separate dinner buffet meals will be served for adults and children at 5, 6 and 8 p.m. An elaborate holiday dessert buffet with treats as far as the eye can see will be available at 10 p.m. The dinner buffets and dessert buffet are $15 per person. Reservations are required and can be made online at www.STLPolarExpressRide.com.
St. Louis Union Station is the new home of St. Louis' Holiday Magic entertainment and activities taking place on weekends throughout the mall. Storytellers, jugglers, musicians, choral groups and dancers will entertain families from the Holiday Magic Stage on the second floor. Kids will enjoy Storytime with Mrs. Claus every Sunday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Choo Choo Bob and his puppet friends will take kids on a train adventure with shows Dec. 5 and 6 from noon to 6 p.m. and Dec. 19 and 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kids will also love watching the trains ride the rails at the model train exhibit at the base of the Grand Hall staircase. Trains will be on display Dec. 5-7, Dec. 12-14 and Dec. 19-21 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.
Naughty or nice, kids can pull up a chair in Santa's mailroom on the main concourse to write a letter to Santa or color a picture from "The Polar Express" from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on nights the Polar Express train is running.
In addition to Holiday Magic and the Polar Express, chocolate will be the buzz on Dec. 14 when the Hot Chocolate 15/5K Run begins and ends near Union Station with chocolate stops along the route. And music will fill the air during the St. Louis Christmas Chorale Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. when the top five choirs in St. Louis square off to crown a winner.
St. Louis Union Station is located at 1820 Market Street, St. Louis, MO, 63103. For more information on Holiday Magic and The Polar Express at Union Station, go to www.stlpolarexpressride.com or call 314-621-5262.
Places articles represent the views and the research completed by St. Louis Sprout & About journalists and are not driven by advertising or requests by vendors or venues. Places articles do not imply an endorsement of a business or activity.
From the calendar