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The holiday season’s hottest toys have hit the shelves, and children around the world are eagerly adding these coveted items to their holiday wish lists. But how many new toys do our children actually need?  

December is a busy month for most families. Between shopping for the perfect gifts, baking cookies with the kids and attending (not to mention preparing for) all those holiday parties, it’s easy to get caught up in the busy nature of the holiday season.

This year, be sure you make a little time to also appreciate all the wonderful holiday fun that St. Louis has to offer. To make it easier, we’ve rounded up 16 of our favorite holiday events so that you and your family can see the lights, sip some cocoa and enjoy what really is the most wonderful time of the year.

If you're looking for a fun alternative to having your kids hanging around the house over their school's winter break, or need child care for those wintery days surrounding the holidays when school is closed, St. Louis has plenty of fantastic adventures just waiting for your little (and not so little) ones. We've rounded up some Winter Break camp options to suit kids interested in science, sports, arts and just about anything else.

St. Louis has to be one of Santa's favorite cities because he's spending a lot of time here this holiday season. And for an older dude, you've got to hand it to him for branching out and trying new things. This year, Santa is doing more than hoisting kids onto his lap and smiling for the camera. He's sailing to the Boathouse, sitting down for pizza in O'Fallon, having breakfast all across St. Louis (and even "Breakfast for Dinner" at Eckerts), walking in parades, skating in Forest Park, and strolling through the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Since Charles Dickens first introduced Ebenezer Scrooge to the world in 1843, one of literature’s most notorious characters has been reincarnated through endless movies and TV shows, from Bill Murray’s TV exec to Scrooge McDuck.

It’s no surprise. The timeless, uplifting tale of empathy and redemption is synonymous with the season, making it as part of the holiday pop culture lexicon as leg lamps, stop-motion reindeer, and Clark Griswold.

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