8 Essential Events for St. Louis Families in December

In addition to all of the fabulous holiday events around town, December is packed with plenty of other fun activities to keep your family busy in between shopping, wrapping and baking. Here are some of our picks for making memories this month:

1. Towers of Tomorrow LEGO® Exhibit at The Magic House (12/2-2/19)

Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO® Bricks, the world-traveling exhibition from Australia that combines architecture and design in a lively, creative space makes its United States debut starting December 2 at The Magic House. Towers of Tomorrow features 20 of the world’s most astonishing skyscrapers from the U.S., Australia, Asia, Canada and United Arab Emirates constructed with breathtaking architectural detail and accuracy by Australia’s Ryan McNaught, the only certified LEGO professional in the Southern Hemisphere and one of only 14 LEGO professionals worldwide. Visitors, young and old, can create their own ‘tower of tomorrow’ from over 200,000 loose LEGO bricks in hands-on construction areas and add their creations to a steadily rising futuristic LEGO metropolis inside the exhibition. Free with museum admission.

Towers of Tomorrow runs through February 19 at The Magic House, located at 516 S. Kirkwood Road in Kirkwood. For information, visit magichouse.org.


2.  Winter Wonderland on Ice Show at Saint Peters Rec-Plex (12/8-9)

Celebrate the holidays as the Rec-Plex North ice rink comes to life and turns into an enchanted Winter Wonderland on Ice. The best Rec-Plex solo skaters and synchronized skating teams will dazzle audiences with the beauty and skill of their original programs. Beloved holiday characters join in the festivities to make this a delightful event for the whole family. Tickets are available on site and cost $9.50 for adults, $7.50 for children 12 and under and seniors. Rec-Plex passholders cost $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for children and seniors.

Winter Wonderland on Ice takes place on Friday December 8 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, December 9, at 5 p.m. at the St. Peters Rec-Plex, located at 5200 Mexico Road in St. Peters. For more information, visit stpetersmo.net.


3. Winter Celebrations Weekend and Family Performance at Saint Louis Art Museum (12/8-10; 12/17)

What better way to spend a chilly December day than enjoying free family programming at the Saint Louis Art Museum? December 8 through 10, experience a three-day family winter extravaganza celebrating cultures from around the world. Drop in for special performances, treats and family art activities each day. Then, on Sunday, December 17, enjoy a seasonal performance in the Sculpture Hall. Transport yourself to winter landscapes across the world as you listen to music from diverse cultures.

Winter Celebrations Weekend takes place Friday, December 8 through Sunday, December 10; and the Family Performance takes place on Sunday, December 17 at 2 p.m. at the Saint Louis Art Museum, located at One Fine Arts Drive in Forest Park. For more information, visit slam.org.


4. Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates at The Grandel (12/8-30)

Metro Theater Company presents Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates by Laura Eason, based on the classic novel by Mary Mapes Dodge at The Grandel Theatre. In this timeless story, Hans and Gretel Brinker strive to provide for their family and prove their own worth by entering a local speed skating contest with a first prize of a pair of gleaming silver skates. The play culminates with a spectacular St. Nicholas Day race. Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates celebrates generosity, helping others and is an exhilarating tale of courage and determination. The original novel has been in print since 1865 and is credited with popularizing the sport of speed skating in the United States. This modern interpretation of the timeless tale was adapted by House of Cards screenwriter Laura Eason. Ticket prices range from $16 to $72. USE PROMO CODE HBSTLFAMILY FOR 20% OFF ALL TICKETS!

Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates takes place from Friday, December 8 through Saturday, December 30 at The Grandel, located at 3610 Grandel Square in St. Louis. For more information, visit metroplays.org.


5. Free Family Movies at Ballpark Village (12/13):

Take the kids to a free indoor screening of The Emoji Movie presented by Fantastic Sams on the 40-foot TV at FOX Sports Midwest Live! The fun starts at 5 p.m. with movie related activities and giveaways, with the movie starting promptly at 6 p.m. Foot and beverages are available for purchase.

Free Family Movie night with The Emoji Movie takes place on Wednesday, December 13 at 5 p.m. at Ballpark Village, located at 601 Clark Avenue in St. Louis. For more information, visit stlballparkvillage.com.


6. The Little Dancer: La Muse and Dancer Tea at COCA (12/15-17)

After receiving a beautiful replica of French artist Edgar Degas’ famous sculpture, The Little Dancer of 14 Years, for her birthday, the heroine Mary is transported back to the moment when the original was unveiled. Much to her surprise, it is ridiculed, prompting Degas to lock the sculpture in a closet never to be seen again. Mary rescues The Little Dancer, who comes to life, and together, they explore the streets and venues of Paris in this fanciful, newly imagined production for ages 5+. The show runs 60 minutes and ticket prices are $14 to $18. Following the December 17 performance, join the cast for a delightful tea party from 2-4 p.m.

The Little Dancer: La Muse takes place Friday, December 15 through Sunday, December 17 in the Founders' Theatre COCA, located at 524 Trinity Avenue in University City. For show times and more information, visit cocastl.org.


7. Trim the Trees Workshop at Laumeier Sculpture Park (12/16)

Bring the whole family to the park for some tree-trimming fun. Learn about winter birds while you create homemade ornaments that double as bird feeders. Then, take a guided hike to explore the woods and decorate the evergreen trees with your handmade ornaments. Warm up indoors after the hike with hot cocoa and a winter story. Take home a winter bird feeder or two to decorate your own tree at home. Make sure to dress for the weather. The cost is $20 for an adult with child ages four to 12.

Trim the Trees Workshop takes place on Saturday, December 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Kranzberg Education Lab at Laumeier Sculpture Park, located at 12580 Rott Road in Sunset Hills. For more information, visit laumeier.org.


8. St. Louis Symphony DreamWorks Animation in Concert at Powell Hall (12/29-30)

Relive favorite moments from Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and more as they are projected on the big screen as the Grammy Award-winning St. Louis Symphony plays the magical music live. An experience for the entire family, celebrate more than 20 years of inspired animation and iconic music scores by Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson-Williams, John Powell, Alexandre Desplat, Alan Silvestri, Danny Elfman and many more conducted by Nicholas Buc.

Dreamworks Animation Concert takes place on Friday, December 29 and Saturday, December 30 at 7 p.m. at Powell Hall, located at 718 N. Grand Blvd. in St. Louis. For more information, visit slso.org.

Looking for even more family fun? Visit our Things To Do calendar and sign up for our daily Things To Do email newsletter. Your kids will thank you!

Photo courtesy of COCA


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Amy Burger is a mom, freelance writer and communications professional with nearly 20 years experience working in St. Louis. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and media outlets including STL Parent, Missouri Life magazine, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Town & Style and kdhx.org, among others. When she's not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two beautiful girls at home in Kirkwood.

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Things to Do

Sea Lion Shows at the Saint Louis Zoo

See the Zoo's California sea lions perform acrobatic and athletic feats, including Olympic-style dives on a high-diving platform, flipper walks, frisbee tosses and plenty of surprises. While on stage with the sea lions, the Zoo's trainers explain sea lion behavior and positive-reinforcement training, in addition to the need for conserving the sea lion's ocean habitat.

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Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963
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Through story and song, the play shines a light on their dreams, their times with family and friends, and the trials and tribulations they faced as children living in a divided and segregationist city. A full chorus sets the tone with spirituals and anthems of the Civil Rights Movement such as "Amazing Grace," "Oh, Freedom," and "Woke Up This Morning." This production is a collaboration between The Black Rep and COCA.

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