WHAT: The Nutcracker
WHERE: The Touhill
WHEN: Various times (13 performances), Dec. 14 to 23
Spectacular sets, dazzling costumes and an ensemble helmed by the acclaimed Saint Louis Ballet company brings to life the holiday favorite like never before! The show features special guest performers and students from the Saint Louis Ballet School in children’s roles. And new this year: a special “no-shushing” daytime performance on Dec. 19 for families with young children and/or those with limited attention spans.
$35 to $72; stlouisballet.org
WHAT: St. Louis Symphony Mercy Holiday Celebration
WHERE: Powell Hall
WHEN: Various times (five performances), Dec. 21 to 23
Get into the holiday spirit with timeless Christmas classics and carols, courtesy of the St. Louis Symphony and resident conductor Gemma New, along with soprano Camille Zamora and vocals by the Holiday Festival Chorus, a choir comprised of local high school students. Plus, you’ll get to visit with Santa before the concert and during intermission in the beautifully decorated grand foyer of magnificent Powell Hall.
$28 to $73; slso.org
WHAT: Brewery Lights
WHERE: Anheuser-Busch Brewery
WHEN: 5 to 10 p.m., Thursday-Sunday, through Dec. 30
Marvel at more than a million twinkling lights as you stroll down Pestalozzi Street for the 33rd annual light display at the world-famous brewery. New this year is a Kids Zone and a Brewery Express train. There are also nightly screenings of classic holiday movies on an outdoor big screen and fire pits for roasting s’mores.
Free (VIP packages, including Budweiser Clydesdale photo sessions and private fire pits, are available and are priced separately); budweisertours.com
WHAT: U.S. Bank Wild Lights
WHERE: Saint Louis Zoo
WHEN: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., select nights through Dec. 30
Bright lights and whimsical animal-themed displays await at Wild Lights, one of the country’s top zoo light displays. There are plenty of children’s activities, including winter crafts and fun photo ops. Also enjoy holiday carolers and strolling live entertainment on weekends. The 4-D Theater featuring “Polar Express” and the Carousel are included in the price of admission.
$9 Monday-Thursday ($8 for members), $11 Friday-Sunday ($10 for members), free for children 2 and younger; stlzoo.org