Top Thanksgiving Day Activities In St. Louis

November 20, 2015 7:00 AM

Thanksgiving Day is a time to spend with family and friends reflecting on what each one has to be thankful for on a holiday that also remembers earlier days of the nation when pilgrims and Native Americans sat down to feast together. That doesn’t mean the entire day needs to be spent sitting around eating turkey and pumpkin pie. Before you sit down together to give thanks, or after the meal is over and you’re looking for more family bonding, enjoy some of what St. Louis has to offer. Put down those Black Friday ads and take part in the best Thanksgiving Day activities or events in the area.
Ameren Missouri Thanksgiving Day Parade
The Corner of 7th St. and Market St.
St. Louis, MO 63101
(314) 983-0085

Bundle up the kids and get your spot to watch more than 30 years of tradition. Start your holiday season at 7th and Market Streets, or anywhere along Market Street ending at Union Station, on Thanksgiving Day morning at 8:45 a.m. Enjoy marching bands, floats and large balloons making their way down Market Street. The parade is free, but arrive early to find a place along the parade route and come prepared to pay for parking. If you don’t want to brave the crowds or the unpredictable weather, gather the family around the TV to watch a live broadcast from Great Day St. Louis on KMOV. 

Missouri Botanical Gardens Gardenland Express
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 577-5100

Take in the awe and wonder of a train display that never ceases to captivate young and old alike. Bring the entire family to the Missouri Botanical Gardens for the Gardenland Express which is a large model train display surrounded by plants and scenery from nature. Watch G-scale trains from several eras travel around 900-feet of track through miniature holiday landscaping made from decorations and fresh plants. If the train display is not enough, you will no doubt be amazed at the beauty of the poinsettias and flowers that accent the display and fill the room with color.


Craftibility Inspired Thanksgiving Day Craft
Various Locations Throughout St. Louis, MO

Even though Craftibility is not open on Thanksgiving Day, the inspiration of the owner Terri Canis and her craft ideas will still make for some fun family time around the table before the sleepiness from the turkey meal kicks in. Craftibility works with St. Louis Arc, Easter Seals of Midwest and The Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis to integrate children of all abilities together with those living with multiple disabilities to work alongside each other in creating craft projects and bridging empathy gaps. Sit down with the entire family at home to create a Thanksgiving Day craft that goes beyond a hand-traced paper turkey. Create two keepsake crafts by providing a solid-colored table cloth and markers for each guest to write what they are thankful for, or create your own thankful tree with craft store fabric leaves by writing what you are thankful for onto your personal leaf and then affixing it to a branch or a tapestry cloth wall hanging.

Related:  Ask A St. Louis Expert: After-School Activity Ideas


The Hungry Turkey 5K Run
Market St. and 16th St.
St. Louis, MO 6311

Get the day started with an early morning Thanksgiving Day run with the entire family, while supporting Operation Food Search to feed the hungry. Register to compete as a runner or enjoy a more leisurely pace with the highlight of the 5K traveling over the Eads Bridge. Kids 12 years old and younger walk or run free with every paid adult. Bring a canned good and register early at Big River Running store in either South City or West County.


Winter Wonderland Tilles Park Lights Display
9551 Litzsinger Road
St. Louis, MO 63124
(314) 615-4386

Take a carriage ride or drive through Tilles Park, which has been transformed into a Winter Wonderland of lights displays. Drive through tunnels of light and watch the kids’ eyes light up with excitement at every new turn throughout the park, or plan a romantic evening with one special person. Enter through southbound McKnight Road between 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Plan a night to be thankful for by ordering carriage ride tickets early online.

Related: Neighborhoods With The Top Holiday Lights In St. Louis

Tere Scott is a freelance writer and author of e-books and two educational blogs. She loves to research information to share. She currently resides in St. Louis. Her work can be found at

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