6100-6600 Delmar Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63130
Date: Mid-January (TBA)
This year’s dates haven’t been announced, but the Ice Carnival typically takes place on a weekend in mid-January. The kick-off event is a Snow Ball, a sort of icey-white, city-wide prom where the Ice King and Queen will be crowned. The weekend is filled with activities, including the Frozen Buns Run, and a full-fledged carnival on Delmar featuring ice carvings, ice slides and other family-friendly fun. Sign up at the Loop’s website so you’ll be among the first to know when the 2016 plans are announced. Admission to the festival is free; Snow Ball tickets have sold for about $30 in the past.
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
Date: Wed – Sun evenings from 5:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., Nov. 21, 2015 through Jan. 2, 2016
The Garden Glow involves the installation of millions of lights throughout the property at Missouri Botanical Garden (lovingly known to the locals as Shaw’s Garden, or sometimes Mobot). Parts of the light display are definitely holiday-inspired, but this is more than a Christmas light display. It’s a nondenominational art show of light, and a celebration of both winter and nighttime that fills guests with wonder. Admission is $16 for adults, $12 for Garden members, and $10 for children.
Date: Jan. 6 – Feb. 9
Most St. Louisans associate Mardi Gras with beads, beer and cajun cuisine; that’s certainly part of it. But there’s more to Mardi Gras in St. Louis than drunken revelry. The month-long celebration kicks off with a Family Winter Carnival and one of the largest parades in the Midwest, and includes events like the Snowman Softball Tournament and the ever-popular Weiner Dog Derby. Near the end of the celebration comes the Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball, and… well, almost everything in between is beads and beer and cajun cuisine.
7260 Southwest Ave.
Maplewood, MO 63143
Date: TBA (Usually a Saturday afternoon in mid-January)
Does being cooped up all winter give you Cabin Fever? Get the cure at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. Bundle up and tip back a few cold ones at this winter kegger, with cold beers, hot music and warm bodies gathered around warming fires. Schlafly brings out their strongest beers to warm your mid-winter spirits, but hat and gloves are recommended. Tickets will be available online (last year’s cost was $26) and Schlafly reserves the right to reschedule if a blizzard blows in.
Outside the St. Louis Art Museum in Forest Park
One Fine Arts Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110
Date: First snowfall; any day schools are closed
Sledding at Art Hill is an impromptu grassroots festival, rather than a formally organized one. For most St. Louisans, though, it is the favorite event of the winter. When school closings start rolling across the morning news and you see meteorologists on TV bundled up in scarves and hats, just grab a sled, toboggan, or a snowboard and head to Forest Park (with children, if you have some). Sledding at Art Hill has been a proud St. Louis tradition since 1904, and the feeling of closeness and community that happens on that snowy slope bonds us together as much as our love for the Cardinals.
Related: 5 Of St. Louis’ Hidden Gems