Alternative to the mall? America’s Center Convention Complex
Alternative to the mall? America’s Center Convention Complex

Pre-Christmas, Here We Come!

With Thanksgiving finally out of the way, St. Louis, city of the famed Arch (aka the Jefferson Expansion Memorial) and hometown of T.S. Eliot, ushers in the Christmas season this weekend with a free holiday party in the heart of downtown. Everyone’s invited. And after the festivities, naturally, there are plenty of places to shop.

  • Kick off the weekend Friday at the Old Court House (11 N. Fourth St.), where the National Park Service presents a noon concert by the St. Louis Brass Quintet; a chorale of carolers follows at 1 p.m. For more information, call 314-655-1700 or click here.
  • If you can’t get away in time for the Friday afternoon concerts, go for an evening of stargazing starting at the Arch. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, a National Park ranger will lead an evening walk to view the night sky. You’ll be able to peer into space using telescopes provided by the St. Louis Astronomical Society. For more information, click here.
  • On Saturday, head for the America’s Center Convention Complex (701 Convention Plaza, on Washington Street between 7th and 9th Avenues). From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, the Center will host a plethora of seasonally celebratory events, including culinary demos by chefs from the Lumiere Place Casino and Hotels and the River City Casino. If you’re of a mind to shop, there will be upward of 40 vendors selling giftable items such as Swarovski crystal jewelry, alpaca sweaters, and resort packages. Admission is $10 adults, $8 for seniors, and $5 children under 10. For more information, call 800-325-7962 or go to

While you’re in the area: Be sure to swing through the Delmar Loop neighborhood, which has more than 140 one-of-a-kind boutiques and galleries congregated in a six-block area.

Where to stay: Dwell Stl (912 Hickory St., 314-599-3100, is a penthouse art deco loft in downtown St. Louis with panoramic views, a 24-hour doorman, and a full kitchen; rates are $175 a night. The Fleur de Lys (3500 Russell Blvd., 314-773-3500, has four spacious guest rooms and ranked among’s top 25 best B&Bs in the country; rates range from $205 to $305 per night.

Where to eat: The Three Sixty rooftop bar (Hilton at the Ballpark, 1 S. Broadway, 314-241-8439, offers diners sweeping views of the city alongside innovative small plates, steaks, and seafood. BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups (700 S. Broadway, 314-436-5222, serves regional favorites and hosts live music nightly.


Photograph: Courtesy of the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Bureau