One Of The Best Winter Traditions


The Tunnel of Lights and the best cocoa.

Lela Zeilman, Junior Editor

If you know anything about me, I am a big advocate for STL attractions (well besides the Arch, that’s a different story). My fall/winter traditions are many but the one that places top 5 will always be The Garden Glow

The Missouri Botanical Garden will always have a special place in my heart both in the summer and in the winter. The summer season is home to over 750 plant species (last updated in 2017) and more than one million lights in the winter. There is always something for everyone.

For those who do not know, the Missouri Botanical Garden was founded back in 1859 by Mister Henry Shaw. When he landed in St. Louis, he came across a piece of unused prairie, that was “Uncultivated,” he recorded, “without trees or fences, but covered with tall luxuriant grass, undulated by the gentle breeze of spring.” In 1819, when Shaw was only 18, his plan was to start a business selling hardware and cutlery. As he gained fortunes, he vowed to turn that piece of land into something for his beloved city. Almost 40 years later, he started on the Missouri Botanical Garden. It originally was going to just be a city garden, but Mr. George Engelmann suggested that it be more than just a park but a facility to aid in botanical research. Shaw added a herbarium to his garden and a library due to Engelmann’s suggestions.

I have gone to the Garden Glow every year since 2018 (with a break in 2020) and I love it every year. The lights are always different. The unchangeables are the tunnel of lights and the snowglobe.

One of my favorite parts of this tradition is that we go with my grandma. She is always up to going and I think she looks forward to it as much as I do. One of our favorite traditions is getting the BEST hot chocolate (the Touhill coming in a close second).

The whole thing is handicap and stroller accessible. Besides the tour of Shaw’s country home, the Tower Grove House.

Shaw was a bachelor, his home would have been very boring around this time of the year but to draw in people they decorate his house in a very victorian styles Christmas. With Christmas trees and garland, you see what you would expect in a home of wealth and children.

You will find many different “exhibits” to see all throughout the Garden, starting at the entrance and ending at the Japanese Garden.

There is the Cafe Flora, and many stands around the Garden selling hot cocoa ($4) and smores ($6 or two for $10)

There are many different photo-ops ranging from the infamous snowglobe to sleighs to snowmen.

The Garden Glow is open from November 13th –  January 8th, 2022. Tickets are $18-$20 for people ages 13 and up and $3-$10 for children aged 3-12. Masks are required when in buildings but optional when outside.