Winter Wonderland: Tilles Park Shines With the Spirit of the Season

Open until New Year’s Day, visitors can enjoy an entire mile of holiday magic.

Now in its 26th year, the Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park boasts more than 1 million twinkling lights, making it a magnet for families from around metro St. Louis. 

“It’s a family tradition,” said Justin Hirsch, special events coordinator for St. Louis County Parks Department.

Whether this is your first year to visit the Winter Wonderland or your 26th, you will find holiday scenes new and old.

“The display changes every year,” Hirsch said.

New and traditional sights

New this year is a series of Christmas trees with lights that are synchronized to music. Also new are portions of the lighted tunnel and a snowflake effect that hangs over the roadway.

Some of the previous years designs are in different locations this year. Look for the frog jumping into the pond; the gingerbread house, and Hirsch’s favorite, the holly wreath at the start of the tunnel.

If you go

The Winter Wonderland is open for vehicles and horse-drawn carriages Sunday through Friday from 5:30-9:30 p.m., but is reserved for horse-drawn carriages only on Saturdays 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Reservations are not needed to drive through, but they are needed for carriage rides. For safety, pedestrian traffic is prohibited.

Every night except Saturdays, volunteers from nonprofit organizations collect the entrance fee for the Winter Wonderland. The county parks department gives back by donating money to each participating group.

There are about 35 nonprofits helping out this year. They'll split about $18,000 for their service.

Tickets and hours

Fees for drive-through are paid as vehicles exit the park.

You can buy tickets for carriage rides:

  • From www.metrotix.com or by calling 314-534-1111
  • At the Fox Theatre Box Office
  • At the Edison Theatre Box Office 

“Horse-drawn carriage rides are selling out quickly," Hirsch said. "Anyone who wants to ride through in a carriage should call soon for reservations.” 

  • Vehicle Fees: $9 per family vehicle, $15 per limousine, $30 per commercial transport van and $75 per tour bus. Admission is paid as vehicles exit the park.
  • Carriage Fees: Fees vary depending on size of carriage and number in the party. Click here for more information.

Hours: Daily 5:30-9:30 p.m. Closes Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. Closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

For more information call 314-544-5714.


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