‘Tis the season for Christmas Candlelight Walks, children visiting with Santa, and a festive holiday train display – all in St. Charles County Parks. The Parks Department offers a variety of holiday and non-holiday activities for all ages and interests.
The following park programs are scheduled during the month of December:
• Bundle up for our Friday Night Public Stargazing programs at Broemmelsiek Park near Defiance, and discover constellations and stars through complex telescopes. The Astronomical Society of Eastern Missouri (ASEM) hosts educational stargazing programs after dusk, Friday, Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, in the park’s Astronomy Viewing Area, weather permitting. For more information about program times, visit www.asemonline.org.
• Step back in time to observe Christmas traditions of the past at Christmas Candlelight Walks at The Historic Daniel Boone Home. Three sessions are held each night at 6, 7, and 8 p.m. on Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9. The enchanting village, illuminated with thousands of lantern lit candles, comes to life as guests experience the traditions of different cultures of the early 1800s frontier. Visit with Daniel Boone as he reminisces about winters past, and enjoy hot apple cider, traditional carolers, and more while strolling through the historic park. This year’s musical performances will be held inside the Old Peace Chapel. Tickets are limited for this popular four-night event and pre-registration is suggested by calling 636-798-2005. Admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the park. Children under 4 are free. Online registration is available at www.stccparks.org. Then click on “Activity Registration” and choose from Night 1, 2, 3 or 4.
• Get active by nature when you ride park trails after hours! Join Gateway Off-Road Cyclists (GORC) and St. Louis Area Mountain Bikers (SLAMB) for three free Friday Night Mountain Bike Rides in our parks through the end of the year. Rides are scheduled at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 1, at Broemmelsiek Park near Wentzville, and at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15 and Friday, Dec. 29, at Bangert Island in St. Charles. Riders must wear a helmet and have a 600 lumen light to experience park trails after hours. Register online at www.stccparks.org. Then click on “Activity Registration” and choose the date you want to ride, or call 636-949-7535.
• It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Jolly Old St. Nick is helping us celebrate by visiting the Youth Activity Park in Dardenne Prairie! Children ages 4-11 can visit with Santa from
9:30 – 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 2, at our Santa Party. Don’t forget to bring a Christmas wish list and a camera to capture this special time with Santa. Each child will receive a unique elf name, play games, create crafts, and decorate their very own cupcake. Each will take home a candy-filled YAP water bottle and enough memories to make visions of sugarplums dance in their heads. Cost is $12 per child. Register early; space is limited! For more information or to reserve your spot, call the Youth Activity Park at 636-561-4964 or register online at http://bit.ly/2A2p7td.
• Preschoolers learn through the lens of nature at our Little Explorer Nature Program on Thursday, Dec. 7. Bring your adventurous tots to Broemmelsiek Park near Defiance from 10-11 a.m. for a short hike, fun activities, story time and snack. Your little explorer will experience a different theme each time! Cost of the program is $3 and pre-registration is suggested. To make a reservation, all 636-949-7535 or visit http://bit.ly/2z9WfSh.
• The popular Holiday Toy Train Display at the Heritage Museum near St. Charles is back this year and running from Saturday, Dec. 9 through Wednesday, Jan. 31. The museum is open 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday and noon –5 p.m., Sunday. Admission is free! The entire family will enjoy our three holiday themed model trains: the Gingerbread Village, Frosty’s Winter Wonderland and Polar Express. While you’re visiting, explore the museum’s current exhibit, “Our Sporting Heritage,” which features the Marksman Training Simulator. The interactive digital hunting simulator has the largest video shooting surface in the world and is one of only three of its kind in the United States. Experience the thrill of hunting duck, deer, bear, and boar, as well as clay targets. Call the museum at 636-255-6000 for more information.
For more information on these and other events, contact the St. Charles County Parks & Recreation Department at 636-949-7535 or visit www.stccparks.org.