Years ago, the holiday season did not begin until Thanksgiving night when families, stuffed with
turkey, would hop in the car and drive downtown
to see the Famous Barr windows.
Children would press their noses against the cold glass and look at the winter wonderland enclosed within—trains chugging through-snow covered landscapes filled with ice-skaters, snowmen, horse-drawn sleighs, and nostalgic scenes of long-ago Christmases.
Now, Macy’s has taken up the call for families to return to that treasured tradition. The windows, once again, are filled with holiday delights and dreams and await those same small noses.
Twinkling lights adorn lamp posts and trees, horse-drawn carriages travel through St. Louis streets and, all in all, it is a perfect time to come downtown and enjoy all it has to offer from shopping to food to entertainment.
Besides the windows, Macy’s invites
the children to enjoy Breakfast with Santa on December 6, 7, 13, and 14 at 10 a.m. Reservations are necessary, so to take part in the magical, fun-filled morning, call (866) 607-4422 or (866) 641-2882. Cost for the breakfast is $8.50.
Macy’s is also offering Saturday with Santa on December 6, 13, and 20 from noon until 3 p.m. on the third floor. Join Santa and his Merry Elves and don’t miss the “Horton Hears A Who Whomungous Holiday Card Craft Center.”
Besides shopping, nothing can bring on the holiday spirit like a concert or play, and downtown will feature both.
Stages St. Louis will be bringing their performing troupe to the historic Roberts Orpheum Theater to do a production of
Little Women, The Musical, from December 5th through the 28th. For tickets, call (314) 821-2407 or visit www.stagesstl.com.
The Grammy Award winning husband and wife team, Vince Gill and Amy Grant, will bring their show, “Christmas with Amy and Vince,” to the Scottrade Center on December 19. Tickets may be purchased at the Scottrade Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at (314) 241-1888 or online at ticketmaster.com.
While usually thought of as a summer activity, a river cruise would be a great way to celebrate the holidays, whether for an office or family gathering. Call 1-877-982-1410 for information.
Shop downtown! Nothing can bring on the holiday spirit quite like walking the bustling sidewalks and ducking in and out of warm stores to escape the December chill.
Kevin Farrell, senior director for economic and housing development at Downtown Partnership, says “Since we started active recruitment for downtown retail in 2003, we’ve added 100 new stores, restaurants and services. This season may be challenging, so if you’re looking for something different, try downtown. For those whose list may be smaller than last year’s, and who want to buy something special or different, all these stores are one-of-a-kind offering things that you can’t get anywhere else.”
Shoppers would be hard pressed not to find exactly what they’re looking for in the maze of new boutiques and shops lining the downtown streets. Whether the price tag lies below $25 or above $1,000, that perfect gift can be found, and the search is half the fun.
Books seem to always be at the top of anyone’s list, and AIA Bookstore located in the Chapter office at 911 Washington Ave. (314-621-3484) not only has books, but accessories, lamps and jewelry, all with an architectural theme. www.aia-stlouis.org.
Always a place to find that special book, Left Bank Books branched out from its Central West End location and opened its downtown location last month at 321 N. Tenth St., (314) 367-6731 www.left-bank.com.
Art galleries are not only a relaxing place to spend time, but a great source for that unique gift.
The Philip Slein Gallery, 1319 Wash-ington Ave., (314) 621-4634, is featuring an exhibit by Arny Nadler, “Beacons,” and works on paper by selected artists. Arny makes large, abstract sculptures made of painted steel. www.philipsleingallery.com.
Art St. Louis, 555 Washington Ave.,
(314-241-4810) is hosting an exhibit, Art
St. Louis XXIV, The Exhibition, the 24th annual exhibit that features artists residing within a 200-mile radius of St. Louis. www.artstlouis.org.
For those who like to frequent boutiques, downtown is home to a variety of such shops.
Uma, 1100 Locust St., (314) 241-9990, offers a wide range of contemporary furnishings and gifts from self-contained fireplaces and textiles to spa products. www.iloveuma.com.
Salt of the Earth, 1123 Locust St.,
(314) 963-1919, features traditional and contemporary art, painted furniture, ceramics, glass and jewelry. www.salt-earth.com.
Niche, 300 N. Broadway, (314) 621-8131, one of downtown’s first home furnishings stores, offers a wide variety of “have to haves” for the home from furniture to lamps to throws. www.nichestl.com.
English Living, 1520 Washington Ave., (314) 241-6226, offers furnishings with an English and French bent from bookcases and cupboards to lamps and tables. www.englishliving.com.
I Am Sneaky, 1330 Washington Ave.,
(314) 436-1290, is one of the many new trendy shoe boutiques coming into downtown. With fashion and artist design sneakers, the store carries brands usually found only on the east and west coast or Chicago for St. Louis fashionistas.
D’Elegance, 1224 Washington Ave.,
(314) 588-7611, another fashion shoe store for St. Louis trendsetters.
The Time Boutique, 922 Washington Ave., (314) 974-8463, featuring trendy women’s clothing, focusing on figure-flattering, wearable designs. Also shoes, handbags and gifts. www.thetimeboutique.net.
Perchelle, 1207 Washington Ave.,
(314) 241-0355, an “indy” boutique offering the latest in men’s and women’s fashion.
Paper Dolls, 1202 Washington Ave.,
(314) 621-9696. A great place to shop for club looks as well as scarves, and other accessories. www.paperdolls-stl.com.
Lee J’s, 1000 Washington Ave., (314) 241-0440, where shoppers can find the popular Mek Denim jeans as well as trendy women’s wool coats.
A Taste of Luxurie, 1303 Washington Ave., (314) 621-1122. A boutique for women and men, one side with affordable and hip men’s clothing, and the other side offering fashions of the same type to women. www.atasteofluxurie.com.
Boxers, 1305 Washington Ave., (314) 454-0209. The place to buy fashion men’s underwear of all styles. www.mensunderwearstore.com.
Beverly’s Hill, 1309 Washington Ave., (314) 621-1633. Women’s fashion lingerie for all tastes and types. www.123underwear.com.
Kenary Park Florists and Gifts, 1315 Washington Ave., (314) 588-9900. Not only flowers, but unusual gifts and accessories for all tastes. www.kenaryparkflorist.com.
One does not live on shopping alone, however, and a break for sustenance will be needed at some point. Downtown does not want for excellent restaurants, and most have made various “Top 10” and “Top 20” lists.
Dominic and Jackie Galati, owners of Dominic’s Restaurant on the Hill, opened Gio’s last month at Gateway One, 701 Market St. The restaurant occupies the space formerly held by Dierdorf and Hart.
Cielo in the Four Seasons Hotel, 999 N. Second St., (314) 881-5800, specializes in fine Italian cuisine served with a magnificent view of the Gateway Arch and Mississippi River from its place on the eighth floor. www.fourseasons.com.
Lumiere Place, 999 Second St., (314) 881-7777, features six restaurants for different tastes, SleeK, Burger Bar, The Kitchen Buffet and Bistro, Asia, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, and House of Savoy.
Other eateries pepper the downtown area and whether you are shopping or dining, finding the menu to suit the pocketbook is no problem.
Lucas Park Grill, 1234 Washington Ave., (314) 241-7770. www.lucasparkgrille.com.
Mosaic, 1101 Lucas Ave., (314) 621-6001. www.mosaictapas.com
F15teen, 1900 Locust St., (314) 588-8899. www.saucemagazine.com
Mike Shannon’s, 620 Market St.,
(314) 421-1540. www.shannonsteak.com
Wasabi, 1228 Washington Ave.,
(314) 421-3500. www.saucemagazine.com
TGIFriday’s, 529 Chestnut St.,
(314) 241-8443. www.Fridays.com
Tony’s, 410 Market St., (314) 231-7007. www.saucemagazine.com
An American Place, 822 Washington St., (314) 418-5800.
Top of the Riverfront, 200 S. Fourth St., (314) 241-9500. www.millenniumhotels.com
Just to name a few.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
No holiday season is complete without a visit to Union Station and its multitude of unique stores and restaurants under the arched roof. Decorated with thousands of lights, this historical landmark could get Scrooge in the spirit. 1820 Market St.,
(314) 421-6655. www.stlouisunionstation.com.
After shopping, or after dining, a perfect way to close the day would be to take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the brightly-lit downtown streets. What better way to see what downtown St. Louis has to offer, not only for the holidays, but also all year long? St. Louis Carriage Company, 1000 Cerre St., (314) 621-3334. www.stlouiscarriagecompany.com.
After months of bad news and non-stop campaign promises, make time for fun and relaxation with friends and family. Come downtown, explore and see what awaits!