15 (or so) Ways to Banish Those Blues

When the temperature plunges, lounging at home near fireplaces blankets, and steaming mugs is a great place to be. But what to do when everyone starts to go a little stir crazy? We’ve got some ideas for you! Check out our list of fun things to do and places to visit in mid-Missouri — and a bit farther afield — to help chase away those winter blues.

HOLIDAY SPIRIT

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Visit a local tree farm, take a hayride, and choose your own tree to cut and bring home. At STARR PINES TREE FARM, enjoy warm apple cider, a wagon ride out to the trees and browsing for wreaths and gifts while they clean and wrap your Scotch Pine or Norway Spruce. TIMBER VIEW TREE FARM’s tradition is to snap a family picture and have it waiting for you when you return next season.

Starr Pines Christmas Tree Farm
www.starrpines.com
• 660-882-6858
21298 Pleasant Hill Road, Boonville
Open daily Thanksgiving – Christmas Eve, 9 a.m. – dark

Timber View Tree Farm
www.timberviewtreefarm.com
  • 573-636-5395
5301 E. Raitt Road, Hartsburg
Open daily through Christmas Eve, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends and 1-5 p.m. weekdays

Starr Pines Christmas Tree Farm

HAROLD’S DOUGHNUTS has a reputation for innovative creations, partnerships and events that go beyond basic baked goods. So no surprise that this December, Harold’s will host GINGERBREAD NIGHTS four nights a week through Dec. 23. They’ve ordered 150 pounds of candy in preparation for plenty of sweet creativity at these family-friendly events. Check their website or Facebook for details.

Harold’s Doughnuts
www.haroldsdoughnuts.com
• 573-397-6322
114 S. Ninth St.

If it’s lights you love, make your annual selfie visit to Columbia’s MAGIC TREE in Cherry Hill and take a drive around some of our lovely local neighborhoods. For a bit more ooh and ahh, take a short road trip to some of the larger LIGHT DISPLAYS in the region. Most run mid-November through January — check the website listing for dates, times and prices.

Lake of the Ozarks: Visit one of several drive-through options in the area or take a dinner cruise with views of the beautiful lakeside home decorations.

Enchanted Village of Lights (and others)
www.funlake.com/events • 573-348-1599

Saint Louis: Try the drive-through display at Tilles Park or visit Wildlights after dark at the St. Louis Zoo.

Embrace the Cold

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When that first snow arrives, bundle up and head to the hill at Stephens Lake Park for a day of sledding. The PARKS & RECREATION DEPARTMENT keeps wood on hand for the fire pit at nearby Collins Shelter, so winter sports enthusiasts can gather ‘round to warm up. If the temperature dips low enough, there’s also ice-skating on the lake. Check the website and posted signs for updates on safe skating conditions. If you need steeper slopes, but can’t fit Colorado into your winter plans, try one of the man-made skiing, boarding and tubing slopes near Kansas City or Saint Louis that open in mid-December.

Stephens Lake Park
www.como.gov/ParksandRec/Parks/Stephens_Lake 573-874-7460
2001 E. Broadway
Park Hours: 6 a.m. – 11 p.m. 

Hidden Valley Ski
www.hiddenvalleyski.com  636-938-5373
17409 Hidden Valley Drive, Wildwood

Snow Creek
www.skisnowcreek.com  816-640-2200
Weston, MO

Are you more suited to sweeping than shredding? At the KANSAS CITY CURLING CLUB, beginners can get an in-depth lesson on the basics of sliding stones in curling, that Olympic sport that baffles and intrigues us every four years. Groups of up to ten can sign up to play together.

Kansas City Curling Club
www.kccurling.com  816-523-2345
5940 N.W. Waukomis Drive, Kansas City

BACK TO NATURE

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For a chance to meet Dasher or Dancer, check out the events calendar for SHOW-ME REINDEER. They exhibit their Missouri-raised reindeer at various community events throughout the winter. For more winter wildlife, try LONE ELK PARK, a year-round drive-through park in southwest St. Louis County, home to elk, bison, deer, turkey and other woodland creatures. Nearby the park is the WORLD BIRD SANCTUARY, featuring an array
of species in rehabilitation and breeding programs.  

Show-Me Reindeer
www.facebook.com/showmereindeer  314-401-7458
5309 Finney Place, Pacific MO

Lone Elk Park
www.stlouisco.com 314-615-5000
1 Lone Elk Park Road, Saint Louis
Open daily 8 a.m. – one half hour past sunset

Wild Bird Sanctuary
www.worldbirdsanctuary.org  • 636-225-4390
125 Bald Eagle Ridge Road, Valley Park
Open daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Show-Me Reindeer

Late December through early February is prime time in Missouri for eagle watching. The Missouri Department of Conservation hosts EAGLE DAYS at various locations, like the Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City, offering live programs, exhibits, guides with spotting scopes and refreshments. Check the website for this year’s dates and locations or head out on your own to the Eagle Bluffs Conservation area just south of Columbia to see these majestic birds.  

Missouri Department of Conservation
mdc.mo.gov

Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area
573-445-3882
6700 W. Route K

If your New Year’s resolutions include more healthy activities, why not start the year out with a FIRST DAY HIKE? Check with Missouri State Parks to find an organized and guided hike to join.

Missouri State Parks
mostateparks.com/events