Missouri December 05, 2015
12 Unforgettable Places In Missouri That Everyone Must Visit This Winter
Although Missouri is a more “happening” place in the spring and summer with all the outdoor activities, winter provides an entirely different experience. Skiing, festivals, sledding, ice skating, trout fishing and so much more provide wintertime fun, making the season less drab. These are just a few places to check out this winter in Missouri.
1. Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale
For a winter getaway in the Ozark Mountains, the secluded Big Cedar Lodge is a wonderful choice! Whether you stay in one of their cozy knotty pine cottages and log cabins in the woods, or choose a luxurious hillside cottage with an amazing view of Table Rock Lake, each location was beautifully chosen for absolute privacy. Big Cedar also offers private balconies, fireplaces, and modern amenities, as well as a choice of four different restaurants for your dining pleasure. It is the perfect place to sip come hot chocolate and enjoy the view, appreciating the tranquility. Rooms start at $129 per night. For more information, visit
2. Snow Creek, Weston
Open from December through the middle of March, Snow Creek in Weston is a great place to go snow-skiing, snowboarding or tubing. The Tornado Alley Tube Park features a thrilling downhill ride with a relaxing ride back up to the top of the hill. Wintertime hikers can enjoy 12 different trails that range from beginner to advanced, and the Rattlesnake Terrain Park is a place for expert skiers and boarders. Lessons, season passes and group options and equipment rental are available, and hours vary. They also feature a cafeteria, bar and lounge, first aid, souvenirs and gifts. For current snow conditions, prices, and hours of operation,
to go to their website.
3. Hidden Valley, Wildwood
Another Missouri option for skiing is at Hidden Valley in Wildwood. They are also open December through mid-March, and include skiing, snow-boarding and tubing, and a variety of trails ranging from beginner to advanced. For expert skiers and boarders, they offer The Outlaw and Badlands, and lessons, season passes and group rates are also available. Weather conditions affect Hidden Valley’s season, but generally they are open for around 70 days each year. In addition to a cafeteria, bar and retail shop, they also have first aid, a ski school, and offer special night skiing. For more information, updates on conditions, hours of operation, and equipment rental rates, visit their
4. Eagle Days, Various Locations
A big part of Missouri winter is the “Eagle days” held in multiple locations. In the winter, Missouri’s resident eagle population is joined by migrating birds from the north. New numbers of eagles in the area during this time can reach as many as 2,500 birds! Therefore, America’s symbolic bald eagles can be more easily spotted along open waterways and lakes throughout Missouri. Missouri has the second-largest number of wintering eagles in the lower 48 states.
“Eagle Days” are held in several places, special events that allow you the opportunity to witness these magnificent birds in their natural habitat, and learn from professional naturalists. To find eagle days near you, visit
. Pictured is the Eagle Days in
5. Art Hill, Forest Park, St. Louis
Art Hill in Forest Park is a must-do and a legend in St. Louis, with pictures depicting sledders going down the hill as early as during the 1904 World’s Fair. With every snowfall, snow enthusiasts come toting their sled of choice; the typical sleds and snowboards of course, but also trash can lids, cardboard boxes and pretty much whatever works can be found. Be prepared for a crowd, mostly kids during the day and more adults at night.
6. Steinberg Ice Skating Rink, Forest Park, St. Louis
Also in Forest Park is the Steinberg Ice Skating rink. A generous gift from the Steinberg family, the rink has been in operation since 1957, and is a magical place outside under the stars. It is the largest outdoor skating rink in the Midwest, and was voted “the most romantic place in St. Louis” by a local paper. You can also enjoy the fire and get food at the café. The rink is open daily November through February, including all holidays. For more information, visit
7. Ice Skating And Sledding At Stephens Lake, Columbia
Ice Skating is allowed on Columbia’s Stephens Lake when the temperature is low enough and the conditions are safe as determined by the city. When there are 4 to 6 inches of snow coverage, the sledding hill is open for you to bring your own sled and sled safely, looking for trees and rocks and staying out of the way of other sledders.
8. The Loop Ice Carnival, Delmar Loop, St. Louis
Each January, the Delmar Loop becomes The Loop Ice Carnival. Multiple ice sculptures, human dog sled races, frozen turkey bowling, stilt walkers, and fire performers are some things that you might see. This year's event kicks off Friday, January 15th with the Snow Ball at the Moonrise Hotel. Then, on Saturday, enjoy the previously mentioned activities as well as the $1,000 in Ice Cubes Giveaway, a putt-putt pub crawl, ice demonstrations and more.
9. Penguin Parade at the Saint Louis Zoo
YouTube/ Alessandra Plattner
Ever want to walk with the penguins? On Sundays at 2 p.m. during the winter, you can do just that at the St. Louis Zoo. They open up all the penguin enclosures and allow their most dapperly dressed residents to march (or waddle) along the pedestrian pathways.
10. Shaw Park Ice Rink, Clayton
Another Ice Rink is in Clayton, and fairly easy to get to whether you live in the city or country. From the end of November through the end of February, the rink offers public skating sessions, only closing if warm weather causes unsafe ice conditions. They are also have special Stick & Puck sessions just for hockey players where goals are set up on the ice, allowing players to practice their hockey skills. Visit
11. Kansas City Curling Club
Curling is a strategic ice game similar to shuffleboard. It is popular in Canada and during the Olympic Winter Games, and now you can play close to home with the Kansas City Curling Club. They welcome new and experienced curlers, and offer private lessons to teach you the sport, give you ice time for single-game play, and host six-week leagues. All you need are rubber-soled shoes and warm clothes and you can get started. Visit
for more information.
12. Trout Fishing at one of the State Parks
Trout fishing at Montauk State Park, Roaring River State Park and Bennett Spring State Park is a must if you love fishing. With less crowds, cooler temperatures and better chances of catching fish, these parks are quite special in the winter. They are all located in deep wooded Ozark valleys, springs pump out millions of gallons of cold, clear water, and the streams they create are regularly stocked by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Fully aware that the majority of these were in the St. Louis area, I would love to hear of some other winter destinations in other parts of the state. Please share them in the comments below, and maybe you’ll see them featured on a later post.