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 in Missouri in December.
1. Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale
Big Cedar Lodge, Big Cedar Ldg, Ridgedale, MO 65739, USA
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 reasonable rates per night, but make sure to book early! This popular destination often reaches capacity during the holiday season. For more information, visit
2. Snow Creek, Weston
Snow Creek Drive, Snow Creek Dr, Marshall, MO 64098, USA
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. What more could you want? It's one of the best ways to enjoy winter in Missouri. For current snow conditions, prices, and hours of operation, visit
3. Hidden Valley, Wildwood
Hidden Valley Drive, Hidden Valley Dr, Wildwood, MO 63025, USA
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. Don't wait! Pack up your snow gear and plan your trip today! For more information, updates on conditions, hours of operation, and equipment rental rates, visit the
Hidden Valley website
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. If you've never experienced this magnificent display, add it to your bucket list. It's not every day you get to see these incredible birds up close! To find eagle days near you, visit
. Pictured is the Eagle Days in Clarksville.
5. Art Hill, Forest Park, St. Louis
Art Hill, 35-43 Fine Arts Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
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. When a place is this fun, it's no wonder everyone wants to enjoy it!
6. Steinberg Ice Skating Rink, Forest Park, St. Louis
Steinberg Skating Rink, 400 Jefferson Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
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 the
St. Louis Parks
7. Ice Skating And Sledding At Stephens Lake, Columbia
Stephens Lake, Columbia, MO 65201, USA
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. Make sure to bring your camera along! You're certain to make magical winter memories that will last a lifetime.
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 is sure to be a delight. Past activities have included: giveaways, putt-putt pub crawls, ice demonstrations and more. For more information about this year's event, visit the
University City Loop
9. Penguin Parade at the Saint Louis Zoo
Saint Louis Zoo, 1 Government Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
Editor's Note: The Saint Louis Zoo is no longer planning a Penguin Parade. For more fun, check out the
Wild Lights at the Saint Louis Zoo
Ever want to walk with the penguins? On Sundays 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
Shaw Park, 27 S Brentwood Blvd, Clayton, MO 63105, USA
Shaw Park, 27 S Brentwood Blvd, Clayton, MO 63105, USA
Editor's Note: The Shaw Park Ice Rink is currently closed. Visit
for the most up-to-date information.
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
. It absolutely belongs on your winter bucket list in Missouri!
11. Kansas City Curling Club
Kansas City Curling Club, 2525A NW S Outer Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015, USA
Never heard of curling? Well, it's about to become your new favorite winter pastime. 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. Need more ideas of places to go? Check out our list of the
best state parks in Missouri
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. Where are your favorite places to go in Missouri in December? Please share them in the comments below, and maybe you’ll see them featured on a later post.
Looking for more things to do in Missouri in winter? Take a look at our list of the
best winter hikes in Missouri! Who says exploring is only for the winter months? These picturesque hiking trails prove that you can go out and explore nature all year long.
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