Metro-East Living

Holiday lights displays, trolley rides wrap up Christmas season events

LEGO display at Shrine

LEGO club of adult fans creates big display for Way of Lights At Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois. Now through Dec. 31.
Up Next
LEGO club of adult fans creates big display for Way of Lights At Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois. Now through Dec. 31.

Noon Thursday, Dec. 27, is the deadline to appear in next week’s What’s Happening. We must receive your event in writing with a contact phone number for questions. Due to the large number of submissions, non-profit events may run only one time in print, will be edited and appear in the week before the event date.

Email: Mail to: Lifestyle, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427. Questions, call Jennifer Green at 618-239-2643.


Winter Getaway — 10:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis. Celebrate the season with a variety of fun-filled, festive activities including indoor snow fun, musical performances and crafts.

The Polar Express Train Ride — 4:30, 6, 7:15 and 8:30 p.m. through Dec. 30. St. Louis Union Station, 1820 Market St., St. Louis. Experience the magic of “The Polar Express” with a 45-minute train ride adventure to the North Pole.

Brewery Lights 2018 — 5 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 30. Budweiser Brewery, 1200 Lynch St., St. Louis. Enjoy more than a million twinkling lights, special beer, food and entertainment.

Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park — 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. through Dec. 30. Tilles Park, 9551 Litzsinger Road, St. Louis. Open to vehicular traffic every day except Mondays and Saturdays. Closed Dec. 24. Cost: $10 per vehicle; cash or check only. Carriage rides and walks available.

Buck-a-Bag Sale — 9 to 11 a.m. Friday. 1050 N. State, Freeburg. Men’s, women’s and children’s clothing $1 per bag. Toys, shoes, books and some miscellaneous items will also be available for $1 per bag. Sponsored by Freeburg Food and Clothing Bank. 618-539-5070.

Metro East Model Railroad Club Open House — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Old Glen Carbon Fire House/Village Hall, 180 Summit St., Glen Carbon. Watch the trains running on the club’s 18-by-27-foot HO scale model railroad. Free admission.

Our Lady of the Snows Holiday Lights Trolley Tour will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening starting from Eckert’s Country Store & Farms. BND File Photo

Celebrate Raja’s 26th Birthday — 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 27. St. Louis Zoo, One Government Drive, St. Louis. The St. Louis Zoo’s bull elephant Raja will receive special presents to stomp open for this 26th birthday. Visitors are invited to sing “Happy Birthday” and cheer for Raja. Visitors can sign a giant birthday card and learn more about elephants and elephant conservation until 1 p.m. Birthday cupcakes and hot chocolate will be available for purchase.

Our Lady of the Snows Holiday Lights Trolley Tour — 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Eckert’s Country Store & Farms, 951 S. Green Mount Road, Belleville. Enjoy the holiday lights at Our Lady of the Snows while aboard an old-fashioned (enclosed and heated) trolley. Cost: $20 per person. Infants up to two years, on laps, are free.

Kwanzaa Celebration in the Loop — 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday. STL ArtWorks, 5959 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis. Join the students from the Bertha Knox Gilkey Pamoja Prep Academy as we come together as a community to celebrate Kwanzaa with live music, dancing, art exhibits and more.

New Year’s Eve Party — 7:30 p.m. Monday. American Legion, 1022 Vandalia St., Collinsville. Appetizers, champagne toast and breakfast will be served. Bring your own snacks. Cash bar. Tickets: $30 per person or $50 per couple. No ticket sales at the door. 618-345-2508.

New Year’s Day Dance — 1 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Okawville Community Club, 511 S. Hanover St., Okawville. Music by Rendition and guest trumpet player Don James. Admission is $8. Food and drinks available 12 to 4:30 p.m.

One of the clydesdale horses inside the Budweiser tour and visiting area. Tours at the Budweiser Brewery will run through Dec. 30. BND File Photo

Red Cross Blood Drive — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2. Memorial Hospital Belleville, 4500 Memorial Drive, Belleville. Donors must be 16 years of age or older to donate; feeling healthy the day of the drive. Photo ID required. 800-733-2767 or, sponsor code MemorialBelleville.


Aviston Legion Fish and Chicken Fry — 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday. American Legion Post 1239, 601 S. Clinton, Aviston. Cod, catfish, shrimp, chicken strips, fried chicken, sides. Eat in or carryout. 618-228-7311 or

Caseyville Fish Fry — 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Caseyville VFW Post 1117, 415 N. Long, Caseyville. Fish plates, desserts, sandwiches, burgers and more. Bingo at 7 p.m.

Collinsville Fish Fry — 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Collinsville American Legion, 1022 Vandalia St., Collinsville. North Atlantic cod, whole catfish, sides, desserts. 618-345-2508.

Collinsville Fish Fry — 4 to 7:30 p.m. Friday. Knights of Columbus Hall, 1 Columbus Plaza, Collinsville. Eat in or carryout. Fried/baked cod, catfish, sides. 618-345-1492.

Highland Fish Fry — 4 to 7:30 p.m. Friday. VFW Post 5694, 1900 VFW Road, Highland. Eat in or carryout. 618-654-6367.

Mascoutah Fish Fry — 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Mascoutah VFW Post 7682, 620 Donaphan St., Mascoutah. Dine in or carryout. 618-566-2288.

Millstadt Fish Fry and Jam Session — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Millstadt VFW Post, 200 Veterans Drive, Millstadt. 618-476-1180.

All-You-Can-Eat Fried Chicken – 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Millstadt VFW Post, 200 Veterans Drive, Millstadt. 618-476-1180.

O’Fallon Fish Fry — 4 to 8 p.m. Friday. Knights of Columbus Hall, 402 E. U.S. 50, O’Fallon. Cod and tilapia, burgers, hot dogs, pork steaks, pizza, sides. Eat in or carryout. Now accepting credit cards. 618-632-6229.

O’Fallon Fish and Chicken Fry — 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. O’Fallon American Legion, 109 N. Penn, O’Fallon. Carryouts available. 618-632-8879.

Okawville Fish and Chicken Fry — 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. 205 N. Hanover St., Okawville. American Legion Post No. 233. Eat in or carryout. 618-243-6545.

Shiloh Fish Fry — 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. 100 Eagle Drive, Shiloh. Cod, walleye, catfish, shrimp, chicken wings. Eat in or carryout. Auxiliary bake sale for charity. 618-624-5412.

Swansea Fish Stand – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 216 Service St., Swansea. Cod, walleye, catfish, shrimp and more. Saturday: fried chicken. 618-222-7171.

Troy VFW Fish Fry — 4 to 7 p.m. Friday. Troy VFW Post 976 and Auxiliary, 123-A W. Market St., Troy. Cod, catfish, jack salmon, baked fish, chicken strips, shrimp. Dine in or carry out. 618-667-8387.

Waterloo VFW Fish Fry — 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. Metzger Crook Post 6504, 406 Veterans Drive, Waterloo. Sold by the pound, sandwich or plate. Cod, catfish, walleye, salmon and shrimp. Carryouts. 618-939-7999.


Bridge — 11:45 a.m. Thursday. Collinsville Senior Center, 420 E. Main St., Collinsville. To participate, must have played bridge before. 618-310-1289.

Cribbage Club — 6:30 p.m. Thursday. 1 Columbus Plaza, KC Club, Collinsville. Nine games played against nine different opponents. Yvonne Bright 618-344-1521 or John Bilski 618-398-1029.

Euchre Tournament — 7 p.m. Friday. Millstadt Senior Center, 102 S. Jefferson, Millstadt. 618-476-3731.

Bridge — 11:45 a.m. Tuesday. Senior Center, 10025 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights. Sponsored by Caseyville Township. 618-310-1289.

‘Are You Smarter Than an 8th Grader?’ Trivia Night — 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18. Knights of Columbus Hall, 402 E. Highway 50, O’Fallon. Doors open 6:30 p.m. Cash prizes for first and second place. Mulligans, silent auction, heads and tails, cash bar, prize for best theme-decorated table. Cost: $160 per table or $20 per person before Jan. 10. $25 per person at the door. 618-806-1399 or

St. Stephen Catholic Church Men’s Club Trivia Night — 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26. Voigt Hall, 901 S. Main, Caseyville. Doors open 6:30 p.m. Maximum eight players per table. Cost is $12 per person. Cash prizes awarded by flights. Mulligans, 50/50 drawings. Free soft drinks and snacks. Draft beer will be available for purchase. You may bring your own snacks and alcoholic beverages. For reservations or information: 618-604-0600 or

Club News

TOPS IL592 Weight Loss Group — 7 p.m. Every Thursday. St. John UCC, Faith Hall Entrance, 307 West Clay, Collinsville. Weigh-in 6:30 p.m. 618-345-6218.

IBEW #649 Retired Members Club — 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 27. Eagles Nest Restaurant, 117 E. Bethalto Drive, Bethalto. Monthly breakfast meeting. A morning of food and friendship. 618-656-7593.

Fairview Heights Woman’s Club — 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27. Caseyville Township Building, 10001 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights. Holiday party. The Board of Officers will be hostesses for the holiday party dinner. Each member is to bring a covered dish.

O’Fallon Sunrise Rotary Meeting — 6:45 a.m. every Wednesday. O’Fallon Township Building, 801 E. State St., O’Fallon.

Polish American Ladies Society Meeting — 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2. Caseyville Township Building, 10001 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights. Theme: Cheers to Frosty! Members are asked to bring appetizers. Hostesses will provide desserts and drinks. Bring items or monetary donation for the Food Pantry.

Gateway East Artists’ Guild Public Meeting — 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 2. Programs and Services for Older Persons, 201 N. Church St., Belleville. Featuring Plein Air Painter M. Shawn Cornell.

Reservations Required

Gateway Outdoor Summit — 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11. St. Louis Union Station Hotel, 1820 Market St., St. Louis. The region’s opportunity to see what’s been achieved in outdoor recreation, to imagine what’s possible and to begin the conversation to building the outdoor culture. Free event. Limited space available. Register by Jan. 9. For more information:

McGinnis Heating and Cooling Indoor Golf Tournament — 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12. Top Shooters, 531 Old State Route 3, Columbia. Teams of two. Spots available for $60 per person. Proceeds to benefit McGinnis Veterans Program. Silent auction. For more information or to register: 618-406-1445 or 618-628-3907.

National Geographic Live: “When Women Ruled the World” — 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23. Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, 400 N. Alton St., Lebanon. Explore the realms of powerful ancient queens with Egyptologist Dr. Kara Cooney. Information 618-537-6097 or

‘Life Experienced: A Senior Art Competition’ — Applications for Southwestern Illinois College’s annual senior art competition are now being accepted. The deadline is Monday, Jan. 21 at 4 p.m. Selected entries will be displayed at an exhibition March 1-4 at the Schmidt Art Center. An opening reception will be held Thursday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. For applications or other information:, or 618-234-4410, ext. 7044.


Granite City Swing Band — 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday. Villa Rose Senior Living Community, 401 S. Moreland Road, Bethalto. Celebrate the new year early with the Granite City Swing Band. Free admission. 618-377-3239.

Walt Disney Animation Studios: A Decade in Concert — 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday. St. Louis Symphony, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis. Experience the most iconic musical moments from favorite Walt Disney Animation Studios films released over the last decade. For tickets, call 314-534-1700.

Global Comedy Sensation Jeff Dunham — 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30. Enterprise Center, 1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis. Don’t miss this performance, part of comedian Jeff Dunham’s “Passively Aggressive” Tour. Tickets: $49-$65; VIP $151.