Local holiday light attractions go up for the season

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Throughout this month, both big businesses and small shops alike are celebrating the holiday season with extravagant light shows and decorations.

If you’re looking to find some unique holiday spots this month, Missouri Botanical Garden, Grant’s Farm and local shop Renditions Salon went all-out with their seasonal decor.

Renditions Salon in Webster Groves proves that you don’t need a big installation to spread holiday joy.

Owner Ren Binder started decorating the salon by himself in 1993. Now, Binder and a few helpers he calls “elves” transform the salon for the holiday season.

Binder said regulars, newcomers and passer-bys all love the holiday look.

“That’s what it’s all about, that’s my favorite thing is it brings joy to so many people,” Binder said.

While not as large as Garden Glow or Grant’s Farm, Binder makes use of every corner of the salon. On a walk-through, you’ll find various holiday ornaments, an expansive Christmas Village and several full-size trees, each with a different theme.

Ren Binder reminisces on the memories of the veterans’ tree. Relatives and friends of stylists and clients adorn the branches of the tree. Photo by Joshua Wright.

But what really makes the experience so special is the stories. Such as the one behind the veterans’ tree kept front and center in the salon. Originally created to commemorate 9/11, clients loved it so much that Binder decided to keep it up in the store. Year after year, Binder said both clients and stylists bring in new ornaments and pictures for the tree.

“Lot of good memories on there,” Binder said, “people who are still with us, people who are gone. It’s a big, special tree.”

Renditions Salon will be decked out for the rest of the month and is located in the General Grant Plaza on Watson Road.

Less than ten miles away, Missouri Botanical Garden (the Garden) celebrates its ninth annual Garden Glow, this year. Garden Glow offers visitors an opportunity to visit the Garden during colder months for holiday-themed attractions.

“There’s something magical about the garden in winter, at night, with all these lights,” the Garden’s public information officer Catherine Martin said.

Attendants can stroll through Garden Glow to explore over one million lights and 30 installations, complete with festive snacks and drinks, photo opportunities and light shows synced to music.

Favorite stops include the light tunnel, a giant snow globe and the new Springtime display with three-foot-tall glass lilies that light up to music.

Glass lilies illuminate the Garden’s Victorian District. One hundred lilies were set up for the new Springtime installation. Photo by Joshua Wright.

Martin said Garden Glow is created by a small crew of six people, who begin right after labor day.

Garden Glow has become a yearly tradition for some Missourians.

“People love feeling that holiday magic here and they come year after year,” Martin said.

The display runs through Jan. 8, 2022, with ticket prices ranging from $3 to $20.

Grant’s Farm also offers a “Holiday Lights” display, which is open until Jan. 2, 2022. Prices begin at $39 per carload.

During a drive-through light show, visitors can experience a unique look at Grant’s Farm’s historical culture.

The 30-minute drive features light shows, live animals and a chance encounter with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

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