by Nancy Stiles
Take a break this weekend -- you'll be holed up with all the relatives come next Saturday. Catch a performance of the Nutcracker and meet the Sugar Plum Fairy herself, or celebrate Italian-style at the Libertine. Continue on for our food-related recommendations
Friday (Dec. 19):
"If you're into breathtaking displays of flora and multicolored lights, the Garden Glow is for you. More than half a million lights and holiday music transform the Missouri Botanical Garden into a nocturnal fairyland. Fire pits and s'mores help beat back the chill, and concession tents offer seasonal treats such as decorated candy canes, Bourbon eggnog and cookies. The event is capacity controlled, so buy your tickets online to ensure you can visit on the night or nights you desire." From 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets start at $6, available here.
Enjoy dinner and a visit from Santa before this evening's performance of the holiday classic. The menu includes chicken spiedini, roasted potatoes, green beans almondine and peppermint cheesecake, plus chicken fingers and french fries for kids. Dinner is Friday and Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person, available here. Nutcracker performance tickets are not included.
Come taste the St. Louis-made dandelion liqueur at Straub's in Clayton. We also put Lion's Tooth on our gift guide for local foodies. Trust us, it's a unique spirit with a brandy base and dandelion root that is drinkable alone or in one of the many recipes the distillery has cooked up. Tasting is from 4 to 6 p.m. Admission is free.
Saturday (Dec. 20):
If you're seeing a daytime performance of The Nutcracker, eat lunch with the Sugar Plum Fairy herself, plus Clara and other members of the cast, who will be available for photos and autographs. There will be a three-course lunch with holiday cookies and petit fours. Lunch begins at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person, available here. Nutcracker performance tickets are not included.
Forest Park will be a winter wonderland whether or not there's snow during this 5K to benefit Save the Children. Grab your best/worst holiday sweater and run through the park towards your reward. You'll get a knit hat, drawstring bag, unlimited hot chocolate and your choice of one Sam Adams Winter Lager, Boston Lager or Angry Orchard hard cider. The race starts at 11 a.m. Registration is $35 in advance for $40 the day of.
Take an open-level, hourlong yoga class at Swan River lead by Alba Creales. Afterward, hang out and enjoy vegan small bites and cold-pressed juices from nearby Athlete Eats. From 3 to 6 p.m. Registration is $20 per person.
Tenacious Eats wouldn't pass up the chance to create a menu around the modern holiday classic, Elf. The menu includes dishes inspired by moments like Buddy eating spaghetti and meeting Santa. From 6:30 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $65 each, available here.
Sunday (Dec. 21):
Feast of the Seven Fishes is a traditional Italian holiday celebration. Chef Josh Galliano is preparing a seven-course meal. Start with salt cod fritters, followed by couscous with poached shrimp and fried calamari, Sicilian pizza with white anchovies, mozzarella, tomato and cacciovallo cheese, bucatini with semi-dried tomatoes and bottarga and olive-oil chocolate mousse served with orange marmalade and salted shortbread. Dinner is from 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $60 per person; make a reservation here.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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