The holiday season is all about traditions. We're talking about baking traditions, decorating traditions, musical traditions, activity traditions -- the list goes on and on. And while some of these "traditions" play out more like obligations
, the Missouri Botanical Garden's Gardenland Express
miniature train and foliage display is one of the want-to holiday activities, rather than one of the have-tos. And lots of St. Louisans are in on the secret. Not only do they know how festive they feel after watching the trains go 'round and admiring the meticulous artfulness that goes into the creation of the giant indoor show each year, but they also know how lovely the garden can be in the wintertime. They'll warm up indoors while checking out the flowers and other holiday trimmings along 900 feet of train tracks -- the display's theme this year is "Merry Botanical Traditions" -- and then they'll take a stroll outdoors to gain a whole different perspective of the garden's grounds. To join these folks and start a new holiday tradition for you and yours, stop by the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; 314-577-5100 or www.mobot.org
) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. any day between now and Tuesday, January 1 (note that the garden closes at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, and is closed all day on Christmas). Admission to Gardenland Express costs $5, and regular garden admission costs $3 to $8 more.
Dec. 1-24; Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 2012