Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A - Z Guide for Summer Fun in St. Louis

Click HERE for the updated 2013 list!

80 Fun Things to Do with Kids in St. Louis

Since the new baby girl will arrive in October, I feel like this summer is my chance to do whatever I want, whenever I want with Ava and Sidney.  So I started putting together a bucket list of activities and it just kept growing and growing and growing.  Let me know if there are any activities that I have left off that you like to do with your kids!

ABC Chefs Cooking Academy – Lots of fun summer cooking camps for kids.
Amtrak Trip  Kids love trains!  Start at the Kirkwood station and take a day trip.  The train stops in Washington, MO, Jefferson City, MO, Lee's Summit, MO, Independence, MO and Kansas City, MO.
Arch – In addition to going to the top of the Arch, the website offers lots of other fun things to do around the Arch grounds.
Art Hill Outdoor Music & Film Series – Come and enjoy free music and movies Fridays in July on Art Hill.
Boathouse Boat Rental – Rent a 4-person paddle boat for $15 an hour.  Also, the boat house has live music most Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7pm throughout the summer.
Butterfly House – Come to see the butterflies and check their calendar for special events.  The Butterfly House is located in Faust Park with the Carousel and a fun playground.
Cardinals at Busch Stadium – Come see a game with the whole family.  Check their website for the special promotions.
Carriage ride at Tower Grove Park – You can rent a 3 0r 4 person carriage and see the park.
Children’s Garden Club – This is a free club focused on getting kids interested in gardening.  Click on "Calendar of Events" to see what's going on.
Circus Flora – The circus is in town!  Hurry, it's only here through June 24th.
City Garden – Come on a warm day with a change of clothes and plan to get wet.
City Museum – The best kids museum in town and it's fun for adults too.
COCA Family Theater Series – Sign up for a summer camp or just enjoy the shows.
Crown Candy Kitchen – Opened in 1913, they are famous for their candy, but also serve lunch and dinner.  They also have the oldest soda fountain in St. Louis!
Drive-In Movies @ Skyview – This may be the only drive-in theater left near St. Louis.
Eckert’s Farm –  Visit one of their 3 locations to pick your own fruit this summer.
Family Musical Theater – Come see The Wizard of Oz July 20-29.
Family Theater Series – There are lots of great family shows starting in October.
Farmers Markets – Visit one of the many farmers markets around St. Louis for some fresh food straight from the farm.
Faust Park  Olden Days of Summer will be held on June 13th, July 11th and August 8th from 10am - 1pm.  There will be demonstrations of blacksmithing, candle dipping, rope making and other crafts, along with face painting and a petting zoo. $10 admission includes free carousel rides.
Faust Park’s St. Louis Carousel – This carousel was built in 1920 and nearly lost to a fire in 1963, but it still operates today for $2 a ride.  Also, check the website for special events and summer camps.
Festival of Nations  The festival will be held August 25-26 at Tower Grove Park.
Fox Theater – Come see The Lion King showing August 15 - September 2 or see Imagination Movers on October 14.
Forest Park – Pack a picnic lunch and explore all the park has to offer.
Grafton Zipline Adventures – 9 ziplines cover 1.75 miles!  Call to reserve your 2 hour tour.
Grant’s Farm – Admission is FREE!  Come see the Budweiser Clydesdale Stables, feed the goats and enjoy complimentary samples of Anheuser-Busch beer (21 and older of course!).
Hot Air Balloon Race at Forest Park (40th annual) – The 40th annual balloon race is September 15.  And come to Balloon Glow on September 14th to see the inflated balloons up close.  
Innsbrook Institute Music Festival – Enjoy Innsbrook and a concert.  The musicians come from all over the US to perform at Innsbrook.
Innsbrook Summer Camps – Summer camp opportunities are 0pen to kids and grandkids of Innsbrook property owners aged 6-15.
Jewel Box – Located in Forest Park, the Jewel Box is open after a $3.5M renovation.
Katy Trail – Bike the Katy Trail and stop by a winery or two along the way.
Kirkwood Peach Festival  Enjoy peach samples from local farmers as well as peach related treats and menu items at Kirkwood Farmers' Market starting at 8am on July 14th.
Language Camp  French, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish language camps are offered for kids ages 5-10.
Laumeier Sculpture Park – The Discover Laumeier Festival will be held June 10th from 12-5pm.  There will be creative activities, live music, demonstrations by local artists and a scavenger hunt through the sculpture park.
Learn to Swim at the YMCA, Little Fishes Swim School or ASP Kirkwood – Feel more safe with your kids in the pool all summer by enrolling in swim lessons.  I've heard good things about these programs.
Lone Elk ParkWorld Bird Sanctuary – The World Bird Sanctuary is located within Lone Elk Park where you can see bison, turkey, elk, deer and other wildlife.
Magic House – The first interactive children's museum opened in 1979 and has grown substantially since.  Check their website for special events, like International Picnic Day.  They also have free days!
Meramec Caverns – You can take a cave tour or relax on a riverboat among many other things.  They also have a zipline tour.
Missouri Botanical Garden – Don't miss the amazing Lantern Festival at the Gardens this summer.  Kids will also enjoy the Children's Garden (free with a ticket to the Lantern Festival).
Missouri History Museum – Check their website for the Summer Family Fun Series FREE events.  Admission is always free too.
Missouri Wine Country – Most wineries have live music on the weekends starting around 1pm - the perfect time to enjoy a picnic lunch with some wine.
Muny Opera – Buy tickets or come early for the free seats to see Aladdin July 5-13.
Museum of Transportation – Kids 5 and under will love visiting the Creation Station.  You can also explore trains and ride on the Miniature Train.  Check the website for train riding hours.
Myseum - This is like West County's smaller version of the Magic House.
Nascar Speedpark – Enjoy go-cart racing, mini-golf, laser tag, rock wall climbing, bumper boats, arcade games, and lots more activities.
Old Webster Community Days  Celebrate the Fouth of July in Old Webster.  This annual event is held from July 1-4, the parade is July 4th at 10am.
Old Webster Summer Nights Street Dance  Spend the evening in Old Webster. Shop, dine and dance in the street.  Live music from 5-10 p.m. on Gore Avenue, just off Lockwood in Webster Groves.
Outdoor Concerts – Outdoor concerts are offered all over St. Louis.  And they are FREE!
Outdoor Summer Movie Series at the Chesterfield Amphitheater – This new amphitheater is showing a free movie each month of the summer.
Purina Farms – Animal lovers can get up close and personal with barnyard animals and everyday pets.  They also have animal shows.
Playgrounds and Water Parks – This website has a great, comprehensive list of playgrounds and water parks throughout St. Louis with pictures.
Playhouse Productions  Get your tickets to see Oliver (June 14-17) and Nuncracker: The Nunsense Christmas Musical (June 28-July 1).  Tickets go on sale starting at 6:30 pm before each performance. Curtain Time is 8:15 pm.
Pick Your Own Fruit – You can find all the local farms in your area that offer fruit picking.
Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center – Explore the interactive exhibits in the Nature Center then hike along the many trails.
Queeny Park Art Fair – Mark your calendars for the Art Fair on August 31 - September 2.
Riverboat Rides – Enjoy a guided tour on a replica 19th-century paddle-wheel boat.
RockShow Academy Summer Camp – Check out the website for summer camps for musical kids.
Science Center – Fun for kids of all ages and admission is free.
Shaw Nature Reserve – The Nature Explore Classroom and the Whitmire Wildflower Garden are perfect for kids.  There are also lots of hiking trails to explore.
St. Louis Art Museum – Visit the website to learn about their family activities and classes.
St. Louis Symphony Family Concerts – The Family Concert series starts in October.  Check the website for more info on purchasing tickets.
Stages – Purchase tickets to see The Jungle Book June 20 - July 1.
Story Time at PBK, the Library and Whole Foods – It's so nice that there are so many options for free story time for kids.
Suson Park and Animal FarmFarm Fridays start June 8th from 10am-1pm.  Admission is $8 for kids under 12 (adults free).  Hayrides, pony rides, barn tours and games for kids!
Ted Drewes – Perfecting frozen custard since 1929.
The Hill – Enjoy the many bakeries and gelaterias as you tour this historic Italian village.  You can even play Bocce ball!
Union Station – Sample fudge from The Fudgery, play mini-golf, visit the Memories Museum or take a ride on a paddle boat.  There is also live music on select Thursday nights.
University City Loop – See the St. Louis Walk of Fame, listen to live music at Blueberry Hill, browse the shops and enjoy the food.  Also, visit the website for upcoming events like Get Your Chalk On held September 1st.
Variety St. Louis – Visit the website for information on camps and events for kids with physical and mental disabilities.
Vintage Baseball  See baseball as it was played in the 1880s as the Perfectos play the St. Louis Brown Stockings at 6pm at Whitecliff Park.
Wabash, Frisco and Pacific Railroad – Take a 30 minute ride on a live steam railroad on Sundays.
Whittle Shortline Railroad  This cute little store has a bunch of train tables that kids can play with for free.  There are benches for the parents to sit and rest.
World Aquarium – Explore the wonders of water at the World Aquarium, located within City Museum.
Weherenberg Theater Family Summer Series – See 10 great films for free on Wednesdays and Thursdays from June 6 - August 16 at 10am.
XXX Summer Olympics: London – Inspire your little Olympians by following the 30th Summer Olympics.
YMCA Book Fair  The 34th annual book fair will be held August 17-22 at the Kennedy Recreation Center.
YMCA Summer Camp – Visit the website for a list of summer camp options for kids.
Zoo – Summer activities include Camp KangaZoo, North Star Summer Zoo Weekends, Jungle Boogie and SEA LION SOUND OPENS JUNE 30TH!!!

This list feels never-ending - I keep finding out about more fun activities.  I started out with 50 activities and the list has now grown to 80!  Let me know if you have any more to add.  As I find out more activities I'll continue to update this list.  Check back for more fun!

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