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Monday, March 31, 2014

A - Z Guide for Summer Fun in St. Louis -- 2014 Edition


I'm overwhelmed at the attention my St. Louis Summer Fun Guide posts have received!  It just goes to show that after a long, cold, snowy winter, we are all ready to get out and enjoy a fun summer in St. Louis!  Be sure to check back throughout the summer.  I'll be featuring some of the locations below in my "STL 250 Cake Quest" series.

A
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 Fairs – The St. Louis African Arts Festival will be held at the World's Fair Pavilion May 25-27.  Art&Air is scheduled for June 6-8 in Webster Groves.  Let them Eat Art is scheduled for July 11th in Maplewood.  The St. Louis Art Fair and Art Outside will be held the first weekend in September.
Art Hill Outdoor Music & Film Series – Come and enjoy free music and movies Fridays in July on Art Hill.
B
Ballpark Village  Check out the Cardinals Hall of Fame & Museum, enjoy some Ted Drewes Frozen Custard and check out Busch-II-Infield for family friendly events and festivals year round.
Big Joel's Safari Petting Zoo  See all types of animals from "wild to mild"
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.
Bob Kramer's Marionnettes  Get your tickets to see the Summer Follies puppet show.
Boy Scouts – There are lots of great summer camps available.
Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis – Check out their website for summer camp opportunities for kids ages 6-14.
Budweiser Brewery Tour – Everyone is invited (even kids!) to a complimentary tour of the brewery.  Come on Clydesdale Camera Day to get a picture of your family with the Budweiser Clydesdales!
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.
C
Cardinals at Busch Stadium – Come see a game with the whole family and visit the new Ballpark Village.  Check their website for the special promotions and giveaways.
Cardinals Alumni Kid Clinics – Learn baseball fundamentals the St. Louis Cardinals way! 
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!  If you have little ones, the one hour Little Top performances at 10am are perfect.  Hurry, it's only here in June!
City Garden – Come on a warm day with a change of clothes and plan to get wet.  Then cool off with a treat from the ice cream truck.
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.
Cooking Classes - Schnucks and Dierbergs both offer cooking classes for kids.
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!
D
Dramatic License Productions – Now offering plays for kids as well as summer drama camps.
Drive-In Movies @ Skyview – This may be the only drive-in theater left near St. Louis.
E
Eckert’s Farm –  Visit one of their 3 locations to pick your own fruit this summer.
F
Fair St. Louis  Celebrate the Fourth of July in St. Louis!  Sign up for the one mile Family Fun Run to kick off the holiday.
Family Musical Theater – Come see a show with the whole family.
Farmers Markets – Visit one of the many farmers markets around St. Louis for some fresh food straight from the farm.  Click here for a map of farmers markets in your area.
Faust Park  There are lots to do here in the summer including Olden Days of Summer, Historic Village Open House tours, Feast in the Park, Summer Concert Series and the Faust Heritage Festival.  Click here for the 2014 Summer Brochure.
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 the Little Hills – This festival will be held August 15-17 along Historic Main Street in St. Charles.
Festival of Nations  The festival will be held August 23-24 at Tower Grove Park.
Food Truck Fridays – Bring your picnic blankets to Tower Grove Park and enjoy the food and entertainment with your family.
Fox Theater – The shows continue through the summer, including "The Wizard of Oz" from May 13-18.  You can also take a 1.5 hour backstage tour on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:30am.
Forest Park – Pack a picnic lunch and explore all the park has to offer.
Frisco Train Store - The kids can play with the trains in their free play area while you shop. Be sure to check their calendar for Family Fun Night.
G
Gateway Grizzlies  Come watch a minor league ball game with your family in Illinois.
Girl Scouts – There are lots of summer camp opportunities for Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts.
Grafton Zipline Adventures – 9 zip lines 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!).
Green Center – Located in Kaufman Park in U City, The Green Center offers classes for kids, guided field trips and summer youth camps.  
H
The Hill – Enjoy the many bakeries and gelaterias as you tour this historic Italian village. You can even play Bocce ball!
Hot Air Balloon Race at Forest Park – The 42nd annual balloon race is September 20th.  And come to Balloon Glow on September 19th to see the inflated balloons up close.  
I
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 open to kids and grandkids of Innsbrook property owners aged 6-15.
International Children's Film Festival  Check the website for a list of films that will be screened from August 1-10.
J
Jewel Box – Located in Forest Park, the Jewel Box is open after a $3.5M renovation.
K
Katy Trail – Bike the Katy Trail and stop by a winery or two along the way.
Kimmswick Strawberry Festival – Visit Kimmswick for their annual Strawberry Festival on June 7th and 8th.
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 19th.  Check out Kirkwood's Calendar of Events page for more festivals in downtown Kirkwood, such as Mayfest, Tunes at Ten, Summer Concert Series and Sidewalk Sale.
Kirkwood Greentree Festival – The festival will be held September 12-14 in Kirkwood Park. There will also be a parade at 10am on the 13th.
L
Language Camp  French and Spanish language camps are offered for kids ages 5-10.
Laumeier Sculpture Park – Entrance to the park is free and open year round.  Art Fair will be held May 9-11. Also, check out their calendar for a Food Truck Friday schedule.
Lone Elk Park & World Bird Sanctuary – The World Bird Sanctuary is located within Lone Elk Park where you can see bison, turkey, elk, deer and other wildlife.
Lydia Buder Park - Come watch model airplanes take flight.  The park is also located near the World Bird Sanctuary and Lone Elk Park if you have time to visit.
M
Magic House – The first interactive children's museum opened in 1979 and has grown substantially since.  Check their website for special events and free days!
Meramec Caverns – You can take a cave tour or relax on a riverboat among many other things.  They also have a zip line tour.
Missouri Botanical Garden – Visit their website for a list of summer events and classes for kids. From May 24 - September 7 you can see handmade exhibits made with LEGO bricks. And the Whitaker Music Festival continues this summer on Wednesday evenings from June 4 - August 27.  The Children's Garden stays open late on concert days and is free after 5pm.
Missouri History Museum – Check their website for the free Summer Family Fun Series events, including story time, make-and-take workshops, family films and more.
Missouri Wine Country – Most wineries have live music on the weekends starting around 1:00pm - the perfect time to enjoy a picnic lunch with some wine.  Visit Augusta September 19-20 for the 11th Annual Harvest Festival.
Muny Opera – Their summer shows include Billy Elliot, Tarzan, The Addams Family, Seussical and Grease.
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.
N
The Nest - St. Louis' "stay and play creative cafe" opened in 2013.  They also host birthday parties, mom's groups and baby showers.
O
Old Webster Community Days  Celebrate the Fourth of July in Old Webster.  Visit their website for a schedule of events.
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.  The 2014 summer movies are: "Planes" (May 30th), "Frozen" (June 13) and "Despicable Me 2"  (July 25).  Movies start at 8pm.
P
Peabody Opera House  Blue Man Group is coming April 25 - 27.  Check their website for other family-friendly events throughout the year.
Pick Your Own Fruit – You can find all the local farms in your area that offer fruit picking.
Piper Palm House Children's Concert Series  Free interactive concerts for kids on Wednesdays at 9:30am.  Click here for their 2014 Calendar of Events.
Play Your Art Out – Hands-on play and crafts using recycled materials.
Playgrounds and Water Parks – This website has a great, comprehensive list of playgrounds and water parks throughout St. Louis with pictures.
Playhouse Productions  Check their website for their summer show schedule.
Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center – Explore the interactive exhibits in the Nature Center then hike along the many trails.
Purina Farms – Animal lovers can get up close and personal with barnyard animals and everyday pets.  They also have animal shows.
Q
Queeny Park – There is a fun playground and lots of hiking trails that are paved and good for strollers.
R
Riverboat Rides – Enjoy a guided tour on a replica 19th-century paddle-wheel boat.
River City Rascals  Come watch a fun minor league ball game with your family in O'Fallon. 
RockShow Academy Summer Camp – Check out the website for summer camps for musical kids.
S
Science Center – Fun for kids of all ages and admission is free.
Shakespeare Festival – Henry IV and Henry V will be performed in Forest Park from May 17 - June 15.  Come early for the Green Show at 6:30pm to see musicians, jugglers, singers, crafts artisans, and a 20-minute adaptation of the evening’s mainstage production (except on double feature nights).
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.
The Sheldon  During the summer, The Sheldon has arts and crafts projects for kids in the galleries ($3/child donation).
SLU Summer Camps – There are lots of camps to choose from for kids age Pre-K through high school.
Spraygrounds  Spraygrounds are a fun way to cool off and are great for little ones and big kids. 
St. Louis Art Museum – Summer classes are available for kids ages 3 and up.  Check the website for more family programs.
St. Louis Symphony Family Concerts – The Family Concert series starts back up in September. Check the website for more info on purchasing tickets.
Stages – Purchase tickets to see "Seusiscal Jr." May 9-11 and "Disney's Sleeping Beauty" June 18-29.
STL250  Celebrate the 250th birthday of St. Louis all year long.  Check out their calendar for upcoming events.  See how many cakes you can find around St. Louis!
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 Farm – Farm Fridays start in May from 10am-1pm.  Admission is $8 for kids under 12 (adults free).  Hayrides, pony rides, barn tours and games for kids!
Swim Lessons at the YMCALittle 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.
T
Taste of Clayton  The event will be held on June 2nd in downtown Clayton and features great food, live music and kids' activities.
Taste of St. Louis – The event will be held September 19-21 at the Chesterfield Amphitheater.  Be sure to visit Kid City!
Ted Drewes – Perfecting frozen custard since 1929.  They just opened their 3rd location in Ballpark Village at Busch Stadium!
The Teacher's Lounge  Check their calendar for storytimes and family events.
U
Union Station – Come celebration National Train Day on May 10th.  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, enjoy a Root Beer Float at Fitz's, browse the shops and enjoy the food.
V
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.
W
Wabash, Frisco and Pacific Railroad – Take a 30 minute ride on a live steam railroad on Sundays.
Weherenberg Theater Family Summer Series – See 10 great films for $1 each this summer on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10am.
World Aquarium – Explore the wonders of water at the World Aquarium, located within City Museum.
X
XCEL Gymnastics – Lot of fun camps for kids are offered in the summer.
Y
YMCA Book Fair  The 36th annual book fair will be held August 15-20 at the Kennedy Recreation Center.
YMCA Summer Camp – Visit the website for a list of summer camp options for kids.
Z
Zoo – Summer activities include Camp KangaZoo, North Star Summer Zoo Weekends and Jungle Boogie.  Also, the 29th Annual Run/Walk will be held on May 18th.  Kids of all ages can participate.

Click here for your Summer Family Fun Passport too.


Have a fun summer in St. Louis!

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32 comments:

Anonymous said...

good one, covers everything in STL..thx

Anonymous said...

Don't forget all the activities, camps, academies, for credit classes, and conferences available through Saint Louis University's Summer at SLU! Check out the website for specific event information: http://summer.slu.edu

Anonymous said...

What about Six Flags?
Great list, Thank you for the ideas.

Cathy said...

Thanks for the additions! Let me know if I've missed anything else!

Anonymous said...

Can't leave out Fitz's Rootbeer. Best restaurant in town by far to take the kiddos!

Anonymous said...

This is great!

Anonymous said...

Great Ideas...

Anonymous said...

You should add St. Louis Cart Tours who give tours throughout the city. http://www.stlcarttours.com/

E. Davis said...

Hi Cathy! Be sure to bring the kiddos to Splash City Waterpark in Collinsville this summer. We're located just 15 minutes from Downtown St. Louis. Check us out: SplashCity.com.

Anonymous said...

This is awesome! Thank you for your hard work putting this together.

Cathy Reeves said...

Thanks for all your feedback!

Anonymous said...

What about Great Skate in St. Peters, skating this summer Tuesday through Sunday. www.greatskaterocks.com

BIGFOOT 4X4, Inc. said...

BIGFOOT 4X4, Inc. Home of BIGFOOT, "The Original Monster Truck" bigfoot4x4.com

Anonymous said...

Cahokia Mounds Museum in Collinsville is also a great place to spend some time and really educational.

Anonymous said...

Cadet Missouri has a drive-in. Down Highway 21. Bring chairs, snacks and radio w good batteries. Great, affordable family night.

Anonymous said...

HI Cathy, don't forget to come to Aquaport in Maryland Heights. We'd love to see you there!!

Darla Hollowood said...

Great Skate in St. Peters, MO is ALWAYS a fun place to cool off for a hot afternoon.

Anonymous said...

these are cool awesome i mite use these

Anonymous said...

There is also Geowoodstock XII happening on May 24th http://coord.info/GC4BGXM

Anonymous said...

just what I needed for me and my grandgirls.......we bond all the time, however, we take a week long vacation just us three and this summer we are going to go to "Santa, Indiana to the biggest amusement/water park.....only 4 hours away!

Andrea Mancillas said...

What an awesome list! I always add these things to my Gmail calendar so we don't miss anything! That would be a great addition...an "add to Google Calendar" button? :) Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

April 26th - Color fun at holi- https://www.facebook.com/events/280225308802499/

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great ideas! The Science Center also has summer camps and other family activities: http://www.slsc.org/summer-camps

Anonymous said...

Cathy.....I am moving from Panama City Beach, FL to O'Fallon to spend summer making special memories with my two granddaughters. The time and effort you put in to compiling this list is greatly appreciated. Thanks to you I may earn "Nana of the Year" award. :-) Debbie Shipp

Cathy Reeves said...

Thanks Debbie! I hope you have a great summer with your granddaughters!

Gege Mess said...

Does the train leave us in Kansas City or does it bring us back to Kirkwood the same day?

Cathy Reeves said...

Gege - You can come back the same day but it doesn't leave you much time to see KC. Travel time to KC on Amtrak is ~5 hours one way. So you'd only have about 1 hour to spend in KC before you'd have to head back to the train station. Traveling round trip to Washington, MO is probably a better day trip. Hope this helps!

Dave Boyer said...

Elephant Rock State Park : http://www.visitmo.com/elephant-rocks-state-park.aspx?gclid=CIO7u6rjzr4CFXQ1Mgod-B4Avw

Anonymous said...

This is great for people who dont know about all these places or have trouble trying to decide what to do.

Anonymous said...

Oh Wow! Thanks for putting this list together! There is another program that you may be interested in listing. My son participated two years ago. Project MEGSSS offers a Math Jam Summer Camp for rising 7th and 8th graders http://www.megsss.org/dmdocuments/2014_Advanced_Students_Registration_Planning_Packet.pdf

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great list!!

Aimee Greene said...

Lodging recommendations. Been told Westport is most central for kid activities.

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