Are You Ready for the Summer?

FREE St. Louis Happenings to Enjoy this Summer

Are you ready for the summer?  Are you ready for the sunshine?  Are you ready for the birds and the bees, the apple trees, and whole lot a I can’t believe my mom let me watch this movie when I was a kid.

Not only do I edit for fun (which makes me pretty cool to begin with); but I also have an irresistible urge to create spreadsheets and lists.  And since spring has sprung and Easter is behind us, it’s time to focus on summer… which is rapidly approaching.   Do you know what you’re going to do to escape your four walls?  I don’t either… yet.  But at least I have my lists!

As I started researching fun places to add to our summer bucket list, I was amazed at how much we have around the St. Louis area that is FREE!  So that’s where I’m going to start.  And stay tuned, my friends.  I plan to send out a list of vacation bible schools around town as well as a laundry list of summer camps to keep your kiddos occupied doing the things they love the most.

So don’t be a Spaz… have some fun this summer!  And if you know of any other FREE St. Louis attractions, please let me know.  Thanks!

FREE Things To Do With Your Kids in St. Louis this Summer

Go to the Movies!

Wehrenberg Family Fun Series features a different 2nd-run family film each week for ten weeks beginning Wednesday, June 6. The series concludes Thursday, August 16.  Showtimes are every Wednesday & Thursday at 10 AM.  Specific theatre schedules are available online.  The popular “Kid Combos,” with popcorn and soft drink, will be available for just $5.  Seats for the free Family Summer Series are first-come, first-served. Guests should arrive as early as possible to get best seating.

Whittle Train Station

Whittle Shortline Railroad Train Store has an exhaustive collection of tracks and [Thomas-type] trains to play with for free while perusing merchandise.  Whittle is located at 24 Front Street in Valley Park, 63088.

Tower Grove Children’s Concert(s) in the Park

Children’s Concert Series @ Piper Palm House begin at 9:30 AM.  Concerts are free and open to the public.  Seating is on a first-come, first served basis.  There’s a park and wading pool, too.

Powder Valley

One of the few places to go rain or shine if you’re looking for a good time.  This is a nature conservatory with plenty of hands-on activities and learning centers for the kiddos.  If it’s a nice day, explore one of the many hiking trails (some of the trails are great for a challenging workout, too).

Castlewood State Park

Castlewood has a ton of great hiking/biking trails; the Meramec (just don’t swim, please!); and fun little playground to burn off just a little bit more steam before getting back into the car. It also has camping areas available for an extended stay.

Creve Coeur Park

I had to put something in about my old stompin grounds : )  Creve Coeur offers a broad variety of activities that includes a 320- acre lake, nature tracks (great for taking the kids for an extended bike ride or stroll on their roller blades), reservable picnic shelters, modern restrooms, playgrounds & much more.

City Garden

This new sculpture park features art, pretty landscaping, and water play for the kiddos.  It’s a beautiful blend of art, architecture, and landscape.

Forest Park/Downtown

  • Science Center (the Discovery Room offers even more hands-on learning for $3.50 per person over 2 yrs.)
  • Running/walking trail w/area for picnic
  • Zoo (Children’s area, carousel, and sting ray exhibit are free the first hour it’s open)
  • Turtle Park (near Forest Park)
  • The Arch is free to go inside and has a pretty awesome visitor’s center full of historical memorabilia (parking not so free)

Suson Park

Get a feel for how a real farm works.  See animals like pigs, peacocks, cows, and more.  You can even view a cow being milked – all for free J

World Bird Sanctuary

This is where many birds have been rescued and rehabbed. It’s an outdoor walk and you’ll see bald eagles, owls, falcons and more. There is also a reptile house where we’ll see snakes, turtles, parrots, cockatiels.  Free admission.  Open daily from 8 – 5.

St. Louis County Library

Summer reading club begins June 1st and goes through August 4th.  Kids get rewards as they “log” more and more reading time throughout the summer. There are also story times and other events throughout the year.  Check out http://www.slcl.org/events for details.

Grant’s Farm

The Farm is home to more than 900 animals representing more than 100 different species. Grant’s Farm, operated by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., has been a St. Louis tradition for over five decades.  (Complimentary Anheuser-Busch Hospitality is offered in the Bauernhof area J)  An $11 parking fee gets you into the farm for “free.”

Purina Farms

Purina Farms a free, all-inclusive destination for animal lovers and enthusiasts of all ages. Competitive shows and trials as well as fun and educational family-friendly activities and exhibits reinforce the many ways that animals enrich our lives.  Reservations Required.  Call 314-982-3232 or 888-688-PETS (7387).

Free Evening Concerts in the Park

I had no idea how many nights I could sit under that stars and listen to good music.  Bring a blanket and some dinner and enjoy!


Paid Attractions that are Worth the Trip


For more cool summer happenings, check out the St. Louis County Summer Guide.

Circus Flora

Circus Flora is a theater company specializing in one-ring circus production, based on the focused energy of traditional circus arts, and showcasing the working partnership of humans and animals.   May 31 through June 24 under the air-conditioned, red-and-white big top tent in Grand Center.

Friday*/Saturday  2 & 7

Sunday 1 & 5:30

Tuesday – Thursday  7

Little Top Wednesday – 10 AM

Children under 2 are free when seated on an adult lap. The child must not take up a seat.  Wednesday 10am shows are “Little Top” shows – a special one-hour performance for those who would prefer a morning or a shorter performance.

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Jean Whitney May 18, 2012 at 05:55 PM
I so agree with you Aimee!
Thanks, Aimee & Jean! I created the list a few years back for a friend and it was fun to "revisit" it. It makes me a little less apprehensive about THREE WHOLE MONTHS of unstructured time with three kiddos knowing there's so much to do : ) Have a great summer. I'll have a list of summer camps soon.
Peggy May 21, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Don't forget the Sky-View Drive-In in Belleville.
I didn't even know this existed, Peggy. Thanks for the tip. We'll have to make a family trip some time. It looks like for every paid adult admission, 2 kids (ages 12 and under) get in free. See www.skyview-drive-in.com for more details.
Melissa Griffin May 22, 2012 at 02:13 PM
The movies were mentioned for free, also if you have the Wehrenberg mvp card you get a free medium popcorn on Wednesday's.


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