Summer will soon be in full swing, and with it comes a full season of local festivals and fairs that offer fun in the sun for the entire family. Here are our picks for the best family-friendly summer festivals.
1. Ballwin Days, June 8-11:
Ballwin days celebrates its 40th anniversary with a full weekend of family fun including live entertainment, carnival rides, a parade and the K-9's in Flight dog show featuring some of the world's most athletic canines. Kid's Korner will feature plenty of free kids' activities on Saturday and Sunday, including inflatables, games, face painting, crafts, Lego fun, spin art, a petting zoo, Mr. Saxophone, the Bubble Bus, Juggling Jeff and more. Plus, the whole family can enjoy a dazzling fireworks show both Friday and Saturday nights.
Ballwin Days takes place at Vlasis Park, located on Park Drive in Ballwin. For more info, visit www.ballwindays.com.
2. Countrytime BBQ & Bluegrass Festival and Kids Carnival, June 17-18:
Get away from it all and bring your whole family to the rolling hills of Purina Farms for a weekend of delicious BBQ, toe-tapping bluegrass music and fun carnival games for the kids. Billy the Bronco will make special appearances to entertain kids and teach them about roping. There will also be pony rides, country-themed magic shows, face painting, wagon rides, cow-milking demonstrations, canine performances and adoptable dogs. Admission and parking are free. Reservations are requested.
The Countrytime BBQ & Bluegrass Festival featuring a Kids Carnival is happening June 17-18 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 314-982-3232 Monday-Friday between 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to make reservations.
3. Creve Coeur Days Charity Carnival, June 22-25:
This fun annual community event features a classic carnival midway with rides and games, live entertainment, including kids' performers such as Babaloo, and a Parade on Sunday with 2017 Grand Marshals Louie, the St. Louis Blues mascot and Ruffy, the River City Rascals mascot.
Creve Coeur Days takes place at DeSmet Jesuit High, located at 233 N. New Ballas Road in Creve Coeur. For more info, visit www.crevecoeurdays.com.
4. Let Them Eat Art, July 14:
Let Them Eat Art is Maplewood's annual tribute to Bastille Day, featuring live art demonstrations by regional artists, live music and delicious food and drink by Maplewood's award-winning restaurants. The family-friendly festival features a parade on Sutton Boulevard at 6:30 p.m. and a kids' section in Sutton Loop Park with top spinning, kids' art activities and performers.
Let Them Eat Art takes place in Historic Downtown Maplewood. For more info, visit www.cityofmaplewood.com.
5. St. Louis World's Fare Heritage Festival, August 18-20:
This fun and free annual festival celebrates the 1904 World's Fair, Forest Park and the St. Louis community. In addition to eats from top local restaurants, live local music, historical exhibitions, and an Artist Village, the Festival offers many family activities including a special Kid's Island area, open on Saturday and Sunday with live music and dance, arts and craft activities, games, inflatables, and animals. There's also a Ferris Wheel that the whole family can enjoy with a gorgeous view of St. Louis.
St. Louis World's Fare Heritage Festival is held at the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park. For more info, visit www.stlworldsfare.com.
6. TOCO Family Festival, August 25 & 26:
The TOCO Family Festival is back with an entire weekend of fun in beautiful Jellystone Park in Eureka, all for a good cause – supporting TOCO's textile pantry and helping to empower children and families through green and community partnerships. Families can camp on site all weekend or just spend the day learning about STEM, music, art and Spanish through interactive hands-on activities. Campers will enjoy over 25 diverse musical acts as well as stories and games. This year's theme is "Best Buddies," so bring a friend along!
TOCO Family Festival takes place at Jellystone Park, located at 5300 Fox Creek Road in Eureka. For more info, visit: www.tocofamily.org.
7. Festival of Nations, August 26 & 27:
Take your kids on a virtual trip around the world at St. Louis' premier multicultural celebration in beautiful Tower Grove Park. Festival of Nations features more than 40 ethnic food booths, dance and music from many cultures, arts and crafts, and an international bazaar with unique gifts from all over the world. Kids will enjoy mask making, face painting and attending the Kids Music Workshop, where they can make hand-held instruments and learn to play a song. There will also be a parade every hour for kids to show off their instruments and skills.
Festival of Nations takes place at Tower Grove Park, located at 4256 Magnolia Avenue in South St. Louis. For more info, visit www.festivalofnationsstl.org.
8. Japanese Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden, September 1-3:
A Labor Day Weekend tradition celebrating 40 years in 2017, the Japanese Festival honors the history, culture and people of Japan and is one of the largest and oldest festivals of its kind in the country. In addition to the beautiful natural setting of the Missouri Botanical Garden, festival attendees will enjoy art, dance, food and entertainment including Samurai Sword Soul sword fighting demonstrations and a kimono fashion show. A special children's area includes origami paper folding and traditional Japanese games.
Japanese Festival takes place at Missouri Botanical Garden, located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in St. Louis. For more info, visit www.missouribotanicalgarden.org.
10. Eureka Days, September 8-10
This fun annual community festival features carnival rides, a parade, fireworks and a special Kid's Korner area with children's activities, as well as live music, food trucks and an Artisan Festival. Admision is free.
Eureka Days takes place in Lion's Park and Legion Park (both on Bald Hill Road) in Eureka. For more info, visit: www.eureka.mo.us.
10. LouFest Music Festival, September 9-10:
Everyone's favorite local music festival is back for another year with a diverse lineup including Huey Lewis & The News, Weezer and Cage the Elephant as well as local bands and musicians. LouFest is known for its family-friendly atmosphere in Forest Park and features a special "Lou Kidz" area including activities especially for young festival goers including music, dancing, face painting, crafts and more. The best part is, kids 10 and under can enjoy free festival admission with a ticketed adult, so there's no reason to leave them at home!
LouFest takes place at Forest Park. For more info, visit www.loufest.com.
Photo courtesy of Ballwin Days.
Look for our list of 4th of July themed festivals coming soon!
Amy Burger is a mom, freelance writer and communications professional with nearly 20 years experience working in St. Louis. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and media outlets including STL Parent, Missouri Life magazine, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Town & Style and kdhx.org, among others. When she's not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two beautiful girls at home in Kirkwood.