Fall is one of the best times to get out and enjoy everything St. Louis has to offer for your family, and fall festivals are a great way to do that. Whether you're looking for a traditional down-on-the-farm day, whimsical, art-filled fun, animal or food-themed festivals or pumpkin races, you're in luck. Here are 12 fall festivals your family will love:
Sept. 30-Oct 2 at the Missouri Botanical Garden; Kids Corner only on Saturday and Sunday from 9 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $12 for non-members, $5 for non-member children. Members pay only $5 and member children are free. First-look Friday hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Members-only early shopping hours are Saturday from 8 to 9 a.m.
This annual festival celebrates Missouri food, crafts and the arts. Browse for local artisan wares, local food, baked goods, fresh and dried flowers, herbs, baskets, wooden toys, custom jewelry and handcrafted items, then take the family to the Kids Corner for pumpkin crafts, cookie decorating and face painting. There will also be a building activity by the Home Depot, llamas to pet and cow milking demonstrations. The festival takes place under tents rain or shine.
For more information about the Best of Missouri Market visit mobot.org
Oct. 1 in the Grove neighborhood of St. Louis. 2 to 11 p.m. Kid-friendly in the afternoon. Free.
Grovefest is a family friendly festival with a kids' zone featuring kids' crafts and entertainers (during daylight hours), street performers, live music, food from local restaurants, craft booths, art, and the annual paint-by-numbers outdoor wall mural. Stick around after dark for fireworks.
More information: thegrovestl.com
October 1 - 2 and 8 - 9 at the Saint Louis Zoo. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free.
Enjoy "beers, bands and brats" while celebrating the North American river otters at this otterly German style festival. Kids can enjoy chats with zoo keepers, make otter crafts, visit the river otter biofact table and play otter themed games. Keeper Chats about otters will be held at the Emerson Children's Zoo each day at 10 a.m.
More information: stlzoo.org.
October 7-8 at Civic Park in O'Fallon, Mo. Friday 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.
Celebrate the arrival of fall with dancing, food trucks, shopping and kid activities. Friday night is the street dance with local bands and food trucks (also known as the Food Truck Frenzy). Saturday is for kids with pumpkin decorating, pumpkin-themed games, a barnyard petting zoo. Little ones can learn all about farm life with the Be A Farmer For A Day activity. There will also be tours of the O'Fallon Historical Society Log Cabin, the National Open Fiddle Championships and live bluegrass music.
More information: ofallon.mo.us
Oct. 9 in on Rue St. Francois in Florissant. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.
This street festival will have a Children's Art Festival on the City Hall lawn and free child identification kits offered by MoChips. There's lots more to do with a chili cook-off, live entertainment on each block, the Fido Follies dog show, pony rides, historic displays, a large flower show and competition, a huge craft fair, flea market, and food booths galore.
More information: florissantoldtown.com
October 15 at Des Peres Park. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free.
Celebrate Fall in the park with a fun pumpkin race, hayrides, balloon animals, a pet costume contest and live bluegrass music. End the evening with an outdoor showing of Zootopia. You'll need to register for the pumpkin race by Oct. 12 through the Lodge of Des Peres. Pumpkins cannot be mounted on any kind of chassis (no skateboards, strollers or toy trucks) and must have two independent axles inserted through the pumpkin.
More information and to register for the pumpkin race: desperesmo.org
October 16 at Laumeier Sculpture Park. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for Laumeier members, and children ages 10 and under are free.
Celebrate the best Autumn has to offer in one of our favorite county parks. You'll find fall foods from top St. Louis' restaurants, a farmer's market, locally made arts and crafts, live music, and family and kids' activities, all of it in Laumeier's beautiful, art-filled outdoor setting.
More information: laumeier.org
Weekends in October at all three Eckerts Farms. Free entry at Belleville and Grafton farms; $12.50 per person at the Millstadt location. Tickets required for some activities.
Pick your own pumpkin this year at any of the three Eckerts Farms. Ride a wagon out to the pumpkin patch to search for your very own great pumpkin, even one up to 150 pounds! There will be festival food, live country music, pony rides, a petting farm, children’s activities and a make-your-own scarecrow. At Eckerts Farms in Belleville, Millstadt and Grafton, Ill.
More information: eckerts.com
October 29-30th in Kimmswick; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.
Thousands flock to Kimmswick each year for the Apple Butter Festival to buy the local historical society's famous apple butter on Market Street. There will be hundreds of booths to visit with crafts, food and live entertainment.
The town will be closed to vehicle traffic and visitors may park at the Windsor School, located on Highway 61/67, and catch a bus into town.
More information: visitkimmswick.com
November 12 at the Saint Louis Science Center. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free.
Hold a real human brain, learn about its amazing feats and discover its secrets in the Amazing Brain Carnival at this year's HealthFest. There will be hand hands-on activities to help kids understand how technology can be used help keep us healthy. There will also be educational booths from a variety of area health professionals and health-related organizations. They'll offer free information, health screenings for all ages, giveaways and more.
More information: slsc.org
Tuesdays through Sundays in October at The Butterfly House. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Included with regular admission.
The Butterfly House shows it's spooky side all October by celebrating all things creepy and crawly. Kids can enjoy story time with Miss Muffet (10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day) and watch a real live carnivorous plant chow down on bugs. There will be special Halloween themed activities every day. Look for the Scorpion's Lair, Botanicals Gone Mad in the conservatory, and spy on spectacular spiders with Little Miss Muffet! Live Carnivorous Plant Feedings will be held 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily. Closed on Mondays.
More information: butterflyhouse.org
October 8 at the Endangered Wolf Center; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $25 per carload.
Wolf Fest is one of the few times the Endangered Wolf Center is open to the public without reservations, so come down for a howling good time. Check out the wolves, foxes and painted dogs who call the Endangered Wolf Center home while dining from some of the best food trucks in town. The Center will have games and prizes for kids, a bounce house and climbing wall.
More information: endangeredwolfcenter.org
Get a jump on springtime fun at Springtime Magic at The Magic House! Springtime Magic includes Bunny Town, the museum's newest outdoor experience featuring spring-inspired art, bunny games & trike rides through floral fun, visits the bunny, egg hunts, and more!
Attendees can visit virtual booths, where they can chat one-on-one via text or video with summer program representatives, as well as view helpful webinars on how to choose a summer program, how to strengthen an application, and how to make the most of a summer program experience.