It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to make plans for August! Get out of the house and enjoy the final days of summer with our top picks for the month’s most entertaining and family-friendly activities.
1. Paper Kite Butterfly Festival (8/2, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23, 8/30)
Every Sunday during the month of August, families are invited to The Butterfly House to celebrate its very first Paper Kite Butterfly Festival. You’ll get to see paper kite butterflies take flight through the tropical conservatory, watch kite building demonstrations, build origami butterflies and get to decorate your own kite to take home. Not only will kids have a blast, they’ll also learn the science behind what makes both kites and butterflies soar.
Paper Kite Butterfly Festival activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, and are included with regular Butterfly House admission.
2. Feast in the Park at Laumeier Sculpture Park (8/7)
A picnic dinner in the park is the perfect way to end a summer day, and if you take advantage of the food trucks at Feast in the Park, you won’t even have to cook. Head to the beautiful Laumeier Sculpture Park on Friday, August 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. to listen to live music from local bands and sample great eats from some of the hottest food trucks in St. Louis. And best of all, since you’re in a park, the kids can run and play to their heart’s content.
3. Shaw Family Adventures: Flashlight Night Hike (8/7)
Head out to Shaw Nature Reserve on Friday, August 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for an early evening Flashlight Night Hike. This opportunity to get hands-on with nature is designed for families with children ages 3 and up, and features a story, a game, a craft and a hike using flashlights to find items from the story. Dress for the weather since you’ll be outdoors (and be sure that all family members are wearing comfortable walking shoes). It’s probably a good idea to bring water and bug spray, and your own flashlight too.
Cost per child is $7 for Missouri Botanical Garden members and $9 for non-members. Sign up to attend at www.mobot.org.
4. Family Fun Day at Ballpark Village (8/9)
Family Fun Day at Ballpark Village returns on Sunday, August 9 from 12 to 4 p.m. – and this time the theme is Water! Bring the kids to this awesome outdoor event to enjoy rides, face painting, inflatables, a rock climbing wall, water games and more. Admission is free, although fees apply for some premium activities. (You can purchase an all-access pass on the day of the event for $5, and all proceeds go to Stray Rescue St. Louis.)
5. Festival of the Little Hills (8/21-8/23)
The Festival of the Little Hills is one of our area’s most popular festivals of the summer, and with good reason. This annual three-day event features over 300 arts and craft booths, more than 40 food vendors, live entertainment (both musical and non-musical) and a Kids Corner. Featured crafters will demonstrate their skills and sell their wares, so come prepared to shop for Ceramics & Pottery, Jewelry, Candles & Soaps, Florals and Wreaths, Folk Art, Specialty Foods and more.
The festival will take place Friday, August 21 through Sunday, August 23 in the heart of Historic St. Charles, both on Main Street and in Frontier Park along the banks of the Missouri River. A free shuttle is available from several parking locations.
6. Festival of Nations (8/29-8/30)
The Festival of Nations – the region’s premier multicultural celebration – features dance, music, food, cultural and educational exhibits, folk art demonstrations and a craft market. Shop for unique gifts at the World Bazaar, eat your way around the world at the International Food Court, watch a Spanish flamenco and be sure to take the kids to the Family Arts and Crafts Center, where they can make their own mask and learn about cultures from around the world.
The Festival of Nations takes place on Saturday, August 29 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Tower Grove Park. Admission is free.
7. Tour de Fun (8/30)
Don’t miss the 25th annual Tour de Fun on Sunday, August 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Jewish Community Center in Creve Coeur. This jam-packed day of kids’ and family activities features carnival rides, a Dunk-a-Dad booth, giant inflatables, pony rides, a bubble bus and a climbing wall. You can also see performances by Babaloo Music & Fun, Juggling Jeff, Jewish Rock Radio and more.
Activities at the Tour de Fun are designed for families and kids ages 2-10, with proceeds from the event going to support early childhood, youth and family programs at the JCC. Tickets can be purchased online in advance for $10/child or for $15/per child at the door. Adults can attend for free.
8. Back to School Sales Tax Holiday (8/7-8/9)
August means back-to-school for many area students, so the Back to School Sales Tax Holiday – while not quite as much fun as some of the month’s other events – is still an important one for St. Louis families to note. In the state of Missouri, the three-day holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 7 and runs through Sunday, August 9.
During this time period, back-to-school purchases (including clothing, school supplies and personal computers) are exempt from sales tax, so if you have a lot of shopping to do or large purchases to make, this is a great way to save. Expect large crowds in local stores and malls that weekend – and keep in mind that items purchased online qualify for the exemption too.
Main photo: Tour de Fun
Alyssa Chirco is a freelance writer, mother and margarita lover, not necessarily in that order. In addition to writing for STL Parent, she is Contributing Editor at Parenting Squad, and covers parenting, health and lifestyle topics for publications across the country. She recently moved from the suburbs of St. Louis to a small town in rural Jefferson County, where she is learning to survive with no Target or Starbucks in sight. Follow her on Twitter @AlyssaChirco
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