Local schools are finally out of session, which means that kids of all ages are ready to get out of the house and make lots of special summer memories. Here are our top picks for the #8EssentialEvents St. Louis families should check out this June:
1. The Firefly Festival (6/8, 6/15, 6/22)
It’s that time of year again! Find your flashlights and get ready to celebrate earth’s living lanterns at the annual Firefly Festival at the Butterfly House. Visit on Wednesday, June 8, 15 or 22 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. so you and your kids can go on a glow walk through the Conservatory (decorated with thousands of twinkling lights), take part in firefly crafts and games, decorate cookies and join staff on an outdoor journey through Faust Park to see real fireflies.
Admission is $14 per person; $12 for Missouri Botanical Garden members. Learn more and register at www.butterflyhouse.org.
2. Circus Flora (Opens 6/2)
Starting June 2nd, St. Louis families can delight in hilarious clowns, high-flying acrobatics, galloping horses, feats of amazing strength and more, all under Circus Flora’s iconic Big Top tent. In this year’s production, Pastime, Circus Flora celebrates its 30th season this summer by combining the magic of the circus with the St. Louis region’s passion for baseball.
In addition to the regular weekly performances, there’s also a Peanut Free Preview, a Sensory Friendly Show and special, one-hour Little Top Wednesday shows on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. (These are perfect for little ones with early bedtimes or short attention spans.) Learn more and purchase tickets at www.circusflora.org.
3. GROW at the Saint Louis Science Center (Opens June 18)
A new permanent exhibit is coming to the Saint Louis Science Center – and it opens to the public on June 18. GROW features 40 interactive exhibits, demonstrations and events that highlight the journey of our food from farm to fork. Visitors can learn to guide water through channels and pathways, imagine life on a farm (by milking a life-sized cow), visit chickens in a backyard chicken coop and more. Admission is free, with some paid activities available.
Several upcoming sessions of the popular Preschool Science Series, including Life Underground and Veggies!, are also being held at the new GROW exhibit this summer. And during the school year, a variety of field trip packages are offered in conjunction with the exhibit for students in grades 3-8.
4. Countrytime Bluegrass Festival and Kids Country Carnival at Purina Farms (6/18-6/19)
Yes, you’ll find bluegrass bands and BBQ for purchase at the Countrytime BBQ & Bluegrass Festival and, but for families and kids, it’s the Kids Carnival that’s the main attraction. This two-day event takes place at Purina Farms from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19, with musical performances beginning at 10 a.m.
Kids can enjoy carnival games, clogging dancers, $5 pony rides and toe tapping tunes from Billy Bronco the Strolling Cowboy, in addition to all the regular fun that Purina Farms has to offer. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended by calling (314) 982-3232. Learn more at www.purinafarms.com.
5. National Get Outdoors at The Magic House (6/11)
National Get Outdoors Day is all about good, old-fashioned outdoor recreation – and who does recreation and play better than The Magic House? Have fun in the fresh air, develop healthy habits and celebrate this national event on the front lawn of The Magic House on June 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kids can jump in a bounce house, play hopscotch, skip rope, hula hoop and more. This event is free with regular museum admission.
6. Faust Olden Days of Summer (6/10, 6/24, 7/15)
If it’s an old-fashioned celebration you’re looking for, Faust Olden Days of Summer is the place to be on select Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. Step back in time and try your hand at rope making and candle dipping, see blacksmith demonstrations and walk through the historic Faust Village. Enjoy hay rides, carousel rides, pony rides and a petting zoo too. Admission is $10 per child in advance or $15 on the day of the event. Adults are free with a paid child ages 2-12.
Faust Olden Days of Summer take place on June 10 and 24 (and also July 15.) Call the park office at (314) 615-8328 for advance tickets. More information: www.stlouisco.com.
7. Food Truck Events (Several Evenings in June)
With typically mild weather, June is the perfect month to take your kids to dine from a food truck in a local park. There are lots of food truck events throughout the St. Louis area all summer long, but these are some of the best that June has to offer:
8. Family Day Block Party (6/18)
Join the Contemporary Art Museum, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Sheldon Concert Hall for a free Family Day Block Party full of fun art activities for kids that allow them to become their own superhero! Families can visit all three organizations, and at each stop kids can make a part of their superhero costume: a cape, power cuff, and a crown. There will also be free face painting, live tap dancing performances by Chicago-based Tapman group, and DJ Grandfather Paul Stark from 88.1 KDHX's Musical Merry-Go-Round will lead a dance party in the courtyard. And if you're a fan of the super-group (for kids anyway) The Boogers, don't miss their live, free performance at the Sheldon.
Learn more about this fun community celebration in Grand Center at camstl.org
Still looking for more fun? You can always check our packed Things To Do calendar, or sign up to get our daily Things To Do email newsletter and have the fun sent directly to your inbox every morning!
Photo courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden
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
Explore the St. Louis Zoo after dark at Boo at the Zoo. Bring your little ghouls and goblins to this non-scary celebration designed just for kids. Though this is not a trick-or-treating experience, costumes are encouraged, and each child 12 and under will receive a treat bag when they leave.
Engage your young scientist in science-related learning at the Saint Louis Science Center's Preschool Science Series. Through interactive stories and hands-on exploration, children learn about science, as well as language, problem-solving and social skills.