August is Sizzling with Summer Fun! Here are our Top Picks for a Month Full of Adventure

The month of August is devoted to the most adventurous of kiddos! Your kids can journey around the world without leaving St. Louis, connect with the creepiest of creatures, and jump on their bikes for one of the biggest cycling events in the region. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy all the fun.
Garden Party Lights, Now through October 19
Once the sun goes down, the beauty of Missouri Botanical Garden is spotlighted like never before. Every Thursday through Sunday, the Garden turns on an electrifying display of lasers, lights and multimedia murals for a one-of-a-kind spin on St. Louis nightlife. Admission to Garden Party Lights for kids ages 3-12 is just $3, and on Sunday nights, it includes access to the Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Adult ticket prices to Garden Party Lights vary. For more information and to reserve advance tickets, visit

COCAPlay Free Art Classes for Kids, August 3, 10, 17, and 24

Every Saturday in August, kids ages 2 to 6 can jump start their imagination through art during COCA’s theatre-inspired classes. Whether they’re opening a magic trunk to immerse themselves in dramatic play, putting their own twist on their favorite fairy tales, or turning into hippos, lions and gorillas to “jungle jam,” your little ones can get their first taste of the stage at no cost to you.
COCAPlay classes run from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. each Saturday. Reservations are not required. For more information, visit

Sports Fest 2019, August 10

Fall sports season is just around the corner, and it’s never to early to get your kids ready to hit the field, court and rink! On August 10, the Gateway Region YMCA will host its free Sports Fest at various branches across the region to introduce young athletes to flag football, soccer, volleyball, and other sports. During the day, kids can participate in skill development sessions, learn about sportsmanship, and take advantage of discounts on YMCA sports programs and memberships.
Times and sessions vary by location. For more information and to register, visit

Squirmy, Slimy, Scaly, Slithery Creatures Kids Love, August 11

On August 11, creatures from across St. Louis will wiggle, slither and crawl their way to The Magic House to get up close and personal with their human friends. During this special educational event, kids can learn more about the residents of The Butterfly House, The Wildlife Command Center and World Bird Sanctuary as well as nab a front row seat to a special show featuring Serengeti Steve and his cast of critters.
Squirmy, Slimy, Scaly, Slithery Creatures Kids Love is free with Magic House admission and will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get all the details at
Rotary Criterium Festival, August 17
For one day, downtown Edwardsville turns into a high-stakes racetrack for competitive cyclists from around the country. The Rotary Criterium Festival is home to some of the biggest bicycle races in the region, but the fun’s not limited to the grown-ups. In addition to cheering on cyclists from the sidelines, young fans can try their skills in the free Crit Kids Bike Race, participate in the Downtown Dash foot race, and enjoy arts and crafts in a special kids’ zone.
The Rotary Criterium Festival runs from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. For a schedule and details, visit

Family Sunday—Passport to India, August 18

Journey to South Asia via the Saint Louis Art Museum to honor Indian Independence Day. In addition to viewing folk dance performances, your kids can learn about traditional Indian clothing at the sari station and create their own works of art inspired by the history and culture of the country. Passport to India is presented in partnership with the Center for Indian Cultural Education-Bal Vihar of St. Louis.
Family Sunday events are free and are scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more at

Festival of Nations, August 24-25

Celebrate the diverse cultures that make St. Louis such an incredible place to live! The annual Festival of Nations in Tower Grove Park spotlights food, entertainment and crafts from all over the world and their influence on the city we love. The event features 40 food booths, 30 vendor booths and of course the children’s area where kids can enjoy face painting, design their own masks, and even craft instruments to play in a special parade.

Admission to the Festival of Nations is free. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Find a map and schedule of events at


Tour de Fun, August 25

Your family can enjoy a fun-filled day packed with activities while helping families in need here in St. Louis. The Jewish Community Center’s Tour de Fun features everything from pony rides and petting zoos to carnival rides and climbing walls. Plus, catch all the excitement when local stars like Juggling Jeff and Babaloo hit the entertainment stage. Proceeds from the event will help fund scholarships for The J’s Early Childhood Education and family programming.
Tour de Fun takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is designed for kids ages 2-10. Tickets are $12 per child in advance, $18 at the door. Adults are free. Purchase tickets at
Main photo: Criterium Festival. Other photos: COCA, The Magic House.

Looking for even more family fun? Check out our Things To Do calendar any time. Get a quick-to-read list of the day's family events delivered right to your inbox by subscribing to our Things To Do email newsletter!

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Metro East mom Nicole Plegge is the lifestyle and pop culture blogger for STL Parent. Besides working as a freelance writer & public relations specialist, and raising two daughters and a husband, Nicole's greatest achievements are finding her misplaced car keys each day and managing to leave the house in a stain-free shirt. Her biggest regret is never being accepted to the Eastland School for Girls. Follow Nicole on Twitter @STLWriterinIL 

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Things to Do

Preschool Science at the Saint Louis Science Center
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Monday, November 11, 2019
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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.

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Tuesday Tails
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Visit the Animal Protective Association (APA) of Missouri for a free story time for preschoolers and help foster their love of animals.

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Boo at the Zoo Nights
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Thursday, October 24, 2019

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.

View this event »
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