The warm weather is here and it’s time to get outside for some family fun time! With plenty of special events to take advantage of in May, your kids can create works of art alongside experienced artists, join up with one of the biggest parades in the country, and even step back in history—all in the great outdoors!
The only thing that can make storytime better is when you spend it with friends, especially those who are visiting from your favorite books and TV shows. Throughout the summer, Pinkalicious, Curious George and the rest of the PBS Kids gang will join little ones in the Nine Network Commons for storytelling on the big screen as well as crafts, games and photo opportunities. To see when each character will make their appearance, check out the schedule of storytimes and themes.
Storytime in the Commons will be held on May 4, June 1, July 6, August 3, and September 28 at 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. The events are free, but registration is required.
Roll into Des Peres Park on May 4 for a day of fun on four (and two!) wheels! Kids can crawl on and climb in a police car, bulldozer, fire truck, and other heavy-duty vehicles, putting them in the driver’s seat for imaginary adventures. After playing firefighter and police officer, kids can test their driving skills on a bicycle obstacle course and get a helmet fitting from certified cycling instructions from The Bike Center. Helmets can be purchased for $15 while supplies last.
Kids are encouraged to bring their own bikes to this free event. The fun runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and no registration is required. For details, visit desperesmo.org.
An event on Mother’s Day weekend that both moms and kids can enjoy? During Laumeier Sculpture Park’s nationally-acclaimed Art Fair, you can visit with 150 artists from across the country showcasing their works, and your little ones can create their own masterpieces at the hands-on Creation Location arts and crafts area. Afterward, boogie the day away to live music and fill up on food and beverages from local vendors.
Tickets for the Art Fair are free for children under age 10 and members; $10 for non-members. Creation Location is open on Saturday and Sunday only. To purchase tickets, visit the Laumeier Sculpture Park website.
Enjoy some down-on-the-farm fun while you celebrate everyone’s favorite berry at Eckert’s in Belleville! Grab a basket and take a tractor ride to stock up on strawberries straight from the fields. Then, head to the midway for carnival rides, a petting zoo, live entertainment, and children’s activities. Of course, you can’t miss Eckert’s lineup of fruity-themed treats, including their famous custard swirled around fresh berries.
Admission to the Strawberry Festival is free, but there are fees for food, field admission and some activities. Visit eckerts.com to learn more.
In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the ancient city of Pompeii in ash. But underneath the destruction, a collection of priceless artifacts was preserved, giving generations to come insights into the daily lives of those who lived during the Roman empire. At the Saint Louis Science Center, you can travel back in time to the day the volcano awakened—see multimedia recreations of Pompeii’s buildings, view casts of the victims, and step into the 4-D eruption theatre to gain a better understanding of the devastation nature can unleash on a city.
Tickets for Pompeii: The Exhibition are $19.95 for adults, $16.95 for seniors, $14.95 for kids ages 5-12, and free for children 4 and younger. For members age 5 and older, tickets are $12.95. Because of the content, the exhibition may be too intense for young children. For details, visit slsc.org.
Your kids can discover how children lived, learned and played 200 years ago by stepping into their shoes during St. Charles’ Historical Children’s Festival at the First Missouri State Capital State Historic Site. With passport in hand, kids will hear about life in the 19th century through reenactments, demonstrations and storytelling as well as test their skills at activities like butter churning and quill pen writing to earn prizes throughout the day!
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day and is free to the public. Learn more at discoverstcharles.com.
Celebrate family and friends with three days of fun hosted by Annie Malone Children and Family Services. New to the party this year is Community Day in The Ville on May 18 featuring a BBQ cookoff, Double Dutch contest, step competitions, health screenings, and live entertainment throughout the day. On Sunday, head downtown for the 109th Annie Malone May Day Parade, the oldest, family-oriented African-American parade in the country.
All events are free to attend. For more details on the weekend, visit anniemalone.com.
Best-selling author Mo Willems continues to charm kids with delightful tales featuring beloved characters like Elephant and Piggie, Knuffle Bunny and The Pigeon. Now kids can be part of the story by joining The Magic House for a special exhibit highlighting his works, including those still in progress. In addition to participating in fun-filled activities, little ones will have the chance to create their own art inspired by one of their favorite storytellers. Can't wait? Get a previw of the exhibit at the Elephant and Piggie Party on May 23!
The Pigeon Comes to St. Louis runs through September 8 and is free with museum admission. Check out magichouse.org for additional details on the exhibit.
Photos: Eckert Farms, City of Des Peres, The Magic House, Laumeier Sculpture Park,
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
Celebrate Shark Week at the Saint Louis Zoo, where you'll get free admission to Stingrays at the Caribbean Cove when you come to the zoo dressed as a shark. You can also enjoy lots of shark-themed activities, shark-themed snacks, and live music on the weekend.
Express yourself through color and texture as you discover the unlimited possibilities of mono prints! Collaborate to create multi-layered mono prints using gelatin plates, stencils, ink and found objects. Bring home a collection of masterpieces!