There's No End To End-Of-Summer Fun In St. Louis

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Summer may be coming to a close, but the fun keeps going in St. Louis according to the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission. A late summer getaway to the Gateway City provides a happy ending to a summertime story.

St. Louis’ diverse and beautiful architectural styles are evident in the downtown skyline.

Summer may be coming to a close, but the fun keeps going in St. Louis. A late summer getaway to the Gateway City provides a happy ending to a summertime story.

For a calendar of August and Labor Day weekend events, great lodging options and special travel deals, visit the official website of the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, or call, toll-free, 1-800-916-0040.

Seeking cool activities that everyone can enjoy? Artic adventures await at two popular family attractions. At the Saint Louis Science Center, the giant screen OMNIMAX film, “To the Arctic” follows a mother polar bear and her cubs as they traverse their icy home. A trip to Penguin and Puffin Coast at the Saint Louis Zoo brings visitors up-close to the popular tuxedoed sub-Arctic inhabitants who playfully swish through frigid waters at speeds of up to 15 miles-per-hour.

The hottest habitat at the Zoo -- Sea Lion Sound -- opened earlier this summer. Stroll through underwater viewing tunnels to catch the antics of sea lions in their splashy new home and performance arena. Through September, Zoo visitors can dip their hands into a salt water touch tank to gently greet stingrays and get eye-to-eye with three species of sharks in the Caribbean Cove exhibit.

Massive and elaborate Chinese lanterns are on view at the Missouri Botanical Garden through August 19. “Lantern Festival: Art by Day, Magic by Night” is a never-before-seen in the United States exhibition that showcases 26 huge and elaborate lanterns designed specifically for the festival and placed throughout the scenic, 79-acre garden. At night the Garden hosts special events that feature the illuminated lanterns in a spectacular display of lights and colors, Thursdays through Sundays. The splendors of a different Asian culture are celebrated when the Garden presents its 36th Annual Japanese Festival over Labor Day weekend, September 1-3.

See vintage underpants, corsets and petticoats at the Missouri History Museum’s “Underneath It All” exhibit. The historic undergarment “fashion show” explores changes in women’s clothing and the role of females in American society since the 19th century. The exhibit is open free of charge at the museum in Forest Park. The museum also showcases St. Louis’ surprising Civil War history in “The Civil War in Missouri” special exhibition. Curated by the Missouri History Museum for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the extensive exhibit is filled with artifacts, imagery and first-person narratives that reflect St. Louis and Missouri’s bitter divide between secessionists and Union preservationists.

There’s no such thing as the “summertime blues” in The Lou, but there is plenty of blues music to be enjoyed. The signature sound, which spills from clubs and pubs throughout the river city, is feted during the annual Big Muddy Blues Festival. The region’s largest blues music event caps off summer during Labor Day weekend, September 1 and 2. Thirty-plus bands perform on three stages throughout the cobblestone streets of the historic Laclede’s Landing entertainment district from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. each day. Big name headliners like the infamous Dr. John, Joe Louis Walker and the Royal Southern Brotherhood -- a band whose members, including Cyril Neville and Devon Allman have blues-infused DNA – perform in the shadow of the Gateway Arch. Not to be missed: a tribute show honoring the late blues icon Etta James presented on Sunday afternoon by a trio of St. Louis’ home grown blues divas.

Does the thought of back-to-school frighten the little ones? Prepare rising pre-schoolers for the world of elementary school with a visit to the very first kindergarten classroom in the nation. In 1873, St. Louis educator Susan Blow conducted the first publicly funded, continuously operating kindergarten in the United States at Des Peres School. The Carondelet Historic Center, based in the school building, is a museum that preserves Blow’s classroom and the history of the surrounding neighborhood. Older students can get a jump on English Lit homework by grabbing a seat at the riotous parody play, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” at the Grandel Theatre from August 10-19.

Practice makes perfect and August is prep time for the St. Louis Rams. Two pre-season games kick-off at the Edward Jones Dome before the regular NFL season begins. On Saturday evening, August 18, the Rams take on cross-state rivals the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens fly into town for a test run on Thursday night, August 30.

A trip to Busch Stadium to watch baseball’s World Champion St. Louis Cardinals at play covers all the bases for a good time outing. The Redbirds host sixteen games at home during August, including highly anticipated series with their Central Division opponents, the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Festival fever remains high in St. Louis during August. The silver screen at the Tivoli Theatre is aglow with movie magic from August 19-23 during the 12th Annual Stella Artois St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase. The annual cinema showcase screens full-length and short features written, directed or produced by Gateway City natives. Tower Grove Park provides the lush, outdoor venue for the Festival of Nations, August 25 and 26. Music, dance, art, an international market and amazing food from cultures around the world are highlights of this annual “global” event. LouFest, the biggest Indie music event in The Lou, rocks Forest Park on August 25 and 26. Headliners include The Flaming Lips, Girl Talk, Dinosaur JR and Sleepy Kitty. LouFest is known for serving crowd-favorite menu items from local restaurants in the “Nosh Pit.”


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MEDIA NOTE: For more information or photography of St. Louis, send an e-mail. For up-to-date information about St. Louis, your readers should call the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission at 1-800-916-0040 or check out our website.

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