Fall Activities in St. Louis and St. Charles
The mid-west’s most beautiful weather is upon us. It’s time to get out of the office and enjoy the beauty and fun fall brings. Take a hike during lunch or schedule time off with the family and visit one of the many attractions St. Louis offers.
Shaw Nature Reserve
Shaw Nature Reserve is an extension of the treasured Missouri Botanical Gardens. It includes 2400 acres of Ozark landscape nature to inspire and refresh your mind. You can enjoy the beautiful collection of habitats by simply sitting, reflecting or studying nature. You may choose to hike one of the many trails or have a relaxing picnic. The Shaw Nature Reserve is located on I-44 in Gray Summit, Missouri and open for your out-of-the-office enjoyment seven days a week during the fall and early spring from 8 AM to 5 PM.
St. Louis Zoo
Our renowned St. Louis Zoo is home to 17,000+ animals, and fall is the best time to visit. The cooler weather increases visitors’ chances of seeing more of the animal residents. During October nights, families can enjoy events such as Boo at the Zoo where they can experience festive decorations, special animal encounters, and entertainment acts. Children are encouraged to dress in costume, and they will receive a special treat bag. The Zoo is located in Forest Park in St. Louis.
Tower Grove Farmers’ Market
Perhaps you cannot get away from the office during the week. Visit the farmer’s market on a Saturday! Tower Grove Farmers’ Market is the largest grower-only farmers’ market in the St Louis area. You can purchase products from the growers and artisans themselves, as well as join in the free Yoga a 9 AM and enjoy live music. The Saturday market is open 8 AM -12:30 PM from April 13 through November 16 in Tower Grove Park. The market is located in Tower Grove Park.
Ekert’s operates three farms on the Illinois side of the river, but their Bellville location is open all year long and bustles with activity. Pick your own apples or pumpkins, grab some grub in the restaurant, or shop in their market! Head over to the Millstadt location on Fridays and Saturdays for rent-your-own bonfires and moonlit haunted hayrides.
Historic St. Charles
Main Street in Historic St. Charles is one of the most charming places in the St. Louis area, and it happens to be one of the most historic main streets in the country. You can simply stroll down the street visiting various shops and eateries, or you can attend a festive event such as Legends & Lanterns. A playful group of witches and ghouls take visitors of all ages on an exciting tour of Halloween history. Nearly anytime is a perfect time to visit St. Charles Main Street!
Perhaps the weather is too cold to really enjoy the outdoors. You can never really guess the weather in the midwest at times. If the air is too chilly for your taste, head indoors and visit one of the many notable museums that call St. Louis home.
The Missouri History Museum is opened every day of the week and located in Forest Park. The museum offers story time for children, lectures, many regular and special exhibits. Admission is free, so it’s perfect for families. Or leave your desk in the city and enjoy lunch on their beautiful grounds.
The City Museum is probably the most unique attraction in St. Louis. Created and opened by artist and sculptor Bob Cassilly, the museum is housed in a ten story, 600,000 square foot warehouse. Children and adults alike are thoroughly entertained by its art and attractions. Bring a flashlight to explore the dark tunnels and caves as well as a jacket because you will want to play outside, too! The City Museum is located in the city on N 16th Street, and it never disappoints.
The St. Louis Art Museum is a great place to escape the colder weather and enjoy their world-class collection of art and artifacts. Trade in your office desk chair for marble halls abounding in history and beauty. You can call ahead and schedule a guided tour with one of their knowledgeable docents or wonder on your own. The museum is child friendly, but note that they do not allow strollers. See their website for more information. Admission is free, and the museum is located in the historic Forest Park.
Laumeier Sculpture Park
Laumeier Sculpture Park engages the community through art and nature. The park mainly houses impressive sculptures outdoors. Visitors can leisurely stroll along the path to massive and unique pieces of art. The outdoor park is open daily until 8 PM. You can also visit special exhibits inside the Aronson Fine Arts Center daily until 4 PM. The Laumeier Sculpture Park also hosts events such as paint nights, family days, and lectures. The park is located on Rott Rd near 44 and 270.
The Great River Road
Get outside the office walls and experience the color of nature on a scenic drive. The Great River Road stretches over 2,000 miles long running along the Mississippi River through 10 states and many historic towns. St. Louisans are lucky to be close to a beautiful portion of the road between the Illinois towns of Alton and Grafton. You can make it a day and visit antique shops and pick-your-own pumpkin fields along the way, or schedule a getaway weekend in the charming town of Alton.
Oktoberfest, a festival rooted in German history, begins in September and runs through October. No need to travel to Germany, though. Oktoberfest celebrations take place all over the world, and St. Louis happens to be one of the best places to celebrate! Trade in the office atmosphere for flowing beer and good times in Belleville, St. Louis City or St. Charles at an Oktoberfest. The Zoo even celebrates their version, Zootoberfest, boasting of beer, bands, and brats. Travel a little further from the office to Hermann where they celebrate the festival each weekend in October. Revel in the festivities at one of the areas many wineries amid the spectacular fall colors of Missouri.
Maybe you’d prefer a good scare this time of year. The Haunted Paintball Hayride and Trail might be for you! You’ll defend yourself against ghouls, ghosts, and monsters and end up at the Haunted Trail where the terror will continue. This unique hayride experience is found at Millstadt’s Extreme Paintball Park and takes place a limited number of nights during the season. It’s sure to provide a thrill that’s worthy of leaving the office!
Get out and go! Cheaper travel, less crowds, mild weather, and stunning foliage: fall is a great time to leave the desk in search of rejuvenation.