For a swashbuckling summer adventure, book a pirate cruise aboard the Hakuna Matata in Grafton, Illinois.Photo courtesy Alton Regional CVB.
Many families pack their summer breaks with fun and adventure with a “summer bucket list,” using each letter of the alphabet to try a different activity. We’ve created our own summer bucket list that celebrates some cherished St. Louis traditions (is it really summer without a frozen concrete from Ted Drewes?), as well as lots of new adventures! So here it is, from A-Z, Sprout & About’s 2018 St. Louis Summer Bucket List:
“A” is for Apollo 11: Saint Louis Science Center’s newest visiting exhibit, “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission” landed in St. Louis in April. When it’s too rainy or hot to play outside, stop by and explore the history of our space program. “B” is for Beach: Sandcastle Beach returns to The Magic House May 23 and will be open through June 24. Spend an afternoon wiggling your toes in the sand, digging for shells and creating your own sand sculpture. Bonus: While you’re there, visit the “Forts and Clubhouses featuring TapeScape” exhibit, which opens May 26. “C” is for Camping: For an adventure your kids will be talking about for years to come, plan a camping trip! For a night out under the stars, pitch a tent at these top campgrounds. Not quite ready to leave the comforts of home? Find out where to go “glamping.” “D” is for Diving: Dive into summer at the new Cove at St. Peters, take a spin on the new Typhoon Twister at Hurricane Harbor, and make a splash at renovated pools, including Alligator’s Creek Aquatic Center in O’Fallon, and Blanchette and Wapelhorst aquatic facilities in St. Charles. Read more about changes in area pools. “E” is for Egypt: See enormous sculptures, sparkling jewelry and more artifacts that once belonged to Egyptian pharaohs at “Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds,” on display for a limited time at the Saint Louis Art Museum. “F” is for Flora Borealis: Beginning June 29, the Missouri Botanical Garden will use lights, moving images and sound to take visitors on a luminous nighttime journey, Flora Borealis. “G” is for Gateway Arch: Learn more about American history at the new Museum at the Gateway Arch, which opens to the public July 3. The new museum features six new interactive exhibit galleries and will give visitors an immersive look at the role St. Louis played in westward expansion. “H” is for Hermann Farm: Take a short drive from St. Louis and enjoy a trip back in time at Hermann Farm, which offers guests a look at the history of agriculture in Missouri. “I” is for Ice Cream: No St. Louis summer is complete without a frozen concrete from Ted Drewes Frozen Custard or a decadent root beer float from Fitz’s! “J” is for Jake’s Field of Dreams: St. LouisCardinals'-themed Jake’s Field of Dreams, the area’s newest inclusive playground, is scheduled to open in June in Wentzville’s Heartland Park. “K” is for Kites: Pick a warm, breezy summer day and head to these five great spots for kite flying in St. Louis. “L” is for Lake: Beginning May 4, Boathouse Paddle Co. will offer paddling, paddleboarding, canoeing and kayaking from the dock at The Boathouse in Forest Park. “M” is for Muny:The Muny returns to Forest Park for another season of showstoppers, including “Annie,” “Meet Me In St. Louis,” “Jersey Boys” and “The Wiz.” For even more star-studded fun, visit the Missouri History Museum beginning June 9 for “Muny Memories: 100 Seasons On Stage.” In addition to exploring the theater’s history, the exhibit gives visitors an opportunity to learn a dance routine, design a costume, create scenery, and even croon their best tune. “N” is for Nature Play: Rediscover the joy of playing in the backyard at Nature Play, a new outdoor play area that is tentatively scheduled to open June 21 at The Magic House. “O” is for Outdoors: Get outside and play this summer! Sign up for the free Parks Quest Challenge through St. Charles County Parks, check out the new Discovery Patio at St. Louis County Library’s Prairie Commons Branch or visit one of these eight St. Louis-area destinations to learn more about the environment. “P” is for Picnic: Although an ordinary peanut butter and jelly sandwich is special when eaten in your favorite park, you can take your picnic game to the next level with these perfect picnic/carryout pairings around town. “Q” is for Quirky: Spend a day exploring the quirky City Museum. Added bonus: The roof is open seasonally, weather dependent. “R” is for Roar: Go on a safari this summer at these 11 fun destinations for animal lovers. “S” is for Storybook Walk: The area’s six Storybook Walks are a unique way to get your family moving, while also getting kids excited about reading! “T” is for Trains: Take your engineer in training to The National Museum of Transportation. “U” is for U Pick: Pick your own fruit at these u-pick farms. “V” is for Vegetables: In addition to offering a veritable rainbow of vegetables, farmers' markets sell a variety of other produce, meats, baked goods, crafts and more. Many also host live music, children's activities and other entertainment. Get the details on local farmers’ markets. “W” is for World Travelers:The Magic House will take visitors globetrotting with its new “World Travelers Exhibit,” where kids can learn more about other cultures through rotating traveling exhibits. The journey begins June 11 with “Kenya’s Kids.” “X” is for X Marks the Spot: Get a taste of the pirate life on a pirate cruise aboard the Hakuna Matata in Grafton, Illinois. One-hour cruises will be offered at 2 p.m. July 28 and Aug. 4 as part of the Alton area’s “Kid’Cation” July 27-Aug. 4, which features 10 days of discounts and special activities for families. More information about Alton’s “Kid’Cation” will be announced on visitalton.com closer to the event date. “Y” is for Yum: The slower pace of summer is the perfect time for a special family meal! Spend a balmy summer evening sampling a variety of foods at these upcoming food truck events, or share an un-fork-ettable meal at one of these eight themed restaurants. “Z” is for Zip Lines: Older kids and teens can take to the treetops at the Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course in Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park and the Grafton Zipline in Grafton, Illinois.