Best Outdoor Summer Events in St. Louis for Families

St. Louis offers plenty for families to do during the summer months. When it’s warm outside, there are regular offerings and special events for children and families all summer long in the Gateway City, no matter your tastes.


There are a few places to see movies outdoors in the St. Louis area. One of the more special outdoor theatres will happen at the Laumeier Sculpture Park in June. Families are encouraged to bring their own food and drink to these free movies in June. Every Friday night, movies begin at 7 and 8 p.m. There are no pets or glass bottles allowed.

Drive-in movies are also a specialty in the St. Louis area and one is still going strong on the Illinois side of the river. The Skyview Drive-In outside Belleville is just 10 miles east of St. Louis. They always have family-friendly movies so watch for showtimes on the weekends for animated flicks your kids want to see. Prices are reasonable–$10 for an adult and the first two kids under 12 are free.

Fair St. Louis and Gateway Arch

Fair St. Louis is the annual Independence Day celebration, one of the largest in the United States. Huge concerts under the Arch highlight an entire weekend full of air shows and fireworks culminating in the July 4th bonanza. You can bring your own picnic food and sit underneath trees on the grounds of the Arch or you can buy food from one of the many vendors who will be there. Kids will love the airplanes, teenagers will love the live music, and everyone gets a bang out of the fireworks.

I have two suggestions for Fair St. Louis. First, get ready for the largest mass of humanity you will ever see in your life. That means be patient and be prepared. My second suggestion is to park far away and ride the MetroLink train to the site. There will already be too many people there for another car to be added to the throng. However, it is a great experience for families and kids that only comes once a year in St. Louis.

Another event comes to the Gateway Arch every summer. Gateway to the Stars is a family-friendly astronomy event occurring once a month during the warmer seasons. You can see stars through a telescope and have a guide explain the stars on a walking tour of the grounds.

Shows and Sports

A St. Louis tradition for 25 years now, the Circus Flora is a one-ring circus underneath a single large tent. Shows cost anywhere from $15 to $39 for this unique event in St. Louis. Shows run from every day but Monday through the month of June. It is truly a site to see an old-fashioned circus in an intimate setting with your kids close to the action.

The River City Rascals play independent baseball again at T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O’Fallon. Tickets run from $6 to $11 the day of the game, a dollar cheaper if bought in advance. Games run from mid-May until early September. The Rascals have been a minor league tradition for over 10 years for fans who want either a cheaper alternative to the Cardinals or when the Redbirds are out of town.