Take a Trip to St. Louis

Head west of the city for a kid-centric weekend away full of family-friendly activities.

By Katie Pollock Estes

Sep 2021

Two bikers on trail.
Photo by Steve FrankThe Shaw Nature reserve offers over 14 miles to explore.

1. Go Stargazing 

Do you have a budding astronomer in your family who would love a closer look at some heavenly bodies? Night Skies Over Babler State Park (800 Guy Park Dr., Wildwood) takes place this month on September 25. The St. Louis Astronomical Society sets up telescopes at the park, so you can look at some celestial wonders like Jupiter and its moons, Saturn and its rings, beautiful nebulae and more.

2. Bring Your Pup 

Purina Farms (500 William Danforth Way, Gray Summit) is a great spot to bring the kids all year long thanks to their hands-on farm filled with pet-able animals that kids can interact with during their visit. But if you are traveling with a pet, not a kid, this month, you can bring your pup to Pups on the Patio, where you and Fido can enjoy live music, food and drinks. The event is September 4, and you can register online at

3. Get Spooky

If you have kids who like to celebrate all of Spooky Season, not just Halloween night, then add a trip to Six Flags (4900 Six Flags Road, Eureka) to your trip. The theme park’s annual Fright Fest event starts in early September and runs through Halloween, featuring a whole lot of spooky fall fun as the entire park gets a little haunted. During the day the thrills are super tame, but at night you can find frights like haunted houses.

4. Enjoy the Wildflowers

The Shaw Nature Reserve (307 Pinetum Loop Road, Gray Summit) focuses on native habitat restoration, which means it’s rich with native wildflowers. There are wildflower garden walks that you register for, prairies and wetlands to explore and 14 miles of hiking trails. This month you can visit the annual Fall Wildflower Market (September 10, 3–7 p.m.) featuring native plants that attract bees and butterflies.

5. Grab a Slice

When the family gets hungry, stop in to eat at Guffey’s Pizza (3562 W. Osage St.). You can order some super-super-thin St. Louis–style pizza smothered in gooey Provel cheese and topped with all the classic pizza fixings. Go basic with a saucy meatball pizza, or go wild with the Heart Attack topped with five kinds of meat, mozzarella sticks and jalapenos (perfect if you want to torture your arteries).