St. Louis Summer Guide 2018

    It’s summertime in St. Louis — that means performances and art exhibits are at every corner for your enjoyment! Check them out:

    Twilight Tuesdays | Tuesdays thru May 29
    Get ready for another great season with Twilight Tuesdays, the Missouri History Museum’s popular, free outdoor concert series. Twilight Tuesdays takes place on the front lawn and offers spectacular musical lineups each year. Grab your blankets and lawn chairs, pack your picnic basket, and come hear some terrific music under a beautiful Forest Park sunset. Or arrive a little earlier for free pre-concert activities designed for youth and families.

    Whitaker Music Festival | Wednesdays thru July 25
    Each summer the Missouri Botanical Garden hosts a free outdoor concert series called the Whitaker Music Festival. Popular musicians from across the St. Louis area perform on Wednesday evenings at the Garden’s Cohen Amphitheater. Everyone is encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic dinners. Admission begins at 5 p.m., so there is plenty of time to walk around and enjoy the beauty of the Garden before the music starts at 7:30 p.m. For parents attending with their kids, the Children’s Garden also has free admission from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Children’s Garden is a large outdoor play area filled with tunnels, slides, and caves.

    Food Truck Fridays | May thru October
    Sauce Magazine’s Food Truck Fridays are one of the best ways to experience the diversity and creativity of the food culture in St. Louis. More than 20 local food trucks fill Tower Grove Park on the second Friday of each summer month from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. These trucks offer everything from bar-b-que and street tacos, to donuts and cupcakes. The evening also features live music and craft beer from local breweries like 4 Hands and Urban Chestnut. For the best selection of food and drinks, arrive early because many of the trucks often run out of their most popular items as the evening goes on.

    St. Louis County Greek Fest | May 25 – 28
    The annual St. Louis County Greek Fest is every Memorial Day weekend. The Greek Fest will feature live Greek music and dancing, a marketplace shopping experience and fantastic Greek food specialties. Whether you’re of Greek descent or just love ethnic cuisine, the Greek Fest is a lively environment destination in which you can experience the Greek community’s deeply rooted traditions and heritage.

    Jungle Boogie Concert Series | Fridays May 25 – Aug. 31
    The Jungle Boogie Concert Series brings bands to Schnuck Family Plaza, located at the center of the St. Louis Zoo, to perform every Friday this summer. Join the animals in gawking at some humans for a change. This year’s highlights include bluegrass act the Mighty Pines, New Orleans styled Funky Butt Brass Band, Ticket to the Beatles, and plenty more.

    Shakespeare in the Park | Nightly June 1 – 24 except for Tuesdays
    Shakespeare in the Park is one of the city’s most popular options for free outdoor theater in the summer. The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival performs a play in Forest Park during the month of June. This year’s production is Romeo and Juliet. Most people like to bring a blanket or lawn chair and spread out on the grass in front of the stage. Food and drinks are available from vendors, but many people enjoy bringing a bottle of wine and/or a picnic dinner. The play begins at 8 p.m., but there are several pre-show activities including live music and educational talks about Shakespeare.

    The Muny | June 11 – Aug. 12
    The Municipal Opera (Muny) in Forest Park has been a St. Louis summer tradition for 100 seasons! The oldest and largest outdoor musical theater puts on seven musicals every summer, bringing in top stars from Broadway and Hollywood. This season, the Muny presents Jerome Robin’s Broadway, The Wiz, Singing in the Rain, Jersey Boys, Annie, Gypsy, and Meet Me in St. Louis.Whether you’re attending your first show or your 50th, there is a real sense of being a part of history when spending a summer night at the Muny. Shows begin each evening at 8:15 p.m. For those on a budget, there are more than 1000 free seats in the back of the theater that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Also, catch HEC’s documentary The Best of Us: 100 Yeas of Muny Magic, premiering soon on!

    PrideFest St. Louis | June 23 – 24 
    Each year, hundreds of thousands of people come to PrideFest and the Grand Pride Parade in St. Louis. This year, the Arch will once again provide the backdrop for the parade on Market Street, and the parade will run adjacent to the festival. PrideFest is an annual celebration of gay, lesbian, and transgender culture. The festival includes a parade with floats and contingents, twenty hours of live entertainment ranging from pop, disco, jazz, rock, country and rap.

    Fair St. Louis | July 4 – 7
    Fair Saint Louis is a free event produced each year by St. Louisans for St. Louisans and their guests celebrating our nation’s independence each Fourth of July. The Fair typically hosts hundreds of thousands of attendees listening to fantastic music, playing in the Festival Zone, checking out new products in the Interactive Zone and of course, being “wowed” by our nationally recognized fireworks displays each evening. This year’s line up includes the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Jason Derulo, Andy Grammer, Martina McBride, and CAM. This year the fair will be back downtown under the Arch!

    Let Them Eat Art | July 13
    2018 brings the 13th Annual Let Them Eat Art on Friday the 13th! This is Maplewood’s whimsical tribute to Bastille Day held each year the second Friday evening of July.  The event features live art demonstrations by regional artists, live music, and food & drink by Maplewood’s award-winning food purveyors.  Let Them Eat Art is not an art fair; it’s a celebration of making art and enjoying art in the shops and on the streets of Historic Downtown Maplewood.

    Art Hill Film Series | Fridays July 13 – Aug. 3
    Thrill seekers should head to Forest Park on four Friday evenings starting July 13, when the Saint Louis Art Museum’ transforms Art Hill into the city’s biggest cinema for a celebration of epic quests. This year’s Art Hill Film Series kicks off with “Raiders of the Lost Ark” on July 13, “Hidden Figures” on July 20, “Dr. No” on July 27, and “The Never Ending Story” on Aug. 3. The lineup and the “epic quests” theme is inspired by the remarkable story behind “Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds,” which is on view through Sept. 9. The party starts at 6 pm with music and the Food Truck Fest sponsored by Sauce Magazine. Coolers and picnic baskets are welcome, or purchase drinks from the Panorama tent or food from the museum’s cafe. Films begin at 9 p.m.

    St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival | July 14
    The 12th Annual St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival is the premiere showcase of the St. Louis brewing community. This festival features hundreds of styles of beer from more than 50 greater St. Louis area breweries, home brew club tastings, live music, and great food all in an idyllic setting at the foot of the Grand Basin in Forest Park.

    Festival of the Little Hills | Aug. 17 – 19 
    A short drive to St. Charles will get you to one of the biggest and best craft fairs in the St. Louis area. Hundreds of vendors set up booths along Main Street and Frontier Park for three days during the Festival of the Little Hills. The vendors sell everything from jewelry and holiday decor, to paintings and kids clothes. Another highlight of the festival is the food. There’s bar-b-que, corn on the cob, burgers, corn dogs and fries, just to name a few options. If you have a sweet tooth, save room for the homemade ice cream and other desserts. For the kids, there are inflatables, games and a rock climbing wall to keep them entertained. And in the evenings, everyone can enjoy free live music at the bandstand in Frontier Park.

    Festival of Nations | Aug. 25 – 26 
    Tower Grove Park becomes the center of the world every year during the Festival of Nations. Immigrants from dozens of countries show off the culture, music and food of their old homeland for the benefit of their new one. Where else can you eat Nepalese food while hearing the music of the Ivory Coast? If you don’t want to eat your way through the festival, you can shop at the World Bazaar, enjoy the family arts and crafts area, and learn something about religions of the world through the St. Louis Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis.

    Big Muddy Blues Festival | Aug. 31 – Sept. 2
    Every Labor Day weekend, St. Louis’ historic Laclede’s Landing hosts more than 30,000 people from around the country for the Big Muddy Blues Festival. This very popular outdoor music festival attracts an eclectic audience celebrating the rich St Louis history of the Blues.

    Japanese Festival | Sept. 1 – 3 
    If you need one last big weekend out before school starts and fair days dwindle, there’s no event better than the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Japanese Festival. With sumo wrestlers, taiko drummers, dancers, food vendors, martial arts demonstrations and special presentations on the Japanese tea ceremony and traditional ikebana flower arranging, the Japanese Festival is an action-packed weekend.

    Saint Louis Art Fair | Sept. 7 – 9 
    Saint Louis Art Fair presented by Centene Charitable Foundation is a nationally juried fine art and fine craft show consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top fine art fairs. Each year the Saint Louis Art Fair is held in the streets of Clayton, Missouri, attracting over 150,000 art enthusiasts to a space filled with quality food, art, and music. Come see the HEC-TV booth at the corner of Meremac and Forsyth to “Meet the Artists” of the 2018 Saint Louis Art Fair!

    LouFest Music Festival | Sept. 8 – 9
    LouFest is a sustainable music festival for all-ages that features national and local bands on three stages, food, drink, art markets, and of course, merch retail. There is also a LouKids stage for those younger and young at heart, filled with music, magic, kid-friendly food, a rock climbing wall and more.

    Great Forest Park Balloon Race | Sept. 14 – 15
    Festivities begin with a balloon glow on Friday night and race day (Saturday) activities include a children’s entertainment area and a photo contest prior to the launch of the hare and hound balloons. Bring a picnic and enjoy the day!

    The Budweiser Taste of St. Louis | Sept. 14 – 16
    The Budweiser Taste of St. Louis is an award-winning celebration of the best food, art, music and culture our great city has to offer. A Grand Tasting Event, 30+ Restaurants, Culinary Competitions, an Art & Wine Walk, the Chef Battle Royale, Amphitheatre Shows (ticketed attraction), Kid City and so much more.


    Sunken Cities | Thru Sept. 9

    “Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds” at the Saint Louis Art Museum features more than 250 pieces excavated from beneath the Mediterranean Sea, offering a rare glimpse into life in ancient Egypt. The relics originate from the lost cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus and rediscovered portions of Alexandria. Together they combine to reveal both ancient mysteries and a portrait of everyday life during the times of Helen of Troy and Alexander the Great. The exhibit at the Saint Louis Art Museum is the first in the United States and it is co-curated by Frank Goddio, president of the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology and Lisa Çakmak, associate curator of ancient art at SLAM.

    Destination Moon | Thru Sept. 3

    As we approach the 49th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s momentous “one small step,” the excitement of the space race comes to the Saint Louis Science Center for Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. The traveling special exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES) and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. features the command module Columbia that orbited the Moon, as well as other artifacts from the first successful lunar mission.

    CAM Summer Exhibits | Thru Aug. 19

    The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis opened a new season of exhibitions on May 11, featuring work by St. Louis-based Great Rivers Biennial winners Sarah Paulsen, Addoley Dzegede, and Jacob Stanley; famed Michelle Obama portraitist Amy Sherald; and geometric artist Claudia Comte.

    Mona Hatoum: Terra Infirma | Thru Aug. 11

    The work of London-based artist Mona Hatoum at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation illuminates the contradictions and uncertainties of our contemporary global society. Often referencing domestic and everyday objects, Hatoum creates installations and sculptures that capitalize on unexpected combinations to evoke a range of conflicting emotions such as fear and fascination, or attraction and revulsion. Over her four-decade career, she has continually investigated ideas of home and displacement, engaging with conditions of global instability and political upheaval.

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