Summer Entertainment Guide
25 Events You Can’t Miss This Summer
1. Make Your Date Night Monet Night Through July 6, Saint Louis Art Museum
If you haven’t yet checked out the incredible “Impressionist France” exhibition at SLAM, summer is the time. Boasting numerous works by important artists like Gustave Le Gray, Charles Marville, Claude Monet and Edgar Degas, this exhibit reveals the importance of both industrial and natural scenes to those living in the 19th century. More info at slam.org.
2. Celebrate St. Louis Through Aug. 24, Laumeier Sculpture Park
Art, history and nature are all explored in “Mound City,” a unique exhibit celebrating St. Louis and its original landscape. With many visiting artists such as Ottowa’s A Tribe Called Red, New York’s Geoffrey Krawczyk and Italy’s Beverly Pepper, this is an exhibit that offers something for just about everyone. It’s also a perfect way to get the entire family or a group of friends outside to enjoy art during the summer months. More info at laumeiersculpturepark.org.
3. Drink In Some St. Louis History April 26-Aug. 17, Missouri History Museum
With more than 100 rare artifacts, a re-created speakeasy, multiple photos and films, an iPod audio-visual tour and more—all created by the National Constitution Center—”American Spirits” tells the story of the Roaring ’20s and an unusual American era of flappers, suffragists, bootleggers and gangsters. The museum also hosts free concerts on the lawn on Tuesdays in the summer, so you can learn about Prohibition, and then be glad you can enjoy a brew afterward. More info at mohistory.org.
4. Listen to a Tale or Two May 1-3, Multiple Venues Including Touhill Performing Arts Center
At 35 years old, the St. Louis Storytelling Festival continues to grow and is now recognized as the largest free storytelling festival in the world. Sponsored by UMSL, the Missouri Arts Council and Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, this year’s festival features highly acclaimed storytellers like Jackson Gillman, Kim and Reggie Harris, Beth Horner and more. You won’t want to miss some of the more unusual storytelling events, including Tim Tingle’s stories about the Choctaw Nation, delivered outside at Cahokia Mounds. More info at stlstorytellingfestival.com.
5. Don’t Miss a Match May 8-20, Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
With the incredible Chess Club and Scholastic Center located here, St. Louis is known as a big chess town. This May, the 2014 U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship take place in town, and the area will be teeming with fans. Visitors can watch players compete, enjoy free food and drinks, and LouFest ???explore the world-class facility. More info at saintlouischessclub.org.
6. Support a Local Artist… or a Few May 9-Aug. 10, Contemporary Art Museum
A collaborative exhibition between CAM and Gateway Foundation, “Great Rivers Biennial” was established in 2003 as a way for Midwestern and mid-career artists to show off their work and compete for both cash and exhibition prizes. In this year’s exhibit, guests can see spectacular artwork by Brandon Anschultz, Carlie Trosclair and Cayce Zavaglia, and then enjoy all of CAM’s mesmerizing artwork both indoors and out. More info at camstl.org.
7. Dust Off Your Cowboy Boots May 16, May 30, June 12-13, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Country music devotees know St. Louis has a lot to offer, musically speaking, during the summer months. This year, pop-country band Rascal Flatts performs on its “Rewind Tour,” and then, award-winning star Brad Paisley and Luke Bryan come to town. Those who opt for the 2014 Bandana’s BBQ Country Megaticket can get a special deal to see all concerts. Tickets at livenation.com.
8. Take a Walk Down Cherokee May 17, Cherokee-Lemp Historic District
If you haven’t yet checked out the historic Cherokee-Lemp District and all of its new restaurants and stores, now is the time. In honor of National Preservation Week, the Cherokee-Lemp History Fair celebrates the surrounding area with tours, special exhibits, entertainment and food and drink specials. More info at Cherokeeantiquerow.com
9. See the Dragon May 17-18, Missouri Botanical Garden
The longstanding collaboration between MOBOT and the Chinese Culture Education and Services Foundation is back with this year’s Chinese Culture Days. Guests can experience a 70-foot dragon, the Grand Parade, acrobatics, martial arts, t’ai chi, tea tastings and more. More info at missouribotanicalgarden.org.
10. Grab a Picnic and Play in the Park May 17-June 15, Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park
This year’s Shakespeare Festival gets shaken up a bit with two different shows, “Henry IV” and “Henry V.” Beginning with “IV” and eventually alternating nights between the two, the festival is free and features preshow entertainment in the park by a variety of outstanding performers. More info at sfstl.com.
11. Celebrate Dance Like You Haven’t Before May 22-24, Touhill Performing Arts Center
One of Memorial Day weekend’s most anticipated events, the Emerson Spring to Dance Festival is back in 2014 and has three more nights of top-notch dance. From ballet to African-influenced dance, hip-hop and modernized tap, the 30-plus dance troupes at this weekend event won’t disappoint. Tickets at touhill.org.
12. Move to Some Rhythm and Blues May 24-25, Chesterfield Amphitheater
This year’s St. Louis Bluesweek Festival is bigger than ever and in a new location. With its delicious barbecue, frosty brews and talented musicians like Ronnie Baker Brooks, Royal Southern Brotherhood and Otis Clay performing, this is one summer music event that lives up to its reputation. More info at bluesweek.com.
13. Embrace the Drama May 24-June 29, Loretto-Hilton Center
This summer’s Opera Theatre of Saint Louis calendar is better than ever with a new take on “The Magic Flute” designed, directed and recreated by fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi, reimagined versions of the intoxicating “The Elixir of Love,” the Gertrude Stein-inspired “Twenty-Seven” and Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites.” These shows are a great way to escape the summer heat and enjoy beautiful music, costumes and storylines. Tickets at opera-stl.org.
14. Grab a Taste May 31-June 1, Locust Avenue
In its second year, the still-new Midtown Taste & Art Fair has plenty to offer with rows of beautiful art, live entertainment, vodka and whiskey sampling, a craft village and numerous food trucks. It’s quickly becoming a new favorite St. Louis summer tradition. More info at midtowntaste.com.
15. Sample from the Best June 1, Downtown Clayton
Food-lovers, save the date! This year’s Taste of Clayton again features the very best of the area’s top restaurants with numerous samplings, drink specials and entertainment. This annual event is also family-friendly and provides a special kids station for little ones. More info at tasteofclayton.com.
16. Catch the Best Local Music—For Free June 4-Aug. 6, Missouri Botanical Garden
One of the city’s best free musical festivals, the Whitaker Music Festival at MOBOT, is back with a great selection of performers. Grab a picnic basket, blankets or lawn chairs, and prepare to hear great tunes from the likes of Latin pop-rocker Javier Mendoza, jazz guitarist Nigel Mooney, blues-soul group Al Holliday & the East Side Rhythm Band and so much more. More info at missouribotanicalgarden.org.
17. Rock Hard, but Classy June 14, Powell Hall
The music of one of rock’s greatest bands gets a makeover from conductor Brent Havens and the Saint Louis Symphony this June with “Music of the Rolling Stones.” Songs like “Under My Thumb,” “Brown Sugar” and “Paint It Black” come to life at Powell Hall. Don’t miss out on this nod to the ultimate rock gods. Tickets at stlsymphony.org.
18. Hang Out on the Fringe June 18-22, Grand Center
The strange but incredibly fun St. Lou Fringe Festival features one-of-a-kind performances in theater, dance, puppetry, storytelling, visual art and other creative genres. With plenty of original material, low ticket prices and numerous performances or exhibits to check out, the St. Lou Fringe Festival is a summer arts must. More info at stlfringe.com.
19. Show Your Pride June 28-29, Downtown
With numerous performers, tens of thousands of visitors from across the country, a huge parade and, of course, plenty of pride, this year’s PrideFest is a must. After moving Downtown last year, this year’s festival welcomes an impressive number of participants from St. Louis and elsewhere, and the highly anticipated parade still ranks as the second largest in the city. More info at pridestl.org.
20. Visit the Fair July 3-5, Forest Park
Described as “America’s Biggest Birthday Party,” 2014's Fair Saint Louis moves to Forest Park in its 34th year and features free outdoor concerts by major acts, a spectacular fireworks display, mouthwatering food and beverage options and many new activities. More info at fairsaintlouis.org
21.Vive la Maplewood July 11, Downtown Maplewood
Celebrated on Bastille Day, the ninth annual Let Them Eat Art event is a playful and creative fair featuring live demonstrations, unique art exhibits, food and drink specials from local restaurants, live music and even tarot card readings, dream interpretation and hoop dance performances. More info at cityofmaplewood.com.
22. Feel Like You’re Abroad, While in Your Backyard Aug. 23-24, Tower Grove Park
St. Louis’ multiple cultures are never more bold and obvious than at the annual Festival of Nations event, which features hundreds of booths with international cuisine and arts and crafts in its World Bazaar. The festival also boasts numerous performers with everything from salsa dancers to throat singing. More info at festivalofnationsstl.org .
23. Don’t Miss a Night of Boy Band Madness Aug. 27, Edward Jones Dome
Irish-English boy band One Direction has been growing in fame exponentially since its introduction on the television show “The X Factor.” After the most recent full-length album release, 2013’s “Midnight Memories,” One Direction is on the road with its “Where We Are” tour. Be among the thralls of STL fans at the show Downtown. Tickets at ticketmaster.com.
24. Catch Cycling at Its Best Aug. 29-Sept. 1, Multiple Neighborhoods
Recognized as one of the best weekends for bicycle racing and charity rides in St. Louis, the Gateway Cup returns in 2014 with four more days of elite races and public rides for riders of all skill levels, and even special charity and kids events. This year, the event becomes a national destination by taking on a defining role in the National Criterion Calendar. More info at gatewaycup.com.
25. Finish Your Summer with Music, Food and Forest Park Sept. 6-7, Forest Park
Now one of the area’s most exciting music festivals, LouFest is back in Forest Park featuring a great lineup, plenty of crafts and arts booths, delicious food and more. Purchase tickets right away to get early-bird deals (and avoid anxiety over whether tickets have sold out). Tickets at loufest.com
Spring to Dance photo by Cheryl Mann. Loufest photo by Amber JoIvon. Great Rivers Biennial photo courtesy of the artist. LouFest photo by Angela Vincent. Festival of Nations photo courtesy of Festival of Nations. St. Louis Collects photo courtesy of Craft Alliance. Fringe Festival photo courtesy of St. Lou Fringe. Katie Herzig photo courtesy of the artist. “Wizard of Oz” photo by Tom Donoghue/Donoghue Photography. Jane Johnson painting photo courtesy of Laumeier Sculpture Park.
Carlie Trosclair, fissure, Great Rivers Biennial
Spring to Dance Festival
Wizard of Oz