How to Wear Your Spirited Child Out in St. Louis


Last month, I wrote about how I have an adrenaline-seeking daredevil of a daughter. This month, I thought I’d share our favorite local ways to wear that child out. It’s truly the best course of action for all of us.


Of course, playgrounds are great (and free!) places for kids to get out some energy, but if you have a bigger kid or just a really daring kid, you need to be a little picky about where you go if you really want them to have the energy-shredding experience they’ll need to get to sleep at night. Here are our area favorites:

Climb So Ill

Howdershell Park

  • Howdershell Park– This City of Hazelwood gem has a full Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course! With twelve separate challenges that have kids (and adults, if you’re feeling adventurous) climbing, hanging, crawling, and running, it’ll get the job done! There’s also a smaller playground nearby that’s great for younger siblings or to chill out once the hard work is done.
  • Queeny Park– This playground is huge, and it has a bunch of tunnels and walls to climb. Unlike many playgrounds, it’s also an excellent place to play hide and seek because you can actually hide and have enough space to make it interesting.
  • Missouri Botanical Garden—Children’s Garden– While not free (unless you’re a member), the Children’s Garden is an excellent place for bigger kids to roam a bit. We’re big fans of the hanging “vines” that are great for swinging and the caves that let kids climb and crawl.

Queeny Park

Queeny Park

Parks and Museums

If it’s raining, too hot, too cold (or, since it’s St. Louis—all three at once), or you just want a more focused energy-busting experience, visiting some indoor entertainment businesses dedicated to the cause is the best way to go.

  • City Museum– I know, I know. If you’re in St. Louis, you surely already know about our national treasure. In fact, if you’re not from the Lou, you may have even traveled here just to go, and that was a wise choice. It’s the best. Climbing, crawling, sliding, scooting, stretching, reaching: it’s a full-body experience that ends with an appropriately exhausted kid.
  • Rockin’ Jump/Flying Spider/Sky Zone- There are several trampoline parks in the region, and (at least in our family) they all serve the same general purpose: jumping until your heart is content (and your legs are worn out). If we have to pick a favorite, we’ll probably say Sky Zone because of the obstacle course.


For us, regular physical exertion and heart-stopping thrills need to be part of the routine, and luckily we live in a place where there are plenty of classes available to fill the need. Here are our favorites:

  • Circus Harmony– Located in the City Museum, Circus Harmony has classes for all ages and a great mission statement of using circus arts to bring people together. They’re experienced, dedicated to their craft, and a ton of fun.
  • Climb So Ill– An indoor rock climbing space tucked right into the heart of the city offers summer camps and climbing classes for kids and adults.

That’s how we wear our spirited kid out in St. Louis. We’ve found that lots of time to be daring in a space that’s set up for it keeps her from doing something too dangerous in a place that isn’t . . . and sleeping a little harder at night isn’t a bad side effect either.

Where do your adventurous kids like to go in the area?


  1. One of the most valuable things you can share as a mama is the secret gems you find along the way to take your children to! This is a great list!

Comments are closed.