Living in the Lou: Wentzville originally published in March, 2020.
When I tell people I live in Wentzville, they react predictably. First, they all gasp. Then, they follow up with one of two questions:
“Why? Isn’t that – like – super far away?”
“Why Wentzville? What do you do out there?”
It’s important to note I’m a transplant. I’ve lived in about a million different parts of our metropolitan area, from Florissant to Marlborough to South City. Wentzville seemingly doesn’t have all of the entertainment and food options of, say, South Grand, yet I can proudly say we deserve a little more credit than we sometimes get.
Wentzville is Missouri’s fastest-growing city, having shot from 6,896 people in 2000 to 29,070 in 2010, according to the U.S. Census. That’s a whopping 321 percent increase in the decade. Though Wentzville has been growing like crazy, the city works very hard to maintain the old town feel along Main Street, so while Wentzville Parkway goes toe-to-toe with Lindbergh Boulevard or Highway K in terms of obnoxious traffic, there are some nods to a slower time, and charming, quaint shops to explore.
Yes, it’s a little further away; clocking in at roughly 41 miles west of St. Louis City, it’s about a 40-minute drive to the Zoo or Busch Stadium. However, it’s also really accessible as it sits at the intersection of Hwy 70 and Hwy 40.
But what do we do? Well, mommas, here’s a little peek into my town. One that I hope inspires you to make a day trip out this way and explore.
Jake’s Field of Dreams is an Unlimited Play Inclusive Playground inside Heartland Park. The playground was designed to be a place where physical limitations don’t hinder playing with peers. There are playground pieces for all kids, including those in wheelchairs or with limited mobility.
I have taken my twins here from 18 months on, and they always have a great time. It’s fully fenced in, which is a mega bonus in my book.
Of course, with the little guys, we try to go when it is less busy, but we have always found this park to be a great place for kids to burn fuel while interacting with their peers. Inclusivity is so powerful, and my kids soak it in every time we are there.
Most notably recognized by the St. Louis Post Dispatch as one of the best places to work in 2019, the parks and recreation department in Wentzville has so many offerings for kiddos and mommas both. From prenatal yoga to swimming lessons and everything between, you can find a reasonably priced activity for your kids and yourself on their website.
Plus, the splash pad is an always-popular summer gathering place.
Amy’s Art Studio was one of the places all of my mom friends recommended I include on this list. From summer camps to private lessons, this place will help you grow your little artist’s creativity. In May of 2016, Amy’s Art Studio and Gallery opened in downtown Wentzville where Amy’s artwork is on display, and she teaches classes to students age 6 – adults.
Classes touch on all of the traditional mediums such as watercolors, acrylics, oils, graphite, charcoal, soft pastels, and many more.
This is an indoor play area with so much to do for families in any age range. From laser tag, a rock wall, and an arcade, to bowling, an inflatable jump area (with rental opportunities!) and now, their newest attraction: axe throwing. This place will grow with your family.
With a full kitchen (and bar, if that’s that your thing), they make it possible to spend the whole day here, especially when the weather is gross, and you need a place to release some energy.
A pottery painting and clay building shop, it’s an awesome outlet to let your littles begin loving art while also creating those keepsake pieces you’ll cherish for years to come. Imagination Pottery also offers group events and party packages. I’ve both done this with kids and with adults (for a bachelorette party) and enjoyed myself both times.
A yearly celebration of all-things-Wentzville, this event takes place in the center of Old Town. With plenty of activities and rides for the kids, and live bands and food and drinks for parents, it’s a party all weekend.
What’s cool is the location, as they nestle it on the streets of the older side of Wentzville, which, in my opinion, can be overlooked as a great spot in the area. The old buildings are beautiful, the train runs directly through the center, and it just feels like a neat little spot with fun shops and food spots (many of which are on this list).
Be sure to check their site to get more details on what’s coming up this year as Wentzville Days takes place in the middle of May.
This kid- and dog-friendly event has continued to grow in popularity and let me just say this: it’s something to be seen. From jousting to reenactments, there are all kinds of entertainment to be had at this annual event that lasts an entire month (weekends only).
It’s fun, eclectic, and family-friendly (just check out their site), and they have different themes each weekend, so if you come out and love it once, but are afraid there won’t be enough to do to come back the following weekend, you can be sure they change up the programming enough that it would be worth it.
Parking is free, and discounted tickets aren’t too hard to find!
Mommas on a budget (or who like a deal) could get lost inside of this kid’s resale shop. It’s owned locally and has already outgrown its first location. I have both bought and sold baby clothes and equipment here, and I intend on checking out their selection before I make big purchases for the kids. From NB clothes and equipment to Youth 14s, they’ve got you covered.
The place is always clean, always smells so good, and everything I have bought has been like-new quality.
Plus, I love the detail that they will return any clothes they can’t buy OR will donate it to either Crisis Nursery or the Wentzville School District. Super cool.
While I’ve yet to go to Revolve, it’s definitely on my to-do list. Owned by the same people as Sproutfitters, this shop popped up because so many people loved what they did for children, and they wanted the same sort of store for adults.
For me, it makes sense to shop here right now as I’m losing weight (yay!) and changing sizes. While I love new clothes, I also love variety, and knowing that I’m likely to drop another size makes me hesitant to spend more on something when I don’t know how long it will last me. This place takes care of that!
A staple event that’s just outside of Wentzville (literally on the opposite side of Hwy 40), this is the best place to get locally grown and harvested food and products.
It’s an outdoor market that’s great to walk in the spring and summer months, with delicious food and great people watching. Not only that, it’s inside the Meadows Shopping area so you can see what’s new over there, too.
Last time Joe and I took the kids, we let them get out and dance while a pretty great band rocked out. They loved looking at all of the dogs walking around and enjoyed some pretty great breakfast pizza. And the wildflower arrangements … swoon!
This has been around for-e-ver, and it always busy. Every Sunday from the spring through the fall, rain or shine, the flea market has vendors with anything from shoes and clothes to antique furniture and detergent. I have bought a mirror, kettle corn, mums, a Gus pretzel, and produce.
Fair warning, this gets very crowded later in the day, so the earlier you go, the better the finds and the easier parking will be.
This place has the best burgers you’ll find out here, I promise. Their kids menu has all the usual favorites. Plus, adults like it too. Everything is oversized so you won’t leave hungry. The owners started as a food truck, grew roots in another location in Wentzville, and got so popular they needed more space.
Their current location is just off Highway 70 at the Hwy Z exit in the Bluffs. Try the Maui burger (and prepare to take half of it home).
Nestled in Old Town, anyone who has lived here long will tell you that eating Sunday brunch at West Allen is a must-do. For 22 years, this restaurant has been around, dishing up the brunch favorites for reasonable prices (cost per kid depends on age and can be found on their menu here).
The biscuits and gravy are my favorite.
No longer new in the Old Town area of Wentzville, Ellbee’s has proven it’s sticking around.
The general store makes and sells all kinds of local goodies, including their garlic seasoning line, unique gourmet finds, a full coffee bar and pastries, 100 flavors of old fashion soda, Central Dairy ice cream for floats, bulk chocolate, and a great selection of gifts and personal items.
It’ll make you nostalgic. And they work hard to make it aesthetically pleasing, too. Fun for kids and parents alike!
Duke’s is located in downtown Wentzville under the Water Tower. Though there are several local, really (really) good barbeque places in Wentzville (and a Sugarfire), my family likes Duke’s most for a couple of reasons:
- They’re reasonably priced.
- It’s kid-friendly.
- The food is BOMB.COM levels of good.
- From their slabs to fries, everything is made in-house. They know BBQ.
Voted the 2019 Best Brewery in St. Charles County by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, my husband and I love this place for a million reasons. Their beer is good, the ambiance is always fun, and they also have excellent food service located in the back and provided by Benefits Bistro.
The patio is huge and dog- and kid-friendly during the summer. Plus, they have a pretty fancy Bloody Mary Bar for Sunday Brunch.
And I loved them before they even existed out here, as I first tried their beer at the Ferguson Brew Festival. Once we broke ground on our house out here and heard they were also breaking ground on their building, I was so stoked to hear they were so close. Every town needs a brewery of this caliber, don’t you think?
Located in the heart of old town Wentzville you’ll find Not Jaded Boutique and Tea Room, but their name might be a bit misleading because of all they have to offer. From girls newborn to women’s 3XL, including mommy and me styles and jewelry, they have cute clothes for all the ladies, yes, but if you get hungry while you’re there, you don’t even have to leave because they also serve lunch in their tea room (where they boast 20 different types of tea).
The Tea Room is a great place to host a baby or bridal shower, a birthday or princess party, or to host up to 30 people for any type of celebration.
While not technically in Wentzville, it’s only one more exit down the highway and is one of my kids’ favorite places to go when the weather is nice. From feeding goats and camels to observing an alligator or petting a bunny, this place is perfect for getting up close and personal with animals. They also have indoor critters and a big play area to burn even more fuel.
There isn’t a lot of tree coverage, so be sure to pack a hat and some sunscreen, and the ground is gravel but wasn’t hard to get my stroller through (though our feet wound up super dirty from dust) so keep those things in mind. That said, the cost is cheap (free for kids under 2), and it’s a fun day activity.
The super comfy chairs, a bar inside the theater, and yummy snacks are great, but this place also has a summer kids series that is super fun for littles and not-so-stressful for parents as – hi – everyone around you “gets” it and the price is low. Not only that, they host retro nights with throwback movies for both parents and kids. I’ve seen Sandlot, Labyrinth, and upcoming features include Jaws and Dracula.
Besides being at home with my family, The Color Room is genuinely my favorite spot in Wentzville. They have whatever you need for your hair, skin, or body. I go here for the best hair stylists with the best training, the best esthetician who changed my life by changing my skin, and now even my Botox-guru works here. Anyone you see there will take the absolute best care of you; the owner pours her heart into her people, and it shows.
Need your makeup done for an event? Call them. Do you want lash extensions? Dial that number, girl. Spray tan? Brazillian wax? Hydrafacial? You betcha.
Every time I go in and say, “Hey, where do you recommend I get (enter service here) done?” they pleasantly tell me they offer the service or product. I should know they do it all by now. I almost didn’t add them to this list because I don’t want the schedule to get too busy. That’s how much I love them.
First, check Groupon because these guys usually have amazing offers to give it a try. If you’ve wanted to try a float spa but didn’t know any were nearby, Drift is in town on Pearce Boulevard. They not only offer float therapy but have massage therapists and chair therapists as well.
I, personally, liked my experience with floating, but if you aren’t a fan of confined spaces, it may be a little too closed in for you, but don’t forget they are local and offer massages, also. Something for anyone to relax!
Get your yoga on at Detox, along the backside of Wentzville Parkway. They offer a variety of classes, including some that are heated and some that are not.
From their website:
Detox is here to clear your mind, body, and soul and help you find your inner peace. We are here to provide a warm, welcoming space for individuals of all backgrounds to walk the yogic path. Our instructors are all about inspiring people to lead a happier, healthier lifestyle through a welcoming and accessible approach to yoga.
Plus, they sell Lululemon right here in town.
While I was putting together this list, I found myself having a hard time choosing between which places to highlight. Yes, there are more than those listed! I know so many people joke with me that Wentzville is dull or lacking amenities. Still, when I sat down to put this together, I found myself overwhelmed by all of the options available for families throughout the entire year.
It really is a great place to live, but it’s also a great place to visit. Only 40 minutes away from the furthest parts of St. Louis, there’s something for everyone AND enough to keep you busy for a full day trip.
Let me know when you’re coming. I’ll meet you for lunch.