The Best (and Cheapest!) Way to Enjoy Spring in St. Louis

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We made it. Winter has finally released its grip on St. Louis and spring has started to take hold. The gloriousness of longer days, abundant sunshine and warmer temperatures are upon us. For my two young boys this means more time outside and a happier household overall. Although St. Louis boasts many wonderful outdoor activity options our favorite outdoor activity might just be finding parks to explore. 
We frequent several parks within walking distance of our house but some days my boys request a “new park”. Over the last year we have developed quite the fondness for setting off for a day of adventure at one of the fabulous parks St. Louis has to offer. I’ve included a round up of some of our favorite St. Louis parks, most found in the mid-county area. 
 
Affectionately known to locals as “Rocketship Park” this is one that I was anxious to take my boys to try. The big space themed playground resembles a large rocketship with various space and NASA references. This playground is best for children over 2 as the play surface is pea gravel and the drop offs from the top are quite high. Shade is hard to come by so it is best for an overcast day, but in the right weather it is the perfect place to spend some time. There are bathrooms, a soccer field, sand volleyball court and a pavilion with picnic tables. 

Shaw Park is located at the edge of Downtown Clayton. Although I am certain we haven’t come close to exploring the whole park, we have enjoyed two separate playgrounds, a splash pad area and a large water fountain and pond. This park is gorgeous and the play areas are perfect for all ages. 
 
Beirne Park is located within a neighborhood in Creve Coeur. This park includes a soccer field, tennis courts and a large playground. The playground is new and huge (it includes 7 slides) but may be too big for younger ones. Perfect for kids over age two. There are bathrooms and a picnic area. 
 
Larson Park is located on the northern area of Webster Groves. This park includes tennis courts, fields, a creek area and a playground. The playground area has a large playground and small playground right next to each other. The large playground is very tall so it is best for older kids. The bathrooms and picnic area are located close to the playground. 
Watson Trails Park is located shortly off of Lindbergh Boulevard in Sunset Hills. The park includes tennis courts, a couple playgrounds, a disc golf course and a pond. The playground highlights are the zip-line and mommy and me swing. We also love throwing rocks in the water and walking the trails. The parking lot, bathroom and picnic area are all centrally located. 
Conway Park is located just west of Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur. This park is a wonderful little hidden gem with a rarely busy playground. The playground is perfect for bigs and littles alike as there are no extremely high drop off points. There are some old cabins which are fun to see as well as tennis courts, a dog park and pond. Bathrooms are located near the parking area and while there is not a large picnic area there are picnic tables around. 
Des Peres park is a beautiful park located near Manchester and 270. It’s often busy but for good reason! There is a wonderful walking trail around the park, ball fields, tennis courts, a little and big kid playground, a sprinkler and a lake for fishing or throwing rocks. The playgrounds aren’t right next to each other so I do find the need to make my kids choose between big or little but the bathrooms are located between the two so that is a plus! 
Harwood Park is a little gem of a neighborhood park located right off of Manchester Road in Des Peres. This park is rarely crowded. The turf like surface is perfect for little ones who like to put things into their mouth. The big playground and little playground are close enough to have kids on both, especially since often times we are the only ones there! There are no bathrooms but there are businesses nearby. There is a pavilion with picnic tables. 
Pioneer Park was recently completely renovated making it even better! There are tennis and basketball courts, bathrooms, ball fields, a sprinkler, a playground, a pavilion and a small trail that goes around all of it. Everything is close together so It is a great park to allow the kids to run and play. The pavilion is close to the playgrounds which also makes it a great park for birthday parties.
Tilles Park is often known for the Winter Wonderland light display but their summer entertainment is great too. This park includes tennis courts, a lake, playgrounds, a splash pad, and a large trail that wraps around the park. The splash pad is located directly off of the playground so it can be hard to keep the kids dry on a hot summer day so bring a change of clothes. Bathrooms and picnic tables are located near the playground. If you prefer a quieter park this is one to visit first thing in the morning as it gets busy, especially when people are looking for a water option. 
 
Which St. Louis area park is your favorite? 
 
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Katie Mueth
Katie is a Des Peres mom of two young boys, Trace (2014) and Henry (2016). Katie stays home with her boys most of the time but also spends a bit of time away as a high school lacrosse coach. Katie enjoys connecting with other moms to run, meet at parks, explore new restaurants, listen to live music and discuss books. Katie and her boys can be found enjoying many activities around St. Louis including the Science Center, Zoo, Magic House, Museum of Transportation, Urban Fort and Frisco Train Store, but what they enjoy most is just being outdoors. They have tried many of the parks around St. Louis City and county and also love hiking trails at Laumeier Sculpture Park, Powder Valley and Shaw Nature Reserve. Katie and her family love all that St. Louis has to offer for families of young children and can most often be found taking advantage of all of the many opportunities.

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