Where to Celebrate National Picnic Month in St. Louis
Happy Fourth of July, STL! We’re getting the celebration started today with Fair Saint Louis festivities extending into the weekend. But the fun doesn’t have to stop there! July is National Picnic Month, and we can’t think of a better way to soak up the rest of the summer than by lounging out on a big blanket surrounded by friends and food. Luckily St. Louis has no shortage of scenic urban parks, and we’ve rounded up a list of the best spots in the city for you to get out there and get your picnic on!
Art Hill in Forest Park
Talk about wide open spaces! This sprawling hill extending from the St. Louis Art Museum is a favorite outdoor destination among locals and tourists alike. Lay out a blanket and people watch, or wander over to the plaza and fountains at the base of the hill for a shadier spot to enjoy the sunset.
Castlewood State Park
If you’re feeling bold, venture a little further from the city to this lush valley surrounding the Meramec River. A picnic isn’t fully complete without a beautiful view to go with it, and this park’s wide array of overlooks make for great spots to sit and soak in the beauty. Work up an appetite by hiking along one of the many trails throughout the park or sauntering along the river, then lay your blanket down in a shady spot in time to watch the sunset.
Want to kick back in a more urban setting? This interactive sculpture park is the place for you. Take a stroll along winding paths and bask in the glow of 24 sculptures from internationally renowned artists, six rain gardens, a children’s spray plaza and a 180-foot-long pool with a water fall. Then stretch out on the granite-topped “meander wall” and enjoy your picnic in this beautiful urban oasis.
Gateway Arch National Park
Would this list really be complete if we didn’t mention the Gateway Arch? We might be biased, but we can’t think of a better STL picnic spot than under the most iconic STL monument. Take a seat on the main staircase or drop your blanket on the grassy lawn and watch the riverboats float down the Mississippi. And if you’re feeling brave, take a trip up to the top afterwards to look out over the city. You really can’t beat a nice meal followed by a beautiful view!
Missouri Botanical Garden
You don’t need to be a plant enthusiast to enjoy this scenic garden in the city. With 79 acres of horticultural displays and formal and international gardens, you’re sure to find a spot to lay out a blanket, pour some wine, break out some snacks and picnic the evening away! Admission tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket booth, and make sure to check out the numerous events held throughout the summer.
Tower Grove Park
With over 280 acres of grassy meadows, playgrounds, tennis courts, walking trails and pavilions, this National Historic Landmark Park has it all. There’s even four designated picnic sites available for reservation if you’re bringing the whole crew with you. And there’s no better time to soak up all this park has to offer than mid-summer, when it plays host to numerous festivals and concert series. If you don’t feel like packing your own dinner, stop by on the second Friday of the month for Food Truck Friday!