Town Talk Features

My Messy Mom Life: 6.5.19

As I sit down to write this, my kids are running circles around me fighting over an Avengers ball. Summer is officially upon us, along with moments of needing to get out of the house! There are so many fun things to do in town with your little ones—and also some really cool places less than an hour away. I’ve made a list of spots, some free and some totally worth the money, that hopefully includes a few you haven’t tried. Keep it handy, and make this summer all about new adventures!

Suson Park: I have lived in St. Louis most of my life and did not know about this gem in South County until last year. Suson has a free petting zoo, huge playground and clean lakes for fishing. The animal farm is open from 9 a.m. to dusk. Bring a picnic lunch, and enjoy the scenery.

Frisco Train Store: Rainy day? This treasure in Valley Park is located in the old Frisco building, and kids get to play on its wall-to-wall train tables. And it’s a super fun birthday party spot! ( If your children love trains, also check out The Wabash, Frisco & Pacific Railroad in Wildwood. On Sundays from May to October, you can ride a real mini steam railroad through the forest. Check the site for departure times:

O’Day Park: This is a new, 57-acre spread in O’Fallon, Missouri, with one of the coolest playgrounds I have ever seen! (It’s the area’s first adventure playground.) It is totally worth the trek. A schedule of summer events at the amphitheater is posted at If you don’t want to go that far west, I also recommend Wildwood Community Park or Chesterfield Amphitheater for summer concerts.

St. Louis Surge: I’m sure you’ve taken your kids to a Cardinals or Blues game, but what about the Surge? I recently learned about this extraordinary women’s basketball team that plays at Washington University. Visit for this summer’s schedule. The games are uplifting, inspiring and fun for the entire family!

Grandma’s Playroom (South County), Play Street Museum (St. Charles), Urban Fort (Benton Park): All three of these are really amazing spots to meet up for a play date—totally worth the admission price! Grandma’s Playroom features a Hot Wheel track, train table, flower garden, building stations and more, and the newly opened Play Street is a blast for little guys under 6. Urban Fort not only has a rockin’ play room, but it also houses a brilliant cafe where you can order food and a lavender latte. P.S. Your house stays clean!

The National Museum of Transportation: Located off Barrett Station Road, it’s great for all ages, but if you have kids 5 and under, check out the Creation Station. It’s open weekdays and two weekends a month! There are hour-long sessions for $2 guided by teachers.

Bike Trails: There are so many family-friendly bike and walking trails in the Chesterfield and Wildwood area. You can go for miles around the valley and stop at both outlet malls for a lunch and shopping break. The River’s Edge Park Loop on the north side of Hwy. 40 is a 1.9-mile trail that has a beautiful lake for fishing, or bring your paddle boat, paddle board or canoe! For full details on some of the best trails in St. Louis County, head to

Pere Marquette: There are so many cool places to visit just over The Mississippi River. I have always loved Pere Marquette, and it’s not just because they have the best fried chicken. You can get there by car or ferry—extra exciting for kids. Head to to plan your route and activities. There are hiking and horseback trails and a gorgeous lodge for lunch. If you want to stay overnight, you can choose between the camp grounds or the lodge. Check out events on the Hakuna Matata river boat cruise and the various boat and bike rental options. Plus, Raging Rivers waterpark is nearby!

Katelyn Young is a local mom of two (her #crumblycrew) who shares real moments of  motherhood as it relates to fashion, food and fun! Follow her on Instagram at @_katelynyoung_ or follow her blog at