Labor Day weekend is right around the corner. Although the beginning of autumn is still about a month away, Labor Day weekend has always been the unofficial end of summer. Let’s usher out the season and prepare for fall with our families by enjoying one of these terrific festivals, all close to home, all family-friendly and recommended by Show•Me Adventure Kids.
In St. Louis
The rich diversity of the area shines this coming weekend in two favorite fests: St. Nicholas Greek Festival and the Japanese Festival.
Celebrating 100 years, the Greek Festival will be Sept. 1–4 at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church on Forest Park Avenue. Amazing Greek food (including pastries lovingly prepared by parish ladies) plus music, dancing, and vendor booths come together for a joy-filled weekend. Opa! http://www.opastl.com/
One of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s signature events, the Japanese Festival has wowed residents and visitors for more than 40 years. Vendors and performers come from all over the country for this festival, which will be Sept. 2–4. From music to martial arts, sumo to sushi, your family can be immersed in the fascinating Japanese culture and not have to leave home. The Missouri Botanical Garden is on Shaw Boulevard. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/things-to-do/events/event-details/sreventid/1568/eventmonth/9/eventy.aspx
In Kansas City
History comes alive this weekend across the state in Kansas City. If your kids love knights, queens, and kings, then you’ll want to check out the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, which opens Sept. 2 and continues weekends through Oct. 15. Now in its 41st season, this festival is held in Bonner Springs, Kan., a KC suburb.
In Independence, Mo., The 45th Annual Santa-Cali-Gon Days Festival in Independence, Missouri, commemorates the origin of the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon trails. Not only will the kids learn about our country’s western expansion, they can enjoy the large carnival, see an authentic blacksmith, and pan for gold. The festival will be Sept. 1–4. https://www.santacaligon.com/
Fun on the lakes
Many families head to a Missouri lake for boating or fishing for their Labor Day getaway. Table Rock Lake in Branson will be hopping with people boating, skiing, tubing, or swimming. Events happening over Labor Day weekend include fireworks and barbecue at Chateau on the Lake Resort (Sept. 3) on Table Rock Lake. Fireworks will end the weekend with a bang on Sept. 4 at Big Cedar Lodge. Silver Dollar City winds down its Southern Gospel Picnic featuring national bluegrass acts. Remember to avoid much of The Strip’s traffic by navigating Branson using alternate routes. The convention and visitors bureau has a map on its website. http://www.explorebranson.com
USA Today recently named Lake of the Ozarks as the best recreational lake in the country, but Missourians have known this about the getaway in the center of the Show-Me State for generations. And Labor Day is one of the lake’s busiest weekends. Plenty of fireworks over the water, plus boating, swimming, shopping, golfing, and a host of family amusements wait for you. http://www.funlake.com/
No matter what adventure you choose to enjoy over Labor Day weekend, remember there will be heavy traffic on highways, so buckle up your family members, give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, and enjoy your time together.
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