On Earth Day, we're all children -- children of Mother Nature, that is. But the annual St. Louis Earth Day Festival (10:30 a.m.-6 p.m., www.stlouisearthday.org) in Forest Park (lower Muny area) offers plenty of cool enviro-lovin' activities for real kids, especially. The Children's Performance Stage is busy all day long, with belly dancers, storytellers, the Muny Kids and other acts. In particular, the kooky Celestial Theater, a troupe that gets its jollies from all things fluorescent, has a real childlike sense of humor.
Hundreds of kids from across the area have been busy building toy boats for a regatta. At the Art Village, kids can make trash sculpture, handmade paper, paintings and books. Children can also help their elders plant wildflowers and trees in the park.
Maybe the coolest Earth Day event for our youth, though, is the annual All-Species Parade through the St. Louis Zoo. A line of kids a mile long, many costumed as a favorite plant or animal, winds through the Zoo as the Joia Brazilian-style percussion ensemble bangs away. It's quite the photo op.
Insiders know that the best way to get to Earth Day at the Park is by bicycle. Whether your children are pedaling or being pulled along inside one of those cute little canvas-topped trailers, they'll arrive in style when the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation offers valet bicycle parking.
And it's all free -- naturally. -- Byron Kerman
Watching movies from the back of a car requires a certain amount of strategy. You want to be able to see over the parents in the front seat but not get the dreaded "hump seat" in the middle. Drive-In Movie Night at Shaw Park (intersection of Brentwood and Forsyth boulevards) circumvents backseat bickering by having you construct your own car from cardboard, so you can leave the hump out. Tickets are $3, soda and popcorn are provided and the movie is a big secret, but it's suitable for family viewing (no horror double feature). Return to those thrilling drive-in days of yesteryear from 7-10 p.m. (314-645-1476). -- Paul Friswold