Summer Sensations: So much to do, so little time. Here's what we recommend you dare not miss.

If you stay in the house, does that mean you're truly at home? We think not. After all, we're St. Louisans. We have a home that measures in square miles, not square feet. With an estate that size, it's easy to forget how breathtaking it is. The beauty of living here is that you have access to an entire city full of summertime fun. In that spirit, we've prepared a primer of can't-miss events. Why not be a tourist at home?

Even though it's considered a summer sport, the national pastime takes place during parts of three seasons. So we'll drop the baseball tour from the month-by-month lineup. Still, you owe it to yourself (and your savings account) to check out the River City Rascals and the Gateway Grizzlies, our two Frontier League teams.

The Rascals (who play in TR Hughes Ballpark, TR Hughes Boulevard and Tom Ginnever Avenue, O'Fallon) spent the off-season replenishing their pitching, while the Grizzlies (Mousette Lane and Goose Lake Road, Sauget, Illinois) added a soft pretzel soaked in Buffalo-wing sauce and topped with mozzarella to their insanely irresponsible food menu. Both teams still have tickets that start at just $5. Now, if you want to watch Albert's moonshots or Yadi mow down would-be base-stealers with surgical precision at Busch Stadium (Broadway and Poplar Street), it'll cost you $16 to $250. Find more information about the River City Rascals by visiting or calling 636-240-2287; the Gateway Grizzlies at or 618-337-3000; or the Cardinals at or 314-345-9000.

G.P. Watson

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis runs through June 15 in Forest Park with performances of The Tragedy of King Richard III at 8 p.m. every night except Tuesday — and it's free, too. You'll want to get there a couple hours early to find a good seat and enjoy the Green Show (jugglers, clowns, dancers and a host of other acts) which begins at 6:30 p.m. This marks the festival's eighth season, and its continued success is owed ultimately to massive public interest in some of the greatest English plays ever written. There's a reason you're supposed to read The Tragedy of King Richard III in school. And hey, if you didn't get it then, you can rest assured that when you see it performed live, it will all come together.

While you're in Forest Park, save an afternoon for the Boathouse (6101 Government Drive; 314-367-2224 or, where you can rent a boat ($15 an hour) and row out to the Grand Basin near the Saint Louis Art Museum, then head back for lunch. Here's a trick: Put your name on the list for a table before you row; wait times can be lengthy.

Your June south-side tour should include two key stops: Tower Grove Park (4256 Magnolia Avenue) and the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; 314-577-9400 or Visit the garden on Wednesday nights for the Whitaker Music Festival, the venerable free concert series that begins its fourteenth season on June 4 with Erin Bode and continues every Wednesday through August 13. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. While there are dozens of great dining options in the area, it is a terrific idea to get there early, grab a good spot on the lawn and enjoy a picnic (though food and drink are available for purchase).

June is also a wonderful month to visit Tower Grove Park on a Saturday to find locally grown food and locally made goods at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market & Bazaar. Or you can grab Sunday brunch at Café Madeleine, located in the stunningly restored Piper Palm House. The market ( is free, and you'll want to make reservations for Café Madeleine (314-575-5658).

The Fourth of July falls on a Friday this year, which makes Fair Saint Louis and Live on the Levee a massive weekend of food, drink, live music and fireworks. The fair starts at 10 a.m. on Independence Day and concludes at 9:15 p.m. with a supersonic fireworks display launched from the Mississippi River.

The next night features the Anthony Hamilton concert at 8 p.m. The Live on the Levee free music series began in 2005 and has featured acts as varied as Ani DiFranco and Bruce Hornsby. Concerts are every Friday and Saturday night from July 4 through August 2. You can find more information for both events at or 314-434-3434.

Now that you're touring downtown, take a tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery to celebrate 2008 as the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition (South 12th and Lynch streets, On Bastille Day weekend (Sunday, July 13; Bastille Day is Monday, July 14), celebrate your city's French heritage, and watch the Tour de Soulard bicycle race. St. Louis is home to top-flight cycling races all summer (check for details), and the Tour de Soulard is a great way to gear up (no pun intended) for the Tour of Missouri in September.

Make your return trip to Tower Grove Park in August for the annual Festival of Nations, a two-day free outdoor festival organized by the International Institute of St. Louis. This is the only place where you'll find food of every origin — Bosnian, Thai, Ethiopian, Brazilian and 30-some more — in one place at one time. It's best to pace yourself. Luckily, the flamenco-dancing lessons and the Scottish caber toss will help you burn off the extra calories from the baklava and burritos. The Festival of Nations runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, August 23, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 24.

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