Beat the Traffic

Drink, stroll and party instead

What's the worst thing about Fair Saint Louis? The drive home. There's nothing less enjoyable than sitting in traffic, watching the temperature gauge on your car go higher while you go absolutely nowhere. But there isn't any way around it -- or is there?

This year, when the fireworks end (around 10 p.m.), instead of racing for your car, saunter over to Laclede's Landing (First Street and Lucas Avenue; 314-241-5875 or, where the celebration goes on until 3 a.m. Participating merchants will have outdoor booths set up to continue serving both the food and the drink, although the drinks are cut off at 11 p.m. This is the Landing, though, so the alcohol will continue to flow indoors until 3 a.m. or closing time, whichever comes first. So you can stroll through the Landing, bratwurst in one hand and beer in the other, surrounded by other smart traffic-dodgers, enjoying the humid July evening and the beautiful cobblestone streets. If you move quickly, you can try out the new bleacher seats set up at First Street and Lucas Avenue. This temporary vantage point will provide an excellent view of the headliners at Rockin' on the Landing (Five for Fighting on Saturday, July 3, and Gin Blossoms on Sunday, July 4). Both of these musical performances are free, and they start at 10:30 p.m. -- Paul Friswold

A Wheel Good Time
With a bird's-eye view

St. Louisans like big stuff, it's true. And they really like big stuff to ride on (no gutter-thoughts, please). Seriously, Lou-dwellers are absolutely captivated by the oversize Ferris wheel in Forest Park -- they've even wrecked their cars in honor of it (its distracting placement along Highway 40 probably helped the sacrifices). So why not go for a ride on the Giant Wheel already? It's open Monday through Thursday from noon to 6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $2 for adults and $1 for kids, and the short-ish line is worth the breeze and the surprisingly great look at the former state mental hospital (among other things, of course). Visit for more info. -- Alison Sieloff

Welcome to the Jungle
The natives like ice cream

As summer evenings get sticky, Ted Drewes may be your first thought for cool-down refreshment, but let's face it: Ted's DJ sucks. Sometimes the only way to beat the heat is to work it out on the dance floor, one sweaty moment at a time. When you're feeling that urge (the urge to cut loose, footloose), kick off your Sunday shoes from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Rum Jungle (618 North Second Street; 314-231-5825). There, summer Sundays equal sundaes (or at least ice cream and slushes), so you can send the weekend to Valhalla with a shimmy, a shake and a double-dip of...whatever. If you like the music loud, the lights low, the cage dancers dancing and the ice cream melting, you owe it to yourself to check out Ice Cream Sundays. Who knows -- if Eric Nies had included frozen dairy products on The Grind, he might still have a gig. -- Jedidiah Ayres

Custard's Best Stand

In-laws in town for the extended weekend? Unsure of what to do with them? Take 'em to Ted Drewes! No out-of-towners ever complain about the heat or the humidity when they're spooning Crater Copernicus into their gobs. And where else can you see such a broad spectrum of St. Louis' population than in front of the little stand at 6726 Chippewa Street (314-481-2652)? If Margaret Mead were still alive, she'd be there with a notebook in one hand and a plump concrete in the other. -- Paul Friswold

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